Kenashi Liftside House is ideally located at the foot of Nozawa Onsen's Karasawa slope, with great views and only seconds from the lifts. Your accommodation has three beds and comes with access to large kitchens, lounges and dining areas.
THIS LISTING IS FOR AN INDIVIDUAL ROOM AT KENASHI LIFTSIDE HOUSE. FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PICTURES, PLEASE SEE THE LISTING FOR THE LODGE AS A WHOLE, "BOUTIQUE LODGE - IDEAL LOCATION"
Kenashi Liftside House is a private ski-in ski-out boutique lodge. It is aimed at skiers and boarders who want to be right on the slope, and who prefer to eat in town or cook themselves. Nestled in the arms of Karasawa valley, with majestic views to the front and rear, at Kenashi, you are completely immersed in the natural environment.
This listing is for a Western room on the first floor, with access to large lounges, kitchen and dining areas. Details of each floor follow.
Kenashi Liftside House comprises three floors, each floor with its own kitchen, bathroom, toilet, living and dining areas, and each floor with a different style of accommodation.
This listing is for a three-bedroom Western room on the first floor. Please see the floor plans in the photos. It has access to large lounge, kitchen and dining areas. Details of the other floors follow.
The top floor or penthouse is 210sqm has a master bedroom with glassed in ensuite bath overlooking mount Myoko and Mount Hiuchi to the west. It has a very large open plan living and dining, with ceilings 5m at the highest point, and floor to ceiling cathedral-like windows looking East up the Karasawa valley. There is a South and West facing Japanese tatami bedroom next to the master, and a large tatami attic space above, intended as a study/yoga/tea room.
The middle floor is 177sqm and has three large Western style bedrooms each with large windows and great views. One of these has three single beds. The other two have two singles (which of course can be pushed together) and a sofa-bed. There is a well-appointed kitchen and dining area, and spacious lounge with large windows of the view up the Karasawa valley.
The bottom floor, also 177sqm has two tatami rooms and two western rooms. The larger of the Western room has three singles, the smaller, two singles. The bottom floor has its own kitchen and dining area, and a lounge intended as a games space with pool and table tennis.
Kenashi Liftside House is ideally located at the foot of Nozawa Onsen's Karasawa slope. Wake to vistas of the Northern Japan Alps and Mount Myoko to the West, and the sun breaking over Mount Kenashi and the valley in front. Put on your skis or board at the door and glide seconds downhill to the lifts. The slope directly in front of the property is wide and gentle; ideal for beginners. For the adventurous, there are back-country powder runs,* including one right from the summit of Mount Kenashi straight to the door. Kenashi Liftside House is a short walk to Nozawa Onsen's famous hot springs, bars and restaurants, but stands apart in an area of stunning natural beauty. When the sun goes down and the groomers are in, complete peace descends, leaving you wrapped in the beauty of mountains in snow.
Skiing and Boarding
One of Japan's premier skiing and boarding destinations, Nozawa Onsen benefits from a micro-climate between the Northern Japan Alps, the Japan Sea and the Korean Peninsula that sees more snow on its latitude than anywhere else on the planet. The quality and quantity of powder matches or surpasses any other resort in Japan.
There are two gondolas and 18 lifts, 36 slopes and a snow park for a total 300 hectares of ski fields – as well as many back-country routes,* including the notorious “fox chute” from the peak of mount Kenashi to the front door of the accommodation.
Skiing came to Nozawa in 1912, a year after its introduction to Japan. The ancient hot-spring village had its first ski slope in the 1920s, but it was in Japan Inc's boom years that development of the ski industry really took off. This has the consequence that the infrastructure is geared to a capacity far exceeding the numbers seen today. Barring only the busiest public holiday weekends there are no queues for the lifts and no crowds on the slopes.
For 400 years, visitors have made the journey to Nozawa Onsen to be restored in its famous baths, some of the finest in Japan. The village – numbering 4,500 residents – is said to have been established in the 8th Century, giving it a charm and atmosphere quite different to other ski destinations in Japan. Tradition is vastly important to the villagers of Nozawa Onsen, and the ski fields are managed and preserved communally.
Bathing is a social event – the “onsen” of Nozawa Onsen means “hot spring” – and villagers still congregate daily at the Ogama hot spring in the centre of town to boil their eggs and vegetables in the piping, sulphorous waters. Among its produce, Nozawa is noted for a very fine sake, the ubiquitous Nozawa-na pickle, soba noodles and steamed dumpling. It has a glorious Zen temple and renowned Edo-style main spa building. Nozawa Onsen is also famous for its Dosojin Fire Festival, an unforgettable experience and one of the “big three” fire festivals in Japan.
DIRECTIONS TO KENASHI
The site restricts putting links and telephone numbers in the listing, but further information can always be got at Nozawa Onsen Visitor's Centre.
There are three valleys or slopes at the bottom of Nozawa's ski area. Kenashi Liftside Lodge is on the right hand side valley if you are looking at a trail map, the Karasawa valley. It is right in the middle at the bottom of the valley. There are only two buildings here, apart from the lifts and lift pass booth. One is a restaurant, the other is us. You can't miss it
Get the Shinkansen to Nagano, and then the Nagaden bus from the East Exit bus stop to Nozawa Onsen's Nakao stop. From the stop, cross the road, take the first right up the hill about 150m to the top. There you will see the ski slope. Turn about 40 degrees to your right, and start walking up the slope past the lifts. You will see Kenashi about 80m right in front of you.
