Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 25th February 2018

Yuzawa Now!

Monday 15th January 2018, 6:36am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy early on, fine weather forecast
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa.

Very early report this morning!

The clouds generally remained over Yuzawa for most of the day yesterday – perhaps longer than we thought would be the case - with some very light snow falling at times, even into the afternoon. (The 1cm of fresh in the report is from early on after my report when it was still snowing). If was far from the kind of snow where new cm would have built up though; certainly not down in town areas. By late afternoon though the sun was out and it was mostly clear skies.

Early this morning there are some clouds around but it is forecast to be a very fine day so if the forecasts are right those clouds should be clearing up.

This week there looks like a chance of rain around Wednesday, and maybe even at higher elevations too as the freezing point rises to 2000m and we have a bit of a mild spell. As always, we of course hope that any rain is short-lived and we can get back to winter and snowfall once again. Let’s keep an eye on that forecast.

It’s a regular Monday morning so ski resorts will generally be quite after a pretty busy weekend.

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Images today from GALA Yuzawa and NASPA Ski Garden.

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Updated: Sunday 14th January 2018

Too early for updates this morning!

Ski resorts in Yuzawa:

GALA Yuzawa
- 230cm

Iwappara
- 165cm

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

Kandatsu Kogen
- 200cm

Naeba
- 210cm (base)

NASPA Ski Garden
- 165cm

Yuzawa Kogen
- Top: 230cm
- Base: 170cm

Yuzawa Park
- 140cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
- 150cm

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

Ishiuchi Maruyama
- 190cm

Joetsu Kokusai
- 190cm

Maiko Snow Resort
- Top: 210cm
- Base: 120cm

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

Hakuba Now!

Monday 15th January 2018, 6:54am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
It’s an early report from here in Hakuba and luckily for me a fairly easy one. Please note that due to the hour of the official resort info below has not been updated (not yet available) – though I expect all resorts to be open as normal.

Yesterday. There was quite a lot of cloud hanging on until around midday, when more blue sky and sunshine started to appear. By around 3pm there was lots of clear blue skies and sun and we were able to enjoy a really beautiful evening.

Some thin cloud this morning but generally clear over the village and sunny conditions are forecast.

It remained cold during the day yesterday and a cold morning so conditions should be very good again this morning. I have a meeting on the slopes this morning; can't think of a better place to be!

Less people around too, being a Monday.

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Ski resort information on Monday 15th January 2018 (at time of writing):

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned

Courses open:
- All course are now open

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 360cm
- Usagidaira: 190cm
- Lower: 105cm

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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: 305cm
- Toomi: 120cm
- Iimori: 70cm

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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: 295cm
- Base: 100cm

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Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- Most lifts are operating as planned

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: 285cm
- Han-no-ki: 275cm
- Maruyama: 120cm
- Shirakaba: 245cm
- Champion: 150cm
- Oya-no-hara: 130cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: 135cm

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Hakuba Cortina

Operating lifts:
- All lifts are operating

Courses open:
- All courses apart from Itadaira Forecast opening at time of report

Official snow depth:
- Top: 300cm
- Base: 200cm

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Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

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

Official snow depth:
- Top: 180cm
- Base: 100cm

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Hakuba Norikura Onsen

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

Official snow depth:
- 210cm

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Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Operating lifts:
- All lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 150cm

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Hakuba Sanosaka

Operating lifts:
- All three lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 110cm

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Night time skiing (nighta) at resorts in the region - weather & conditions permitting
The below 'nighta' information will not be updated every day - please check with resorts if you plan to go!

Hakuba Happo-one
Daily from 5pm until 9pm in the Nakiyama 2 area
Adults - 2,000 yen; children - 1,200 yen

Hakuba Goryu
Daily from 6pm until 9:30pm in the Toomi area until 31st March
The Sky Four quad operates daily; the Number 2 pair mostly on Saturdays and holidays
Adults - 1,900 yen; children - 850 yen

Hakuba Cortina
Daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays)
Adults - 1,500 yen; children - 1,000 yen

Tsugaike Kogen
Kane-no-naru-oka area from 6pm until 8:50pm on 3rd, 10th, 11th February
Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6pm until 9pm on 20th, 27th January; 10th, 11th, 17th February; 3rd, 10th March
Adults - 2,200 yen; children - 1,700 yen

There are no other nighta operations at other ski resorts in the region   Read more ...
 

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Monday 15th January 2018, 7:15am
Weather conditions: Some cloud, blue skies
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Nozawa.

Some more snow fell during the morning yesterday – by 12 noon the ski resort was reporting 1cm at Karasawa base, 6cm at Uenotaira and 13cm on the top Yamabiko area of the mountain.

