Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 15th December 2017

Niseko Now!

Sunday 13th December 2015, 8:40am
Weather conditions: Lots of cloud, some blue sky
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 35cm
Good morning from my Hirafu base here in Niseko*.

A bit more cloud than yesterday morning but generally conditions are not too far from how things were this time yesterday. It's fairly brisk and chilly, and no new snowfall.

We should expect to see the sun shining today and perhaps those clouds disappearing. It should then get colder than it was last night tonight, with similar conditions expected once again in the daytime tomorrow with a high of around 3-4 degrees at base.

On Tuesday it looks like we can expect rain lower down at least but that will very hopefully of course very quickly turn into snowfall; it should definitely be snowing by Wednesday and hopefully then for at least a day or two. Let's hope I'll have some decent numbers to report!

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* I of course realise that I am actually officially in Kutchan town, not Niseko Town - I am just referring to the 'Niseko area' when I say that. Actually there's a good explanation on 'what is Niseko' on the new travel pages the SnowJapan guys have made for this season, which you can handily find here.

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Resort specific news as of 8:40am - subject to change during the day

The lifts market with an asterix (*) below are planned to be open for night skiing

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Lifts planned to be running:
- Ace Family pair*
- Ace Number 2 Quad Center Four (for transport)
- Ace Number 3 pair
- Hirafu Gondola (for transport)
- King Number 3 triple
- Swinging Monkey
Courses planned to be open:
- Family
- Beginners access
- Center
- Shirakaba
- Kogen
- Boyo
- Holiday
- Rinkan (lower part)
- Jumbo
- Connecting Course

Niseko HANAZONO Resort
Lifts planned to be running:
- Hanazono Number 1 quad (for transport)
- Hanazono Number 2 quad
- Hanazono Number 3 quad
Courses planned to be open:
- Parallel
- Silver Dream
- Stairway to Heaven
- Setsuzoku course
- Crystal Garden
- Yotei Sunset (ungroomed)

Niseko Village
Lifts planned to be operating:
- Niseko Gondola
- Community Chair*
- Banzai Chair*

Niseko Annupuri
Lifts planned to be operating:
- Annupuri Gondola
- Jumbo Number 1 quad*
- Jumbo Number 2 pair
- Jumbo Number 3 pair
Courses planned to be open:
- Utopia
- Shirakaba
- Paradise
- Junior
- Family
- Silver
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Official resort snow depths:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 145cm
Base - 35cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 60cm
Base - 20cm

Niseko Annupuri:
Top - 60cm
Base - 30cm

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Niseko Grand Hirafu 6 day weather and snow forecast   Read more ...
 

Yuzawa Now!

Sunday 13th December 2015, 8:52am
Weather conditions: Generally cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
Morning from Yuzawa.

Turned out to be a lovely fine day all day yesterday, though generally (and unfortunately) it felt more like a November day than mid December. The sun was out for those sliding down the main run at Kagura and the newly-opened runs at Naeba base.

Today there is a lot of cloud and as we approach 9am it is 7C. High temperature today will be around 11 degrees which is still higher than average for the time of year. Similar weather is expected tomorrow.

Here's the encouraging news! Hopefully we are going to see a blast of winter come our way around Wednesday and Thursday in the coming week; I think we are all now ready to get moving with shovels and look forward to that first experience of the season clearing up snow from around our houses. And the noise that the snow clearing machines make late at night and early in the morning. Yes, we want some of that too!

So yes, snow is on the horizon hopefully starting around Wednesday though it may start off as rain in town. Just how much it will bring is the big question.

With many of the resorts around town originally wanting to be opening from this coming weekend, it starts getting very important to everyone.

Fingers crossed everyone.

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People have been asking us 'will that resort be open on that date'? The best advice we can give is to look back at the archive reports - links back to 2002 at the bottom of this report page on the PC version of the site - and see how things have gone in previous seasons. Last season was incredible for snowfall in December; 6 years ago resorts were struggling even after Christmas.

