Local officials in central Japan have prayed for the safety of trekkers on Mount Ontake as the climbing season opened for the area. The mountain erupted seven years ago, causing the country's deadliest volcanic disaster since World War Two.
The mountain straddling Gifu and Nagano prefectures erupted in September 2014, leaving 58 people dead and five missing. Volcanic activity has since subsided and the number of trekkers on the mountain is starting to increase.
A ceremony to pray for climbers' safety took place on Sunday at the foot of the mountain in Gifu's Gero City. The number of participants was limited to about 10 to prevent coronavirus infection.
They observed a moment of silence to remember the victims of the eruption.
The leader of a local tourism association said mountain trails will be repaired while measures are taken to secure climbers' safety. He added that he wants trekkers to enjoy climbing Ontake.