Central Village Accommodation
Nozawa central village is the most sought after area due to its proximity to restaurants, bars and the vibrant little village atmosphere. Most lodgings in this area are within 5 minutes walk to the Yu Road travelling walkway which runs up to the Hikage Gondola base area which is the primary resort base area.
Hikage Gondola Accommodation
If you are looking for ski-in ski-out Nozawa Onsen accommodation, you will find a few lodge-style hotels near the Hikage Gondola. These are particularly popular with families due to their close proximity to the kids park and ski school. The only disadvantage of staying in this location is that during the evenings, the Yu Road walkway is closed so accessing the village can be difficult. Most of the hotels have their own restaurant and bar (or you can head to The Schneider Hotel for dinner) and a couple of them have over-snow transport options to shuttle people to/from the village (but restrictive hours if you want to party into the night).
Nagasaka Gondola Accommodation
There is a limited amount of accommodation in the Nagasaka area. Much of it is ski-to-door with a short 1 - 2 mins walk to the Nagasaka gondola station. There are a couple of restaurants in the area and a funky cafe / apres bar near the base of the gondola. The central village is about a 5 minute downhill walk (and about 10 minutes back up the hill!) so evening access to the action in town is pretty easy.
There is special over-snow transport available from this area for kids (and parents) going to ski school or child care at the Hikage gondola zone.
Nozawa Onsen Accommodation
The Nozawa Onsen accommodation is different to many other Japanese ski resorts. Rather than being a purpose built bubble era ski resort with towering hotel monstrosities, Nozawa Onsen
is an old town that happens to have a ski resort sitting above it. Nozawa Onsen is the size of a town but it has the feel of a village, with lots of buildings closely tucked into the narrow cobblestone streets, many of which are ryokans or other lodgings with traditional Japanese architecture.
Nozawa Onsen has accommodation options to suit a full range of budgets, from lodgings for those on a shoestring budget, up to a handful of first class ryokans (traditional Japanese hotels) that provide excellent service, exquisite meals & the opportunity to immerse yourself in the Japanese culture. Nozawa Onsen has an abundance of pensions and inns with inexpensive to moderately priced Japanese style accommodation (futons on the tatami flooring and beanbag type pillows) with shared bathrooms. This type of lodging can work well considering that you probably won't have a shower at your accommodation anyhow, and head to one of the many onsens around town instead.
South Village Accommodation
The South Village tends to have some of the most economical Nozawa accommodation options. The properties in this area are 10-15 minutes walk to the majority of restaurants and bars in the central village, however many lodges have reasonably easy access to the ski area via the Karasawa lift and Nagasaka connection lift. The south village has quite a few public onsens dotted throughout the area.
West Village Accommodation
There is a good variety of accommodation in this area which is located downhill from the main village (about 5 to 10 minute walk up/down a moderately steep incline). There are some nice restaurants and bars located in this area as well as some of the best public onsens in Nozawa, so heading into the central village each evening isn't essential. The closest lift to various hotels is the Shinyu pair lift. Otherwise you can head up to the Hikage Gondola via the Yu road walkway which takes 10 - 15 minutes walk. There is an option to leave skis overnight at the Hikage base area so this can make the walk a little easier.