Climate Condition for the Creation of the Juhyo
Zao Onsen is rightfully well-known for it’s spectacular “Ice Monsters”. One of the natural wonders of Zao Onsen, these can be found at the top of the mountain during the coldest months, usually from late December to the middle of March. These Ice Monsters (“Juhyo”) make for some truly spectacular and unique scenery which combined with the wide panoramic scenery make Zao Onsen one of the best resorts in Japan for scenery. The Ice Monsters can be also fully appreciated during the night illuminations at the top of the mountain during the peak season.
Juhyo can be found on a limited number of mountains in the northeastern areas of Japan. There are a few climatic conditions necessary for them to appear – evergreen conifer, fixed strong winds and super cool water droplets and snow depth of between two and three meters. The super cool water gradually adheres to the trees and develops the Juhyo unique shapes. The locals call this shape “Shrimp Tails”. Whatever they are called, it makes for spectacular scenes and is one of the reasons why people visit Zao Onsen each season.