Photo/IllutrationThe sunrise appears between clouds for a moment in bad weather on Mount Fuji’s Yoshida trail at 4:28 a.m. on July 1. (Hiroshi Kawai)

  • Photo/Illustraion

FUJIYOSHIDA, Yamanashi Prefecture--The first climbers of Mount Fuji this season caught a glimpse of the sunrise despite the bad weather and a ban on reaching the peak of Japan’s tallest mountain on July 1.

The climbing season opened that day on the Yoshida trail in Yamanashi Prefecture.

A typhoon in autumn last year dislodged rocks near the summit, blocking the trail, so climbers were only allowed to reach station 8.5 at a height of 3,450 meters on the 3,776-meter mountain.

Amid the strong wind and rain, the five climbers shouted for joy when the rising sun appeared momentarily between the clouds after 4:20 a.m.

Mamoru Yamamoto, 76, and his son, Masaki, 46, both from Fujinomiya, Shizuoka Prefecture, said they felt lucky to see the unexpected orange morning light spreading in the distance.

They had waited patiently at station 8.5 for the sunlight. Ten minutes after the sunrise made its appearance, the rain started again.

The first day of climbing season usually draws streams of visitors clambering up the Yoshida trail to the summit.

Yamanashi Prefecture is rushing to clear the trail at the top and complete construction work to prevent other rocks from falling to allow climbers to again reach the peak.

The three routes on the Shizuoka Prefecture side of Mount Fuji will be open to climbers from July 10. The summer climbing season will run through Sept. 10.