Zao Onsen Accommodation

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Zao Onsen accommodation is spread out across different base areas
Zao Onsen accommodation is spread out across different base areas
The beautiful Takamiya Ryokan Miyamaso
The beautiful Takamiya Ryokan Miyamaso
Omiya Ryokan
Omiya Ryokan
Le Vert Zao
Le Vert Zao
Zao Onsen village
Zao Onsen village
Many of the Zao Onsen hotels have their own onsen
Many of the Zao Onsen hotels have their own onsen
The inexpensive Yoshidaya Ryokan
The inexpensive Yoshidaya Ryokan
Much of the Zao accommodation is Japanese style
Much of the Zao accommodation is Japanese style
Zao Onsen Japan
Zao Onsen Japan
Mid-mountain Forest Inn Sangoro
Mid-mountain Forest Inn Sangoro
Yoshidaya Ryokan
Yoshidaya Ryokan
Upper Takayu Dori Street Area
Upper Takayu Dori Street Area
Zao Onsen Japan
Zao Onsen Japan
Forest Inn Sangoro
Forest Inn Sangoro
Zao Japan
Zao Japan
Hotel Lucent
Hotel Lucent

Zao Onsen Accommodation

Wagner Custom Skis

Zao Onsen Accommodation

Zao Onsen was an onsen resort town long before it was a ski resort town, so rather than having towering hotels like some of the purpose built ski resorts (e.g. Naeba, Appi Kogen), Zao Onsen is a charming traditional Japanese settlement with lots of ryokans, lodges and pensions, many with their own onsens. Zao also has a handful of Western style hotels, and more than half of the lodgings have some degree of English spoken, so Zao Onsen is a convenient destination for English speaking travellers.

Zao Onsen accommodation caters well to mid range to deluxe budgets. Whilst there is an exquisite deluxe ryokan (the Miyamaso Takamiya), there are no 5 star hotels and no backpacker digs.

The village of Zao Onsen is somewhat spread out and there are a number of different base areas with lift access points. Check out the Zao Onsen village map for some orientation of the hotels to the lifts.

You can search for Zao hotel availability and rates here, and this search function also has a Zao map.

Zao Base Centre Jupia

The main base area of the ski resort is the Zao Base Centre Jupia and the Zao Sky Cable station on the Uwanodai slope. Here there are various ski-in ski-out lodges at the base as well as a few hotels dotted up the ski slopes such as Hotel Jurin. This area could be a good location for families as it’s close to the English speaking ski schools, ski rental, various beginners’ slopes and night skiing.

Hotel Jurin ($$$) is ski-in ski-out and offers Japanese rooms (tatami flooring with futons on the floor) or western rooms. All rooms have a private bathroom and there is also a hot spring bath on-site.

Petit Resort Hotel Der Barte ($$-$$$) has a convenient ski-in ski-out location. This hotel offers simple western rooms. Some rooms have a private bathroom whilst others rely on use of the shared bathroom and toilet.

Zao Plaza Hotel ($$$) is just 1 minute walk from the Uwanodai slope of the Zao Ski Resort. The hotel has a choice of either western or Japanese rooms and all have a private bathroom, or you can bathe in the onsen (indoor and outdoor baths).

Takayu Dori Street Area

There are lots of accommodation places on or near the main tourist street, Takayu dori. These are well located to access the shops, restaurants and izakayas, but most will require a 5-10 minute walk up to the nearest lift.

Near the upper reaches of town is Miyamaso Takamiya ($$$$), an old ryokan that has been lovingly restored. This delightful Japanese ryokan has deluxe traditional Japanese rooms with private bathroom, and a handful of rooms have a private outdoor hot spring bath. The ryokan also has other beautiful onsens.

Yoshidaya Ryokan | Zao Onsen Japan Yoshidaya Ryokan
 $$
3-star hotel located 10 mins walk to lifts. Japanese style rooms for 1-3 guests (all shared facilities). Indoor Japanese hot spring bath house, free wifi and free shuttle service..

Near Zao Chuo Ropeway

There are several Zao hotels located near the Zao Chuo Ropeway.

The Powderhounds can recommend staying at the Hotel Lucent Takamiya ($$$). This deluxe hotel is very well located, only one minute walk to the Nakamori Slope (a ski area for high end beginners), and the ropeway. The hotel is within easy walking distance of bars and shops, only a 2-3 minute walk away. Hotel Lucent has lots of room configurations including standard twin western, lovely Japanese style rooms, large combination Japanese/Western rooms and large maisonettes with twin beds downstairs and Japanese style area upstairs. All rooms have a private bathroom and the hotel also has a beautiful onsen. Accommodation includes just breakfast, or half board with the most exquisite dinner meals.

Hotel Largen ($$) provides ski to door access and simple western twin rooms with private showers or quad rooms with private bathroom.

Kokyo ($$) is located right near the slopes and close to the base of the Zao Chuo Ropeway. Kokyo has Japanese style rooms (for up to 6 guests) with a shared bathroom and a simple yet traditional onsen.

Wakamatsuya | Zao Onsen Japan Wakamatsuya
 $$$
3-star Japanese style twin & triple rooms with sat.tv & private bathrooms. 3 Japanese hot spring bath houses, restaurant, free wifi and breakfast or half-board meals options.. 
Omiya Ryokan | Zao Onsen Japan Omiya Ryokan
 $$-$$$
3-star Japanese style hotel with twin tatami rooms, TV & private toilet. (Bathroom facilities are shared). Rate is on half-board basis. Restaurant, hot springs & massage treatments plus more..
Le Vert Zao Le Vert Zao
 $$-$$$
2-star ski-in/ski-out hotel with twin, triple & quad western & Japanese style rooms. Private bathrooms with bath tub, restaurant on-site, free wifi in lobby and free parking...

Zao Ropeway Sanroku

A little further along the main road is the Zao Ropeway Sanroku Station, with various lodgings situated near here such as the western style Takamiya Rurikura Resort, the only tower hotel to be found in Zao Onsen.

This area is popular with pedestrian tourists who visit Zao Onsen to see the snow monsters, because the Zao Ropeway Sanrokusen provides access to this spectacle.

Zao Pension Village

Zao has a pension village that is located a couple of kilometres from the main town and the ski resort (about 2 mins drive). These pensions are generally more budget oriented than the properties that are more conveniently located however they represent exceptional value for the budget traveller. The pension owners generally provide a transport service to and from the ski area.

Yamagata Zao Pension Aplon Stage | Zao Onsen Japan Yamagata Zao Pension Aplon Stage
 $
Small pension with cosy twin, triple and quad western style rooms (shared bathroom / toilet facilities). Free internet and packages can be bed only, plus breakfast or half-board...
See all available Zao Onsen accommodation here >>

In the Middle of the Ski Area

The Forest Inn Sangoro is a very unique property located mid-mountain and perfectly ski-in ski-out inside the Zao Onsen ski area. It’s not accessible via car and you have to get there via the Sky Cable or Chuo Ropeway (cable car), and the inn staff pick you up in their unique over-snow car. The inn has a very funky restaurant and bar, and communal area with pool table. Room configurations include double rooms (2 guests), x2 double beds (4 guests), x4 double beds (up to 8 guests), and studio with 10 single beds. All rooms have shared bathrooms. If you don’t stay here, you should definitely at least drop in for lunch.
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