Europe or Japan? Plan your next Nozawa Ski Trip

Ski Trip Europe Nozawa Japan

It snows big in Nozawa. Even the Europeans are amazed at how much snow we get when come on a ski trip.

The London Ski Show is on com and plan your next ski trip to Nozawa.

If you happen to be in the area please drop in and see Akira and Katzu and all the gang from Nozawa and Japan on the Japanese stand. Get info on the skiing, onsens and culture and help plan your next ski trip. May even see Eddie the Eagle!


Europeans are getting a taste for a Nozawa Ski Trip

We don’t get a lot of visitors from the UK or Europe for that matter but it is slowly growing as people discover the amazing powder snow as well as the culture and food that Japan offers over other parts of Europe.

We had some lovely Dutch girls out a few seasons back that did a story on Japan for the European magazines, they spend their lives cruising the planet in search of their next powder fix and admitted that Nozawa was one of their favourites.

The Dutch do Nozawa

They really scored on the snow front when here and had a great traditional stay at Furusato Lodge in Nozawa.Furusato Ski Lodge Nozawa Onsen /
As word gradually spreads across Europe I am sure there will be more following. We see quite a lot of Scandinavians too but not as many as Niseko or Hakuba yet by any means. Just the ones that are a but more adventurous and keen to check out some where of the beaten track. Nozawa has been a popular choice for those hard core crew from Sweden and Finland for many years now.

We have quite a strong connection with Austria thru our sister city relationship with St Anton and close ties to Switzerland and many of them are blown away by the conditions we get here and the vibe of the village.

Japan Ski Trip Nozawa

More hands in the air come and see the Nozawa Team at the London Snow show and plan your next holiday to Japan.

Kyoto in a day after Nozawa Onsen

Kyoto Nozawa Travel Ski

Kyoto is one of those mystical places that everyone should get to at least once in their lives. Photo thanks Jess

Kyoto in a Day

I always recommend our customers to visit Kyoto if they get the chance as you can sense what life must have been like centuries ago in feudal Japan. Luckily Kyoto escaped the destruction of WW2 and is home to 17 World Heritage sights.
If you come to Nozawa in November/early december or March you can visit Kyoto and catch Autumn leaves or cherry blossom season!
Although a day is far too short to even scratch the surface of what this amazing city has to offer, you can still catch a glimpse of the incredible traditional Japanese culture in their former capital.


Here are some awesome places to check out in Kyoto

– Arashiyama
Bamboo groves and two incredible Zen temples plus a beautiful backdrop against the scenic Oi river make this district a must see.
– Fushimi Inari
The hill of 10,000 torii (spirit gates) made famous by countless movies. A great hike as well – give yourself 2 hours in total.
– Kiyomizu Dera
A stroll from Gion up the Ninnenzaka path to the most impressive temple in town will have you feel like you are living your own Memoirs of a Geisha moment. Time your return to Gion well and you may even spot a Geisha hurrying to a dinner around dusk!
Note a single nail was used in the construction of this enormous temple.
– Other sights worth seeing
The Philosophers walk, Golden Pavilion, Ni-Jo castle

Bicycle is a great way to get around as can move at your own pace and travel at a good speed. You can hire them at the Train Station or a few other places in the city

Kyoto Nozawa Travel Japan

The temples in Kyoto are amazing, Kiyomizu Dera is one of my favourite

For tips on travel too and from Nozawa Onsen check here or drop us an email to

Getting To Nozawa Onsen

Lodge of the Week; Espoir Ebisu Lodge Nozawa

Ebisu Ski Lodge Nozawa

Espoir Ebisu Lodge in Nozawa Onsen is impressive in the evenings








Espoir Ebisu Lodge is a very impressive looking lodge when you walk up and the lights are on you feel like you are home. The view from the inside is just as amazing. It is owned and run by Hagiwara family and the Father is the deputy Mayor of the Nozawa Onsen Village. They have been running the lodge here for 3 generations so hospitality is in the blood.

