Skiing in Nozawa Onsen

Japan is a fantastic place for any and all snow-related outdoor activities. With its cold winters and subsequent high amount of snowfall in the winter months, the Land of the Rising Sun makes for an ideal wintersport location. There are plenty of mountainous areas to ski or snowboard at throughout the country.

One location ideal for partaking in the snowy wonders is Nozawa Onsen, located in the Nagano Prefecture. Anyone staying in Nagano City will be pleased to know that Nozawa Onsen is only about one hour away by car and acts as one of the premier skiing and snowboarding locations of the prefecture.

Nagano overall has much snow to boast about during the cold season, a natural prerequisite for any winter sport. There is a large variety in the terrain that can be explored and is considered unparalleled in the region. What makes Nozawa Onsen another huge attraction for tourists and locals alike is the fact that it’s not only a skiing-centered place with only small towns around it – Nozawa’s skiing slopes are complemented by a great and fully featured town, giving it an edge over many of the more remote areas that are limiting in their non-sport related possibilities.

There is a large variety of ridges and slopes for those visiting for the snow sports. All types of slopes are available, ranging from the easiest of the beginner slopes to the black-rated ones for the most experienced riders. The mountain also features the aptly named Nagasaka Gondola which will quickly take riders back up the slopes after finishing their runs. The amount of lifts available diminishes the feeling of the area being crowded, even during the peak months.

In addition to being a ski and snowboard hotspot, another huge selling point for the area is the abundance of well-known hot springs. The town has many baths which are ideal to soak in after a long day of riding the slopes. Naturally, many restaurants and other establishments have set up shop nearby due to the area’s popularity in the winter season. There are also plenty of things to do after a whole day of skiing, including indoor swimming for children. This establishes a whole European flair for the area and its surroundings, setting it apart from the other places and making it an attraction for the locals especially, who wish to experience a different atmosphere from every-day Japan.

First image by powderhounds.com

Second image by skitravelcompany.com.au

Skiing in Myoko Suginohara

Japan has the capacity to accommodate almost every outdoor activity imaginable with its highly varied weather across the four seasons. The summers are wonderfully warm and the winters are bitingly cold, therefore it should come as no wonder that everything from riding kayaks on lakes to snowboarding down mountains are popular activities in Japan.

The Japanese winter months produce great amounts of snow to make use of an hit the snowy slopes with. There are quite a few destinations in Japan to ski and snowboard at, with generally all of them having slopes suited for the most basic of beginners as well as the more advanced and experienced snow sport enthusiasts.

Nagano is one of the areas that is well-known for its convenient access to the mountains covered in white powder snow waiting to be worn in by the skiing and snowboarding population. There are a few different locations in the Nagano area that are well-suited for those wanting to enjoy the adrenaline of racing down the steep slopes on their choice of board or ski.

Myoko Suginohara is located less than an hour away from Nagano City. It’s a medium sized skiing hill – meaning it won’t be home to the most thrilling or varied courses, but ideal for beginners and families with smaller children. Despite it’s medium size, Myoko Suginohara boasts some of the highest amounts of snowfall and pretty much ideal skiing weather. The snow is soft and generally lacks hard-packed ice beneath its soft layers, attracting even the senior locals to keep skiing like they did during the times of their youth.

While not home to excessive variety like many other skiing resorts, there usually is enough to appease most ski and snowboarders. Some of the runs are long and gentle – perfect for beginners and intermediate riders looking to relax and enjoy the scenery, while others can be deep runs on steep slopes – suited for those wishing to test the extent of their skills. The woods on the mountain are tests of agility and dexterity, while the gondola-type slope is where speed and control become the dominant qualities. There are also plenty of wide area instruction fields where beginners can avail of the services of professional instructors to get down the basics of the snowsports.

The mountain is also equipped with high speed lifts which take the riders to their desired slope within 10 minutes or less from the very bottom of the hill. There are also plenty of restaurants and cafes around the areas to enjoy a warm meal and drink at while taking in the beautiful white scenery of Nagano.

First image from japantravel.com

Second image by snowjapan.com