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Cosplayers hit the snow at Japan's earliest opening ski resort at foot of Mt. Fuji

Skiers and snowboarders clad in costumes are seen just after the Yeti resort opened at 10 a.m. on Oct. 21, 2022, in the city of Susono, Shizuoka Prefecture. (Mainichi/Hiroshi Ishikawa)

SUSONO, Shizuoka -- Guests clad in a variety of costumes enjoyed gliding down the snow slopes here on Oct. 21 at Japan's earliest opening ski ground at the foot of Mount Fuji.

    The Yeti resort, located at an altitude between 1,300 meters and 1,450 meters around the second station of Mount Fuji, opened a day earlier than last year, becoming the first ski area to open for the new season in Japan for the 24th year in a row. On the opening day every year, cosplayers can ski or snowboard for free.

    The resort began to run snow-making machines around the clock on Oct. 11, producing some 550 metric tons of artificial snow a day, to create an about 1-kilometer-long course.

    While the opening day came amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic again this year, the Yeti resort is taking anti-infection measures, including asking visitors to check their body temperatures and disinfect their hands at the only entrance and requiring them to wear masks on lifts and in crowded places. The resort plans to offer discounts in the near future to those who have received COVID-19 vaccines.

    The Yeti resort will be open every day until March 31 next year except on days with poor weather.

    (Japanese original by Hiroshi Ishikawa, Numazu Local Bureau)

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