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Hi everyone!

Are you guys good at winter sports? In the UK, ski resorts are extremely uncommon. There are a few in the Scottish Highlands, but they are unusual. Most British people fly to France or Switzerland to go skiing! It is very expensive, so I had never been before.

Yamagata Prefecture is home to a lot of ski slopes, one of the most popular being Yamagata Zao Onsen Ski Resort. Mt. Zao is only 20-30 minutes away from Yamagata City by car, and there are frequent buses from Yamagata Station.

My friends and I recently took a trip to Zao to try our hand at skiing for the first time! As we were all complete newbies, we rented our ski wear, which cost around 4000-5000 yen. We got a day’s worth of lessons, which were very reasonably priced at 5000 yen per person for the full day. The bus was 1000 yen each way. Make sure to get a lift pass that fits your needs too!

Skiing felt absolutely nothing like I thought it would. It was an extremely challenging, yet also rewarding experience. I think it brought me and my friends closer together.

I totally recommend trying winter sports while you are in Yamagata- I know that I definitely want to go back and improve. But if you are a beginner- please make sure you take lessons! It is much much harder than it looks!

I would also recommend visiting one of the many onsen at Zao to soothe your muscles after a long day of skiing. We were not able to this time- and I sure felt the consequences that evening! Ouch!

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