Nozawa Onsen is one of the original and largest ski resorts in Japan, which boasts an abundance of ‘bluebird’ days. The average snow depth is 3.5 metres, with loads of powder.
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort
The Nozawa Onsen ski resort is a large ski area that opened over seventy years ago. There is plenty of terrain to explore, offering over 50 kilometres of trails or pistes beginning at an elevation of 1,085 metres, with 297 hectares of skiing surface. One of the pluses of skiing at Nozawa is that there really is something for everybody (see stats below). There are family friendly wide open pistes, some difficult mogul runs plus it offers some great powder days between the marked runs too. Active skiers will find a terrain park with jumps, rails, boxes and an 80 metre pipe to get the adrenalin pumping. The skiable terrain is on par with Happo One in Hakuba. There are also back country and snowshoe tours.
25 lifts (23 chair lifts and 2 gondolas) and 46 courses
Skill level: Beginner 40% | Intermediate 30% | Advanced 30%
Nozawa Onsen Village
Nozawa Onsen village is located at the foot of the ski resort, which spans across three main areas. The village’s cobbled streets bustle with traditional Japanese inns, enjoyable and diverse restaurants and bars, and convenience / souvenir shops. The Ridge location is E9 on the village map.
Nozawa Onsen offers more than just a ski trip. You can experience not only the culture, food, famous hot springs and the renowned fire festival, but also the ambience and great après ski, which sets Nozawa apart from other areas. The village features some amazing traditional architecture with temples, shrines, hot spring establishments, traditional ryokan and free foot baths along many of it’s streets. Even though the village is small there can be over 100 restaurants and bars open during ski season – from well-known western-style bars such as Exiev to small hole in the wall Shokudo. Any visitors fortunate enough to be in Nozawa Onsen early in the New Year (mid January), should not miss the Dosoujiin Fire Festival; one of the most famous and exciting fire festivals in Japan.
Throughout the village there are about 30 different types of mineral hot springs that feed the 13 public hot spring baths. Whilst the baths are mostly free of charge, there is a box outside each one for visitors to provide a donation for upkeep. You will also need to take your own towel and soap. For Japan onsen etiquette please refer here. Among these baths, Oyu, located at the centre of the village, is regarded one of it’s most recognizable landmarks – a beautiful bath house with an atmosphere reminiscent of the Edo period. The other famous hot spring is Ogama, which is the hottest of the springs in Nozawa with the water temperature reaching about 90 degrees celsius. This type of hot spring is rare in Japan and thus has been designated as a natural monument of national importance.
The combination of a traditional village feel and a great ski hill makes Nozawa Onsen a good choice for everyone’s ski trip to Japan.