top of page

Zao (Yamagata)

Mount Zao Crater

Zaosan 1841m with the beautiful Okutama crater lake is a short and easy hike/walk in Tohoku. Perfect as a dayhike from Sendai or Yamagata City.

⏲︎	Time: 2h
Kanji: 蔵王山
Location: Yamagata
Distance: 5km
	Difficulty: Easy
Elevation Gain: 190m
	Hiking Season: April 
	to October



Park at Kattadake Sancho Parking Lot. The road up costs 550Y per car and is open from late April to early November.

You can also park before the toll road and take a chairlift up. But there are no views from the lift and it's 750¥, so only makes sense if the upper parking is full.

Public Transportation

You can either take the ropeway from Zao Onsen or a direct bus from Togatta Onsen to Zao Katta summit. It's around 2000¥ one way and it only runs on the weekend and public holidays.

If you're taking the ropeway it's about a 45min walk to the crater. The two ropeways are 3500¥ return. There are direct buses to Zao Onsen from Yamagata Station.

Trail description

Start from Kattadake Sancho. The building has a restaurant, food stalls, toilets etc. On the right is Kattadake and also a small shrine. Turn left to get to Kumanodake.

It should take you about an hour to get to the peak and 45min to get back. In total 2-3h is plenty of time to explore the whole plateau.

You could also take a bus to Kattadake Sancho, walk to the peak and then take the ropeway into Zao Onsen and stay for the night and enjoy the amazing Onsen.


There are some shelter huts but they are for emergency only. Zao Onsen has plenty of options.

If you are looking for an amazing outdoor Onsen after the hike go to Dairotenburo (big outdoorbath). Tattoos are ok and it's 700¥. No shower, you need to use the bath water and no soap.

Elevation Profile & Map



bottom of page