Zao Onsen : Meet the Snow Monsters at Zao Onsen Ski Resort!

Zao Onsen Ski Resort & Snow Monster Festival in Yamagata

Zao is a popular Ski/Onsen resort where you can see the most bizarre and spectacular snow landscape in Japan! Meet hundreds of snow monsters in Zao and enjoy the Juhyo Light-up only in winter time in northern Japan!

Zao (蔵王)

Zao is a volcanic mountain in Yamagata prefecture, Japan. It’s popular a spot for onsen and ski resort in Tohoku area. It’s also famous for the “Juhyo”(ice trees) which is created by “hard lime”. Hard lime is very rare natural phenomenon due to heavy snowfall and freezing winds. The trees covered with heavy thick layers of snow look like a crowd of snow monsters!

The formation of Juhyo starts in November and by January the white snow monsters develop their shapes. Each one of them is 2–3m tall and has different shape.

The Juhyo forest is located in a ski park in Zao so you can enjoy skiing through those gigantic snow monsters! Even if you do not ski, there is rope-way service running above the forest which you can capture the magnificent over look view of the monsters! If you wish to see the mega sized snow monsters, the best time to visit there is January and February.

The special winter event, Juhyo Light Up (樹氷ライトアップ) is held at some nights from late December to late February annually (17:00 to 21:00). The schedule for Juhyo Light-up 2021-2022 is as below:

January: 1,2,3,7,8,9,14,15,16,21,22,23,28,29,30,31
February: every day except Tuesdays

Pieces of art created by cold winter weather can be only seen in this particular area in Japan. Make sure you will be equipped enough to spend time under -10 degrees!!

<< Click HERE to book Zao hotels with the best rate!! >>

Zao Onsen Ski Resort


Address: 229–3 Zaou Onsen, Yamagata-city, Yamagata prefecture

Access: Bus from Yamagata station. Take Yamagata-Zao Onsen bus to Zao Hot Springs Onsen Station

More info:

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