Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 28th May 2018

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Thursday 17th December 2015, 7:59am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
There is a little bit of snow to report this morning. Just a little - a very light dusting on lower areas, a bit more higher up.

It is snowing now though, and it is forecast to be snowing through the day and so tomorrow I am very hopeful that I will be posting some numbers at last!

We perhaps shouldn't get overly excited for a prolonged snowstorm though with some sunshine probably tomorrow once the early clouds clear, though there is some more snow forecast on Saturday too.

Whatever falls will certainly be valued and loved!

Come on...


Please note that some of the Now reports on SnowJapan might be delayed tomorrow (Friday).


Official snow depths (as of 16th December 2015):

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



Resort not open yet



Resort not open yet


Nozawa Onsen 6 day weather and snow forecast

Nozawa Onsen main resort data   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Thursday 17th December 2015, 8:10am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
I am posting the report this morning from just to the north of central Yuzawa, near the Ishiuchi Maruyama resort.

It is raining (trying to be sleet) here right now but I am hearing that wet snow is falling in certain parts of Yuzawa right now... at the time of writing it depends on where you are. And I can see that snow has definitely fallen on upper areas overnight - it looks like there is maybe a few cm of snow at the top of the Ishiuchi Maruyama resort and a thin covering on the lower slopes of Naeba as well.

Kagura are reporting 5cm of fresh snow.

Snowfall is forecast for the day. Temperatures are going to be all-important. This morning a high of around 4C but it should get colder this afternoon so perhaps from this afternoon we'll start seeing some proper snowfall down here.

For the moment the forecast is for snow to continue into tomorrow morning but perhaps there might be some sun during the day tomorrow, followed by a return to snow clouds into Saturday.

I dare not even try to predict what we might get. Local opinion for what we can expect over the next few days ranges from 'not very much at all' to 'maybe a fairly decent amount'. Though no-one seems to be realistically expecting huge dumpage. It could just do with generally getting that bit colder...


GALA Yuzawa are going to be opening from Saturday - if there's not enough snow on the courses, the (plastic) 'snow mat' area only will be open.

Other resorts that plan to open are going to go into standby mode and open just as soon as there is enough snow.


Please note that some of the Now reports on SnowJapan might be delayed tomorrow (Friday).


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

Currently part open:
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.

A few lower area courses open with artificial snow.

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

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

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

Thursday 24th December:

Friday 25th December:

Saturday 26th December:
Ishiuchi Hanaoka
Mt Granview


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

Niseko Now!

Thursday 17th December 2015, 8:25am
Weather conditions: Cloud, some blue sky right now!
New snowfall: 18cm
Snow depth: 45cm
Now this is much better!

This morning I have a nice 18cm of fresh snowfall to report from here around my base in Hirafu and no doubt there will be more of it up there on them there mountains. My friend up there just gave me a call and put it at 25+cm.

Snow is forecast for the day today, but what's this... sun?! Yes, there's a fair bit of blue sky to be seen and the sun shining down on us as I write this report. Hmmm. Hopefully it's a break in the snow clouds rather than a clearing up situation. I believe the forecast! Which tells us to expect snow clouds to be over the region over the next few days.

It doesn't feel windy here now but hear that there's stronger winds at higher altitudes.

There are no significant changes in lift operations this morning as far as I can tell. But it is definitely a big improvement on yesterday in terms of snow.

Still, we need lots and lots more...


Please note that some of the Now reports on SnowJapan might be delayed tomorrow (Friday).


Niseko Avalanche Report

Niseko base 6am: -2℃, light breeze and 20cm of crystal snow. NE8m/s wind, 20cm snowfall at 600m altitude. Coastal data: Benkei cape NNE11m/s, Kamui cape N11m/s, 1003hPa, 3.6m waves. NNW10-15m/s at 1000m elevation.

Cornices and snowdrifts have drastically developed under the strong 20+m/s wind overnight and are unstable in leeward south facing slopes above 800m.

Surface slab slides of 30-40cm thickness from Dec 12th layer are very likely to occur in those slopes.

Snow is still shallow, beware of hidden stumps and bamboo grass when skiing off-piste. Gates are still closed, please respect the Niseko Rules.


