Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 21st January 2018
Wednesday 23rd December 2015, 7:35am
The weather is mostly dull today although this may clear up later in the morning.
Good morning from Naeba everybody.
Today is mostly cloudy although not quite overcast.
The morning is expected to start off quite cold with temperatures rising above freezing for most of the day.
Whilst we've received no snow overnight the weather forecast is still looking good for a decent amount of snow coming this weekend.
Today as always the official snow depth of 35 cm is only on the man made pistes in front of the Prince Hotel. Off to the side of these pistes has just a small amount of snow which is mostly not ridable.
At the top of Gondola No.2 the Takenokodaira beginner area still has plenty of snow for all. Read more ...
Wednesday 23rd December 2015, 8:34am
Blue skies and sunny
It's a nice cold start to the day here with mostly blue skies and just a small cloud here and there. Nice and calm. No new snow to report.
All of the lifts planned to be open should be open this morning I think.
Yesterday those clouds cleared to give us some blue sky. I was up at Hirafu and made my fun, good to see people enjoying themselves. Hope they stick around for a while longer as things are about to improve considerably...
The snow is due to start falling as we get into Friday. It's going to be a cold and snowy Christmas if the forecasts are right. And beyond Christmas too, into next week.
All very promising!
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6.00am: -6deg, no new snowfall, visibility good. Elevation 1000m: WSW10m/s. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:SSW5m/s. Kamui Cape SSW7m/s, 1027hPa, wave 0.9m. Currently we are experiencing a high pressure system and weather is calm. The current snow surface is frost effected and will become a weak layer in the future snowpack. From observation the general avalanche risk is low.
Due to the lack of snow, out of bounds gates cannot be opened yet. Please respect Niseko Rules.
Mountain climber Kei Taniguchi died in an accident on Kurodake, Daisetsuzan. She gave a Avalanche class to Niseko Junior High School students on the 17th December, where she talked about natures splendour and adventures around the world.
Our deepest condolences and sadness to all friends and family.
Planned resort operations (subject to change due to weather conditions 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* - King Number 3 triple - Holiday Number 1 pair* - Swinging Monkey Courses planned to be open: - Family - Beginners access - Center - Shirakaba - Green - Kokutai - Ni-kabe - Alpen - Sennoki - Kogen - Boyo - Holiday - Rinkan - Jumbo
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: - Connecting - 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* - Morino 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 - Dynamic - Silver
Official resort snow depths as of Wednesday 23rd December 2015:
It's a mostly cloudy morning here, and dry too. Overnight temperatures dropped to just under zero but today it highs of around 9C expected.
Yesterday we had to put up with rain again unfortunately. Perhaps once this snow starts falling at the end of the week, there's just be no rain left until sometime around May. That would be good!
The forecast remains the talk of the town of course, and it's still giving us snow at the end of the week. It might start off as rain in town on Friday but should be snowing by the end of the day. And, fingers crossed, a decent amount of snow on Saturday and Sunday when it should be getting winter-like cold again.
Sadly the Joetsu Kokusai resort - which had been part open for a number of days - will be closed today. The rain of yesterday put a stop to that. Which means that the limited skiing choices for right now are as noted below... Kagura, Naeba and GALA Yuzawa.
Kagura is offering by far the biggest (widest) open area. In fact, from today the skiable connection between Kagura and Tashiro is open which means that basically the majority of the 'Kagura' resort is now open. That's a big area.
Hopefully in a matter of days, there will be much more choice available to us all.
Resorts that are now at least part open (Wednesday 23rd December 2015) - subject to change:
Kagura Most of Kagura is now open. Both Ropeways (Mitsumata and Tashiro) are open and you can ski or snowboard from one to the other. The only areas now closed at Kagura seem to be the very top pair lift, one of the main Mitsumata slopes and the Mitsumata downhill course back to base.
Naeba Lower Number 4 and 5 courses are open (with the help of artificial snow) and the upper Takenokodaira course is open (100% natural snow).
GALA Yuzawa GALA Yuzawa is part open - the Melody and part of the Entertainment courses in the main Central Area are open.
Muikamachi Hakkaisan The Technical course and Rakuraku A courses open with just two pair lifts operating (one to get to the open area).
Resorts on standby to open as soon as there is enough snow to open:
Hello from Nozawa where it's cloudy but might it be clearing up a bit? It might well be.
The resort is reporting up to 5cm of fresh snowfall up on the top runs since yesterday. Might just have to get up there to check!
High temperatures of around 6C expected for today and tomorrow.
