Japan Travel Guide - Let's go to Japan!
HOME > Yamagata Prefecture, Miyagi Prefecture > Mount Zao

Mount Zao

ZaoMap around Mount Zao Mount Zao is the highest peak on the mountains between Yamagata Prefecture and Miyagi Prefecture. It is an active volcano and is 1,841 meters high.
The peak is located 15 km southeast of Yamagata city, and 40 km west-southwest of Sendai city. The nearest city in Miyagi Prefecture is Shiraishi city, and Mount Zao is about 23 km northwest of it.

Mount Zao is one of the popular sightseeing spots in this region.
There is a sightseeing road "Zao Echo Line" across this mountains between Yamagata side and Miyagi side. (It is closed from early November to late April next year.)
This area has some scenic spots and hot springs, and some ropeways are set up for viewing on the peaks of the mountains.
Additionally around this mountains, there are many big ski resorts. Zao has much snow every winter, and not only Japanese skiers but also foreign skiers visit here.
The rime on trees of Mount Zao in winter is famous.


Zao hot spring resort /1/

Zao hot spring resortIt is the central hot spring resort in Zao area.
It is located 10 km southeast of central Yamagata city, and is on the western mountainside at a height of 880 meters.
This is one of the oldest hot springs in Japan, because it is said that it was found in 110 A.D. It is strongly acidic and sulfureous spring. There are some dozens of hotels and ryokans in this area.
On the fringe of the hot spring resort, there is a large outdoor hot spring bath.
It is in a gorge, and we feel rustic atmosphere. It is closed in winter.
Near the hot spring resort, there is one of the greatest ski resorts in Japan. We can see the rime of trees on this ski slopes.
Additionally four ropeways are operated in this area.

Zao Hot Springs Ski Resort official website

Okama /2/

OkamaIt is a crater lake near the peak of Mount Zao. The beautiful green color of water changes every hour by movement of sun. It is the most popular spot in Zao.
The lake is nearly round, and the diameter is 325-335 meters. The depth is about 27 meters
But it is very rare in the world, because the temperature of the water falls to 2 degrees C from the surface of the lake to the halfway point and rises from there to the bottom.
A few scenic overlooks are near the mountain pass or the peaks by Zao Echo Line.

Takimidai /3/

TakimidaiIt is an observatory where we can see two waterfalls, and is located about 7 km east of Mount Zao.
One is "Sangai Waterfall". It is 181 meters high, and has three steps.
The other is "Fudou Waterfall". It is 53 meters high.
These fall in the deep valley covered with woods, and have much water.
The observatory is near Zao Echo Line.

Toogatta hot spring resort /4/

Toogatta hot spring resortIt is a hot spring resort at the eastern foot of Zao Mountains. It is located about 15 km north of Shiroishi city and 12 km east of Mount Zao.
It is said that it was opened in 1601. There are a dozen of hotels and ryokans in this resort.
Especially two public bathhouses, "Kami-no-yu" and "Kotobuki-no-yu", are popular for visitors of single-day bathing.

Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

How to get to here

Route bus

  • From Yamagata station to Zao hot spring resort, about 40 minutes.
    To Okama, a route bus runs once a day, only during Zao Echo Line is opened. From Zao hot spring resort, about 1 hour.
  • From Shiroishi-Zao station of Tohoku-Shinkansen to Toogatta hot spring resort, about 50 minutes.
    To Okama, a route bus runs once a day, only during Zao Echo Line is opened. From Toogatta hot spring resort, about 45 minutes.

Car

From central Yamagata to Zao hot spring resort, 20 km, about 30 minutes.
From Shiroishi city to Toogatta hot spring resort, 17 km, about 20 minutes.
Zao Echo Line between these resorts is about 30 km long.




Zao mountains in spring
Zao Echo Line
Large outdoor bath in Zao hot spring resort
Zao Hot Springs Ski Resort
Rime on trees in Zao
Okama
A view from Takimidai Kotobuki-no-yu in Toogatta hot spring resort

Copyright © travel-around-japan.com. All Rights Reserved.
Sponsored Links



Spots in Yamagata Prefecture

Yamagata city
Yamadera
Mount Zao
Yonezawa
Mogami River
Sakata
Chidokan
Dewa mountains
Ginzan onsen