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Skiing was introduced to japan in 1911
Skiing was introduced to Japan in 1911 by Austrian Major Theodor von Lerch and came to Nozawa the following year, although the ski hill was not established until 1924. It was in 1930 that one of the founders of alpine skiing, Hannes Schneider from Austria, taught the techniques of Arlberg skiing in Nozawa Onsen.
This brought about a sudden rise in the enthusiasm of skiing in Nozawa Onsen. Since then, Nozawa Onsen has always been at the top of the Japanese skiing scene, and more recently snowboarding.
It was the first place in the country to install ski lifts and also holds numerous major skiing and snowboarding tournaments. It was also the host for the Biathalon competitions at the Nagano Olympics.