Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 7th May 2017
Thursday 21st April 2016, 7:06am
Good morning from Yuzawa.
An early report for you this morning.
And it's a grey and overcast start to the day in the region, and as of 7am hovering around 10 degrees here in town. Temperatures are forecast to rise to about 18 degrees later on.
Rain is expected from sometime this afternoon or this evening and that will probably carry on until tomorrow morning. Some forecasts saying that it might get heavy at times but hopefully it will clear up sometime tomorrow morning and there might be some sunshine tomorrow afternoon.
Both Kagura (natural snow) and GALA Yuzawa (artificial snow mats) remain open.
Resorts that remain open in Yuzawa on Thursday 21st April 2016):
GALA Yuzawa GALA Yuzawa resort plans to be open until Sunday 8th May. The Melody course remains open - with artificial 'snow mats'. The sledging area is also still open. Note that skiing and snowboarding on natural snow is now no longer possible at GALA. Special lower prices are now available (adults 2600 yen, children 1300 yen).
Kagura The Tashiro Ropeway plans to be open until 8th May. The Kagura area via Mitsumata Ropeway plans to be open until 29th May. The Mitsumata area is now used as a 'connecting course' to get to and from the main Kagura area with some snow remaining, under which is the artificial 'snow brush'. Most of the main Kagura courses remain open with natural snow. Note that the top Kagura Number 5 pair lift will be open through Sunday 25th April. Official snow depth: Kagura area: 170cm Tashiro area: 140cm Mitsumata area: -cm
Resorts that are not listed above are now closed for the season.
It's cloudy this morning but rain is forecast to be arriving from the south later on.
Once the rain clears (hopefully tomorrow morning), clearer conditions should be prevalent into next week.
In resort news, today is the last day to ride Number 4 course, Number 2A course and the Uma-no-se course at the Kumanoyu area. They are still going to try and remain open until the planned last day of 8th May.
No other specific info available as far as I can tell.
Snow continues to melt away and so riding is increasingly limited. Still, riding is possible on natural snow so if you want to get some in before it all goes...
Planned end of season dates for Shiga Kogen resort areas:
Please note that the below dates are all subject to change and of course dependant on snow conditions. There's a good chance that any dates mentioning May may not be possible. We'll try to keep this up-to-date with every new report posted..
Takamagahara Mammoth The quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only until 28th April).
Ichinose Family The Ichinose quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Ichinose Number 2 pair B lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May.
Terakoya The Terakoya lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only until 28th April).
Okushiga Kogen The Okushiga Kogen Number 6 pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 24th April. The Okushiga Kogen Number 2 and 3 pair lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Okushiga Kogen Number 4 pair lift plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only until 28th April). The Okushiga Kogen Gondola lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May.
Kumanoyu The Kumanoyu Number 2 pair A and B lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Kumanoyu Number 3 quad lift plans to be operating on 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th April and from 29th April until 8th May.
Yokoteyama & Shibutoge The Yokoteyama Number 2 and 3 Sky lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 24th April. The Shibutoge lift plans to operate until Sunday 1st May.
All other areas of Shiga Kogen not mentioned above are now closed.
There's some thin overcast cloud around this morning but also blue sky and the sun shining through early on as well. Things are forecast to be worse this afternoon though with rain due to be falling and there's a good chance it's be coming down heavily as well at times. A high of around 14C is forecast for today in the village.
The rain isn't due to last much further than early tomorrow morning though with tomorrow generally expected to be sunny and a warm 19C during the afternoon.
Resort news as of 7:40am on Thursday 21st April 2016 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Route 3 and the lower part of R1 course are now closed. Beginners are recommended to use the Gondola to get back to base. Lower runs getting very narrow. Official snow depth: Upper: 60cm Base: 25cm
Hakuba Goryu: The top area of Goryu - Panorama, Grand Prix and Super courses - remain open. The lower main Toomi and Iimori areas are now closed. Get the Gondola back down to base. Official snow depth Alps: 130cm Toomi: -cm Iimori: -cm
Hakuba Happo-one: All lower areas of the resort are now closed. Upper Riesen Grat Course, Usagidaira, Kurobishi, Skyline and Panorama course areas remain open. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 80cm Nakiyama: -cm
Tsugaike Kogen: The top Tsuga-no-mori and Upper Han-no-ki areas remain open. All other courses are now closed. The top Tsugaike Ropeway is open for spring season (note: extra charge required). Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 100cm Maruyama: -cm Kane-no-naru-oka: -cm
It looks like a fine morning outside my window with blue skies looking out towards Mt Yotei, though I see Niseko Grand Hirafu is reporting fog early on upper slopes. That will probably clear though and we should see quite a lot of the sun today.
It was rather mild overnight and it temperatures remain steady at around 10C just now, maybe rising to around 15C later in the day. Similar conditions are forecast for tomorrow as well, though it looks like there is a chance of rain going into Saturday.
The resorts are still reporting 290cm (Grand Hirafu) and 280cm (Annupuri) of snow depth on upper slopes. Regardless of how you feel about the accuracy of that particular number (!), comparing it to the same statistic from last year shows that they are not too far off. Last year on this date, Niseko Grand Hirafu was reporting 340cm on upper slopes while Niseko Annupuri was reporting exactly the same as today, 280cm. You can of course check these numbers in the archive reports - links below.
'Golden Week' is fast approaching.
So what exactly is Golden Week? For those of you who don't know, Golden Week is a number of national holidays that happen close to each other giving lots of people a nice holiday in late April and early May. Most tourist spots get very busy as a result!
Depending on what days they fall, some years it is a considerably long period. This year, the actual national holidays are 'Showa Day' on Friday 29th April, 'Constitution Day' on Tuesday 3rd May, 'Greenery Day' on Wednesday 4th May and 'Children's Day' on Thursday May 5th. This means that this year Golden Week looks like this:
* Friday 29th April - Sunday 1st May (3 day long weekend) * Tuesday 3rd May - Thursday 5th May (3 day holiday mid-week) * Saturday 7th May - Sunday 8th May (normal weekend)
No doubt some folk will be taking Monday 2nd May and Friday 6th May as a holiday as well giving them a 10 day break. Nice.
Thursday 5th May is scheduled to be the last day of the snow season here in Niseko.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of posting:
Resort operations - subject to change due to snow and weather conditions
Niseko Grand Hirafu resort area lift operations: Ace Number 2 Center Four Quad Ace Number 3 Pair Ace Number 4 Pair
The resort is 'upgrading' the King Number 3 triple lift in time for next season. As part of that work the Hirafu Gondola, King Number 3 and 4 lifts have all now closed for this season. Niseko Grand Hirafu plans to remain open until Thursday 5th May.
Niseko Annupuri plans to be open until Thursday 5th May with the Gondola, Jumbo 1 and Jumbo 4 lifts operating.
Niseko Village is currently closed but plans to be open again for Golden Week from Friday 29th April until Thursday 5th May.
It's a bright but overcast kind of morning here and no real changes to report.
We're expecting some rain to be falling later on today and tonight. Hopefully that will ease off by tomorrow morning leaving us with sun for tomorrow.
Just the top area of the mountain remains open - Yamabiko A-D courses, Kokenashi and Bunabayashi - and you need to get the Gondola back down to base.
The resort still aims (and will try) to be open through until 8th May, though does say that there is a chance that they might not be able to make it until then. We'll just have to see how the weather goes...
Official info at time of writing on Thursday 21st April 2016 (subject to change):