Ok, so to be fair, I didn't get to Zao on the best terms. It had been raining here the day before I arrived, and I busted my knee earlier in the trip, so this is going to be more of a "town" review of sorts.
First of all, big thanks to the SJ crew for the free ticket. Even though I wasn't able to use it for snowboarding as intended, I was able to use it to see the snow
Coming from Iwate prefecture, this resort is almost as close as the bigger resorts like Appi and Geto to Morioka. Like these other locations it cops plenty of snow but not the crowds, perhaps due to the absence of regular public transport.
I went by car, but there is a shinkansen station that would only be a ￥2-3000 taxi from the resort so it's not unreachable. Also there are a number of accomodations nearby ranging from dormitory to pension to