1. Fireworks on the slopes
New Year’s Eve starts with a Bang! During this special day, you can ski on the slopes until 11:30 PM and then enjoy the New Year countdown and fireworks. Cask sake is also offered to visitors for free!
If you can’t be there at this period of the year, you can still come & watch fireworks displayed in early March on the Hikage slopes. You’ll be amazed by all the surroundings: tomyo lights, fireworks & flare skiing demonstrations.
2. Oyaki Bun
On the main street of Nozawa, Oyu Duri, you can buy many local specialities such as Oyaki (steamed buns/dumpling) with a wide varieties of fillings. Dumplings are stuffed with Japanese vegetables, fruit or other ingredients and then steamed or roasted. The typical Oyaki Bun contain Nozawana, a local vegetable from Nozawa Onsen. You can find many different kind of buns: sweet ones stuffed with Anko bean paste (Red bean jam) or even pumpkin!
This is a market open on Sunday (and other designated days) from May to December. You can find a wide range of local products such as food and crafts. You can take this opportunity to buy souvenirs for your friends & family and try local specialties.
You can also check out the Hana-no-eki markets down the hill on the banks of the Chikuma River.
In this market they sell specialty goods like Murasakimai (purple long-grained rice), Uchiyama paper and even fresh vegetables from local farmers. And don’t forget to try the carrot ice-cream!
4. Onsen Tamago (eggs) & Sake
Onsen tamago literally means ‘hot springs eggs’ in Japanese. Eggs were originally prepared in a Onsen (hot spring water) in order to create silky egg whites and custard-like yolk. You can cook your own onsen tamago in some public bathhouses or ryokan, or you can also buy them in a local shop.
Now you probably already know about this famous drink in Japan: Sake. It is a traditional rice wine you can drink both hot and cold. Nagano is a famous area for sake production, so be sure to try it while eating local cuisine. You can also easily find Sake tasting nights around Nozawa Onsen.
This is public hot spring bath and there are 13 around Nozawa Onsen. They are all really well-maintained by the local community, so you can be sure they’ll be clean and beautiful during your stay. The entrance is free, but a donation is requested to help maintain the place. You have to bring everything you need as well. Enjoy & be careful, they are very hot!
Also try- Ashi No Yu (Foot Baths). You can find a few of them around the city. They are public & free, some websites also list where you can find one. In Nozawa, the most famous one is facing Oyu in the centre village.