Nozawa-onsen is surrounded by evergreen broadleaf forest that evokes the Japan of a bygone era. And the Uenotaira highland around Kenashi-yama in particular is covered with virgin beech forest, in which the giant trees shape a very mysterious landscape. Visitors can take trekking tours to experience this natural forest. A variety of courses are available, including a half-day tour, a mountain-climbing style tour, and night-time tour.

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Nozawa Onsen Sports Park

The Nozawa Onsen Sports Park with its many fun activities is located at the foot of the Hikage Slope and directly accessible via Nozawa Onsen’s walkway escalator Yu Road.

Zipline Ready to take flight? Whizz through the air on the zipline, which stretches over 650 meters above the Hikage slope and reaches a top speed of 70 km/h. Flap your wings and enjoy fabulous views in this one-of-a-kind setting while hurtling downhill.

Summer Ski Slope
If you thought skiing outdoors was only possible in the winter, then Nozawa Onsen is here to prove you wrong. Grab your sunglasses and head into the lush green mountains where the Hikage run offers an exciting summer ski slope, where you can practice your maneuvers year-round. The slope is covered with a 500-meter long white mat, with a surface that offers a surprisingly lifelike impression of real snow, making even carving turns and ground tricks possible. On-site ski and snowboard rental are available.

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Naski Park
Kids love hanging out at this park at the base of Hikage slope. Named after Naski, Nozawa Onsen’s quirky green mascot in the shape of Nozawana, a local leaf vegetable, the park boasts a large variety of activities to keep kids entertained. There’s a white mountain-like trampoline, a kid-friendly zipline, tubing rides on a snow-like surface, and a whole host of other family-friendly attractions.
The Nozawa Onsen Sports Park is open from July to November.

Uenotaira Kogen Plateau

Venture out to the Uenotaira Kogen Plateau directly from Nagasaka station; you can reach it via the Nagasaka gondola. From here you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of Nozawa Onsen and its unique mountainous landscape, while walking trails through lush, virgin beech forests let you experience the area’s abundant nature. Remember to dress a bit warmer since you are at an altitude of 1,400 meters, where it often gets chilly. From early July to late August, nature lovers can camp next to Lake Sutaka’s shore at an altitude of 1,300 meters. You can sleep in wooden, raised floor-type bungalows for groups up to eight, in permanent tents for up to five people, or you can bring your own tent. Kitchen spaces, coin showers, and toilets are available on site, as well as blanket and cooking apparatus rental. Cyclists mustn’t miss the thrilling mountain bike courses around the camp.

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The Uenotaira highland area is brilliantly colored by beech and other broadleaf trees in their autumnal colors. On the plateau extending around the foot of Kenashi-yama, visitors can enjoy a beautiful landscape in the autumn season. And not only on the highland but also along the path leading to the highland, visitors can fully enjoy the autumn leaves, watching the colors grow deeper and more brilliant as they move up the hill.

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NATURE imageThe stunningly beautiful Nozawa Onsen is among Japan’s top ski resorts and draws winter sports enthusiasts between late November and early May. They’ve been skiing here since 1912, a few years before its first ski club was founded. When Austrian skier Hannes Schneider’s modern methods made their way to the country in 1930, helping popularize a new and exciting sport, Nozawa Onsen was where he showed off his skills. The town is justly proud of its sporting pedigree, boasting no fewer than sixteen Olympians, and in 1998 Nozawa Onsen hosted the biathlon tournament of the Nagano Winter Olympics. The 297-hectare-wide ski area, blessed with plenty of natural powder snow, comprises thirty-six different slopes, perfect for both beginners and advanced skiers. If you are new to skiing and snowboarding, or are visiting with your family, then the wide, gentle slopes of the Uenotaira area, accessible via the Hikage and the Nagasaka gondola, is for you.

NATURE imageThe Yamabiko area is home to the Skyline Course, a 3,500-meter long powder snow run stretching from the summit to the base area along the ridge of the mountain. Advanced skiers and snowboarders might want to take on the Schneider course, a steep and bumpy powder snow run that’s not for the faint-hearted. If you’re not quite at that level yet, take the moving walkway Yu Road to the Hikage Base, which houses a ski and snowboard school, as well as a children’s park that has several playgrounds and fun activities. For a calmer winter adventure, the resort organizes a range of entertaining non-skiing activities. Board a snowcat and venture out to untouched areas—breathtaking views guaranteed—or put your snowshoes on and tramp through fairytale-like white forests. Whether you’re into the serene scenery or the high-octane winter sports, after a day out in the ski resort, nothing beats heading down to the Nozawa Onsen village and unwinding in the hot springs.
In Nozawa Onsen, snowcats are so much more than machines for shoveling snow drifts out of the way. At the ski resort you can board these giant vehicles and explore untouched mountain plateaus, which are usually inaccessible during winter season. It’s a great way to discover the beautiful, snow-white landscapes during this non-skiing activity. While the snowcat moves through the forest, look out for wild animals, such as Japanese serows and rabbits. The ride takes about forty-five minutes and the vehicle has space for sixteen passengers—perfect for families and large groups.