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CilineR Level 3
Level 3

What to do in Tohoku in winter in one and a half day?

 

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.🌙43-8007A8E68102.jpgGinzan onsen in winter 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.

2A276A13C344.jpgTried many flavors of cheeses and cheese drink in Zao Cheese Cabin.

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.A43DF2576EF4.jpgSleeping fox in Zao Fox Village.

 

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

 

 

 

Yamagata Prefecture, Japan
23 comments
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Re: What to do in Tohoku in winter in one and a half day?

Hi @CilineR,

 

Thank you so much for sharing your great experiences in Tohoku! I really enjoyed reading about them, and I believe your advice would be very useful for visitors of this prefecture.

 

I've always wanted to visit the fox village, too! Those red furry friends look so adorable! :)

 

What were the Ice monsters at Zao ropeway like?

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CilineR Level 3
Level 3

Re: What to do in Tohoku in winter in one and a half day?

@DeniGu 

Hi, thanks for comment. Yes, they were so adorable. 

Here’s the picture of Ice monster taken from the window of the restaurant on the Jisosancho station.

Due to it was heavy snow during that time, I couldn’t go out far enough to find groups of big ice monster. 

BA1548F7-3429-42D1-8063-2F2B94000692.jpegSome ice monsters around the restaurant at JisoSancho station.

 

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Re: What to do in Tohoku in winter in one and a half day?

Wow, this is awesome @CilineR!

 

Thanks so much for sharing these helpful tips, beautiful photos and super cool video! Would love to visit Tohoku one day. 😊

 

I'm glad you found Jisosan. Mind telling us more about the symbolism behind Jisosan? 

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Re: What to do in Tohoku in winter in one and a half day?

Hi @CilineR,

 

You really touched me with this post! I totally enjoyed reading it and I felt as you felt - in a fairy tale world. I love Asia and to my regret I have been to many places in Asia, but didn't have the chance to visit Japan. I am thrilled that you wrote about such an interesting place. Tohoku is indeed a hidden gem in Japan. This is certainly a deep tour in Japan.

 

I am more than sure that @YasumiKikuchi will be more than happy to read about your experience and share his thoughts with you.

 

By the way, have you ever been in China? I lived there for 3 years and I had the chance to go here and there. I have also visited a snow village. It is called China Snow Town. Here is a photo of mine from that place.

 

10676198_942706259074067_6155431236815665987_n.jpgCaption: A photo of me posing with three husky dogs which ride a sleigh in China Snow Town. (Local Guide @TsekoV)

If you have time, you can also read about this place in this article 一个保加利亚人探索中国:黑龙江的冬季.

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CilineR Level 3
Level 3

Re: What to do in Tohoku in winter in one and a half day?

@AlexaAC Thank you for your comment! First of all, I'm sorry that I did a misspelling of Jizosan in my review. 

I have corrected spelling in my review already.

I have found many Jizosan across Japan and I thought that he is a stone statue of monk.

But after read your question, I have searched the symbolisms of him and I found that there are many interesting stories about him. Some stories said that he is a guardian of travelers. Some said that he is a protector of children. 

@AlexaAC Have you been in Japan and have you found him anywhere? Please share:)

 

CilineR Level 3
Level 3

Re: What to do in Tohoku in winter in one and a half day?

@TsekoV Wow! They are so cute!! I've never been to China. I have read your review, is that in Harbin? It looks like lower than -40 degree>_<;

Thank you for sharing your experience there. I never know that Snow village is very beautiful at night and looks like a fairy tale^^.

 

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Re: What to do in Tohoku in winter in one and a half day?

 No worries @CilineR,

 

Thanks so much for explaining the symbolism, I think it is marvelous. I have not seen Jizo-san, but visiting Japan is a dream of mine. For sure adding that now on my travel list. :)

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Re: What to do in Tohoku in winter in one and a half day?

สวัสดีค่ะ @CilineR 


ขอบคุณมากค่ะที่แชร์ประสบกาณ์กับเรา สวยมากและก็น่าสนใจมาก ยังไม่เคยไปเที่ยวเลยค่ะ แล้วไปอยู่ที่นั่นกี่วันค่ะ

 

ชอบไหมค่ะกับอากาศหนาว เพราะบ้านเรามีแต่ฝนและก็ร้อนถึงร้อนมาก

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Re: What to do in Tohoku in winter in one and a half day?

Hi @CilineR,

 

I am happy that you liked those cute dogs. ^ ^

 

This village is 5-6 hours bus ride east from Harbin. Actually it is not far away from the border with Russia and North Korea. As for the degrees, yes... they are stunningly low. You need to be prepared to go there.

 

As for Japan, while you were there what were the temperatures? Those foxes look so adorable. Can you touch them?

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