01-31-2019 11:56 AM - edited 02-04-2019 08:47 PM
Hello! I would like to share what to do in Tohoku region, the Northeast of Japan, if you have only one and a half day.😆
Tips#1: If you are foreigner and visit Tohoku from Tokyo, it's better to buy JR East Pass Tohoku Area. With this pass, you can ride unlimited Shinkansen, JR east trains, and Narita Express between Tokyo and Tohoku area. Besides this, the pass also allows you to ride the shinkansen 🚅 to Aomori, Karuizawa, GALA Yuzawa, etc. 🚞
I visited Tohoku in Winter. In the first day, I arrived Yamagata station around 3pm so I could visit only one place today.
Tips#2: If you have a limited time like me, staying in hotel near Yamagata station will help you save time. I stayed in Yamagata-eki Nishiguchi Washington hotel which has a direct access to Yamagata station. It is the best choice to stay here in winter because you don't need to cross the road with your big luggages in a heavy snow:)
After checked in the hotel, I decided to go to Ginzan onsen because I heard that Ginzan onsen at night is very beautiful.✨
Place#1: Ginzan Onsen, the historical onsen village which is very famous because of its conservative building and is well known by the famous TV drama "Oshin". Although it was a short visit in Ginzan onsen but I was totally fascinated by its ancient buildings with a background of snow and lights at night.🌙
It took about 2 hours by car between Ginzan onsen and Yamagata station because of snow🌨, so in the first day, I could make only one place.
In the next day, I had full day so I planed to go to Zao ropeway , Zao Cheese cabin and Zao Fox Village.
Tips#3: Rent a car 🚗 if you don't want to spend one day to explore only one place. Transportation in Tohoku is quite inconvenient as you need to wait for a bus which has a few round per day.
Place#2: Zao Ropeway. My target this day was to see Ice monster and to find Jizosan. I took a lift 🚠 from ground station (Zao Sanroku station) to Juhyo Kogen station. It was -8 degree at this station. Many skiers dropped at this station. Some of tourists like me took the next lift to the last station "Jizo Sancho station". ⛄️
It was -12 degree at "Jizo Sancho station" but I believed that it's much cooler than this because of heavy snow🌨 and windy up here. I could see some Iced Monsters out of the windows of the restaurant. But to find Jizosan, I need to walk about 150m from the station.
At first, I was not sure that I could go out to find the Jizosan because my cloths seemed not warm enough. At last, I decided to jump out and run as fast as possible. I sunk into the snow to my knees many times and finally I succeeded in finding Jizosan:D
Actually, Jizosan, the guardian of traveller and the protector of children, could be found everywhere across Japan, but in this special moment, in the end of the year, praying 🙏🏼 and making merit with Jizosan on the summit of Zao had given me a precious memory ever after.🥰
Place#3:Zao Cheese Cabin, a diary farm which produces cheeses 🧀 and diary products. Zao Cheese Cabin is on the way between Zao ropeway and Zao Fox village, so it's worth to drop by. I tried cheese drink which costs 50 yen and its taste likes a drinking yogurt. There are many flavors of cheeses to try with biscuits. There is a restaurant serving food, soft-cream🍦 and pizza 🍕 here.
Place#4: Zao Fox Village, the last destination for me in Tohoku and it was so impressive! The hundred of fluffy foxes 🦊 were all around in a very big cage. Some were sleeping. Some were waiting for food. Some were walking behind you :D Before entering into the cage, the staff briefed us for safety, for example, visitors should walk slowly, not to make the foxes frightened and not to get too close to the foxes. Although the young children are not prohibited to enter the cage, I think it's not suitable to bring young children here as children might make loud noise and run which is very dangerous.
Every places I've visited are very impressive. My best parts in this trip were to find Jizosan, pray and make a merit in heavy snow at the summit of Zao in the end of the year (30th Dec2017). I was falling in love 🥰 with Tohoku and I'ld definitely be back to Tohoku again. ( I did 😉)
Thank you for reading. Hope you enjoy my review.
See my review in Youtube at https://youtu.be/0CpnROkvWvU