Getting designated as a World Heritage Site is quite an honor, a classification granted to only the truly special and precious sites in all the world. Along with this honor comes more tourists, which unfortunately brings more pollution.

Mt. Fuji, the national symbol of Japan, was designated as a World Heritage Site in June 2013.The sight of this majestic volcano, with it's almost symmetrical shape and flattened summit, takes every Japanese person to a very special place in their hearts, and this beauty affects non-Japanese people in the same way.

Every summer, tens of thousands from Japan and the world come to this sacred mountain to climb to the top, a pilgrimage for many. With its World Heritage status, more and more have flocked to Mt. Fuji to experience the ascension and making it above the clouds. But to the dismay of many, some of those making the climb have no sense of courtesy or respect, using the mountain as their personal garbage dump. Cans, cigarette butts, plastic containers, etc. line the climbing path. It has gotten so bad that UNESCO recently threatened to take away World Heritage status away from Mt. Fuji unless efforts were made to clean it up. The deadline is February, 2016, when the next inspection is to take place.

That anyone would litter anywhere in nature, let alone a World Heritage Site, is mind-boggling, to say the least. If the threat of losing this special status gets whoever's in charge to clean things up, great. I would suggest setting up cameras along the path and throwing the perpetrators away in the volcano once they get to the top, but I guess that's a little extreme.

With this kind of treatment, no wonder Mt. Fuji's getting ready to blow.

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