Our respect and love for the vibrant little community of Nozawa Onsen deepens.
The snow hasn't been as awsome as in previous years but there is still plenty of great skiing/snowboarding to be had. If you're planning to head there soon be reassured that the snow is well and truely bucketing down. The mountain will be delivering some great snow action for the rest of the season.
With each return we notice a few subtle changes. All the tried and true eating and drinking places were still there Waka Giri, Daimon Soba, Sakai, Hamacho Sushi, and of course Akibitei. There were a few notable additions. The tiny bar called Libushi (AJB) brew their own beers, in particular the Bourban Barrel Aged Russian Stout was amazing! It's easy to find, in the middle of town near Oyu, the main onsen, well worth seeking out.
A little harder to find is Schichi 7 on the 'down' side of the village (keep heading down the street opposite and perpendiicular to St. Antons, approximately 300 metres crossing over the main car thoroughfare. They serve a really delicous mulled wine.
St Antons has long been a favourite in the village but they are now doing great coffee at the entrance to their ski hire shop at the base of Hikage Gondola. The friendly and talented young Japanese barista will keep Australian coffee hounds happy. If your'e after a piccolo ask him for a macchiato, its not on the menu but he will happily make it.
Sadly we will be leaving soon but we are planning to take a slightly different route back to Narita, will let you know how it goes.