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Nozawa Onsen - Ski Resort and Snow Summary
Skiing in Nozawa Onsen
Nozawa Onsen - Japanese Ski Resort - 31km of Piste (565m to 1650m)
One of Japan's oldest, largest and least spoilt resorts, with lifts going out in all directions from the village. Legendary Austrian Hannes Schneider from Arlberg came here nearly a century ago to teach skiing.
Nozawa Onsen Ski Facts
|8||Black Pistes (6km)|
|5||Red Pistes (18km)|
|7||Blue Pistes (30km)|
The Japanese ski resort of Nozawa Onsen has direct access to 31km of downhill skiing, with 20 individual pistes, served by 27 ski lifts.
Ski Lift Capacity :- The 27 Ski Lifts of Nozawa Onsen are able to uplift 41,510 skiers / snowboarders per hour.
There is an airport within two hours drive, so ski weekends, snowboard breaks and short ski holidays to Nozawa Onsen are perfectly feasible.
Skiing in Nozawa Onsen
Nozawa is generally regarded as one of Japan's best ski areas with 27 lifts, 25 of them chairs and two of them gondolas. There are trails for all standards from wonderful beginner skiing to exceptionally steep expert terrain - the latter especially rare in Japan. The hourly uplift of around 45,000 skiers rivals North America's biggest ski areas like aspen sands Vail. In common with the Japanese norm however along with the state of the art quads, gondolas and an escalator for skiers enclosed within a glass corridor of which the resort is particularly proud, there are some antiquated single and double chairs still operating.
Beginners have plenty of wide flat terrain, especially the 3km long Silver Karasawa run. Intermediates also have a big choice, although the resort's most famous trail, the 5km long Skyline, that runs from top to bottom with great views, can be over crowded. For experts there are tough runs from the Mukobayashi chair which accesses the tough 'Jumping' mogul field and the steep narrow Grand Prix route.
You can ski off piste beyond the ski area boundary over the back of the mountain, but try to find a guide to take you. There are several other powder fields between the trails for those who wish to ignore the 'Do Not enter unless you're A good skier' signs. Talking of 'signs' they're generally better than the Japanese norm and are quite often in English.
Apart from downhill there is night skiing and a small amount of cross-country.
Snowboarding in Nozawa Onsen
Snowboarders have traditionally been given a hard time in Japan, being forced to pay to take a test to prove they're competent on a board before even being allowed on the snow at the few ski areas that did accept 'boarders. However that scenario is changing fast and indeed Japan was the first country to build an indoor year-round snowdome for boarders only. However 'boarding at Nozawa was still limited to certain areas and even there it was curtailed on busy days up to 2001 when restrictions were largely lifted and a board park and half pipe addded..
Nozawa Onsen Aprés Ski
In a country which is generally regarded as having little or no après ski scene except possibly for karaoke bars, Nozawa has a wide range of bars, restaurants and indeed karaoke joints - all very Japanese with little Western influence or atmosphere, ideal for those looking for cultural immersion.
Most short-term visitors will likely want to initially spend time wandering a long the narrow streets and visiting either the spectacular Aqua Dome swimming complex or one of the public hot springs baths. You might even take a wander over to the boiling hot Ogama spring where villagers still communally cook vegetables and boil eggs. If you happen to be in Nozawa in mid-January the Dosojin Fire Festival is a spectacular event to participate in and is staged annually.
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Nozawa Onsen in brief
Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort is:
Very good for Expert Skiers.
Very good for Intermediate Skiers.
Very good for Beginners.
Very good for Snowboarding.
Opened : January 1, 2012
Closed : May 5, 2013
Opening Subject To Snow Conditions.
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