This plateau hot spring has an altitude of 850 meters. Numerous sports fields surrounding the area can be enjoyed all year long.
The Shirabu-onsen Hot Spring lies along the gorges of Otaru River at the southern end of Yamagata Prefecture on an 850-meter-high plateau. It is located in the mountains of the Azuma Mountain Range that separate Yamagata and Fukushima prefectures. It is one of the Oshu San-taka-yu, or the best three plateau hot springs in the area once known as the Oshu (present-day Tohoku) region, along with the Zao-onsen and Takayu-onsen hot springs.
The fresh greenery in spring and colored leaves in autumn are magnificent sights, and the mysterious shapes of trees covered with frozen fog, in particular, attract many skiers in winter. You can enjoy fishing in streams for 'ayu' (sweetfish), char and mountain trout. At the 50-meter-high Shirabu-otaki Falls, the water cascades over the rocks in two levels, giving it the appearance of drapes of sheer white cloth. Hence the name Shirabu, meaning "white cloth."
The Tengen-dai Ropeway starts from Shirabu Yumoto Station at the end of the Shirabu-onsen Hot Spring resort area. You can enjoy a 4-minute aerial walk and look down upon a sea of foliage on the way to the Tengen-dai Plateau, which sits at an altitude of 1,350 meters. The plateau is a treasure house of alpine plants and a place where you can enjoy high altitude marsh trekking through the alpine meadows, mountain biking, grass skiing in summer, or if winter sports are your thing, enjoy them to your heart's content in fresh powder snow.
[Air] 55 min from Haneda to Yamagata Airport.
[Rail] 2h 15 min from Tokyo to Yonezawa Station by JR Yamagata Shinkansen, and 45 min from Yonezawa Station to Shirabu-onsen by bus.
[Air] 1h from Itami to Yamagata Airport.