Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 16th December 2017

Myoko Now!

Sunday 14th February 2016, 7:55am
Weather conditions: Gray, gray, gray
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 150cm
This continues to be a winter for the record books. Warm south winds throughout the day just ripped through the snowpack; the slight gain we got with last week's genuine Myoko snowfall are more than gone. I'm very interested to see how the resorts will be reporting, as the snow around the house here has visibly dropped by many centimeters. It looks like mid-April, not mid-February.

Heavy rain is now falling, also no help for the snowpack. The temperature is 9°C....NINE degrees! Just bizarre.

The freezing line is going to start moving very quickly down the mountain, followed by some light snow. Normally we'd worry about the possibility of a layer forming in the snow as the surfaces freezes, which could cause problems with heavy snow later (meaning avalanches), but it doesn't look like much snow, and there isn't much left to begin with. Something to think about, anyway, if you do think about going out in the bushes (it's only gotten worse) in the coming days.

I started the year with pretty gloomy reports, and while it's not the end of the season yet, it sure looks and feels like it! We could see some early area closures unless some really unusual late-season snowfalls happen really soon.

Fishing on Lake Nojiri; that's my recommendation.

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Akakura Kanko:
5° / 150cm

Akakura Onsen:
9° / 180cm

Ikenotaira Onsen:
5° / 150cm

Myoko Suginohara:
5° (top)/ 100cm

Seki Onsen:
0° / 330cm (old)

Myoko Ski Park:
10° / 135cm

Kyukamura RunRun:
7° / 210cm

Tangram Ski Circus:
5° / 145cm

Madarao Kogen:
11° / 110cm    Read more ...
 

Yuzawa Now!

Sunday 14th February 2016, 7:58am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 145cm
Morning from Yuzawa.

We escaped any more than light rain at times later on in the day here, and enjoyed some clearer skies and sun over Naeba for the first day of events at the World Cup. As expected though temperatures rose quickly in the morning and it was a warm day, getting into double digits.

It stayed warm overnight as well and even now at 8am it is 11C degrees here in town. It's even raining up at Kagura, I'm afraid.

After the snowfall last week there was a good 40+cm of snow piled up on the top of a building next to where I live - I have just noticed that snow has now completely melted away, so obviously the warmth is going to be impacting snow conditions.

Just before I got up it was raining heavily for a short while, but it's just light rain now. Quite bright as well actually. Unfortunately though we can probably expect warmth and rain (at least on and off) through the day.

Quite strong winds might be an issue this morning in some higher places - I see that some of Kagura won't be open. The Dragondola and Tashiro Number 2 lifts will be closed due to wind, and also the top Romance Number 5 lift will be closed due to avalanche danger. Just now I can't confirm any other resort lift restrictions.

Certainly this is not what we want to be having in mid February, though it has to be said that we usually do get one or two warmer and wet patches during a season even when it's a 'heavy snowfall' season. The big worry is that with the relatively low base that we have this year, prolonged periods like this will really affect how long resorts can stay open.

Happily changing the tone, there is good news!

Tomorrow is still set to be much colder (back down to near freezing) and snow should be falling again. If we are lucky we might be getting snowed on through Wednesday, so fingers crossed we get a decent amount.

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Today is the second of two days of events at the 2016 FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup at Naeba ski resort in Yuzawa. The very best of luck to everyone involved and competing. I hear that the organisers have been having a long night preparing the course for todays event. It is raining at the moment in Naeba unfortunately though the event is scheduled to go ahead as planned.

Weather - please be kind!

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Resort official snow depths (Sunday 14th February 2016) and any specific news at time of writing:

Resorts in Yuzawa:

GALA Yuzawa
190cm

Ishiuchi Maruyama
130cm

Iwappara
145cm

Joetsu Kokusai
150cm

Kagura
160cm (Mitsumata)
190cm (Tashiro)
220cm (Kagura)

Kandatsu Kogen
140-170cm

Maiko Snow Resort
185cm (upper)
75cm (lower)

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
180cm

Naeba
130cm

NASPA Ski Garden
140cm

Yuzawa Kogen
160cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
90cm

Yuzawa Park
120cm

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'Nighta' (floodlit night operations)

Details of the 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma.

