While take in the sights of Zao-san don’t forget to stop any one of the dozen onsen resorts at the base of Zao-san. All the onsens here are all naturally heated by the volcanic action of the earth and you have your choice in outside or inside facilities. The onsens closest to the town center will most crowded, so if you can, try to reach one of the...more
Okama crater lake, of the five colored lake, is truly a beautiful site to see. After walking the dead dormant volcano the welcoming color of the lake is even more luminous. The lake is named the five colored lake because the color will change depending on different factors, like weather. Must see the lake as a deep blue, but the day I was there it...more
Zao is pretty easy hike seeing how you can take any number of ropeways up to the summit, or rather close to the summit. The paths are well marked out and taken care of. You will find stone or wood laid on most of the path so walking it is a synch. That being said, the path is lifeless and filled with muted earth tones. It gets rather boring. The...more
Many a times, no footprints have graced these paths. Naturally, no footprints = no paths. But, with technology, we are still able to have a view of the gorgeous vistas. This may not be the same for many, but to me, they serve a purpose; we get to see more than ever before & we learn the importance of prioritizing.more
Challenge yourself & hike as close as you possibly can to the OKAMA CRATER LAKE. Formed more than 380 years ago after an eruption, this has to be one of the most amazing sceneries one gets to see in Japan. Like a rare gem, it glows under the sunlight & on a clear day the image is so perfect that one finds it hard to leave. I was here for almost 3...more
First, take the Yamagata Shinkansen to either Yamagata or Shiroishi Station. There are local buses from these 2 stations. There's a direct bus from Sendai JR Station but only 1 trip a day (Cost = ¥2250 each way).
From Shiroishi To Katta Peak:
Depart 9.43, Arrive 11.15.
Depart 10.57, Arrive 12.28.
Depart 12.43, Arrive 14.14.
From Katta Peak To Shiroishi:
Depart 12.03, Arrive 13.39.
Depart 13.40, Arrive 15.15.
Depart 15.20, Arrive 16.56.
From Sendai To Katta Peak:
Depart 8.30, Arrive 10.30.
From Katta Peak To Sendai:
Depart 14.40, Arrive 16.46.
To get to Zao Quasi National Park & Okama, the more adventurous way is by the Zao Sanroku Ropeway to Juhyo Kogen (the location of Snow Monster) & then by the 2nd ropeway to Zao Jizo-o Sancho Station at 1661 m.
Cost = 1200 Yen.
If you have lots of camera gears & belongings, I don't suggest going by this way. Check out the pix & you'll know what I mean. For those who have height phobia, do not go by this way!
KOKESHI DOLLS: Generally termed Kokeshi when they are of a joined wooden cylinder and sphere. They were originally made as the souvenirs of the Tohoku hot springs area since 1800. Well know hot spa areas often have their own Kokeshi. Kokeshi dolls have become popular for their gentle features embodying an ideal of femininity. In the 6 prefectures...more
In Japan, there are many shrines all over the country. At Zao, I found one right at the top of the mountain. Japanese visit shrines normally to pray for good fortunes & turn away evil spirits. After each visit, one can buy amulets & charms with a small offering. One such amulet is featured here.more
Weather can be a real problem on Zao and can be radicly different on the top. When I arrived at the bottom it was sunny. After taking the ropeway up (appromitly 20 mintues) it was windy, overcast and beginning to rain. When I returned to the bottom it was sunny again. The weather also varied on different sections of the summit as well. Might want...more
Wonder what a Kokeshi doll is?Kokeshi Doll: Generally termed Kokeshi when they are of a joined wooden cylinder and sphere. They were originally made as the souvenirs of the Tohoku hot springs area since 1800. Well know hot spa areas often have their own Kokeshi. Kokeshi dolls have become popular for their gentle features embodying an ideal of...more
Jizo Statues: Usually red-bibbed (placed by bereaved mothers & sufferers), these statues are found largely in temples & along waysides in Japan. Acting as guardian (Bosatsu - Japanese word for Bodhisattva, a figure that has attained Enlightenment & helps others) of those who suffer (sickly children & pregnant women), Jizo is said to help miscarried...more