Frequently asked questions
Nozawa Peaks FAQ
Ski Resort FAQ
Nozawa Peaks philosophy
Nozawa Peaks aim to bridge the gap between Japanese hospitality and western comfort. Nozawa Peaks facilities are best suited to families and couples looking for a relaxing base to embrace Japanese culture, food, snow, and onsen.
How will Covid-19 affect Nozawa Peaks opening for the 2020/2021 season?
Nozawa Peaks will open as usual for this upcoming winter. Nozawa Peaks will continue its high standard of housekeeping and hygiene with the new addition of hospital-grade cleaning products and updated protocols.
What is the cancellation policy at Nozawa Peaks?
Cancel for free up until two months before your scheduled check-in date or if unable to travel due to government restrictions.
How do we get to Nozawa Onsen and Nozawa Peaks?
Please visit our Getting to Nozawa Onsen page for directions, maps and timetables.
Nozawa Peaks Address: 6585-1 Toyosato, Shimotakai-gun, Nozawaonsen, Nagano 389-2502
What time is check-in / check-out?
Do you have wifi?
Yes, complimentary wifi is accessible throughout Nozawa Peaks.
Where is Nozawa Peaks located in relation to the village centre and Nozawa Onsen ski resort?
Please visit our Nozawa Peaks location page for more information including maps.
Nozawa Peaks is conveniently located, four minutes walk from the Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort chairlifts. The village centre is an 8 minute walk along a flat, heated street. There is a fantastic restaurant open for dinner directly next door, along with many other restaurants within 2-10 minutes walk from Nozawa Peaks. A ski rental shop is located next door. One of the largest and most beautiful hot springs in Nozawa Onsen is located 2 minutes walk from Nozawa Peaks. The largest supermarket is a 7 minute walk from Nozawa Peaks.
The bus stop for access to and from Iiyama bullet train station (access to/from Tokyo) is a 7 minute walk from our property (550m). The free ski shuttle bus which runs between the Nagasaka gondola and the village centre, departs from a stop which is 4 minutes walk from Nozawa Peaks. The Chuo (central) bus station is located 10 minutes walk from Nozawa Peaks for access to the Nagano Snow Shuttle (the bus to/from Narita and Haneda Airport and between ski resorts).
Is breakfast included?
We do not offer breakfast, however all guests have access to cook in our large communal kitchen for breakfast, lunch and dinner. There is a bakery/cafe open for breakfast within 2 minute walk from Nozawa Peaks (Akari Swiss Bakery)
Do you provide a pick up service?
We do not provide a pickup service from bus or train stations as we are within 7 minutes walk from the Nakao bus stop (if coming from Iiyama bullet train station) and a 10 minute walk from the Chuo bus stop (if coming on the Nagano snow shuttle bus from Tokyo or other ski resorts and arriving in the day time).
Do you have western beds available? Are futon beds comfortable?
Nozawa Peaks is a Japanese style accommodation which has futon beds with down feather comforters (doona/duvet). Nozawa Peaks does not offer western beds.
The comfort level would be considered similar to a firm western style mattress. Futons can be moved easily to create space in the room. Kids love them and they are very safe. If you have difficulty getting up and down from the floor, futons may not be for you.
How many toilets and showers are there in Nozawa Peaks?
Toilets: Three rooms have a private toilet - Room numbers 301 (sleeps 4), 302 (sleeps 2), 303 (sleeps 2). Our other rooms have access to toilets which are shared with guests from other rooms (2 x male toilets, 2 x female toilets, 1 x mixed toilet).
Showers: Nozawa Peaks has two separate shower rooms, which are shared with guests of other rooms.
Each shower room has two shower heads inside, allowing families or couples to shower at the same time in each shower room if they wish.
In total, four guests can shower at the same time (2 guests in one shower room, 2 guests in the other shower room). The doors can be locked so guests can also shower alone if they prefer. There is a changing room inside each shower room. Please note, as we have 12 guest rooms, there could be a wait to use the showers, although this has not been a problem in the past.
Many guests prefer to bath at the fantastic public hot spring (Onsen), located two minutes walk from Nozawa Peaks. This bath house is traditional wooden style, hot and relaxing. Take our complimentary onsen kit including soap and shampoo to wash before relaxing in the tub. All 13 public onsens open from 6am - midnight and are free of charge.
Can we use the kitchen and living room?
Yes. The large, fully equiped kitchen and living room are for guests to prepare meals and relax at any time.
Can we send our luggage to and from Nozawa Peaks?
