Nozawa Onsen, about an hour from Nagano, is a quaint authentic Japanese village with cobbled streets, pensions, ryokans, and a few Western-style hotels – most notably Austrian as this village is ‘sister’ to the St. Anton resort in Austria. This gorgeous resort is perfect for families because it provides a true taste of Japan yet offers the convenience of a great ski school and nursery facilities with English speaking staff. Nozawa Onsen is renowned for its fantastic skiable terrain and its many hot springs or onsens. Whether you’re comfortable to slip naked into a public onsen or would prefer the privacy of your own natural hot pool, Nozawa Onsen has you covered.
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AccommodationThe charm of Nozawa village lies in its authenticity which has been carefully protected by local authorities. However that means accommodation is limited, making it wise to book well in advance. There are very few ski-in ski-out options in Nozawa with most of the accommodation being centrally located in the village. Nozawa is your perfect opportunity to experience traditional Japanese accommodation by staying in one of the many pensions and ryokans and even sleeping on a futon in a tatami mat room. While some operators of pensions and ryokans do not speak any English, many do and they will also offer western style bedding if that’s your preference. In Nozawa village you’ll also find a few western style hotels and self-contained apartments.
Skiing & BoardingWith 1,000 meters of vertical terrain over about 300 hectares, Nozawa Onsen has plenty to explore, whether you’re starting out or searching for new thrills. Dedicated areas at the bottom of the mountain are perfect for beginners, as is the aptly named Paradise area in the middle. Meanwhile, intermediates will love the steep groomed slopes further up. For advanced skiers, there are plenty of steeps and a few off-piste challenges within the resort boundaries. If you’re looking for a long quad burning ride, it’s a case of connecting shorter sprints via some flatter slopes to achieve a massive run from top to bottom. While you’re on the move, enjoy the spectacular tree lined runs and gullies. At Nozawa Onsen you’ll find tracks taking you outside permitted areas, however this is at your own risk.
ActivitiesThe main attraction at Nozawa Onsen, other than skiing, is the onsens and there are plenty of them, from free public hot springs through to more luxurious private onsens in hotels. Some of them require you to be naked, others don’t! Within this quaint village, you’ll find plenty of other authentic experiences – whether you’re roaming the cobbled streets, enjoying Japanese cuisine or spending an evening in a karaoke bar. A visit to see Snow Monkeys preening themselves in their own onsen is definitely worth the trip. Nozawa Onsen has night skiing on Saturday evenings and during some holidays and you can also enjoy snowshoe tours of cross country trails.
Getting There & AroundGetting to Nozawa Onsen is easy. Jump aboard a bus or semi-private shuttle service from Tokyo City or Narita Airport for the picturesque road trip that takes around five hours. The Shinkansen bullet train from Tokyo is another option. It will get you to Iiyama station and from there you’ll need to take a local bus or taxi to the resort.
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Self catering 1 and 2 bedroom apartments including housekeeping twice weekly, Wi-Fi, washer/dryer avail, ski storage room for each apartment. Onsite laundry and wifi.
Offering stylish accommodation with a mix of Japanese and Western design, the completely non-smoking Address Nozawa is located just off the main street of Nozawa and 450 metres from the nearest lift. The kitchen is fully equipped and has a fridge and a rice cooker. An LCD TV is included with access to Apple TV. Onsite games room, onsen, ski and luggage storage.
The hotel is perfectly located between O-Yu dori, the main street, and the main gondola at Nagasaka. It is a 3-minute slow walk to the home slope. Bedrooms are a mix of classic Japanese, with wood everywhere, the texture of tatami underfoot, and fluffy futons that’ll give you the best night’s rest you’ve had for years; western, with a cosy mountain-village alpine feel; and mixed Japanese and western with the best of both worlds. All rooms have an ensuite toilet, and some have a compact unit bath too. The hotel’s wi-fi is free. Onsite Wi-Fi in rooms, feather futons, restaurant.
Himech0@Yasushi is located in the heart of the Ogama district only 5 minutes away from the village centre and 5 minutes from the moving walkway and is a unique machiya-style townhouse. It is ideal for large private groups.
Kawazen is a newly renovated townhouse conveniently located near the Shin-Yu Pair Lift. Shops and restaurants are less than a 5 minute walk and an easy stroll to some of the nicest public onsens. It is ideal for large families or groups. Free Wi-Fi, ski storage and laundry
Full service property refurbished offering the best of Japanese and Western accommodations. Modern chic style rooms with hints of the past. Elegantly designed hotel utilising modern Japanese architectural accents which capture and display the beauty of this property in its wonderful surroundings. Onsite indoor and outdoor natural hot springs, sauna, ski and snowboard rentals, internet access.
Paradise Chalet is located on a mountainside at an altitude of 1,200m and is 500m from the gondola station and is self catered accommodation. It is the perfect setting for one or two families or groups if you are after lodge-style accommodation. Free Wi-Fi, dryng room and use of Address Nozawa's onsen baths.
Newly refurbished residence hotel located 300 m from the Shinyu pair lift that will take you straight up to Hikage station. 20 gorgeous fully ensuite guest rooms, including a 4-bedroom lodge, and four two-bedroom suites, as well 2 private onsensand bilingual concierge. Onsite: Drying Room, onsen, restaurant and bar, laudry facilities.
Traditional style Ryokan property refurbished into a charming Japanese Inn. Features include 6 separate natural onsen baths. A variety of rooms with both tatami/futon bedding or low western beds. Onsite traditional Japanese restaurant, Teppanyaki counter, 6 onsens, bar lounge with entertainment areas, wireless internet.
The premier Japanese style Ryokan hotel in Nozawa Onsen. The ultimate Japanese experience. Enjoy the exquisite level of service and exceptional food. The hotel's thermal hot spring is among the best in Japan. Onsite traditional Japanese restaurants, bar and lounge areas, indoor/ outdoor hot-springs, saunas, ski rentals.
Tokiwaya Ryokan is listed as one of Japan's 100 famous hotels. The hotel is located right in the middle of the village and has four certified natural indoor hot springs (onsen) said to be the largest in Nozawa Onsen. Amenities include ski storage / drying room, vending machine, a store, a salon, parking, and free Wi-Fi in the lounge and a traditional Japanese restaurant serving breakfast and dinner.
Brand new property opening January 2021. The Ryokan Jon Nobi has been remodelled and replaced with Japanese style resort residences. The Sakaya Hanare comprises of multple 3 Bedroom Apartments featuring open plan kitchen, living and dining room.