Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 17th December 2017
Saturday 10th January 2015, 7:57am
Welcome to the long weekend! With Monday a holiday here in Japan, it's one of the main weekends of the season and so places expect to see quite a few people turn up.
So what's it going to be like? Snowy by the looks.
Back to yesterday and we had snowfall through most of the day, though it was pretty weak at times and we even had a few bits of sun and blue sky show through - but it was always short-lived.
Conditions out on the slopes was great though. Really very nice.
By evening it was back to at times heavy snow and this morning I have 25cm of new snow to report from outside the building here.
Maiko Snow Resort reports about 20cm. Kagura reports 20cm. Naeba reports 3-10cm. No other specific numbers on offer that I can find early on.
It's snowing still and forecast to for the day today and tomorrow too.
So snow conditions should be excellent pretty much everywhere in the area. Visibility less so. A moderate wind at times maybe but all resorts are set to open as planned and it's not that cold.
It's one of the things lots of people like about this area - huges amounts of snow, but we don't get the crazy cold temperatures that some other regions get.
I was just looking back at the reports from last season. (You can find them in all the archive reports below). As of 10th January 2014, we had observed 208cm of snowfall around town here. Today, that same statistic stands at a whopping 794cm. Nearly 4 times as much. I don't THINK there's a mistake in the automatic calculations there (!), but while we are quite obviously getting a lot more snow fall this year than last, even I'm surprised at that number.
Worth noting that those observed numbers are posted by the same person from exactly the same place, so there's no change there.
Nighta 'night skiing' - where some slopes are floodlit for skiing and snowboarding in the evening, is available at the following resorts in the area.
Ishiuchi Maruyama: Every day until 21st March (until 8:50pm) Iwappara: Every day until 22nd March (until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays, 9pm on Saturdays) Joetsu Kokusai: Every day until 22nd March (until 9pm) Kandatsu Kogen: From 23rd January, 'all night' on holidays (6pm or 10pm until 4am the next morning) Maiko Snow Resort: Every day until 14th March (until 8pm) Naeba: Every day until 29th March (until 9pm) NASPA Ski Garden (skiers only): Saturdays until 29th February (until 7pm) Yuzawa Nakazato: Saturdays from 10th January until 14th March (until 8:30pm)
Chateaux Shiozawa also have nighta but only on certain days - no fixed schedule available. Resorts not mentioned above do not operate 'nighta' (or do not plan to have more this season). Some resorts offer tickets that include nighta, others need a special lift ticket.
Just a light cover of snow this morning amounting to a cm or two so not much.
But, it's snowing now and it's very cold. I haven't been out yet but conditions should be mighty good for the weekend. Snow forecast to be falling through until Monday, or at least never be far off, and for those of you wanting some clearer sunny skies look to Tuesday onwards for a few days of such conditions.
Remember, it's nighta tonight and also excite fireworks on Saturday from 9pm, followed by torchlit skiing and a few other things going on either side.
Number 1 lift Number 2 quad lift Number 3A Number 5 Super quad lift Number 11 lift Number 12 lift Number 13 lift Number 15 lift Moving Walkway Kids Park Freeride Park Tree Run Courses should be open today
Night skiing at Madarao is every Saturday until 21st March 2015... and next Sunday, January 11th (the day after is a holiday).
Good morning from Niseko. And a very good morning it most certainly is.
Close on 30cm of light fresh snow in places outside my place this morning just in time for first lifts, so just imagine how much there must be higher up.
It's actually rather calm as well this morning, or it looks like it is anyway. Mostly cloudy and light snow at times forecast for the day, though I can see some blue now as well. It was snowing lightly when I started putting the report together, but isn't now. Can't make it's mind up!
Similar conditions are forecast for tomorrow with a good chance of sunny and clearer skies for a few days from Tuesday.
Thankfully all of the resorts are opening as planned this morning. Well, apart from the Gondola at Niseko Village having some kind of hiccup preventing it from it's first 'early morning' gig this morning. Other than that though it's open as normal.
