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Introducing Winter in Zao, Yamagata!

If you're looking for a place to experience the natural beauty of Japan, and at the same time looking to relax, then
Well, if so, the Zao, Yamagata is the place for you!
"【winter】STAY YAMAGATA JAPAN DAY1 -ZAO-" is a video introducing winter in Zao, and was created by STAY YAMAGATA.

This article will introduce recommended sightseeing destinations, and delicious gourmet cuisine in Zao. The video, overflowing with the charms of Zao, is a must-see!
The video shows a couple visiting Japan, and enjoying a fulfilling day in the white winter of Zao, Yamagata.
We hope it'll inspire you to take your own trip to Zao.

Introducing the Zao Mountain Range!

The Zao mountain range (蔵王連峰, Zao-Renpou), situated in the Ou Mountains (奥羽山脈, Ou-sanmyaku) of north-eastern Japan, is a popular area to enjoy the brilliant colors of each season.
The Zao mountain range is famous as the mecca of winter sports.
It has skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiles, and more, and people, from not just Japan, but all over the world, come to Zao for these experiences.

In the video, the couple visits the Zao mountain range during winter.
Let’s see what Zao has in store for them!

Zao, Yamagata: Experience the Great Outdoors Blanketed in Pure-White Snow

Image of the Juhyo Illumination
©Koichi_Hayakawa Modifying

In Zao, Yamagata, there are numerous areas where you can enjoy the beauty of nature.

One thing you definitely have to try is the Zao Ropeway (蔵王ロープウェイ, Zao ropu-uei). Using the Zao Ropeway, you can view the gorgeous winter scenery from up high. We HIGHLY recommend trying this.
In the video, the couple is shown visiting this area as well.
Equipment is available for rent, and you can enjoy skiing and snowboarding in the deep snow. This can be seen at 0:21 in the video, .
The couple seems to be highly satisfied with their sightseeing experience in Zao.

There's also the winter-only Juhyo Illumination (樹氷ライトアップ, Juhyo raito-appu).
You'll be captivated by the fantastical sight of the frost-covered trees created by the fallen snow.
This place is not only unquestionably Insta-worthy, but is also certain to provide memories that will last a lifetime.
This is introduced from 2:15 in the video.

Image of Zao Echo Line
Photo:Zao Echo Line

Our next recommendation is the Zao Echo Line (蔵王エコーライン, Zao eco-rain) connecting Yamagata and Miyagi.
During winter and spring walls of snow up to 10 meters high can be seen here, and in the fall, you can see breathtaking views dyed in red and yellow.
If you're looking to experience the changing of the seasons, definitely visit the Zao Echo Line. There's also the volcanic lake and crater Okama (御釜, Okama), the Takimidai Falls Lookout (滝見台展望台, Takimidai-tenboudai), Komakusa Daira (駒草平, Komakusa-daira), Katsutadake (刈田岳, Katsutadake), and more; There's so much to do in Yamagata!

Places to Relax in Zao, Yamagata

If you're looking to relax in Zao, Yamagata, then you'll definitely want to stop by the onsen.
Start by putting on a yukata while savoring some delicious food.
After that, enjoy unwinding in the exceptional baths of Zao Onsen (蔵王温泉, Zao onsen).
The quality of the springs will relieve you of all the fatigue from your travels.
From 1:29 in the video, the couple can be seen checking in to the Zao International Hotel (蔵王国際ホテル, Zao kokusai hoteru), then sinking into the waters of the onsen.
For foreign visitors, visiting a Japanese communal bath will make for a unique experience.

Beyond that, there are also many more places to relax in Zao, Yamagata, such as the Zao Fox Village (キツネ村, Kitsune-mura) and Zao Kattamine Shrine (蔵王刈田嶺神社, Zao kattamine-jinja).

Local Cuisine in Zao, Yamagata

Image of  Genghis Khan
Photo:Genghis Khan

The dish we recommend trying in Zao, Yamagata is called "Genghis Khan" (ジンギスカン, Jingisukan).
Genghis Khan hot-pot (ジンギスカン鍋, Jingisukan-nabe) with meat seasoned using sweet miso sauce is to die for! No trip is complete without trying some delicious cuisine from the local area.
From 2:02 in the video, the couple can be seen digging into Genghis Khan. It's hard to beat deliciously cooked meat and fresh beer!

Zao is famous for its cherries during summer.
That being said, if you're looking to come to Japan during the warmer months, Zao is still a great place to visit.

Summary of Zao, Yamagata

Zao is full of amazing destinations, and this is proven by the couple’s enjoyment of various sightseeing spots throughout the video.
We hope we've piqued your interest in Zao.

Winter in Zao is the perfect fit for those looking to enjoy nature.
Are you packing your bags yet?

【Official Website】Yamagata Prefecture, Yamagata City Municipal Office Homepage

Written By
Jan. 12, 2021
鈴木 正孝(Masataka Suzuki)
Zao, Yamagata Prefecture in Winter Is a Sightseeing Destination Full of Insta-Worthy Views! In the Midst of the Pure-White Snow, the Various Activities, Onsen, and Delicious Food Are Guaranteed to Create Lifelong Memories!
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