This winter sports paradise is a real "winter wonderland," with clusters of spectacular ice-covered trees.
Zao, located on the border of Yamagata and Miyagi Prefectures, is a mountain park found among the Zao Mountain Range. You can enjoy the beauty of nature there, especially with visits to the mysterious Okama crater lake, also known as Goshiki-numa (five-color marsh). For outdoor lovers enjoy trekking among the verdant greens of spring or the scarlet leaves of autumn. In winter, Zao turns into a mecca for winter sports such as skiing and snowboarding. Even if you can’t ski, you can take a ride in a special snowmobile to get an up-close encounter of the ice-covered coniferous trees or “ice monsters.
At the base of Zao, there are various hands-on experience activities including butter and cheese making. You can also meet Japanese foxes at the world’s only fox village where the animals run free.
[Rail] 1 hour 50 minutes to Shiroishi Zao Station on the Tohoku Shinkansen (bullet train)
1 hour 50 minutes from Shiroishi Zao Station by bus heading to Zao Sancho (Summit)
[Rail] 5h from Shin-Osaka via Tokyo (by JR Tokaido Shinkansen Line) to Yamagata Station by JR Yamagata Shinkansen Line.