The rustic charm of Yamagata includes Mt. Zao, one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in all of Japan. With many hot spring resorts, including Zao-Onsen and Ginzan Onsen, Yamagata is an ideal retreat for rest and relaxation. Not just boasting hot springs, Yamagata is also one of the best winter sports resorts in Japan with a unique natural phenomenon known as “ice trees” or “Snow Monsters.” Yamadera, literally translated as “mountain temple”, is yet another outstanding example of the beautiful mountains in Yamagata; one of Japan’s 100 Soundscapes, the sound of Yamadera’s cicadas have been forever memorialized in a haiku by Matsuo Basho.

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