After playing in the powder snow, enjoy walking and bathing in the historic hot spring village
Nozawa-onsen is a hot spring village located at the foot of Kenashi-yama Mountain. On top of the mountain, there is Nozawa-onsen ski resort. This extensive ski resort, rich in powder snow, is loved by skiers from home and abroad.
Its hot spring has a long history, and it is said it dates back to 8th century. In those days, it was not a custom to enjoy a hot spring as a resort facility. In the Edo period (1600~1868), as people began to do “Toji” which is to bathe to have benefits of hot spring, many people started to visit this village. It is thought that mostly people from nearby villages came to bathe during off-season on the farm. It is said the hot spring is good for stomach problems, rheumatism, feminine problems and palsy.
Today, there are 13 public hot spring baths which are managed by a local organization. Many locals and tourists visit the public baths every day. While it is free of charge, there is a box outside each public bath for visitors to give a tip.
Among these 13 public baths, “Oyu,” located at the center of the village, is regarded as a symbol of Nozawa-onsen. Its beautiful bath house with the atmosphere of Edo period catches eye.Also, it is “Ogama” that creates a scene particular to Nozawa. With 90℃ hot water continuously bubbling up, this source of hot spring is rare and is designated as a natural monument. It is used as a place to boil vegetables and eggs.
Narrow, winding streets and slopes add an interesting flavor to the village.
Although prominent tourism development is not done in Nozawa-onsen, it is a highly popular hot spring resort. According to the popular hot spring resort ranking (2011) announced by Recruit CO., LTD., Nozawa-onsen won the 1st in the satisfaction level ranking.There are footbaths too to relax just by taking off shoes and soaking feet in a hot spring. Try it to relieve fatigue after skiing.
[Rail] 2h from Tokyo to Iiyama Station by JR Hokuriku Shinkansen Line, and 25 min from Iiyama Station by bus.