Resort specific news as of 8:20am - 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 (on hold due to strong winds and fog)
- Holiday Number 1 pair
- 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
- 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

Official resort snow depths as of 17th December 2015:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 145cm
Base - 45cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 65cm
Base - 30cm

Niseko Annupuri:
Top - 60cm
Base - 40cm


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

Naeba Now!

Thursday 17th December 2015, 8:29am
Weather conditions: Moderate snow and light fog.
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: 40cm
Good morning everybody from Naeba.

Excellent news today as the snow has finally come. Overnight we've had a small amount of snow with snow currently falling thickly and expected to continue for the rest of the day.

Whilst we currently only have two lifts running this is expected to change in the coming week.

Hopefully now the snow tap has been turned on and will remain so for the rest of the winter!

Just to be completely clear the current snow depth of 40 cm is for the man made course in front of the prince hotel. On the sides of this course the snow depth is approximately 1.5 cm and is not currently rideable.    Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Thursday 17th December 2015, 8:45am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
Hurray for snow!

Yes, it started snowing early this morning and there's about 2-4cm on the ground at my base and as you expect of course more in higher areas. Here's what I can gather from the resorts. Hakuba 47 are reporting 15cm of fresh at top of gondola with Hakuba Goryu reporting 10cm on upper areas. I was just over at the base there a short while ago and there's at least a few cm now.

So yes this is all good, though of course we need a lot of snow so how is the forecast looking...

Forecast is for snow today and into tonight but clearer skies during the day tomorrow, but very hopefully keeping cold with it. Then some more snow is expected around Saturday. It goes without saying that we could do with a significant amount of snow, more importantly because after Saturday there's again not a whole lot of snow on the forecast through into the first part of next week with temperatures tending to get a bit warmer again.

Anyway for now, we can enjoy seeing the snow fall and fingers crossed that a decent amount falls. Limited visibility on mountain and remember to take care as it's not 'deep' yet, but have a fun time if you are making it onto the snow.


Please note that some of the Now reports on SnowJapan might be delayed tomorrow (Friday).


6 day forecast for Happo-one:

6 day snow and weather forecast for Happo-one


Resort news as of 8:45am on Thursday 17th December - subject to change

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 is reporting a few cm of new snowfall at base and 15cm higher up.
The Route 2, Route 4 and Route 8 (part) are now open.
Planned lifts:
Line AB
Line C
Line E
Official snow depth
Upper: 60cm
Base: 1cm

Hakuba Goryu:
Hakuba Goryu is reporting 10cm of new snowfall on upper areas.
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: 55cm
Iimori: -cm
Toomi: -cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
Parts of Usagidaira, Panorama and 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: 40cm
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: 51cm
Maruyama: -cm

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 ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Thursday 17th December 2015, 8:48am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: 0cm
Yesterday drizzly sleet 'stuff' was falling in Shiga Kogen, but thankfully early this morning it has turned into something more like what you can call 'snow'. Actually falling quite nicely now. More like it!

For the moment it's just a slight cover but if the forecast is right and it snows during the day hopefully we can build up.

Snow might ease off tomorrow but hopefully back before Saturday.

Depending on how much falls of course, there might well be more of Shiga Kogen open come Saturday...


The Okushiga Kogen and Kumanoyu areas of Shiga Kogen are from this season allowing snowboarders as well as skiers. All welcome!


Resort areas that are currently open (Thursday 17th December) - subject to change

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

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

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

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


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 ...

Madarao Now!

Thursday 17th December 2015, 9:01am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: 0cm

It is snowing, but difficult to make a decision apparently and Madarao Kogen have said that they will decide whether they can open tomorrow morning at around 7am. It is all going to depend on the snow though they seem to be saying there's up to 30cm now.

Tomorrow my report will be later on in the day unfortunately so if you are planning to go to Madarao Kogen tomorrow I recommend you keep an eye on their website early tomorrow morning.


Original morning report:

We have some snowfall this morning and more expected during the day.

Enough for the resorts to open as open? Right now, no. But it will depend on how much snow falls today and tonight and Madarao Kogen resort have announced that they will make a decision later on today. No doubt we will be hearing from Tangram Ski Circus as well...

