Backcountry skiing and snowboarding have come under scrutiny after the recent rescue of two groups of skiers stranded in mountains in Nagano and Fukushima prefectures.

Japan's powder-covered mountains are attracting skiers and snowboarders from overseas, but the risk of being stranded, injured, or killed by an avalanche has prompted safety warnings from experts.

The Japan Times looked into the situation surrounding the increasingly popular winter sports and the precautions needed.