Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 23rd March 2018

Furano Now!

Thursday 1st March 2018, 7:18am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
There are strong winds in the village this morning and they are forecast to get even stronger during the day. The Gondola was closed yesterday for maintenance and with these winds it is probable it won't operate today anyway. There has been no overnight snow and during the day we may see rain at village level as the daytime high will rise to +1c. At higher elevations snow is expected. Not one of the best days.   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Thursday 1st March 2018, 7:50am
Weather conditions: Cloud and...
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa on this first day of March.

And unfortunately it has been a rather dodgy start to the month!

I was woken up by very strong and wild sounding winds a few times overnight along with the sound of heavy rain on the roof as well. It was noticeably warmer too. Temperatures today will be getting into double digits and perhaps as high as around 13C in town. (It's already 8C).

Just at the moment as I am writing this report, it suddenly seems a little calmer and the rain has eased off. But strong winds are forecast during the day and we probably haven't seen the last of this rain either. We can hope for the best - some local forecasts even show some clearer skies due later on in the day.

It looks like the Yuzawa Kogen resort is not opening this morning due to the weather conditions and only the Mitsumata area of the Kagura resort will be opening this morning. The Gondola at Maiko Snow Resort is also looking like it will be delayed opening (probably by about half an hour). If the winds do whip up more, we might expect some other lift disruption.

I suspect that lots of people will be giving today a miss and maybe taking a soak in an onsen. Snow conditions are inevitably going to be affected by what we were served overnight. But looking on the positive side, the slopes should be uncrowded!

Tomorrow should be colder with the chance of snow falling.


Images today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Yuzawa IC (Route 17).


Updated: Thursday 1st March February 2018

Ski resorts in Yuzawa:

Checked and updated every morning. Note that some ski resorts may not have updated their own info at the time this report is published.

GALA Yuzawa
- 340cm

- 195cm

- Kagura area: 370cm
- Mitsumata area: 270cm
- Tashiro area: 320cm

Kandatsu Kogen
- 240cm

- 250cm (base)

NASPA Ski Garden
- 245cm

Yuzawa Kogen
- Top: 290cm
- Base: 220cm

Yuzawa Park
- 195cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
- 170cm


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

Ishiuchi Maruyama
- 260cm

Joetsu Kokusai
- 250cm

Maiko Snow Resort
- Top: 240cm
- Base: 130cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- Closed on Wednesdays until 14th March
- 370cm   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Thursday 1st March 2018, 8:04am
Weather conditions: Clouds
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Nozawa.

Unfortunately it's a wet start to the month with rain falling but we can hope for it to stop this morning. The resort seems to be reporting just cloud up top, as well as 1cm of snow on the top Yamabiko area.

It's warm too and it might get to be about 10C sometime later on down in the village, though some local forecasts are now actually showing the chance of some sun breaking through the clouds.

Look out for winds as well today though at the start of the day all seems to be opening as planned.

And back to colder and snow tomorrow before warmer conditions over the weekend.

All up and down at the moment.


Thursday 1st March 2018

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

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

Official snow depth numbers:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 320cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 265cm
- Hikage (660m): 175cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 170cm
- Karasawa (563m): 140cm

Lifts operations:

- All scheduled lifts appear to be operating as normal.
- The Yunomine pair, Mizunashi triple, Challenge pair and Utopia pair lifts usually rested on weekdays.

The following courses either closed (or not fully available):

- Grand Prix
- Kandahar   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Thursday 1st March 2018, 8:17am
Weather conditions: Clouds
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from rainy Grandeco.

It is with a heavy heart that I have to report rain on this first day of March, but it is raining this morning.

Usually the snow is still in a good condition in March but a spring storm low pressure is passing now. Not only rain, but also strong winds are blowing around meaning that only Number 1 and 2 lifts will be open today - the Gondola or other lifts won’t be operating.

If the wind keep blowing strong, those open lifts my need to close before 4 pm - pay attention to the ski hills announcements.

According to the forecast, the strong winds will remain until tomorrow.


Lifts operating:

- Number 1 and 2 lifts

Courses open:

- Courses by the operating lifts

Official snow depth:
- 330cm

- Grandeco snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Thursday 1st March 2018, 8:25am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Haro and welcome to March.

