This tour is centered mainly in the Murayama Region of Yamagata Prefecture. A concentration of famous sightseeing places like Yamadera (Mountain Temple), Ginzan Hot Spring Resort, and Mt. Zak are located here. On this tour we will spend a day visiting these great places.


Ginza Hot Springs Resort

Late in the 16th Century silver ore was discovered, and then during the Edo period this area prospered as silver mine. It is currently a popular hot spring town with many 3 to 4 story wooden Japanese inns lining the streets. Many people visit the gas lamp illuminated Taisho period Japanese inns, which depending on the season have their own unique appearance.

Yamadera (Mountain Temple)
The main temple Risshuku was established over 1100 years ago by the high priest known as Jikaku Daishi in Japanese. Yamadera is where the well-known haiku poet Matsuo Basho wrote his famous haiku "ah this silence, sinking into the rocks, voice of cicada" in 1689. Some body strength is needed to climb the 1015 stone step stairway that leads to the beautiful view at Godaido, which is Yamadera’s best viewing platform. You can enjoy a great view of Yamagata city from the several temples tightly nestled in the rocky cliff.



Zao Hot Spring Resort
Zao Hot Spring Resort (Zao Onsen) is located south east of Yamagata city in present day Yamagata prefecture. The Yamagata Zao Hot Spring Ski Resort is prominent throughout Japan which leads it to become crowded during the winter months. It is the largest individual ski area in all of Japan by land area and the world famous Mogami Plateau Course is where Snow Monsters can be viewed.

Ice Monsters
The ice monsters are a mysterious phenomenon that can only be seen in the Mt. Zao region of Japan. For a snow monster to exist several conditions are essential such as trees, winter climate, heavy snow fall and super cooling of precipitation. Not only these conditions, but also the existence of a vast plateau covered with trees makes for a large panorama in which a snow monster army can be viewed. During bad weather at an elevation of 1600m (5250ft) you can experience the blistering cold 10°C below zero (14°F), blizzard like conditions which make it perfect for the production of snow monsters. From small children to seniors, anyone can easily enjoy this rare and beautiful part of nature.

Lake Okama
This circular lake is located in the crater of the Mt. Zao volcano. The name “Okama” refers to the shape of the lake which means iron pot, or kettle in Japanese. When the emerald green lake water is contrasted with the rough crater wall a mysterious and beautiful atmosphere can be witnessed. This is one of the most famous characteristics of Mt. Zao.

Tour Schedule

DayPlaceTimeDetail scheduleMeal
After Breakfast in the lodge, we will go to Ginzan Onsen. After lunch we will go to Yamadera and Zao Onsen. We will take you to the station or airport.