Nozawa Onsen 2016/17

Discussion in 'Japan' started by Nozawaman, May 17, 2016.

  1.  
    blowfin

    blowfin Active Member

    Let's be honest, Nozowa is a pretty cramped setup that basically bursts at the seams in peak season. The town gets very busy, the restaurants get full, you just about can't avoid rubbing shoulders with all sorts of different people. Especially if you want some of the awesome food, (e.g. you'll literally be shoulder to shoulder for Okonomiyaki). If you want that full relaxation mode with not many tourists around, it's not that ideal really.

    No excuse for being a DH though ^
     
  2.  
    Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    I'm not entirely sure why I'm in this thread - I've only been to Nozawa once, and not since 2010!

    Be that as it may, and reflecting on my comments about wandering around with a can in hand, that may well be my personal values at play. I think wandering the streets with a beer can in hand is a bad look unless you're at something like the Mardi Gras. That would mean the fire festival is a carve out. Otherwise, for me, that's "bogan". I'm sure I've offended someone there and if so, sorry, but it's also what I think.
     
    :thumbs: Tonester likes this.
  3.  
    Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    Spot on

    It is poor form to wander the streets here in Australia slugging down cans and being loud may even be illegal ?? In some states

    So why would it be cool or tolerated in Japan either

    Sure it happens
    On Occassion I guess but I don't recall seeing packs of guys wandering around Buller or any other Australian ski resort drinking cans either

    It is just obnoxious bogan behaviour no matter how you try to spin it

    Very sadly this is the same
    Conversation that was had about niseko when it started to become ugly some years ago

    Real pity to see
    The same thing in a stunning place like nozawa though

    Like niseko all those years ago, time to leave nozawa behind and experience the many other resorts yet to be stained so.
     
  4.  
    blowfin

    blowfin Active Member

    Yeah, in most parts of the world it's fine. We are complete wowsers about street drinking in Australia, because you know, it's mostly (totally?) illegal, so we have been raised to think that street drinking is inherently bad. Our legislation here is probably due to wider societal problems involving all sorts of issues, that could form another entire thread. However, sharing a beer with a mate from a vending machine after a day on the slopes has to be one of life's greatest simple pleasures IMHO. Just because we haven't been granted the liberty here, does not make it wrong to indulge in the novelty in another country.

    @Hunter so you went one too many times and didn't set your expectations correctly? No need to call the place stained. I'm sure the tourism industry and the townspeople would largely disagree with you, and appreciate the patronage in Winter. Sounds like it's certainly time for you to find somewhere else though. Personally I'm not sure I'd go back either, but I have zero interest in bagging out other Australians who choose to go there.
     
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  5.  
    Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    The bogan behaviour is the reason both of us may choose to ski elsewhere just as happened to so many with Niseko 10 years ago
    Nothing to do with people choosing to ski in the resort, the resort and the village is I reckon the best in japan, it is just becoming far too busy and saturated with Aussies, most who are very well behaved by the way

    I am sure I will ski there again sometime but maybe in late feb

    I am sure the Australians that live / work in the resort ongoingly dont seek out the bars packed with loud Aussies, no different to those of us who go to japan to experience as much japanese culture as possible in combination with great skiing, why would we make a choice to go to a resort that was developing to some extent into the fore mention bar ?

    Many other resorts to experience.

    Nozawa a decade ago will always be my number one ski resort in japan
     
    :thumbs: blowfin likes this.
  6.  
    hotsaki

    hotsaki Dedicated Member Season Pass Silver

    One can always avoid the bars full of Aussies.Some brilliant Izakaya`s in Nozawa.
     
    :thumbs: blowfin likes this.
  7.  
    Annabuzzy

    Annabuzzy Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    Is it really so "in most places in the world"?

    I've been to quite a deal of places and I can't remember seeing anyone other than Aussie bogans, English bogans, backpacker bogans and footy hooligans doing it.

    I'm happy for you to enjoy your life as you see fit, but personally I think it's a bad look.
     
  8.  
    dawooduck

    dawooduck Pool Room Season Pass Gold

    IMHO .... whining about Australians on holiday is about as Bogan as it gets; put a brown paper bag on it and do try and enjoy your luxurious lifestyle.
     
    :thumbs: kaegee likes this.
  9.  
    currawong

    currawong Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    I was talking to a friend who was in Nozawa Onsen that week and said that a guy called Sandy who lived in Japan showed them around. Were you that Sandy?
     
  10.  
    Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Season Pass Gold

    Could be.... I was there with one friend, and his group of 11 people who came from Australia. Couple of instructors in that lot!!!! ;)
    What was his first name?
     
  11.  
    M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Actually you average, not add. So 41.5% between 18-50 have a tattoo. My daughter has sworn to never get a tattoo. Why? "Because if I did I can't go into an onsen". Good priorities!
     
    :thumbs: Vermillion likes this.
  12.  
    oppositelock

    oppositelock Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    I chose not to get one to be a rebel. :thumbs:
     
  13.  
    currawong

    currawong Old And Crusty Season Pass Gold

    PM
     
  14.  
    pedub

    pedub Active Member

    Not strictly correct either, depends on the proportion of each generation, but anyway, when it comes to onsen, I think - so what if more people in western countries are getting tattoos - too bad for them.

    Onsen is truly a Japanese thing, and just because other parts of the world are changing doesn't mean the Japanese have to start accepting them. I don't think anyone in this thread actually said tattoos should be allowed in the onsen, I just want to give an example where Japanese should have the right to retain their cultural rules/standards.

    Have not observed any bad Aussie behaviour on my trip in Hokkaido this year, just 1 guy blatantly cutting the gondola line in Furano. Haven't been to Niseko yet though.
     
  15.  
    hotsaki

    hotsaki Dedicated Member Season Pass Silver

    Thats the good thing about Niseko.Like a big vacuum cleaner it sucks all the bogans into its vortex.So rest of Hokkaido clear!LOL
     
    :thumbs: M_G likes this.
  16.  
    Hunter

    Hunter Part of the Furniture Season Pass Gold

    That was true up until the last few years when they escaped the gates of Niseko and started in Hakaba and now are moving on to Nozawa due in some part to the fire festival I believe which for the Aussies is a dream come true of course as it is a huge piss up round a bonfire !!
     
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  17.  
    blowfin

    blowfin Active Member

    I think the vast majority of Europe, obviously Japan. Seems like it's countries where the dominant culture is older than a few hundred years, and there aren't problems with the indigenous inhabitants adjusting to alcohol? Maybe I'm stretching it? Personally I find smoking inside a lot more offensive. I had an apre Asahi out of a vending machine yesterday waiting for my buddy to get his hire sorted out, it was nice.
     
  18.  
    Gimp

    Gimp Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Any frothers reports from today, BobGnarly was reporting 80+ this morn?
     
  19.  
    Nozawaman

    Nozawaman Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    It wasn't 80 here , maybe 30, but still nice skiing .....
     
    :thumbs: DPS Driver likes this.
  20.  
    Pelm1

    Pelm1 Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Fire in the village. One place completely destroyed.
     
  21.  
    silva

    silva Active Member

    Mini trip report:
    We spent 3 weeks snowboarding in Japan - the first 2 at Hakuba and last week at Nozawa.

    Fire Festival - the fire festival was on while we were in Hakuba but our accommodation organised a bus so we thought we would go and check it out. You could not see anything except the top of the "decorations" - the crowd was 20 -30 deep. There was huge crowds and as I had a child with me (+1 was ill so stayed in Hakuba) it was had to negotiate. Most restaurants in the town were closed so dinner was hard to find. Unless you were staying in Nozawa and go in early to get a good viewing spot I would not spend the money.

    Nozawa - the last week of our holiday we spent in Nozawa. Bus transfer to Hakuba was easy and painless and dropped up to our accommodation - Altitude Nozawa. Altitude Nozawa was a really nice place to stay. It was on the edge of the village, quiet, nice rooms, fantastic drying room, excellent breakfast and the dinners were very nice if you wanted to stay in. They run a shuttle service to town at night so it was also easy to head into town to explore, go to onsens and have dinner.
    Food - excellent. We had excellent, inexpensive food everywhere. In general we found it cheaper to eat out in Nozawa than Hakuba and the little restaurants we found were a highlight of our trip.
    Getting around - there is a bus service which we found to be reliable to get to and from the hill but the timetable seemed very flexible if you were not at the first stop and often the buses just drove past you if you were waiting at the stop but they were full. Fortunately we were only a 5 minute walk from the lifts so not a huge issue for us but I would not want to be reliant on this service.
    The Hill - as I was riding with a child I did not get the opportunity to sample the many backcountry options which abound around the resort. In bounds we pretty much rode everything available in the first 2 days. The middle section of the mountain is seriously flat and frustrating and navigating around the mountain required a lot of traversing on flat cat tracks - not fun on a snowboard. We found a lot of fun runs but getting to and from them was almost always on slow green runs and cat tracks. There was also a lot of walking which was kind of strange. You literally come out of the gondola and there is no down options - you need to walk to the start of the runs. So while we enjoyed the mountain and the snow was fantastic it was not our favourite and I would not go back for the snowboarding unless all kitted up with backcountry gear, the knowledge to use it and friends with similar equipment and abilities.
    Overall - loved the village, loved the food, loved the atmosphere, excellent accommodation, found the in bounds mountain experience to be a bit underwhelming even though the snow was great.
     
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  22.  
    hatto

    hatto Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Terrible news, any idea where?
     
  23.  
    Pelm1

    Pelm1 Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    The little shop opposite the onsen up the hill from the post office.
    The guy who builds snow sculptures.

    The top floor is gone..
     
  24.  
    oppositelock

    oppositelock Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    I heard the something going on, not good.
     
  25.  
    hatto

    hatto Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    So Sad
     
  26.  
    Mrdini

    Mrdini Active Member

    Saw the firefighters standing outside that yesterday morning... oh dear.

    Wanted to ask - having lot of fun here but I hadn't realised Nozawa Onsen is relatively small to be skiing here for a whole week. As a result, was pondering a day trip to another resort (apart from Madarao which I'll be going to on Sat eve).

    An advert for Ryuoo caught my eye... is it worth a day visit? (Seems there are shuttles there from Iiyama). I see there's a "tour trail" - whats this & when exactly does it opens as advert I have only says "late Feb". Any other ski resorts that there are public transport to?

    Oh! What are the on-piste restaurants I should try to hit up? ;) Buna was very yum!

    Thanks!
     
  27.  
    M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    IMHO, yes. However Togari is easier to access. Mount Kosha resorts (Kijimadaira, X-Jam, etc.) are also closer too
     
  28.  
    Mrdini

    Mrdini Active Member

    Hm. But how can I get to these resorts? The tourist office didn't even know about the Ryuoo free shuttle until I showed them the advert so guessing they won't know about the others...:-s (don't have car btw)
     
    :thumbs: trenty likes this.
  29.  
    M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    There used to be a bus to Togari. Not sure now. Have you asked your hotel?
     
  30.  
    hatto

    hatto Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    No Bus to Togari, Cab is 5500Y, go on pow day/weekend, great little place
     
  31.  
    Gregah

    Gregah Just Registered

    Great review thanks silva. I'm considering taking the wife and two kids (under 9) to Nozawa at the same time next year. We are all skiers so wont be as annoyed by the flat bits and are looking forward to food, atmosphere and village. A couple of questions for you - 1) How was the bogan factor? and 2) It sounds like you didn't get off piste but did you get a vibe as to how ski patrol were policing off piste tree skiing this year?
     
  32.  
    Mrdini

    Mrdini Active Member

    Was going to tonight - but if what Hatto says is right & there's no bus then 5500 JPY is a bit much for one person... Will see tonight.
     
  33.  
    hatto

    hatto Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Other way would be $6bus back to iiyama, local train to Togarionsen station - 2 stops, walk to slopes.
    Y5500 was for minivan and 6 of us. That is each way also.
    Taxi depot is east side of traffic lights in Nozawa, opposite IXSM Travel. call in and ask for price

    If you go, stay late and go to curry house Penticton (opens 5.30pm) Bottom of hill near bus depot. Most amazing curries, but don't get the hot unless you can handle very hot.
     
  34.  
    Mrdini

    Mrdini Active Member

    Ok... the lady in hotel said there are buses to both Togari & Kijimadaira from Iiyama so will take bus to Iiyama & see how it goes tomorrow! (No train apparently? I'm assuming this isn't Togari Nozawa Onsen - there's no Togari Onsen as far as I can tell)

    Hatto, I thought ¥5500 return was pricey enough. And now you say it's ¥5500 each way!!! Are we talking Japanese hot or Indian hot? ;)

    Gregah, to be honest, although I'm a skier, I can't say I've been bothered by the amount of flat areas - there honestly doesn't seem like that much at least compared to other resorts... as for Aussies, I'll confess that compared to Myoko, there seems to be lot of Aussies and I was honestly surprised by the amount of poor behaviour I've seen so far - drinking in public and walking while eating :( (granted, that's a fairly Japanese thing but still....). Certainly not as many Aussies compared to Niseko though (Moiwa excepted). Regarding piste patrol, can't say I've seen them patrolling off piste as such much, but then only been here a few days...
     
  35.  
    hatto

    hatto Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Indian hot
    Sorry for shortening up.
    Iiyama to togarinozawa-onsen station is a 12 min trip and costs about 210Yen.
    Train leaves iiyama at 7.55am, arrives togari 8.07
    Y210. Walk to lift which open 8.30.
    Taxis are very expensive compared to public transport.
    Before bullet train to iiyama we used to catch rattler train from nagano to togari. Taxi to nozawa was Y3200
     
  36.  
    M_G

    M_G Dedicated Member Season Pass Gold

    Pancake stacks for breakfast in the cafeteria at the base.

    If you're staying late for curry also check out Ambis. Very small cool bar
     
  37.  
    ally101

    ally101 Just Registered

    Hi! I'm a beginner skiier going to Nozawa next week and wanted to know if you really do need to book private lessons much advance or if you should be alright if you go early in the morning/the day before? I've read that english speaking instructors are in high demand and get booked up very quickly.
    Thanks
     
  38.  
    grantn

    grantn Active Member Season Pass Gold

    1)Just walked past a white (no doubt Australian) guy taking a leak straight outside a restaurant in the main street in a drain. Bogan factor through the roof this year, both in the village, in the resort and also sadly in the backcountry.
    2) In terms of out of bounds, ski patrol here have definately adopted a"don't want to know" policy. They regularly announce over the loudspeakers that OOB is banned, but pretend they can't see/turn their backs when people duck ropes. Lots of signage as to hefty search and rescue costs charged if you get into trouble though.
    There are ample "off piste" treed areas in Nozawa that are inbounds, without going OOB.
     
  39.  
    Nozawaman

    Nozawaman Addicted Member Season Pass Gold

    Here you go , book it now . http://www.nozawaski.com/winter/en/rental/
    You shouldn't have any trouble this time of year .
    Have fun.
     
  40.  
    silva

    silva Active Member

    Hi Gregah
    Personnally we did not see much bogan factor - probably because we usually ate early and were back in the lodge by 8:30pm to get the 7 year old to bed. We were there in school holidays so lots of families. Lots of Aussies around but we still found ourselves to be the only english speakers in restaurants for dinner on several occasions (once again maybe because we were eating early and we were not eating at the popular western style food places).

    Although we didnt do much off piste we stayed in a lodge where the majority of people were only doing off piste riding. A general summary from talking to them would be that you really need to know what you are doing to get the most of the area. Apart from the "own risk" area between the runs at the top lift there is not much "just off the run" sort of riding as the trees tend to be pretty tight. The good off piste riding is back country and needs to be treated with respect. If you are polite, discrete and geared up ski patrol were not bothering people.

    If you are looking to introduce your kids to side country and tree riding I would recommend Iwatake and Tsugaike - we had some fantastic days at both riding with 3 kids (all advanced level snowboarding) 9,7,7 and 2 or 3 adults. Several options at both resorts to lap the lifts accessing tree runs of varying steepness. Lots of fun and big smiles.
     
  41.  
    ally101

    ally101 Just Registered

  42.  
    Gregah

    Gregah Just Registered

    Cheers silva & grantn. I'll check out Iwatake & Tsugaike.
     
  43.  
    Hauffy

    Hauffy Active Member

    Q- does the bus go from Nozawa to the local iiyama train station? Or to the Shink station, and how far apart are the 2 x stations?
    Thinking of doing a day trip there on Friday.
     
  44.  
    Mrdini

    Mrdini Active Member

    Hauffy - day visit to Togari? Go for it! Hatto tips were spot on - went to Penticton, very yummy! Open all day though apparently, not from 5.30pm. Not sure about advice to walk from train station (I didn't, took the bus & it seemed like a long way from Togari Nozawa Onsen JR to the lifts based on how long the bus took)

    Iiyama JR serves both local & Shinkansen. I've attached the bus times for Iiyama JR to Togari & vice versa.

    Happened to see the timetables for Kijimadaira when I was at Iiyama JR - looked a bit rubbish :( (only a handful of express buses late in the day & the local bus looked like it has loads of stops) so not sure about Kijimadaira...
     

    Attached Files:

    :thumbs: hatto likes this.
  45.  
    Hauffy

    Hauffy Active Member

    Thanks for the info! Will see what the weather does tomorrow.
     
  46.  
    john_kr

    john_kr Active Member Season Pass Silver

    The Shinkansen platforms at Iiyama are right above the local line platforms.

    [​IMG]
    http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/stations/e102.html
     
  47.  
    Hauffy

    Hauffy Active Member

    Ah that makes sense :) didn't notice the lower platform when we arrived last week.
     
  48.  
    Wheres Walle

    Wheres Walle New Member

    This place is pretty amazing.. couple of shots from the home leg of a little tour today.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  49.  
    Mike Pow

    Mike Pow Dedicated Member

    Cracking shots
     
  50.  
    Hauffy

    Hauffy Active Member

    Well, made it over over to Togari Onsen today. Kinda cocked up the logistics a little but got there in the end.
    7:30 bus from nozawa - iiyama. Arrived at 7:55.
    Train for Togari left at 7:55 so missed that one.
    Caught the next train at 9:24( should have caught a bus, but anyway...).
    No bus from the train station to the skijo so we walked. Took about 40 mins.
    Not the best conditions as it was 6degc and lightly raining, whole place was pretty slushy but fun anyway. Not big but bigger than I was expecting :)
    Not sure how vigilant they are on the off piste riding but I reckon it could be a lot of fun on a good day. Quite a lot of glide cracks in the snowpack today :/
    On the way back caught the bus straight to Iiyama and bus back to Nozawa. Buses left Togari at 20mins past the hour on the hour.
    Hardly noticed the high winds that were hitting Nozawa on the other side of the valley.
    That's it for the skiing part of this trip.
    Got to Mt Madarao last Thursday. Had very good conditions there till Sunday arvo, very busy on the sat and Sunday though. Some great inbounds powder riding for sure.
    Snow eased off for the rest of the week at Nozawa but got 2-3 real good days. Busier and a lot more Aussies, kiwis and Americans here than in 2014.
    Didn't notice any real bad behaviour just a couple of ******** moments.
    I mainly chose these resorts as my wife doesn't ride or ski but she likes hitting up the onsens etc.
    Very keen to hire a car and go exploring next trip, whenever that may be.
    Off to Tokyo tomorrow for 4 days then home.
    Hauffy.
     
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