The Zao Snow Monsters rival Nagano's Snow Monkeys in popularity and they are one of Japan's winter attractions not to be..
Within the Mt. Zao scenic area is Zao Onsen (蔵王温泉), a popular hot spring and ski resort. Zao Onsen is especially popular during winter, where the famous "snow monsters" form on the wintery slopes of Mount Zao. Due to the Tohoku region's harsh winters and heavy snowfall, the trees atop Mt. Zao get covered with snow and resemble monstrous-looking frozen sculptures. Many make the trip to Zao Onsen especially to see the snow monsters, which is a unique event that only occurs during February when snowfall is abundant.
Other than the snow monsters, Zao Onsen resort offers several different ski slopes of varying difficulties. Visitors can also utilize the Zao Ropeway to get around, as well as enjoy the mountainside views from above. If you're visiting during winter, make sure not to miss the snow monster illuminations at night — as part of the annual Zao Snow Festival. Festivalgoers enjoy firework displays, illuminations, professional ski and snowboard shows, and many more fun activities.
Zao Onsen town is located in Yamagata Prefecture, and JR East Pass holders are able to get there from Tokyo station via a 2.5 hour..
Zao Shiko Hotel. onsen and ski slopes nearby. Excellent service by English-speaking staff
Mongolian BBQ a la Genghis Khan: expect to eat a lot of lamb
Unlike most of Japan, lamb is popular in this part of Yamagata, and it is almost always eaten barbeque style.
An old cargo train carriage turned in a cafe. A lovely atmosphere and great coffee in this location in Yamagata City.
Zao Onsen is a winter sports and an onsen paradise. Zao's Snow Monsters are a top attraction.
Shichiemon in the Hirashimizu pottery district is a beautiful place to get creative or do some shopping.
Yamagata Prefecture prides itself on its distinctive four seasons and is blessed with an abundance of nature and delicious foo..