蔵王良い所、一度はおいで! Come visit Zao!



Hi there, it’s Taka! Man, it’s been very hot here in Tokyo… I really hate this sticky weather, so I escaped to Miyagi to visit my friend.

On that day, it was 37℃ in Tokyo, and I was sweating a lot when I got on a Shinkansen. However, when I arrived at Shiroishi-zao station, it was comfortably cool! Gosh, I would like to move to Tohoku region!




I’ve been to Miyagi pref few times, and always been to the seaside to enjoy seafood. However, I was playing in Mt. Zao area this time, and I would like to introduce some places!


・御釜  Okama



昭和43年の測深時には最大深度27.6m、平均深度17.8m、周囲1,080m、東西径325m、南北径325 mでした。



With a height of 1841 meters, Mount Zao is one of the most prominent mountains in the Tohoku Region, sitting on the border between Yamagata and Miyagi Prefectures. The active volcano features a beautiful crater with lake, known as Okama (御釜) due to its resemblance with a traditional cooking pot. The crater cannot be approached but viewed from a distance outside of winter.

A spectacular road, the Zao Echo Line, leads to close to one of Mount Zao’s secondary peaks, called Kattadake (1758 meters), before descending the mountain on the other side into Miyagi Prefecture. From Kattadake, tourists can view the Okama Crater without much effort, and there is also a shrine, visitor center and restaurant. It is also possible to hike from Kattadake to Zao’s highest peak in about 45 minutes, from where it takes an additional 45 minutes to reach the upper station of the Zao Ropeway which descends to Zao Onsen.

Quoted from Japan-guide.com





First of all, you’ve got to visit Okama! I tired to visit here last year, but it was raining, and dense fog at that time, so we didn’t make it… However, the weather was great this time, so we took a short walk up to the top.

You can access to the top by cable car, or by car driving up Zao high-line (tollway), but I recommend walk up. There weren’t many people, even though it was a weekend. The road is beautifully maintained, so you don’t need solid boots, just sneakers or sandals should be OK.




If you drive up Zao echo-line, you will find this sign, “the entrance of Okama”. If you drive up the right side, that’s the tollway to the top. If you wish to walk up to the top, the starting point of trail is few kilometers in front of this sign. There is a parking lot there. (The map is below.)



As you can see, the trail is nicely maintained. As you climb up, the road is getting a bit wild, but I was wearing sandals, and it was no problem at all! On that day, it was over 30℃ in Miyagi. There is no place to provide water till the top, and there is no shade, so better bring a bottle of water, and some long sleeves!




You can see such a beautiful scenery on the way to the top! The view from the top is great, but there are bunch of nice view points on the way.




It took about 20mins from the parking lot. The sign said, it would take 60mins to the top, but I think most of the people can make it just a half hour. It was a nice walk!




I was chilling with my friend as watching Okama on the top. The height is about 1800m, so the climate is just comfortable! I really love mountains.




After climbing up the mountain, it was still hot, so we decided to go to the river near Togatta-Onsen.




There were only few people, and look at the crystal clear water! Well, if you visit Japan, better visit the countryside! The water was crisply cold, and my body got cool-down. It’s been second time, but I would like to say, I wanna move to Tohoku region! Hahaha.


蔵王エリアのお勧め温泉!  Recommended Hot springs around Zao area!





After playing the nature, you might wanna take a hot spring right? I really do love hot springs, and been to many many places all over the world! There is Togatta onsen bottom of Mt. Zao in Miyagi pref. I went there this winter after skiing, and it was a great onsen, and atmosphere.

However, they don’t have an outside bath, and I prefer to outdoor ones, so I’m going to introduce 2 places, which have outdoor bathes. Both places are OK for tattoos.


・蔵王温泉大露天風呂  Zao Onsen Dairotenburo

(which means=Big outdoor bath)

(写真クリックで、ウェブサイトに飛びます。  Click then jump to the website.)




