Mount Zao is the highest peak on the mountains between Yamagata
Prefecture and Miyagi Prefecture. It is an active volcano and is 1,841
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
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.
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.
It 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.
It 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.
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.
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.