Nozawa Onsen

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Pros
  • Reliable snowfall and crowd-free slopes
  • Large lift-serviced inbounds tree skiing zone
  • Beginner runs on lower and upper sections of the mountain
  • Authentic Onsen (hot springs) village
Cons
  • Skiing the powder stashes between slopes is technically not allowed
  • Need to speed up to cross flat spots
  • Windhold can shut down some lifts
  • On-mountain slopeside restaurants can get very busy

Nozawa Onsen Ski Packages

Lodging Discount Price
Country Inn Canadian House
19% off $276
Hotel Sanraku
9% off $361
Shigakogen Hotel Ichibokaku
9% off $311
Shirakaba
9% off $596
Hotel Hoshikawakan
9% off $166
View all ski packages for Nozawa Onsen
Overall
4.3

Fan of face shots? Nozawa Onsen has got the goods. Regularly receiving more than 33 ft of light and fluffy powder every winter season, it’s a dream destination for any self-respecting powder hound. A place of ancient splendor, Nozawa Onsen is one of the oldest ski resorts in Japan, home to 734 ac of spectacular ski terrain, bundles of breathtaking backcountry, and an abundance of soothing hot spring onsens. Add to this the village’s truly authentic Japanese atmosphere and you’ve got yourself a ski trip quite unlike any other.

17/18 Historical Snowfall

Best month to go

February

Avoid

December and January

For your best chance at scoring big powder days at Nozawa Onsen head over between late January and early February. The snowfall is usually heaviest during this time, so there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy a fresh dump of fluffy white stuff during your stay! December and January can see the slopes crammed with skiers and snowboarders because of the Australian school holidays (which makes up a good bulk of the tourist crowd!), but once February rolls around, the mountain tends to be much quieter. Time your visit for February or March to ditch the queues. All in all, we’d rate February as the best month to ski at Nozawa Onsen!

FLY TO

Narita International Airport

SHUTTLE TO

Nozawa Onsen (6 hours)

Base of Hikage (Walk)

  • Closest to ski area with the most lifts and trails
  • Furthest from village center, 20-30 minutes walk
  • Has a few true ski-in/ski-out lodgings

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Base of Nagasaka (Walk)

  • Closest to the center of town, 10 minute walk
  • Most convenient for those who want to be near the slopes and the village
  • Home to The Craft Room, our pick for straight off the slopes après ski

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Base of Karasawa (Walk)

  • Quieter area on the outskirts of the village
  • 10 minute walk from the main street
  • Some accommodation close to lifts

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Nozawa Onsen Village (0.50-1 mi)

  • Dining and entertainment hub
  • Cheaper accommodation than bases
  • Range of lodging and AirBnb rentals

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For beginners

Beginners will be spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding where to ski with suitable mellow terrain across the resort! The Hikage ski area is a good place to start as there are tons of easy rolling greens including Rinkan, a wide open 3 mi trail which happens to be the longest run in the resort!

For intermediates

Yamabiko is the ultimate ski area for intermediates with red (blue equivalent) only runs here! Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy some of the best mountaintop views while shredding the slopes up here, including one of our favorites Yamabiko A which has some pretty steep sections and moguls!

For experts

Nozawa Onsen lacks any form of expert terrain but advanced skiers and snowboarders won't be disappointed here. On-piste, the Challenge 39° Kabe (an ungroomed trail with a 39-degree pitch) and the Skyline Course are some of the best steep stuff here. The real action, however, is in the off-piste tree terrain in the Yamabiko area as well as the backcountry terrain which serves up all the face shots!

Find freshies

Besides the endless exceptional powder in the backcountry terrain on the backside of the mountain, fresh snow can also be found between the off-piste tree terrain in the Yamabiko area, between the trees and in the side-country off the Skyline course.

Ditch the crowds

The Hikage Gondola and Nagasaka Gondola has the worst of the worst lift queues in the morning so hop aboard other chairlifts until the lines die down. During peak season you'll want to avoid Nagasaka Gondola, Paradise Four and the Yamabiko Four chairlift.

Non skiers

With almost thirty hot springs to choose from non-skiers can soak it all up in Nozawa Onsen and embrace the traditional Japanese culture that still oozes around this authentic village. Or take a day trip to the must-see Jigokudani Monkey Park!

Families

The mellow terrain at the Hikage ski area is the best place for families to ski and snowboard together. The Kid's Park at the Hikage base area is also perfect for families with little ones featuring fun inflatable obstacles and a tubing area!