As I think I mentioned before it's a long weekend in Japan with Monday being the 'Coming of Age Day' national holiday. So there'll be a lot of people about, but with the conditions being as fantastic as they very probably are this morning I would imagine there'll be lots of happy people around.
I hope you can have an extremely fun weekend - wherever you are!
Resort specific news at time of writing - subject to change during the day
Niseko Grand Hirafu: Looks set to be open as planned this morning. 'Early Morning' lift available from today to 1st February (for 500 yen, you can ride Ace Quad Number 2 lift from 8am until 8:20am).
Niseko Village: Looks set to be open as planned this morning. Except... for the early morning Gondola, doh! - some kind of mechanical issue preventing that from happening today, though it's over by the time this gets posted anyway. (Sorry!)
Niseko Annupuri: Looks set to be open as planned. 'Annupuri First Run' available 11th and 12th January (for 1000 yen, you can ride the Gondola from 7:20-8:20am).
Niseko Avalanche Report
Niseko base 6am: -3C, 20cm of crystal snow in 12 hours. Moiwa 800m: NNW12m/s, -7C, 30cm snowfall with gradual development of snowdrifts. Annupuri 1150m: NW12-17m/s, -10C, 50cm snowfall with development of snowdrifts up to 100cm. Hirafu ridge N15m/s, -10C, 25cm snowfall with snowdrifts development. Coastal data: Benkei cape NNW12m/s, Kamui cape NNW6m/s, 1005hPa, 1.8m waves.
The atmospheric pressure gradient is shelving and the weather at the ocean and the mountains is settling down. The snowfall amount above 800m altitude reached 30-40cm in the last 12 hours, the snowdrifts are slowly developing and yesterday’s snowpack has stabilized. Today’s general avalanche risk is low. Peak gates will open as soon as they’re ready. Listen to the ski patrol’s instructions before stepping out of the gates. There will be a lot of people in the mountain today, pay attention to other parties. Better stay away from the valley bottom to avoid secondary accidents. The mountains will never be 100% safe. Always remain prudent and think safety first. Niseko community is constantly concerned about your safety. The snow in the treeruns is in fantastic conditions. Have you switched your avalanche transceiver on? Are you carrying safety equipments? Food & drink?
Official snow depth numbers and any notes at time of writing:
Grand Hirafu / Hanazono: Top - 340cm Base - 170cm
Niseko Village: Top - 250cm Base - 160cm
Niseko Annupuri: Top - 230cm Base - 180cm
Lifts open for night skiing (planned):
Niseko Grand Hirafu Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift (There is no night skiing at the Hanazono area)
There's no place like home.... The snow began falling at around 7:30 this morning, and it's coming down really, really good (OK, not great grammar, but it just sounds right). Looks like there could be a pretty good accumulation by tonight; only 10cm or so right now, but it's starting to build up.
The reason for my wistfulness is that I'm actually in Niseko, where there's been some good snow, but nothing like the crazy snowfall we've had in Myoko this year - and nothing against Niseko, either!
Our information for today is guaranteed fresh, too, with the Myoko team dutifully reporting on the actual conditions on the ground. Which are: go out and ski today!
Not a lot of reports in this morning; I'll give you what I have, but the word is good across the area.
Good morning from Hakuba and it's the first day of the long weekend. Why the long weekend? Monday is Coming of Age Day in Japan and a national holiday and so a popular ski-board weekend for quite a few Japanese.
I don't have any significant snowfall to report from Hakuba this morning, apart from just a dusting and up to 5cm being reported from the resorts around the valley.
Cloud and light snow showers at times forecast for today - it is snowing now - and we're down for more significant snowfall tomorrow into Monday so hopefully we'll get a decent refresh.
That will be followed by some clear skies on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Have fun out there, and remember all the safety stuff too.
Official snow depth numbers and operations at time of writing on Saturday 10th January 2015. Subject to change during the day:
Hakuba Goryu: Reporting 3cm of new snowfall at Alps Daira, 0cm on lower areas. Top Alps Daira pair lifts on hold again early on due to windy conditions. All courses open except Adventure Course (and currently Panorama course due to lifts affected by wind).
