Check out our event calendar to make the most of your stay in Nozawa Onsen!
July – It’s time for Summer activities!
Note that Summer Gondola will not be open during Summer 2020, due to construction of the new gondola, opening November 2020
23rd to 25th July 2020, Trail running in Nozawa Onsen, 65 km, 65 km Ekiden Relay race, 23 km trail race, 14 km Beginners trail race as well as vertical climb race. During this event, the trail runners take advantage of the numerous single tracks available in the surroundings of Nozawaonsen.
August – It’s time for Summer activities!
First Saturday of August, Hokuryu-ko lake fire festival starts at 8 pm. This is actually a fireworks contest, with many fireworks companies competing for the most spectacular display. With folk dancing and food stalls, it’s a great family night out.
12th to 14th August (the date may slightly change every year), Bon Odori, is a Japanese ancestral custom to honor the ancestor’s spirits. You can observe local men perform a dance known as Bon Odori.
September – Rice Harvest Month
Every Year the 8th and 9th of September is the Lantern Festival, local men play drum and flute while dancing suited with an old traditional costume for the event. At the same time, many Japanese lanterns are used to decorate the streets making of Nozawa onsen an even more photogenic place.
December – Winter is here!
First Week, Usually the first heavy snow starts to fall the first week of December, allowing the resort to open little by little.
Second Saturday of December, Opening Festival, enjoy your complimentary bowl of piping hot “nabe” (stew), washed down with a warming cup of Japanese sake!
25th December, Christmas Day
31st December, New Year’s Eve, Night Time skiing until 11.30pm, then fireworks at midnight, with free sake and hot wine at the Nagasaka home slope! Alternatively, you can join the locals at the main shrine, welcoming the new year by praying to the sound of the temple bell. Don’t forget to get your good luck note for the coming year.
January – Snowiest Month of the year!
1st January, from 11 am, free sake to welcome the first day of the New Year, at the Uenotaira ski area.
2nd Saturday of the month, Nasuki – Nozawa’s very own mascot, has a meet-the-people event at Hikage ski area
3rd Saturday of the month, the Giant rock-paper-scissor event is held on the main street. Come over and give it and go while enjoying drink and street food. (date may change slightly every year)
13th to 15th of January, the Dosojin Fire Festival is undoubtedly the most important Festival of the year in Nozawa. A three-storey shrine is built, and the 42 and 25 years old men of the village defend it from intense attacks by the other men of the village, wielding flaming torches to burn it to the ground. They always succeed eventually. It is a Japanese National Intangible Cultural Treasure, and you have to see it to believe it!
February – Second snowiest Month of the year!
2nd Saturday and Sunday of February, Iiyama Snow Festival. Our region has one of the highest snow accumulations of anywhere in Japan. The local town, Iiyama, appropriately holds a major Snow Festival every year. Featuring snow sculptures at the festival’s downtown site, there is also a fire festival as well as a unique ‘omikoshi’ parade shrine procession, one of the only ones in the country to take place in the snow.
12th February, Lunar New Year, one of Nozawa Onsen’s busiest week!
14th February, Valentines Day, receive a small gift at the ticket office when purchasing your chairlift ticket. The resort also plans to bring you Complimentary Chocolate Fondue on the slopes!
March – A more relaxed month with plenty of snow – the best for a skiing holiday!
First Saturday of March, Winter Night Light Festival. Inspect the huge snow grooming machines and watch the ballet of the machines; enjoy fireworks on the snow and night skiing while holding a torch. Enjoy your complimentary cup of Japanese sake too!
3rd Saturday of the month, the Giant Rock-paper-scissor event is held on the main street. Come over and give it and go while enjoying drink and street food. (date may change slightly every year)
31st March, Shin-yu pair lift and Hikage area lift including Hikage Gondola closes for the season. The Nagasaka Gondola and the rest of the station remain open until May.
April – Cherry Blossom in the valley, snow on the mountain
29th April, Start of Golden Week, one of Japan busiest holidays, Golden week is a combination of weekends and public holidays. Most of the Japanese people take days off at this moment. Nozawa Onsen is one of the few ski areas in Japan where you can still ski during Golden Week, as well as enjoying the spring flowers and weather.
May – Rice paddies are filled with water, and the village is filled with flowers
5th May, Last day of Golden Week.
6th May, The last Chairlifts and Gondola closes. This is sadly the end of the Winter season. But soon it’s the beginning of the Summer season, Stay tuned!
2nd Saturday and Sunday of May, Nanohana Panorama March is a walking festival. Let’s do a healthy walk while enjoying culture and nature together. Down in the valley, the nanohana fields are an intense yellow and a perfect backdrop for a picnic. You’ll also see the huge flying carp outside people’s houses, celebrating Boys’ day.
June – Summer is coming!
First Saturday and Sunday in June, Tsutsujiyama festival Azalea flower festival in Tsutsuji Yama Park. Right next to View Hotel Shimataya, and Residence Yasushi, admire the 5000 azaleas of the park, watch the performance of Dosojin Drums, buy local products, and enjoy other events held during the Azalea Festival.
Second week of June, Bamboo shoot Festival, continuing for over a week this festival takes place in the village’s back streets. You can try grilled bamboo shoot and bamboo shoot juice among the many street food and drinks available. For the adventurous, you can buy a bamboo shoot picking licence, and try your luck at picking your own on the mountain.
21st June, Summer Solstice, International Yoga Day. Stretchhhhh…..