If you’re looking for the real Japanese ski experience, Nozawa Onsen is the place to be on and off the mountain. Great snow, steep courses, long courses, mogul courses, powder courses, beginner courses – Nozawa has it all. The ski resort sits along the slopes of Mt. Kenashi, 1,650m, and is one of the oldest ski grounds in Japan, getting consistent snowfall.
There are two gondolas (Hikage and Nagasaka) and a large selection of courses to choose from. One of the nice things about the mountain is the gentle Uenotaira slope at the top of the mountain (that connects to the two gondola stations) so beginners and advanced skiers can enjoy the thrill of being at the top of the mountain, enjoying the views and fresh air, then meeting for lunch at the top of the mountain. Beginners can take the gondola down at the end of the day as well.
The Schneider Hotel is located just seconds away from Hikage Gondola and you can ski right out the front door. After a full day on the mountain head to one of the 30 hot springs scattered around the village (including 13 free baths in town). The Dosojin Matsuri (Fire Festival) held on Jan. 15 is a spectacle to behold and is the busiest day of the year in the village.
Longest Course: 10,000 meters
Top Elevation: 1,650 meters
Base Elevation: 565 meters