Kashimayari: All areas now open. Night skiing every day until 15th March.
Night skiing at resorts in the Hakuba area:
Hakuba Goryu: Toomi area every day until 31st March. 6pm until 9:30pm. Hakuba Happo-one: Nakiyama area every day until mid March. 5pm until 9pm. Hakuba Cortina: Every day until 31st March. 5pm until 8pm. Tsugaike Kogen: Kane-no-naru-oka on Saturdays in January (and 11th); February 7th, 14th. 6pm until 8:50pm. Karamatsu-Shirakaba on Saturdays in January 10th (and 11th); February 7th, 14th, 28th; Saturdays in March. 6pm until 9pm. Kashimayari: Every day until 15th March. 4:30pm until 9:30pm. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Saturday 10th January 2015, 9:14am
Just a bit of snow overnight here in Nozawa with the resort reporting 5-10cm.
We're expecting a generally snowy weekend in the region. Snow clouds due to be hanging over Nozawa through the long weekend - on and off snowfall expected today with more moderate snowfall expected through tomorrow and perhaps into Monday as well.
Those wanting sunny skies will have to wait until Tuesday, according to the forecasts we should see lots of sun from Tuesday through Thursday along with milder temperatures. Doesn't look like it's set to warm up too much though which is good.
Anyway, time to enjoy the weekend. Have a good one!
Special long weekend early lift opening times (Sunday 11th and Monday 12th):
Base lifts at the resorts will start from 8am Both gondolas will start from 8:10am
Fresh snow to report this morning since yesterday:
Zao Onsen is fully open (though note that the Karamatsu pair lift is closed on weekdays). Weather conditions may affect lifts.
Night skiing operations at Zao this season
Uwanodai area: Daily until 22nd March
Yokokura area: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from until 15th March
Open times from 5pm until 9pm.
Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time ropeway operations
January 2015: 10th-12th, 17th-18th, 24th-31st February 2015: Every day 1st-28th
Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm. In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Saturday 10th January 2015, 9:22am
After a calm evening yesterday, we're back to snow and winter conditions this morning in Shiga Kogen. Well we were when I got up, it has eased off again now and there's even some sun as well. I think 'changeable conditions' pretty much sums it up this morning.
The forecast is for that today - maybe get some fresh snow on the ground - with more snow expected tomorrow. Better chance of heavier snow falling come tomorrow.
After that once we get into next week we are looking at a good chance of a run of fine, clear days. Sun and milder conditions.
Resort areas status with official snow depths:
Okushiga Kogen: 170cm Open (note: skiers only resort area)
Yakebitaiyama: 180cm Open
Ichinose Family 140cm Open
Ichinose Yamanokami: 140cm Open
Ichinose Diamond: 140cm Open
Takamagahara Mammoth: 140cm Open
Terakoya: 150cm Open
Higashitateyama: 100cm Open
Giant: 140cm Open
Nishitateyama: 140cm Most open
Happo Bundaraia: 140cm Open
Sun Valley: 110cm Open
Maruike: 110cm Open
Hasuike: 110cm Open
Kumanoyu: 145cm Open (note: skiers only resort area)
Yokoteyama & Shibutoge: 165cm Open except for Jumbo Course.
Planned night floodlit skiing at Shiga Kogen resort areas this season:
Sun Valley: January 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd to March 21st
Maruike: January 10th, 11th
Ichinose Family: Every day until March 29th
Ichinose Diamond: January 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until March 28th
Yakebitaiyama: January 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until February 21st
Another great sunny day out there but made better with the reduced winds. The sun will make appearances through the clouds throughout the day and snow fall will be fairly light. Early last night was some solid powder falls (around 10cm) which should also add to the excitement of the day. Kitanomine now has a box rail set up on the front slope for the tricksters out there. If you want a break, have a rest down there and watch some of the boarders this weekend as yesterday they were hitting it hard and there were some good riders showing how its done. Read more ...