Nozawa Onsen Area
Nozawa Onsen village offers a wide-range of accommodation options including large hotels, traditional ‘ryokan’ (guesthouses), private accommodation and budget/basic ski lodges. As one of Nagano’s most popular resorts, accommodation is likely to be fully-booked on weekends and holidays through winter so make sure to plan ahead or aim for weekdays, when the resort should be notably less crowded.
The village can be divided into three areas: the Nagasaka / central area, the Higake / northern area and the Karasawa / southern area. Accommodation can be found at the base of the ski fields in each area with the majority spread through the town below. The Nagasaka / central area has the largest number of hotels and guesthouses along with restaurants and bars and is the nearest to the resorts main Nagasaka Gondola. Higake is quieter and also has a gondola while Karasawa is more spread-out and doesn’t provide direct access to a gondola. For information about the positives of each area, see our ‘Where To Stay In Nozawa Onsen’ page.
Outside of winter, the village should be quiet other than the Golden Week national holidays in late-April and early-May followed by the extended summer holidays of August. Nozawa is a popular destination during these times along with weekends throughout the year. The resort’s main gondola continues to operate on weekends throughout the year, attracting lots of visitors who ride to the top and enjoy the notably cooler climate in summer and beautiful autumn leaves in October and November.