Zao Ropeway

Enjoy the spectacular scenery of each season from the Zao Ropeway!

Closest station

JR Yamagata Station


From JR Yamagata Station take the Yamako Bus bound for Zao Onsen/Katta Sancho for around 45 minutes, get off at the Zeo Onsen Bus Terminal, and then walk for around 15 minutes.


229-3 Zao Onsen, Yamagata City, Yamagata Prefecture

Opening hours

Sanroku Line: 8:30 – 17:00; Sancho Line: 8:45 – 16:45 (subject to change)


Operation may be suspended depending on weather conditions

  • To Zao Sancho Station: 2,000 yen one way, or 3,800 yen round trip
  • To Juhyo-Kogen Station: 1,000 yen one way, or 2,000 yen round trip

Great Stuff to See and Do!

See the "snow monsters" and incredible winter beauty of Mt. Zao

Located in the Ou Mountains, the Zao mountain range straddles Yamagata and Miyagi prefectures. The Zao Ropeway takes you to the top of Jizo Mountain, one of the peaks in the Zao mountain range, and has three stations: from Zao Sanroku Station to Juhyo-Kogen Station on the Sanroku Line, and from Juhyo-Kogen Station to Zao Sancho Station on the Sancho Line. While floating through the air, enjoy dynamic and breathtaking 360° views of the scenery below.

One of the particularly famous parts of Mt. Zao are the snow-covered trees, affectionately known as “snow monsters,” which can be seen from late December to early March. Wind containing cold water droplets and water vapor blows onto the fir trees, where it instantly freezes and accumulates, growing to large sizes. Zao is one of the few places in Japan where you can see these snow-covered trees, and the ones that form in Zao are among the largest in the world. The area is illuminated when the snow monsters are at their peak, making it a must-see if you visit during the winter.

Photogenic terraces and gourmet food

Of course, the ropeway sights are not limited to the snow-covered trees, and the area features spectacular scenery as the seasons change, with fresh, budding greenery in the spring and brilliant autumnal leaves in the fall. In summer, the ropeway also offers a summer night cruise that allows visitors to view the starlit sky. And, if you’re lucky, you may also be able to view a sea of clouds from the terrace at the top of the mountain, which is more than 1,600 meters above sea level.

At the Hyakumannin Terrace near Juhyo-Kogen Station you can also relax in a hammock or on a sofa while enjoying the spectacular views, and at Zao Sancho Station there is a restaurant where you can indulge in some of Yamagata’s famous gourmet foods. Come and enjoy Zao’s vast nature to your heart’s content.