A True snow paradise!
Nozawa Onsen is located in the north of Nagano prefecture (province), and has been designated a part of Joshin’etsu Kogen National Park thanks to its beautiful scenery.
Nozawa Onsen is a much more traditional and laid back resort village when compared to that of Niseko and Hakuba. The village resort is famous for the. abundance of hot springs that were discovered in the 8th century, with steam rises up everywhere amongst the narrow cobblestone streets and the traditional ryokan bars, restaurants and shops.
Extending along the mountain of Mt. Kenashi, Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort boasts a total ski slope area of 297 hectares and over 50km of pistes making Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort one of the largest ski resorts in Japan. As such this resort ranks among the very top in Japan in terms of size, its history and snow quality. Three big factors that any ski enthusiastic will want to tick when visiting Japan on their next trip.
**Photo credit to Nozawa Onsen Resort
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort has an incredible 36 trails, with 40% of which being beginners and 30% for intermediates. This resort’s greatest appeal lies in the gentle-mid ranged trails running through the mountain top area ideal for families and groups of mixed abilities of skiers. These trails are very wide and gentle, and because the temperature towards the top of the mountain is much lower than the base, the snow quality is superb! #JAPOW
The usual ski resort activities are on offer in Nozawa Onsen such as snow showing, snow mobiling, cross country skiing, heli tours, access to leisure facilities, trips to see the famous snow monkeys and other enjoyments.
However what really draws the focus around the apres ski and off-slope activities here is the geothermal onsens. With more than 30 natural hot springs in the area supping the ryokans and the 13 public baths (sotoyu), these really are the local ‘hot’ spot in town.
Nozawa Onsen is somewhat unique amongst Japanese ski resorts (Niseko being a known exception) in that it has doesn’t have a big nightlife, but it does exist. It’s certainly not like Niseko or Hakuba nightlife, but you still have a good selection of bars that offer varied après and evening activities.
From the Craft Room at the base of the Nagaska gondola, to a western favourite the Stay Bar, to the very chic and upmarket izakaya bar Himatsuri and finally and most importantly (for locals and tourists) if you want to get right into the Japanese culture and hire out a karaoke room to belt out some really cheesy tunes, then a evening trip to Heaven is a must!
***Photos Credit to Niseko Village