Yes you can. Please feel free to send your luggage to us from the airport or your accommodation in Japan. We will keep your bags in storage until you arrive. We can also assist you to send your luggage to your next destination. Please note if sending luggage to an airport, it must be ready to send by 12pm, at least 2 days prior to your flight. Approximate price for a suitcase or ski bag: 2,500 - 3,000 yen.
Do you have a laundry on site?
Yes we do have laundry service - 3kg wash and dry for 1,000 yen.
What is provided in our room?
All rooms have sheets, pillows, towels, onsen kit (face towel, soap, shampoo), clothes hangers, heater. Hair dryers are available.
Is there room service/cleaning?
For guests who stay 6 nights or more, cleaning staff will change sheets and towels after the 3rd night. For guests who stay less than 6 nights, sheets and towels will not be changed.
Do you have a minimum stay requirement?
In Peak season (Jan-Feb) we have 5 night minimum stay. In low season (December, March) we have a 3 night minimum stay. We often have gaps in between bookings which allows us to lower the minimum stay over certain dates. Our booking calendar is live and up to date. If a room is available it will be shown in your search results. Please feel free to contact us if you cannot find what you are looking for. We will be happy to help you find a room.
Where should I book ski or snowboard lessons?
We can help you find an experienced private ski instructor. Morning or afternoon lessons available. Subject to availability. Please contact us for more information. If you plan to take ski lessons, we recommend you book well in advance to ensure your place.
Where should we rent our ski / snowboard gear?
We recommend Nozawa Sports Thanx which is located within 5 minutes walk from Nozawa Peaks next to the ski resort chairlifts and offer the best prices in the village. Nozawa Sports Thanx also have a second rental shop at the Nagasaka gondola and carry high-end premium rental gear.
Nozawa Sports Thanx offer online rental reservations or you can arrange your gear from them when you arrive. Opening hours: 8am - 4.30pm.
How do we purchase ski resort lift passes? Can we book them in advance?
Lift passes are available from the ski resort ticket office on the day your plan to ski. There are 1, 2 or maximum 3 day consecutive passes available (3 day pass is the best value). The ticket office is located within five minutes walk from Nozawa Peaks at the ski resort. Passes are also available at the gondolas (Nagasaka and Hikage). For adults, lift ticket prices start from 4,600 per day. For children under 15 years old, lift ticket pricing starts at 2,600 yen per day. For more information on official lift ticket pricing, please click here. You may find options from other websites/providers who sell lift tickets in advance. The price is the same whether you buy them in advance or at the ticket office at the ski resort.
How do we get to the Nozawa Onsen ski school?
If you have booked lessons with the Nozawa Onsen Ski School, please follow these steps below for directions to the ski school office at the Hikage gondola.
First time skiers:
1. Walk four minutes to the bus stop next to the ski resort.
2. Take the free Shuttle bus to the Nagasaka Gondola (three minute ride) then walk down past the gondola station.
3. Take the free snowmobile shuttle (seating for 6-7 people) to the ski school at the Hikage area (3 minute ride). The Ski School office is located in the large concrete building opposite the kids park.
Travel time: 20 minutes (allow more time for possible bus/shuttle delays).
Novice - Advance skiers:
1. Walk four minutes to the ski resort.
2. Take the Nagasaka link chairlift.
3. Ski down past the Nagasaka gondola and take the Nagasaka triple chairlift.
4. Ski down to the ski school office which is located in the large concrete building opposite the kids park.
Travel time: 20 minutes (allow more time for possible delays such as lift lines).
When does the Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort open? Is there Night skiing?
The ski resort opens in November or December depending on snow conditions. The majority of ski lifts are usually operating by mid December. As with all ski resorts in the world, the opening date is snow dependant. Ski resort hours: 8.30am - 4.30pm. Night ski is available on Saturdays only. There is one green slope open for night ski, the chairlift runs until 8pm.
Can you provide some information about the ski resort?
There are 36 ski slopes/courses plus the snow park.
Gondola lifts (2), regular ski lifts (18), moving walkway (1).
Longest ski run: 10,000m
Vertical Drop: 1,085m (Summit: 1,650m / bottom: 565m)
Advanced terrain: 30% / Intermediate terrain: 30% / Beginner terrain: 40% / Max gradient: 39°.
The Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort is one of the most popular ski resorts in Japan for international travellers due to its diversity of terrain, abundance of snow, its family friendliness and because English speaking guests are well catered for.
For more information on the ski resort, please click here.
Ski resort facilities for Children
Day care for children 1-6 years old is available at the Yumin Day Nursery at the Hikage Information Centre on the second floor. The staff speak English. The operating hours are 9am-12pm and 1-4pm so you will need to pick up the children at lunch time. There are many food options around the Hikage Information Center. The nursery accommodates up to 20 children. We recommend that you make a reservation. Phone +81 269 85 2133 Full Day: ¥4,000, Half Day: ¥2,500
Morning and afternoon refreshments are provided.
