Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 25th May 2018

Myoko Now!

Tuesday 23rd January 2018, 6:43am
Weather conditions: Sun showing through light clouds
New snowfall: 12cm
Snow depth: --
Seems like everybody got snow except Myoko again; people traveling to Nagano got 20cm; even Tokyo got its heaviest snow since 2014. Not much yet as of this morning here, even as the winds have started to pick up.

If the forecasts are correct, today is the day for wind; if it blows anywhere near the 60kph at 1000 meters that is predicted, the gondolas at Akakan and Suginohara are likely to close, as will other lifts open to the winds. Just hope the wind also brings some more powder!

We can use a reset in the backcountry, and a rebuild of the snowpack on the groomed (so we can keep going into spring).

Out early today (course judge for a cross-country race); basically nothing has changed from yesterday!

---

Some more comments, observations and questions answered

This rather long message is being posted on all the daily ‘Now’ report pages on SnowJapan today, so it does not apply to any one report section. Long-time readers may well remember a similar message posted last season. This is a modified and updated re-write of that message.

As we head into what looks set to be a very exciting and snowy week in Japan, we wanted to share some comments and respond to some more frequently asked questions regarding the daily reports on SnowJapan.

Many people rely on our reporting to find out how the Japan winter season is shaping up. We take that responsibility very seriously and the integrity of our reports is extremely important to us.

The individuals who post the reports are told that it is fine to get very excited when conditions are excellent and there’s lots of snow falling. And hopefully you’ll see that in action this week!

But at the same time, we believe that it is essential to also report things that are less exciting; like crusty spring-like snow conditions in mid-January or nasty rain.

That kind of reporting is not ‘being negative’ - it’s simply reporting what is happening. Whatever is happening, that is what should be in the reports. Even if none of us particularly like it.

Forgive us for saying it again, but it’s important: one of the things that makes SnowJapan unique is the fact that we are not here to convince you to visit any one region of Japan. We’re not here to ask you to book accommodation, or to join tours, or to take ski lessons. We’re not asking you to buy anything. Rather, we are here to provide independent and correct information from around Japan – information that is free from the inevitable pressures of having to sell and market specific services.

Some people would seemingly prefer everyone believe that snow conditions are always close to what the marketing blurb says, whatever the actual reality is. By ignoring things when they are less than perfect or publishing information that is misleading, at best.

There was one good example yesterday. We were really disappointed to see a popular ski resort classifying their base area snow conditions as “powder” – after a week of almost no fresh snowfall, some rain and generally mild conditions. While it is absolutely true that different people have different standards and levels of expectation, no-one could reasonably describe those conditions as “powder”. We’re not going to get into naming names, but we think that’s a pretty bad thing to do.

We feel that (surely!) anyone visiting a ski resort would prefer to have honest reporting over something that just reads like a marketing brochure.

So, we just want to take this opportunity once again to assure our readers that even with ever increasing pressures to do otherwise, we won’t be changing the thinking behind our reports.

Each of our regional reports is written by a different person. So, it is natural that each has its own personality or character. Some of the reports are longer than others. Some of the reports are shorter than others. Some of the reports are more light-hearted in nature. Some of them cover one ski resort - like Madarao, Naeba, Furano. Some of them cover a much wider region - like Niseko, Hakuba and Yuzawa.

Posting a daily report every day through the season is a considerable commitment. Reports may sometimes appear later than usual, or a report might be missed, or might be shorter than usual, etc… We are not claiming that our reports are perfect and know that we will never satisfy everyone with our output, but we do try to provide the best reports possible.

** More on that kind of thing here.

----

While we are at it, here are a few other quick points that we made in our season end message last year.

About the SnowJapan ‘observed fresh snowfall’ data

The ‘observed fresh snowfall’ that we publish on each of our reports is the amount of snowfall that our reporters see with their own eyes and measure every day. It is taken from base area levels.

Why base areas? The reason for that is because it is the only place where a reliable measurement can be taken on a consistent basis every day throughout the season.

Does more snow fall at higher elevations on mountain than at base? In most cases - absolutely. And in some regions/resorts, much more so than others.

Within the text of our reports we try to report any fresh snowfall data that the ski resorts themselves are reporting from the mountain each morning - another reason why we want to wait for that information in a morning.

But it would be impossible for us to report from ‘higher up’ every day. Issues include the ability to get up top every morning (lifts might be closed); where exactly to take measurements from; how we would go about measuring ‘fresh snowfall’ over the period of 24 hours at a location. Remember, we’re not a ski resort.

So, the only place that we can reliably and consistently report from each morning is base.

”You under-report snow!” or ”You over-report snow!”

No, we really don’t. Our reporters report what they see with their own eyes and measure themselves. Yes, there will be more (or less) snow falling in areas nearby. Nature doesn’t evenly distribute snowfall. Someone visiting the same ski resort may well experience something slightly different. And actually, both may well be correct. Microclimates and the like. That’s nature for you.

Our measurements are coming to you from the same spot every day - generally very close to ski resort base lifts - and they are being reported by the same trusted individual who is not inclined to exaggerate.

Note: If you do feel something in our reports is wildly off the mark, please do let us know and we will certainly look into it.

“Why don’t you report more about actual quality of the snow?”

Different people have greatly different expectations and different points of reference when it comes to snow conditions so unless things are indisputably excellent or indisputably rubbish, we feel it’s probably best to avoid going into that kind of detail every day.

“Why is there more snow being reported on the ‘A Now’ report than ‘B Now’ report?”

That will be because more snow is being observed at base in ‘A’ than in ‘B’. It’s as simple as that.

Snowfall at higher elevations may well be a different matter - so please read the reports for such details...

We recommend you don’t spent much time comparing the snowfall numbers between regions

We totally understand the temptation to directly compare the snowfall numbers for the different areas, but we recommend that you don’t.

If you must though, at least be sure to look beyond just the headline numbers. Some regions simply get less snow at base than other regions - but base snowfall is far from being the full story.

