Located one hour’s drive from Nagano, Nozawa Onsen is a classic ski resort that was one of the original ski resorts in Japan. The variety of terrain offers long wide open green runs, through to rolling panoramic cruisers and some very steep pitches off the ridges for the more advanced skiers and riders. The village is a very old onsen town that was founded when a visiting Samurai indulged in a hot spring starting the very tradition of the onsen. The streets are narrow and cobbled, they are kept clear of snow by the hot water running under them. Nozawa Onsen is famous for its public hot-springs with more than 30 springs located throughout the village. This is the place to explore the small traditional izakaya and ramen restaurants and experience the local produce, not much English is spoken so restaurants are best experienced with an open mind.
Some tips for “Onsen etiquette” ; – The male onsen will have a blue curtain, female a red curtain, and you must remove your shoes before entering. You will be provided a small basket to store your clothing, which you remove before entering the bathing area. Prior to entering the hot spring pool you must wash, and all onsens provide little shower stools where you do this. Once clean, you can enter the steaming hot spring pool for the calming relaxation that epitomises the Japanese onsen experience.
Gateway City Tokyo 282km
Why Nozawa Onsen
- This historic town just oozes charm. Get lost in the twisty narrow cobblestone roads and lanes. These are clear of snow as the natural hot water heats the stones from below
- Indulge in some very traditional customs and cuisine. Try an authentic feast at one of the top restaurants or muddle your way through a Japanese menu at tiny family run Izakya
- Legend has it that a passing Samurai indulged in bathing in one of the hot springs and hence the Onsen was born. Don’t miss out on taking advantage of one of the many free bath house dotted about the village
- Take in the stunning views of the valley and surrounds from the Skyline run. A roller coaster of a run that sweeps down the ridge line to the base
Nozawa Onsen Mountain Statistics
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