view of Japanese Alps from Maiko


Nozawa Onsen at a Glance:

  • Nozawa Onsen is located in the Nagano Prefecture and is very easily accessed form Tokyo.
  • This does not mean that Nozawa has lost its traditional Japanese small-town feel. It is a compact village at the base of a large ski area.
  • To get to Nozawa, take the 1 hour and 50 minute Shinkansen (bullet train) to Iiyama Station and then catch a $5 bus to Nozawa Onsen 20 minutes away. 
  • Nozawa Onsen is a very old Japanese town built around a nearly boiling hot spring (onsen). This hot water has shaped the way this town does everything. 
  • Their eggs, vegetables, and steamed buns are all boiled or steamed in the natural onsen water. The streets are kept clear of snow and ice using this onsen water. And there are numerous public hot spring baths throughout town that you can use to soak yourself. 
  • More recently, Nozawa Onsen became known for the snow and the ski area. In typical Japan fashion, the snow is deep, light, and plentiful. Mike Douglas describes Nozawa as having the best tree skiing in the world.
  • The lodges and restaurants in Nozawa have all kept a very traditional feel. Both are mostly small and locally run. 

Nozawa Onsen is a compact and traditional town that is easy to get to, fun to explore, and still offers the steep tree-skiing your powder day dreams are made of. 

“Nozawa Onsen has been a town centered around the onsen lifestyle for centuries. But the new age powder skiing boom has not overrun the town as many might expect.”

Everything abut Nozawa Onsen is convenient and comfortable. The numerous public onsens mean that a traditional hot bath is never too far away. There is no better way to end a long day spent in the snow than a soak in a natural hot spring followed by a local meal complete with items also cooked in the town's natural hot spring water. The compact town makes it easy to try the various shops and restaurants, or just explore a unique and very old village. The gondola and ski lifts of Nozawa Onsen rise straight from the town and every accommodation can be considered ski-in ski-out. Finally, it is the easy access to Nozawa Onsen that makes this place the convenient winter paradise that it is. 


Nozawa offers a welcoming base to explore a rugged and more traditional part of Japan... And with deep snow.