If you are contemplating visiting one of the regions covered by our reports, we highly recommend that you spend time looking beyond just the headlines and read the full reports - including our archive reporting from previous seasons. Only that way will you get a true and detailed picture of what is happening and get an idea of how the snow falls in each of the regions and what to expect on-mountain.

---

This week looks like it is going to be a big week of snow in many regions. That’s what we all want. So here’s to some fresh deep conditions over the coming days, weeks and months. Thank you for reading!

If you want to contact us, you can do so here.


---

Akakura Kanko:
240 cm, -6°

Akakura Onsen:
270cm, -7°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
195cm, -5°

Myoko Suginohara:
170cm, -9°

Seki Onsen:
330 cm, -4°

Myoko Ski Park:
190 cm, -1°

Kyukamura RunRun:
240 cm, -2°

Tangram Ski Circus:
180 cm, -4°

Madarao Kogen:
170 cm, -6°

Read more ...
 

Furano Now!

Tuesday 23rd January 2018, 6:56am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Right now in the village there are strong winds. Hopefully these will ease off but if they don't there is the possibility of the Kitanomine Gondola not operating. There is a high layer of cloud which will remain for most of the day and later towards evening some light snow is expected to fall. There is no new snow to report but the slopes are in great condition with the recent snowfalls over the last few days.

---

---

Some more comments, observations and questions answered

This rather long message is being posted on all the daily ‘Now’ report pages on SnowJapan today, so it does not apply to any one report section. Long-time readers may well remember a similar message posted last season. This is a modified and updated re-write of that message.

As we head into what looks set to be a very exciting and snowy week in Japan, we wanted to share some comments and respond to some more frequently asked questions regarding the daily reports on SnowJapan.

Many people rely on our reporting to find out how the Japan winter season is shaping up. We take that responsibility very seriously and the integrity of our reports is extremely important to us.

The individuals who post the reports are told that it is fine to get very excited when conditions are excellent and there’s lots of snow falling. And hopefully you’ll see that in action this week!

But at the same time, we believe that it is essential to also report things that are less exciting; like crusty spring-like snow conditions in mid-January or nasty rain.

That kind of reporting is not ‘being negative’ - it’s simply reporting what is happening. Whatever is happening, that is what should be in the reports. Even if none of us particularly like it.

Forgive us for saying it again, but it’s important: one of the things that makes SnowJapan unique is the fact that we are not here to convince you to visit any one region of Japan. We’re not here to ask you to book accommodation, or to join tours, or to take ski lessons. We’re not asking you to buy anything. Rather, we are here to provide independent and correct information from around Japan – information that is free from the inevitable pressures of having to sell and market specific services.

Some people would seemingly prefer everyone believe that snow conditions are always close to what the marketing blurb says, whatever the actual reality is. By ignoring things when they are less than perfect or publishing information that is misleading, at best.

There was one good example yesterday. We were really disappointed to see a popular ski resort classifying their base area snow conditions as “powder” – after a week of almost no fresh snowfall, some rain and generally mild conditions. While it is absolutely true that different people have different standards and levels of expectation, no-one could reasonably describe those conditions as “powder”. We’re not going to get into naming names, but we think that’s a pretty bad thing to do.

We feel that (surely!) anyone visiting a ski resort would prefer to have honest reporting over something that just reads like a marketing brochure.

So, we just want to take this opportunity once again to assure our readers that even with ever increasing pressures to do otherwise, we won’t be changing the thinking behind our reports.

Each of our regional reports is written by a different person. So, it is natural that each has its own personality or character. Some of the reports are longer than others. Some of the reports are shorter than others. Some of the reports are more light-hearted in nature. Some of them cover one ski resort - like Madarao, Naeba, Furano. Some of them cover a much wider region - like Niseko, Hakuba and Yuzawa.

Posting a daily report every day through the season is a considerable commitment. Reports may sometimes appear later than usual, or a report might be missed, or might be shorter than usual, etc… We are not claiming that our reports are perfect and know that we will never satisfy everyone with our output, but we do try to provide the best reports possible.

** More on that kind of thing here.

----

While we are at it, here are a few other quick points that we made in our season end message last year.

About the SnowJapan ‘observed fresh snowfall’ data

The ‘observed fresh snowfall’ that we publish on each of our reports is the amount of snowfall that our reporters see with their own eyes and measure every day. It is taken from base area levels.

Why base areas? The reason for that is because it is the only place where a reliable measurement can be taken on a consistent basis every day throughout the season.

Does more snow fall at higher elevations on mountain than at base? In most cases - absolutely. And in some regions/resorts, much more so than others.

Within the text of our reports we try to report any fresh snowfall data that the ski resorts themselves are reporting from the mountain each morning - another reason why we want to wait for that information in a morning.

But it would be impossible for us to report from ‘higher up’ every day. Issues include the ability to get up top every morning (lifts might be closed); where exactly to take measurements from; how we would go about measuring ‘fresh snowfall’ over the period of 24 hours at a location. Remember, we’re not a ski resort.

So, the only place that we can reliably and consistently report from each morning is base.

”You under-report snow!” or ”You over-report snow!”

No, we really don’t. Our reporters report what they see with their own eyes and measure themselves. Yes, there will be more (or less) snow falling in areas nearby. Nature doesn’t evenly distribute snowfall. Someone visiting the same ski resort may well experience something slightly different. And actually, both may well be correct. Microclimates and the like. That’s nature for you.

Our measurements are coming to you from the same spot every day - generally very close to ski resort base lifts - and they are being reported by the same trusted individual who is not inclined to exaggerate.

Note: If you do feel something in our reports is wildly off the mark, please do let us know and we will certainly look into it.

“Why don’t you report more about actual quality of the snow?”

Different people have greatly different expectations and different points of reference when it comes to snow conditions so unless things are indisputably excellent or indisputably rubbish, we feel it’s probably best to avoid going into that kind of detail every day.

“Why is there more snow being reported on the ‘A Now’ report than ‘B Now’ report?”

That will be because more snow is being observed at base in ‘A’ than in ‘B’. It’s as simple as that.

