A Frenchman has been missing since Monday in Yamanashi Prefecture near the country's second-highest mountain, and his friends are now desperate to raise funds to kick off a private search for him, it was learned Friday.

Pascal Burel, a 50-year-old Saitama Prefecture resident, was last seen Monday afternoon at the foot of 3,193-meter Mount Kitadake in the Southern Alps, asking a bus driver about the bus timetable. He apparently spent the morning taking photos around Kofu, the prefectural capital, which is surrounded by high peaks, including Mount Fuji, and he then apparently headed toward Kitadake on his own.

According to his Japanese wife, Kiyomi Hosono, he was wearing "two black long-sleeved shirts, a waterproof jacket and waterproof pants" at the time. Burel is about 180 cm tall and he has a shaved head.