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Zao Onsen, one of Japan's premier ski and hot spring resorts, located in Yamagata Prefecture, in the northeastern Tohoku region of Japan's main island Honshu, officially opens today for the winter 2018-2019 ski/snowboard season. If there is not enough snow for good skiing, they will have an Anzen Kigan Sai (Safety Prayer Festival) with a Shinto priest. The mountainous resort area, nearly 250 miles north of Tokyo, has a history dating back more than 1,900 years, when the warm, mineral-rich onsen hot springs, were discovered in the year 110 CE.

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