Missing father, young son found safe on Tochigi mountain

JIJI

A father and his 12-year-old son were confirmed safe and unharmed Saturday by police in Tochigi Prefecture around 16 hours after going missing on a local mountain.

According to the Tochigi Prefectural Police, Hajime Kondo, 45, a company employee from Tokyo, and his son, Keita, showed up at a hotel in the town of Nasu halfway up the 1,915-meter Chausudake peak around 7:50 a.m. Saturday.

They had reached a cable car station on the mountain at 2:20 p.m. Friday and were scheduled to return the same day after climbing to the summit, about 50 minutes on foot from the station. But contact was lost with the two after Kondo’s wife received a phone call from them around 4 p.m., and police began trying to locate their whereabouts.

The police said Kondo and his son apparently decided against climbing down the mountain as darkness began to fall Friday, and instead waited until dawn before descending to Nasu by following the path of a stream.