Ishiuchi Maruyama
Open daily until 8:50pm (until 20th March).
The Chuo No 1 and Chuo No 2 lifts are open daily.
The Kanko No 1, Kanko No 2, Kanko No 3, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift, Hatsukaishi No 2 pair lifts are open on weekends and holidays.
The basic charge is 2000 yen but various tickets are available.

Iwappara
Open daily until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays (until 21st March).
The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.

Joetsu Kokusai
Open daily until 9pm (until 21st March).
The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
On weekdays the area in front of the main hotel is open - a larger area (including Osawa and Atema) is open on weekends.

Kandatsu Kogen
Open from 6pm until 4am on Fridays, Saturdays and evenings before holidays through 26th March.
Open from 4:30pm until 11pm on weekdays until 24th March.
Various tickets are available starting at 2000 yen for adults, 1700 yen for seniors and 1000 yen for children.

Maiko Snow Resort
Open daily with the Maiko Center quad lift operating from 4pm until 8pm.
The charge is 500 yen for everyone.

Naeba
Open daily until 27th March.
From 4pm until 8:30pm on weekdays and Sundays (2000 yen); until 9pm every Saturday and on 20th March (3000 yen).
'All Night' opening is planned for Saturday 26th March when Naeba will be open from 10pm until 5am.

NASPA Ski Garden
Extended opening until 6pm (Number 1 lift) on Saturdays until 27th February.
There is no special ticket available just for the extended time.

Yuzawa Nakazato
Open on Saturdays from 5pm until 8:30pm (until 12th March).
Tickets are 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.

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List of ski resorts in Yuzawa town
List of ski resorts in Minamiuonuma City

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Iwappara 6 day snow and weather forecast
NASPA Ski Garden 6 day snow and weather forecast
Kagura 6 day snow and weather forecast   Read more ...
 

Furano Now!

Sunday 14th February 2016, 8:07am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 330cm
Yesterday the warm temperatures arrived and so did the associated rain. Overnight temperatures remained very warm and the village was alive with the sound of water dripping off roofs. If you do own a roof, chances are the conditions mother nature has provided have enabled the roof to self clean itself of snow.

This morning it is raining lightly in the village but there is significantly more rain to come in the first half of the day. The winds are strong at the moment but may decrease as the day progresses. The winds will definitely affect the operation of some of the lifts. From evening the rain is expected to turn to snow and the temperatures will plummet well into the negatives.

For the next few days there is a lot of snow on the radar with Monday night looking like a heavy snowfall will occur which will help repair the rain event.

Key words of the day warm/wet/windy.   Read more ...
 

Niseko Now!

Sunday 14th February 2016, 8:22am
Weather conditions: Cloud, rain, poor visibility
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 130cm
Hello from Niseko where unfortunately things are like we expected them to be...

Warm, wet and windy.

It's really not very nice, but if you do decide to strap on the skis or the board you won't be waiting long for the lifts with lots of people deciding to take a break from the sliding action this weekend.

Top lifts at all four resort areas aren't going to be starting the day due to strong winds and very poor visibility (and the other lifts are probably complaining at having to start moving in such nasty conditions!)

The Avalanche Report does say that the groomers are in good condition as well, but personally I think I'll just take their word for it.

Enough of this already, when is the next snow due?!

Hopefully, before the end of today and once it starts snowing and those temperatures get back down into proper winter territory (tomorrow), we should be set for regular snowfall once again in the coming week. That sounds good doesn't it.

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Resort specific lift opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):

Niseko Grand Hirafu
The Ace Number 4, King Number 4, Ace Number 3, King Number 3 and Swinging Monkey lifts are on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds and poor visibility.

Niseko HANAZONO Resort
The top Hanazono Number 3 quad lift is on hold at the start of the day due to poor weather conditions.

Niseko Village
The Niseko Gondola and top Wonderland lift are on hold at the start of the day due to poor weather conditions.

Niseko Annupuri
The top Jumbo Number 4 lift is on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds and poor visibility.

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Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 5am: +3℃, light wind & rain. Mikaeri 740m: +2.3℃, NE4.7m/s. Hirafu peak ridge: 0℃, E10m/s, thick fog. Annupuri 1000m snowpack 245cm. Coastal Benkei cape: ESE4m/s, Kamui cape: ENE6m/s, 1000hPa, 0.7m waves.

