Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 24th March 2018

Furano Now!

Wednesday 10th January 2018, 7:31am
Weather conditions: Foggy
New snowfall: 13cm
Snow depth: --
Yesterday was warm, as was forecast, with the temperatures causing severe melt around town and causing monstrous puddles on the roads and plenty of slush on footpaths and carparks. This morning it is still not so cold, but at least we are below freezing. Overnight there has been 13cm of snow but it is pretty heavy due to the warm weather. This morning it is very windy and I would expect this to affect lift operations, so best to check with the resort for the latest information. The wind is so strong it is whipping up a lot of snow causing temporary periods of whiteouts, so take care if driving around the resort. A great day to go for an onsen and let the stormy weather pass.   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Wednesday 10th January 2018, 7:33am
Weather conditions: Blue sky, partly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa.

Thankfully yesterday the rain did ease off but it was rather windy at times especially in the afternoon. A bit more rain and snow at night but this morning the roads seem dry.

As of 7:30am it is a mix of clear sky, sunshine and a bit of cloud over Yuzawa. It is quite windy still though, but the wind does not seem to be affecting planned lift operations at the start of the day so everywhere should be open.

It seems that - for now at least - the more winter-like weather is coming in from the west and tracking over the region to the north of us, missing the Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma region.

What do we have in store? Hopefully those snow clouds will come back over our region and it will be snowing by tonight (or sooner).

With the milder and wetter conditions we have been having, I'm sure that the ski runs around the area could now be doing with a good fresh layer of snow to freshen things up.

For this morning, I would expect the better conditions to be found higher up. Hopefully by tomorrow they'll all have that extra layer.


Images today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Ishiuchi Maruyama.


Updated: Wednesday 10th January 2018

** Official snow depths (where available) and resort specific information. Note that while we manually check this information each morning, sometimes official information is updated later than the time of these reports and so at times there may be an apparent delay.

Ski resorts in Yuzawa:

GALA Yuzawa
- 230cm

- 155cm

- Kagura area: 320cm
- Mitsumata area: 220cm
- Tashiro area: 270cm

Kandatsu Kogen
- 185cm

- 220cm (base)

NASPA Ski Garden
- 195cm

Yuzawa Kogen
- Top: 220cm
- Base: 160cm

Yuzawa Park
- 180cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
- 160cm


Ski resorts in Minamiuonuma (just to the north of Yuzawa):

Ishiuchi Maruyama
- 230cm

Joetsu Kokusai
- 200cm

Maiko Snow Resort
- Top: 230cm
- Base: 130cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- Closed on Wednesdays between 10th January and 14th March (!)
- 240cm   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Wednesday 10th January 2018, 7:49am
Weather conditions: Cloud, blue sky
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
It's dryer this morning, I'm happy to report.

And there's even some blue sky above early on though the forecast does promise snow sometime later on and overnight tonight. Clouds do seem to be moving in from the west...

We all want a nice layer of fresh snowfall now - hopefully we'll get a decent amount by tomorrow. Different forecasts seem to be predicting different outcomes at the moment. Which will be right?


Wednesday 10th January 2018

Fresh snowfall since yesterday (as reported by the resort):

- Yamabiko (1407m): 0cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 0cm
- Hikage (660m): 0cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 0cm
- Karasawa (563m): 0cm

Official snow depth numbers:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 245cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 180cm
- Hikage (660m): 150cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 145cm
- Karasawa (563m): 120cm

All lifts operating except the following:

- All lifts should be operating

All courses open except the following:

- Challenge 39
- Grand Prix
- Mukobayashi
- Kamoshika
- Kandahar East   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Wednesday 10th January 2018, 8:06am
Weather conditions: Generally cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Madarao.

No new snow to report as we await a return to mid-winter conditions in the region. Hopefully that will happen before too long with a bank of clouds moving in quickly from the west. Snow before lunch? Sounds like a good lunch, that. Snow is forecast to get heavier overnight tonight with more there for Friday and Saturday, so we should be able to enjoy some refreshed light fluffy fun soon...


Official snow depth:

Operating lifts:

Number 1 lift
Number 2 quad lift
Number 3A lift
Super quad lift
Number 11 lift
Number 12 lift
Number 13 lift
Number 15 lift

Powder Wave I
Powder Wave II
River Line
Free Ride Park
Powder Theater
Adventure Aisle
Crystal Bowl

Kids Park
Snow Mobile Land

Planned nighta operations this season:

11th February 2018
Every Saturday between 4th January and 24th March 2018   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Wednesday 10th January 2018, 8:22am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 6cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning everyone.

Happily, yesterday is over and we can begin today! I measured 6cm of fresh snow to report to you this morning here near Hirafu base. There will surely be more than that on the mountain - and quite possibly in other places around lower down too - as strong winds were blowing yesterday.

