Nozawa Onsen (Nozawa Onsen Village, Nagano)

Nozawa Onsen
(長野県 野沢温泉村)
Planned season: Saturday 23rd November 2019 until Wednesday 6th May 2020
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Latest report posted at 8:16am on Friday 17th April 2020
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Nozawa Onsen is the name of a small village located to the north east of Nagano city in the north east region of Nagano Prefecture, close to the border with Niigata Prefecture. It is also of course the name of the popular ski and snowboard resort located close by village - the base lifts, gondolas and courses are within walking distance. Many people refer to it as just 'Nozawa'.

Nozawa Onsen is one of the most famous ski and snowboard resorts in Japan. It first opened in 1923 with the first ski lift opening in 1950. The two gondolas were installed in 1979 (Hikage) and 1990 (Nagasaka). Much of the history of Nozawa and indeed skiing in Japan can be seen at the Japan Ski Museum that can be found by the Isemiya course, not far from the Hikage Gondola. Nozawa Onsen is famous for onsen hot springs throughout the year as well as large amounts of quality snowfall during the winter months.

Nozawa Onsen continues to become increasingly popular with visitors from overseas. While there is a real international presence developing in Nozawa, the village still manages to retain a traditional and quaint Japanese feel. In January every year the Dosojin Matsuri (Fire Festival) is one highlight of the season. The village was host to the biathlon events during the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998.

Two seasons ago a new course opened at the top of Skyline allowing you to ski or board down without needing to take the connecting lift. There might also be some major news coming for next year...

Nagano Prefecture is located in the Chubu region of the main island of Honshu. Most of the Northern Alps, Central Alps and Southern Alps are located within Nagano (along with neighbouring prefectures). Nagano has the second highest number of ski and snowboard resorts in all of Japan and they are spread around the whole prefecture. Nagano city and many of the major ski resorts are located in the northern region.

The Mountain

ropeways Ropeways gondolas Gondolas quad lifts Quad lifts triple lifts Triple lifts pair lifts Pair lifts single lifts Single lifts other lifts Other
0 2 5 3 10 0 1

Nozawa Onsen Course Map

Click on the below image for a larger map
Course Map Small

Nozawa Onsen Snow Depth Statistics

Official snow depth numbers from the current season and previous season
December January February March
1st - - 1st 80cm 200cm 1st 180cm 335cm 1st 220cm 260cm
2nd 15cm - 2nd 85cm 205cm 2nd 175cm 330cm 2nd 215cm 260cm
3rd 10cm - 3rd 85cm 220cm 3rd 165cm 320cm 3rd 210cm 260cm
4th - - 4th 105cm 230cm 4th 170cm 290cm 4th 205cm 260cm
5th - - 5th 140cm 210cm 5th 160cm 280cm 5th 210cm 275cm
6th 15cm - 6th 140cm 230cm 6th 215cm 280cm 6th 220cm 275cm
7th - - 7th 135cm 230cm 7th 235cm 275cm 7th 215cm 280cm
8th - - 8th 115cm 235cm 8th 215cm 275cm 8th 205cm 310cm
9th - 25cm 9th 100cm 275cm 9th 265cm 265cm 9th 205cm 305cm
10th 15cm 55cm 10th 100cm 265cm 10th 255cm 320cm 10th 195cm 295cm
11th 15cm 50cm 11th 100cm 250cm 11th 275cm 320cm 11th 180cm 290cm
12th 5cm 35cm 12th 105cm 250cm 12th 265cm 320cm 12th 180cm 285cm
13th 15cm 40cm 13th 105cm 230cm 13th 240cm 325cm 13th 180cm 285cm
14th 15cm 60cm 14th 110cm 220cm 14th 215cm 330cm 14th 175cm 320cm
15th 20cm 80cm 15th 105cm 205cm 15th 205cm 330cm 15th 185cm 305cm
16th 20cm 80cm 16th 130cm 215cm 16th 200cm 315cm 16th 195cm 305cm
17th 15cm 65cm 17th 130cm 225cm 17th 175cm 320cm 17th 215cm 310cm
18th - 80cm 18th 120cm 240cm 18th 195cm 315cm 18th 215cm 305cm
19th 15cm 75cm 19th 120cm 250cm 19th 185cm 305cm 19th 210cm 300cm
20th 15cm 85cm 20th 120cm 235cm 20th 180cm 285cm 20th 200cm 300cm
21st 15cm 85cm 21st 145cm 275cm 21st 180cm 280cm 21st 200cm 285cm
22nd 20cm 75cm 22nd 155cm 300cm 22nd 175cm 275cm 22nd 195cm 270cm
23rd 25cm 70cm 23rd 145cm 290cm 23rd 185cm 270cm 23rd 195cm 265cm
24th 46cm 90cm 24th 130cm 310cm 24th 180cm 270cm 24th 205cm 280cm
25th 45cm 90cm 25th 130cm 320cm 25th 180cm 270cm 25th 215cm 280cm
26th 40cm 85cm 26th 125cm 320cm 26th 190cm 265cm 26th 210cm 270cm
27th 40cm 90cm 27th 125cm 345cm 27th 220cm 265cm 27th 200cm 270cm
28th 90cm 130cm 28th 120cm 325cm 28th 240cm 260cm 28th 180cm 280cm
29th 95cm 160cm 29th 120cm 355cm 29th 230cm - 29th 190cm 285cm
30th 90cm 200cm 30th 110cm 335cm 30th 30th 195cm 275cm
31st 65cm 220cm 31st 130cm 320cm 31st 31st 185cm 275cm

