蔵王エコーライン / Zao Echo Line
Mountain highway bordered by towering walls of snow
The twenty-six kilometer Zao Echo Line connects Zao-machi in Miyagi with Kaminoyama in Yamagata. It offers refreshing views of the surrounding mountain landscapes any time of year, but is perhaps at its most memorable in spring. The area gets so much snow over winter that the highway is closed from early November to late April every year. Come spring, snowplows clear the road and it is reopened. The road may be clear, but towering white walls of snow on both sides of the road remain. In mid-April, before the Echo Line reopens to vehicular traffic, there is a special Snow Wall Walk event where buses from Zao-machi bring participants for a walk down the road between these ten-meter-tall snow banks.
March 3, 2020
Area Mt. Zao
Connects Zao-machi, Miyagi Prefecture to Kaminoyama-shi, Yamagata Prefecture
ACCESS BY PUBLIC TRANSIT
By bus from Shiroishi-Zao, Shiroishi, & Yamagata Stations.
By free shuttle bus from Kaminoyamaonsen Station.
From Shiroishi-Zao & Shiroishi Stations (runs weekends & holidays late April–early November): About 90 minutes by bus. From Shiroishi-Zao Station (白石蔵王駅) or Shiroishi Station (白石駅), board Zao High Line (蔵王ハイライン) bus bound for Zao Togatta Sancho (蔵王遠刈田山頂). Timetable here.
From Yamagata Station: About 100 minutes by bus. From Yamagata Station (山形駅), board bus bound for Zao Onsen・Togatta Sancho (蔵王温泉・遠刈田山頂). There is only one bus a day in each direction, so please be mindful of the schedule. Timetables here.
From Kaminoyamaonsen Station: About 60 minutes by free shuttle bus. The bus stop is located across the plaza from the station, in front of the Kaminoyama Onsen Sightseeing Information Center (かみのやま温泉観光案内所). From there, board a Green Eco Go Line bus (グリーンエコ号) bus bound for Togatta Chushajo (遠刈田駐車場). Timetable here. Timetables in English are available at the Kaminoyama Onsen Sightseeing Information Center.
Early November–late April
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