Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 17th December 2017

Geto Kogen Now!

Friday 1st December 2017, 7:20am
Weather conditions: Blue skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Fresh snowfall measured at base: 5cm

Snow started falling during the afternoon yesterday and this morning we have 5cm of fresh snow on the ground. The sun is out and some nice blue skies this morning but a return to snowfall is forecast for later on in the day.

While we did get some fresh snow yesterday, it wasn’t enough to completely busy the crusty conditions under it. Hopefully we’ll get more soon to get things nice and fluffy again.

Official snow depth

Top: 90cm
Base: 20cm

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Welcome to our new Geto Kogen Now daily reports section

Geto Kogen is a ski and snowboard resort in Iwate Prefecture in the northern Tohoku region of Honshu, the main island of Japan. It’s known for heavy snowfalls, quality snow and tree run courses. Hopefully we will be able to bring you some good snowy reports through this season.

For more information on Geto Kogen please check out these pages on SnowJapan:

Resort Spotlight on SnowJapan
Basic resort details on SnowJapan

As with all our daily ‘Now’ reports, the bottom line is that they are independent and honest – they are published by us, not by the resort. The new snowfall number is being measured at the base area of the resort.

This is a brand new section involves people new to the process and so it may take a short while for us all to get used to it all. So please bear with us as we get into the gear!
   Read more ...
 

Furano Now!

Friday 1st December 2017, 7:48am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 18cm
Snow depth: --
There has been another good snowfall overnight with 18cm on the ground right here in the village. I would expect substantially more than that at the top of the resort and it should be really light powder. The terrain the resort has opened up is still very limited, which is a pity given all the snow we have had. Fingers crossed more will be open by the weekend.

Today is around -7c right now and won't get a lot warmer than that. Conditions are overcast with some very light snow falling and it will remain like this for the rest of the day, and we can expect similar conditions through the weekend.   Read more ...
 

Niseko Now!

Friday 1st December 2017, 8:34am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 16cm
Snow depth: --
Ho ho ho! It's December!

I have lots to report this morning, so let's get to it.

First of all... fresh snow. It's a very nice start to the month with 16cm of fresh snow to start things off. Good quality stuff too with temperatures keeping very low... it's really cold out there.

As I am writing this, it is generally very cloudy with light snowing right now in places, though not so in others - I see some sunshine over on the Hanazono webcam. The forecast, though, is snow for today, tomorrow and indeed regular snowfall right through well into next week.

Excellent.

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Today sees Niseko Village open for the season and they have their Gondola and the Banzai Chair lift operating.

Today is also the debut of the new Ace Family Quad lift at Niseko Grand Hirafu. And if you are one of the first 150 people getting there this morning you will get some kind of 'present'. (Sorry, I know I'm probably too late with that particular piece of information!) This new quad lift replaces the Ace Family pair lift and doubles the hourly riding capacity to 2400 folk. Both the base starting point of the lift and the top station have also changed position - the top now extends to the Sen-no-ki course by the upper area of the Family course.

The Dai-ni-no-kabe and Kogen courses are no longer open at Niseko Grand Hirafu this morning; not exactly sure why that is.

The previously mentioned new Dream Number 1 quad lift at Niseko Annupuri is also scheduled to start moving today.

...and then tomorrow sees the opening of Niseko Hanazono resort area.

Great to see the official Niseko Avalanche Report starting up again. Yoroshiku onegai shimasu to all involved in this great work.

Phew! All action at the moment! Have a good one and see you tomorrow.

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Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -8℃, 15cm snowfall, light breeze. Moiwa800m: NW10m/s, 100cm snowpack, snowdrifts developing. Annupuri1000m: 140cm snowpack. Coastal info: Benkei cape NW12m/s, Kamui cape W6m/s, 1015hPa, 1.7m waves.

We’re starting the Avalanche info as the winter has come earlier than usual. The resorts are opening, however out of bounds area are still restricted for skiing. The snowpack is building steadily, however bumpy terrains are not fully buried. Be careful as they’re hard to see when the light is low. Bamboo and bushes are still thick out of bounds. Snowdrifts are building slowly above 800m as the winter weather pattern continues. Avalanche risk is relatively low today. Do not duck ropes, please respect the Niseko Rules.

The 21st Niseko Avalanche Meeting will be held at the Niseko Station Warehouse from 6pm on the 5th Dec. This event is organized by the Niseko Avalanche Accident prevention Committee. A lecture by Mr. Satoru Yamaguchi from the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Resilience is schedule. Anybody is welcome to come participate.

