Nozawa Onsen: Wellness Retreat and Skiing Thrill for Japan's Winter Getaway

Last Updated: April 10,2024

Nozawa Onsen, one of the best onsen villages to experience hot springs in Japan, has been renowned for its plentiful natural hot springs, inns, and restaurants since its Edo Period. It is also known for its Ski Resort, which is one of the most popular in the country, making Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort an idyllic retreat for those seeking a snowier Japan adventure. Perfectly accessible for English-speaking travelers, Nozawa Onsen Nagano is a great spot for those who are interested in adding wintery thrills to their Japan trip. Visitors can also explore the souvenir shops, karaoke parlors, Michelin-starred eateries, and restaurants in Nozawa Onsen Japan, which offer not only Japanese, but also Thai, Mexican, Italian, and even Korean cuisine.

Table of Contents

1. Nozawa's Public Onsens

2. Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort

3. Nozawa Onsen Dosojin Matsuri

4. Japan Nozawa Onsen Accommodation

5. How to Get to Nozawa Onsen

Nozawa Onsen

1. Nozawa's Public Onsens

Nozawa Onsen Village has thirteen public bathhouses, or soto-yu, around town. Each of them has been community-owned and maintained since the feudal era, and is free to the public, though none provide any amenities.

The largest of these public bathhouses in Nozawa Onsen Town is Oyu, located in the center of town as a grand Edo-style traditional building. Some of the Nozawa Onsen hotels and Nozawa Onsen ryokans also have their own private hot springs for guest use, with non-guests needing to pay an entrance fee to use them.

One of the most famous landmarks in the Onsen Nozawa is the Ogama hot spring. Its water hits at a scalding 90 degrees Celsius, and is used by locals for cooking and other crafts instead.

●Rules to be followed at Nozawa's Public Onsens (Soto-yu)

-To be courteous, say hello upon entering the onsen.

-Please wash yourself before entering the onsen

-Bathe sitting up to avoid splashing others

-Take all of your trash with you

-Don't use your towel to wash within the tub. Hot springs are exclusively for soaking in.

-No eating or drinking in the bathhouse.

-Turn off the cold water once you leave.

-Respect the bathhouse and all equipment. These are all community-owned.

-Personal belongings/money can be kept and lockers.

-Tattoos are allowed at Nozawa, unlike in some other public hot springs. (Check Tattoo-Friendly Kyoto Hot Springs and Tattoo Friendly Onsen in Tokyo to know more about Onsen in Japan with tattoos.)

-Please turn off the cold water once you leave.

2. Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort Japan

Nozawa Onsen is also one of the best winter onsen towns in Japan. With an approx.10-minute ride on the uphill Yu Road escalator, visitors can access the Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort. This popular ski resort is renowned for its extensive number of slopes and traditional Japanese village atmosphere. Nozawa Onsen Ski offers a wide range of terrain suitable for all levels of skiers and snowboarders, from beginner slopes to challenging runs for those on a more advanced level. Depending on Nozawa Onsen Snow Conditions, the Nozawa Onsen Ski season dates typically operate from late November to early May.

Basic Info of Ski Nozawa Onsen Japan:

Address: 7653 Toyosato, Nozawaonsen, Shimotakai District, Nagano 389-2502, Japan

Hours Open: Closes 4:30 PM

Phone: +81 269-85-3166

Vertical: 1,085 m (3,560 ft)

Longest run: 10,000 m

Skiable area: 297 ha (733.9 acres)

3. Nozawa Onsen Dosojin Matsuri: One of the Three Great Fire Festivals in Japan

What to do in Nozawa onsen? In addition to enjoying the skiing in Nozawa Onsen, you can also participate in the Doso-jin Matsuri Fire Festival.

