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 International ski resort and one of the most popular mountain resorts in Japan, Mount Zao is host to a myriad of feasts for eyes and a haven for winter sports enthusiasts. It’s peculiar location of lush natural beauty and manifold hot springs gives it a unique feel, but what makes it really special are the “Snow Monsters”, or Juhyō as they’re called by the Japanese. As you might have probably guessed, these menacing white figures are no monsters at all, but the remnants of a very interesting phenomenon which causes Maries’ Fir trees to become covered in fine snow and rime ice until they appear to become ice monsters. It is a natural work of art that is made possible by Yamagata’s unique winter climate.

The Snow Monsters are so close the ski resort, that you can practically ski through or between the figures, or simply relax and admire these beautiful sculptures of nature as you climb up the slop. Can you imagine these at night on a moonlight foggy sky?

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