A First Aid course by Japanese Society of Mountain Medicine will be held at Kanro no Mori from 1st to 3rd Dec. The latest medicinal approach to mountain related first aid will be taught by Dr Kazue Ooki.

Be safe out there and have a great season.

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Friday 1st December 2017

What's planned to be open today in Niseko (subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu

Lifts operating:
- Ace Number 3 Pair lift (8:40am until 3:30pm)
- Ace Number 2 Center Four quad lift (8:30am until 3:10pm)
- The new Ace Family Quad lift (8:30am until 3:30pm)

Courses open:
- Shirakaba
- Center Course
- Green
- Detour for beginners
- Kokutai
- Alpen
- Super (upper)
- Furiko

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts operating:
- Annupuri Gondola (8:30am until 3:15pm)
- Jumbo Number 1 quad lift (8:30am until 4:00pm)
- Dream Number 1 quad lift (9:00am until 4:00pm)

Courses open:
- Utopia
- Shirakaba
- Paradise
- Junior

Niseko Village

Lifts operating:
- Niseko Gondola (8:30am until 3:00pm)
- Banzai Chair (8:30am until 4:00pm)
- Community Chair (8:30am until 4:00pm)

Courses open:
- Can ski from top to base

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Official resort snow depths on Friday 1st December 2017:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 185cm
Base - 70cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai
Top - ?cm
Base - 50cm

Niseko Village
Top - 120cm
Base - 50cm

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Forecast:
Niseko Grand Hirafu snow and weather forecast (updated multiple times daily)

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Remaining planned season opening dates:

Niseko Hanazono:
Saturday 2nd December 2017 until Sunday 8th April 2018

Floodlit 'nighta' skiing schedule:
Saturday 9th December 2017 until Sunday 18th March 2018   Read more ...
 

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Friday 1st December 2017, 8:37am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, fog
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Nozawa.

No fresh snow to report down here at base, but the resort is reporting 5cm of fresh snowfall on the top (and open) Yamabiko area of the resort. And perhaps there will be more to report tomorrow, maybe even down here in the village.

Lots of cloud this morning.

And that's about it really on this first day of December.

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Friday 1st December 2017

Operating lifts:

- Nagasaka Gondola (8:40am until 3:30pm)
- Yamabiko four lift (9:00am until 3:30pm
- Yamabiko Number 2 lift (8:55am until 3:40pm)

Planned open courses:

- Yamabiko A - 1,300m
- Yamabiko B
- Yamabiko C - 850m
- Yamabiko D - 1,250m
- Yamabiko E - 1,000m
- Bunabayashi course - 2,500m
- Yunomine B

Fresh snowfall reported by the resort:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 5cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 5cm
- Hikage (660m): 0cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 0cm
- Karasawa (563m): 0cm

Official snow depth numbers:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 35cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 35cm
- Hikage (660m): 10cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 10cm
- Karasawa (563m): 5cm   Read more ...
 

Hakuba Now!

Friday 1st December 2017, 8:46am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

Snow seems to be falling at higher elevations this morning but the only new reported cm that I can find from around the resorts is Happo-one adding 5cm to their official snow depths; so it looks like there might be a bit of fresh to check out this morning. Sounds like a good reason to do so!

There's a bank of cloud covering the mountains this morning with clear conditions below that at village level. It's a bit damp down here, though not raining or snowing as I post this report. There is a chance of snowfall today and tonight though so fingers crossed there.

The forecast shows clearer skies over the coming weekend and perhaps lots of sunshine. If we can't have fresh snow, might as well enjoy some early season skiing or boarding in the sun. Let's just hope it keeps on the cold side.

