Zao Sarukura (Kaminoyama City, Yamagata)

Zao Sarukura
(山形県 上山市)
Planned season: Late December 2021 until mid March 2022
'Zao Now' daily report
Independent and exclusive snow and weather reporting from Zao
Latest report posted at 7:41am on Wednesday 5th May 2021
Official snow depth Daily updates during snow season

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Zao Sarukura is a skiers-only ski hill, located to the south-east of Yamagata city in the south-eastern region Yamagata Prefecture. It is part of Kaminoyama city. The ski hill is less than 10km to the south of the larger and more famous Zao Onsen and just by the Echo Line road. Zao Liza World is also close by, to the east a little further along Echo Line. Zao Sarukura first opened in 1977.

One additional artificial snow making machine is being installed for the 2020-2021 season.

Yamagata Prefecture is located in the south-west part of Tohoku with the west coast facing the Sea of Japan. The boundaries of Yamagata Prefecture are all mountainous with Niigata Prefecture and Fukushima Prefecture to the south, Akita Prefecture to the north and Miyagi Prefecture to the east. The ski and snowboard ski hills in Yamagata range from very small one-lift local hills to the biggest individual ski resort in Japan (Zao Onsen) and are spread across the Prefecture.

The Mountain

ropeways Ropeways gondolas Gondolas quad lifts Quad lifts triple lifts Triple lifts pair lifts Pair lifts single lifts Single lifts other lifts Other
0 0 0 0 2 0 0
Zao Sarukura is a skiing-only resort (snowboarding is not allowed)

Zao Sarukura Snow Depth Statistics

Official snow depth numbers from the current season and previous season
December January February March
1st - - 1st - 75cm 1st - 130cm 1st - 100cm
2nd - - 2nd - 80cm 2nd - 110cm 2nd - 90cm
3rd - - 3rd - 80cm 3rd - 110cm 3rd - 90cm
4th - - 4th - 90cm 4th - 120cm 4th - 80cm
5th - - 5th - 90cm 5th - 120cm 5th - 80cm
6th - - 6th - 100cm 6th - 120cm 6th - 70cm
7th - - 7th - 100cm 7th - 120cm 7th - 70cm
8th - - 8th - 110cm 8th - 120cm 8th - 70cm
9th - - 9th - 110cm 9th - 120cm 9th - 70cm
10th - - 10th - 110cm 10th - 120cm 10th - 60cm
11th - - 11th - 110cm 11th - 120cm 11th - 60cm
12th - - 12th - 110cm 12th - 120cm 12th - 50cm
13th - - 13th - 110cm 13th - 120cm 13th - 50cm
14th - - 14th - 110cm 14th - 120cm 14th - 50cm
15th - - 15th - 110cm 15th - 110cm 15th - -
16th - - 16th - 110cm 16th - 100cm 16th - -
17th - - 17th - 100cm 17th - 100cm 17th - -
18th - - 18th - 100cm 18th - 110cm 18th - -
19th - - 19th - 130cm 19th - 110cm 19th - -
20th - - 20th - 120cm 20th - 110cm 20th - -
21st - - 21st - 120cm 21st - 110cm 21st - -
22nd - 70cm 22nd - 120cm 22nd - 100cm 22nd - -
23rd - 70cm 23rd - 110cm 23rd - 100cm 23rd - -
24th - 70cm 24th - 110cm 24th - 100cm 24th - -
25th - 70cm 25th - 110cm 25th - 100cm 25th - -
26th - 70cm 26th - 110cm 26th - 100cm 26th - -
27th - 70cm 27th - 100cm 27th - 100cm 27th - -
28th - 60cm 28th - 90cm 28th - 100cm 28th - -
29th - 60cm 29th - 100cm 29th - - 29th - -
30th - 60cm 30th - 120cm 30th 30th - -
31st - 75cm 31st - 130cm 31st 31st - -

Zao Sarukura Facilities

Ski School: Available Snowboard School: Not available
Ski lessons are available at Zao Sarukura. 
Equipment Rental
Ski Rental: Available Snowboard Rental: Not available
Ski equipment rental is available. 
Children Facilities
Children's facilities
There are no specific facilities for children but the resort plays on the 'skiers-only' aspect to appeal to young families. Look out for some human-sized skiing 'monkeys' from time to time!