We're starting the month with a report where I come up with a big round 0cm along with rather mild conditions.

Oh yes, and strong winds.

It is actually snowing though now...

And things are due to change this afternoon with blizzard conditions are expected.

Already the gondolas and top lifts are on hold due to the weather conditions and if anything we can expect more disruption as that big bad weather approaches.

Strap yourself in. Or perhaps enjoy an onsen and massage.


My February and 'season so far' recap will be posted in my report tomorrow.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 5am: -3℃, no snowfall. Moiwa800m: -4.8℃, E6.1m/s, no snowfall. Annupuri 1150m: -7℃, light breeze, no snowfall. Hirafu peak: -8℃, southerly wind picking up and bad visibility. Coastal data: Benkei cape S19m/s, Kamui cape no wind, 1006hPa, 0.7m waves.

The overall avalanche risk is low this morning, however a southerly wind with snow will pick up, the temperature will rise and full depth glide avalanche risk will rise in the Backbowl and Annupuri bowl 1000m elevation. Once the Low-pressure passes, the wind will shift westerly and the temperature will drop. A strong storm is forecasted through tomorrow and will make new snowdrifts grow drastically in leeward slopes. Surface slab avalanches are most likely to occur during and just after storms. The snow condition will be bad for the next few days and the avalanche risk will rise during the weekend. Be flexible with your plans and adjust them according to the weather conditions. Each gate will close as the weather deteriorates.

Better not evaluate the hazards with optimistic/pessimistic thinking. Over/under estimation can be the cause of an accident. Have a nice weekend.


Thursday 1st March 2018

Resort specific information (operations subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts (apart from King Number 2) should be operating
- The Hirafu Gondola and top lifts are on hold at the start of the day

Official snow depth:
- Top: 515cm
- Base: 250cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts should be operating
The Annupuri Gondola and top Jumbo Number 3 and 4 lifts are on hold at the start of the day

Official snow depth:
- Top: 420cm
- Base: 250cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts (apart from the Country Road Chair lift) should be operating
The Niseko Gondola and top Wonderland Chair lift are on hold at the start of the day

Official snow depth:
- Top: 420cm
- Base: 280cm


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   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Thursday 1st March 2018, 8:32am
Weather conditions: Clouds
New snowfall: 8cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Hakuba.

After a warm spring-like day yesterday...some perhaps unexpected good news this morning.

It was colder than we expected and we got some snow. It might not be fresh light powder, but it's sure better than wet rain though with slightly warmer temps due in the day we may get some of that at base. As it gets colder tonight fingers crossed there'll be more snow coming.

Anyway here are some numbers reported by ski resorts:

Hakuba Goryu: 30cm (top gondola station)
Hakuba Goryu: up to 15cm
Hakuba 47: up to 20cm
Hakuba Cortina: 10-15cm

Some nice numbers there. So, as long as the lifts are moving and able to take you up there, head high would be the recommendation for the nicer snow conditions.

Lifts are being affected though early on at many resorts. As of 8am Happo were holding all lifts due to 'thunderclouds approaching' but they now have some lower lifts moving.

We are still looking at colder temps tomorrow, followed by warmth over the weekend.

Things feel a bit all over the place right now. Hopefully a 'phase' and things will settle down once we pass it.


Ski resort information on Thursday 1st March 2018 (at time of writing):

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- Top lifts affected by wind this morning

Courses open:
- All courses should be open as normal - lift access depending

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 395cm
- Usagidaira: 255cm
- Lower: 125cm


Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- Top lifts not open as planned due to conditions this morning
- The top Alps Number 2/4 pair lifts are scheduled to be open daily until 18th March

Courses open:
- All courses should be open as normal apart from Adventure course - lift access dependent

Official snow depth:
- Top: 390cm
- Toomi: 140cm
- Iimori: 115cm


Hakuba 47

Operating lifts:
- Top lifts not open as planned due to conditions this morning
- Line D usually operates only when the Gondola is not operating

Courses open:
- All main courses available - lift access dependent

Official snow depth:
- Top: 365cm
- Base: 160cm


Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- Gondola and some other lifts on hold at the start of the day

Courses open:
- All course areas are open

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori: 335cm
- Han-no-ki: 320cm
- Maruyama: 130cm
- Shirakaba: 260cm
- Champion: 150cm
- Oya-no-hara: 145cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: 155cm


Hakuba Cortina

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Number 5 should be operating (Number 4 on hold?)