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Ski resort opening status on Friday 1st December 2017:

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- Gondola Adam
- Panorama pair lift
- Alpen quad lift
- Kurobishi Number 2 quad lift
- Skyline Number 2 pair lift

Courses open:
- Panorama area
- Usagidaira area
- Kurobishi area
- Skyline area

Official snow depth:
- Usagidaira: 95cm
- Kurobishi: 120cm

Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- Goryu Telecabin (gondola)
- Alps Number 1 pair lift
- Alps Number 3 pair lift

Courses open:
- Panorama
- Grand Prix
- Technical
- Super

Official snow depth:
- Top: 85cm
- Toomi: -cm

Hakuba 47

Operating lifts:
- Line 8 Gondola
- Line C quad lift
- Line E high speed pair lift

Courses open:
- Route 1 (* upper area only)
- Route 2
- Route 3
- Route 5
- Route 6
- Route 8

Official snow depth:
- Top: 80cm
- Base: 10cm

Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts
- EVE Gondola
- Tsuga Number 2 pair lift (*** on hold at time of writing due to weather)
- Han-no-ki high speed pair lift

Courses open:
- Tsuga-no-mori
- Han-kou

Official snow depth:
- Top: 85cm

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Other official planned ski resort opening dates:

Friday 15th December 2017
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

Saturday 16th December 2017
Hakuba Cortina
Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Mid December 2017
Hakuba Norikura Onsen
Hakuba Sanosaka

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Click on the 'Forecast' tab at the top of the page for the latest snow and weather forecast for Hakuba Happo-one. Forecasts for individual resorts are available on the respective resort pages within SnowJapan.   Read more ...
 

Yuzawa Now!

Friday 1st December 2017, 9:12am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy, fog in places, bit of sun in others
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Yuzawa.

The morning started off with mostly cloud but as of 9am there's more blue sky appearing and the sun appearing as well in some places. The webcams around town show lots of cloud (and fog?) in higher areas for the moment.

It is currently +2C here so fairly chilly and not expected to warm up much. Perhaps we will get a little bit of snow overnight tonight but generally the forecast shows clearer skies for the weekend (after those clouds clear up).

Every year we have that early first snowfall and everyone gets excited (or panic-ed, depending on who you are!). I think without exception that dries up - just as it has this year too - before the real snow starts falling. That first snowfall certainly was on the early side this season, so let's hope that the full-on start will arrive early. Right now the taps don't look like their are going to be turned on in the coming week, so we will need to remain calm and excited for what is to come.

And finish off rushing around preparing for winter!

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Currently planned opening at Kagura (subject to change):

- Kagura Ropeway
- Mitsumata Number 1 quad
- Mitsumata Number 3 romance lift
- Kagura Gondola
- Kagura Number 1 quad
- Kagura Number 4 romance lift
- Kagura Number 1 romance lift (* operating only on weekends)
- Kagura Number 3 romance lift (* operating at busy times)

- Almost all of the runs at Kagura and Mitsumata are open; park items by the Kagura Number 1 romance lift.

Official snow depth at Kagura:

- Kagura area: 110cm
- Mitsumata area: 60cm

Kagura forecast:

Kagura snow and weather forecast

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Other planned opening dates for ski resorts in Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma:

Saturday 9th December 2017
Iwappara
Kagura (via Tashiro)
Naeba
Joetsu Kokusai

Friday 15th December 2017
Maiko Snow Resort
Muica Snow Resort
Yuzawa Park

Saturday 16th December 2017
GALA Yuzawa
Kandatsu Kogen
Yuzawa Kogen
Yuzawa Nakazato

Thursday 21st December 2017
Ishiuchi Maruyama

Friday 22nd December 2017
NASPA Ski Garden

Saturday 23rd December 2017
Ipponsugi
Muikamachi Hakkaisan
   Read more ...
 

Shiga Kogen Now!

Friday 1st December 2017, 9:13am
Weather conditions: Cloudy start, blue sky and sun now
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Shiga Kogen.

It's December and things should start getting going more and more now as the weeks pass.

This morning sees the Yokoteyama, Ichinose Family and Takamagahara Mammoth resort areas opening - properly... and partly. It's all a bit limited still of course. In this early part of the season when only part areas are open, I will try to keep the below list up to date with what is open in each area.

This morning there was a lot of cloud earlier on, but at 9:30am it's lovely and sunny with more and more blue sky. The forecast has some snow lined up for tonight with more sunshine due over the weekend.

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Already part open!

Kumanoyu

- Kumanoyu Umanose Course (part open)
- Kumanoyu Number 2 Beginner Course
- Kumanoyu Number 3 Beginner Course
- Kumanoyu Number 4 Event Course
- Kumanoyu Number 4 Beginner Course

Yokoteyama

- Yokoteyama Number 1 Course
- Yokoteyama Number 2 Course
- Yokoteyama Number 2 Course (Rinkan)

Takamagahara Mammoth

- Lower area

Ichinose Family

- Lower area

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Planned opening dates of other areas of Shiga Kogen

Saturday 2nd December 2017:
Yakebitaiyama

Saturday 9th December 2017:
Okushiga Kogen

Early December 2017:
Hasuike
Ichinose Family
Shibutoge
Sun Valley
Terakoya

Mid December 2017:
Bunadaira
Giant
Higashitateyama
Ichinose Diamond
Maruike
Nishitateyama
Tannenomori Okojo

Late December 2017
Ichinose Yamanokami   Read more ...
 

