Powder Snow Areas
Nozawa Onsen Village is well known as one of the highest snowfall areas in Nagano Prefecture, and all Japan. As powder skiing rises in popularity many more skiers and boarders are traveling from all over the world to Nozawa, to take advantage of the great snow conditions.
Nozawa onsen has a wide variety of courses where you can get fresh powder tracks. Below are some of our favorites:
Below are some of our favorites
The Yamabiko area.
The top of the resort is where you will find the best snow conditions. The Yamabiko area’s A though E courses offer a variety of slopes with ungroomed sections (especially on B course) and open tree-runs in between that funnel back the lift stations. There is a variety of gradients so less advanced powder skiers can find sections to suit their level. Be sure to follow all signage.
Be aware that skiing in the open areas between the courses is at your own risk. Also, skiing outside of the resort area itself is prohibited without submitting a backcountry trip plan to the resort.
Ensure to have appropriate ski/ snowboard insurance.
Granprix and Jumping courses.
These two steep ungroomed courses branch off from Skyline course to the right and lead you back to the Nagasaka gondola station. They offer some of the longest uninterrupted powder lines on the mountain. On sunny days, they are shaded so the snow quality holds up well considering their elevation.
Mukobayashi and Hachiman courses.
These two courses are the lowest black runs on the mountain. They are steep but short, and are best in the morning. They branch off to the left and right at the very bottom of Skyline course. Hachiman will take you directly to the Karasawa ski area, while Mukobayashi finishes in front of Sparena, with a trail continuing down to Karasawa area.
The Hikage wall.
This short course drops from the top of the Hikage triple lift back toward the Hikage ski centre. An easy course to do multiple fast laps. Shaded most of the day, but still low on the mountain.
Kurokura – The Black saddle.
This long steep course is accessed from the bottom of Mizunashi course in the center of the mountain, running from just below the old Nagasaka mid station. It is long steep, and well shaded. The top is narrow and can lose snow coverage on windy days- so be careful as you enter as you may come across bare icy sections.
Ushikubi- the cows neck.
This ridge course begins at the same spot as Kurokura, but branches to the left, and runs down the ridge until you reach the top of the Hikage triple lift. At times of lower snow fall it becomes one of the longest mogul fields on the mountain so on a fresh powder day beware of bumps below the surface!
Schneider course is a long black run with 2 distinct sections. The first runs from the bottom of Paradise course towards The Hikage area but is groomed daily with fresh power section on the margins at either side. About half way down Schneider branches off to the left into a much steeper un-groomed course. (The right branch becomes Utopia course). It is one of the fastest paths down the mountain but it can be heavily sun affected- so get in early.
Utopia A course.
Utopia A course branches off from Schneider course half way down. It is steep and shaded and is usually groomed down the centre once a week. It can become one of the largest mogul fields in Nozawa but the left and right sides can boast some of the best powder runs on the mountain.
The Challenge 39° wall.
Challenge 39 is the steepest run in Nozawa. It is short but on a good day can be the best run in Nozawa. The slope is largely protected from the sun and wind, although – be aware – it can crack in the centre at its steepest point. It branches off from the top of Schneider course and runs straight down into the wide corner of Challenge course proper.