Snowfall at higher elevations may well be a different matter - so please read the reports for such details...

We recommend you don’t spent much time comparing the snowfall numbers between regions

We totally understand the temptation to directly compare the snowfall numbers for the different areas, but we recommend that you don’t.

If you must though, at least be sure to look beyond just the headline numbers. Some regions simply get less snow at base than other regions - but base snowfall is far from being the full story.

If you are contemplating visiting one of the regions covered by our reports, we highly recommend that you spend time looking beyond just the headlines and read the full reports - including our archive reporting from previous seasons. Only that way will you get a true and detailed picture of what is happening and get an idea of how the snow falls in each of the regions and what to expect on-mountain.

---

This week looks like it is going to be a big week of snow in many regions. That’s what we all want. So here’s to some fresh deep conditions over the coming days, weeks and months. Thank you for reading!

If you want to contact us, you can do so here.
   Read more ...
 

Yuzawa Now!

Tuesday 23rd January 2018, 7:38am
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny
New snowfall: 11cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa.

Another 11cm of fresh snowfall to add to the report this morning. Kagura are reporting 10cm and Maiko are reporting 15cm. So, not a huge amount by our standards, but yesterday and this morning was not scheduled to be the peak of the oncoming storm for our region.

Tokyo and the Kanto region took the headlines yesterday with 'heavy snow' - for them, anyway - falling and causing all sorts of problems. Taihen desu ne.

This morning, and perhaps rather unexpectedly, it's sunny and fine here in Yuzawa. Blue skies. Huh!? First tracks should be a nice this morning with that layer of fresh.

But of course we want that heavy snow that we have been promised. It doesn't look like we should be worried though - it is due soon and the 'main event' should be starting from later on today with that forecast heavy snow still due over the next few days. Fingers crossed the forecasts have it right this time.

Bring it on!

---

Some more comments, observations and questions answered

This rather long message is being posted on all the daily ‘Now’ report pages on SnowJapan today, so it does not apply to any one report section. Long-time readers may well remember a similar message posted last season. This is a modified and updated re-write of that message.

As we head into what looks set to be a very exciting and snowy week in Japan, we wanted to share some comments and respond to some more frequently asked questions regarding the daily reports on SnowJapan.

Many people rely on our reporting to find out how the Japan winter season is shaping up. We take that responsibility very seriously and the integrity of our reports is extremely important to us.

The individuals who post the reports are told that it is fine to get very excited when conditions are excellent and there’s lots of snow falling. And hopefully you’ll see that in action this week!

But at the same time, we believe that it is essential to also report things that are less exciting; like crusty spring-like snow conditions in mid-January or nasty rain.

That kind of reporting is not ‘being negative’ - it’s simply reporting what is happening. Whatever is happening, that is what should be in the reports. Even if none of us particularly like it.

Forgive us for saying it again, but it’s important: one of the things that makes SnowJapan unique is the fact that we are not here to convince you to visit any one region of Japan. We’re not here to ask you to book accommodation, or to join tours, or to take ski lessons. We’re not asking you to buy anything. Rather, we are here to provide independent and correct information from around Japan – information that is free from the inevitable pressures of having to sell and market specific services.

Some people would seemingly prefer everyone believe that snow conditions are always close to what the marketing blurb says, whatever the actual reality is. By ignoring things when they are less than perfect or publishing information that is misleading, at best.

There was one good example yesterday. We were really disappointed to see a popular ski resort classifying their base area snow conditions as “powder” – after a week of almost no fresh snowfall, some rain and generally mild conditions. While it is absolutely true that different people have different standards and levels of expectation, no-one could reasonably describe those conditions as “powder”. We’re not going to get into naming names, but we think that’s a pretty bad thing to do.

We feel that (surely!) anyone visiting a ski resort would prefer to have honest reporting over something that just reads like a marketing brochure.

So, we just want to take this opportunity once again to assure our readers that even with ever increasing pressures to do otherwise, we won’t be changing the thinking behind our reports.

Each of our regional reports is written by a different person. So, it is natural that each has its own personality or character. Some of the reports are longer than others. Some of the reports are shorter than others. Some of the reports are more light-hearted in nature. Some of them cover one ski resort - like Madarao, Naeba, Furano. Some of them cover a much wider region - like Niseko, Hakuba and Yuzawa.

Posting a daily report every day through the season is a considerable commitment. Reports may sometimes appear later than usual, or a report might be missed, or might be shorter than usual, etc… We are not claiming that our reports are perfect and know that we will never satisfy everyone with our output, but we do try to provide the best reports possible.

** More on that kind of thing here.

----

While we are at it, here are a few other quick points that we made in our season end message last year.

About the SnowJapan ‘observed fresh snowfall’ data

The ‘observed fresh snowfall’ that we publish on each of our reports is the amount of snowfall that our reporters see with their own eyes and measure every day. It is taken from base area levels.

Why base areas? The reason for that is because it is the only place where a reliable measurement can be taken on a consistent basis every day throughout the season.

Does more snow fall at higher elevations on mountain than at base? In most cases - absolutely. And in some regions/resorts, much more so than others.

Within the text of our reports we try to report any fresh snowfall data that the ski resorts themselves are reporting from the mountain each morning - another reason why we want to wait for that information in a morning.

But it would be impossible for us to report from ‘higher up’ every day. Issues include the ability to get up top every morning (lifts might be closed); where exactly to take measurements from; how we would go about measuring ‘fresh snowfall’ over the period of 24 hours at a location. Remember, we’re not a ski resort.

So, the only place that we can reliably and consistently report from each morning is base.

”You under-report snow!” or ”You over-report snow!”

No, we really don’t. Our reporters report what they see with their own eyes and measure themselves. Yes, there will be more (or less) snow falling in areas nearby. Nature doesn’t evenly distribute snowfall. Someone visiting the same ski resort may well experience something slightly different. And actually, both may well be correct. Microclimates and the like. That’s nature for you.

Our measurements are coming to you from the same spot every day - generally very close to ski resort base lifts - and they are being reported by the same trusted individual who is not inclined to exaggerate.

