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Advice needed Nozawa Onsen Lodging with Child

Discussion in 'Japan' started by japower, Mar 12, 2018.

  1. japower

    japower Hard Yards

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    Need advice from those of you who have stayed at Nozawa Onsen. What's a good area to look into for accommodation in the village? We'll be traveling with a child so don't want to be too far from the lifts/gondola. What area in the village would you recommend that we stay in? (Nagasaka, Hikage or Karasawa?) Are there specific places that are close to the ski fields and conveniently located to dining options? We won't be driving. Thanks very much!
     
  2. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think main issue is making sure you don't have to walk up too far up hill to the lifts.
    So staying in the middle of town is good for shops and restaurants, but a b*tch to walk up to the lifts.(either Nagasaka, or the moving walkway).
    If you stay nearer to Hikage, it's a hike down for restaurants.
    Karasawa is not as steep up hill to lifts, but it's a hike to restaurants... however it's a fairly flat walk.
     
  3. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    What @Sandy said. However, how old is your kid?

    If old enough I'd stay in the village and take the hike in the morning, it's really not that far. It's better than doing it at night to try and get dinner in the village.
     
  4. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    I think that a car within Nozawa Onsen is not an option in winter. I would be surprised if you were allowed to drive around and the narrow streets are bad enough in a car when there is no snow making them narrower.
     
  5. japower

    japower Hard Yards

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    Thanks for the info guys.
    What about staying near the moving walkway? It's up on a hill, right? It should be better to walk down into town in regular shoes (to dine) than staying in the middle of town and having to walk up a hill in ski boots, no?

    I've always pictured Nozawa to be like Happo, where the streets are narrow but cars can still drive in them in the middle of winter. I guess Nozawa's streets are narrower.

    He's 9, but that's beside the point. The point is I'm the one who has to haul his gear as he happily prances alongside his old man.
     
  6. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    You can store your gear near the Hill.
     
  7. Tanuki

    Tanuki A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ok, that's your particular dilemma. My 4yr old carries her own gear, granted it's very light ;) The best option is to store your stuff in a locker at the end of the first day - that way you'll only have to lug it up and down once.
     
  8. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    That would work. The roads are cleared by sprayed running water, and often, it can get icy, so you need to be aware of that.

    Yeah, Nozawa is nothing like Happo. Ok, you COULD drive, but you could actually get to a place uphill where you can't turn around:
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. dawooduck

    dawooduck relaxed and comfortable Ski Pass: Gold

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    Driving in Nozawa would defeat the whole purpose of being Nozawa. It's a walking town. The kids 9 and should be carrying it's own gear by now, not withstanding the over thinking the solution is store your gear at Nozawa sports at the Nagasaka gondola and send the kid to boarding school ...

    Is there a man in the family ?
     
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  10. munja

    munja Hard Yards

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    Are you hiring his gear, if so you can leave it where you hired it from over night. I hired skis for my partner, and they let her leave her ski boots a the shop, they even put them on the heaters with a post it, with her name on the boot.
     
  11. silva

    silva One of Us

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    Hi, we stayed here with a 7 year old.
    http://www.altitudenozawa.com
    It's right on the far edge of the village but was still easy. Only a couple of minutes slightly uphill to the lifts and they ran a bus in to town in the evenings. We walked a few times though and it was easy. Nowhere is really too far. It's a small village.
    This accommodation suited us as rooms had a double and single bed. It lacked Japanese traditional atmosphere but breakfasts were fantastic and we got a really good discount as we booked with one of their partners in Hakuba so got a long stay discount.
     
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  12. Hully

    Hully One of Us

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    We spent a week with our 8yo last month at Maruji, which is an easy 10 min walk up to Nagasaka Gondola. Walked up in soft shoes carrying our gear and changed under gondola station leaving shoes in 100¥ locker. He has been carrying his own gear for a few years now but I did stick his skis on my pack for these walks and he carried his boots and poles over his shoulder. There are options for leaving gear places at and around the gondola station.
    Don't too much over thinking/planning.....
     
  13. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    I've stayed at Lodge Seizan, which is not too far down the hill from the Nagasaka Gondola. It's 2-3 min walk to Nagasaka. Japanese style tatami.
    https://www.google.com.au/maps/dir/...401,138.449008,338m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m2!4m1!3e2

    I've also stayed at Berg Marukaneya. It's about 2 min from Karasawa, and a flat walk into the town centre. Japanese style tatami.
    https://www.google.com.au/maps/dir/...8e6ef1802d77!2m2!1d138.44298!2d36.9166862!3e2

    It's one thing to say don't overthink it, but if you have walk up in shoes and park your skis/boots somewhere near Nagasaka/Hikage, then you DO have to think about it.
     
  14. Born2ski

    Born2ski Part of the Furniture

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    We stayed here with our kids. http://gonozawa.com/ Just across from the Nagasaka gondola.