Annually on January 15th, the village also holds the Doso-jin Fire Festival, which attracts visitors from around the world. During these celebrations, prayers are offered to Doso-jin, minor tutelary deities of the Shinto faith, for protection from sickness and evil spirits, and can be associated with birth, procreation, and marital harmony. During the festival, villagers anonymously trade carved figurines of wooden Doso-jin. Single men between the ages of 25 and 42 organize this event and also select the five sacred beech trees from which they’ll build the festival’s Shaden: a large ceremonial wooden shrine is to be endowed with additional Doso-jin.

On the evening of January 15th, a mock battle is staged where the other village men light torches from a bonfire and stage an “assault” on the shaden. The elder organizers sit on top of the shrine defending its roof while singing and chanting, and the younger ones defend the wooden structure from its base, using pine branches to put out the torch fires. Once the battle has ended, large, decorated lanterns on poles made by village families to bring good health and luck to their children are placed next to the shaden, where they are all ceremonially burned to release the Doso-jin and spread good fortune to all.

4. Local Accommodations: Where to Stay in Nozawa Onsen

Which is the best Nozawa Onsen hotel? Here is our guide to Japan Nozawa Onsen accommodation, and tell us the best ryokan in Nozawa Onsen in your mind when you tailor make your private itinerary to Nozawa Onsen.

●Altitude Nozawa

Altitude Nozawa offers hotel-wide Wi-Fi and a complimentary shuttle bus, just a 5-minute drive from the Iiyamahokuryu Hot Spring Family Ski Area. The air-conditioned rooms come with TVs, private bathrooms with bath and shower, and hairdryers, with towels and bed linen provided. Additional amenities in Altitude Nozawa Onsen include an on-site bar, vending machines, and ticket service. Guests can unwind in the shared lounge or enjoy the games room. A simple buffet breakfast is served in the dining area every morning consisting of cereal, fruit, bread, and yogurt in this Nozawa Onsen hotel Japan.

Address: 4998-1 Toyosato, Nozawaonsen, Shimotakai District, Nagano 389-2502, Japan

Phone: +81 269-85-5001

●Shinazawa Lodge

The family-run Shinazawa Lodge offers a convenient and affordable place to stay for your village trip. The Shinazawa Nozawa Onsen provides mountain views and traditional tatami-floored units equipped with essential amenities like a kettle, flat-screen TV, and free Wi-Fi. Ski pass sales, ski storage, and easy access to nearby skiing areas are available.

Address: Toyosato, Nozawaonsen, Shimotakai District, Nagano 389-2502, Japan


Located just 300 feet from Nozawa Onsen Hot Spring Street and with a bus terminal approx.7 minutes away, Shikaraba offers traditional Japanese-style rooms with tatami-mat flooring, futon bedding, and private bathrooms. Amenities include an indoor public bath and dining facilities serving breakfast and dinner. Rooms in this Nozawa Onsen lodge feature heated spaces with views of the surrounding hills. The hotel also provides free parking with advance reservations and sells ski passes. Guests enjoy a 30% discount on ski rentals, access to a drying room for ski equipment, and complimentary Wi-Fi in the lobby. Advance reservations are required for meals if you book the Nozawa Onsen accommodation at this hotel.

Address: 9252-1 Toyosato, Nozawaonsen, Shimotakai District, Nagano 389-2502, Japan

Phone: +81 269-85-2166

●Haus St. Anton Hotel & JamFactory

Each room at Haus St. Anton is designed to blend rustic charm with simplicity and elegance to provide authenticity and individuality. Its indoor hot spring adds a touch of relaxation and convenience to your stay at this Nozawa Onsen hotel.

Haus St. Anton is also home to a jam store, offering locally made jams crafted in small batches without preservatives, allowing guests to savor the taste of the region.

Address: 9515 Toyosato, Nozawaonsen, Shimotakai District, Nagano 389-2502, Japan

Phone: +81 269-85-3597

5. How to Get to Nozawa Onsen

●Where is Nozawa Onsen?

Nozawa Onsen is a popular ski resort town located in the northern part of Nagano Prefecture, Japan. It's nestled in the mountains of the Chūbu region on Honshu, the main island of Japan.

