Zao is an area centered around the Zao Mountain Range, located between Yamagata Prefecture and Miyagi Prefecture. It is known within Japan for being a location with excellent skiing spots.
As for tourist locations in the area, particularly noteworthy is the Zao Ropeway where you can enjoy seeing the Zao Soft Rime during winter, and the various skiing locations in the area are popular as well. If you’re interested in nature spots, be sure to check out Okama Crater and Zao Onsen, Large Open-Air Bath, as well as the Kotori House, Wild Bird Sanctuary Nature Observation Center where you can learn about Zao’s natural environment and wild birds. Another very popular spot is the Miyagi-Zao Kitsune Village where you can you can see over 100 foxes of 6 different breeds living unrestrained.
For moving throughout the area, there are access methods on both the Yamagata Side and the Miyagi side, but no trains run through the area, so a car or bus is recommended. You may want to try using the “Zao Echo Line” which connects Yamagata Prefecture and Miyagi Prefecture.