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Planned opening dates for resorts in Yuzawa Town and Minamiuonuma City (by date):

Currently part open:
Kagura
The main Kagura course - 1500m in length, real snow (and artificial) - is open.
The Mitsumata (snow-mat) area is currently being used as a connection to get to the open Kagura area.
Operating lifts are Mitsumata Ropeway, Mitsumata Number 1 lift, Mitsumata Number 3 lift, Kagura Gondola, Kagura Number 1 high speed quad and Kagura Number 1 romance lift (on Saturdays and holidays during this period). All but the latter two are used to get to the snow.
The Kagura Gondola needs to be taken to return back to the Mitsumata area.

Naeba
A few lower area courses open with artificial snow.

On standby to open as soon as there is enough snow:
Iwappara
Joetsu Kokusai
Kagura (Tashiro)
Maiko Snow Resort

Friday 18th December:
Ishiuchi Maruyama
Muikamachi Ski Resort
Yuzawa Nakazato
Yuzawa Park

Saturday 19th December:
GALA Yuzawa
Ipponsugi
Kandatsu Kogen
Ludens Yuzawa
Nakazato Snow Wood
Muikamachi Hakkaisan
NASPA Ski Garden
Yuzawa Kogen

Thursday 24th December:
chateau-shiozawa

Friday 25th December:
Hakkaisanroku

Saturday 26th December:
Itsukamachi
Ishiuchi Hanaoka
Mt Granview

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Ski resorts in Yuzawa town
Ski resorts in Minamiuonuma City
   Read more ...
 

Zao Now!

Sunday 13th December 2015, 9:11am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fair
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 30cm
Things seemed quite busy on the mountain yesterday, probably due to the limited areas that are open of course. But still good to see lots of people around.

It's turning into a mild morning here after a frosty start earlier. A cloudy kind of fair start to the day with some light blue hazy kind of skies to be seen behind the cloud here and there. Perhaps it will clear up more as the morning progresses.

We want and need lots more snow of course, and looking at the forecast we can probably expect it from mid week... there might be a few spots of rain to endure before we get to the more fluffy stuff...

Lifts that are currently operating:

- Sky Cable (gondola)
- Zao Chuo Ropeway
- Zao Ropeway
- Chuo Number 1 pair AB
- Mikaeri pair
- Onsen Number 1 pair
- Utopia Number 2 pair

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Official snow depths (Sunday 13th December 15):

Utopia: 20cm
Chuo: 30cm
Paradise: -cm
Uwanodai: 15cm

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6 day Zao Onsen snow and weather forecast   Read more ...
 

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Sunday 13th December 2015, 9:13am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
Not a whole lot to report. After the fine weather yesterday, it's cloudy this morning. A high of about 7 degrees and not really getting much colder overnight with similar weather forecast tomorrow as well.

Things are still looking promising for mid-week!

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Official snow depths (as of 10th December 2015):

Yamabiko - 20cm
Uenotaira - 10cm
Hikage - 0cm
Nagasaka - 0cm
Karasawa - 0cm

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Courses:

Resort not open yet

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Lifts:

Resort not open yet

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Nozawa Onsen 6 day weather and snow forecast

Nozawa Onsen main resort data   Read more ...
 

Shiga Kogen Now!

Sunday 13th December 2015, 9:20am
Weather conditions: Lots of cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
We enjoyed some fine weather yesterday, but clouds have moved in by this morning.

A bit of light rain - light snow higher up perhaps? - falling in places this morning with silvery grey clouds hanging around most areas of Shiga Kogen at the moment.

Snow is still lined up for us this week, specifically it would seem as we go into Wednesday.

Let's hope that we might get enough over the few days for things to get really cracking from next weekend.

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Resort areas that are currently open (Sunday 13th December) - subject to change

Ichinose Family
Number 2 Pair AB line lift is operating
Courses open:
Ichinose Family Front course (lower part)

Kumanoyu
Kumanoyu Number 2 Pair AB line is operating
Kumanoyu Number 2 Beginners Course is open (600m)

Takamagahara
Takamagahara Number 2 triple lift is operating
The lower course area is open

Yakebitaiyama
Yakebitaiyama Number 2 high speed and Yakebitaiyama Number 4 romance lifts are operating
Part of the South Course (960m) and Karamatsu Course (850m) are open

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6 day snow and weather forecasts:

Ichinose Family 6-day snow and weather forecast
Okushiga Kogen 6-day snow and weather forecast
Yokoteyama 6-day snow and weather forecast   Read more ...
 

