Emergency Message – Volcanic Activity at Hakoneyama

The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo alerts U.S. citizens residing or traveling in Japan that on May 6 the Japan Meteorological Agency issued a Level 2 warning for volcanic activity at Hakoneyama Mountain in Hakone, Kanagawa Prefecture. A Level 2 warning means that visitors should not approach the volcano’s crater because of an elevated possibility of an eruption affecting areas in or near the crater.

The Agency has indicated that a large-scale eruption of Hakoneyama is unlikely, with effects of a possible eruption limited to the Owakudani area and with minimal influence on Hakone’s surrounding hot spring resorts. Hakone City authorities have closed areas around Hakoneyama and Owakudani, and on May 6 issued an evacuation order for Owakudani. Some roads in the area are closed, including portions of Prefectural Route 734 as well as hiking trails around Owakudani. The Hakone scenic cable cars are also closed.

A map of the closures is available on the Hakone City website. Visitors to the Hakone area are advised to exercise caution and to avoid Hakoneyama and Owakudani, and to heed all local warnings and road and trail closures.

The Embassy will continue to monitor the situation around the volcano and will issue further messages if the security situation worsens. Visitors to the Hakone area should monitor local conditions by consulting media sources and the following websites:

U.S. Embassy Tokyo strongly recommends that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Japan enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. Embassy to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Regularly monitor the State Department’s website, where you can find current Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and the Worldwide Caution. Read the Country Specific Information for Japan. For additional information, refer to the “Traveler’s Checklist” on the State Department’s website.

Contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for up-to-date information on travel restrictions. You can also call 1-888-407-4747 toll-free in the United States and Canada or 1-202-501-4444 from other countries. These numbers are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to have travel information at your fingertips.

For any emergencies involving U.S. citizens, please contact the American Citizens Services (ACS) Unit of either the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo or one of the U.S. Consulates in Japan.