An introduction to the hot springs village Nozawa Onsen, with its traditional, refined feel!

Nozawa Onsen is a famous hot springs village in Nagano Prefecture. Nearby is the Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort. In the winter it’s a popular tourist destination, as you can enjoy onsen, sightseeing, and skiing to your heart’s content.

13 most famous outdoor onsen in the village

Oyu Hot Springs at Nozawa Onsen

There are 13 famous outdoor onsen in the village. Each of these hot springs are located within a 5-10 minute walk away from each other.

The onsen are very well managed, and always safe and clean. All of them have water that flows directly from the source of the hot spring. Local people frequent these onsen as well, meaning you may come across some locals in the baths. Try saying “Hi” when you come across someone in the communal bath area.

The famous outdoor onsen Oyu, located in the center of the village

An area of Nozawa Onsen with many traditional Japanese ryokan

Even amongst the 13 outdoor hot springs, Oyu is the most famous. Its exterior evokes the architecture of the Edo Period. It’s a must-see spot if you’re in Nozawa Onsen.

Men’s bath in Oyu at Nozawa Onsen

Oyu draws its water from a sulfur spring, which means the water is good for gastrointestinal issues, rheumatism, and more. There’s a cold water faucet in the bath, by the way, but it’s bad manners to lower the temperature of the baths at Nozawa Onsen. Some locals may get upset if you do this, so just try to bear the hot water, or go in a bath that’s not quite as hot.

Standalone bath Nakao-no-Yu, the oldest wooden structure in the village

Nakao-no-Yu at Nozawa Onsen

Nakao-no-Yu has the oldest wooden structure amongst the outdoor onsen. It draws its water from the famous Ogama spring. The water is thought to be good for dermatological issues, rheumatism, gynecological issues, and more.

Juodo-no-Yu, a place to rest for many locals

Juodo-no-Yu at Nozawa Onsen

Juodo-no-Yu is a two-story onsen facility that has been around for a long time. The bathing area is made to be simple, without excess, and its down-to-earth feel makes it a popular place amongst locals. The water here is drawn from the Ogama Spring and Yunomiya Spring.

The famous Ogama Spring, the symbol of Nozawa Onsen

Ogama Spring at Nozawa Onsen

Out of over 30 onsen in Nozawa Onsen, Ogama Spring is the most famous hot spring. The water that flows from it is constantly at a temperature of about 100 degrees Celsius, which means it can be used to boil vegetables and make “onsen tamago” (Japanese soft-cooked eggs).

The Ogama Spring scenery at Nozawa Onsen

Ogama Spring is central to the village, acting as the site for local gatherings and also as a sort of everyday kitchen for the locals. It’s rare even in Japan for an onsen to be so closely intertwined with the locals’ daily lives.

Onsen tamago at Nozawa Onsen

Onsen tamago made with Ogama Spring water are extraordinarily good. There’s a workshop at the standalone hot springs where you can make your own onsen tamago, or you can buy them at the gift shop. It’s good to try them out as part of your travels.

Lots of gift shops around Ogama Springs!

Gift shop near Ogama Springs at Nozawa Onsen

There are a lot of gift shops near Ogama Springs. The most famous of the local specialties, however, are the “onsen manju” (hot spring steamed buns). We recommend you walk around town while munching on some steaming hot onsen manju.

An opportunity to enjoy one of Japan’s most famous hot spring villages

Winter scenery at Nozawa Onsen

So that about does it for our introduction to Nozawa Onsen -

there are all kinds of other amazing spots in Nozawa Onsen, however, that we weren’t able to introduce to you today. One of the best things about the village is just wandering around and discovering new, great things.

When you visit, try not to focus on just the onsen - walk around and enjoy some skiing too!

Pricing information and schedule may not be up to date and are subject to change without notice. Please check before your trip.

Related ski resorts

Nozawa Onsen Snow Resort Nagano Prefecture

Dec 25 - Apr 17
Courses24
Lifts20
Longest run distance10,000 m
Maximum gradient39 °
Courses24
Lifts20
Longest run10,000 m
Maximum39 °

Lift ticket

USD 91〜
Purchase

Rentals

USD 126〜
Purchase

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