Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort, Chūbu Region, Japan
Nozawa Onsen is the name of a small village located to the north east of Nagano city in the north east region of Nagano Prefecture, close to the border with Niigata Prefecture. It is also of course the name of the popular ski and snowboard resort located close by village – the base lifts, gondolas and courses are within walking distance. Many people refer to it as just ‘Nozawa’.
Nozawa Onsen is one of the most famous ski and snowboard resorts in Japan. It first opened in 1923 with the first ski lift opening in 1950. The two gondolas were installed in 1979 (Hikage) and 1990 (Nagasaka). Much of the history of Nozawa and indeed skiing in Japan can be seen at the Japan Ski Museum that can be found by the Isemiya course, not far from the Hikage Gondola. Nozawa Onsen is famous for onsen hot springs throughout the year as well as large amounts of quality snowfall during the winter months. While in recent years Nozawa Onsen has become increasingly popular with visitors from overseas, the village still retains a traditional and quaint Japanese feel. In January every year the Dosojin Matsuri (Fire Festival) is one highlight of the season. The village was host to the biathlon events during the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998.
Epic Japan Culture & Adventure Route © Monika Newbound