See, eat, and experience the charm of Yamagata Zao!

On the Yamagata Prefecture side of the Zao mountain range is Zao Onsen Hot Springs, one of the oldest hot springs in Japan, which is said to have opened in the 100s A.D. The hot spring area, which is the most acidic spring in the Tohoku region, has ski slopes and lodging facilities, and is one of the largest mountain resorts in the Tohoku region, attracting many tourists! ♪

If you stay at Zao Onsen in winter, you should definitely see the trees covered with snow and ice, known in Japanese as "Juhyo." Take the ropeway and enjoy the superb view of the ice field from both the sky and ground!

In the center of Yamagata City, where Zao Onsen is located, you will find Yamagata's representative modern architecture, the Yamagata Prefecture Hometown Pavilion "Bunshokan." The Western-style building built in the early Taisho period (1912-1926) is very photogenic!

One of Zao Onsen's most famous foods is Jingisukan, an essential part of Zao Onsen's cuisine! Enjoy a hearty portion of healthy lamb meat served in an iron helmet-shaped pot ♪

While day trips are fun, we also recommend staying overnight and enjoy Yamagata Zao to the fullest ♪

Juhyo frost-covered trees, a natural work of art in Yamagata Zao

Juhyo (trees covered with snow and ice) are created by the unique natural conditions of the Zao mountain range. The coniferous abies mariesii trees are covered with snow and ice, creating a natural art form that is rarely seen anywhere else in the world!

The view during the daytime is breathtaking, with clusters of frost-covered trees filling the snowfield, but at night the area is colorfully illuminated to create a fantastic atmosphere.

(Photo courtesy of  Zao Ropeway)

The ropeway takes you directly to the ice field from Zao Onsen Town day and night, so you can go see the Juhyo "Snow Monsters" without having to walk on the snow ♪

Yamagata Prefecture Hometown Pavilion "Bunshokan," an elegant Western-style building full of photo-worthy spots!

Yamagata Prefecture Hometown Pavilion "Bunshokan" was used as the Yamagata prefectural office building and prefectural assembly hall until 1975.

The building was designated as a National Important Cultural Property of Japan, as it is a valuable structure that represents Western-style architecture of the early Taisho era.

The building is full of photogenic spots, including the central staircase with its lovely red carpet and decorative railings, the main hall with its gorgeous flower-decorated plaster ceiling, the gracefully arched congress hall, and the courtyard surrounded by cobblestones and brick exterior walls ♪

On some days, concerts, workshops, and other events are held in this wonderful atmosphere.

Zao Onsen's specialty food is Jingisukan!

Although Jingisukan is famous in Hokkaido, the style of cooking using an iron pot with a raised center is actually said to have originated in Zao Onsen Hot Springs!

The unique shape of the iron pot was created at a Yamagata foundry based on the Mongolian dish of roasted lamb over a disc-shaped iron helmet.

The tender, juicy lamb meat and generous amount of vegetables are tossed with a rich sauce; when eaten with rice and sake, you won't be able to stop! Enjoy the Zao Onsen style of Jingisukan ♪

  • Juhyo frost-covered trees, a natural work of art in Yamagata Zao

The mapping service on this website is based on the free usage limits provided by Google Maps and the Google Maps privacy policy applies.
Please note that due to usage limits from time to time Google Maps might not display correctly.

  • Home
  • Features
  • See, eat, and experience the charm of Yamagata Zao!