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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
(December 6, 2014 to May 6, 2015)
Lifts
39 Lifts
Tickets full day
8:15 to 17:00
5000 yen
Rentals ski
4000 yen
half day
4 hour pass
5 hour pass
4300 yen
4500 yen
board
4000 yen
nighter
17:00 to 21:00
2000 yen
clothes
3000 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, everyday during February, and on Saturdays and Sundays in January.
Admission:2600 yen

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User Ratings
Ratings for Zao Ski Resort:
japan-guide.com Rating:
  outstanding  
User Rating (by 76 users):
83/100
  recommended

Best rated sights nationwide (out of 788):
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265.  Enoshima (Kamakura)   83/100
266.  Owakudani (Hakone)   83/100
267.  Shukkeien Garden (Hiroshima)   83/100
268.  Zao Ski Resort (Zao)   83/100
269.  Arima Onsen (Kobe)   83/100
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271.  Senkaku Bay (Sado Island)   83/100
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326.  Lake Mashu (Akan National Park)   207
327.  Kanda (Tokyo)   207
328.  Kompirasan (Kotohira)   206
329.  Lake Towada (Lake Towada)   206
330.  Hakone Glass no Mori (Hakone)   206
331.  Zao Ski Resort (Zao)   205
332.  Meiji Mura (Inuyama)   204
333.  Oyama Shrine (Kanazawa)   203
334.  National Art Museum (Osaka)   202
335.  Shimoda Park (Izu Peninsula)   200

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

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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