I am happy to report that it is snowing nicely at the moment.

The new 6cm brings my snowfall over the first 10 reports of January up to 49cm. That is definitely a slow down from that excite pace that we experienced in November and December. Not to worry, it's just an observation! The forecast is showing steady regular snow through into the weekend so fingers crossed we can get back to larger numbers.

It still feels a little windy this morning, and at the time of this report going live top lifts are affected. Info updated below.

Take care out there.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -6℃, 15cm snowfall, stormy and snow drifts developing. Moiwa 800m: -8.7℃, W16m/s, big storm, cornices and snowdrifts developing. Annupuri 1150m: -13℃, max wind W37m/s, large snowdrift development. Hirafu 1250m: -13℃, development of wind-packed snowdrifts. Coastal data: Benkei cape NW19m/s, Kamui cape WSW16m/s, 993hPa, 3.4m waves.

A strong westerly wind has picked up as the low-pressure system moved east, making snowdrifts and cornices drastically develop in leeward aspects. Those snowdrifts are very unstable, 60cm thick slab above yesterday’s hail layer slid during this morning’s pressure test. The overall avalanche hazard is extremely high today.

Snowdrifts patches and hard wind-blown ice are alternately present. Snowdrifts are densely wind-packed with ripples. Past accident in Osawa (Annupuri bowl) has occurred during similar conditions. Peak gates, Annupuri No8, Hanazono No5 and Moiwa No6 gates will be closed. Please obey the ski patrol’s instructions.

Windpacked snowdrifts may look stable, however once cracked, they can turn into a large slide. Avalanche accidents mostly occur during and just after storms. The snow condition is ever changing. Better not push it today.

Heavy and dense wind-affected snow is unevenly present in the trees below 800m. Catchy snow and easy to loose control. Beware. The weather will get better soon.

Please respect the Niseko Rules.


Wednesday 10th January 2018

Resort specific information (operations subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts are generally operating
- The top Ace Number 4, King Number 4 and Hanazono Number 3 quad lifts are on hold at the start of the day due to weather
- 'Early Morning' services from 8:00am until 8:20am (Ace Number 2 Center Four quad lift). Until 28th January. 500 yen special ticket required.

Official snow depth:
- Top: 340cm
- Base: 160cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts are generally operating
- The Annupuri Gondola and top Jumbo Number 4 lifts are on hold at the start of the day due to weather

Official snow depth:
- Top: 270cm
- Base: 160cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts except Country Road Chair are generally operating
- The Niseko Gondola and top Wonderland lifts are on hold at the start of the day due to weather
- 'Early Gondola' service from 7:30am until 8:30am (Niseko Gondola). January 13th-14th, 20th-21st, 27th-28th; February 3rd-4th. 1,400 yen special ticket required.

Official snow depth:
- Top: 260cm
- Base: 160cm


Floodlit 'nighta' skiing:

Night skiing is planned for every evening at the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri areas. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO area. Ski lifts that are scheduled to be operating for nighta are noted below (subject to change):

* Niseko Grand Hirafu - Ace Family quad, Ace Number 2 quad, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 pair
* Niseko Annupuri - Jumbo Number 1 quad lift
* Niseko Village - Village Express, Upper Village Gondola, Community Chair, Banzai Chair   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Wednesday 10th January 2018, 8:32am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 11cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from a snowy Grandeco.

The rain changed into snow yesterday afternoon and the wind blew very strongly through the night.

Only the Number 1 and 2 lifts could open yesterday, but the wind has calmed down now and it looks like all of the lifts and the gondola will be opening from this morning.

Yesterday was a relatively warm day, so today should be a contrast as we are back to colder conditions. Good idea to keep your self warm with the neck warmers and the face masks.

The snow conditions will be night light powder once again, but some courses around the base area might still be a little icy due to the rain yesterday. A further thick layer of snow would be just the ticket!


Lifts operating:

- All lifts operating

Courses open:

- All courses open

Official snow depth:
- 170cm

- Grandeco snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Wednesday 10th January 2018, 8:34am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 8cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from a snowy Hakuba.

The wet feel to proceedings yesterday made way to proper snow I'm happy to report.

Here's the fresh snowfall headlines as reported by the ski resorts:

Hakuba Cortina: 15-20cm at base; 20-25cm on upper areas
Hakuba Happo: 20cm (top gondola station)
Hakuba Goryu: 15-30cm
Hakuba 47: up to 30cm

Less so down here at base, but a nice new layer up on the slopes then. Should be good though visibility looks very poor in some places early on.

A few lifts affected early on by the weather conditions this morning at Happo-one and Tsugaike but hopefully they'll get going.

The forecast for the next few days is looking very positive with some potentially heavy snow and some good numbers to report tomorrow (and beyond).

Take care out there and have fun.


