Nozawa Onsen

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Nozawa onsen

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

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!
Airplane

FLY TO

Narita International Airport

Bus

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 ($39 USD)
uncrowded
snow
back country
value for money
average total snowfall280″ -

Nozawa Onsen Reviews

Fabulous

4.4 / 5

based on 20 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
Have your say on Nozawa Onsen
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