Previous Statistics

Nozawa Onsen Facilities

Ski School: Available Snowboard School: Available
Ski and snowboard lessons in English and other languages are available at Nozawa Onsen. For more information on lessons please check the Lessons in English page on SnowJapan. 
Equipment Rental
Ski Rental: Available Snowboard Rental: Available
Ski and snowboard equipment rental is available.
Ski and snowboard wear rental is also available. 
Children Facilities
Children's facilities
The main 'Kids Park' area - featuring a 'magic carpet', inflatables and other play items - is located in the Hikage area of Nozawa Onsen. Entry is free. There are a few other areas for sledging and tubing.

The ‘Nasuki-go’ service welcomes guests and takes them between the Nagasaka Station of the Nagasaka Gondola to the front of the Hikage Information Center. Open from 14th December until 29th March 2020.

The 'Yumin' day care service is available in the Hikage Information Centre building and suitable for children ages 1-6. Charges are 2,500 yen for a half day and 4,000 yen for a full day. Open from 14th December until 29th March 2020.

There is also a free indoor 'Nasuki Room' rest/play room on the 2nd Floor of the Hikage Information Centre building and is open from 9:00am until 4:00pm. 
Park Information
Park information
The 'Uenotaira Snow Park' can be found on the Uenotaira area on the upper half of the mountain, located at an elevation of 1220m-1410m. This area is covers a full 2km and opens from late December until the end of the season in early May.

There is also 110m half pipe on the lower part of the Uenotaira area. Usually open from late December through late March.

Other activities include a winter Zip Skyride, cat tour and snowshoeing. 

Nozawa Onsen Season & Opening Times

Typical season is from Late November until Early May
October November December January February March April May June July
Weekends and holidays Normally open from 8:30am until 8:00pm
Weekdays Normally open from 8:30am until 5:00pm
'Nighta' (night skiing)
Weekends and holidays Sometimes
Weekdays No
Opening information
Opening information
Lift operations at Nozawa Onsen generally start from 8:30am until 5:00pm in the daytime during the main season (from 8:30am until 4:30pm from opening until 31st January 2020).

Nighta operations are from 5:00pm until 8:00pm every Saturday between 14th December 2019 and 28th March 2020. Also from 28th December 2019 until 4th January 2020, 12th January, 23rd February and 20th March 2020. (* Note: on days when there is nighta, it will be open from 4:30pm until 31st January 2020).

The Utopia pair, Challenge pair, Yunomine pair, Mizunashi pair lifts generally do not operate on normal weekdays throughout the season.

From 30th March 2020 the resort is open from 8:30am until 4:00pm.

Nozawa Onsen Lift Ticket Charges

Adults Child
Junior High School age & under
60 years & over
1 Day 5,200 yen 2,900 yen 4,200 yen
2 Days 9,600 yen 5,400 yen 7,700 yen
3 Days 14,000 yen 7,900 yen 11,200 yen
4 Hours 4,400 yen 2,500 yen 3,500 yen
1 Lift Coupon 500 yen 300 yen
Nagasaka Gondola 2,000 yen 1,200 yen
Hikage Gondola 1,500 yen 900 yen
Nighta 1,900 yen 1,050 yen
Season Ticket (all) 67,500 yen 37,500 yen 54,500 yen
Season Ticket (from March) 36,500 yen 20,500 yen 29,500 yen
Lift Ticket Information 2019-2020 Season Lift Tickets

A nighta ticket is required for nighta (not included in the normal day tickets), but nighta can be enjoyed using a Season Ticket.

