Zaō, Miyagi → 🌋 Mount Zaō♨️ Zaō Hot Spring, Yamagata

Map of Tōhoku prefecture with author’s route from Zaō, Miyagi to Zaō Hot Spring, Yamagata highlighted. 🗺 Open map in GaiaGPS →

A road leads towards a broad mountain dotted with snow. 📍 Zaō, Miyagi

A colorful volcanic cliff, with forested hillsides in the background.

Very colorful scree slopes alternate with forested hillsides. 📍 Mount Zaō, Miyagi|Yamagata

Komakusa, a pink flower, growing on volcanic scree.

Another of the flowers on the same scree slope.

And another.

📍 Mount Zaō, Miyagi|Yamagata

Art Nouveau earrings scattered on the rainbow scree, komakusa (Dicentra peregrina) pindot the high slopes of Tōhoku’s volcanoes, their range extending into the north, towards Kamchatka. Mount Zaō’s broad back rose out of the shimmering heat of the plains like a great whale, a white wall in the winter, and I walked down its windblown spine, the mountains rolling in every direction, my left foot in Yamagata, my right in Miyagi, and the crater lake changed colors with the setting sun like a chameleon.

Looking towards the broad summit of Mount Zaō, above the crater lake.

Panorama of the crater lake of Mount Zaō.

Ranges of low hills fade into the haze, as seen from a mountaintop. 📍 Mount Zaō, Miyagi|Yamagata

A flower arrangements in a bathroom has paper cranes in every color instead of flowers on the branches.

The hazy waters of an outside bath, ringed with large grey stones. 📍 Zaō Hot Spring, Yamagata

These Walking Dreams is a visual field diary of a 4,300-kilometer walk from one end of Japan to the other, in the spring and summer of 2017.