by Kazuo Uehara, a local editor
Photo credits: Shinichi Kubota
In February 1971, Nozawa Onsen became a sister village with Saint Anton village in Austria, one of the best ski resorts in Europe and the hometown of Hannes Schneider.
As ski resorts, the two villages have had cultural exchanges through skiing and village customs, sending people to each other's villages to learn from each other about ski techniques and the management of ski resorts. The exchange of junior high school students has continued for many years. Nozawa Onsen Village looks to the world to host international competitions, and to grow as a ski resort and as a village.
The Japan Ski Museum was built in 1976 in lsemiya Park, and holds the Sakabe Collection and Ski Club items, as well as unique exhibits from Japan and all over the world dating back to the birth of skiing, and is one of a kind as a museum specializing in skiing. The history of skiing is introduced through representative gear and photo displays, as well as a chronological chart.
One of the goals of the Ski Club, to foster new athletes, has been successful in bringing many skilled athletes to the world stage. In 1966, Nozawa Onsen Junior High School was selected by the Sapporo Olympics as a certified athletic school. From that time, the village and the Ski Club started to focus on the professional training of athletes. They established the Nozawa Onsen Junior Ski Club in 1972 as the main training institution.
This led to the commercial launch of a training project for ski athletes in 1990, and athletes belonging to the Nozawa Onsen Ski Club received full economic support in a top training environment, allowing them to focus on competitions. The opportunity to immerse themselves in training in their hometown of Nozawa Onsen led to the birth of many athletes performing in the Olympic Games and other world-class tournaments.