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Hi all. This is my trip report from my recent ski adventure to Nozawa. This is my fourth year in a row that I've been to Nozawa. Like the three previous trips, we would spend three days in Nozawa, two of those skiing.


Let me start this off by saying that I'm pretty much a beginner. I just started skiing four years ago and have about 12 days total skiing. We stick to the beginner and intermediate trails, and always stay on the trails.


Let me also thank Snowjapan for the lift tickets. Snowjapan sent them to our hotel and they were waiting for me when we arrived. It was much appreciated.


We started our journey this time from Tokyo. We took the Nagano Shinkansen from Tokyo station to Nagano. The trip was fast, about an hour and forty minutes and on time as usual. From Nagano there is a local train to Nozawa that takes about an hour. From there it's a bus ride to the village. This year we brought our skis. The only difficult part of the whole trip was the bus ride as there is not much room for luggage and skis. We have also gotten to Nozawa from Osaka. Shikansen from Shin Osaka to Nagoya, then from Nagoya the Shinano takes about three hours to Nagano station but the ride has some breathtaking scenery along a river. Even though from Osaka the trip is longer, I prefer it just for the views.


We stayed three nights in Nozawa at a local Minshuku, Gonnimuso. It's located a short walk (uphill) near the Nagasaka Gondola. It is very local. My father-in-law has been staying at this inn for over 40 years. They don't usually have foreigners staying there and my first trip they seemed nervous to have a foreigner there. Not that they don't want foreigners, they are just worried that I would not like the food or how they would overcome the language barrier. The cost of the inn is $75 per night per person and includes breakfast and dinner. It is authentic Japanese but they have always made something at each meal that they think an American would like. They always give more than enough food. If you are in Nozawa, try the Nozawana, local pickled vegetable and also my favorite is the apple jam and fresh apple juice. The rooms are plain, with futon mats, a TV, and small table. There is a communal bath and shower. I love this place but if I wasn't with my Japanese family it might be a little difficult just because of the language barrier. The family that runs it is very nice and will help you with anything that you might need including storage for equipment. Like I said my father-in-law has been coming here forever and the owners seem like family, which is quite a nice feeling when you are overseas.



B7. Dinner In Nozawa (1)




We skied two days in Nozawa. The first day we had amazing snowfall the night before and most of the morning plus cold temperatures. Snow was close to the top of my knees on while skiing. The second day we had clear blue skies and warmer temperatures. Like I said before, we stick to the easier trails. Some of my favorite trails include:


Uenotaira, Paradise thru Rinkan. This whole run is about 7,500 meters and all beginner. The top starts off pretty flat, just a nice cruise.



I5.  Snow




The views are amazing once you get to Paradise.


K1.  Paradise


Rinkan is a forest trail that takes you to either of the two gondolas.



F1.  Dog Barking



Another favorite of mine is Skyline. An intermediate course. It is a fun and challenging ride that can get narrow in spots. The views are amazing.




G9.  Skyline

G3.  Skyline

H5. On Skyline

G5.  Skyline


This year I made it to the top of the mountain, Yamabiko. Great views and challenging runs for me.


J6.  Top Of The Mountain

J7.  Tree Covered

J9.  Top Top


While out on the mountain we like to stop for coffee, snacks, soft cream and to warm up at the rest house off of Paradise.


D8.  Break Time


At the end of the day, a nice beverage at the bottom near the Nagasaka gondola before a few last easy runs on the Nagasaka course.



K5.  Last Beer At Nozawa


After skiing all day we would usually go the the Onsen. The village has 13 free Onsen to use. The closest one to our inn, I must say, is very hot. I got in, but I'm not used to that kind of heat. The locals were nice enough that they would turn on the cold water for me. Even then, I could not stay in the water for long. We also went to another Onsen that cost 500Yen, Furusato. This was a nicer bath with showers. The water temperature here was much better for me. Along the way we passed a villager using the hot spring to cook.


K8.  Nozawa Resident Cooking Spinach


Our last night in Nozawa there was a winter festival. They had food, free sake, a sled ride for kids, and igloos.



M9.  Food At The Ice Party

N5.  Inside The Igloo


Once again thank you so much to Snowjapan for the lift tickets. We had a great time!

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Nice report! I've yet to make it up to Nozawa but it's definitely on my list. & that minshuku sounds great! Just wondering why you didn't use the takkyubin for your skis and luggage?

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Nice report! I've yet to make it up to Nozawa but it's definitely on my list. & that minshuku sounds great! Just wondering why you didn't use the takkyubin for your skis and luggage?

Thanks for the tip. I asked my wife about takkyubin. We may do that next time.

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It's very cheap and efficient! For example, it costs me just under 1,800Yen to send a heavy snowboard bag from Kanagawa up to Hokkaido. Highly recommended!

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