Zao Onsen Facilities & Services

Zao Onsen Facilities & Services

Wagner Custom Skis
Wagner Custome Skis

Zao Onsen Ski Rental

Ski rental and snowboard hire are available at various shops around the village, with a concentration of rental shops near the base of the lift stations. The largest Zao ski rental shop is located inside the Zao Base Centre Jupia near the base of the Zao Sky Cable. In addition to ski and snowboard sets, they also rent out snowbikes. The equipment is generally of a good standard and some of the staff speak English.

Many of the hotels and ryokans also offer equipment rental.

Generally, the quality of much of the rental equipment can be questionable and much of it is from the dark ages. At least the skis are carving skis, but fat skis are not on the agenda and many of the boots are rear entry. And if you’ve got big feet or want clothing in a large size, you may experience some difficulty.

Zao Onsen Ski School & Snowboard Lessons

There are seven Zao Onsen ski schools. Only two of the schools offer ski lessons in English and these are in a private format. Both Zao Ski School and Zao Heim Ski School are located at the base of the Uwanodai Slope near accommodation such as Hotel Jurin, Petit Hotel Resort Der Barte and Zao Plaza Hotel.

Facilities for Children

We are not aware of any childcare or babysitting facilities at Zao Onsen. In general Zao is not particularly well set up for families with small children. You can look at our Japan ski resort ratings sorted by family friendliness if you want to consider other resorts.

Eating On Mountain

Zao Onsen has various restaurants and cafeterias dotted around the slopes. The food is reasonably inexpensive and fairly typical for a Japanese ski resort: ramen, curries, and rice dishes. It’s also possible to get a taste of Italy with some pizza and pasta.

The largest base for eating is the Zao Base Center Jupia where there are a couple of large cafeterias.

A must-do for lunch is a stop at the mid-mountain Forest Inn Sangoro (left hand side of the trail map). It’s a striking A-frame wooden building and the bar and restaurant inside has big wooden beams, so it looks pretty funky (and much better than a sterile cafeteria). The food is reasonably inexpensive.

Banking Facilities

The post office has an ATM that accepts international cards.