Riding the Gondola back down is free.

Cheaper early season (23rd November until 13th December 2019) and Spring season (30th March until 6th May 2020) tickets are available.

23rd November until 13th December 2019
1 day ticket: 3,800 yen (adults); 2,100 yen (children); 3,000 yen (seniors)

30th March until 6th May 2020
1 day ticket: 4,100 yen (adults); 2,300 yen (children); 3,300 yen (seniors)
4 hours ticket: 3,500 yen (adults); 1,900 yen (children); 2,800 yen (seniors)
Sightseeing gondola return: 1,500 yen (adults); 900 yen (children)

Special tickets including meal coupons and family packs are also available.

Getting to Nozawa Onsen

By public transport
14.3km from Iiyama Station on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line
8km from Togari Nozawa Onsen Station on the Iiyama Line
47.2km from Tokamachi Station on the Hokuhoku Line
Transport Information
The nearest train stations on the local Iiyama line are Kamisakai Station (4km) and Togari Nozawa Onsen Station (8km). Note that buses do not operate from these small stations and so the only option from there is to take a taxi.

The large Iiyama Station on the Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) line is about 14km from Nozawa Onsen.

>> More information on getting to Nozawa Onsen by public transport
The Nozawa Onsen Liner Bus operates from Iiyama Station to Nozawa Onsen and takes about 25 minutes.

Other bus services from Iiyama Station are available going to Nozawa Onsen and also nearby Madarao Kogen.
By Car
20.1km from the Toyota Iiyama IC on the Joshinetsu Expressway
38.8km from the Myoko Kogen IC on the Joshinetsu Expressway
55km from the Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC on the Kanetsu Expressway
Nearest national route: Route 117 (4.3km away)
Nearest prefecture road: Prefecture Road 38
Nozawa Onsen is located a few kilometres off the main Route 117 road that connects Nagano city with Ojiya city in Niigata Prefecture. It is about 45km to the north east of central Nagano city and about 15km to the north east of central Iiyama city.

Most people will either approach Nozawa Onsen from the Toyota Iiyama IC of the Joshinetsu Expressway or the Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC of the Kanetsu Expressway (in Niigata Prefecture).

Approaching Nozawa Onsen from Toyota Iiyama IC (Joshinetsu Expressway):

From the Toyota Iiyama IC exit, turn right onto Route 117 and go through the main shopping road area of Iiyama city following the signs to Nozawa Onsen. After 15km on this road turn right onto Prefecture Road 410, just before the Lawson convenience store. Continue on this road for about 1km until reaching the traffic lights. Turn left onto Prefecture Road 38 and continue on this road into Nozawa Onsen village. It takes about 25 minutes from the IC exit.

Approaching Nozawa Onsen from Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC (Kanetsu Expressway):

From Tokyo, some people choose to use the Kanetsu Expressway to head north and continue under the Tanigawadake mountain range in Gunma Prefecture into Niigata Prefecture, exiting the Kanetsu Expressway at Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC.

After exiting the toll booth at Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC, turn right and continue for 1km until reaching Route 17. Turn left onto Route 17 towards Yuzawa and after about 650m turn right onto Route 353. Continue on Route 353 for about 18km until reaching the Route 117 traffic light junction. Turn left onto Route 117 (Nozawa Onsen is on the main signpost). The turn off for Nozawa Onsen is about a further 31km. The village can be found nestled at the bottom of the mountain about 4 km off Route 117.

The journey from Shiozawa Ishiuchi IC to Nozawa Onsen is around 55km and in good conditions can be made in around one hour.

>> More information on getting to Nozawa Onsen by car

About 3 hours from Tokyo
About 3 hours 50 minutes from Nagoya
About 5 hours 50 minutes from Osaka
About 3 hours 10 minutes from Kanazawa
There are a number of car parks close to the base of Nozawa Onsen.

The Number 1 parking area at Nagasaka holds about 500 vehicles - it is free on weekdays and 1,000 yen on weekends and holidays. Open 6:00am until 6:00pm.

Number 2 parking at Karasawa holds about 220 vehicles - it is free for day trips. Open 6:00am until 6:00pm.

Number 3 parking holds 400 vehicles and is also free for day trips. Open 6:00am until 6:00pm.

There are a few other parking areas that are not quite as close to the lifts and various charges.

More Information

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2020-2021 UPDATES
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(Updated 24th September)

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