Weather Conditions to expect in Nozawa Onsen

ski-runSo you are planning a ski trip to Nozawa Onsen, Japan located at the base of Mt. Kenashi-yama.

To take full advantage of the great powder skiing and boarding opportunities in Nozawa Onsen you need to be prepared to stay warm and dry in very cold temperatures. In short, pack lots of warm clothes.

Skiing was born north of the equator for a very good reason the north is where you find lots of cold weather and plenty of snow. And, remember the over 50 kilometers of ski trails or pistes begin at an elevation of 1085 meters which makes it even more likely you will encounter frigid weather conditions during your stay.

ski-run-2Cold weather and snowfalls accumulating up to 20 centimeters in a single day is what you should expect to find during the winter snow season (December, sometimes mid-November, through the beginning of May) in Nozawa Onsen.

The cold Siberian winds blowing east from Russia across northern Japan ensure Nozawa Onsen receives a large amount of consistent, high quality powdery snowfall and crisp, cold days and nights from mid-November through the beginning of May. Although accumulations in the last four years have not compared to the record setting 2004-05 winter season powder dump, Nozawa Onsen has received an average of 14 meters of snow in the winters since 2004. And 14 meters is a lot of snow.

local-carvingsRenowned for its powdery snowfalls there is also a lot of natural frost on Mt. Kenashi-yama creating the beautiful white tree covered landscapes you have probably seen in the pictures of your Nozawa Onsen accommodation and creating some challenging ski conditions when the frost accumulates on top of the powder.

To get the most out of your stay at Nozawa Onsen you need to arrive prepared to dress to withstand sub zero temperatures even on the sunny, clear days especially at the higher altitudes. Pack plenty of warm, waterproof clothing, thermals are a necessity; do not forget to take something to protect your face, ears and hands and plenty of warm socks. Goggles with double anti-fog lenses to prevent fogging and ensure clear vision in extreme conditions will also come in handy on those snowy days.

steam-bathsSecond only to the great skiing and boarding opportunities, the best feature of Nozawa Onsen is its 30 natural hot springs. These natural wonders are a perfect antidote to the cold weather. The springs provide water so hot that the mineral baths actually have to cool the water off to make the baths comfortable for the bathers.

After a few hours of skiing or a full day if you are really hardy, you can take your last run down the mountain to relax and warm up in one of the thirteen free public baths or sotoyus. Some of the pistes take you right to the public baths. Or maybe you will be lucky enough to be staying at a Nozawa Onsen accommodation that offers features a private hot spring bathing facility.