Note: If you do feel something in our reports is wildly off the mark, please do let us know and we will certainly look into it.

“Why don’t you report more about actual quality of the snow?”

Different people have greatly different expectations and different points of reference when it comes to snow conditions so unless things are indisputably excellent or indisputably rubbish, we feel it’s probably best to avoid going into that kind of detail every day.

“Why is there more snow being reported on the ‘A Now’ report than ‘B Now’ report?”

That will be because more snow is being observed at base in ‘A’ than in ‘B’. It’s as simple as that.

Snowfall at higher elevations may well be a different matter - so please read the reports for such details...

We recommend you don’t spent much time comparing the snowfall numbers between regions

We totally understand the temptation to directly compare the snowfall numbers for the different areas, but we recommend that you don’t.

If you must though, at least be sure to look beyond just the headline numbers. Some regions simply get less snow at base than other regions - but base snowfall is far from being the full story.

If you are contemplating visiting one of the regions covered by our reports, we highly recommend that you spend time looking beyond just the headlines and read the full reports - including our archive reporting from previous seasons. Only that way will you get a true and detailed picture of what is happening and get an idea of how the snow falls in each of the regions and what to expect on-mountain.

---

This week looks like it is going to be a big week of snow in many regions. That’s what we all want. So here’s to some fresh deep conditions over the coming days, weeks and months. Thank you for reading!

If you want to contact us, you can do so here.


---

Images today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Ishiuchi Maruyama (looking north).

---

Updated: Tuesday 23rd January 2018

Ski resorts in Yuzawa:

GALA Yuzawa
- 220cm

Iwappara
- 140cm

Kagura
- Kagura area: 310cm
- Mitsumata area: 210cm
- Tashiro area: 260cm

Kandatsu Kogen
- 180cm

Naeba
- 220cm (base)

NASPA Ski Garden
- 150cm

Yuzawa Kogen
- Top: 170cm
- Base: 120cm

Yuzawa Park
- 120cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
- 120cm

---

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

Ishiuchi Maruyama
- 170cm

Joetsu Kokusai
- 170cm

Maiko Snow Resort
- Top: 175cm
- Base: 85cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- Closed on Wednesdays until 14th March
- 250cm   Read more ...
 

Geto Kogen Now!

Tuesday 23rd January 2018, 7:45am
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny
New snowfall: 13cm
Snow depth: --
Morning!

Snow! Fresh snow! We saw some flakes falling steadily yesterday but nothing too major, a few centimetres here and there. Overnight however, we’ve recorded 10cm hitting the ground. It’s a marvellous looking day out there today with clear skies, fantastic light and the sun out to join us.

The weather should turn at some point today, as we’re in for some heavy snow from about lunchtime, then overnight and into tomorrow — about 20cm predicted tonight! So when the snowflakes replace the sunshine, let’s welcome them with open arms. We shall be gracious hosts.

Remember on a day like today its a race for fresh tracks - beat everyone and take a 5min walk from Gondola 2 and you have the pick of the mountain for unspoiled snow (while Gondola 1 is unavailable, the area is less accessible). Otherwise, stick to the trees — provided you’re rocking a helmet (safety is sexy).

Wednesday: heavy snow (30-40cm predicted!), moderate to strong winds, tops of -9C
Thursday: light to moderate snow (10-15cm), moderate to strong winds, tops of -8C
Friday: light snow (10-12cm), moderate to strong winds, tops of -9C

---

Gondola One Update:

According to the resort, they’re aiming for early February for the Gondola to be back up and running. Fingers crossed for the first week, but we’ll have to wait and see.

---

Zones open include Summit, Rabbit, Beech & Stream. At this stage Shooter will remain closed until the main gondola is open.

---

Official snow depths:

Top: 310cm
Base: 225cm

Nighta skiing operations are planned at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018.

---

Some more comments, observations and questions answered

This rather long message is being posted on all the daily ‘Now’ report pages on SnowJapan today, so it does not apply to any one report section. Long-time readers may well remember a similar message posted last season. This is a modified and updated re-write of that message.

As we head into what looks set to be a very exciting and snowy week in Japan, we wanted to share some comments and respond to some more frequently asked questions regarding the daily reports on SnowJapan.

Many people rely on our reporting to find out how the Japan winter season is shaping up. We take that responsibility very seriously and the integrity of our reports is extremely important to us.

The individuals who post the reports are told that it is fine to get very excited when conditions are excellent and there’s lots of snow falling. And hopefully you’ll see that in action this week!

But at the same time, we believe that it is essential to also report things that are less exciting; like crusty spring-like snow conditions in mid-January or nasty rain.

That kind of reporting is not ‘being negative’ - it’s simply reporting what is happening. Whatever is happening, that is what should be in the reports. Even if none of us particularly like it.

Forgive us for saying it again, but it’s important: one of the things that makes SnowJapan unique is the fact that we are not here to convince you to visit any one region of Japan. We’re not here to ask you to book accommodation, or to join tours, or to take ski lessons. We’re not asking you to buy anything. Rather, we are here to provide independent and correct information from around Japan – information that is free from the inevitable pressures of having to sell and market specific services.

Some people would seemingly prefer everyone believe that snow conditions are always close to what the marketing blurb says, whatever the actual reality is. By ignoring things when they are less than perfect or publishing information that is misleading, at best.

There was one good example yesterday. We were really disappointed to see a popular ski resort classifying their base area snow conditions as “powder” – after a week of almost no fresh snowfall, some rain and generally mild conditions. While it is absolutely true that different people have different standards and levels of expectation, no-one could reasonably describe those conditions as “powder”. We’re not going to get into naming names, but we think that’s a pretty bad thing to do.

We feel that (surely!) anyone visiting a ski resort would prefer to have honest reporting over something that just reads like a marketing brochure.

So, we just want to take this opportunity once again to assure our readers that even with ever increasing pressures to do otherwise, we won’t be changing the thinking behind our reports.

