Rob's Rest Area

What the Fujikawaguchiko are they thinking?

I’m going to be painfully honest with you. The main perk of being an old guy is that not only can I complain about the most mundane things, it is almost expected of me. I take the responsibility seriously. Just ask any of my long-suffering friends. With this being said, I ran across this news story (courtesy of the Associated Press) that takes being petty and grouchy to epic proportions…

FUJIKAWAGUCHIKO, Japan (AP) — The town of Fujikawaguchiko has had enough of tourists.

Known for a number of scenic photo spots that offer a near-perfect shot of Japan’s iconic Mount Fuji, the town on Tuesday began constructing a large black screen on a stretch of a sidewalk to block the view of the mountain. The reason: misbehaving foreign tourists.

“Kawaguchiko is a town built on tourism, and I welcome many visitors, and the town welcomes them too, but there are many things about their manners that are worrying,” said Michie Motomochi, owner of a cafe serving Japanese sweets “ohagi,” near the soon-to-be-blocked photo spot.

Motomochi mentioned littering, crossing the road with busy traffic, ignoring traffic lights, trespassing into private properties. She isn’t unhappy though — 80% of her customers are foreign visitors whose numbers have surged after a pandemic hiatus that kept Japan closed for about two years.

That’s right, kids. The city is actually building a spite fence to block the view of something that generates an impressive amount of tourism dollars.  I do not know whether to be impressed at their level of pettiness, or saddened by the need to take such drastic measures. Either way, it will be interesting to see how all of this will work out for them.



Oprah Winfrey has apologized for promoting unhealthy diets. With that in mind, here are some other things she should apologize for.
(Remember – these are just jokes kids…don’t call Oprah on me…)

• Introducing us to Dr. Phil
• Giving everyone in the audience a car, but not the gas money to go with it.
• Making it impossible to enjoy regular bread after her “I love bread” campaign.
• Every book club pick that ended up being a bigger commitment than a summer fling.
• Her Favorite Things list that was a favorite of credit card companies every year.
• Introducing us to Dr. Oz.


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