How to Get to Nozawa Onsen – Nagano Ski Resorts Info

How to Get to Nozawa Onsen – Nagano Ski Resorts Info


The resort of Nozawa Onsen is approximately 50KM (<1 hour drive) to the northeast of Nagano City and within easy reach of Tokyo – 260KM (<4 hours drive) – or around 2 hours using the Hokuriku Shinkansen. Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort is well-established as a favorite destination for international visitors given its excellent terrain, relatively compact size, and lively village. On this page you will find the following information:

Where is Nozawa Onsen?

How to Get to Nozawa

Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort: The Stats & Facts

25 Things to Do Around Nozawa & Where to Stay

Tours & Charters from Nozawa

Offering 35 courses spread over 300 ha of terrain, Nozawa Onsen is a great option regardless of ability with many runs suitable for beginners, intermediate and advanced skiers and snowboarders. The resorts setup is particularly good for snowboarders, with the lively village appealing to a young crowd.


For international visitors, Nozawa Onsen is most easily reached via Iiyama Station using the Hokuriku Shinkansen line. Shuttle buses operate to and from the station, making the journey to Nozawa in 20 to 25-minutes, placing it within easy reach of Nagano City, Tokyo and beyond. As such, the directions below take you as far as Iiyama from where you can take the shuttle bus, local bus or taxi onto the resort.


Located around 50KM (<1 hour drive) to the northeast of Nagano City and within easy reach of Tokyo – 260KM (<4 hours drive), Nozawa Onsen is a historic hot spring town better known in recent years as one of Japan’s most popular ski resorts. The town lies around 20 to 25-minutes drive from Iiyama Station. As a stop on the Hokuriku Shinkansen line running from Tokyo to Kanazawa via Nagano, Iiyama Station is a convenient hub from where to reach Nozawa by shuttle bus or taxi – a total journey time of around 2 hours from Tokyo. Nozawa’s history as a hot spring town stretches back more than 1000 years but for international visitors, it is best-known for its fantastic ski resort and lively village offering some of Japan’s best apres ski. Outside of winter, Nozawa Onsen is much quieter but developing as an all-year-round destination with some excellent accommodation, dining, outdoor activities, hot springs and a couple of very good breweries enticing you to visit.  



In this section you will find information on how to reach Nozawa Onsen from the following starting points:


We endeavour to keep this information as up-to-date as possible and in recognition that most international visitors will be using the train network to move around Japan, most directions are for using the trains. If there is alternative option i.e. express or local bus, that is notably faster or economical, we also include that information.



A couple of bus lines run to Nozawa Onsen from Iiyama Station. The Nozawa Onsen Liner runs directly from Iiyama Station to the resort, ending at the Chuo Bus Terminal in the middle of Nozawa. It takes 25 minutes and payment is made directly to the driver:

*The following timetables are out of date but serve as an example of roughly when the buses run.


From Nozawa to Iiyama Station, the following schedule operates in winter:


Alternatively, the Nagaden Nozawa Line also connects the station to the resort via Kijima – near Kijimadaira Ski Resort – taking just over 40 minutes to reach Nozawa:


The following schedule operates from Nozawa Grand Hotel:


Further information about using local buses is available on our ‘Nagaden Local Bus’ page.



Nagano City is the nearest major city to Nozawa Onsen and the central hub from where to visit most of the region’s most popular ski resorts. Many visitors heading to and from Nozawa, will do so via Nagano Station, enroute to Iiyama. The Hokuriku Shinkansen runs from Tokyo via Nagano to Iiyama Station, taking only 11 minutes. There are numerous trains per day. Once at Iiyama, follow the directions above.


Iiyama Station is also serviced by the local Iiyama Line. The line connects to Nagano Station – via Toyono Station – and then runs the 19.2km route to Iiyama. A second option is therefore taking the local Iiyama Line from Nagano to Iiyama, taking approximately 45 minutes. Once at Iiyama Station, follow the directions above.


From Iiyama, the line continues north all the way to Echigo-Kawaguchi Station in Niigata. Enroute, it also stops at Togari-Nozawaonsen Station, the nearest station Togari Onsen Ski Resort.



For visitors heading to Nozawa from the Jigokudani Monkey Park, there is a winter-only direct bus via Iiyama Station. This is the most convenient way to reach Nozawa fromt eh park however there is only one service a day and only during winter. Departing from the park at 14:20, the bus arrives at Iiyama Station at 14:55 before reaching Nozawa at 15:25. There is also an earlier service at 12:21 however it only goes as far as Iiyama Station. For more information, see our ‘From Nozawa: How To Get To The Snow Monkey Park’ page.


