In order to maintain safety trails, the mountain lodges locate in the south part of the North Alps, the pertinent local governments, and MOE, the Minister of Environment decided to collect donations from trekkers for the month of September.
Mountain lodges have kept trails in good conditions using a part of their income. However, since the pandemic, their sales has been badly decreasing, and it has made it difficult for them to continue the work.
After the trial period, MOE and the local governments will establish a system of mountain climbing fees.
As a trekker, I think this is a good attempt for the following reasons.
Firstly, trekkers can enjoy safety trekking. Without the maintenance, trails are collapsed easily and cause sad accidents. Considering the fact, collecting donations is valuable.
Secondly, trekkers can remember the importance of safe trails, which they did not pay attention to before. By paying the donation, they can appreciate the effort of the mountain lodges.
Finally, it preserves the mountain lodges and mountain culture. In Japan, trekkers can enjoy hiking from one peak of a mountain to the next one, and such style of trekking is an excellent culture. Without mountain lodges, we are never able to enjoy it because the lodges not only maintain the trails but offer accommodations and meals, and places for camping. In addition to that, when an accident occurs, they promptly notify rescue services. Those are the remarkable feats Japanese people can be proud of.
I will willingly cooperate with the new system when I go trekking. Besides, I would like to see the outcome. It is not exaggerated to say this trial system will improve Japanese mountain trekking culture.