Families of those who died in the 2014 eruption of Mount Ontake entered the summit area on Wednesday for the first time since the nation's deadliest postwar volcanic disaster.

A day before the fourth anniversary of the eruption, which claimed 58 lives and left five other people unaccounted for, entry restrictions on a path to the summit were lifted at 10:30 a.m.. A group of around 30 relatives ascended the 3,067-meter mountain in central Japan to mourn the loss of their loved ones.

They offered silent prayers in a memorial service, and erected a cenotaph bearing the inscription: "The memory of this tragedy should never fade away."