From the Yoji Family to the Robinson Family | The Story of Yoji Nozawa

Welcome to Yoji Nozawa! Whether you are staying with us on a ski holiday, a long-stay to escape the summer heat or looking for a quiet place to work outside the city, we hope you’ll feel right at home. Yoji Nozawa is nestled in the quiet Shinyu neighborhood of Nozawa Onsen, next to the river and steps away from the Shinyu Pair Lift.

Our start starts in 2014 when we bought this traditional 80-year-old house and the connected lodge next door that from the Yoji family. They had not run the lodge in more than a decade and the snow clearing was becoming a burden as they were in their 80’s.. They wanted a young family to take over and agreed to sell the property to us after talking with neighbors knowing we’d be living in Nozawa Onsen year round. Each year we’ve been doing a bit more renovations and Yoji Nozawa now features a 4-bedroom house, a 3-bedroom apartment, a bright studio apartment and a  yoga/fitness studio space. There is also a pond and BBQ space out back. 

A Little Family History


Gardner first came to Nozawa Onsen to snowboard the year before 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, and fell in love with the village and the ski resort. Gardner is originally from Oregon but has lived in Japan full-time since 1997 after working and traveling in New Zealand, Australia and Micronesia (Saipan). In 2000 he started Outdoor Japan, a small media company promoting travel, adventure travel and tourism in Japan. Outdoor Japan publishes the Outdoor Japan website, “Traveler” magazine and the Japanese edition of “The Surfer’s Journal.” 

Natsuko grew up in the northeast seaside city of Sakata in Yamagata Prefecture and also fell in love with the snow, hot springs and the village. She helps run The Craft Room, Nozawa Onsen’s first craft beer taproom and cafe they re the founding partners in and opened in 2011. Gardner and Natsuko have two sons, Tai and Koa who are in the local school. In 2018 Gardner partnered in Winterland Lodge & Taproom, a second taproom in the center of the village a short walk from Yoji Nozawa, which has the largest selection of craft beer and cider in Nozawa Onsen.


Book your next Nozawa Onsen holidays at Yoji Nozawa for 2021 or 2022 to make sure you lock in your dates. Nozawa Onsen Ski Holidays, Summer Holidays, Remote Working Stays. test