Nagano Dec2014 Hotel Review: Bamboo Hill Sasaokaso, Nozawa-onsen

A small family-run inn in Nozawa-onsen with shared toilets/bath, tatami rooms and in-room wifi. Great location midway between the main street shops and eateries (200m downhill) and the Nagasaka gondola (200m uphill).

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Nagano Dec2014 Hotel Review: Ski-Kan, Happo Village, Hakuba

Reasonably-priced traditional Japanese inn with awesome wifi! Perfect location for those who plan to visit the various ski resorts in the area during their stay, as most of the ski shuttles depart from Happo Information Center just 150m away. Happo Village scores low on the charm factor though, I much prefer Niseko Hirafu or Nozawa-onsen.

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Niigata Feb2014 Hotel Review: Kougakuro, Akakura Onsen, Myoko

A ryokan-style onsen hotel (38 rooms) with English speaking staff in Akakura Onsen, one of 4 main ski resorts in Myoko-Kogen, a whopping powder paradise just 3.5h from Tokyo by train. Reasonable rates, with outdoor onsen and free (sucky) wifi. Not ski-in-ski-out, but only 3 min walk to the nearest lift. 1 min walk to main street shops and eateries.

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Niigata Feb2014 Hotel Review: Hotel Yuzawa Yuzawa Denkiya, Iwappara

A ryokan-style onsen hotel (43 rooms) with English speaking staff in Yuzawa, where there are a number of ski resorts just 80min from Tokyo by train. Very local feel, with reasonable rates, outdoor onsen and free in-room wifi. Although not a ski-in-ski-out, Denkiya provides free shuttle to nearby ski resorts. The ski resorts in the area are smallish and geared towards the locals, but cheap as chips. A good option for beginners on a budget.

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