Brian Wood-Koiwa

Zao-san's Okama Crater Lake

Contemplate life at the summit of a volcano

Brian Wood-Koiwa   - 1 min read

Zao-san (Mount Zao) is a volcano on the border of Yamagata and Miyagi prefectures about a 45-minute drive southeast of Yamagata city. It is a popular ski destination, but it is also a pleasant summer/fall getaway. The main attraction is a teal-hued crater lake called Goshikinuma or simply "Okama (bowl)", where you can walk around and take in the spectacular scenery of the surrounding mountains. There are also dozens of makeshift shrines or markers constructed form pebbles and stones as well as a traditional subdued Shinto shrine with a stately wooden torii (gate).

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Brian Wood-Koiwa

Brian Wood-Koiwa @brian.wood

American writer and photographer living in central Tokyo. I have lived in and around the Tokyo metro area for a total of 12 years. I love cities, and you cannot get any bigger than Tokyo! However, I do enjoy the tranquility of the parks and temples that populate the center city and its outskirts....