Zao Now!

Friday 1st December 2017, 9:23am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Hello and welcome to December... hopefully the month when we'll see tons of snowfall and Zao Onsen getting properly open.

Cloudy skies this morning with the chance of some light snow tonight. After that it looks more likely that we'll see sunshine than snow over the weekend. It should be keeping pretty cold though.

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Operating lifts:
- Chuo Number 1 pair lift
- Zao Ropeway
- Zao Chuo Ropeway
- Sky Cable

Open course areas:
- Summit
- Chuo
- Utopia

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 35cm
- Paradise area: 40cm
- Chuo area: 40cm
- Utopia area: 35cm
- Uwanodai area: 10cm
- Oomori area: 5cm

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Zao Onsen forecast:

Zao Onsen 6-day snow and weather forecast

Floodlit night skiing for the 2017-2018 season is planned as follows:

In the Uwanodai area:
Daily from Saturday 23rd December 2017 until Sunday 4th March 2018
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 9th March until Sunday 18th March 2018.

In the Yokokura area:
Daily from Saturday 23rd December 2017 until Monday 8th January 2018
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:

December 2017: 23rd-24th, 29th-31st
January 2018: 1st-7th, 13th-14th, 20th-21st, 27th-31st
February 2018: every day
March 2018: 1st-4th   Read more ...
 

Grandeco Now!

Friday 1st December 2017, 9:27am
Weather conditions: Fair blue skies
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

A beautiful start to December. Cold and importantly a bit of fresh snowfall... 3cm of it here at base.

We are hoping for more snow for the weekend but for the moment it is clear blue skies above.

The Number 2 lift at Grandeco is going to be available from today. Beginners can take the gondola and enjoy the flat course beside Number 2 lift.

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Lifts operating:

- Gondola
- Number 2 lift

Courses open:

- Center
- Basil
- Rainbow 3500
- Lavender B
- Connecting route

Official snow depth:
- 60cm

Forecast:
- Grandeco snow and weather forecast

The road to Grandeco: No snow or ice this morning

Other resorts

Minowa
Part open

Nekoma:
Open from 2nd December

Ura Bandai:
Open from 15th December   Read more ...
 

Appi Kogen Now!

Friday 1st December 2017, 10:09am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
PLEASE NOTE:
We are currently - and unavoidably - unable to post our regular reports at the moment. In the meantime we will be doing our best to cover and bring you news from Appi Kogen. Hopefully we will be able to get back to normal reporting back soon. Thank you for your understanding.


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Good morning from Appi.

Some fresh snow to report this morning - 10cm on the ground, just in time for the proper opening tomorrow. The resort is closed today but from tomorrow plans to open as follows:

- Appi Gondola
- Central quad
- Central number 2 lift
- Central number 3 lift (B)
- Number 4 lift

That should offer over 15km of skiable courses available.

Keep an eye on the forecast and we will post more soon:

Appi Kogen 6 day snow and weather forecast

The forecast is looking pretty good for regularly snowfall over the coming week. Let's hope for a great first proper month of the season.

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Currently open (1st December 2017) * subject to change due to weather conditions:

Lifts:
- Closed today

Course:
- Closed today

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Official snow depth:

40cm   Read more ...
 

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Nozawa Onsen Now
17th Dec, 8:58
Grandeco Now
17th Dec, 8:51
Yuzawa Now
17th Dec, 8:40
Madarao Now
17th Dec, 8:38
Hakuba Now
17th Dec, 8:33
Niseko Now
17th Dec, 8:25
Furano Now
17th Dec, 7:56
Geto Kogen Now
17th Dec, 7:46
Appi Kogen Now
16th Dec, 10:02
Naeba Now
16th Dec, 9:50am
Shiga Kogen Now
16th Dec, 9:44
Myoko Now
16th Dec, 8:17am
Zao Now
16th Dec, 8:03
Minakami Now
14th Dec, 8:34

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