Nagano: Skiing in the Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort - Vikingess Voyages

Monday, February 27, 2017

Nagano: Skiing in the Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort

Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort is one of Japan's largest ski resorts, and has among others been listed by Powerhounds as one of Japan's best ski resorts based on things like infrastructure, snow and overall value. I've been in Nagano a couple of times for skiing, both in Hakuba and Shiga-Kogen, and this time it was finally time to take a trip to check out the slopes in Nozawa. Part of the 1998 Winter Olympics were held in Nozawa, and thanks to the games you can find up-to-date infrastructure all there to make your skiing as smooth as possible.
We arrived in Nozawa in the morning by night bus from Shinjuku, and after a couple of hours' nap at the hotel we went to check out the slopes. It takes around 10 minutes to walk from the town, and when you head towards the ski resort you should make sure to find the moving walkway called the "Yu-road", which takes you directly into the Nozawaonsen ski area.
After following the pathway you'll get to the Hikage area of the ski resort. From here you can take a lift up into the mountains. The lifts are running between 8.30 am to 4.30 pm on weekdays, and there are also som slopes open in the evening if you're interested in doing some night skiing. 
All together you can choose between 36 main slopes. The longest one is around 10km long, and going from top to bottom will take you at least 10 minutes.
At the top of Mt. Kenashi
We were very happy with the quality of the slopes and not to mention the white powder snow. One really good thing was that the slopes were very varied in level, with approximately 30% advanced, 30% intermediate and 40% beginner slopes. Our group consisted of people with very varying level of skiing experience, so we ended up splitting up.
We met up again for lunch at the Rest House Yamabiko. There were a lot more skiers there than we had expected, and it took us quite a while to get a table for all of us. I would recommend taking an early lunch as it can be hard to get seats, especially during the high season.

A bowl of ramen for lunch at Rest House Yamabiko 
In the evening we went back down to our ryokan hotel where we enjoyed Japanese washoku dinner and their hot spring bath onsen. What a way to get rid of stress!
Heading back to Nozawaonsen
Skiing in Nozawa was a great experience, perhaps in particular because of the additional cultural experience you get with the Nozawa onsen village, which I have written more about here. We spent a total of 2 days at the ski resort (wouldn't have minded staying longer if it weren't for work), and out of the places I have been skiing in so far in Japan this is definitely one of my favourites (if not the favorite)!

Basic Info
  • ・Place: Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort
  • ・Ski hours: 8:30am – 4:30pm (operating late November - early May)
  • ・Homepage:

Hotel Booking:
Hotels in Nagano

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- Anette

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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About Me

Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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