Apr 15, 2022 / LIFESTYLE

Is Nozawa Onsen the perfect remote working ski resort?

Nozawa Onsen has captivated visitors since the Edo period. It became a ski resort in the early part of the 20th century and produces more Japanese winter Olympic athletes than any other city in Japan. It also happens to have superbly fast broadband. Amongst the charming traditional inns and even on the perfect powder snow pistes, a savvy town council has made sure that this resort is able to be part of the digital landscape. Hikari fibre optic means speeds of around 300mbps and up to as much as 1Gb. This isn’t just great news for the insta generation - it’s great news for anyone who wants to step into the world of remote working, or just have the flexibility to enjoy a longer stay in the place they love. 

Remote working is here to stay

The role that remote working plays in our lives has been growing at a steady pace, accelerated by the pandemic and the fact that people are increasingly discovering the benefits of working remotely from a ski resort. Choosing where to live this dream depends on where you love to ski, what you like to do and of course practicalities like communications connectivity. A Japanese mountain village steeped in history may not be your first thought, but as Peter Douglas of Nozawa Hospitality says

“ …worth noting that almost the whole of Japan, rural/mountain Japan included, has access to fibre optic internet. My connection halfway up the mountain (1,200m) in Nozawa Onsen is faster than it was in metro Singapore – almost no competition for bandwidth here!”

Why choose Nozawa Onsen? 

Let’s start with skiing. This is Japan’s largest snow resort. Nozawa has welcomed skiers for over 70 years. It has 50 k of trails blessed with perfect powder snow that notch up to around 297 hectares of skiing. 

Nozawa Onsen ski facts

  • 36 runs
  • 21 lifts
  • Longest run 10km
  • Max elevation 1,650 m

You’ll find a great choice of runs here. Yamakibo offers superb intermediate runs and tree skiing, while Uenotaira has long, wide slopes that are perfect for those learning to hone their ski skills. Snowboarders are well looked after too, with a snow park that has an 80m pipe as well as all the jumps, rails and boxes you’d expect. If you crave a more peaceful run, then Yunomine and Mizumashi are a snowy oasis, with direct links to the more advanced Ushikubi or “cow’s neck” run. 

As well as a variety of runs there’s jumps at Hachima as well as the challenge of the Olympic cross country ski course and the opportunity to ski off piste with a local guide. 

What else is there to do in Nozawa Onsen? 

As you’d probably guessed, the onsen are a pretty big draw, and the combination of hot mineral springs and stand out skiing is pretty perfect. There are 30 springs in all that serve a total of 13 ryokan or bath houses. You can experience a magical cave onsen, relish watching snow fall as you bathe in an outdoor onsen or join fellow bathers at one of the larger onsen like Sparena. It’s the perfect way to nurture slope tired muscles and unwind from the strains of the day. 

Fabulous food

This is an international resort and you can find food from across the globe. There are traditional Teppan bars, serving Okonomiyaki and Yakisoba as well as beautifully decorated restaurants that offer traditional delights like grilled eel and Yakitori. 

As well as authentic local dishes you’ll be able to indulge in Korean BBQ, Italian-Japanese fusion (yes it does exist) or even recall alpine dishes from Europe at the Swiss bakery. There are all sorts of bars too, from karaoke to american to achingly cool coffee shop and sake hybrids. 

Stunning mountain views from this Nozawa Onsen apartment

Fabulous festivals

The thing that makes Nozawa Onsen stand out as a resort is it’s tradition. This is a place with real roots, and longstanding cultural references that delight locals and visitors alike. Things like the Dosojin Matsuri Festival, a feast of torch bearing that culminates in a fire battle. It happens every January, and in testament to the spirit of forward thinking seeks good fortune for the coming ski season as well as the more traditional hopes for an abundant harvest and family prosperity. 

As well as the fire festival, visitors can discover more about the history of skiing at the Ski Museum, and find out about one of Nozawa’s famous sons by paying a visit to Oborozukiyo Hall, to discover the work of Tatsuyuki Takano. 

What sort of property could I buy in Nozawa Onsen? 

At SnowOnly we have access to a great range of ski property in Nozawa Onsen and because we’re a ski property portal you can be sure you’re seeing property from agents and private sellers all in one place. If you’re looking for a sleek base to use as a holiday home or rental, then this one bedroom apartment is ideal. It’s part of Kawamatoya, a reimagining of the traditional inn, complete with timeless design and stunning mountain or valley views. It’s set in the heart of Nozawa Onsen so you’re just moments from all the village has to offer, as well as some of the best skiing in Japan. The location and quality of the apartments mean there’s plenty of scope to enjoy a longer stay, and the excellent connectivity means you’ve plenty of flexibility. 

If you’re looking for something that will allow true immersion in the mountain lifestyle, Paradise Chalet may be for you. It’s designed to echo a european alpine chalet, and has well appointed interiors with four large bedrooms, and hi-spec kitchen. Despite appearances you’ll be able to access the internet too, so it’s a great option for anyone seeking to sample life as a digital nomad as well as enjoying some of the best skiing in the world. 

Stay ahead of the market

Our property alert system is the best way to keep up to date with ski property availability in Nozawa Onsen. You’ll find lots of useful articles about remote working on our website, as well as lots of information about some of our favourite ski resorts in Japan.