Downhill mountain biking – Nozawa Onsen’s summer madness!

During the midsummer months (Opening period: July 13th), the main Nagasaka gondola is open, taking you up to about 1,500m, high above the Chikuma valley.  Not only is this a pleasant ride into the cool of the mountains, but it leads to great hiking trails, picnicking spots… and the start of some amazing downhill mountain biking trails!

Downhill mountain biking is the sport of choice in the summer for the winter sports-crazy locals in Nozawa.  One of the local ski/board shops morphs in the summer to be a bike-geek’s dream shop, and moves to a temporary location right at the base of the gondola.  There you can not only sort out your own bike and kit, but rent full or half suspension bikes and protective kits.  It’s very easy and the kids in the shop can muddle through in simple English if the Japanese for “calliper brake” or “knobblies” has temporarily slipped your mind.

Apart from the fire trails dotted around, there are at least two main routes down the mountain.  They’re well marked, and well used, so you’re unlikely to get lost.  There are also bifurcations of both routes between easy and, umm, less easy, routes.  The trails are mostly over open grassland, with some forested/wooded parts, and (for the easy trails) a little tarmac.  It’s all downhill, tho’, so this is about technique, not strength or stamina.

Read More

[Feature post] Chikuma River canoeing

10 minutes from Nozawa Onsen is a summer beachhead for canoeing and other river activities.  On a scorching August morning, the idea of pottering around on Japan’s longest river was very appealing.  We arrived, dealt with the formalities of registration and insurance, introduced ourselves to the other family in our group, and climbed into the people carrier (canoes on the trailer behind) for the 10km drive upriver.

The almost unbelievably aptly named Mr. Kanoe, our guide, explained a little about the river on our drive, and then conducted a briefing before we hit the water.   My kids were mostly beginners, but we learnt enough in 10 minutes to manoeuvre perfectly well; the unsinkable two-man canoes were very easy to handle. 


Read More

Nozawa Onsen – Shiga Kogen – Madarao / Tarumoto

Day 1 – Nozawa Onsen – Shiga Kogen

Garmin Connect

Google Earth

Read More

[June Blog Report] Nozawa to Shiga Kogen

[June Blog Report] Nozawa to Shiga Kogen

Some of us on our own bikes, some of us on Address Nozawa’s good-as-new rental bikes (all ally frames, in great condition!), we set off at a leisurely 9am from Nozawa Onsen, on a gorgeous June morning.  The sun was full out, but the mountain air was still cool, almost chill.  And, as Derek’s post mentioned, the sound of running water defines the village – water (hot, still and welcoming, or fast-flowing and cooling) is everywhere here.

Read More

Nozawa Hospitality Bike Rental

The folks at Nozawa Hospitality have just invested in a small fleet of good quality road bikes.  So throw your helmet and pedals into your weekend bag, hop on the train (or plane), and come on up!  They can help with itineraries, and even a sag wagon to accompany you.

Cost of Rental: 24 hours: ¥8,000 | 3 days: ¥20,000 | 7 days: ¥44,000 |30 days: ¥150,000
Optional accompanying vehicle: per day’s ride or part of a day’s ride: ¥20,000
Read More

Cycling Package: Coming Soon!

We’re cooking up something adventurous and exciting this summer season. Watch this space soon!

For immediate enquiries or booking please contact our team at:

Read More