Lodge Matsuya, Nozawa OnsenFebruary 22, 2017 in Japan
We just checked into our room for the next week. We have quite a spacious traditional Japanese room with tatami mats and futons. The view from the room isn't too shabby either.
We took the Shinkansen from Nagano to Iiyama which took approximately 11 minutes (which isn't too bad for a 30 kilometre journey). Iiyama is located north-east of Nagano and has a population of around 21,000 people. It is primarily an agricultural city, however the surrounding ski resorts and hot springs also contribute to the local economy.
The city is located on the Chikuma River (otherwise known as the Shinano River outside of the Nagano Prefecture) which is the longest river in Japan (367km in length). Iiyama is home to a number of festivals, including the Kamakura Snow Hut Festival which occurs annually in February (we just missed the dates). In this festival snow huts are made and lights put inside. Sounds pretty basic, however I think it is something that would be great to see if you are in the area at that time of year.
From Iiyama Station we boarded the 'Nozawa Onsen Liner' which took us direct to the centre of Nozawa Onsen. This 20 minute trip cost 600 yen each and we enjoyed some lovely scenery, particularly as we came closer to Nozawa Onsen. From the Nozawa Onsen bus stop, it was only a short walk to our accommodation. Sally was very happy to find her skis had arrived safely and were in the dry room downstairs.Read more