Ski resort information on Wednesday 10th January 2018 (at time of writing):

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- Some top lifts look like they are on hold at the start of the day

Courses open:
- All course are now open (as long as the lifts are moving!)

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 310cm
- Usagidaira: 170cm
- Lower: 90cm


Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned (Alps Number 2 and 4 lifts usually operate on weekends only)

Courses open:
- All courses are open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 295cm
- Toomi: 115cm
- Iimori: 65cm


Hakuba 47

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned (Line D usually operates only when the Gondola is closed)

Courses open:
- All courses available

Official snow depth:
- Top: 270cm
- Base: 95cm


Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- A number of lifts not operating due to weather conditions; Gondola operating

Courses open:
- All course areas are open apart from some parts of Sawa-one and Kane-no-naru-oka Number 2

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori: 270cm
- Han-no-ki: 265cm
- Maruyama: 90cm
- Shirakaba: 240cm
- Champion: 120cm
- Oya-no-hara: 130cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: 110cm


Hakuba Cortina

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Number 4 and 5 are operating

Courses open:
- Ikenota Forest, Hieda Forest, Mt Hieda, Itadaira amongst others closed or confirming safety at the start of the day

Official snow depth:
- Top: 240cm
- Base: 160cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

Operating lifts:
- Most lifts are operating with most courses open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 160cm
- Base: 80cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Alps Number 1 and 7 are operating

Official snow depth:
- 165cm


Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Number 8 and 10 are operating

Official snow depth:
- 140cm


Hakuba Sanosaka

Operating lifts:
- All three lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 100cm   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Wednesday 10th January 2018, 8:38am
Weather conditions: Cloudy generally
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: --
That early rain and sleet of yesterday is behind us now - thankfully - and we actually have a bit more snow on the ground this morning but for the moment visibility is good and there's even some sun breaking through the mostly cloudy skies.

There is still some wind out and it feels cold; all resort areas appear to be opening as normal at the start of the day.

Snow is expected soon and overnight tonight and hopefully fairly regular snow into the weekend too.


Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:

Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish and we check and update them each morning.



Ichinose Family

Ichinose Diamond




Okushiga Kogen

Sun Valley

Takamagahara Mammoth



170cm   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Wednesday 10th January 2018, 8:48am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 34cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Zao.

And this morning I have some decent snowfall to report. Heavy snowfall which is great to see, 34cm of it in fact. Seems odd that the resort isn't increasing their snow depths, but perhaps they're compensating for 'lost' snow in recent days. Whatever, lots of fresh snow and conditions should be really good this morning in contrast to yesterday - even with the reduced visibility - and hopefully covering up what were icy conditions.

The resort appears to be opening as planned. Are you brave enough? ;)


Lifts and courses:

- All lifts operating at time of report apart from Karamatsu pair (closed on weekdays).

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 125cm
- Paradise area: 140cm
- Chuo area: 140cm
- Utopia area: 150cm
- Uwanodai area: 85cm
- Oomori area: 85cm


Zao Onsen forecast:

Zao Onsen 6-day snow and weather forecast

Floodlit night skiing for the 2017-2018 season is planned as follows:

In the Uwanodai area:
Daily until Sunday 4th March 2018
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 9th March until Sunday 18th March 2018.

In the Yokokura area:
Daily until today
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 12th January until Sunday 18th February 2018.
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 2nd March until Sunday 11th March 2018.

Night time 'light up' sightseeing ropeway is planned for the following dates:

January 2018: 13th-14th, 20th-21st, 27th-31st
February 2018: every day
March 2018: 1st-4th   Read more ...

Geto Kogen Now!

Wednesday 10th January 2018, 8:51am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 25cm
Snow depth: --
Welcome back to a Japanese winter everyone...

Writing this next to a window with a view of a line of trees covered, head to toe, in that fluffy white stuff. After our damp day yesterday, the snow slowly phased in and since yesterday, particularly overnight, we’ve seen some thick & dry flakes hit the ground, with an estimated 25cm to add to our cover.

Holding the snow in my hands (briefly, it was indeed quite cold) this morning, it’s going to be a very rewarding day on the hill out there with a dry cover. This is especially lucky as with the damp conditions yesterday, we were expecting wet and heavy snow, if any.

Moderate snow is set to continue today, getting heavier in the evening, with tops of -2C. Winds are light, but are set to pack a punch, getting it down to -10 at midday. More good news? The snow’s set to continue into Saturday. Take a look...

Thursday: moderate snow, light winds, tops of -4C
Friday: light snow, light winds, tops of -5C
Saturday: snow easing, little to no winds, tops of -4C

Tonight, we’re in for a significant night of snow, with heavy snow forecast into the early hours of tomorrow morning. As always, everything with a grain of salt, but I’ll be back this time tomorrow, hopefully with snow up to my ears (I’m short, it’s doable).


