Nozawa Onsen Village Route

Enjoy the nature, history, and hot springs of Kita-Shinano to the fullest

The Nozawa Onsen Village Route is a one-way course from Iiyama Station to the village of Nozawa Onsen. At a total length of around 16 km long, taking about half a day, the distance is not so far, but there are a lot of ups and downs along the way. This route is recommended for groups and couples who can enjoy the journey in the spirit of adventure.
You can drop off your rental cycles at the Nozawa Onsen Tourism Association in the Nozawa hot spring district at the end of the trip, as well as at the Iiyama Hokuryu Onsen Bunka Hokuryukan located on the shores of Lake Hokuryu at the 11-km point.

RECOMMEND TO Families, groups, couples
START Iiyama station
GOAL Nozawa Onsen Tourist Information Office
It is flat and easy to ride along Chikuma River.

After a short ride through town from Iiyama Station, first cross the Chuo Bridge to the far side of the Chikuma River. As you make the refreshing ride over the flat, straight 4.5 km causeway, Nanohana Park will come into view. While it is a famous spot for blooming rapeseed flowers in spring and sunflowers in summer, it has also become popular as a scenic point offering a view of the Chikuma River and the surrounding mountains at the same time.

You can enjoy kayaking and standup paddleboarding on Lake Hokuryu.

Next up is the Kosuge area, home to Kosuge Shrine. One thing to take note of here is that the stretch from Nanohana Park to the Kosuge area is a slope with an average incline of 10%, and exceeding 20% in places, so you may need to push your bicycle uphill. While it may seem a little difficult, with each step forward, you can get a sense of the mountain ascetic training known as shugendo, and experience the depth and weight of history and culture at length.
The entire area is designated a national important cultural landscape called the Cultural Landscape of Kosuge no sato and Mt. Kosuge, and there are many surviving buildings which preserve traces from times long ago when it flourished as a center of mountain asceticism. They include Kosuge Shrine’s rear shrine building and associated shrine, erected in the middle of the Muromachi period and reached by an approach up a mountain trail lined with rows of sublime cedar trees more than 300 years old, and these precious buildings are designated national important cultural properties. This area is worth visiting just to bask in its solemnly dignified atmosphere.

Nozawa Onsen's symbol is Ogama, the hot spring's source.

The next destination is Lake Hokuryu, a heart-shaped lake surrounded by forest. Riding along the lake shore is refreshing all on its own, but we also recommend stopping off for a break or activities like taking a hot spring bath or enjoying canoeing. You can also drop off your rental cycle here and take a bus back to Iiyama Station.
Next, it is onward to the final destination of the route, Nozawa Onsen. There are more than 30 naturally-occurring springs in the village, and you can enjoy visiting all of the public baths. Onsen are great for sampling all kinds of food and souvenir hunting, but do not forget to savor the old-fashioned traditional ambiance of the hot spring district as well. Since this is a one-way route, the guide says to drop off your bicycles here and return to Iiyama Station by bus, but of course, you also have the option heading back to Iiyama Station the way you came if you are confident in your stamina. If you want to enjoy cycling from Iiyama Station and then stay overnight at Nozawa Onsen, luggage delivery service from Iiyama Station to local hotels is available. After you have had your fill of carefree cycling, be sure to enjoy your stay in the atmospheric hot spring district.

Shops and points of interest along route

Kosuge no sato

Kosuge no sato

Known as one of the top three spots in Japan for practitioners of the Buddhist mystical sect Shugendo, the pathway to the inner shrine is lined with towering Japanese ceders, said to be 300 years old, and large moss covered boulders.
Lake Hokuryuko

Lake Hokuryuko

This mysterious lake is filled with spring water and snow melting water. Because the lake is heart shaped, it's also known as a popular destination for couples.
Schneider Square

Schneider Square

Adjacent to the Nozawaonsen tourist information center. You can have some drinks and fresh sandwiches at the cafe "L'Atelier KURA" on the ground floor. Also, there is a co-working space on the second floor.


There are 13 Soto-Yu in the village and they have great hotspring irrigation system 24/7. They have a different positive effect for ever one of you so find the one that suits you the best.
Kenmeiji Temple

Kenmeiji Temple

The temple is considered to be the origins of Japanese leaf vegetables called Nozawana and there is a stone monument to commemorate in the property. The wooden building is just impressive.


Ogama is one of the symbols of Nozawaonsen. The spring water that reaches 90℃ is used by the villagers to boil eggs and vegetables.
※Please refrain from people other than villagers.


Tatsuyuki Takano(1876-1947)is a composer and great scholar of Japanese literature in the histry who composed "Harugakita","Furusato" and "Oborozukiyo" authorized by the Ministry of Education.

Ashi-Yu "Yurari"

Ashi-Yu/footbath is believed to provide relief for poor blood circulation, swollen legs and painful migraine headaches. It's very easy to use for everyone.
Japan Ski Museum

Japan Ski Museum

Precious collections from the birth of skiing to the present day have been exhibited since 1972.
Approximately 9,000 people are visiting annually, mainly ski guests and tourists of the village.

Drop off Station

Nozawaonsen Tourist Information Center

Nozawaonsen Tourist Information Center

The last climb is a bit tiring but the hot spring is the best for a tired body!
We recommend to walk around the hot spring town and take "Sotoyu".

At the tourist information center located in the middle of Nozawaonsen, you can get detailed information about the village. You will find your favorite "Sotoyu" from 13 different ones

​​Recommended bicycles

Cross bike Cross bike S.M.L
(height 150cm-185cm)
Half a day: 1,500yen
1day: 2,000yen
Cross bike is lightweight, designed to be ridden on off-road, unpaved and paved roads at relatively high speed. It's great for long rides.We have the mont-bell's & bianch's.
Elecric bicycle Elecric bicycle 26in Half a day: 1,500yen
1day: 2,000yen
Elecric bicycle has an integrated elecric motor can be used for propulsion. It has the ability to ride up-hills easily. It's popular among women and first time riders.
Elecric cross bike Elecric cross bike S.M.L
(height 145-165cm/155-175cm/160-180cm)
Half a day: 3,000yen 1day: 4,000yen Electric cross bike is great for long rides and climbing steep hills.
The battery will last for maximum of 115 km.
Gravel road with electric assist Gravel road with electric assist One Size
(height 165-178cm)
Half a day: 4,000yen 1day: 5,000yen It is a gravel road bike with electric assist. Equipped with 650B x 45C size tires, stable driving is possible on courses such as forest roads and farm roads and off-road. You can ride uphill easily, and the running performance that combines the lightness of a road bike is outstanding. Long rides are possible with a long battery. Appropriate height: M size (165cm-178cm)

Route Map

Google Map