    Personally I always prefer to have the shorter walk to the lifts. Walking to restaurants in snow boots carrying nothing is much easier for kids than a long walk in ski boots carrying skis.
     
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  15. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Definitely agree with this... Not just for the physical effort, but for less wear and tear on your ski boot soles.
     
  16. skichanger

    skichanger A Local Ski Pass: Gold

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    Ski boot soles wear and tear is something you only really consider when they are your boots! Nothing more annoying that watching child 1 walking along deliberately scraping their heels when you know you will need these boots for child 2.:headbang:
     
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  17. PiggabeenBoarder

    PiggabeenBoarder Hard Yards

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    Hi there....literally my first post on here but been reading for years, love the site.

    Anyway we just got back from 8 days in Nozawa. Stayed at Villa Nozawa, a traditional sleeping (tatami) lodge which is down the bottom (feels like the bottom anyway) near Karasawa - I think about 100m to their lifts and then you ski over to the gondolas. We've got a 2.5 & 4.5 year old who generally don't like to carry much and the 2.5 year old was barely wanting to walk anywhere (partially sick); I had to either carry them or gear for a lot of the trip and not going to lie it was hard work. You having a 9 year old should be seriously easy......can't wait until we are in that land!

    The thing that's great about Nozawa, which has been stated already is that it's not too big and easily accessible via either shuttle bus, roads and the ski lifts, and so it doesn't really matter where you end up, you'll be close to something useful and once you know the roads and the ski runs / lifts you can always find your way back fairly easily.

    Just go for something that fits your budget or has a good deal and don't worry too much about it's physical location.

    Hope that helps.
     
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  18. japower

    japower Hard Yards

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    Thanks for all the feedback. I'm not overthinking it. Just trying to plan for a holiday at a place we've never been. We were at Hakuba in January and had our share of equipment-lugging going to a different ski field each day. Most kids lack upper body strength. While my son can now ski down some black diamond runs and bike over 20k, he has trouble carrying his skis on an extended walk (Hotel Hifumi to Happo bus terminal, for those of you who are familiar with Happo). So once bitten twice shy.

    Good to know we can keep our gear in a locker at a base station. Can I hire equipment at all the base stations? That would be great if it's the case.

    Did you find 8 days to be too long for Nozawa? We're planning on 5 days. But I understand that traveling with small children will chew up the time very fast.

    That's what they do at Echigo Yuzawa. Sometimes it's more important to have waterproof shoes than hiking shoes.
     
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  19. PiggabeenBoarder

    PiggabeenBoarder Hard Yards

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    If I was boarding the entire time throughout the 8 days then maybe though I'm easily pleased - happy at Charlotte Pass for example, working on technique and skills with minimal traffic. And yes you're right, having the kids seriously impacts on the day, between slow starts, then lunch plus was switching with the wife to help look after them on days where we didn't put him / them into child minding places.
    I didn't get much powder but I can't help feel that that size of mountain with a bit to a lot of powder would adequately see you through way more than 8 days; also considering that it's warming up now and as I saw, a couple of days were quite warm with the dreaded r#$n in which we had a lay day!
     
  20. Beerman

    Beerman One of Us Ski Pass: Silver

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  21. john_kr

    john_kr Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    I've stayed in Nozawa twice with kids, and both times left our gear at Hikage (we were hiring, and the hire guys were happy to store/dry it overnight). The village itself is compact and easily walked from pretty much anywhere. The last block up to the moving footway (in Sandy's photo) is the steepest walk, but it's short. Because we hired at Hikage, we didn't really do the walk from the centre of the village to Nagasaka very much. The Karasawa area is furthest from restaurants etc, and requires a connecting lift to get to the gondolas (although you can ski home). Our first year (Jan 2016) was a poor season, and Karasawa was closed the entire week due to not enough snow, so it's a small risk staying that far down the hill. The other thing in Nozawa's favour is that it's a nice town to walk through, so it doesn't seem like a chore. Generally though, the further uphill you stay, the easier you'll find it, but I wouldn't give that too much weight in choosing a place.
     
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  22. japower

    japower Hard Yards

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    OK, good to know. I will strike Karasawa off the list. Wouldn't want to stay in a snowless area.

    I see on the trail map that there's one lift (a double) below Hikage that drops you near a ski museum where you can then ski down to the Hikage gondola. Looks like a good place to get a boost up the hill without having to deal with the steep walk and the moving footway? Are there ski in/out accommodation near the bottom of that lift?
     
  23. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    Normally Karasawa has 200/300 cm of snow...
     
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  24. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    Karasawa usually has plenty of snow in January.

    Unless you're right up the northern end of town, that lift (Shinyu pair) it not so practical, because you still have to walk to it, but THEN you have to get back there at the end of the day (although it may down load). From the top of Shinyu, it's a flat run/push/skate to the Hikage Gondola.
     
