As winter stroms rush through Japan’s Zao Mountain range, trees are transformed into incredible snow monsters.
Along with death and taxes, finding shapes in clouds in one of the most universal human experience.
Tohoku Region: Northern Japan;
Tohoku region in Northern Japan is much more colder of this pastime.
Intense relentless ‘Siberian winds’ blow clouds and fog over the region’s native ‘Maries’ fir trees covered them in a thick granular coating of ice called ‘rime’.
The result: Forest are transformed into throngs of “Snow Monsters,” or “Juhyo” as they are called in Japan.
In this frozen world, icy bears and bobcats live with frosty witches, skeletons and a few rouge Yeti.
About Juhyo, their peaks from late January to early March, and areas turning the natural phenomenon can be show in under two hours by bullet train from Tokyo.
A trek into these mystical mountains isn’t for the cold blooded, though. The mountains accumulate up to ‘10 feet of snow’ by the end of the season, and visitors can expect to be greeted by freezing temperatures and fixed strong winds.
Zao Onsen Ski Resort;
Enduring the conditions is worth it and though to see these majestic formations up close.
The Zao Onsen Ski Resort is one of the best place to go to walk among the Giants.
Visitors can hike through the mountains and pose for pictures with new, 23-feet-tail friends or encounter them in passing as they tear through the powder of the slopes.
For this climate, these are the third and arguably superior, viewing option.
Enclosed cable cars run up the mountain allowing passenger to see the full scope of the monsters invaders in relative warmth.
At night, colorful lights illuminate the surreal scene casting eerie shadows over the landscape and allowing the imagination to wonder.