Each of our regional reports is written by a different person. So, it is natural that each has its own personality or character. Some of the reports are longer than others. Some of the reports are shorter than others. Some of the reports are more light-hearted in nature. Some of them cover one ski resort - like Madarao, Naeba, Furano. Some of them cover a much wider region - like Niseko, Hakuba and Yuzawa.

Posting a daily report every day through the season is a considerable commitment. Reports may sometimes appear later than usual, or a report might be missed, or might be shorter than usual, etc… We are not claiming that our reports are perfect and know that we will never satisfy everyone with our output, but we do try to provide the best reports possible.

** More on that kind of thing here.

----

While we are at it, here are a few other quick points that we made in our season end message last year.

About the SnowJapan ‘observed fresh snowfall’ data

The ‘observed fresh snowfall’ that we publish on each of our reports is the amount of snowfall that our reporters see with their own eyes and measure every day. It is taken from base area levels.

Why base areas? The reason for that is because it is the only place where a reliable measurement can be taken on a consistent basis every day throughout the season.

Does more snow fall at higher elevations on mountain than at base? In most cases - absolutely. And in some regions/resorts, much more so than others.

Within the text of our reports we try to report any fresh snowfall data that the ski resorts themselves are reporting from the mountain each morning - another reason why we want to wait for that information in a morning.

But it would be impossible for us to report from ‘higher up’ every day. Issues include the ability to get up top every morning (lifts might be closed); where exactly to take measurements from; how we would go about measuring ‘fresh snowfall’ over the period of 24 hours at a location. Remember, we’re not a ski resort.

So, the only place that we can reliably and consistently report from each morning is base.

”You under-report snow!” or ”You over-report snow!”

No, we really don’t. Our reporters report what they see with their own eyes and measure themselves. Yes, there will be more (or less) snow falling in areas nearby. Nature doesn’t evenly distribute snowfall. Someone visiting the same ski resort may well experience something slightly different. And actually, both may well be correct. Microclimates and the like. That’s nature for you.

Our measurements are coming to you from the same spot every day - generally very close to ski resort base lifts - and they are being reported by the same trusted individual who is not inclined to exaggerate.

Note: If you do feel something in our reports is wildly off the mark, please do let us know and we will certainly look into it.

“Why don’t you report more about actual quality of the snow?”

Different people have greatly different expectations and different points of reference when it comes to snow conditions so unless things are indisputably excellent or indisputably rubbish, we feel it’s probably best to avoid going into that kind of detail every day.

“Why is there more snow being reported on the ‘A Now’ report than ‘B Now’ report?”

That will be because more snow is being observed at base in ‘A’ than in ‘B’. It’s as simple as that.

Snowfall at higher elevations may well be a different matter - so please read the reports for such details...

We recommend you don’t spent much time comparing the snowfall numbers between regions

We totally understand the temptation to directly compare the snowfall numbers for the different areas, but we recommend that you don’t.

If you must though, at least be sure to look beyond just the headline numbers. Some regions simply get less snow at base than other regions - but base snowfall is far from being the full story.

If you are contemplating visiting one of the regions covered by our reports, we highly recommend that you spend time looking beyond just the headlines and read the full reports - including our archive reporting from previous seasons. Only that way will you get a true and detailed picture of what is happening and get an idea of how the snow falls in each of the regions and what to expect on-mountain.

---

This week looks like it is going to be a big week of snow in many regions. That’s what we all want. So here’s to some fresh deep conditions over the coming days, weeks and months. Thank you for reading!

If you want to contact us, you can do so here.

   Read more ...
 

Niseko Now!

Tuesday 23rd January 2018, 8:16am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning and welcome to a special Tokyo Now! report and I have around 10cm of fresh snow to report to you with lots of problems being caused by this 'heavy' snowfall. Hope that things get back to normal quickly down there.

And now, onto Niseko Now! and I have 1cm of snow to report to you.

Doh!

Yes, it's one of those rare cases when Tokyo got more fresh snowfall than us up here in Niseko. Just a dusting here - I feel just about justified in awarding the reports 1cm this morning.

But not to fear. Because by the end of today we should be into heavy snow (and likely also strong winds, unfortunately). So while the start of the day is seeming pretty decent, things are due to change. We are still due to get regular snow over the coming week, so fingers crossed for a lot.

I have to get my report up there a little early this morning - top lifts probably affected at the start of today. Available info updated below.

Take care, wherever you are!

---

Some more comments, observations and questions answered

This rather long message is being posted on all the daily ‘Now’ report pages on SnowJapan today, so it does not apply to any one report section. Long-time readers may well remember a similar message posted last season. This is a modified and updated re-write of that message.

As we head into what looks set to be a very exciting and snowy week in Japan, we wanted to share some comments and respond to some more frequently asked questions regarding the daily reports on SnowJapan.

Many people rely on our reporting to find out how the Japan winter season is shaping up. We take that responsibility very seriously and the integrity of our reports is extremely important to us.

The individuals who post the reports are told that it is fine to get very excited when conditions are excellent and there’s lots of snow falling. And hopefully you’ll see that in action this week!

But at the same time, we believe that it is essential to also report things that are less exciting; like crusty spring-like snow conditions in mid-January or nasty rain.

That kind of reporting is not ‘being negative’ - it’s simply reporting what is happening. Whatever is happening, that is what should be in the reports. Even if none of us particularly like it.

Forgive us for saying it again, but it’s important: one of the things that makes SnowJapan unique is the fact that we are not here to convince you to visit any one region of Japan. We’re not here to ask you to book accommodation, or to join tours, or to take ski lessons. We’re not asking you to buy anything. Rather, we are here to provide independent and correct information from around Japan – information that is free from the inevitable pressures of having to sell and market specific services.

Some people would seemingly prefer everyone believe that snow conditions are always close to what the marketing blurb says, whatever the actual reality is. By ignoring things when they are less than perfect or publishing information that is misleading, at best.

