Peak Japan: why foreign tourists are going mad for Mount Fuji

A developer in Japan just built a 10-storey apartment block in Tokyo but then decided to tear it down. What is going on?

Japanese artist Hokusai famously produced a series of woodblock prints titled Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji, and centuries later, the majestic mountain still captures the imagination. However, now that translates into record numbers of tourists eager to commemorate their visit with painstakingly staged photos.

An unencumbered view of Fuji is something to treasure – so much so that a real estate developer this week agreed to tear down a nearly completed apartment block in western Tokyo because it blocked residents’ view of the mountain. Developer Sekisui House said it decided to take down the 10-storey building due to “insufficient consideration for the impact on the scenery”.

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