Courses open:
- A fair few areas not opening at the start of the day - check with resort

Official snow depth:
- Top: 350cm
- Base: 200cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

Operating lifts:
- Lifts should be opening as planned - may be affected by weather conditions

Official snow depth:
- Top: 210cm
- Base: 130cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts (apart from Number 1 & 7) should be operating as planned

Official snow depth:
- 170cm


Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Number 8 should be operating

Official snow depth:
- 230cm


Hakuba Sanosaka

Operating lifts:
- All three lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 145cm


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
Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6pm until 9pm on 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 ...

Geto Kogen Now!

Thursday 1st March 2018, 9:01am
Weather conditions: Cloudy...
New snowfall: 25cm
Snow depth: --
Yesterday saw some pristine bluebird conditions with 15cm’s of fresh blanking the resort.

With some moderate overnight winds the powder started off a little crusty on-top but nice and dry below. Throughout the day as the temps increased the powder started to become a little heavy, but nothing too dramatic.

Overnight we saw 10cm’s of fresh snow covering the resort accompanied by some high winds. As for today, we’re looking at some pretty grim conditions across the resort. We should see maximum temps of 4 degrees with some heavy winds clocking in at 105 km/h on the peaks. Some heavy rain is scheduled for this morning and should stick around till the afternoon. With the mercury predicted to drop into the evening we should see some moderate snowfall around 10cm’s on-top of the mountain and areas of high wind.

As for the rest of the week, well it looks as if the winds are sticking around. Bringing with them some cooler temps come Friday and some more snowfall tonight through to Friday.

Thursday: Cloudy with high winds and tops of 4 degrees, rain/snow showers
Friday: Cloudy with high winds and tops of -4 degrees, with snow showers
Saturday: mostly clear skies, tops of 4 degrees with light to moderate winds


Official snow depths:

Top: 535cm
Base: 365cm

Night skiing operations are scheduled at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018

The Number 2 Gondola is currently open on weekends and national holidays   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Thursday 1st March 2018, 9:10am
Weather conditions: Cloud and blue sky now!
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Madarao.

Sadly, we started March with rain (sleet in places) falling and windy conditions.

But, happily, I have waited a little to post the report and the rain has eased off and things actually seem to be clearing up quite quickly.

Colder climes are forecast for tomorrow and perhaps a little snowfall overnight. Wouldn't expect anything major though.

And then the upcoming weekend is still looking warm and toasty; followed by things getting colder again early week.

I'm feeling dizzy!


Official snow depth:

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
River Line
Powder Theater
Free Ride Park
Adventure Aisle
Crystal Bowl

Kids Park

Planned nighta operations this season:

Every Saturday until 24th March 2018   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Thursday 1st March 2018, 9:14am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Shiga Kogen.

I am hearing that we got rained on overnight (and we definitely got the strong winds) but happy to report that it changed into wet snow and there has actually been a few cm of it.

Some lifts around the area may well be affected by the weather conditions this morning. Best to check with the resort areas if you plan to brave the conditions.

A chance of a bit more snow tonight with clearer skies due by the weekend along with warmer conditions especially on Sunday and quite possible rain - even up here.

The seasons are changing.


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.



Ichinose Family

Ichinose Diamond




Okushiga Kogen

Sun Valley

Takamagahara Mammoth




   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Thursday 1st March 2018, 10:02am
Weather conditions: Mostly sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
March is here, and so, it seems, is spring.

Strong winds overnight, lots of rain, really soft snow... very springlike (but at least it isn’t crusty any more!).

Snow levels are going down fast today; melt water is pouring down the snow walls. But it is sunny, even if a little rain is coming down from time to time.