Zones open include Summit, Rabbit, Beech & Stream. At this stage Shooter will remain closed until the main gondola is open.

News on Main Gondola:

At this time unfortunately the Main Gondola (Gondola 1) is closed for repair. The resort is working on the repairs, but it will require the next few weeks until it is back in operation. They estimate late January, early February for it to be back in action.


Official snow depths:

Top: 325cm
Base: 245cm

Nighta skiing operations are planned at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018.   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Wednesday 10th January 2018, 8:53am
Weather conditions: Partly Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba! It's a cool, clear morning here with the sun peaking through the clouds. Snow has been consistently forecast for today since last weekend, however we are yet to see any evidence of this blowing through. Also, after the warm spell these last couple of days, the spring conditions underfoot yesterday have frozen overnight giving way to a hard start to the day on the pistes. These should soften up in the sun quickly this morning. Snow is still being forecast through until Friday morning, which will be a welcome refreshment on top of the crusty conditions at the moment.

Please note that night skiing in Naeba continues to be severely reduced from the Christmas offering of 3 lifts. The High-Speed Lift No. 5 will be open through until 2030, with access to the Roxy park and the green beginners piste.

The forecast looking forwards suggests temperatures will stay well below 0°C for the foreseeable future, with base temperatures dipping as low as -10°C on Thursday night. Any moisture which does continue to move through the valley will, therefore, fall as snow. Winds are expected to be light throughout this period as well, somewhat reducing the chances of a significant snowfall making it into Mikuni valley. Only time will tell!

Kōrudo!   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Wednesday 10th January 2018, 8:56am
Weather conditions: Increasing clouds
New snowfall: 4cm
Snow depth: --
Dust on crust today. The Niigata prefecture forecast (one of the most accurate in getting snowfall right) predicted 15cm; we got 4. It is snowing, much colder than yesterday, and the rain-soaked snow of yesterday has turned to ice on top, softer underneath. Not great for offpiste skiing (and I am being polite).

The winds are still very strong offshore, as they are all along the Japan Sea coast, and they could get stronger. Lotte Arai Resort did close down early in the day, although the lower lifts were open later. I see that one lift is closed right now - just keep an eye on what happens as gondolas, especially, will stop running as the winds pick up. Just hoping that tonight’s potential heavy snow becomes a reality, and that the rain layer in the snow just slowly disappears (as often happens here) into the snowpack, and things are safe for the backcountry crowd.


Akakura Kanko:
230 cm, -5°

Akakura Onsen:
280cm, -4°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
225cm, -3°

Myoko Suginohara:
180cm, -6° (top)

Seki Onsen:
290 cm, -5°

Myoko Ski Park:
190 cm, 0°

Kyukamura RunRun:
240 cm, 0°

Tangram Ski Circus:
200 cm, 2° (yesterday’s report)

Madarao Kogen:
180 cm, -4°

Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Wednesday 10th January 2018, 9:11am
Weather conditions: Cloudy skies...
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Appi,

After a days worth of rain we’re finally getting the snow we need. Snow predicted for the next few days here. Probably 30+cm today with more to follow overnight and into Friday.

Winds have died down thankfully allowing a relatively decent time on the mountain although you can expect limited visibility all day due too the volume of snow falling, which is a good thing. Cloudy skies and stable temperatures the rest of the week and a steady stream of snow until Saturday.

Appi has closed the second quad lift and sailor gondola yet again making the main gondola the only way to access the second and sailor runs and they’re not even open for a full run. Yesterday the main gondola wasn’t in operation making a daily ski pass virtually worthless. I’m not sure what they’re thinking this year but it’s certainly not about making skiers/boarders happy.

If you want fresh powder and a good time on the slopes get out there now and have a wonderfully white day.


Planned lift operations on Monday 8th January 2018 (subject to change):

- APPI Gondola
- Central quad
- Central number 2 lift
- Central number 3 lift A
- Central number 5 lift
- Central number 6 lift
- Sailer quad
- Nishimori lift

Note: The Sailer Gondola, Central Number 4 lift and Vista quad are usually rested on normal weekdays


Official snow depth:

190cm   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Minakami Now
24th Mar, 8:47
Grandeco Now
24th Mar, 8:42
Furano Now
24th Mar, 8:01
Geto Kogen Now
24th Mar, 7:42
Appi Kogen Now
24th Mar, 7:41
Zao Now
24th Mar, 7:40
Niseko Now
24th Mar, 7:40
Myoko Now
24th Mar, 7:12am
Madarao Now
24th Mar, 7:10
Shiga Kogen Now
24th Mar, 7:10
Hakuba Now
24th Mar, 7:08am
Nozawa Onsen Now
24th Mar, 7:02
Yuzawa Now
24th Mar, 6:52
Naeba Now
23rd Mar, 8:14