The Powder is Falling
Skiing was introduced in Japan in 1911 and came to Nozawa in 1912. The ancient hot-spring village had its first ski slope in the 1920s, but it was in Japan’s boom years of the 1980s that development of the ski industry really took off.
The usual abundance of high-quality powder snow allows you to enjoy skiing or snowboarding well into April. The variety of slopes and courses, including the exciting Snow Park, guarantees satisfaction to snow lovers of all levels from beginners to advanced, and especially families, providing guests with the ideal playground to enjoy the ultimate in skiing, snowboarding and other on-snow activities.
Its official! Nagano Prefecture has been voted one of the best places in Japan to cycle. There are so many cycle options when using Nozawa Onsen as a base. Be it a long weekend from Hong Kong, or a week long tour from Australia.
Nozawa Onsen is a fantastic place for mountain biking in the summer. There are routes on the mountain for all levels of cyclists to choose, from beginner to expert. A [course map] for those only doing the downhill courses, so there is never any problem with choosing the right level course for you! There is even a small grassy course for children as young as two to practice on.
Hiking or running the mountains in Nozawa is breath-taking. Trails have all been pre-made by the village and a map is available so that you can choose your level of run or hike. You’ll constantly come across waterfalls, streams with wooden bridges, deep forests, open fields and substantial views. It really is unique.
Jigokudani, home of the world-famous snow monkeys, is around a 1 hour bus or car ride from Nozawa Onsen. Japanese macaque monkeys inhabit the area. Despite the harsh conditions (snow-covered for one-third of the year) and the rough cliffs (hence the Jigokudani “Hell’s Valley” name), the area is a paradise for the monkeys.
After a day on the slopes, nothing can compare to the experience of coming out of the cold, and climbing into a hot spring bath. Feel your aches and pains (and your mind) melt away. For 400 years, visitors have made the journey to Nozawa Onsen to be reinvigorated in its renowned hot springs. There are 13 free public hot spring baths in the village, the most prominent being the enchanting wooden Edo-style O-yu in the center of town.
Welcome to the Dosojin Matsuri Fire Festival. Nozawa Onsen is famous for this annual fire festival, an unforgettable experience and one of the ‘big three’ fire festivals in Japan. If you are lucky enough to be in Nozawa Onsen on 15th January, this is an event not to be missed, but be warned, it’s not for the faint-hearted!