Population Nozawa Onsen Village
Nozawa from a different angle today. All very quiet and peaceful about town with no visitors at all at the moment. Who knows the population of Nozawa Onsen?
Have a guess!
OK give up? The Official population as at 1st of April 2020 was 3590 people. That should include all the new babies that have been born this year too and there has been a few 🙂
When I first arrived in Nozawa 30 years ago the population was 5500 people so quite a drop of 2000 people in 30 years or just over 35%. The reason being like most of Rural Japan, Nozawa has an ageing population. Even though the people of Nagano prefecture are some of the longest living in the world they are unfortunately getting older and moving on to the next world. The birth rate is also fairly low but seems to be on the improve. Must be due to all the Dosojin or fertility gods about town :). They are said to help with producing kids, has helped us we have had 2 fairly new additions to the Village!
However many young people do move away like most country towns and head for the bright lights and job prospects of the big smoke. Mainly Tokyo in the case of Nozawa Onsen young ones. It is only just over 2 hours by train so some people even commute but thats tough so most end up living there and returning from time to time to visit relatives and help out at the family ski lodge.
Population Stabilizing in Nozawa?
It does feel like the population has stabilised a bit now around that 3500 mark of inhabitants, which is good to see. More babies is one reason, the local kindergarten had two classes this year for the new entrants, the first time in a while. Also there are some young people and overseas folk moving to town. It all helps to stabilise the slide and hopefully create more work for those locals that would like to stay.
Tokyo or Nozawa it is a pretty easy choice if you have one 🙂 Compare the top photo with this one of Tokyo!