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Offering 4 dining options, indoor and outdoor hot-spring baths and karaoke, Active Resorts Miyagi Zao provides a free shuttle from JR Sendai Train Station. We liked the large 5 person futon room and big indoor and outdoor onsen (separate for male and female). The breakfast was good too, better than others we had at different hotels on our trip. The town the hotel is located in has a nice onsen too, which we went to the day we checked out as their one was not open.
Boasting an outdoor pool and a hot spring bath, Tabinoteitaku Zao Miyagi HOMANN CONCEPT features accommodation situated in Zao, 35 km from Natori. Very roomy and well set out apartment with 2 big & comfortable queen beds upstairs. Sparkling clean and has everything you need. Outside hotspring bath just a couple of minutes walk away.
Situated in Shiroishi, 2.3 km from Shiroishi-Zao Station, Pacific Hotel Shiroishi features accommodation with a restaurant and free private parking. The location is very convenient - especially if you plan on visiting the fox village and don`t own a car. The staff are friendly, the room has all you need and doesn`t cost too much. Would recommend.
Suzukiya Ryokan offers accommodation in Shiroishi. Free shuttle from/to JR Shiroishi Station or Shiroishi Zao Station is available upon request. All rooms have a flat-screen TV. Exceptional services , excellent outdoor/indoor bath which I was able to enjoy by myself only... The staff was extremely helpful, they even went with me and my friend to several clinics as my friend had an issue with the eye! And compared to other Japanese hotels, the room was soo warm and comfortable!
This is a gorgeous area, most famous in winter but wonderful in spring! We spent a lot of time riding around on a motorcycle, and the roads in Zao are great for that. The Zao Echoline is a gorgeous ride, from the different vistas of mountains, valleys etc (you can see all the way to Sendai and the ocean once you get high enough). There were still walls of snow on either side when we got up high enough. The Okama Crater is not to be missed, but it definitely gets cold and windy up there! Because a lot of the local resorts and ryokan serve dinner, many restaurants close quite early: 6pm, even. We found one noodle and donburi place that was open late, and there are a few izakaya (Japanese bars) with food in the town of Togatta Onsen as well. If you're staying in or near the Pension Mura, the Kotori House (Bird House/Nature Center) is a hidden gem, especially if you're coming with kids. There are tons of exhibits about local wildlife and several craft stations.
Zao town is a small village in Miyage prefecture, perfect destination for a short trip of 2 or 3 days. The valley offers many excursions, beautiful trekking paths and nice hotsprings. The famous fox village is about 20 minutes by car.
We loved the trail up the mountain behind the little town. The people were very friendly and ready to please. The small restaurants were wonderful.......and we even stopped in a tiny hair salon and had the best haircuts ever! It is very easy to walk around the town and explore the shops. The onsens are so amazing. You feel very relaxed and rejuvenated after being in that magical water.
Excellent Japanese style dinner and breakfast. Bread provided as midnight's snacks.