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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
How to get to and around Zao

Hours and Fees
On April 1, 2014, the consumption tax increased from 5% to 8%, causing widespread changes to admission fees. This page has not been updated yet, and some of the fees in this section may not be up-to-date.

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 74 users):
82/100
  recommended

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271.  Jogasaki Coast (Izu Peninsula)   82/100
272.  Zao Ski Resort (Zao)   82/100
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314.  Hirosaki Castle (Hirosaki)   200
315.  Zao Ski Resort (Zao)   198
316.  Jigokudani (Noboribetsu)   198
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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
Travel
Sightseeing
Tohoku Region
Yamagata Prefecture
Zao

Guide to Skiing in Japan
How to enjoy skiing and snowboarding
List of ski resorts

Where to find snow in Japan
Hot Springs

Zao Onsen
Okama Crater
Zao Ski Resort

Zao: Access and Orientation

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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