Zao Snow Monsters (Yamagata) 蔵王の樹氷
Yamagata's most famous creatures
Striking “snow monster” figures known as juhyo reside on the summit of Mt. Zao , as a result of a combination of Siberian winds and heavy snowfall.
How to Get There
Take the JR Yamagata Shinkansen from Tokyo to Yamagata and transfer to a bus that will bring you to Zao Onsen . It is a three hour and 30 minute journey. From there, take a shuttle bus to Zao Onsen Ski Resort .
Zao Onsen Ski Resort is one of the only places in the world where spooky snow monsters appear around mid-February. Alpine trees bombarded with heavy snowfall and winds grow into tall, monster-like figurines that will captivate and leave you in awe.
Once the sun sets, have a warm drink in one of the cafes and enjoy the snow monsters illuminated with colorful lights.
Zao Snow Monster Festival
On the first weekend of February, be sure to visit and enjoy the Snow Monster Festival, where snow monster mascots entertain visitors.
While riding on skis, the resort staff demonstrate their skills on the slopes, carrying torches as they slalom between the monsters. It's a memorable way to celebrate the birth of the snow monsters each year, which quickly disappear in a matter of weeks after the warm winds of spring arrive.