Nozawa Kids Park is located at the same area. Entry to the Kids Park is free of charge. Please contact us if you require evening child minding.
When is the best time to visit Nozawa Onsen?
December – A fantastic time to experience Christmas and New Year. In general it is not busy in Nozawa Onsen up until the Japanese New Year holiday. Perfect for families and couples.
January – Famous for its big snowfall and great village vibe with a mix of Japanese and foreign visitors. January is the busiest month, but with a family atmosphere. Perfect for everyone.
February – Also famous for big snowfall. Less families with the school holidays over, more powder snow enthusiasts arrive with the snow base set for the season. Blue sky days are not uncommon. Perfect for everyone.
March – Our personal favourite month, especially the second half of March. The slopes are uncrowded on weekdays and Nozawa Onsen seems to always receive some serious snowfall at this time. The past two seasons (2018/19 and 2019/20) both had some of the biggest snowfall days of the season in late March. Also the best month for families and beginners who will enjoy the wide open spaces on the mountain.
Nozawa Onsen Village and other information
Is there a supermarket or convenience store in Nozawa Onsen?
Nozawa Onsen has 2 mini supermarkets, a butcher, convenience store and liquor stores. You can find all you need to prepare western or Japanese meals including breakfast and dinner.
Rainbow supermarket is the largest in Nozawa Onsen and is located at the Nakao bus stop, which is the closest bus stop to Nozawa Peaks (7 minute walk). The location gives guests the option to purchase food as they arrive to Nozawa Onsen on the Nozawa Onsen Liner bus before walking to Nozawa Peaks. The second mini supermarket is located on the main street opposite St. Anton cafe. It has an octopus illustration on the window. This store is great to visit on the way back home from a restaurant or cafe in the evening. Alcohol is not sold in the supermarkets.
Do we need to book train or bus tickets in advance?
We recommend booking your train tickets upon arrival to Japan. It is the easiest way. If it is holiday season and reserved seats are booked out, you can always sit in the non-reserved section of the train.
For those only traveling between Tokyo and Nozawa Onsen. The best value is by purchasing a JR East rail pass which is ¥18,330 for adults. There is a 5% discount if pre purchased online. The pass can be used for 5 days of travel within a 14 day period, so if spending a few days in or around Tokyo it will be a great saving. Even if you only travel directly between Narita airport and Nozawa Onsen on a round-trip ticket, you will save money with this pass. Please note, a JR East pass does not guarantee a seat reservation which needs to be made separately when you arrive to Japan.
There is a new option to book single bullet train tickets online including seat reservation here. As this is a new system we have not used, unfortunately we cannot recommend it yet. Online tickets need to be picked up once in Japan, before you can travel (you cannot just show your online ticket to board a train). At the time of writing, all pickup locations seem to be in the west part of Japan (Osaka , Kyoto etc). We could not see any pick up locations in Tokyo. For those traveling from Osaka or Kyoto it seems like a possible option. Online Train tickets are currently only available for purchase within 30 days of the train departure date.
Train tickets are only available online or at JR train stations and cannot be purchased in Nozawa Onsen.
The Nozawa Onsen Liner bus between Iiyama station and Nozawa Onsen cannot be booked in advance. They run up to 4 buses at each departure time and tickets are available from a vending machine (cash only) outside Iiyama station where the bus departs from. There are also taxi's available.
The Nagano Snow Shuttle which runs directly from Tokyo Airports to Nozawa Onsen should be booked well in advance to avoid any disappointment.
What is the best way to get around Nozawa Onsen village?
The best way to get around the village is by walking. Nozawa Onsen is a compact village with small, winding, heated streets. The furthest you will have to walk is 15 minutes from Nozawa Peaks to the far side of the village.
There is a complimentary ski shuttle bus which runs throughout the day time from the village centre to the Nagasaka gondola at the ski resort. This bus passes close to Nozawa Peaks. This service can be busy at peak times, it is faster and more convenient to walk to the ski resort from Nozawa Peaks.
What is an onsen?
An Onsen (hot water spring) is a bath house with natural, geothermal heated spring water. The village is famous for the abundance of Onsen that were discovered in the 8th century. In some areas, steam rises up amongst the bustling narrow streets and the traditional ryokan inns and shops.
In Nozawa Onsen, visitors are lucky enough to have access to 13 public onsens (a small donation box is located outside each Onsen). You can soak in the hot water to escape the cold and relax the muscles after a long day skiing.
Nozawa Onsens bath houses are well maintained, always kept clean, and provide a comfortable setting for villagers' everyday use, as well as for visiting guests.
