The Mount Zao area is named for the mountain range distinguished by its iconic Okama Crater. It is also home to the famous Zao Fox Village and the Zao Kokeshi Museum, which boasts the largest kokeshi doll collection in Japan. The area is an ideal place to enjoy views that change dramatically with the season: the riverside Hitome Senbon Zakura cherry blossoms in spring, fall colors along the Zao Echo Line highway in autumn, forests of “snow monsters” in winter, and more. The snowy winters make Mount Zao an excellent destination for skiing and snowboarding, on piste at resorts like the Shiroishi Ski Resort, and backcountry from bases like Sumikawa Snow Park. The many hot spring villages in the area, including Aone Onsen and Gaga Onsen, make for cozy places to warm up and relax. Be sure to get a taste of the local cuisine while in the area too, delicacies like Shichikashuku soba and luxury strawberries from Ichigo World. By shinkansen bullet train, the Mount Zao area is just 13 minutes from Sendai or about an hour and a half from Tokyo; catch a bus from the train station to travel deeper into the area.