The traditional village and world-class ski resort of Nozawa Onsen enjoys its fair share of the finest powder snow Japan has to offer and then some. In fact, Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort tends to keep redefining the meaning of “powder dump” in the eyes of Australian visitors. Around the 1,650-metre summit of Mount Kenashi, a generously lengthy ski season running from December to May sees a snowpack reaching depths in excess of five metres. Among the thirty-six courses which criss-cross the 300-hectare resort, there is something in it for absolutely everybody. Various ungroomed burns abound for the deep powder freaks, through to the gentle, wide and family-friendly Uenotaira slope, everyone gets what they came for somewhere along the vertical drop of over one kilometre down to village level. Split up among the myriad of unique and gloriously scenic runs, 40% are for beginners, 30% intermediate and 30% advanced, some of which incline as much as 39 degrees.
Nozawa’s Uenotaira Snow Park boasts a 3.5-metre tall, 110-metre long, and 4-metre wide half-pipe, in addition to a range of cool boxes, waves, rails and kickers. The park was designed so that riders of all experience levels find space to express themselves and have some real fun.
One of the highlights in terms of taking in Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort’s natural beauty is the 5-kilometre Forest Trail run which links the Paradise and Hikage slopes. It’s at the Hikage slope and bowl where families will find the ski school, kid’s park and child care facilities. Ski and snowboard lessons can be booked at the Hikage Ski Center, catering for riders of all ages and skill levels.
In Pursuit of Powder?
Then your search is over. The fine, dry, and unrivalled quality of powder dumps along the ungroomed runs has to be experienced to be explained. There really is something to keep everybody excited whether they’re a first-timer or an Olympic athlete, with 36 unique courses, kids’ park and snow park, as well as a high-speed gondola and lift network all within this 300ha resort.
Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort
Toyosato 7653, Nozawaonsen-mura, Shimotakai-gun, Nagano
Open: Daytime – 8:40am-5:20pm / Nighters – 4:30pm-8:00pm
Travelling times to Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort
from Tokyo: 2 hrs 25 min (train), from Osaka: 4 hrs 30 min (train)
Snow depth: Dec 270cm/Jan 390cm/Feb 390cm/Mar 300cm/Apr 140cm
Terrain: Beg 40%/Int 30%/Adv 30%
Longest run: 10km
Vertical drop: 1,085m
Steepest slope: 39°