Hakuba Now!

Sunday 13th December 2015, 9:23am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
The clouds yesterday cleared up by around lunchtime and we were left with beautiful clear blue skies for the afternoon. Lovely.

I had some fun up at Hakuba Goryu yesterday meeting some friends visiting from Tokyo. I went up on the gondola twice, once in the morning and once later in the afternoon. Early morning there was a bit of snow left on the lower base area; later in the day I noticed most of that had pretty much disappeared.

There's no denying that we really need winter to arrive in style and get itself into gear.

Will that be this week? The forecast is still looking promising for snowfall, and perhaps a decent delivery of it, from late Tuesday/Wednesday through Thursday and possibly beyond. That would be just the ticket.

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This morning it's mild and generally very cloudy with just a few patches of blue sky to be seen here and there. The forecast is for cloudy conditions today and tomorrow with daytime temperatures rising to around 8 degrees.

Keep an eye on the forecast and all available fingers crossed!

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6 day forecast for Happo-one:

6 day snow and weather forecast for Happo-one

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Resort news as of 9:00am on Sunday 13th December - subject to change

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of new snowfall.
The upper area of Route 1, Route 2, Route 3, Route 4, Route 5, Route 6 and Route 8 are now open.
Planned lifts:
Gondola
Line AB
Line C
Line E
Official snow depth
Upper: 55cm
Base: 0cm

Hakuba Goryu:
Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of new snowfall.
The upper Panorama Course and Grand Prix courses at Hakuba Goryu are open.
Planned lifts:
Telecabin Gondola (to get to the upper area that is currently open)
Alps Number 1 pair lift
Alps Number 3 pair lift
Official snow depth
Alps: 60cm
Iimori: -cm
Toomi: -cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 0cm of new snowfall.
The Usagidaira, Panorama and part of Kurobishi areas are skiable.
Planned lifts:
Adam Gondola
Alpen quad lift
Kurobishi Number 2 quad lift
Kokusai Number 3 lift
Panorama pair lift
Official snow depth
Usagidaira: 60cm
Nakiyama: -cm
Sakka: -cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
The upper part of the Han-no-ki course area is open.
Planned lifts:
Eve Gondola
Han-no-ki high speed pair lift
Official snow depth
Tsuga-no-mori: 58cm
Maruyama: -cm

Kashimayari:
Course 2 is open
Planned lifts:
Number 2 pair lift

Other planned resort opening dates

As soon as there is enough snow:
Hakuba Cortina:
Hakuba Norikura Onsen:

18th December
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:

19th December
Hakuba Sanosaka:   Read more ...
 

Furano Now!

Sunday 13th December 2015, 12:25pm
Weather conditions: Bright but cloud blankets around. Sunny with clouds moving around.
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 95cm
Mild day, mostly sunny today.

Meant to go night skiing last night for the opening but didn't quite make it. Friends went and enjoyed it very much. Fourth lift now open on Furano resort so that's good, and that's most of the Furano Zone open now bringing it to about 35% of the whole resort. Highest peak now skiable - that's the lift that opened yesterday.

Was zero degrees Celsius at 9am which is pretty mild but fine for the piste condition.

In more horrific news, the forecast said last night that Tuesday's snow might have some rain in front of it, which would not be any fun. But Mother Nature is a minx so let's just wait and see what she does.

No winds today. I have been out in the region and the visibility is beautifully clear.

Photo 1 is Furano Resort from across town, taken from the Furano Craft Village.
Photo 2 is from Kitanomine where the red light caught me on the way to the craft village.   Read more ...
 

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Naeba Now
15th Dec, 11:06am
Myoko Now
15th Dec, 8:58am
Shiga Kogen Now
15th Dec, 8:56
Grandeco Now
15th Dec, 8:54
Appi Kogen Now
15th Dec, 8:47
Zao Now
15th Dec, 8:44
Hakuba Now
15th Dec, 8:36
Niseko Now
15th Dec, 8:35am
Nozawa Onsen Now
15th Dec, 7:55
Geto Kogen Now
15th Dec, 7:31
Yuzawa Now
15th Dec, 7:27
Furano Now
15th Dec, 7:21
Madarao Now
14th Dec, 9:25
Minakami Now
14th Dec, 8:34

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