Record 3,506 people stranded on Japan mountains in 2022

The number of people who got stranded on mountains in Japan hit a record high of 3,506 in 2022, police data showed Thursday, as climbing trails and mountain huts started to reopen following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The figure increased by 431 from a year earlier, according to the National Police Agency. A total of 3,015 such cases were reported the same year, up 380 and also the highest among comparable data available since 1961.

Nearly 80 percent of the stranded people were in the mountains for climbing purposes, the NPA said. An increasing number of cases were reported in and around the Tokyo metropolitan area, including Mt. Takao, a popular hiking destination on the outskirts of the capital.

"Insufficient equipment and unreasonable planning are often the causes (of accidents in mountains)," an NPA official said. "We recommend people plan well in advance and check weather information to prevent such accidents."

Of those stranded, 327 people died or went missing, up 44 from a year before, with around 70 percent of them 60 or older.

A total of 1,306 people were injured while 1,873 were rescued safely, according to the data.

© Kyodo News