Nozawa Onsen reviews

Ski resorts in Japan
What do you think about Nozawa Onsen?
4 reviews
06/01/2016 (Modified: 02/04/2023)
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Our friend disappeared at 11 in the morning. Deeply chilled, he was found by the ski patrol at half past nine in the evening. He lay in a snow hole for almost 10 hours.
For us, this was a completely new danger that none of us had experienced before. We were twelve people who are all experienced skiers. We knew what an avalanche was, that holes can form around conifers, etc. What we had no idea was that in Nozawa they have built small concrete dams in the ravines to prevent erosion. No warning signs. The snow cover is perhaps seven meters thick, compact snow with a meter of loose snow on top. Below the dams, a narrow (!) void is formed, which is hidden by the powder snow in the right conditions. Our friend went down into such a void, a seven meter deep hole without the rest of us having time to see where he went, he could not be found until late in the evening.
Lucky for us, Nozawa Onsen is twinned with St Anton with an exchange of knowledge. Much thanks to that, Nozawa Onsen has a very professional ski patrol with the right equipment!
The area we know of that has a "dust hole" is directly to the left (seen from below) of the J-lift and is reached via piste 17, go under the J-lift and then turn left after a couple of meters down into the forest-NOT, that's where you want so don't go!!! Look at the map and you will easily see what I mean.
Our friend spent the remaining time in the hospital, five days, his body temperature was at its lowest around 32-33 degrees. He basically has no buts after the accident, much depending on the fact that he is a former mountain hunter with extensive experience of spending several days alone in the mountain world.
Nozawa is a really awesome powder spot with a genuine village. If it is crowded, there is readily available powder in quantities for those who can bear the hiccups, but first check with the locals what is good and safe. If you want to know more, send a PM.

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Really good ski resort: genuine, cozy town close to everything - amazing off-piste tracks, it's great people, go a bit and you'll find big areas with sparse woods.

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I was there in winter 2013 and liked the place sharply. Best ride I thought was the hill from the top where you ski skiers directly under the rope and follow the back that goes there. The farther away from the ropes one gets, the brighter becomes the ride. The yoke opens into a kilometer-long sliding piste.

However, there is a very nice offpiste like in all other places in Japanese resorts. All rides are below the tree line so the place is perfect for snow and wind.

The only downside is that there is a lot of lifting and driving to get up all the way, as no lift goes all the way up. To get the best ride (ok, you can jump in earlier from the gondola, but if you miss the candy) you have to go down the gondola and take a chair chair. Avoid on weekends ...

As mentioned, the village is very nice and cozy. Try out with as many public onsen as you can!

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Off-piste skiing is officially forbidden, but if you handle your shovel handsome, it's no problem. The patrol seems to be overpowering with it if you look familiar with what you are doing, think backpack and do not go to expose others to low risk. The terrain is calm and relatively steep, no long traverses to access the yard. But the best rides require a lot of lifting.

The village is genuinely Japanese with many schyssta restaurants. There are 13 Onsens owned by the village, you pay what you think is reasonable. Shaking hot and surrounded by naked Japanese, an experience.