We found Tohoku’s hidden gem. Here is Zao-san (蔵王山), the volcanic mountain, at the top of Zao onsen, a ski resort famous for its many hot springs. The volcanic range is worth a visit for the beautiful colors it offers during every season, along the many greens featured in the Okama crater lake. On the onsen side, the white waters are well-known to soften the skin. The view is one of the Heisei 100 landscapes.
How to get there?
From Tokyo to Mount Zao, the first step is to take the JR Yamagata Shinkansen until Yamagata (one hours, 10000 yen) or the JR Tohoku Shinkansen to reach Sendai (again, one hour for 10000 yen). Then , from the two cities, buses are going to Zao Onsen, the ski and spa resort. From there to the Okama crater, a bus is running from late April to early November. A ropeway is also available (2600 yen r/t).
During winter, a direct bus is running from Shinjuku to Zao onsen (8 hours, 4500 yen). The crater might also be reach by car (except in winter), using the Zao echo line from Zao onsen (40 minutes, 540 yens including parking fee). And the Zao fox village is not far.