The lower slopes did actually go green once again after some very wet conditions over the weekend but this morning it is colder once again and new snowfall has given lots of Kagura a new cover of snow. Not down to the base of Naeba this time though it is snowing lightly at the moment here and cold enough for us to hope for a bit to fall down here. Having said that it is also quite bright and even the sun peeping through from time to time. So I don't think it will amount to much and we might have to wait until around Thursday when a decent amount of snow might join the party here.
As for the planned Kagura opening on Wednesday? It's all going to depend on the snow (obviously!) and they are going to make an announcement on that tomorrow. I will post a report as soon as we hear what that decision is. There's not a huge amount likely up there and so if they do open I would think that it would be a very small area helped by artificial snow.
Looking good for a more substantial snowfall around Thursday though....
Morning from Yuzawa. It's a fairly chilly five degrees at the moment and the heavy rain that we seem to have had so much of lately has continued... all through yesterday and still falling now. It really is coming down.
That's at town level. Higher up things are looking much whiter on the mountainsides around town. For example, the upper slopes of Iwappara, Kandatsu, Ishiuchi and Maiko all have a thin dusting of snow on show.
Higher up at Kagura there seems to be more but whether they can open up any part of their resort Wednesday (23rd) as planned is still unknown... just spoke with the resort and they will be making a decision on that tomorrow. So we will keep you posted on that both on here and the Naeba Now report pages.
After today it looks like the weather will be clearing up tomorrow and perhaps Wednesday as well so there's not a huge amount we can expect before then. Thursday looks like it might bring with it more, and so even if Kagura can't make the 23rd, perhaps soon after might be a go.
Kagura have announced that they will be able to open on Wednesday as planned.
600m of the main course at Kagura with a width of 30-50m will be open and they are saying that it's not suitable for beginners. The Mitsumata Ropeway will be operating from 8:30am taking people up to a shuttle bus which will then take you to the Kagura Gondola (the resort noting that this journey takes 30-40 minutes).
The Kagura No1 pair lift will be servicing the run that is open.
It is unclear how much of the snow will be stuff that has fallen from the sky and how of it will have come from machines -- hopefully we might be enlightened on that a bit more tomorrow...
It is snowing once again this morning in Shiga Kogen. After the rain we have seen over the weekend that melted all of the snow away, it's good to see things back to being white. Nothing major but still snowing and it is very cold - coldest so far? - and so perhaps we can get a few more cm here and there.
Tomorrow looks like it will be a fine and sunny day but temperatures still set to stay low. Thursday is looking good for a fairly decent amount of early season snow - perhaps that might get things going at a few of the resorts that are itching to get open early on. Kunanoyu were hoping to be able to open a bit today but that is just not possible as there's nothing more than a thin coating at the moment, even with the help of snow blowers doing their thing.
Resorts are generally in stand-by mode now with the major areas prepared to open simply when there's enough snow. Read more ...
Monday 21st November 2011, 10:25am
The weekend saw two days of drizzle that for a short time threatened to derail the planned opening of the lifts later this week. However there has been a marked change in the weather recently with a very strong Siberian system over Niseko now and almost continuous snow forecast right through until November 26th.
We may see a slight warming on Wednesday night but it doesn't look like anything that will stop the schedule with temperatures dropping again on Thursday morning and staying low through the first half of the weekend.
The hard part for locals will be waiting until the weekend for their first turns of the season (for those that haven't been up already).
We will have regular updates in the lead up to the lift opening, can't wait to try that new Gondola! Read more ...
Monday 21st November 2011, 10:40am
There has been a substatial snowfall overnight which has left 20cm of good quality powder in the village. Temperatures have plummeted and it looks to stay cold and snow throughout the remainder of the week. Winter has truly arrived this time and I would expect an announcement regarding opening soon. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Monday 21st November 2011, 12:09pm
Rain / snow higher up
Snow down to not-that-far-off-village-level this morning in Nozawa with the snow visible on some of the lower slopes down to around 700m.... just a sprinkling but there all the same and the upper slopes looking to be fairly winter like up there and snow hanging on the trees. It is raining down in the village itself and sort of trying hard to be wet snow but just not quite getting there right at the moment.
Tomorrow looks set to give us clearer weather with maybe the sun making an appearance but look to later on Thursday for some decent snowfall forecast perhaps/probably down to village for the first time this season.
This has also just been posted on the Yuzawa Now report page, but Kagura have this afternoon announced that Kagura will indeed be opening on Wednesday. The day after tomorrow! Hurray!
So what's going to be open then? Well, just a 600m stretch of the main course and the pair lift next to that will be operating. If you go, you'll need to take the Mitsumata Ropeway then hop onto a bus that will take you to the Kagura Gondola. The Gondola will then of course take you to the base of the main course and from there the pair lift is open to take you up to those first tracks of the season.
The natural snow that has fallen will be buffed up with the snow that the snowblowers are pumping out up there. While it doesn't look like there will be much more snow to fall before Wednesday, it should stay pretty cold and the snowblowers will guarantee enough to slide down on. Read more ...