For most visitors, the service above is not an option meaning that the journey to Nozawa needs to be made via Nagano Station. To reach Nagano Station, you have two options: 1. an express bus from the park to Nagano Station or 2. a local bus to Yudanaka Station followed by Nagano Dentetsu train to Nagano.

Bus: the Nagaden Express Bus takes approximately 55 minutes to reach Nagano Station from the park, departing from the stop nearby the Shiga Kogen Roman Museum (at the bottom of Kanbayashi Onsen). Full details can be found at our ‘Nagaden Express Bus’ page.


Train: to access Nagano Station by train, visitors must first head to Yudanaka Station from the monkey park using one of two local bus services. Taking around 15 mins buses depart the park, please refer to our ‘Nagaden Local Bus Timetable’ page for the schedule. Once at Yudanaka Station, take the Nagano Dentetsu Line to Nagano. We recommend using the limited service – 45 min. For further details, please refer to our’ Nagano Dentetsu Line‘ and ‘Nagano Dentetsu Line Timetable‘ page. Once at Nagano Station, follow the directions above.


tokyo station

Chances are that if you’re headed to Nozawa for the snow, you’re likely to be coming from Tokyo or its airports. Iiyama Station can be reached directly from Tokyo Station using the Hokuriku Shinkansen. There are four different services on the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line – the Kagayaki, Hakutaka, Asama and Tsurugi. It is important to note that the Hakutaka is the only service that stops at Iiyama Station. If Iiyama is your intended destination, you must therefore us the Hakutaka. From Tokyo Station, the Hakutaka takes between 100 to 110 minutes to reach Iiyama (depending on the specific train use choose). It takes approximately 75 minutes to reach Iiyama from Kanazawa Station. Once at Iiyama, follow the directions above onto Nozawa.



The Hokuriku Shinkansen can be boarded at both Tokyo Station and Ueno Station – both of which have express train services to Narita Airport. Making stops at Narita Terminal 1 and a joint stop for Terminal 2 & 3, the Narita Express (NEX) takes approximately 55 minutes to travel from Tokyo Station to the airport (depending on the specific service and which terminal you are using).


The NEX also services Ikebukuro, Shinjuku, Shibuya, Shingawa and Yokohama Stations. Regular sales on return fares can also provide good savings.  Departing every 30 to 60 minutes, there are numerous services throughout the day. The earliest train from Narita departs at 07:45 with the final service departing at 21:45.


Alternatively, the Keisei Skyliner runs from Narita to Keisei-Ueno Station (adjoining Ueno Station). It takes approximately 40 minutes to reach Ueno Station. The Keisei Skyliner also runs through Nippori Station. Services operate approximately every 50 minutes, with earliest departures from Narita at 08:22 (weekdays) and 08:30 (weekends), and the latest departure at 23:20 (all days). Heading the other direction, the least service departs Keisei-Ueno Station at 05:40 (all days) and latest at 19:00 (all days). Services are more frequent heading to the airport, operating every 20 minutes early in the morning before running every 40 minutes through the day. Once at Tokyo or Ueno, transfer to the Hokuriku Shinakansen bound for Kanazawa, via Iiyama.

Winter-only bus service from Narita to Nozawa Onsen

In winter, from mid-December until mid-March, a direct bus service connects Narita to Nozawa Onsen. Operating from outside Terminal 2, there are up to 4 services each day, taking approx. 5.5 hours.



Servicing Haneda Airport, the Tokyo Monorail connects the airport to Tokyo Station via Hamamatsucho Station in around 30 minutes. Overall, Haneda is the busier of the two airports handles fewer international flights than Narita. Most international services from Haneda arrive and depart at Terminal 3. Unlike the NEX – which is primarily used by passengers travelling to and from the Narita Airport – the Tokyo Monorail is used by many people going about their daily lives. It is designed for general commuters and not as comfortable or spacious as the NEX. Navigating your way on and off with luggage at peak hour can be a little challenging.


Nevertheless, the monorail makes the journey to and from Haneda Airport quick and relatively smooth. From Tokyo Station, take the JR Yamanote Line bound for Osaki or JR Keihin-Tohoku/Negishi Line Rapid bound for Ofuna and disembark at Hamamatsucho Station (5 min). At Hamamatsucho, transfer to the Tokyo Monorail bound for Haneda Airport (20 min) – a journey of around 30 minutes.