Isobars are spaced out before the next low-pressure is approaching; light rain is falling with temperature above freezing level throughout the mountain. A thick fog is present in higher elevation. There are no powder, but the groomers condition is in good shape. Ungroomed snow is wet, heavy and catchy. Beware of loosing control and hitting trees. Gates 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6 will be closed. Please respect the Rules in order to prevent accidents. A single track under the rope would lead many others to follow it and needlessly raise the chances of accidents to happen.

Cracks, which are the result of snowpack’s tension release, are forming in leeward steep slopes and can be a trigger leading to ground-avalanches. These avalanches are extremely destructive and runs in high speed. Stay away from the valleys. The snow will turn better soon, but before it does, hazardous surface slab slides conditions will come in as the next snowstorm kicks in. Pay attention to the weather transition. Have a nice day.

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Official resort snow depths as of Sunday 14th February 2016:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 300cm
Base - 130cm

Niseko Village
Top - 310cm
Base - 180cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 330cm
Base - 180cm

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Lifts planned to be open for night skiing:

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)

Niseko Village:
Community Chair and Banzai Chair

Niseko Annupuri:
Jumbo Number 1 Quad

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

Madarao Now!

Sunday 14th February 2016, 8:29am
Weather conditions: Cloudy skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 120cm
Unfortunately, the forecasts are right.

Rain it is. And warm too. 10C at 8am. You can imagine that this has not done the snow conditions much good and I don't think I'm going out to check either today.

I think I'd rather go do something else and just look forward to the fresh snowfall that is on the way. It might not feel like it just now but we are told to expect snowfall before today ends and for the temps to magically drop considerably by tomorrow. So tomorrow I will hopefully be bringing you news of fresh cm. It's even forecast to be snowing each day through Wednesday, so we can be hopeful of a potential decent recovery.

Gambare, snow clouds!

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Madarao Kogen lifts operating (planned at time of writing):

All lifts plan to be open today

Tangram Ski Circus lifts operating (planned at time of writing):

All lifts plan to be open today

Tree Run Courses at Madarao Kogen:

Planned to be open after checking this morning   Read more ...
 

Hakuba Now!

Sunday 14th February 2016, 8:40am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog, gas
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 130cm
Hello from Hakuba.

I truly wish that I had much better things to report this morning.

Rain (sometimes heavy) and warmth has been the headline this weekend. Not just in Hakuba I see but in lots of areas looking at the other reports. It doesn't make it any easier though...

Just how much damage this is all doing to snow/base conditions remains to be seen.

What else can I say. Oh yes, we are all very much hoping that the sudden switch back to winter-like conditions that the forecasts are promising us for tomorrow actually happens. The forecast looks rather promising actually. Cold, snowfall (maybe starting late today), possibly heavy snowfall around Wednesday.

So we could soon be enjoying decent fresh snowfall. Can we do without all the ups and downs though please?

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Resort news as of 8:40am on Sunday 14th February 2016 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
All courses are open.
All of the Tree Riding Zone is closed today due to avalanche risk.
There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba 47.
Official snow depth:
Upper: 210cm
Base: 100cm

Hakuba Goryu:
Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
All courses except Snow Diving are open.
The Toomi area will be open until 8:30pm tonight for 'nighta'.
Official snow depth
Alps: 250cm
Toomi: 130cm
Iimori: 140cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
Happo-one is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall on mountain.
All open (apart from the Kurobishi Off Piste Area).
Happo Banks Snow Park is now open.
The lower Nakiyama area is open for 'nighta' every day until 9pm.
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira: 215cm
Nakiyama: 100cm
Sakka: 60cm

Hakuba Cortina:
Hakuba Cortina is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
All courses have generally been open but there may be some closures today due to the weather.
The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 8pm tonight (9pm on Saturdays).
Official snow depth:
Top: 170cm
Base: 110cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
All course areas are open apart from Uma-no-se and part of the course through forest.
Nighta at Karamatsu/Shirakaba on 20th February and 5th/12th/19th March.
Note that the top Tsugaike Ropeway only opens from spring.
Official snow depth:
Tsuga-no-mori: 240cm
Maruyama: 90cm
Kane-no-naru-oka: 80cm

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall this morning.
Most of Village Side is open but parts of the Mountain Side not open (Sonezawa, Dangan, Kamo 4, View A, View B).
There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake.
Official snow depth:
Upper: 120cm
Lower: 40cm

Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
All courses are now open.
There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake.
Official snow depth:
135cm

Hakuba Sanosaka:
All of the courses are open.
There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Sanosaka.
Official snow depth:
100cm   Read more ...
 

