The Schneider Hotel in Nozawa Onsen is the highest hotel on the mountain, making it the perfect base camp for guests who want to get first tracks right out the front door. The Schneider is a family-run hotel offering ski-in ski-out accommodation, just steps away from the Kandahar and Utopia lifts, and a short walk / ski down to the Hikage Gondola Station and the Kids Park.
This lodge-style hotel features 14 Western Rooms with en-suite bathroom as well as 12 Japanese Tatami Rooms. There is a men’s and women’s bath, private family showers, a full service rental shop, on-site restaurant and après ski bar. A snow shuttle van runs from The Craft Room café and bar near the Nagasaka Gondola each evening so that you can explore Nozawa Onsen village or head to one of the many onsens / hot springs.
The Schneider Hotel is a top choice for ski families as the Kids Park and daycare facilities are close by, plus rentals and ski / snowboard instruction can be arranged at the hotel.
Schneider Hotel Fast Facts
- Japanese and English-speaking staff
- Private Japanese-style bath (men’s and women’s)
- Base Camp Bar with brick fireplace serving cocktails, wine, craft beer and specialty coffee
- In-house Restaurant - Schneider's On the Snow (SOS)
- Free WiFi
- On-site Gear Rentals for guests
- Snow Shuttle that runs to/from The Craft Room near Nagasaka Gondola
- Kids Playroom
- Drying Room and Storage Room for skis and snowboards
- Ski / Snowboard Lessons - bookings available
- Snow Monkey Tours - bookings available
The Schneider Hotel is managed by Gardner and Natsuko Robinson (and their son Tai). Gardner grew up in Oregon, but has been involved with travel, tourism and winter sports in Japan for nearly two decades. He first came to Nozawa Onsen the Winter before the 1998 Winter Olympics. Natsuko is from Yamagata, up north in the Tohoku Region, and has also been coming to Nozawa for years. Tai is a regular at the Kids Park when not helping out at the hotel.
Johann “Hannes” Schneider - Nozawa Onsen Skier Pioneer
Nozawa Onsen is considered the second oldest ski resort in Japan. Skiing was introduced to Japan in January 1911 by an Austro-Hungarian soldier named Major Theodor Edler von Lerch. A year later skiing was taught in Nozawa Onsen. In 1923 the Nozawa Onsen Ski Club was founded, yet the sport didn’t really take hold until one of the world’s most famous ski instructors, Hannes Schneider, visited Nozawa Onsen.
In 1930, the Austrian “skimeister” from St. Anton, a small ski village roughly the same size as Nozawa Onsen, demonstrated his renowned Arlberg technique in front of hundreds of Japanese skiers as his instructions were translated and relayed over megaphones. This ushered in the modern age of skiing in Japan.
The Schneider Hotel pays homage to the skiing legend that played such a pivotal role in the village. His visit created a connection between his hometown of St. Anton in Austria and Nozawa Onsen. The Schneider Course – Japan’s first competition course – was named after him, as was The Schneider Hotel, which bears his name. The Japan Ski Museum, near the Hikage Gondola, has an entire section dedicated to St. Anton as well as Schneider. On February 7, 1971, the two villages officially became sister cities and middle school students from Nozawa Onsen and St. Anton do annual homestays between the ski villages.
A century ago, Nozawa Onsen villagers would have fallen over in the rice fields if you had told them skiing would become the lifeblood of the village. Today they have sent more athletes per capita to compete in the Winter Games than arguably any other place on earth.
NozawaOnsen Promo video from World Surfaris & World Snowfaris on Vimeo.