Friday is the day. It should start getting colder and while rain might fall first, it should be snow soon after. And then snowfall over the weekend. Just how much, we'll leave to nature. But in nature we trust! Hopefully the snow clouds should be around until early into the week.
- Nagasaka Gondola (from 8:40am) - Hikage Gondola (from 8:40am) - Skyline link lift - Yamabiko Four lift - Yamabiko Number 2 lift - Uenotaira - Yu Road (from 8:30am)
Planned open courses:
- Yamabiko A course - Yamabiko B course - Yamabiko C course - Yamabiko D course - Yamabiko E course - Kokenashi - Uenotaira - Bunabayashi
Morning from Hakuba. A bit of frost early on this morning with temperature here in the village at around +2 as of 9am.
No new snow fall to report for you... yet.
Today is a national holiday in Japan and so expect the limited number of courses that are open to be busy.
You might even see Santa out there as well there are rumours he is here in Hakuba. Hopefully once he has finished skiing or snowboarding (is he a skier or a snowboarder?!), he will get cracking on preparing to deliver lots of snow to us all soon.
The weather forecast is still looking good from Friday onwards with snow expected over the weekend along with a real drop in temperatures. This could be it folks.
Have fun and take care out there. (You should be able to bring out the brand new gear soon!)
Resort news as of 9:00am on Wednesday 23rd December (all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of new snowfall. Upper area of Route 1, Route 2, Route 4, Route 5, and Route 8 courses are open. Planned lifts: Gondola Line AB Line C Line E Official snow depth Upper: 70cm Base: 0cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of new snowfall. The upper Panorama Course, Grand Prix and Super courses at Hakuba Goryu are open, as well as the lower Toomi run. Upper and lower areas not connected - gondola needed to get down from upper area. Planned lifts: Telecabin Gondola Alps Number 1 pair lift Alps Number 2/4 pair lift Alps Number 3 pair lift Toomi Sky Four lift Official snow depth Alps: 70cm Iimori: -cm Toomi: 15cm
Hakuba Happo-one: The Usagidaira, Panorama and Kurobishi areas are open. The Gondola is operating to take skiers and boarders there and back. Planned lifts: Adam Gondola Alpen quad lift Usagidaira pair lift Kurobishi Number 2 quad lift Kokusai Number 1 lift Kokusai Number 3 lift Panorama pair lift Official snow depth Usagidaira: 50cm Nakiyama: -cm Sakka: -cm
Tsugaike Kogen: The upper Tsuga-no-mori area and upper part of the Han-no-ki course areas are open. Planned lifts: Eve Gondola Tsuga Number 1 pair lift Tsuga Number 2 pair lift Han-no-ki high speed pair lift Official snow depth Tsuga-no-mori: 77cm Maruyama: -cm
Kashimayari: Course 2 is open Planned lifts: Number 2 pair lift
Just a dusting really since my report yesterday here in Shiga Kogen.
It is a national holiday here in Japan today and resorts simply want to - and need to - be open. There's a bit of news on that front with the Bunadaira, Ichinose Diamond and Okushiga Kogen areas part opening and a few more lifts moving at resorts that have already been open. It's actually getting difficult keeping track of the details now - a heavy snowfall to allow everything to be open will be such a big help to all of us!
More might be open today but it's all still limited with not enough snow so do keep that in mind. Hopefully that will all change soon... this weekend?
Resort areas that are currently open (Wednesday 23rd December) - subject to change
Bunadaira The quad lift and part of the main run plan to be open
Ichinose Diamond The quad lift and moving sidewalk plan to be open with part of the Diamond course open.
Ichinose Family Ichinose Quad, Number 2 Pair A line and Number 2 Pair B line lifts are operating Courses open: Ichinose Family Front course (lower part) and part of Tengu course.
Kumanoyu Kumanoyu Number 3 quad, Number 2 Pair A line and B line are operating The resort area is part open
Okushiga Kogen Okushiga Kogen Gondola and the Number 4 pair lifts plan to be operating Part of the Number 4 course area is planned to be open
Sun Valley Housaka Number 2 pair lift is operating Part of the main gelende is open
Takamagahara All lifts are operating and parts of the courses open Yakebitaiyama Nunber 2 Gondola, Yakebitaiyama Number 2 rapid lift and Yakebitaiyama Number 4 romance lifts are operating The South Course and Karamatsu Courses are open as well as the Panorama Course
Yokoteyama Yokoteyama Number 1 Sky B Line, Yokoteyama Number 2 Sky, Yokoteyama Number 3 Sky and Yokoteyama Number 5 lifts are operating.