There was one good example yesterday. We were really disappointed to see a popular ski resort classifying their base area snow conditions as “powder” – after a week of almost no fresh snowfall, some rain and generally mild conditions. While it is absolutely true that different people have different standards and levels of expectation, no-one could reasonably describe those conditions as “powder”. We’re not going to get into naming names, but we think that’s a pretty bad thing to do.

We feel that (surely!) anyone visiting a ski resort would prefer to have honest reporting over something that just reads like a marketing brochure.

So, we just want to take this opportunity once again to assure our readers that even with ever increasing pressures to do otherwise, we won’t be changing the thinking behind our reports.

Each of our regional reports is written by a different person. So, it is natural that each has its own personality or character. Some of the reports are longer than others. Some of the reports are shorter than others. Some of the reports are more light-hearted in nature. Some of them cover one ski resort - like Madarao, Naeba, Furano. Some of them cover a much wider region - like Niseko, Hakuba and Yuzawa.

Posting a daily report every day through the season is a considerable commitment. Reports may sometimes appear later than usual, or a report might be missed, or might be shorter than usual, etc… We are not claiming that our reports are perfect and know that we will never satisfy everyone with our output, but we do try to provide the best reports possible.

** More on that kind of thing here.

----

While we are at it, here are a few other quick points that we made in our season end message last year.

About the SnowJapan ‘observed fresh snowfall’ data

The ‘observed fresh snowfall’ that we publish on each of our reports is the amount of snowfall that our reporters see with their own eyes and measure every day. It is taken from base area levels.

Why base areas? The reason for that is because it is the only place where a reliable measurement can be taken on a consistent basis every day throughout the season.

Does more snow fall at higher elevations on mountain than at base? In most cases - absolutely. And in some regions/resorts, much more so than others.

Within the text of our reports we try to report any fresh snowfall data that the ski resorts themselves are reporting from the mountain each morning - another reason why we want to wait for that information in a morning.

But it would be impossible for us to report from ‘higher up’ every day. Issues include the ability to get up top every morning (lifts might be closed); where exactly to take measurements from; how we would go about measuring ‘fresh snowfall’ over the period of 24 hours at a location. Remember, we’re not a ski resort.

So, the only place that we can reliably and consistently report from each morning is base.

”You under-report snow!” or ”You over-report snow!”

No, we really don’t. Our reporters report what they see with their own eyes and measure themselves. Yes, there will be more (or less) snow falling in areas nearby. Nature doesn’t evenly distribute snowfall. Someone visiting the same ski resort may well experience something slightly different. And actually, both may well be correct. Microclimates and the like. That’s nature for you.

Our measurements are coming to you from the same spot every day - generally very close to ski resort base lifts - and they are being reported by the same trusted individual who is not inclined to exaggerate.

Note: If you do feel something in our reports is wildly off the mark, please do let us know and we will certainly look into it.

“Why don’t you report more about actual quality of the snow?”

Different people have greatly different expectations and different points of reference when it comes to snow conditions so unless things are indisputably excellent or indisputably rubbish, we feel it’s probably best to avoid going into that kind of detail every day.

“Why is there more snow being reported on the ‘A Now’ report than ‘B Now’ report?”

That will be because more snow is being observed at base in ‘A’ than in ‘B’. It’s as simple as that.

Snowfall at higher elevations may well be a different matter - so please read the reports for such details...

We recommend you don’t spent much time comparing the snowfall numbers between regions

We totally understand the temptation to directly compare the snowfall numbers for the different areas, but we recommend that you don’t.

If you must though, at least be sure to look beyond just the headline numbers. Some regions simply get less snow at base than other regions - but base snowfall is far from being the full story.

If you are contemplating visiting one of the regions covered by our reports, we highly recommend that you spend time looking beyond just the headlines and read the full reports - including our archive reporting from previous seasons. Only that way will you get a true and detailed picture of what is happening and get an idea of how the snow falls in each of the regions and what to expect on-mountain.

---

This week looks like it is going to be a big week of snow in many regions. That’s what we all want. So here’s to some fresh deep conditions over the coming days, weeks and months. Thank you for reading!

If you want to contact us, you can do so here.


---

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -5℃, no snowfall. Moiwa 800m: -13.8℃, E6.9m/s, quick development of snowdrifts due to easterly wind. Annupuri 1150m: -9℃, E15m/s, snow. Hirafu1250m: -9℃, E15m/s with drastic snowdrift development. Coastal data: Benkei cape SW3m/s, Kamui cape ENE8m/s, 1003hPa, 0.6m waves.

A strong easterly wind is blowing towards a small low pressure on the Sea of Japan. Stormy condition above 1000m elevation. Snowdrifts from low-pressure snowfall are growing, and easily slides from Jan 22nd layer (about 20cm thickness). The wind will momentarily settle down, however a westerly-wind storm is forecasted to pick up through tomorrow. The avalanche risk will drastically rise as the storm picks up.

500+ people hiked up to the Annupuri peak yesterday. The patrol and avalanche institute team is relieved that no major accidents happened. We are grateful to everyone that respects the Niseko Rules. The Avalanche Report will pause for 2 days from tomorrow. There is no 100% safety in the winter mountains. Be flexible and plan according to the weather. Precaution is key to avoid accidents.

---

Tuesday 23rd January 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 are generally operating
- Top lifts on hold at the start of the day due to winds
- 'Early Morning' services from 8:00am until 8:20am (Ace Number 2 Center Four quad lift). Until 28th January. 500 yen special ticket required.

Official snow depth:
- Top: 365cm
- Base: 165cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts are generally operating
- Top lift on hold at the start of the day due to winds

Official snow depth:
- Top: 290cm
- Base: 170cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts apart from the Country Road Chair lift should be operating
- Likely disruption to top lift early morning
- 'Early Gondola' service from 7:30am until 8:30am (Niseko Gondola). January 27th-28th; February 3rd-4th. 1,400 yen special ticket required.

Official snow depth:
- Top: 290cm
- Base: 170cm

---

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, Banzai Chair   Read more ...
 

Naeba Now!

