SUSONO, Shizuoka -- Cosplayers and others crowded Yeti, a ski resort located at Mount Fuji's second station (1,300 to 1,450 meters above sea level) in this central Japan city, on its opening day on Oct. 30.
Though the resort opened five days later than last year, and the latest over the past 10 years, Yeti has continued to open faster than any other ski resort in Japan for 22 consecutive years. Every year, it holds an event where people wearing costumes can enter for free on the opening day, and this year, skiers and snowboarders who dressed up as characters including those appearing in the popular manga and anime series "Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba" filled the slope.
The opening was delayed as operators continued to consider measures to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. At Yeti, these included having people hold the restraining bars on the chairlift with gloves on, banning riding on the lift with other groups, and wearing a mask or neck warmer that covers the mouth and nose. Visitors also stayed silent during the countdown this year.
Machines that can produce about 550 metric tons of artificial snow per day have been in full operation at the ski resort since Oct. 20, making it possible for visitors to use a roughly 1-kilometer-long slope. The resort plans to operate nonstop until March 28, 2021.
(Japanese original by Hiroshi Ishikawa, Numazu Bureau)