Set your Sat Nav/Car Navi to Nozawa Number Two Car Park, or Karasawa Car Park, or Karasawa Ski Centre. The car park is right behind the property and the ski centre ticket booth just to the side. Again, you can't miss it.
From Nagano get the Iiyama Line train to Togari Nozawa Onsen. There is almost always a bus waiting to take you to Nozawa Onsen, where you should get off at the Nakao stop and follow the instructions above. Alternatively you can take a taxi to the Number Two Car Park
By Minivan from Narita or Haneda to Nozawa
A service called Chuo Taxi takes visitors straight from the airport to Nozawa. For details please contact Nozawa Onsen Visitors Centre or Chuo Taxi direct.
Distance to Nozawa village
In the snow, it is a 12 to 15 minute walk to the Oyu spa bath house which marks the heart of the old village. It is a pleasant walk, pretty and not too steep on the return journey.
Distance to the road
Kenashi liftside apartments is on the ski slope itself, but at the bottom of the slope. It is about 60 meters to the cleared road at the nearest point.
Distance to the nearest public spa bath house
The Nakao bath house is 300 to 400 metres from Kenashi Liftside House
Nozawa Onsen has taxi services until midnight.
Ski lifts and gondolas
There are two ski lifts within 120m of Kenashi Liftside House. One goes up the Karawasa Valley, the only is a lift connecting with the Nagasaka Gondola
Shuttle buses to other areas
There is a shuttle bus from the road behind the property to the Nagasaka area, where a gondola, large ski rental shop and several restaurants are located. The shuttle bus also goes to the center of the old village. The service stops at around 5pm.
Other Things to Note
Bathrooms and toilets
The top and middle floors have a bathroom with a toilet, and a separate toilet and urinals. The bottom floor has a bathroom and a toilet. The master bedroom has an ensuite bathroom. Guests on the first and second floors can use the toilets and bathrooms on either floor, and also the toilet and bathroom on the top floor (except the ensuite in the master) in the case that the other facilities are in use.
Accommodation is charged per room, per floor in the case of the top floor, or for the whole building. Discounts on the standard price are offered for renting two floors or the whole building.
The top floor when available costs 65,000 and sleeps four, or six if the attic space is utilized, which is at the guests' own risk.
Rooms on the middle floor cost 25,000 for the room with three singles and 23,000 for the smaller rooms.
On the bottom floor, the room with three singles costs 15,000 and the other rooms 12,000.
With the exception of the rooms with three singles, it is assumed that each room will sleep two. Extra guests can be accommodated at a cost of 4,000 per guest on the second floor and 3,000 per guest on the bottom floor.
Kenashi Liftside House is self-catering and guests are encouraged to make use of the large kitchen and dining areas. Nozawa's biggest local stores deliver foodstuffs to the door, and some of its restaurants have delivery and take-out services. There are lodges and hotels serving food two or three hundred meters from Kenashi, and in season lunch is available at the restaurant next door (the only other building on Karasawa Valley, with no staying guests). The biggest concentration of restaurants and bars is around the Oyu spa bath house in the old village, which has some excellent Western as well as Japanese food.
Housekeeping and cleaning
There is at most times a resident housekeeper. Rooms will be clean and sheets fresh on arrival, and communal areas will be cleaned and vacuumed. Kenashi Liftside house is however a shared, self-catering lodge, and guests wash their own clothes and dishes as they would in their own house.
Beginner skiiers and boarders
Karasawa Valley in front of the property is ideal for beginners – it is a gentle slope, very wide with very few people at most times. Because of the location of the property, beginners can come in and out of the property as they please rather than spending the whole day on the slope sometimes tired and sore. Parents can also watch their children on the slope from the house
Ski schools operate from the Hikage ski area at Nozawa. They may provide private lessons on the Karasawa Valley by arrangement. Kenashi's housekeeper is also a ski instructor.
Children are very welcome at Kenashi Liftside House, and Karasawa Valley is a great, safe place for them to learn or to practice skiing or boarding.
Contact person in case of questions and difficulties
There will be a housekeeper in residence at most times. In the event that the housekeeper is absent, there will be people to contact by telephone, text and email in the case of questions or difficulties.
There is a Nozawa Onsen Ski Centre 50 meters from Kenashi where passes are available.
There is a small ski, snowboard and skiwear rental shop on the cleared road behind Kenashi. The range is necessarily narrow, but the quality of the gear, and of its maintenance, is high.
Towels and bed linen
Bed linen is clean and fresh and clean towels are provided on arrival at Kenashi. We are not a hotel with a linen service, however, so please re-use your towels. Longer-staying guests will have their linen changed.
There is a dry room at Kenashi, on the bottom floor to the rear of the building.
Guests on the first and second floors are encouraged to use the shared facilities – kitchens, dining and lounge, recreational facilities and bathrooms and toilets on either of those floors. Guests on the top floor may or may not decide to keep that space private.
Arrival and departure times
It is assumed that guests will get into their rooms on their day of arrival after 2pm and will vacate them after 11.30 on their day of departure. This is to allow us to clean and prepare rooms for other guests who are looking forward to arriving the same day. Guests that arrive earlier than two, or who want to ski on the day they leave, are welcome to keep their bags and change at Kenashi.
Children in the attic space
Unfortunately children may not stay in the loft on the penthouse floor, for their own safety.