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Sunday 14th February 2016, 8:42am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 80cm
Hello from Nozawa.

It's not good, I'm afraid. Apart from it again being way too warm this morning, it's raining and strong winds are messing around with lift operations (if people were still interested in using the lifts!)

And after that decent snowfall that we enjoyed last week as well. :(

According to the resort it was +8C and raining up on the top Yamabiko as of 7:15am and they've wiped off a chunk from the official snow depth numbers as well.

Poor weather conditions mean that top lifts and the Nagasaka Gondola are on hold at the start of the day. Looks like the Hikage Gondola is moving. See below for more.

I really don't like writing these things, but you want the absolute truth right? I just so so wish I could be bringing you regular reports of deep snow like I usually can, it makes me really sad that I can't...

Trying to forget the 'right now', let's look at the forecast.

It's looking quite promising actually with a sudden drop in temperatures due tomorrow and hopefully snow falling by the time I get up to write my report Monday morning. And after that, snow clouds should be over us or nearby and giving us fresh snow on Tuesday and Wednesday as well. So things could be back on in a few days time once again.

What a really strange season. Hopefully it'll be 'unique'! I'll take an 'average' season over this one any day.

---

Official info at time of writing on Sunday 14th February 2016 (subject to change):

Official snow depths:

Yamabiko: 140cm
Uenotaira: 90cm
Hikage: 80cm
Nagasaka: 60cm
Karasawa: 50cm

New snowfall as reported by the resort since yesterday:

Yamabiko: 0cm
Uenotaira: 0cm
Hikage: 0cm
Nagasaka: 0cm
Karasawa: 0cm

Lifts not starting the day today due to bad weather conditions:

Nagasaka Gondola
Yamabiko Four
Yamabiko Number 2 Four
Skyline connecting
Uenotaira Four
Yunomine pair
Mizunashi pair

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Nozawa Onsen 6 day weather and snow forecast

Nozawa Onsen main resort data
   Read more ...
 

Naeba Now!

Sunday 14th February 2016, 8:54am
Weather conditions: Today is overcast and rainy.
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 130cm
Good morning from Naeba everybody.

Today it's the 2016 World Cup Slalom Contest and what beautiful weather it is for it. Or not!

Whilst we got lucky yesterday and the rain held off during the day, it began to fall at around 00:00 and has continued until now. Whilst it's not a torrential down pour it's enough to make things slushy on course.

Conditions in general will be less than ideal today mainly due to the rain but a return to snow is still predicted for tonight so let's hope that comes through!

Weather for the coming week remains the same as before with snow expected to start tonight and then continue through until Wednesday. Then we should have a day of clear weather on Thursday, with more snow coming on Friday.

Naeba 6-day snow and weather forecast   Read more ...
 

Grandeco Now!

Sunday 14th February 2016, 8:55am
Weather conditions: Clouds
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 240cm
Good morning from a rainy Grandeco.

Unfortunately, as with many areas this weekend Grandeco has been enduring rainfall from last night - it has actually been raining throughout the Bandai area on both sides of Mt Bandai.

The rain and warmth has seen the snow melting away quickly and the official snow depth at the resort has taken a drop down from 260cm to 240cm this morning.

This weather feels like a Spring storm, and strong wind will be blowing strong around 18:00-22:00 according to the forecast.

By early tomorrow morning, it should be much calmer and start snowing before the next report goes up.

All of the ski resorts in the Bandai area are open today but if the wind gets too strong, expect some lift operations to be affected. I see that the Tengendai ski are (located to the north of Grandeco in Yamagata prefecture) announced that it has stopped all lifts and ropeway today.

Best to pay attention to the local forecast.

Anyway, hoping to have new snow to report from tomorrow.

