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Tohoku | Yamagata | Zao

Zao Onsen

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Zao Onsen

Zao Onsen (蔵王温泉) is located on the slopes of Mount Zao at an altitude of 880 meters above sea level. It is said that this hot springs was discovered in 110 AD making it one of the oldest onsens in Japan. The story goes that a warrior who was wounded with an arrow pulled it out and used the water from the hot spring to clean the injury. The water properties are said to have healed the warrior quickly and well. Zao Onsen is the oldest of the three great hot springs in the Tohoku region and is also known for its high acidity level. It is also referred to as “The Princess Hot Spring” and “The Fountain of Beauty” because of its reputation for healing skin conditions. There are many hotels and ryokans (Japanese traditional inns) available as accommodations. The Zao Open Air Hot Spring is close to the resort and is famous for the nature surrounding the bath. It is an open air bath situated next to a river, but is not available during the winter months. There are also multiple public bath houses that visitors can use all year round as long as a 200 yen deposit is made.