Tuesday 23rd January 2018, 8:17am
Weather conditions: Bluebird
New snowfall: 16cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba! It's a beautiful start to the day today, with the mountain and snow-covered trees being lit up by a pink sunrise. We had a total of 16cm of new snow in the past 24 hours, which has topped up the pistes well. The skiing conditions on piste today will be fabulous, particularly due to Naeba's world-class grooming having tidied up the fresh snow nicely. Confusingly, the forecast indicates that we should expect the snow to continue throughout today, however as previously mentioned we have started the day with clear skies and no wind. It looks as though we should expect the wind to pick up significantly later in the day, swinging from a southerly to a northerly and blowing in some more storm clouds. Temperatures today are expected to remain just below 0°C. With the sun, this will feel pleasant, but if the snow clouds do arrive as predicted, it will feel much cooler this afternoon.

Looking forwards, it looks as though "Storm Finn" proper will strike tomorrow, particularly overnight. Temperatures are expected to drop to around -10°C tonight and stay around there until at least Sunday. As for snow, we should expect moderate to heavy snow throughout Wednesday and Thursday. The wind will be picking up significantly later today, dropping again overnight, and raising again on Wednesday night.

I'm pleased to announce that we are continuing with our track record of every new day added to the forecast, the snow predictions continue.

Kōrudo!

---

Some more comments, observations and questions answered

This rather long message is being posted on all the daily ‘Now’ report pages on SnowJapan today, so it does not apply to any one report section. Long-time readers may well remember a similar message posted last season. This is a modified and updated re-write of that message.

As we head into what looks set to be a very exciting and snowy week in Japan, we wanted to share some comments and respond to some more frequently asked questions regarding the daily reports on SnowJapan.

Many people rely on our reporting to find out how the Japan winter season is shaping up. We take that responsibility very seriously and the integrity of our reports is extremely important to us.

The individuals who post the reports are told that it is fine to get very excited when conditions are excellent and there’s lots of snow falling. And hopefully you’ll see that in action this week!

But at the same time, we believe that it is essential to also report things that are less exciting; like crusty spring-like snow conditions in mid-January or nasty rain.

That kind of reporting is not ‘being negative’ - it’s simply reporting what is happening. Whatever is happening, that is what should be in the reports. Even if none of us particularly like it.

Forgive us for saying it again, but it’s important: one of the things that makes SnowJapan unique is the fact that we are not here to convince you to visit any one region of Japan. We’re not here to ask you to book accommodation, or to join tours, or to take ski lessons. We’re not asking you to buy anything. Rather, we are here to provide independent and correct information from around Japan – information that is free from the inevitable pressures of having to sell and market specific services.

Some people would seemingly prefer everyone believe that snow conditions are always close to what the marketing blurb says, whatever the actual reality is. By ignoring things when they are less than perfect or publishing information that is misleading, at best.

There was one good example yesterday. We were really disappointed to see a popular ski resort classifying their base area snow conditions as “powder” – after a week of almost no fresh snowfall, some rain and generally mild conditions. While it is absolutely true that different people have different standards and levels of expectation, no-one could reasonably describe those conditions as “powder”. We’re not going to get into naming names, but we think that’s a pretty bad thing to do.

We feel that (surely!) anyone visiting a ski resort would prefer to have honest reporting over something that just reads like a marketing brochure.

So, we just want to take this opportunity once again to assure our readers that even with ever increasing pressures to do otherwise, we won’t be changing the thinking behind our reports.

Each of our regional reports is written by a different person. So, it is natural that each has its own personality or character. Some of the reports are longer than others. Some of the reports are shorter than others. Some of the reports are more light-hearted in nature. Some of them cover one ski resort - like Madarao, Naeba, Furano. Some of them cover a much wider region - like Niseko, Hakuba and Yuzawa.

Posting a daily report every day through the season is a considerable commitment. Reports may sometimes appear later than usual, or a report might be missed, or might be shorter than usual, etc… We are not claiming that our reports are perfect and know that we will never satisfy everyone with our output, but we do try to provide the best reports possible.

** More on that kind of thing here.

----

While we are at it, here are a few other quick points that we made in our season end message last year.

About the SnowJapan ‘observed fresh snowfall’ data

The ‘observed fresh snowfall’ that we publish on each of our reports is the amount of snowfall that our reporters see with their own eyes and measure every day. It is taken from base area levels.

Why base areas? The reason for that is because it is the only place where a reliable measurement can be taken on a consistent basis every day throughout the season.

Does more snow fall at higher elevations on mountain than at base? In most cases - absolutely. And in some regions/resorts, much more so than others.

Within the text of our reports we try to report any fresh snowfall data that the ski resorts themselves are reporting from the mountain each morning - another reason why we want to wait for that information in a morning.

But it would be impossible for us to report from ‘higher up’ every day. Issues include the ability to get up top every morning (lifts might be closed); where exactly to take measurements from; how we would go about measuring ‘fresh snowfall’ over the period of 24 hours at a location. Remember, we’re not a ski resort.

So, the only place that we can reliably and consistently report from each morning is base.

”You under-report snow!” or ”You over-report snow!”

No, we really don’t. Our reporters report what they see with their own eyes and measure themselves. Yes, there will be more (or less) snow falling in areas nearby. Nature doesn’t evenly distribute snowfall. Someone visiting the same ski resort may well experience something slightly different. And actually, both may well be correct. Microclimates and the like. That’s nature for you.

Our measurements are coming to you from the same spot every day - generally very close to ski resort base lifts - and they are being reported by the same trusted individual who is not inclined to exaggerate.

Note: If you do feel something in our reports is wildly off the mark, please do let us know and we will certainly look into it.

“Why don’t you report more about actual quality of the snow?”

Different people have greatly different expectations and different points of reference when it comes to snow conditions so unless things are indisputably excellent or indisputably rubbish, we feel it’s probably best to avoid going into that kind of detail every day.

“Why is there more snow being reported on the ‘A Now’ report than ‘B Now’ report?”

That will be because more snow is being observed at base in ‘A’ than in ‘B’. It’s as simple as that.

Snowfall at higher elevations may well be a different matter - so please read the reports for such details...

