Ski Cherry Blossom Japan
Japan has long been the land of cherry blossoms but in recent years the country has made a name for itself for huge dumps of high quality snow. It’s not often that these two can coincide but with the release of the official cherry blossom forecast it looks like 2019 is the year where you can combine skiing and cherry blossom viewing in one holiday.
When is cherry blossom season for 2019?
This year cherry blossom season in Tokyo begins March 22, with the flowers hitting full bloom on March 29. Skiing and snowboarding could come before or after this as Nozawa traditionally remains open until Japan’s Golden Week in early May.
Access from Tokyo
With the high speed Shinkansen (bullet train) being built a few years ago you can get from Tokyo to Iiyama in as little as 1 hour and 40 minutes. From there it’s a quick 25 minute bus ride up the hill until you’re tucked away in Nozawa’s quaint Japanese village. Here is a handy link on getting to Nozawa https://www.nozawaholidays.com/news/train-nozawa-onsen-around-japan/
March snow and weather conditions
Fair weather skiers can rejoice as March brings sunny, clear days with stunning views of the Japanese mountains (often enjoyed over a cold beer). Thanks to a plentiful January that saw 425cm of snow falling on Nozawa, we’re left with a base that is well over 2.5 metres heading into spring. We can often get some good dumps of snow too over March.
The snow itself in March becomes soft and forgiving, as the days are warmer. If you’ve ever wanted to introduce your kids to the snow, or are a beginner yourself – March is the ideal month. There are no lift lines, no intimidating crowds on the slopes and there is plenty of stunning bluebird days. No freezing fingers or layering up until you feel like a giant snowball!
Lessons and rider improvement courses
More advanced riders can enjoy spring tree riding, as well as Nozawa’s park and mini pipe. It’s a great time of year for taking some time to progress your skills with discounted lessons. Nozawa Holidays offers week-long Improvement Courses starting March 2nd and 16th that include 7 nights accommodation in Nozawa, daily breakfast, 6 day lift passes, 5 days of full day coaching, plus a welcome dinner and access to the village’s beautiful hot springs. If those dates don’t suit, you can make a custom course on any date you would prefer for 4 people or more!
Spring skiing discounts
March is an ideal time to go skiing and snowboarding on a budget because of the massive discounts on offer. The Resort does a great Spring Season Pass that allows unlimited skiing from the start of March (32,000 yen for adults, 20,000 yen for kids under 15 and 26,000 for those over 60). All lift tickets are heavily discounted from April 1.
Cheap accommodation – Ski Cherry Blossom Japan
For accommodation, Nozawa Holidays offers 15% off all bookings after March 15 and 20% off all bookings after April 7. There are some incredible package deals available, such as the 1 Month Special Package that includes 30 days of accommodation, a season pass and daily breakfast for just 153,000 yen per person. It works out to being around $60 AUD per person per day.
With its free hot springs and friendly Japanese locals, Nozawa Onsen has built a reputation as a beautiful village to visit at any time of the year. A Japan holiday that includes skiing in Nozawa Onsen and cherry blossoms is set to be a magical holiday.
See you on the slopes?