Firstly, Zao Onsen Dairotenburo,(written in only Japanese) this hot spring is located in Yamagata pref side.  Literally speaking, this hot spring is a very big outdoor onsen, and the location is just wonderful! The water is strong acidity, and the smell is also strong sulphurous odour. This is THE onsen guys!

The hot spring is surrounded by bunch of trees, so it’s very comfortable. Moreover, its capacity is very big indeed, so you can fully relax. I do recommend this hot spring!





This it the pic of entrance. You need to go down the stairs to get enter the onsen. The price is 550yen for adults. Mind you, the locker costs 100yen, and the money isn’t back, so better leave you valuables at your car. If you travel by train, just put your valuables deep inside your bag. Japan is pretty safe.




Hey, there is a serow around the entrance! It is a pretty tame serow, he didn’t care about being taken photos by many tourists. He even came close to our car.









①This onsen has strong acidity, so don’t let the water in your eyes. It can be a bit painful.

②Don’t forget to take your metal goods off. The water could change the color of your clothes, so wash it off as soon as possible.

③There is no space for washing body, and it’s banned to use soap, and shampoo stuff.

There are 2 bath tubs in the onsen, and the upper one is hotter. The lower one is just comfortable, but don’t take the onsen too long, or you could get sick.


オススメ度☆☆☆  Rating☆☆☆




The water, and atmosphere are just awesome! Taking onsen in the nature is the best stress reliever, feel the dopamine rush. You can come here by bus from Yamagata station. Take a bus heading to “蔵王温泉行き Zao onsen iki”, and get off a bus at the final stop, and walk 20mins.

Soba(buck wheat noodle) is famous around this region, so don’t miss it!


・不忘の湯  Fubou no yu (which means=unforgettable onsen)





This onsen is located between Mt. Zao, and Shiroishi city. My friend said that this onsed had been closed for a while. We talked to the new admin couple, and they said, they bought an ownership this April, and restarted.

This onsen is pretty small, it could be full, if there are 5 adults. Luckily enough, there was only another guy. There is a washing space,only cold water is available tho.

The day was also very hot, but the water was just rightly warm! The owner said, he loves onsen, and very cares about the temperature.







This is the admin’s lodge, and parking area. It costs 500yen for adults here.

You can leave your valuables in your car, they keep an eye on it. There is a cozy space next to the lodge, and they gave us crisply cold spring water. Sweet as!

My friend was a driver at this time, so I ordered a can beer. They gave us pickled pumpkins, and deep fried shrimp snack for free! They are very friendly, and kind indeed!


オススメ度☆☆☆  Rating☆☆☆




This onsen is also 3 stars! The location is very quiet, and peaceful. You can hear the sound of Higurashi-cicada during summer. Man, it is jut the best way to enjoy Japanese summer!

The couple live in Sendai, and they open the onsen during weekends. The guy always cleans up the tubs for 2 hours before opening. Impressive! This onsen itself is great, but the couple’s kindness is also wonderful! If you travel by car, you’ve got to visit here.


まとめ…  In a nut’s shell…







This time, I’ve been introducing Mt. Zao, and its surrounding area. Both onsens are OK for tattoos! Tohoku has a very nice climate during summer, it can be pretty hot during daytime, but it’s rather cool in the evening. You can enjoy powder snow in winter! Moreover, the seafood is great, so is meat… I wanna go there ASAP!

・If you visit Mt. Zao, please walk up to the top! Don’t forget to bring water.

・Please enjoy Zao Dairoten buro! Don’t miss Soba noodles.

・If you travel by car, must visit Fubou no yu!




Traveling to Miyagi, Shinkansen is the fastest for sure. It costs around 10000 yen, and takes about 2 hours from Tokyo. If you have time, or want to save money, I do recommend a night-bus. It can be 3000 yen during off-season, and weekdays. Bloody cheap!


(They do have multi-language websites.)




Everyday has been very hot, but I’m gonna enjoy the summer. Camping, hot springs, and trekking! See ya very soon guys!


メールアドレスが公開されることはありません。 * が付いている欄は必須項目です

このサイトはスパムを低減するために Akismet を使っています。コメントデータの処理方法の詳細はこちらをご覧ください