Getting Wifi on Mt. Fuji Is a Thing That Is Happening



Doesn’t the prospect of scaling Japan’s most famous peak make you think about Wifi access?

It may be a towering, world famous summit—and one way to climb above the urban sprawl. And yet, visitors to Mt. Fuji who might be jonesing for their net fix will be able to take a break from getting away from it all as they log into state-of-the-art new Wifi networks. The service, which is to begin on July 10, will be delivered courtesy of a collaboration between the prefectural governments of Shizuoka and Yamanashi, and the NTT DOCOMO telecommunications company.

A press release said: “The joint initiative is aimed at attracting more overseas visitors to Shizuoka and Yamanashi prefectures, home to Mount Fuji, one of Japan’s most popular destinations during the summer climbing season.”

Climbers will be able to access the wireless network from eight hotspots on the renowned hiking trails. Shizuoka Prefecture officials will distribute 20,000 multilingual fliers—in English, traditional and simplified Chinese, and Korean—while their Yamanashi counterparts will hand out 50,000 English fliers. These bulletins will feature information about on how to log onto the networks, passwords for net access that network, and safety tips for ascending the mountain—we’re hoping those tips include “putting your phone away from time to time.”

Some hikers may be shocked by the installation of such high tech services in a locale as highly rustic as Mt. Fuji. But the move is not unprecedented. Parks Canada announced that it would create wireless hotspots in 50 of its parks last spring, before adding that it aims to triple that total by 2017. And last summer The Atlantic published an article about a group of city folk who were visiting the Arctic tundra who were able to access a feeble, but nonetheless usable, signal in a small hamlet of Gwich’in people “in the middle of nowhere.” The article adds that tech juggernaut Google is readying a fleet of 180 mini satellites that will offer internet to rural areas from overhead.

For some tips to getting up Japan’s sacred peak—with or without Wifi—check out our Mt. Fuji climbing guide.

—Kyle Mullin

Image: peaceful-jp-scenery/Flickr, used under CC



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