My 5-day Ski and Onsen Trip to Nozawa Onsen

March 31st, 2012 by
Category: Cuisine, Information, Miscellaneous, Onsens (Hot Springs), Outdoor Activities, Report, Seasonal Topics, Sightseeing

— For Japanese translation of this article, click here (authorized link by Nagano Prefecture) —

Photo 1) Reconstructed Rest House YAMABIKO.
Photo 2) Brett and Hayley, snowboarders from Australia we interviewed.

My Ski Holidays at Nozawa Onsen Village

From Oct 2011, I wrote 3 reports about “Shinshu Tourist Destinations ‘Kizuna‘ (Bonds) Declaration” (Report #1, Report #2, Report #3).  The reason for drawing up the reports was that I wanted to encourage international tourists to return to Nagano.  Now, one year has passed since the earthquakes of March 2011.  I thought I would like to choose Nozawa Onsen Village, which was partly damaged by the earthquakes in March 2011, for my ski holidays this year to witness the recovery.  When I was writing the 3 reports, Nozawa Onsen looked quite attractive for a vacation.  Then, I carried out the plan.  This is a report of my 5-day ski trip to Nozawa Onsen Village from March 5th to 9th, 2012.

“Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort” and Interview with Guests from Australia 

I enjoyed skiing (photo 3) during the daytime on the large-scale slopes of Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort, one of the largest skiing and snowboarding venue in Japan.  From the inbound point of view, most of the course signs or restaurant menus were translated into English and important announcement was performed both in Japanese and English over the public address system.  And to my pleasant surprise, I found a lot of skiers from overseas. 

I interviewed Australian snowboarders, Brett and Hayley, in front of Nagasaka Gondola Station as follows (photo 2). 


Q (me): How long do you stay in Nozawa Onsen?

A: (Brett and Hayley): For 1 week.

Q: Why did you choose Nozawa Onsen for snowboarding?

A: Because Nozawa is nice, close to Tokyo, inexpensive and has good snow and accommodations.

Q: How did you find Nozawa Onsen?

A: Internet.

Q: Did you try onsen (hot springs)? 

A: Yes.  We already tried one public bath.  We are enjoying onsen very much here.  

Q: What is your impression after you came?

A: People are friendly, the village is cozy, and the food is delicious.  And it’s easy to stay because there are many signs and pictures in English.


I highly appreciate Brett and Hayley for their kind acceptance of the interview and the photo.  Thank you very much!

Beautifully Re-born “Rest House YAMABIKO”.

I went to Rest House YAMABIKO for lunch (photos 1 and 4).  The rest house was damaged by the earthquake in March 2011, but it was beautifully reconstructed.  The rest house was filled with many skiers and snowboarders and had a brisk atmosphere.  I ordered the rest house’s special menu “Beefsteak on Garlic Rice with Nozawana Cabbage”.  It was just delicious with freshly cooked steak and local specialty Nozawana cabbage.  On the snow resort, there are many different kinds of good restaurants and cafes you can enjoy during skiing. 

New Public Bath “Furusato No Yu”

On the last day of my trip, I went to the newest public bath called “Furusato No Yu” (photo 7).  Nozawa Onsen boasts 14 public baths (“sotoyu”) and this newest bath opened in Dec 2011.  It has “atsuyu” (bath with high temperature water), “nuruyu” (bath with low temperature water) and “rotenburo” (open-air bath).  The facility was equipped with enough showers and I enjoyed the spa very comfortably.     


Souvenir shopping is another after-ski fun (photo 6).  A traditional Akebi-vine craft “hatoguruma doll” (a dove doll with wheels), which I got at a shop “Sankyu Kougei“, is now decorating my house’s entrance.  Japanese-style pickles of Nozawana cabbage were delicious with rice and tea.  Karinto (fried dough cookies) with Nozawana cabbage was sweet and crispy.  And “Naski” dolls, an official mascot of Nozawa Onsen resembling Nozawana cabbage, are very cute.    

Visit Nozawa Onsen and Nagano, Japan!

As for accommodations, I stayed at one “onsen ryokan” (Japanese-style inn with hot spring baths) and had a great time during the whole trip.  I was convinced that Nozawa Onsen Village was completely recovered and more than ready to welcome domestic and international guests.  Please come and experience great snow and great hot springs.  Green seasons are beautiful, too!

Photo 3) Me skiing on the SKYLINE course.
Photo 4) Beefsteak on garlic rice with Nozawana cabbage at Rest House YAMABIKO. Very good!

Photo 5) 'YU' ROAD (MOVING WALK) connects the town and the ski resort.


Photo 6) Souvenirs.


Photo 7) Enjoyed hot springs at a public bath "Furusato No Yu".

Name of the facility NOZAWA ONSEN SNOW RESORT
Description of business Skiing and snowboarding resort
Address 7653 Toyosato, Nozawaonsen-mura, Shimotakai-gun, Nagano-ken, 389-2502
  • TEL: 0269-85-3166 (Japan country code: 81)
  • FAX: 0269-85-2201 (Japan country code: 81)
URL (Click English button)
  • If by car, 25 minutes from Toyota Iiyama Interchange of Joshinetsu Expressway.
  • If train (JR Nagano Shinkansen), 1 hour and 15 minutes by bus from Nagano Station.
  • If train (JR Iiyama Line), 20 minutes by bus from Togari Nozawaonsen Station
Operating dates Dec 2011 to 6 May 2012.
Prices of Lifts and Gondolas 1 day pass: Adult JPY4,600, Children (Junior high students or younger) JPY2,100, Senior (over 60) JPY3,500. Refer to the website for more types of tickets. Spring discounts will be applied to these prices from April 2nd, 2012. 
How to contact Tel or fax
General information of Nozawa Onsen Village Contact NOZAWA ONSEN Tourism Association. (Click “English” button.) FAX: 0269-85-3883 Email:

Special thanks to: Nagano Prefectural Federation of Societies of Commerce and Industry, The Community of Commerce and Industry of NOZAWA ONSEN, NOZAWA ONSEN Tourism Association, and residents and concerned people of Nozawa Onsen Village.