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.
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.
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.
The Schneider Hotel room rates include daily complimentary breakfast. All rooms feature spectacular views of the slopes and are just steps away from the lifts.
The hotel has three levels of accommodation:
2F - Bunk Rooms (without ensuite)
3F - Japanese Rooms (without ensuite, the Japanese Family Room has a shower and kitchenette)
4F - Western Rooms and Western Suites (with ensuite)
Bunk Room (2 Bunks):
accommodates 2 adults on bunks comfortably.
Bunk Room (4 Bunks):
accommodates 4 adults on bunks comfortably.
Japanese Room (Small):
2-3 persons on Japanese futons.
Japanese Room (Standard):
3-4 persons total. Twin or Queen beds plus 2 persons in bunks. Bottom bunk has less head clearance so best for smaller kids.
Japanese Room (Large):
5-6 persons in total. Twin or Queen beds plus 4 persons in bunks. Bottom bunks haveless head clearance so best for smaller kids.
Japanese Family Room with kitchenette:
4-5 persons total. Twin or Queen beds plus 2-3 small kids in small room. Has shower, kitchenette and washing machine.
Western Family Room with loft:
4 persons (Twin or Queen plus two additonal beds in loft and ensuite)
Western Suite with loft & kitchenette:
4 persons (Twin or Queen plus two additonal beds in loft, kitchenette and ensuite)
Western Suite with loft & kitchenette:
5 persons (Twin or Queen plus three additional beds in loft, kitchenette and ensuite)
Children under 3 years sharing bed stay free
Extra Futons can be added to some rooms
Baby cot available by reservation, no extra cost (limited number of cots)
Breakfast: Schneider Hotel guests receive a complimentary buffet breakfast daily.
Lunch: Schneider's On The Snow is the perfect place to grab a quick bite, take a rest, then get right back on the lifts again. Head up the hill or ski down to enjoy their special SOS Brunch.
Hours: 11am - 2:30pm
Dinner: Schneider’s On The Snow is a great choice for dinner when you're not heading down to the village to explore!
Base Camp Bar is located on the first floor of The Schneider Hotel. The cozy fireside bar is a great place to relax for Apres Ski drinks, or start your day in the Coffee Lounge.
Hours: 7-10am (Coffee Lounge), 3-11pm (Bar)
If you’re looking for the real Japanese ski experience, Nozawa Onsen is the place to be on and off the mountain. Great snow, steep courses, long courses, mogul courses, powder courses, beginner courses – Nozawa has it all. The ski resort sits along the slopes of Mt. Kenashi, 1,650m, and is one of the oldest ski grounds in Japan, getting consistent snowfall.
There are two gondolas (Hikage and Nagasaka) and a large selection of courses to choose from. One of the nice things about the mountain is the gentle Uenotaira slope at the top of the mountain (that connects to the two gondola stations) so beginners and advanced skiers can enjoy the thrill of being at the top of the mountain, enjoying the views and fresh air, then meeting for lunch at the top of the mountain. Beginners can take the gondola down at the end of the day as well.
The Schneider Hotel is located just seconds away from Hikage Gondola and you can ski right out the front door. After a full day on the mountain head to one of the 30 hot springs scattered around the village (including 13 free baths in town). The Dosojin Matsuri (Fire Festival) held on 15 January is a spectacle to behold and is the busiest day of the year in the village.
Nozawa Onsen Ski Season: Dec – early May
1-Day Lift Ticket: Adults ¥4,600 / Kids ¥2,100 (subject to change)
Longest Course: 10,000m
Top Elevation: 1,650m
Base Elevation: 565m
The Schneider Hotel’s location on the mountain makes it an amazing place for a ski holiday, but please note that it is difficult to get luggage to the hotel during ski resort hours. Guests arriving between 8:30am and 5pm will need to leave their luggage at The Craft Room (Cafe/Bar at Nagasaka Station) until it can be taken up to the hotel after the resort closes. Guests can come up to the hotel and check in at 3pm and their bags will arrive shortly after 5pm.
If you plan to arrive on a late night shuttle or late at night after the shuttle service from The Craft Room finishes (at 10:30pm) then you must request a pick up when you make your accommodation booking. Surcharges may apply for late night pick up. Guests should ask taxi drivers to drop them off at The Craft Room where the Schneider Hotel snow shuttle will pick them up.