As Japanese prepare to head for the hills Thursday for their inaugural Mountain Day holiday, retailers and tourism operators are gearing up for an $8 billion windfall.
They’re counting on customers like school teacher Ayako Kobayashi. The 33-year-old spent more than $700 on a sleeping bag, mattress, backpack and trekking food to climb Mount Kita near Nagano last weekend. She’s looking to buy a two-person tent and a bigger backpack next, which would set her back another $1,000. The high price tag is worth it, she says.