What makes Nozawa Onsen a top ski resort?
If you are an avid fan of winter sports, you should definitely go visit Japan. You will find not only deep powder, but reasonable prices as well. There are more than 500 ski resort to choose from, so many in fact that you will find it difficult to make a choice. While the first holiday vacation that comes to mind is Niseko, you should consider Nozawa Onsen. Although not as well-known to those who do not practice winter sports, this resort is visited by tourists from all over the world owing to its pristine surrounidings. The scenery is astounding, not to mention that the mountains allow you to enjoy skiing from early May. If the weather is good, you can start skiing earlier than that, so pay attention to the Nozawa Onsen snow report. Basically, you can enjoy skiing in a genuine Japanese setting. In this article, we will try to outline the main reasons why Nozawa Onsen is a top skiing destination.
Genuine cultural experience
Nozawa Onsen is located in the northern region of Nagano Prefecture, which is a historical town. What is distinctive about this town is the fact it has real character. To be more precise, you are not coming to Japan only for skiing, but to enjoy a cultural experience. Although ski resorts in general are void of civilization, not the same thing can be said about Nozawa Onsen. The nightlife can be described as wonderful. You will not find hotels, nightclubs and bars. What you are likely to encounter instead is the mountain setting of course and an abundance of hot springs. The local culture is so fascinating that it is commonly called the “Kyoto” of Japanese resorts.
Activities you cannot refuse
In addition to the countless skiing spots, you can enjoy the geothermal activity. You will find hot springs at almost any Japanese ski resort that you go to, but there is something special about the hot springs of Nozawa Onsen are quite special. There are more than 30 natural hot springs that are in the same form they were in the Edo period. The mineral water is so hot that it is used by locals to prepare meals and of course entertain travelers. The monkeys use the hot springs in order to keep warm in the winter, so you are most likely to see them soaking in the springs. What is most important is the fact that they are free to use. Following a long day on the slopes, you can relax in the hot springs or in one of the 13 public baths.
Dosijin Fire Festival
Nozawa Onsen host the Dosijin Fire Festival, one of the most spectacular fire festivals in Japan. The festivity revolves around the wooden shrine built to please the deities of the roads and boarders. It takes no less than one hundred villagers to build this shrine for the fire festival, but the actual highlight of the festival is the battle. If you are in the area, you should not miss Dosijin Matsuri Fire Festival.