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#mitsuekitravels | 19D18N Japan Travelogue 2022 (Day 10): Hikage Slopes x Snow Play x Nagasaki Slope x New Year Eve Soba x Exploring Nozawa Onsen Town x Countdown – 31 Dec 2022

nozawa onsen new year countdown 2022

Happy New Year Eve everyone! Hope you had a great last day of 2022 like what we did in Japan 🙂

In case you’ve missed out on Day 1-9, you can read them here:

Meanwhile here’s to waking up early at 7am again, before brekkie arrived and here’s to a bountiful Japanese new year eve breakfast for us!

Unlike yesterday where I chilled the day away waiting for the mister, it’s time to head out to the slopes to orientate myself around the area. But first, chill till I was ready while the mister went for a couple of snowboarding runs before he took a break to take me around.

The slopes of Nozawa Onsen are made up of two main areas – the Nagasaki Slope and Hikage area and our minsu is situated directly next to the steps leading up to the Nagasaki Slope, super convenient! Meanwhile, I was to meet the mister at Hikage slope so I took the free snow shuttle (snow mobile) riding pillion style as we ventured off to the next area (around 5-10 mins ride!).

Here, we had some fun at the Hikage area where it’s mainly for the kids to play around the sledding, snowplay, super beginner skiing and snowboarding. We made snow angels (my first time), snow duckies using the plastic duck tool the mister purchased and a mini snowball fight all in the name of fun and it was really great!

We also stopped for a coffee/frappe break later at Shichirohei Coffee at the Hikage area to chillax before heading down the moving slopes to get his hands on his #1 favourite ice cream in the world at this store run by an obasan nearby the slopes.

He then headed down for a rest break while I borrowed his ski pass to take the Gondola up to the ACTUAL slopes and the views from above were absolutely beautiful! Just a pity I can’t snowboard nor ski much so I’m just being a sightseeing tourist for this round. There were also other ski lifts and all that but I didn’t have much time cos we wanted to head down for lunch before he went for another round of grinding the snow.

Lunch was supposed to be at the popular Daimon Soba but because it was New Year Eve, all their soba were sold out for the day. Hence, we ended up at Shohei Soba where there was also a long queue but at least there were seats!

We ordered the mixed tempura cold soba each and it was absolutely delicious to slurp up these handmade soba noodles and eat the crispy tempura made with locally grown mountain vegetables. This is also a typical new year eve meal for the Japanese cos slurping up these noodles means bringing in prosperity for 2023!

Parting ways from here on our separate soloyolo journey .. him on another run up the Nagasaki slopes to snowboard ..

.. while I went exploring around Nozawa Onsen town myself.

My solo exploration led me to discover loads of new places including a souvenir shop that allowed sampling, a Swiss bakery, this delicious sweets confectionery shop and beautiful undisturbed views. I enjoyed it very much.

Not forgetting the main town area, getting some souvenirs, water, a bottle of the yummy apple juice, and some local snacks + desserts as we await the countdown later on.

Here’s snippets of the mister’s SUPER shagged face after he came back from his snowboarding session and a hot Onsen shower. He later also went out for dinner while I chilled and came back with a surprise hot chocolate drink for me hehe.

At the same time, I was trying all the snacks and desserts that I got for him and they were really delicious. Especially more so when the manju was given to me free by the really lovely owner of the sweets shop – it warmed my heart, both this and the hot chocolate from the mister 🙂

It’s time for the countdown and we headed out to the Nagasaki slopes around 11pm where they’ve already set up tentage and offered free sake and mulled wine (?) for everyone there. The Nozawa Onsen mascot was also driven up the mountain for photo taking using the snow mobile and it was pretty hilarious cos he got abit stuck going up halfway hahaha.

Here’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for .. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 .. Happy New Year 2023!!

This is my first time counting down in public / in an overseas country and with the mister ticking off so many things on my bucket list for the first time and I feel really blessed and thankful to be here.


On that note, I wish everyone a happy, bountiful, prosperous and healthy New Year as well to you and your family 🙂

Have a wonderful 2023 ahead and thanks always for reading this blog as we move into our 11th year of blogging.

Time flies 🙂


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Author: mitsueki

Hello! I'm mitsueki aka Daphne and I blog at mitsueki.sg! Follow me on IG for more updates too!

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