There are still a few generations of the family living under the same roof there so some very cute grandchildren you see occasionally too on their way to school. The Nozawa Holidays team are located right across the road and always on hand to help with anything you need or if there is an emergency. Bilingual Japanese/English Speaking staff that know the town and area very well and can help with what ever you need. Feel free to drop in anytime to Nozawa Central and also can sort all your rental needs, Lessons, Tours and Transfers.

Some of the great things about Espoir Ebisu Lodge

– Mix of western and Japanese rooms all have own Toilet in the room
– Spacious Dining Room with amazing views and delicious breakfast included ask about dinners
– Non smoking lodge and free highspeed wifi
– Located right next to the Sparena Outdoor Onsen with free passes available for Guests
– Very close to the slopes about 100m from the home trail and easy walk to town
– Lovely and knowledgeable Local hosts with Nozawa Central Rentals and Office just over the road for any assistance you need

Espoir Ebisu Lodge Nozawa

Espoir Ebiisu in Nozawa Onsen

Still some good availability during the season at Ebisu Lodge

– From 3rd of January for 4 nights
– From 9th of January for 5 nights
– From 25th of January for 6 nights
– February and March also has good availability so just ask.
Here is a link to look and book

Ebisu Lodge – Nozawa Onsen Village

Things going on in Nozawa Onsen

Things Slide Nozawa Work

Lots of work on things next to the ski jump on the Mukobayashi course. With the goal of stabilising the slope in Winter

Things happening in Nozawa in preparation for the season ahead.

Another big project the resort has been working on is stabilizing the Mukobayashi slope just next to the Ski Jump. Anyone that is a regular will know we often get a Glide Crack on the steep face of that slope just near the jump. So the resort closes it off as is unsafe. It is often a full depth crack in the snowpack, which may be caused by moisture at ground level.

The rest of the slope is fine and a terrific run that does not get too busy and can have some amazing powder on its day. I sometimes leave the office at 11am and can still manage to get fresh lines on that face as many people race up to the top.

In the old days we had a single orange chair that ran up the tree line and was a great little experience as you jumped on your square seat the size of a Pizza box and took off up the hill.

Anyway the guys are working away trying to stabilize it but have also admitted there is no guarantee that it will have the desired affect will have to see what mother nature thinks when she starts to deliver the fresh stuff. Hopefully it is not far away….

Slopes and things happening in Nozawa

Nozawa Onsen has a great range of slopes to suit all levels. This one Mukobayashi is for the more advanced rider. But the slope above that links the Karasawa slopes over to the Main Nagasaka Gondola is a beginner run and a beautiful way to start the day as get awesome views of the village from above.
Check out more info on the slopes in Nozawa here; Runs and Courses in Nozawa

Nozawa things slide slope

Mukobayashi Slope and the Ski Jump in all thier glory in Nozawa Onsen

Nozawa Ski Resort could be open in just 1 Month!

Open Nozawa Resort Ski

Annupuri resort up in the North looking nice and white this morning

More snow being reported in the North of Japan with some dustings again over the weekend always great to hear. At this stage the Resort is hoping to open on Saturday the 26th of November snow permitting.

We normally try and open that weekend every season and we sometimes do. The last 10 years it has been on average opening December 1st so a few days later. If the snow does hit early like they are expecting then we may be skiing in just over a month, it is getting colder in the hills and it doesn’t take long for everything to change in the mountains!

The forecast is saying we may get a dusting in Nozawa next weekend but will have to wait and see.
keep an eye on the live cams for Nozawa here; Web Cams Nozawa Onsen

Snow Forecast Open Nozawa

The first snow forecast for Nozawa Onsen next weekend!

Qantas Sale to Japan for March

Qantas Sale March Nozawa Japan

March can be a magic month in Nozawa and Japan

March is a bit of a surprise package in Nozawa Onsen especially the first 2 weeks. Which looks like the time Qantas is doing some deals with fares from about $839 between the 6th of March and the 16th of March. Check out fares here

Check out the link below for photos and videos of what conditions you may expect in the first half of the Month.

Here are some of the reasons we think March is Magic in Nozawa!