Alternatively, visitors can also use the Keikyu Airport Line to reach the airport. To do so, take the JR Yamanote or JR Keihin-Tohoku Lines from Tokyo Station to Shinagawa Station (10 min) and then transfer to the Keikyu Airport Line Bound for Haneda (20 min). These are conventional train lines. Advanced bookings are not possible. Once at Tokyo Station, transfer to the Hokuriku Shinakansen bound for Kanazawa, via Iiyama.

Winter-only bus service from Haneda to Nozawa Onsen

Operating from Haneda’s International Terminal, an express bus connects the airport with Nozawa Onsen through winter, from mid-December until mid-March. There are 2 services each day, taking approx. 5¼ hours.


Madarao Mountain Resort lies across the valley from Nozawa, a 40 to 50-minute drive depending on weather and road conditions. Most people making the journey from Madarao to Nozawa will need to do so via Iiyama Station. Nagaden operates services from Madarao to Iiyama Station – approximately 30 minutes – with a couple of services each day in winter going onto Nozawa. If these options don’t work for you, consider booking a taxi to transfer between resorts.



The easiest option to reach Nozawa Onsen from Shiga Kogen is to take the Shiga Kogen Express Bus to Nagano Station and from there, follow the directions above onto Nozawa Onsen. The journey from Shiga Kogen to Nagano takes between 70 to 100-minutes depending on which part of Shiga you are coming from.



The easiest option to reach Nozawa from Myoko Kogen is to take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Joetsu-Myoko Station to Iiyama Station – 12 minutes – at once there, follow the directions above to reach Nozawa. Depending on the timing of the train and shuttle bus to Nozawa from Iiyama Station, the journey should take under an hour.



The easiest option to reach Nozawa from Hakuba is to take the Hakuba Express Bus service to Nagano Station. In winter, there are multiple services each day taking around 75-minutes to make the journey from the Hakuba Happo Bus Terminal to Nagano Station. Once at Nagano Station, follow the directions above onto Nozawa.



As the terminus of the Hokuriku Shinkansen line, Kanazawa Station is an easy point from where to reach Iiyama. Services depart frequently throughout the day, taking around 75-minutes to make the journey from Kanazawa to Iiyama. Once at Iiyama, follow the directions above onto Nozawa.



Nozawa offers skiers and snowboarders around 300 hectares of terrain accessible via 36 trails and courses. By Japanese standards this makes Nozawa Onsen a medium-sized resort which is easy to move around given a good setup of gondolas and lifts. Ideally-suited to snowboarders who love its powder and youthful atmosphere, Nozawa continues to grow in popularity year-on-year. For all the stats, facts and highlights, see our ‘Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort’ main page.



Long before Nozawa Onsen was a snow resort, it was famous for the healing powers of its thermal water and as a place of refuge. With a history stretching back more than 1000 years, Nozawa is one of Japan’s most famous ‘onsen’ (natural hot spring) towns, a legacy that lives on today in its free public hot springs, quaint streets and rural backbone. Our ’25 Things To Do Around Nozawa & Where To Stay’ page has some great information about what’s on offer all-year-round including accommodation listings.



As one of Nagano’s top tour operators, we are proud to provide a number of services including tours and private charters, starting from Nozawa Onsen. With so much to do in Central Japan, the easiest way to make the best of your time is to leave the planning to us!

Offering pick up from multiple locations in Nozawa, this fun and educational tour brings you to the Jigokudani Monkey Park to get up close and personal with the famous hot spring loving snow monkeys. After that, you will be treated to a tasty Japanese lunch before visiting Nagano City and the historic Zenko-ji temple, one of Japan’s oldest and most important Buddhist sites.

For a more personalized experience, you and your group can book our private tour of the Monkey Park and Zenko-ji Temple. With a guide and vehicle set apart for the whole day to tend to only your group, you can go at your own pace and have the guide’s undivided attention. You may also store any luggage you have in the vehicle throughout the day, taking the hassle out of getting around.


Beyond just tours, we also offer private charters using our fleet of clean and modern vehicles. With door-to-door service, we can pick up you up from where you are and take you to where you want to go anywhere in Central Japan and neighboring regions. Attaching a guide and making your day out into a private tour for just your group is also possible, and a great option if you would like to go somewhere that isn’t included in one of our other tours. For more information, please click HERE to check availability and pricing for your trip.