Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 25th February 2018
Monday 15th January 2018, 6:36am
Partly cloudy early on, fine weather forecast
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.
Images today from GALA Yuzawa and NASPA Ski Garden.
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.
Ski resort information on Monday 15th January 2018 (at time of writing):
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
Some cloud, blue skies
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...
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.
Monday 15th January 2018
Fresh snowfall since yesterday (as reported by the resort):
- All scheduled lifts should be operating as normal
The following courses either closed or not fully available:
- Challenge 39 - Grand Prix - Mukobayashi - Kandahar
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 ...
Monday 15th January 2018, 7:15am
Clear over Madarao
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
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
Blue skies, some cloud
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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: 315cm Base: 230cm
Nighta skiing operations are planned at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018.
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.
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 ...
Monday 15th January 2018, 8:34am
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.
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 ...
Monday 15th January 2018, 11:49am
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!
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.
Monday 15th January 2018
Resort specific information (operations subject to change):
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.
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
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
Mostly cloudy skies
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