With the complimentary bathing set which we provide (body soap, shampoo, face towel) wash your hair and body thoroughly, then rinse off before entering the bath. When you arrive to Nozawa Peaks we will give you further information on bathing etiquette to ensure you enjoy these fantastic baths.
Do we need to make restaurant reservations in Nozawa Onsen?
There are many fantastic restaurants in Nozawa Onsen. We recommend making reservations in advance if you would like to go to a specific restaurant, especially if you are in a big group. You can pop into any restaurant and make a reservation for another night, or call from our front desk. If you require assistance we are happy to help. Please see the restaurant and village guide available here.
Which restaurants in Nozawa Onsen do you recommend?
There are many fantastic restaurants in Nozawa Onsen. From Raw Horse to vege burgers, there is something for everyone. Please take a look at the Nozawa Onsen village guide for some great options.
Are there vegetarian or vegan restaurants in Nozawa Onsen?
Yes there are restaurants which have options 'niku nashi' (without meat).
Neo Bar, Organic Mom's kitchen (Shin-ko-qu), Sakai, Genki burger, Juntos and more.
Can I pay with credit card in Nozawa Onsen?
While some restaurants do accept credit cards, but please be prepared and always have cash with you as many restaurants are cash only, especially up on the ski resort but also in the village. The bus from Iiyama to Nozawa Onsen is cash only (please withdraw cash if coming directly from the the Airport to Nozawa Onsen).
Is there an ATM or currency exchange in Nozawa Onsen?
Yes, there are two ATM's which accept foreign cards. The closest is located at the post office and is open 9am-6pm. The other ATM is located next door to the tourist information centre at Kura cafe which is open until 8pm.
Currency exchange is located at the ticket counter at Nagasaka Gondola Station or at the Nozawa Onsen Tourist information Center. Please bring your passport. Currency exchange is only from foreign currencies to Japanese yen. One transaction for one person which must remain under ¥100,000.
How do we get to the snow monkeys?
The snow monkey park is located one hour from Nozawa Onsen by bus. We can assist you to book a direct bus from Nozawa Onsen to the snow monkey park. The price is ¥5,800 yen (adults), ¥3,800 (children 12 and under). This bus also stops by Shibu Onsen, a beautiful village. Transport is by bus with a guide who will be there to answer any questions. The Monkey park entrance is a 2km walk through the forest from the bus drop off point.
The bus departs every day at 1pm from the Nozawa Onsen Chuo bus terminal (village center) and is due back at Nozawa Onsen Chuo bus terminal by 5pm (snow/road condition dependant).
What day trips do you recommend?
There is easily enough to do in Nozawa Onsen for an extended holiday, however we have included a list of day trips for those who would like to see other areas close by.
Madarao: The easiest day-trip option from Nozawa Onsen (23km) with buses departing daily from Nozawa Onsen. Bus information and schedule is subject to change.
Togari: The closest day trip option from Nozawa Onsen (8km). Togari does not have a daily bus option at the time of writing but a taxi can be arranged. Togari has night ski many nights. Contact us for transport options.
Other options include: Myoko, Kijimadaira, Ryuoo Ski Park, Shiga Kogen and X-Jam. Renting a car is also an option from nearby Iiyama.
Some ski resorts are accessible via the Nagano snow shuttle 'Inter resort shuttles'.
Other destinations (listed in order of distance from Nozawa Onsen)
Iiyama (14km from Nozawa Onsen) - Some great local restaurants (sushi train), large supermarkets / department stores. Museums and cultural attractions. Serves as the bullet train hub.
Obuse (30km from Nozawa Onsen) - A quaint town with great food and art crafts. Don't miss the famous Hokusai museum with his incredible 36 views painted of Mt Fuji.
Snow Monkeys (32km from Nozawa Onsen) - Contact us for details
Nagano city (40km from Nozawa Onsen) - The closest big city. Great restaurants, shops, bars, sake breweries. Don't miss the Zenkoji temple and beautiful surrounding streets.
Matsumoto (110km from Nozawa Onsen) - Very nice city which is easy to walk around. Famous for its historic 'Crow Castle'. Train access via Iiyama. It's worth the journey.
Kanazawa (350km from Nozawa Onsen) - A beautiful city accessible with the bullet train via Iiyama (1.5 hours from Nozawa Onsen).
Tokyo (250km from Nozawa Onsen) - Take the 20 minute bus from Nozawa Onsen to Iiyama station, then connect to the 1hr 40 minute bullet train to Tokyo. With an early start, you can reach Tokyo by 9.20am, then return on the last train back to Iiyama which departs Tokyo at 7.30pm.