  • Huge base sometimes up to 500cm depending on the season. We still get some good dumps too!
  • No crowds! Many people have forgotten about skiing so you can often get the slopes to yourself and the restaurants and Onsens too!
  • Discounted lift tickets. Kids ski for just 1500 Yen a day (About $20) Adults can get the Spring season Pass for 32,000 Yen (About $420) for unlimited days until the end of the season!
  • Get your choice of accommodation options with still lots of great availability. January and peak times are now getting pretty hard
  • Some nice sunny days too to enjoy the views and tranquility

So have a think talk to your mates and hope to see you up in Nozawa this March our favourite month of the whole season!

March Skiing in Nozawa

March Sale Powder Nozawa

This shot was taken March 22nd in Nozawa Onsen even late March can deliver

Go against the crowd and get the benefits

It is sometimes harder for people to get holidays outside the peak season, so if you can manage too and go against the crowds the rewards can be great. Take the kids out of school and put them in to Ski School in Nozawa. We have some amazing Ski and Snowboard Instructors from all over the world and they can help get you or your kids up to the next level. Remember kids are only 1500 Yen a day for lift passes and at Nozawa Holidays Properties they are half price if staying in the same rooms as the Adults. So it works out a very cheap ski holiday to Japan.

Nozawa has so many amazing restaurants but in January it can be very hard to get in to them. Come March and you can have your pick no need to book just walk in which is always nice. You should never have to line up for a ski lift either with some of the slopes like a private resort.

Lesson Registration Form

Nozawa Onsen voted in the Best Resorts in Japan

Best View Nozawa Yamabiko

One of the best views is always from the top at Yamabiko and the snow covered trees

Nozawa Onsen voted one of the best overall Resorts in Japan by Powderhounds!
Great to see that Nozawa Onsen has featured in the top again this year by the popular Powderhounds website and its readers. We got top mentions for
– Best overall Ski Resort based on infrastructure, services, terrain, snow and value
– Overall Terrain
– Advanced Piste Terrain
– Family Resort
– Onsens
Even a mention for best Nightlife, which is a bit of a surprise but the Karaoke Bars can kick on!
So if you have chosen to visit Nozawa Onsen this season looks like you have made a good choice. Thanks to everyone for the ongoing support as always and we look forward to a great season ahead.

Best Powderhound Advanced Terrain

Nozawa has some amazing terrain to suit all levels but we are sure the powderhounds will be happy

Nozawa is one of the first ski resorts to open in Japan almost 100 Years ago so has had plenty of time to establish the resort and build great infrastructure and runs to suit all levels of skiers.

Thanks to Mother Nature we are also blessed with amazing amounts of snow every season with almost 20 meters of snow falling some seasons and the average base of around 4 meters at the peak.

Onsen Best Nozawa Free

Not surprised we were voted for best Onsen but always good to hear. Kawahara Yu is a favourite

Best Onsens and Family Friendly Resort

Really proud to hear we have been voted as one of the most Family friendly resorts in Japan. For centuries Nozawa as a resort town has been welcoming families from across Japan. More recently we have had families from around the world making this a popular holiday destination. Mainly due the skiing but also for the Onsens, Food and Culture.

We have 13 free Onsens dotted throughout the village and various other private and paid Onsens including Sparena which is an outside onsen you can wear your swimmers in so great for the whole family.

Family Best Japan Nozawa

Nozawa Onsen voted one of the Best Family Resorts in Japan.

For more info on Nozawa and to plan your next trip check out our main Nozawa Holidays page. For more info on the terrain in Nozawa and the best runs have a look here Nozawa Onsen Courses and Terrain


Telemark Skiing in Nozawa Onsen

Telemark skiing is not a form of phone marketing but an amazing graceful way to slide down the slopes.

Nozawa Onsen local Takemitsu san is one of Japan’s best and a joy to watch as he floats down the mountain in Nozawa. You may recognise him as he works at his parents restaurant Buna on the paradise slope and can also be seeing tuning skis at Mt Dock at the base of the Nagasaka Gondola.

Check out this great little video on him and see some nice scenery from Nozawa as well. It is not the easiest form of mountain descent but if you have mastered regular downhill skiing it may be time to move up to the next challenge.