I will try to update this page later on today if possible; otherwise the next update will be later tomorrow (reports will be delayed a bit tomorrow).

Hope for lots of snowfall...


Madarao Kogen plans to open on Friday 18th December
Tangram Ski Circus plans to open on Saturday 19th December.


Madarao Kogen 6 day snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Thursday 17th December 2015, 9:07am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: 25cm
2cm of snow on the ground as snow has started falling from the skies this morning.

The clouds are thick with low visibility and hardly any wind. Most importantly, it is snowing... and we are all hoping that it will be snowing most of the time through until Saturday.

Let's see how much we get.


Please note that some of the Now reports on SnowJapan might be delayed tomorrow (Friday).


Lifts that are currently operating (subject to change):

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


Official snow depths (Wednesday 16th December 15):

Utopia: 15cm
Chuo: 25cm
Paradise: -cm
Uwanodai: 5cm


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

Myoko Now!

Thursday 17th December 2015, 9:27am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, with some fog
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: 0cm
Not that much to report except that there is in fact snow on the ground this morning. Not much, now; don't get too excited just yet, as nice as that white stuff looks. MAYBE three centimeters at the base of Akakan... But there is more predicted for later in the day, and it is colder than it's been so far. I hear that the managers from some of the local ski areas went over to Togakushi to get some divine intervention. Well, it is known as a power spot, and it is snowing now, so can't complain.

Just for fun, here are all the official opening dates again; we aren't going to make it, even with the snowfall predicted for today:

Akakura Kanko:

Friday, December 18

Akakura Onsen:

Saturday, December 12

Ikenotaira Onsen:

Friday, December 18

Myoko Suginohara:

Saturday, December 19

Seki Onsen:

Sunday, December 20

Myoko Ski Park:

Sunday, December 20

Kyukamura RunRun:

Saturday, December 19

Tangram Ski Circus:

Saturday, December 19

Madarao Kogen:

Friday, December 18

   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Thursday 17th December 2015, 10:42am
Weather conditions: Cloudy today with occasional bright patches this morning.
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 100cm
Fat flakes, skinny flakes, fast flakes, slow flakes.

Nice morning in Furano. The snow started some time very early. It did get very blustery in the wee hours when the weather system arrived.

At 8.30am about 3cm had fallen in Kitanomine Village and about 10cm up the top of the resort. There have been flurries, heavy snows and bright patches ever since. Currently a flurry in Furano town.

For the next five days the forecast calls for off and on snow, but yesterday it called for rain that never arrived so our forecast is really only indicative. The best way to tell the weather is, has always been, and will always be to look outside. So we did that for you today and in a word, outside is snowy.

Photo 1 is the Kitanomine Gondola building and the piste behind it. May open tomorrow, we are waiting for word.

Photo 2 is the view from Kitanomine Village back towards town. Both photos were taken at 8.45am.

   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Thursday 17th December 2015, 11:45am
Weather conditions: Cloud, some blue sky over town
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: 0cm
Woke up this morning to some nice fluffy snow coming down in moderate amounts.

It has turned intermittent now and a look down the valley to Minakami town sees blue skies. Seems we're fortunate to be getting some and given the ground temps are still above zero its struggling to accumulate.

The Tanigawadake mountain forecast is for it to continue all day and strengthen tonight which could see Winter get underway so fingers crossed.

Tenjin Ski Resort is reporting temps of -1 and a light N/E wind.

At the base of the Ropeway its hovering around +1. Surfaces that cool quickly, like my car roof, have 1 inch and the forest is beautifully speckled.
   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Yuzawa Now
28th May, 8:40am
Niseko Now
06th May, 9:21am
Furano Now
06th May, 9:04am
Hakuba Now
06th May, 9:02
Nozawa Onsen Now
06th May, 8:41
Shiga Kogen Now
06th May, 8:35
Myoko Now
06th May, 8:35am
Zao Now
06th May, 8:30am
Grandeco Now
06th May, 8:29am
Naeba Now
06th May, 8:28am
Minakami Now
06th May, 8:27am
Appi Kogen Now
06th May, 8:04
Geto Kogen Now
06th May, 8:01
Madarao Now
05th May, 19:10pm