Nozawa Onsen

Season start/end: 11/25/2017 - 05/06/2018 (estimated)

Welcome to Nozawa Onsen

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.

The good

  • 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

The bad

  • 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 vs
Nozawa OnsenAkakura Kanko
beginner40 %40 %
intermediate30 %30 %
advanced30 %30 %
total runs36 10
ski area734 ac -
summit elevation5,413 ft 4,921 ft
total lifts20 7
child lift ticket¥2,200 JPY ($21 USD) ¥3,000 JPY ($28 USD)
adult lift ticket¥4,800 JPY ($45 USD) ¥4,300 JPY ($41 USD)

How to get to Nozawa Onsen?



Narita International Airport



Nozawa Onsen (6 hours)

Things to know

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!

More beginners tips
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!

More intermediates tips
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!

More experts tips

Best tips

Find freshies Map find

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 Ditch crowd

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 Non ski

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 Family

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!

Where to stay

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
Find lodges around here
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
Find lodges around here
Base of Karasawa (Walk)
  • Quieter area on the outskirts of the village
  • 10 minute walk from the main street
  • Some accommodation close to lifts
Find lodges around here
Nozawa Onsen Village (0.50-1 mi)
  • Dining and entertainment hub
  • Cheaper accommodation than bases
  • Range of lodging and AirBnb rentals
Find lodges around here

Apres ski

Straight off the slopes Straight off the slopes
  • The Craft Room
Casual Casual
  • Stay Bar
  • Foot Bar
  • Play Spot
  • Heaven
Dance the night away Dance the night away
  • Neo Bar


How well the resort caters for beginner skiers / boarders


How well the resort caters for intermediate skiers / boarders?


How well the resort caters for advanced skiers / boarders


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


Quality of the off-piste terrain


Overall value for money of the resort

Value for money

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


Quantity and quality of the snow


How uncrowded is the resort


Après ski and dining options


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


How family friendly is this resort?

Family Friendliness
SHSam H.
advanced snowboarder

4.9 / 5

Dec 06, 2017
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
MBMichael B.
advanced skier

4.4 / 5

Dec 04, 2017
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... More
TMThomas M.
advanced snowboarder

4.6 / 5

Dec 04, 2017
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... More
LHLoky H.
expert snowboarder

4.2 / 5

Dec 03, 2017
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... More
MPMike P.
expert skier

4.9 / 5

Dec 02, 2017
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... More
Want to be an insider? Get in touch with us!
Open 11/25/2017
Close 05/06/2018*
* Estimated based on previous years.

Lift tickets

Child ¥2,200 JPY ($21 USD)
Senior ¥3,700 JPY ($35 USD)
Adult ¥4,800 JPY ($45 USD)

Trails levels


Trail maps


4.4 / 5

based on 16 reviews
Leave a review for Nozawa Onsen


1,854 ft
5,413 ft
Vertical drop
3,559 ft


Total runs
Terrain Parks
Longest Run
6 mi
Skiable Terrain
734 ac


Gondola & Trams
High Speed Quads
Quad Chair
Triple Chairs
Double Chairs
Surface Lift
Other ski resorts in


Akakura Kanko
40% 30% 30%
Akakura Onsen
50% 30% 20%
Appi Kogen
30% 40% 30%
Asahidake Ropeway
20% 50% 30%
40% 30% 30%
40% 40% 20%
Gala Yuzawa
35% 45% 20%
20% 60% 20%
Hakuba 47 & Goryu
30% 40% 30%
Happo One
30% 50% 20%
Ikenotaira Onsen
35% 45% 20%
30% 50% 20%
35% 35% 30%
31% 34% 35%
Madarao Kogen
30% 35% 35%
30% 40% 30%
Myoko Suginohara
40% 40% 20%
30% 40% 30%
38% 32% 30%
Nozawa Onsen
40% 30% 30%
30% 40% 30%
35% 45% 20%
Sapporo Kokusai
30% 50% 20%
Sapporo Teine
35% 40% 25%
Seki Onsen
20% 50% 30%
Shiga Kogen
50% 36% 14%
30% 40% 30%
50% 30% 20%
Yamagata Zao Onsen
40% 40% 20%