You can rent Telemark skis from Mt Dock rental shop just below the main Nagasaka Gondola and there is a good chance Take san or his brother Yuta san will be there to advise you. Be sure to stop at the Mt Dock Gondola Cafe for a coffee too. The team there are all long term locals and know the resort very well.

Telemark Gondola Cafe Rental

The Mt Dock Gondola Cafe and rental shop at the base of the Nagasaka Gondola a great way to start the day


Mt Dock Gondola Cafe – Great Coffee in Nozawa Onsen










Could Turkey be the birthplace of Snowboarding?

If like me you were probably not even aware that Turkey had good snow little lone a riding culture. Patagonia does some pretty cool things and in this short film they send a few of their riders into the foothills of the Kackar Mountains of Turkey to discover the heritage of snowboarding.

The film goes for 15 minutes and is well worth grabbing a cup of tea and taking a break in your day to check out. The people of the small mountain village of Petran have been riding these magical wooden planks for around 300 Years.

Snowboarding Petran Style

The construction is pretty basic just some planks of wood nailed together and then the ends steamed to give some rocker and some cow fat rubbed on the base to help with the slide. But there are some pretty simple technical additions that help make it all work. Like a guide rope on the front to hold on to and a simple stick at the back which acts as an anchor to help steer and give some stability.

Also instead of bindings there are some slats of raised wood along the deck to dig your feet in and help hold on in the powder.

The whole vibe of the area is unique and intriguing and the village has a bit of a Nozawa feel with the Turkish baths instead of Onsens. Anyway always fantastic to discover new parts of the globe and the roots of a sport we all love. Hope it helps you to get a bit excited about your next journey. Mr. Burton may be up for some royalties to the custodians of “Petranboarding” to help keep the sport alive.

Snowboarding Nozawa History

Snowboarding in Nozawa Onsen has come along way. It was at first frowned upon but now is a big part of the mountain

If Nozawa Onsen is your next Snowboarding destination you can check out more about the resort here Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort


Amazing Autumn in Nozawa Onsen


Autumn Nozawa Koyo Sunset

Sunsets over the Mountains and the amazing colours of the leaves on the peaks above Nozawa Onsen

Amazing Autumn in Nozawa
We were blessed with a period of fine weather over the last few days, so were able to make a hike to the summit to witness a spectacular sunset/sunrise. The foliage slowly turning to autumn colors made for a beautiful backdrop, you may be able to recognize one of your favorite runs Yamabiko A course!
There are plenty of hiking courses on the mountain ranging from small strolls in the forest to full day or overnight treks. Across from us is the famous Shinetsu trail which runs along the border of Niigata and Nagano prefectures, and takes approximately 5 days to finish at a leisurely pace with food and rest houses along the way.

Great Deals to stay in Nozawa in Autumn
Come up and visit take a hike, soak in an onsen and enjoy the leaves changing colour…

Most of our places to stay are still half price of the winter months now until end of November when the snow starts to fall. So can stay in a brand New Apartment at Nozawa Central for 4 people from 20,000 Yen a night  or Nozawa House a magnificent house in the forest but yet so close to the Village for just 25,000 Yen a night.

If travelling by yourself can stay in one of our lodges, Kaiya Nozawa starts at around 4000 yen per night per person during the green months.

Nozawa Central – Modern 2 & 3 Bed Apartments

Hike Nozawa Autumn

The Hiking in Nozawa is great all year round. Even in Winter with snow shoes, but Autumn is my favourite














The Hiking in Nozawa is beautiful you can explore the many trails that wind thru the village and into the foot hills. If feeling genki can climb all the way to the top of Mt Kenashi and take in the views and fresh Mountain air. Ask the staff at Nozawa Holidays for some tips on where to hike or drop into the Tourist Info Office in the village for a map. Be sure to grab some fresh bread from Kura the Bakery just next door.

At the end of a day hiking in Nozawa there is nothing better than an Onsen and a cold beer at one of the many great little bars and izakayas in Nozawa

Autumn Hiking Views Nozawa

The Sunsets across the peaks of Nagano amazing views from Mt Kenosha in Nozawa