Nozawa Onsen is a major ski resort in Nagano with a big area and beautiful views. Riders were banned up till '98 and were only allowed on a few green runs in '99. Rumours have it that the whole area will be opened up from 2000, which should give excellent backcountry possibilities. Check with the local tourist office however before you commit. It's famous for its hot springs and thus has plenty of accommodation on offer.