Two Hong Kong women who went missing while traveling to a mountainous area in Japan have been found safe — after they caused local police a lot of trouble.
The duo, in their 30s and both surnamed Lo, were scheduled to check into the Raichoso hotel near Murodou Station in Tateyama prefecture on Wednesday but failed to turn up.
The station, about 2,400 meters above sea level, is the starting point for the magnificent Yukino Outani, or Snow Valley, a famous tourist attraction popular with Hong Kong tourists.
The hotel decided to call the police after the pair had not shown up by 9 p.m., Apple Daily reports.
A search in the mountain areas by a helicopter failed to find any trace of them on Thursday morning.
According local media, the pair sent an e-mail to their travel agent on Wednesday afternoon, saying they got lost and were unable to get to the hotel due to heavy snow.
That was the last time they were heard from.
In reply to media inquiries, the Immigration Department confirmed on Thursday that the two were safe.
With the help of the Chinese consulate general in Nagoya, the department said it contacted the two women, who said nothing happened to them except that they changed their plans without notifying the hotel.
Japanese netizens who learned about the incident criticized the duo for being reckless.
Some said they should be asked to pay for the search.
Hong Kong netizens also slammed the pair, saying they may have caused Japanese hotel operators to lose confidence in Hong Kong tourists.
A travel expert told Ming Pao Daily that the incident could damage the reputation of Hong Kong tourists, saying Japanese hotel operators value customer integrity.
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