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Lifts operating:

All lifts operating

Courses open:

All courses open

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Snow and weather forecast:

6 day snow and weather forecast for Grandeco   Read more ...
 

Shiga Kogen Now!

Sunday 14th February 2016, 9:07am
Weather conditions: Clouds
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 100cm
As expected, it's raining.

It's very warm and wet. Strong southerly winds overnight were blowing around as well. So it's a pretty sad picture this morning I'm afraid.

Just as the official snow depths at resorts don't go up much, they don't go down either - though there has definitely been melt since yesterday and there'll be more today.

Looking ahead with hope, by this time tomorrow the forecasts say it will be back to being very cold and it will be snowing... with snow forecast through Wednesday. So I'll look forward to bringing you news of that tomorrow.

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Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Sunday 14th February 2016):

Sun Valley
70cm
Nighta on Saturdays until 19th March (7pm-9pm)

Maruike
70cm

Hasuike
60cm

Giant
100cm

Higashitateyama
100cm

Bunadaira
100cm

Takamagahara Mammoth
120cm

Nishitateyama
100cm

Tannenomori Okojo
120cm

Ichinose Family
120cm
Nighta daily until 27th March (6:30pm-9pm)

Terakoya
120cm

Ichinose Diamond
120cm
Nighta on Saturdays until 26th March (6:30pm-9pm)

Ichinose Yamanokami
120cm

Yakebitaiyama
150cm
Nighta on Saturdays until 12th March (6pm-8pm)

Okushiga Kogen
140cm

Kumanoyu
100cm
Nighta on Saturdays until 26th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Also on 12th February and 20th March

Yokoteyama & Shibutoge
110cm

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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 ...
 

Zao Now!

Sunday 14th February 2016, 9:12am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 140cm
Rain.

It's raining folks and has been as far as I can tell for the most part since last night. From top to bottom. And way, way too warm. My thermometer says 11 degrees. Which is pretty shocking for 14th February.

The mountain is open but I doubt there'll be that many people wanting to be out in this weather... certainly not like a normal peak season Sunday anyway.

The good news and thing to look forward to is that we are told that winter will be back from tomorrow through Wednesday.

So while things are pretty sad today, maybe in my next report I'll be able to bring you news of fresh snowfall. I sure hope so!

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Information as of Sunday 14th February 2016 (subject to change)

All planned lifts are operating this morning.

Official snow depths:

Utopia: 100cm
Chuo: 140cm
Paradise: 145cm
Uwanodai: 110cm

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

Appi Kogen Now!

Sunday 14th February 2016, 9:20am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 110cm
Sunday and rain with a chance of more rain throughout the day.

Yes the forecast was correct for once and it’s a lovely day here at Appi if you’ve got a canoe. If I were to choose one word to sum up the day here and its “miserable”.

Cloudy skies forecast all day with the rain maybe turning into snow later this evening with temperatures at the base around 4 to 5 degrees throughout the day too. Temperatures should fall over night and into tomorrow to the -8 range. It will certainly snow but what it’s going to end up like is anyone's guess right now. The base has also shrunk to 110cm because of the rising temperatures and rainfall.

Some courses closed this morning due to the conditions and the gondolas taking a rest - operating lifts early morning shown below.

It’s a TV or book kind of day today so grab yourself a good hardback and settle in to the patter of rain on the roof.

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Currently planned operating lifts:

- Central Number 1 quad
- Number 2 lift A
- Number 2 lift B
- Number 3 lift B
- Number 3 lift C
- Sailer Number 2
- Sailer connecting   Read more ...
 

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Appi Kogen Now
16th Dec, 10:02
Naeba Now
16th Dec, 9:50am
Shiga Kogen Now
16th Dec, 9:44
Hakuba Now
16th Dec, 9:39
Yuzawa Now
16th Dec, 9:23am
Madarao Now
16th Dec, 9:11
Nozawa Onsen Now
16th Dec, 8:42
Niseko Now
16th Dec, 8:38
Myoko Now
16th Dec, 8:17am
Grandeco Now
16th Dec, 8:16
Zao Now
16th Dec, 8:03
Furano Now
16th Dec, 8:00
Geto Kogen Now
16th Dec, 7:45
Minakami Now
14th Dec, 8:34

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