Nozawa Onsen vs
Nozawa OnsenAkakura Kanko
beginner40 %40 %
intermediate30 %30 %
advanced30 %30 %
expert--
total runs36 10
ski area734ac -
summit elevation5,413ft 4,921ft
total lifts20 7
child lift ticket¥2,200 JPY ($20 USD) ¥3,000 JPY ($27 USD)
adult lift ticket¥4,800 JPY ($43 USD) ¥4,300 JPY ($38 USD)
uncrowded
snow
back country
value for money
average total snowfall280″ -
Save up to 39% when you book a Nozawa Onsen package! View Nozawa Onsen packages

Nozawa Onsen Reviews

Fabulous 4.3 / 5
based on 21 reviews

How well the resort caters for beginner skiers / boarders

Beginners

How well the resort caters for intermediate skiers / boarders?

Intermediates

How well the resort caters for advanced skiers / boarders

Advanced

How accessible and convenient it is to get to this resort from a major destination

Accessibility

Quality of the off-piste terrain

Side/Backcountry

Overall value for money of the resort

Value for money

Quality of lifts, lift speed and lift layout in the resort

Lifts

Quantity and quality of the snow

Snow

How uncrowded is the resort

Uncrowded

Après ski and dining options

Town

Services and facilities e.g. child care, tubing, health care, equipment hire

Facilities

How family friendly is this resort?

Family Friendliness
Fabulous!4.4 / 5Dec 09, 2017
OCOwen C.
intermediate snowboarder
Stayed in Nozawa Onsen 2016, was an awesome experience of japanese culture, dining and of course... the snowboarding. Great off piste, tree runs and and it was an awesome site seeing the snow monsters of nozawa onsen! After every day it was a joy going back to our room and enjoying a relaxing beer and onsen when we saw fit. lovely place and i... More
Fabulous!4.5 / 5Dec 08, 2017
DCDarren C.
advanced snowboarder
Great place, great facilities...too many Aussie yobbos. This place was great 5years ago, now all the ignorant ethnocentric rich and middle class yobbos go there and mistreat the place. Disrespectful and embarrassing. Good for a day visit but the Aussies will do your head in.... More
Fabulous!4.2 / 5Dec 07, 2017
BHBrad H.
advanced snowboarder
This small traditional village with over 10 onsens was just awesome. Plenty of places to dine and foot onsens after a hard days riding is a great experience. The runs are fantastic and the park has plenty on offer & well maintained. Staying in traditional accomadation made the trip. I will never forget when i first walked down the Main Street and... More
Fabulous!4.5 / 5Dec 06, 2017
AKAndrew K.
intermediate skier
Village lifestyle right on the slopes. The laneways are filled with excellent Japanese eateries and sake bars, there's an abundance of steaming street food on every corner. This is all right at the base of the slopes with the gondala right there to take you to the top for super long pow pow runs.... More
Very Good!3.9 / 5Dec 06, 2017
HCHugh C.
beginner snowboarder
It has an heritage and I love the traditional feel of the village. I know the quality of the slopes is very high ef n though I am not much of a snow sports person . It's the "goto" place for me.... More
Superb!4.9 / 5Dec 06, 2017
SHSam H.
advanced snowboarder
Great resort that sweeps into the town full of Onsen. What more could you want. Great faculties and plenty of options for all riders at all levels. Snow monkeys a short trip away too... More
Fabulous!4.4 / 5Dec 04, 2017
MBMichael B.
advanced skier
Awesome skiing with plenty of fresh powder and an unbeatable atmosphere. Food and culture (and onsen) round it out as a perfect holiday destination. Much more of a local and authentic feel than Niseko, where I have also been. Snow at Niseko is great but the mountain feels a bit like an amusement park.... More
Superb!4.6 / 5Dec 04, 2017
TMThomas M.
advanced snowboarder
Nozawa Onsen is easy to get to from Tokyo via Shinkansen and bus. The resort gets the most snow I've ever experienced and is the perfect place to visit if you've never ridden in deep snow before. At the top of the mountain there is a patrolled area amongst the trees that is ideal for learning to ride off piste and in deep powder, with the peace of... More
Fabulous!4.2 / 5Dec 03, 2017
LHLoky H.
expert snowboarder
Great for kids and cuture. Linked to stanton austria and shares the same vibe as a health spa in the alps. Great snow and off piste.look for a hotel that you can ski too. Monkey trip was easy enough with kids. Kids ski play area was good and indoor kids play room was free. Would love to go back. ... More
Superb!4.9 / 5Dec 02, 2017
MPMike P.
expert skier
Nozawa is the perfect introduction to Japan skiing. Easy to get to from Tokyo, and has a full village at the base of the mountain. The village has incredible history, for example, remember to look down at the manholes. Each has a unique design, some with themes around the Winter Olympics held there. The mountain has something for everyone - I've... More

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