Climbing season is open on the scenic Kamikochi plateau, one of Japan's most popular alpine destinations.
About 3,500 people gathered on Saturday in Kamikochi, Nagano Prefecture. They attended an annual ceremony marking the start of the mountaineering season.
The highland is a gateway to the Hotaka Range and Mount Yari. It attracts roughly 1.2 million visitors every year.
The ceremony included alphorn and accordion performances as well as Shinto rites to pray for safe passage through the mountains.
One visitor said this is her first time to be in Kamikochi while snow is falling. Another said she enjoys the natural environment.
The organizer of the ceremony said he wants hikers to enjoy flowers native to the area. He called on climbers to be fully prepared to avoid accidents.
The climbing season continues through November 15.