Nozawa Onsen (Nozawa Onsen Village, Nagano)

Nozawa Onsen
(長野県 野沢温泉村)
Planned season: Saturday 27th December 2021 until Sunday 8th May 2022
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Independent and exclusive snow and weather reporting from Nozawa Onsen
Latest report posted at 8:01am on Sunday 9th May 2021
Official snow depth Daily updates during snow season

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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 in recent years there has been 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.

A few 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. The big news for the 2020-2021 season is the replacing of the old Nagasaka Gondola with the debut of the 'New' Nagasaka Gondola. The old gondola had a mid-station and change in direction but the brand new gondola lift goes directly from base to the top area of Nozawa Onsen.

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 Snow Depth Statistics

Official snow depth numbers from the current season and previous season
December January February March
1st - - 1st - 250cm 1st - 270cm 1st - 305cm
2nd - - 2nd - 275cm 2nd - 245cm 2nd - 290cm
3rd - - 3rd - 260cm 3rd - 250cm 3rd - 310cm
4th - - 4th - 250cm 4th - 250cm 4th - 295cm
5th - - 5th - 245cm 5th - 280cm 5th - 285cm
6th - - 6th - 230cm 6th - 265cm 6th - 280cm
7th - - 7th - 230cm 7th - 260cm 7th - 280cm
8th - - 8th - 275cm 8th - 280cm 8th - 275cm
9th - - 9th - 275cm 9th - 340cm 9th - 270cm
10th - - 10th - 265cm 10th - 315cm 10th - 270cm
11th - - 11th - 280cm 11th - 315cm 11th - 270cm
12th - 30cm 12th - 260cm 12th - 310cm 12th - 265cm
13th - 30cm 13th - 250cm 13th - 290cm 13th - 265cm
14th - 35cm 14th - 245cm 14th - 285cm 14th - 265cm
15th - 50cm 15th - 240cm 15th - 275cm 15th - 265cm
16th - 110cm 16th - 225cm 16th - 285cm 16th - 260cm
17th - 175cm 17th - 245cm 17th - 300cm 17th - 260cm
18th - 175cm 18th - 245cm 18th - 310cm 18th - 260cm
19th - 185cm 19th - 255cm 19th - 330cm 19th - 255cm
20th - 215cm 20th - 300cm 20th - 315cm 20th - 255cm
21st - 220cm 21st - 275cm 21st - 300cm 21st - 245cm
22nd - 200cm 22nd - 265cm 22nd - 290cm 22nd - 230cm
23rd - 190cm 23rd - 260cm 23rd - 295cm 23rd - 225cm
24th - 185cm 24th - 250cm 24th - 325cm 24th - 225cm
25th - 180cm 25th - 250cm 25th - 320cm 25th - 225cm
26th - 210cm 26th - 245cm 26th - 310cm 26th - 220cm
27th - 215cm 27th - 235cm 27th - 320cm 27th - 220cm
28th - 180cm 28th - 230cm 28th - 315cm 28th - 215cm
29th - 180cm 29th - 225cm 29th - - 29th - 205cm
30th - 180cm 30th - 280cm 30th 30th - 195cm
31st - 240cm 31st - 280cm 31st 31st - 185cm

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 sledding and tubing.

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 19th December until 28th March 2021.

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 19th December 2020 until 28th March 2021 and available to folk using the day care service, kids park or kids school.

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 are normally from 8:30am until 4:30pm in the daytime during the main season (from 8:30am until 4:00pm from opening until 31st January 2021).

Night skiing operations are normally on Saturdays during the period 19th December 2020 until 27th March 2021. Also over the New Year (29th December through 2nd January) and on 10th January 2021.

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

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 2,500 yen 1,500 yen
Hikage Gondola 1,500 yen 900 yen
Night skiing 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 2021-2022 Season Lift Tickets

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

Riding the Gondola back down is free.

Cheaper early season (until 17th December 2021) and Spring season (28th March until 8th May 2022) tickets are available.

Until 17th December 2021
1 day ticket: 3,800 yen (adults); 2,100 yen (children); 3,000 yen (seniors)

28th March until 8th May 2022
1 day ticket: 4,100 yen (adults); 2,300 yen (children); 3,300 yen (seniors)
2 day ticket: 7,600 yen (adults); 4,200 yen (children); 6,100 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.

There is also a free shuttle bus that goes around the village.
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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Nozawa Onsen
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Updates to 2021-2022 season information on these individual ski areas listing pages are ongoing. All information will be manually checked and updated. Some official information from ski areas becomes available earlier than others, so not all our data can be updated simultaneously. The ongoing process will continue through December 2021.

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