Lots of cloud remained into the early afternoon but the sun managed to peek through at times, and the clouds mostly clearing up nicely by the time evening was approaching. Turned into a really nice afternoon.

This morning we are starting the day with a mix of clearer sky and cloud - due to be sunny and fine for the day - and it is very probably going to be much milder than it was yesterday. It's a pretty cold start, but temperatures rising into low single digit numbers.

Should be good weather for the Fire Festival, and on that subject...

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The main part of the 'Dosojin Fire Festival' takes place today. More details on the festival itself are posted below.

From the folk in Nozawa:

"A reminder that the Fire Festival is a privilege and an amazing experience to witness but visitors must remember to be respectful of the local people and their traditions. Specifically, only receive alcohol if you are offered it and avoid pestering the town members given that it is theirs to enjoy.

The people in the village are very generous and want to make it a safe and incredible experience. Don't drink too much and prepare for a cold night, as there is a good amount of standing around."

There have been some cases in the past of visitors getting somewhat over-enthusiastic and causing some problems. Let's all take a step back, respect the locals, respect the event and enjoy the spectacle.

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Monday 15th January 2018

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

- Yamabiko (1407m): 13cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 6cm
- Hikage (660m): -cm
- Nagasaka (615m): -cm
- Karasawa (563m): 1cm

Official snow depth numbers:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 290cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 230cm
- Hikage (660m): 180cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 175cm
- Karasawa (563m): 140cm

Lifts operations:

- All scheduled lifts should be operating as normal

The following courses either closed or not fully available:

- Challenge 39
- Grand Prix
- Mukobayashi
- Kandahar

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The Dosojin Fire Festival

The Dosojin Fire Festival is the biggest date on the calendar for Nozawa Onsen and is one of the three most famous ‘fire festivals’ in Japan.

The festival is held on the 15th of January every year - no matter what day that falls on. The festival is to pray for a plentiful harvest, health and good fortune in the coming year and dates back to 1863. Though the locations may have changed, the festivities remain pretty much the same.

During this festival the 25 and 42-year-old men from the village play a very important role. An old belief in Japan dictates that, for men, these years are ‘unlucky’ ages. The 25 and the 42-year-old men in their unlucky ages construct the shaden (shrine) from beech wood, reaching a height of 18 meters. Every year it takes 100 villagers to build the shrine. The trees are cut down in October and brought down from the mountain, through the village, on January 13th.

After the shaden has been constructed, the priest from Kosuge shrine performs a ceremony to endow it with a God. Along with the shaden there are an average of five tôrô (dedicatory lantern poles) erected every year. These poles are made by a family in the village to celebrate the birth of the first son. The tôrô are offered to the Gods in a prayer for health and good fortune.

The festivities begin with the lighting of the fire by the 25 and 42-year-old men. A small group of men carry a torch, which is lit by striking two stones together, from the Kôno residence to the festival grounds. The torch is used to start a bonfire from which the handmade torches, used to attack the shrine, are lit.

The festival centres around the shaden. The 42-year-old men sit on top and the 25 year old men stand guard at the base. Those who are 41 and 43 years old stand around the perimeter to protect the spectators. Torch bearing villagers of all ages attempt to break through the guards and light the shaden on fire. A dangerous and lively battle ensues. The defenders try to put out the fire by striking it with pine branches. The attack lasts for about one hour, after which the 42-year olds call an end to the ceremony and the shaden together with the tôrô are set on fire in an offering to the Gods.

The entire festival can take up to four hours from the beginning to the end, but the main attraction is the battle between the guards and the torch bearing villagers.   Read more ...
 

Madarao Now!

Monday 15th January 2018, 7:15am
Weather conditions: Clear over Madarao
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
A little more snow yesterday morning since my measurement and some periods of sun in the afternoon. Before it got dark the skies were much clearer giving us a really nice clear evening.

Today begins with the sun shining and clear skies over Madarao; some cloud in the region. It should be a fine day and I'm itching to get out! I don't have any official updates to report from the ski resort but I would think things should be open as normal.

Keep an eye on the forecast for what we are supposed to have in store for the week.

---

Official snow depth:
200cm

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
Free Ride Park
Powder Theater
Adventure Aisle
Crystal Bowl
Ninja
Sawa
Rabbit
Bear

Kids Park
Snow Mobile Land

Planned nighta operations this season:

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

Shiga Kogen Now!

Monday 15th January 2018, 7:26am
Weather conditions: Blue skies, some cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Yesterday very light snow was falling even into the early afternoon but a little later and by mid-afternoon it was sunny with blue skies and much less cloud around. It was a beauty of an afternoon.

This morning has started off cold and sunny with some cloud in places. Just a light wind.

Through mid-week we are probably going to have a few days of milder conditions in the region. Around Wednesday lower regions are probably going to get rained on – should be snow up here.