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  25. japower

    japower Hard Yards

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    The things that trail maps don't reveal! Thank you. Definitely don't want that. I've had my share of unwaxed rentals that require gravity to move.
     
  26. zarik

    zarik Hard Yards

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    I have a 4 and 2 year old. The thing I found super useful is a child carrying backpack and leashes to leash the skis to it. The 4 year old can carry her skis a bit but it is damn slow going up hill. So what I do I have her walk with her poles wearing normal boots, then at the lift have her put on ski boots I have in the backpack.

    For a 9 year old get him a backpack he can leash skis to, it is really easy to carry them and he can put lunch, water, thermos with hot chocolate in there, plus it looks cool.
     
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  27. japower

    japower Hard Yards

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    Good idea. Currently I'm the only one in the family carrying a backpack. It'd be nice if he could share the load. I also like Beerman's ski carry straps.
     
  28. john_kr

    john_kr Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    As others have pointed out, it's only a tiny risk, but it did happen in 2016 which was, by all accounts, an exceptionally poor season. Having had that area closed during our first visit, it was nice to have somewhere "new" to explore on our second trip, and Karasawa was one of my kids' (they're 11 to 15) favourite runs this year. Karasawa is a bit far from the centre of town (but it's only a small town).

    No ski in/out accommodation in Shinyu. I think the lift does download, but I've never done it. I've also heard that the accommodation near the bottom of Shinyu isn't particularly used to international guests, but have no personal experience in that regard. Anyway, the "steep" walk up to the footway is a doddle, even with kids, as the steep section is very short (under 100m), and my kids love the moving footway. Our first time in Nozawa we stayed at the top of that hill right under the O-yu footway, and my kids would go down to town a couple of times every afternoon for snacks or shopping, and then again for dinner. Never any complaints about coming back up the hill, even after a long day's skiing.
     
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  29. hardbooter

    hardbooter Hard Yards

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    Resort Inn Chitose is at the very top of this street right near the escalator stayed there in Jan 2016. Very good, close to skiing, great food .If you have to go to Nozawa I would stay there again . Nozawa once was enough.
     
  30. japower

    japower Hard Yards

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    Thanks for the recommendation. I looked up Resort Inn Chitose, and it seems like they don't have in-house onsen. Is that the case?
     
  31. japower

    japower Hard Yards

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    Was this at Resort Inn Chitose that hardbooter mentioned by any chance?
     
  32. john_kr

    john_kr Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Yes, it was (and it was good to very good), but no, there's no in house onsen. There are 14 public onsens in Nozawa so it wasn't any real issue. O-yu, Nozawa's best known onsen, is at the bottom of the hill 60-odd metres away, and about another 3 with another 100 metres of that. Resort Inn Chitose, like our second accommodation (and most others in Nozawa, I presume) supplied onsen bags with towel, carry bag and washer (but no soap/shampoo) to facilitate using the public onsens. I like having to go out to the public onsens, and have been to 11 of the 14 in Nozawa now (and not a poor one amongst them), but your mileage may vary.

    If hardbooter was there in Jan 2016, then if it was the last week, we've probably met without knowing it :)
     
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  33. hatto

    hatto One of Us Ski Pass: Gold

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    Karasawa end of town is great, No issues about walking to Link Lift (short walk and not overly steep), shuttle bus runs to Nagasaka every 10 mins and you will always get a seat because first stop is Nakao which is pretty much down hill from any accom (10 min bus ride).
    Walking to town is a meander with next to no slope for the most part. (both main roads go across slope not up slope)
    2016 was a low snow season but I still was able to get home every day. For the 5 other years i have been there the snow has been fine.
     
  34. john_kr

    john_kr Hard Yards Ski Pass: Silver

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    Just rereading my post above and embarrassed to report that we didn't stay at Resort Inn Chitose, but at a lodge with a similar name over the road Resort House Kogen o_O. Had a view of Resort House Chitose's signage out my window every morning, must have scrambled my brain!
     
  35. japower

    japower Hard Yards

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    But why walk to town when you can be in town? And why the shuttle bus when you can go out the door and hop on the moving walkway?
     
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  36. Donzah

    Donzah Old n' Crusty Ski Pass: Gold

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    If i was looking for ease of getting to the snow and back. Karasawa end of town can't be beaten. I didn't really rate the moving walkway TBH
     
  37. Sandy

    Sandy Dark Sith Lord of the Pool Room Moderator Ski Pass: Gold

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    It comes down to availability and cost. Nozawa has become very popular lately, and accommodation in the centre of town, at a reasonable cost can be hard to find in peak season.
    Karasawa is still part of the town, but the "old" interesting part of town is a walk, but not a long one. And it's easy to get to lifts there.