Hello and good morning from Zao on this national holiday. There are lots of people around this morning... not quite as much snow! Expect things to be busy today.
No new snow but it's quite a cold start to the day.
Though hopefully the snow situation will be fixed up over the next run of days. Maybe some tonight and then from Friday through the weekend a decent snowfall is indicated on the forecast. It might get stormy (with strong winds) at the weekend. Keep that in mind.
A recap on what is open at Zao - parts of Utopia, Paradise, Shobunuma, Chuo, Diamond and Uwanodai areas. The top course down from the Gondola is not yet open for skiing and boarding.
Information as of Wednesday 23rd December 15 (subject to change)
Lifts that are planned to be operating at Zao Onsen:
- Sky Cable (gondola) - Zao Chuo Ropeway - Zao Ropeway - Onsen Number 1 pair - Mikaeri pair - Chuo Number 1 pair AB - Chuo Number 1 pair AB - Katakai triple - Diamond Number 1 pair - Zao Paradise pair AB - Shobunuma Number 1 triple - Shobunuma Number 2 pair - Utopia Number 2 pair
It is a public holiday today for the Emperor's birthday, and it is really very beautiful. Great snow, absolute bluebird, frozen frost on the trees and diamond dust in the air. Furano -- nice one.
About 95cm base up top and 55 at bottom. Both sides of resort open and 9 of 10 lifts running. Still not the Gondola at Kitanomine. Snow forecast for 25 December and it should stick around. Hopefully the sun will make appearances because that's one of the Furano differences. But it's the weather so we shall see.
No wind today and quite a few people about.
I skied yesterday afternoon and it was magic. Mostly groomed skiing on the Furano Zone but the in between country has great fresh tracks deeper than boot deep (and my skis are very wide). The shadow play in the afternoon was something I will never forget.
Photo 1 is yesterday's photo on the resort. Sorry I have new pics from this morning but the device they are in has died. It looks the same but the sky is completely cloudless today.
Photo 2 is the view to Furano town from Kitanomine this morning. Beautiful. Read more ...
Wednesday 23rd December 2015, 10:08am
Just a quick update... not nice weather yesterday (wet) but some snow overnight and the forecast is still giving us snow from Friday.
Madarao Kogen is not yet open. Tangram Ski Circus is not yet open. Read more ...
Wednesday 23rd December 2015, 11:34am
Cloudy some sunshine at times
Grandeco has had just a slight dusting of snow - a few mm - overnight.
It was a cold overnight and start to the morning, but it has become more milder as the morning goes on and the snow on the slopes will have softened up.
It is probably going to get colder again tonight with some snow forecast, and the forecast for the coming weekend is still looking good with quite a lot of snow lined up.
It is still looking very likely to be a cold and snowy Christmas weekend with temperatures dropping to mid-winter levels. There may be some strong winds blowing around as well around Sunday. Be sure to wrap up well and be sure to be prepared for such conditions if you plan on being here.
60% of the slopes at Grandeco remain open with the gondola and two hi-speed lift currently operating at the resort. With a decent snowfall, hopefully by early next week the whole resort will be able to open.
The roads around the Ura Bandai area and up to Grandeco are covered with snow - snow tires are needed.
The ski resorts in the Inawashiro area on the southern side of Mt Bandai remain closed, waiting for more snowfall.
Welcome to our new ‘Grandeco Now' reports, exclusive to SnowJapan.
As with all our Now daily reports, it extremely important to us that the information we publish is useful, honest and correct and we’ll be doing everything we can to bring you some good info from this region. Grandeco is located in Kita Shiobara village in the north western region of Fukushima Prefecture - we are very pleased to be able to begin reporting from this region of Japan. More information on Grandeco can be found here and a Resort Spotlight on SnowJapan here.
** There may be a few glitches early on but please bear with us while we settle in this new report section. Thank you. ** Read more ...
Wednesday 23rd December 2015, 14:58pm
Akakura Onsen are till bravely continuing to be open today with the Yodel No. 2 quad and Yodel No. 3 triple lifts moving; and the lift over at Kyukamura RunRun is operating as well. Madarao Kogen couldn't keep open with the rain and milder conditions not doing the snow any favours so they had to shut up again.
So, we wait on this national holiday hoping ever so much for a forthcoming snowy Christmas.
It has been cloudy - and once again mild - today, with rain expected this evening. What about the snow? That should start on Friday hopefully, and look to the weekend for a real drop in temperatures and... continued snow.