• Kyodo

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A branch of the JTB Corp. travel agency in Niigata Prefecture will organize a tour in March that will take participants trekking on the frozen surface of Lake Baikal in southeastern Siberia.

The Sanjo branch of JTB said participants will cover the 40-km distance from north to south in two days, accompanied by Japanese staff and a local hunting guide.

The participants will spend a night in tents on the ice covering the world’s deepest lake, it said.

Before the trip begins, there will be a joint training session at an adventure school in the town of Mogami, Yamagata Prefecture.

The school is run by Mitsuro Oba, who has successfully walked alone to both the North and South poles.

The tour is open to inexperienced trekkers.

JTB, the nation’s leading travel agency, organized a similar tour in March 1996, in which 39 participants — including a 76-year-old woman — completed a 12-km trek.

“Participants can enjoy the picturesque scenery of Lake Baikal if weather permits,” according to Tadashi Mada, who heads the JTB branch in Sanjo. “They can even enjoy a shot of whiskey ‘on the rock.’ “

The tour will start March 21 and will take eight days, including preparation.

Total expenses per person will be 348,000 yen, according to JTB.

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