Akakura Kanko:
310 cm, 1°

Akakura Onsen:
380cm, 1°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
255cm, 2°

Myoko Suginohara:
230cm, -1°

Seki Onsen:
450 cm, -1°

Myoko Ski Park:
280 cm, 5°

Kyukamura RunRun:
300 cm, 4°

Tangram Ski Circus:
230 cm, 3°

Madarao Kogen:
220 cm, 2°

Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Thursday 1st March 2018, 11:01am
Weather conditions: Cloud, rain/snow
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Appi.

It is a mix of rain and snow this morning here. Strong winds will start moving in later on this afternoon. At the moment visibility is being hampered by rain, sleet and cloud today. So not the best conditions but hopefully it'll be a more snowy story by this time tomorrow.


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:

300cm   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Thursday 1st March 2018, 11:31am
Weather conditions: Mostly Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba! After a wet and windy night, the skies have cleared nicely already this morning! We had heavy rain throughout the early morning, which has added a significant volume of water to the snowpack. This has unfortunately ensured that any remaining fresh snow that had avoided the power of the sun over the past few days is now certainly slushing. There is a moderate wind whipping clouds from west to east over the ridge line, however due to the higher mountains west of Mt Naeba, the wind isn't being sucked down into the valley, leaving the lower slopes with just a calm breeze. The sun is intermittently making its way through the clouds. The remainder of the day will be much like the morning so far. There is also a possibility of a modest accumulation of snow at the base overnight tonight.

Looking forwards, we have a very mixed forecast ahead! Tomorrow, air temperatures will be much lower than today's balmy highs of 7°C. Snow is predicted throughout the day, with modest accumulations of a few centimeters. Winds will be moderate throughout the night tonight and all day tomorrow. On Saturday, daytime air temperatures are expected to be up around 7°C, with sunshine and very little wind. Following this, on Sunday air temperatures push up even higher into the tens, with highs predicted of 13°C. On Sunday night, a block of moist air is expected to arrive from the north west, initially bringing rain Sunday night and into Monday morning. This will turn to snow as the temperature drops on Monday night to just below freezing. The wind will pick up around Monday as well. All this said, the forecast is currently changing on a daily basis, so we will have to wait and see what happens closer to the time!   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Thursday 1st March 2018, 12:11pm
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
March 1st is often recognized as the start of Spring among mountaineers and with it this year has come a lot of rain and seriously warm temps this morning.

Looked like a top to bottom event and pity the diggers shaping the banked slalom course as it can't be easy to work with.

Heavy rain fell for hours overnight and this morning but it's since cleared, the sun is poking through here at noon and the temp has dropped.

Small snow on the horizon this evening, a clear weekend and then hopefully plenty of snow on Monday.


Ski resorts in Minakami:

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


Resort Spotlights with more detail:

Norn Minakami
Okutone Snow Park


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 ...

Zao Now!

Thursday 1st March 2018, 14:44pm
Weather conditions: Clouds
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
Apologies for the late report.

Strong winds today and some pretty nasty conditions. Wind, snow (10+cm overnight) and rain in the day. And some lifts and courses not open due to the unfriendly weather.

Been a day of panic here with one thing and another. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.


Lifts and course info:

- All lifts appear to be opening as scheduled
- Note: the Karamatsu pair lift usually only operates on weekends
- All areas open

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 220cm
- Paradise area: 240cm
- Chuo area: 240cm
- Utopia area: 270cm
- Uwanodai area: 165cm
- Oomori area: 180cm


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 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:

February 2018: every day
March 2018: 1st-4th   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Appi Kogen Now
23rd Mar, 16:13
Myoko Now
23rd Mar, 15:53pm
Madarao Now
23rd Mar, 9:39
Minakami Now
23rd Mar, 9:12
Naeba Now
23rd Mar, 8:14
Grandeco Now
23rd Mar, 8:01
Hakuba Now
23rd Mar, 7:44
Zao Now
23rd Mar, 7:40
Niseko Now
23rd Mar, 7:29am
Nozawa Onsen Now
23rd Mar, 7:24
Shiga Kogen Now
23rd Mar, 7:04
Yuzawa Now
23rd Mar, 6:57
Furano Now
22nd Mar, 7:43
Geto Kogen Now
21st Mar, 7:03