●How to get to Nozawa Onsen from Tokyo

For Tokyo to Nozawa Onsen, you can by Bus & Taxi or take the Shinkansen. Check the following guide on how to get from Tokyo to Nozawa Onsen, so as to experience both Tokyo Onsen and Nozawa Onsen during your Japan tour.

By Bus & Taxi:

For bus from Tokyo to Nozawa Onsen: A daily shuttle bus shuttle service to Nozawa Onsen is offered at Tokyo's Narita & Haneda Airports (schedule may depend on weather conditions). Reservations should be made at least 72 hours before departure due to limited booking space.

Fares range from 12,000 Yen per person. Infants free of charge.

Chuo Taxi:

(current prices as of Mar 2020)

Narita Airport to Nozawa Onsen - 15,700 yen per adult for a one-way trip. Children aged 12 or under are 8,000 yen, and children aged 5 and under are 4,000 Yen.

Haneda Airport to Nozawa Onsen – adults from 9,900 yen, children aged 12 or under 6,000 yen, and children aged 5 and under 3,000 yen.

A one-way trip takes about 5-6 hours (including rest stops) provided favorable weather conditions.

Bookings can be made directly through the Chuo Taxi Airport Direct website.

By Train:

For train from Tokyo to Nozawa Onsen: From Narita or Haneda (Tokyo) Airport take an express Train to Tokyo or Ueno Station (approx. 60-90 min)

Shinkansen (Bullet train) from Tokyo to Iiyama Station in Nagano (approx. 100 min). Then, board the Nozawa Onsen Liner Bus (600 yen) or taxi (5000 yen) to Nozawa Onsen Village (approx. 20 min).

Liner Bus tickets must be purchased at the ticketing machine next to the bus stop.

●How to get to Nozawa Onsen from Nagano

For Nagano to Nozawa onsen, you have a few transportation options:

By Shuttle Bus:

For bus from Nagano to Nozawa Onsen: From Nagano Station, you can take a direct shuttle bus to Nozawa Onsen. The bus ride from Nagano Station to Nozawa Onsen takes approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. These buses typically operate during the ski season.

By Train and Bus:

From Nagano Station, take the JR Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) to Iiyama Station. The ride takes about 50 minutes. From Iiyama Station, you can catch a bus to Nozawa Onsen. The bus ride from Iiyama Station to Nozawa Onsen takes about 25 minutes.

By Taxi or Rental Car:

You can also opt to take a taxi or rent a car from Nagano to Nozawa Onsen. This option provides more flexibility in terms of timing and allows you to explore the surrounding area at your own pace.

If you have no idea which transportation option to choose to get to Nozawa Onsen, just contact us, and we will show you a satisfactory tailor-made itinerary for your Nozawaonsen trip, with a private guide and private car to guarantee you a worry-free and relaxing Japan Onsen tour.

●What about Reading More about the Japan Onsen Guide Listed as Follows?

>>>Hot Springs That Allow Tattoos in Japan

>>>Hakone Onsen with Mt Fuji View

>>>6 Best Onsen in Kyoto City

>>>7 Best Hot Springs near Mt. Fuji & Kawaguchiko Area

>>>Tattoo Friendly Onsen in Tokyo

>>>Onsen Osaka Tattoo Friendly

>>>Shibu Onsen 9 Public Bathhouses Hopping

>>>How to Get to Kurokawa Onsen

>>>Beppu Mixed Onsen

>>>Takaragawa Onsen Review

>>>Noboribetsu Onsen Resort

>>>Best Onsen Hokkaido

>>>Onsen Town Near Takayama

>>>Spa World Osaka

>>>Solaniwa Onsen Osaka Bay Tower Prices

Planning a Trip to Southeast Asia?
Want to plan your trip better? Want an affordable private tour? Get the best tour packages in Southeast Asia as well as this FREE starter kit sent to your email right away - and plan your trip with our expert!
Your FREE starter kit includes: