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Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort has won the hearts of many powder lovers thanks to its abundant snow and amazing snow quality. The resort boasts many off-piste powder courses where you can indulge in soft, fresh snow to your heart's content, whether you're a skier or snowboarder. Once you experience powder snow, it hooks you. Recently, since becoming more popular with overseas skiers and snowboarders, the first gondola in the morning after a snowfall sees a long line of powder junkies eagerly clutching their fat skis and powder boards.
Nozawa Onsen's backcountry is a heaven for powder lovers. You'll see untouched powder and views off limits to on-piste skiers. But remember that when you step out of the professionally managed area and enjoy backcountry sport in nature, you do everything at your own risk. That means managing risks that can occur in snowy mountains. Now that you know, let's look at the ways to enjoy backcountry snowsports in Nozawa.

Risks in backcountry sport

As backcountry sport becomes more popular, accidents and the number of people getting lost in the mountains are on the rise. As countless people ski and snowboard outside the professionally managed zones, Nozawa Onsen Village enacted the Nozawa Onsen Village Ski Resort Safety Regulations in 2010. According to the regulations, people rescued outside of the professionally managed area must pay the rescue fee themselves. It just goes to show that snow mountains harbor a variety of risks and unexpected things can happen, even if you're very experienced. To eliminate these anxiety factors as much as possible and enjoy backcountry sport safely, proper equipment and knowledge are essential.
But that's not to say that you can't enjoy the backcountry unless you're really experienced with mountains. Anyone with a certain level of skiing/snowboarding skills can join a guided tour to enjoy off-piste world. The tour does not guarantee 100% safety, but to help you enjoy the experience, your professional guide will navigate your group more safely depending on your condition and level.

Nozawa Onsen Ski School Backcountry Tour

If you want to enjoy the backcountry in Nozawa, take part in Nozawa Onsen Ski School's Backcountry Tour. The guides, who know the area and terrains inside out, will take you to safe and fun backcountry areas. The basic tour is a through-run tour, taking you to places that you wouldn't find it easy to go by yourself. The tour is for intermediate to advanced family skiers. Through this tour, you can experience slopes and landscapes that are vastly different from on-piste areas. You'll also learn the basic code of behavior for safety in nature, and encounter fantastic snow. What's more, safety beacons, shovels and probes come at no extra cost.

Through-run tour from ski resort to Higashi Otaki and Nanagamaki community

"The Higashi Otaki Course Tour allows you to enjoy skiing or snowboarding amidst a great panoramic view of Echigo. It takes you from Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort and back through a rich variety of terrains, including open spaces and indigenous and planted forests. The one-day tour starts at around 1,300m above sea level, which is also the highest peak of the tour, and you ski down about 7km (basic route), over about 6.5 hours. Know the steps well so you can enjoy Nozawa Onsen's backcountry to the fullest.
●Fee: 13,000 yen (incudes tour fee, lift and gondola fee and original lunch)"
Join Nozawa Onsen Ski School's Backcountry Tour for an experience you'll never have on-piste.
text : Kensuke Itahara

Facility Information

Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort

7653 Toyosato, Nozawaonsen-mura, Shimotakai-gun, Nagano 389-2502

Nozawa Onsen Ski School

8005-2 Toyosato, Nozawaonsen-mura, Shimotakai-gun, Nagano 389-2502


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