Zao Onsen 蔵王温泉 Feb 4 – Feb 6

Saturday 04 February – Monday 06 February

Gone were the bright lights of Tokyo, we had finally reached our destination Zaō onsen「蔵王温泉」in Yamagata prefecture 「山形県」 . We had returned to the familiar sight of knee deep while being introduced to the unwelcome stink of sulphur.

We stayed at a nice little place called the Yoshidaya Ryokan 「吉田屋旅館」 , after checking in we had some free time to roam around the town with everyone and eat a conbini lunch. I found the scenery around the township to be wonderful how the snow blanketed the trees and melted around the warm water streams billowing misty sulphuric vapor.

After a delicious dinner, we made our way to the cable car lift to see the famous snow monsters atop the mountain summit. The trip was quiet and cold as we were carried up the mountain, we couldn’t see outside the windows because of the ice, fog and darkness clouding the windows. Once, reaching the summit the temperature dropped dramatically… I swear I almost lost my hand to frostbite taking photos.

We drank hot chocolate in a shop atop the mountain before we made our way back down the mountain to the ryokan were we had the usually party room antics followed by sleep.

The second day we had free time to do what we please. After breakfast most people went up to the mountain to go skiing of snowboarding, however, I spent the day sleeping until eventually going out for ramen with Tim and Danica.

The free day was much appreciated as I needed the sleep and relaxation after the rush of Tokyo. Next stop tomorrow was Sapporo!