Zao Sarukura (Kaminoyama City, Yamagata)

Zao Sarukura
(山形県 上山市)
Planned season: Friday 20th December 2019 until mid March 2020
'Zao Now' daily report
Independent and exclusive snow and weather reporting from Zao
Latest report posted at 7:53am on Friday 17th April 2020
Official snow depth Daily updates during snow season

Reader opinion Resort Reviews [1] Write review
Reader photos No photos yet Upload photo
resort map

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.

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 20cm 80cm 1st 40cm 120cm 1st 65cm 85cm
2nd - - 2nd 20cm 80cm 2nd 45cm 120cm 2nd 65cm 85cm
3rd - - 3rd 20cm 80cm 3rd 45cm 120cm 3rd 65cm 85cm
4th - - 4th 25cm 80cm 4th 50cm 100cm 4th 65cm 85cm
5th - - 5th 25cm 80cm 5th 50cm 100cm 5th 65cm 80cm
6th - - 6th 25cm 90cm 6th 70cm 100cm 6th 70cm 80cm
7th - - 7th 25cm 90cm 7th 70cm 100cm 7th 70cm 80cm
8th - - 8th 25cm 90cm 8th 70cm 100cm 8th 60cm 80cm
9th - - 9th 20cm 100cm 9th 70cm 110cm 9th - 80cm
10th - - 10th 25cm 100cm 10th 70cm 110cm 10th - 70cm
11th - - 11th 25cm 100cm 11th 80cm 110cm 11th - 65cm
12th - - 12th 25cm 100cm 12th 80cm 110cm 12th - 65cm
13th - - 13th 25cm 100cm 13th 80cm 110cm 13th - 65cm
14th - - 14th 25cm 100cm 14th 70cm 110cm 14th - 70cm
15th - 30cm 15th 25cm 100cm 15th 65cm 110cm 15th - 80cm
16th - 30cm 16th 25cm 100cm 16th 60cm 110cm 16th - 80cm
17th - 30cm 17th 25cm 100cm 17th 50cm 110cm 17th - 80cm
18th - - 18th 30cm 100cm 18th 50cm 110cm 18th - -
19th - - 19th 30cm 110cm 19th 70cm 110cm 19th - -
20th 0cm 40cm 20th 35cm 110cm 20th 70cm 100cm 20th - -
21st 5cm 40cm 21st 50cm 110cm 21st 70cm 100cm 21st - -
22nd 0cm 40cm 22nd 50cm 110cm 22nd 70cm 100cm 22nd - -
23rd - 30cm 23rd 50cm 110cm 23rd 70cm 100cm 23rd - -
24th - 30cm 24th 45cm 120cm 24th 80cm 90cm 24th - -
25th 10cm 30cm 25th 45cm 120cm 25th 70cm 90cm 25th - -
26th 10cm 30cm 26th 50cm 120cm 26th 70cm 90cm 26th - -
27th 0cm 30cm 27th 50cm 120cm 27th 70cm 90cm 27th - -
28th 15cm 60cm 28th 50cm 120cm 28th 70cm 90cm 28th - -
29th 20cm 70cm 29th 50cm 120cm 29th 70cm - 29th - -
30th 20cm 80cm 30th 40cm 120cm 30th 30th - -
31st 20cm 80cm 31st 40cm 120cm 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.

Nighta is from 5:00pm until 9:00pm on certain days (usually Sundays). Sometimes it is only at night for private reservation (it costs 110,000 yen).

Depending on snow conditions, the resort may open on 14th and 15th December 2019 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 2019-2020 Season Lift Ticket

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 hill 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
(link opens in a new window)
Zao 2843-1
2020-2021 UPDATES
Important information about our 20-21 season updates

(Updated 24th September)

If you are interested in ski areas from Japan's past, check out SnowJapanHistory
Current resort snow depth
Daily updates during snow season
Reader Photos & Reviews
Photos (0) Upload
Read Reviews (1) Write
If you have visited Zao Sarukura, please share your experience with other SnowJapan readers by writing a Resort Review and/or uploading photos
Other nearby ski resorts
Approx. distance from Zao Sarukura by road (in winter)
Accommodation Spotlights on SnowJapan
Approx. distance from Zao Sarukura by road (in winter)
About the information on this page
For more details and explanations about the information presented on this page, please read this.
It is very important to us that the information presented on SnowJapan is correct and up-to-date. Checks and updates are made throughout the year. If you find information that you feel needs checking and updating, please let us know by contacting us. We appreciate your support.