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Home - Travel - Sightseeing Guide - Tohoku - Yamagata - Zao
Zao Onsen Ski Resort 
# 1   of 3 most visited
sights in Zao

jump to:   access  -  admission  -  ratings  -  links

Zao Onsen is a well known hot spring and ski resort in the mountains of Yamagata Prefecture. It is one of only a few places in Japan where juhyo or "ice trees" can be seen. Also known as "snow monsters", the trees take on curious shapes due to the heavy snowfall and freezing winds.

The snow monsters form around the peak of the Zao Ski Resort and are usually most spectacular around mid February. Access to the monsters is provided by a ropeway and a gondola for both skiers and non-skiers. In the evenings, the monsters around the summit are lit up to be enjoyed outside or from a warm seat in the cafe. Night skiing, however, is offered only in the lower elevations of the resort.

Snow Monsters

Zao's ski resort is one of Japan's oldest and offers over thirty lifts, gondolas and ropeways and a variety of different courses suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all abilities, especially beginners and intermediates. The longest course starts in the territory of the snow monsters at the summit of the mountain and is about ten kilometers long.

Zao Onsen Ski Resort
Description Zao Onsen Ski Resort features long runs with good snow, many slopes for all skill levels, and the famous "snow monsters".
Season
Early December to early May
(2013/2014 season dates to be determined)
Lifts
39 Lifts
Tickets full day
8:15 to 17:00
4800 yen
Rentals ski
3800 yen
half day
4 hour pass
5 hour pass
4200 yen
4400 yen
board
3800 yen
nighter
17:00 to 21:00
2000 yen
clothes
3800 yen
Access bus/train
car
40 minutes by bus or car from Yamagata Station.

Any Questions? Ask them in our question forum.

How to get there

Hours and Fees
Snow Monster Illumination
Hours:17:00 to 21:00 (last gondola departs the base at 19:50)
The illumination takes place daily during the New Year holidays and from February 1 to early March, as well as on Saturdays and Sundays in January.
Admission:2500 yen

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User Ratings
Ratings for Zao Ski Resort:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 75 users):
83/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 785):
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279.  Yoyogi Park (Tokyo)   83/100
280.  Zao Ski Resort (Zao)   83/100
281.  Joeiji Temple (Yamaguchi)   83/100
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325.  Lake Mashu (Akan National Park)   204
326.  Kompirasan (Kotohira)   203
327.  Takasaki Monkey Park (Beppu)   203
328.  Meiji Mura (Inuyama)   202
329.  Zao Ski Resort (Zao)   201
330.  Oyama Shrine (Kanazawa)   201
331.  Botanical Garden (Hakone)   200
332.  National Art Museum (Osaka)   200
333.  Shimoda Park (Izu Peninsula)   198

User Feedback
We strive to keep japan-guide.com up-to-date and accurate, and are always looking for ways to improve the user experience. If you have any updates, suggestions, corrections or opinions, please let us know:

English Links
Zao Hot Springs Ski Resort
Official English website.

Japanese Links
Zao Hot Springs Ski Resort
Official website.

Online Reservations
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Related Pages

Most Recent Autumn Color Report
October 21
Bandai
more reports...

News and Reports
February 16, 2013
Zao Snow Monster Report
by sean
October 20, 2011
Zao Autumn Color Report
by schauwecker

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