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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.

Giant
130cm

Higashitateyama
150cm

Ichinose Family
150cm

Ichinose Diamond
150cm

Kumanoyu
180cm

Maruike
70cm

Nishitateyama
130cm

Okushiga Kogen
200cm

Sun Valley
70cm

Takamagahara Mammoth
150cm

Terakoya
150cm

Yakebitaiyama
200cm

Yokoteyama
170cm   Read more ...
 

Minakami Now!

Monday 15th January 2018, 7:35am
Weather conditions: Blue skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Yesterday's snow was much better than expected up top with the gullies full of light, dry pow. This morning it's a blue sky day with temperatures set to climb significantly to a high of 9C in the town and I suspect we will hit slightly positive temps at 1300m. Travel in the backcountry accordingly if that's where you are headed. Tomorrow is likely to be the same and rain is forecast for Wednesday.

We dodged it last time so fingers crossed we escape again.

---

Ski resorts in Minakami:

Akasawa
Minakami Hodaigi
Minakami Kogen Fujiwara
Minakami Kogen Ski Resort
Norn Minakami
Oana
Okutone Snow Park
Tanigawadake Tenjindaira
Tanigawa Onsen White Valley

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Resort Spotlights with more detail:

Norn Minakami
Okutone Snow Park

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Please note that the snowfall numbers posted in this report will be observed from close to the base Tenjindaira Ropeway station - which is often much more than in the central town area of Minakami.    Read more ...
 

Geto Kogen Now!

Monday 15th January 2018, 7:49am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Mixed conditions yesterday with a bit of sun, bit of wind, bit of snow, but overall a great way to spend a Sunday. Today, looking at tops of 1C, starting cloudy with winds increasing into the evening. We might also see a bit of snow as well.

No new snow to report today, bit more of the same — enjoy and stick to the trees if you want the good stuff.

Tuesday: fine and sunny, light winds, tops of 1C
Wednesday: cloudy with some light snow, little to no winds, tops of 3C
Thursday: rain/snow showers, winds increasing to heavy, tops of 2C

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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.

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Official snow depths:

Top: 315cm
Base: 230cm

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

   Read more ...
 

Myoko Now!

Monday 15th January 2018, 7:53am
Weather conditions: Just the most scattered clouds
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Beautiful start to the day out there; a very pick Mt. Myoko at 7 am and blue skies! You know I prefer the stormy and snowy, but it’s nice to be able to see the hills, the lake, the happy faces... saying that becasue there's the chance of rain tomorrow (frown).

No, I’m not working for the tourist organization. Just a nice Monday! Cold, too. -8° at 7am.

Everybody’s late today, and Im out the door. No new snowfall, about the same temperature as yesterday. I’ll mark new reports below.

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Akakura Kanko:
280 cm, -7°

Akakura Onsen:
300cm, -6°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
235cm, -7°

Myoko Suginohara:
220cm, -14°

Seki Onsen:
330 cm, -5°

Myoko Ski Park:
260 cm, -2°

Kyukamura RunRun:
240 cm, -53° (new)

Tangram Ski Circus:
210 cm, -4°

Madarao Kogen:
200 cm, -7°

Read more ...
 

Furano Now!

Monday 15th January 2018, 8:02am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Furano. It is a mainly cloudy morning with some big gaps in those clouds which are letting through a fair bit of un-cloud filtered light and sunshine. There are light winds at base and the wind seems to be coming and going in gusts, so I would suspect it is strong higher up on the resort. While it is reasonably cold right now it is forecast to rise up to a warm +2c. The snow conditions on the slopes are already firm and the warm temps during the day will make this a bit worse, still the upper mountain should remain nice packed powder. There is no new snow today.   Read more ...
 

Naeba Now!

Monday 15th January 2018, 8:34am
Weather conditions: Almost Bluebird
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba!

It's a clear, crisp morning up here today and the piste grooming looks fabulous. The air temperature feels much warmer in the sun than the figures suggest, and as the sun gains ground in the valley it will continue to break through the frost courtesy of last night's low of -14°C. Today we should expect a mostly sunny sky and temperature highs at the base of just above 0°C. Don't forget your suncream today.

Looking forwards, the current high pressure system should stick around until Tuesday night, when a moist block of air will push in from the west, potentially bringing with it rain at 900m. Temperature predictions suggest that this moisture will fall as snow from 1300m, however. This system is expected to cool significantly on Thursday night, with snow falling all the way down to the base of the resort. The wind is also expected to pick up somewhat around Thursday night also.

Teire o shita!   Read more ...
 

Grandeco Now!

Monday 15th January 2018, 8:36am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

It was a starry night and there is no fresh snowfall to report.

