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Snow Monsters in Zao – A Volcano’s Secret

Zao Snow Monsters Silhouete

The Snow Monsters of Zao

A legend. A volcano. A full moon and swirling, falling snow. The cable car creaks through the night sky to reach the peak of the Zao volcano in the snowy winter of Tohoku in Japan. At this point, I feel I should throw in the solitary howl of a wolf in the distance, silhouetted against the watchful eye of the full moon.

Well, it’s almost true. The throbbing full moon casts its glow across the frozen landscape, but instead of strangled cries followed by silence, I hear happy chatter and the promise of hot chocolate. Zao may well be a volcano with centuries of stories, but in its 21st century reincarnation, it’s also a buzzing ski resort.

Night-lit snowboarders swoop and swerve beneath the floodlights and back in the gondola eyes grow wide as we contemplate the 38 degree mogul field known as “the Wall.” Although I love to ski and snowboard, that’s not why I’m here.

I’m here to find Zao’s Snow Monsters.

Zao Snow Monsters stretching over hill, Yamagata, Japan, Zao Onsen Resort

Zao Snow Monsters: Beaten by Nature

To be continued…(they’re calling my flight now…)

UPDATE: Landed safely. Read part two, Zao Snow Monsters – The Secret Revealed.


One Response to Snow Monsters in Zao – A Volcano’s Secret

  1. Sofie March 11, 2013 at 8:35 am #

    Ooooh, how unfair to cut the story off just when it was getting exciting and all!:)