Park Information
Park information
There are no special snow park facilities. 

Zao Sarukura Season & Opening Times

Typical season is from Mid December until Mid March
October November December January February March April May June July
Weekends and holidays Normally open from 8:30am until 5:00pm
Weekdays Normally open from 8:30am until 5:00pm
'Nighta' (night skiing)
Weekends and holidays Yes
Weekdays No
Opening information
Opening information
Zao Sarukura is normally open from 8:30am until 5:00pm during the daytime.

Night skiing is from 5:00pm until 9:00pm on certain days. Sometimes it is only open at night for private reservation (which costs 110,000 yen).

Depending on snow conditions, the ski area plans to open on 19th and 20th December 2020 as a special 'pre-open' event.

Zao Sarukura Lift Ticket Charges

Adults Child
Junior High School age & under
60 years & over
1 Day (until 5pm) 3,800 yen 2,500 yen 2,800 yen
2 Day 7,000 yen 4,500 yen
Morning (open-12pm) 2,500 yen 1,800 yen
Afternoon (12pm-5pm) 3,000 yen 2,000 yen
1 Lift Coupon 350 yen 250 yen
12 Lift Coupons 3,000 yen 2,000 yen
Weekdays (2pm-5pm) 1,200 yen
Nighta (5pm-9pm) 3,000 yen 2,500 yen
Season 10 Days 30,000 yen 20,000 yen
Season Ticket (individual) 33,000 yen 22,000 yen 27,000 yen
Season Ticket (anyone) 55,000 yen 33,000 yen
Lift Ticket Information 2020-2021 Season lift tickets

1 day family pack tickets are available:

2 adults + 2 children = 11,600 yen
2 adults + 1 child = 10,000 yen
1 adult + 2 children = 9,000 yen

Getting to Zao Sarukura

By public transport
19.5km from Kaminoyama Onsen Station on the Yamagata Shinkansen line
12.1km from Kaminoyama Onsen Station on the Ou Honsen Line
19.5km from Yamagata Station on the Ou Honsen Line
Transport Information
Zao Sarukura is just over 12km from Kaminoyama Onsen Station on the Ou Honsen line and Yamagata Shinkansen line.

>> More information on the Yamagata Shinkansen train line
More information on the Ou Honsen train line
A free shuttle bus operates from Kaminoyama Onsen Station and takes about 20 minutes to get to Zao Sarukura.
By Car
11.9km from the Yamagata Kaminoyama IC on the Tohoku Chuo Expressway
20.9km from the Yamagata Zao IC on the Yamagata Expressway
Nearest national route: Route 13 (8.9km away)
Nearest prefecture road: Prefecture Road 12
Zao Sarukura is about 12km from the Yamagata Kaminoyama IC exit of the Tohoku Chuo Expressway.

People travelling by car from the Sendai or Tokyo regions will usually arrive via the Tohoku Expressway and then onto the Yamagata Expressway, coming off at the Yamagata Zao IC which is about 21km from the resort.

To get to Zao Sarukura from the main Route 13, use Prefecture Road 12 (also known as Echo Lone).

The ski area is just under 10km from Route 13 and located just by the side of the Echo Line road.

Close by the Prefecture Road 53 (Zao Line) connects Zao Sarukura with Zao Onsen.

>> More information on Yamagata Expressway

About 20 minutes from Kaminoyama city.
There are two free car parks for a total of 350 vehicles at the base of Zao Sarukura.

More Information

Visit official website
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Zao 2843-1
Updates to 2021-2022 season information on these individual ski areas listing pages are ongoing. All information will be manually checked and updated. Some official information from ski areas becomes available earlier than others, so not all our data can be updated simultaneously. The ongoing process will continue through December 2021.

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