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  1. Hi Anyone here been to Gassan the late spring or early summer? I think it's open until late July usually. Though who knows with this year! Wondering if it is worth a trip? I suppose I could go check our Zao (obviously not for the snow) at the same time.
  2. Calvin.J

    Zao and the area

    Hello Next winter my family and I want to visit Zao Onsen. We want to ski and also see the wonderful scenery that it is famous for. I was wondering though there does not seem to be much other ski area in the region nearby. Other than Liza World and the other Sarukura. Anyone go to them are they worth it? Perhaps it is best to just relocate to another region for a few days. Just thinking it all through! Wonderful website. Thank you.
  3. Way back, I went to this ski resort in Japan. It was actually my first time skiing so I have fond memories. I was sad to see that it closed a few seasons back. Anyone know if there might be any chance of it ever re-opening or is it gone for good?
  4. Hi everyone out there! This is about next season. We are thinking about visiting Japan in January or February. We want to go to Zao Onsen as well as one other destination and thinking about when might be the best time to visit. I know it will depend on the weather at the time and all that, but 'normally' what is the period when the ice/snow monsters will be looking their best? And is it actually ice monster or snow monster? I see both terms being used.
  5. Donald Mc Donald

    Yamagata city to Zao Onsen

    Hi I am visiting Japan in a few weeks and I'd like to get over to Zao Onsen. I know the peak season is over etc, but would still like to go. Going to be in Yamagata city (central area). Am I right in thinking it'll be about 40 minutes to get up to Zao by bus? Just thought I'd ask. And say hi.
  6. (NOZAWA ONSEN) Jobs Available / Employment Information on jobs available at Lodge Scole in Zao Onsen, Yamagata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-general-information/employment-opportunites-at-lodge-scole
  7. Accommodation Information on Pension Brown in Zao Onsen, Yamagata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/yamagata/kaminoyama/pension-brown
  8. Accommodation Information on Lodge Scole in Zao Onsen, Yamagata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/yamagata/yamagata/lodge-scole
  9. Accommodation Information on Forest Inn SANGORO in Zao Onsen, Yamagata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/yamagata/yamagata/forest-inn-sangoro
  10. Resort Spotlight The Resort Spotlight for the Zao Onsen resort in Yamagata, Yamagata Prefecture can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/zao-onsen
  11. Last time I went to Gassan (http://www.snowjapan...magata-2014429/), I wrote, "I will definitely go back some time." So I did, today. The weather forecast looked reasonable, and I figured the snow coverage should still be pretty good, so I thought, what the heck. As it turned out, the entire population of Japan thought the exact same thing. Hit the road at 4:30, made it there by 9:00, and was one of the last cars allowed into the parking lot. Those behind us ended up parking alongside the road going down the hill from the pension mura. Looking up at the hill, look at all those ants! And the lift line! This is not Naeba ca 1988: Well, I guess once everything else is closed, where else are you going to go? The inhabitants of Honshu took up residence on the (greatly-expanded since last month) mogul courses: Kyushu and Shikoku battled it out in a snowboard mogul (!) competition off the first T-bar lift: Okinawa went hiking beyond the pale: Hokkaido was lost in the trees. Other than some bare spots near the top of the chair lift, coverage seemed still pretty complete. Last time, there were two mogul courses. This time, there were more mogul courses than you could shake a stick at. Actually, this was a nice thing, if one is at all interested in moguls. One could go hunting for a mogul course at one's level. I hunted around and found some (many) too hard, some too easy, and some... just right! めっちゃ楽しい, as the kids say.
  12. Tuesday was a holiday, weather forecast looked reasonable for Gassan, so we made the early morning road trip, planning to get afternoon tickets (11:30-16:30). The drive up was relatively uncrowded for a holiday, and we got to the parking lot around 10:30. 500 yen parking fee, which goes towards conservation efforts, and in return for which one gets a Gassan sticker, which went straight onto the kid's snowboard. The map near the parking lot shows the layout. One pair lift on the right, with some T-bars (really rope-tows with detachable T handles) to the left, on Ubagatake. That day, only the T-lift closest to the chair lift was operating, though at least one other seems to have been installed. From the little pension mura at the base, it is a 500 meter walk up to the Ski Center/restaurant/lift base station. A caterpillar car is there to take skis and boards up, and only skis and boards -- no people, no backpacks or other equipment. Still, nice not to have to carry up the skis. We got to the base building a bit early, just after 11:00, so had an early lunch while waiting for the afternoon tickets to go on sale. Then it was off:
  13. The second (and final) stop on our Golden Week tour was Tengendai Kogen, in Yonezawa, Yamagata. The weather forecast for that day was... not so great. Wind and rain setting in. Was tempted to take in some historical sites instead, but the kid was adamant about trying somewhere new, even if the weather sucked. Doesn't take much to convince me, so off we went. Went through Shirabu Onsen, to the base of the Tengendai Ropeway. Surprisingly small parking lot. Rain was falling in fits, but decided to go all cats and dogs while we were riding the ropeway up. Wind also kicked in, stopping our ropeway car a few times on the way up. The ropeway operator said that it was not rare for the weather at the bottom and top of the ropeway to be completely different: above windy and below still, or vice versa. Anyway, managed to reach the top after a few stops, amid driving rain: Headed to the restaurant, where the other 5-10 people there that day were hanging out, waiting for the weather to clear. Not an auspicious start, but we knew that going in, so could only laugh at the whole situation. Pretty soon the wind and rain settled down, and we ventured out:
  14. Some pics from Zao this season, will do my best! Last few days the snow has arrived.
  15. As we are getting close to the season start, I thought I would start a thread that I will keep going during the season. Here's some photos, bit of snow on the slopes and light snow falling this morning.
  16. Friday 30th December 2011 until Thursday 5th January 2012 The prizes: 10 one-day lift ticket vouchers - each one can be exchanged for a one-day lift ticket at the Zao Onsen resort in Yamagata Prefecture this season. Who can enter? Any active, logged in members of SnowJapanForums can enter this Giveaway. (You need to have made at least a few posts on the Forums, and join in - not just simply register). >> If you are logged in, click here to enter. >> If you need to register, please do so here. The winners: 10 people will be chosen - each to receive 1 vouchers - and notified within four days of the Giveaway period closing. Resort listing on SnowJapan Resort Spotlight on SnowJapan We would like to thank the kind people at Zao Onsen for taking part in this Giveaway. Please do take a few moments to post some comments on the form when you enter... each year your comments help us try to improve SnowJapan. Thank you.


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SnowJapan.com is the independent guide to skiing and snowboarding in Japan and has been online since 1999.

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