The temperature is cold but it is going to be warming up after this. According to the forecast, we might have to endure e rain on Wednesday. :(

So, probably better to enjoy skiing before Wednesday this week.

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Lifts operating:

- All lifts operating

Courses open:

- All courses open

Official snow depth:
- 250cm

Forecast:
- Grandeco snow and weather forecast   Read more ...
 

Zao Now!

Monday 15th January 2018, 10:55am
Weather conditions: Sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Zao.

Earlier thin clouds have dispersed now and it's lovely blue skies over Zao mid-morning.

Still keeping cold but things are expected to be rather mild over the next few days.

Next snow? Look to Wednesday; fingers crossed it is cold enough to avoid rain down by base.

Lovely day today though.

---

Lifts and course info:

- All lifts operating (apart from Karamatsu, which is rested on normal weekdays)
- All areas open

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 135cm
- Paradise area: 150cm
- Chuo area: 150cm
- Utopia area: 165cm
- Uwanodai area: 90cm
- Oomori area: 95cm

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Zao Onsen forecast:

Zao Onsen 6-day snow and weather forecast

Floodlit night skiing 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:
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 ...
 

Niseko Now!

Monday 15th January 2018, 11:49am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning. Just about! Sorry about my very late report this morning; it couldn't be avoided.

At my normal morning time there was just a dusting of snow on the ground from yesterday, but not enough for me to award the reports with any new cm.

It is clearly milder this morning but it is currently snowing.

I will bring you news of any snowfall during the daytime today - anything that has fallen since my normal earlier morning time of around 8:30am - in my report tomorrow. That should be with you around the normal time!

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Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6.00am: -6°, no new snow, calm. Moiwa 800m : -8°, no new snow, light winds. Annupuri 1150m: -9°, SW15m/s, no new snow, windblown snowdrift development. Hirafu 1250m: -12°, S20m/s, no new snow. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:SW3m/s. Kamui Cape: S16m/s,1015hPa, wave 1.0m.

Below 800m the weather is calm, but above 1100m there is a strong southwest wind and rapid snowdrift development. Peak gates opening is dependant on lift operation and undecided yet. Wet snowfall on the lower mountain is expected, however above 800m expect strong SW winds and snow. The current snow surface is expected to become a significant layer in the future snowpack under todays snowfall.

During times of high wind and snow drifts are likely to collapse, causing slab avalanches. As the storm strengthens today cornices and snow drifts will become unstable. Also just the strong wind can move enough snow to cause cornice and snowdrift instability. Most accidents occur in bad weather. Be aware of the changing weather and snow conditions.

Yesterdays tracks are still uncovered and the mountain is not in good shape, plan accordingly. Do not ignore Niseko Rules and enter strictly off limits areas looking for fresh snow. Do duck ropes at the side of ski run or under lift lines. Have a safe day and don't overestimate your knowledge or rely on technology to save you.

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Monday 15th 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
- Top Ace and King lifts on hold as of 12 noon
- '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: 370cm
- Base: 165cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts are generally operating
- Top Jumbo lift on hold as of 12 noon

Official snow depth:
- Top: 280cm
- Base: 170cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts except Country Road Chair are generally operating
- Top Wonderland lift on hold as of 12 noon
- 'Early Gondola' service from 7:30am until 8:30am (Niseko Gondola). January 14th, 20th-21st, 27th-28th; February 3rd-4th. 1,400 yen special ticket required.

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

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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 ...
 

Appi Kogen Now!

Monday 15th January 2018, 12:14pm
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy skies
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: --
Hello from Appi,

Mostly cloudy skies but the sun seems to be making progress breaking through. Stable cold temperatures until Tuesday night then a rapid increase to zero.

We may see a few snow showers later today and perhaps get a few more cm of snow. Variable conditions for the rest of the week forecast with in gain off again sunshine and relatively stable winds till Thursday.

The slopes are in good condition but yet again we’ve a few lifts and runs that are closed for the week.

Light traffic on the mountain should make it a fun day for those heading out. Wrap up though it’s cold.

---

Planned lift operations (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

Appi Kogen Now
25th Feb, 12:23
Zao Now
25th Feb, 10:06
Madarao Now
25th Feb, 9:38
Myoko Now
25th Feb, 9:35am
Shiga Kogen Now
25th Feb, 9:14
Furano Now
25th Feb, 9:00
Nozawa Onsen Now
25th Feb, 8:58
Naeba Now
25th Feb, 8:52
Hakuba Now
25th Feb, 8:46
Niseko Now
25th Feb, 8:33
Grandeco Now
25th Feb, 8:23
Yuzawa Now
25th Feb, 8:02
Geto Kogen Now
25th Feb, 7:13
Minakami Now
24th Feb, 7:23

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