We recommend you don’t spent much time comparing the snowfall numbers between regions

We totally understand the temptation to directly compare the snowfall numbers for the different areas, but we recommend that you don’t.

If you must though, at least be sure to look beyond just the headline numbers. Some regions simply get less snow at base than other regions - but base snowfall is far from being the full story.

If you are contemplating visiting one of the regions covered by our reports, we highly recommend that you spend time looking beyond just the headlines and read the full reports - including our archive reporting from previous seasons. Only that way will you get a true and detailed picture of what is happening and get an idea of how the snow falls in each of the regions and what to expect on-mountain.

---

This week looks like it is going to be a big week of snow in many regions. That’s what we all want. So here’s to some fresh deep conditions over the coming days, weeks and months. Thank you for reading!

If you want to contact us, you can do so here.
   Read more ...
 

Grandeco Now!

Tuesday 23rd January 2018, 8:19am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 20cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

It was snowing yesterday and it is still falling now as this report is being written at at 8:00am.

The temperature is getting a little warmer, so the snow conditions are a little wet snow - better to go high up to the top area to get the lighter snow today.

There is no problem on Tohoku highway and Ban-etsu highway around this area at this moment but pay attention to the traffic information especially in the metropolitan area.

---

Lifts operating:

- All lifts operating

Courses open:

- All courses open

Official snow depth:
- 230cm

Forecast:
- Grandeco snow and weather forecast

---

Some more comments, observations and questions answered

This rather long message is being posted on all the daily ‘Now’ report pages on SnowJapan today, so it does not apply to any one report section. Long-time readers may well remember a similar message posted last season. This is a modified and updated re-write of that message.

As we head into what looks set to be a very exciting and snowy week in Japan, we wanted to share some comments and respond to some more frequently asked questions regarding the daily reports on SnowJapan.

Many people rely on our reporting to find out how the Japan winter season is shaping up. We take that responsibility very seriously and the integrity of our reports is extremely important to us.

The individuals who post the reports are told that it is fine to get very excited when conditions are excellent and there’s lots of snow falling. And hopefully you’ll see that in action this week!

But at the same time, we believe that it is essential to also report things that are less exciting; like crusty spring-like snow conditions in mid-January or nasty rain.

That kind of reporting is not ‘being negative’ - it’s simply reporting what is happening. Whatever is happening, that is what should be in the reports. Even if none of us particularly like it.

Forgive us for saying it again, but it’s important: one of the things that makes SnowJapan unique is the fact that we are not here to convince you to visit any one region of Japan. We’re not here to ask you to book accommodation, or to join tours, or to take ski lessons. We’re not asking you to buy anything. Rather, we are here to provide independent and correct information from around Japan – information that is free from the inevitable pressures of having to sell and market specific services.

Some people would seemingly prefer everyone believe that snow conditions are always close to what the marketing blurb says, whatever the actual reality is. By ignoring things when they are less than perfect or publishing information that is misleading, at best.

There was one good example yesterday. We were really disappointed to see a popular ski resort classifying their base area snow conditions as “powder” – after a week of almost no fresh snowfall, some rain and generally mild conditions. While it is absolutely true that different people have different standards and levels of expectation, no-one could reasonably describe those conditions as “powder”. We’re not going to get into naming names, but we think that’s a pretty bad thing to do.

We feel that (surely!) anyone visiting a ski resort would prefer to have honest reporting over something that just reads like a marketing brochure.

So, we just want to take this opportunity once again to assure our readers that even with ever increasing pressures to do otherwise, we won’t be changing the thinking behind our reports.

Each of our regional reports is written by a different person. So, it is natural that each has its own personality or character. Some of the reports are longer than others. Some of the reports are shorter than others. Some of the reports are more light-hearted in nature. Some of them cover one ski resort - like Madarao, Naeba, Furano. Some of them cover a much wider region - like Niseko, Hakuba and Yuzawa.

Posting a daily report every day through the season is a considerable commitment. Reports may sometimes appear later than usual, or a report might be missed, or might be shorter than usual, etc… We are not claiming that our reports are perfect and know that we will never satisfy everyone with our output, but we do try to provide the best reports possible.

** More on that kind of thing here.

----

While we are at it, here are a few other quick points that we made in our season end message last year.

About the SnowJapan ‘observed fresh snowfall’ data

The ‘observed fresh snowfall’ that we publish on each of our reports is the amount of snowfall that our reporters see with their own eyes and measure every day. It is taken from base area levels.

Why base areas? The reason for that is because it is the only place where a reliable measurement can be taken on a consistent basis every day throughout the season.

Does more snow fall at higher elevations on mountain than at base? In most cases - absolutely. And in some regions/resorts, much more so than others.

Within the text of our reports we try to report any fresh snowfall data that the ski resorts themselves are reporting from the mountain each morning - another reason why we want to wait for that information in a morning.

But it would be impossible for us to report from ‘higher up’ every day. Issues include the ability to get up top every morning (lifts might be closed); where exactly to take measurements from; how we would go about measuring ‘fresh snowfall’ over the period of 24 hours at a location. Remember, we’re not a ski resort.

So, the only place that we can reliably and consistently report from each morning is base.

”You under-report snow!” or ”You over-report snow!”

No, we really don’t. Our reporters report what they see with their own eyes and measure themselves. Yes, there will be more (or less) snow falling in areas nearby. Nature doesn’t evenly distribute snowfall. Someone visiting the same ski resort may well experience something slightly different. And actually, both may well be correct. Microclimates and the like. That’s nature for you.

Our measurements are coming to you from the same spot every day - generally very close to ski resort base lifts - and they are being reported by the same trusted individual who is not inclined to exaggerate.

Note: If you do feel something in our reports is wildly off the mark, please do let us know and we will certainly look into it.

“Why don’t you report more about actual quality of the snow?”

Different people have greatly different expectations and different points of reference when it comes to snow conditions so unless things are indisputably excellent or indisputably rubbish, we feel it’s probably best to avoid going into that kind of detail every day.

“Why is there more snow being reported on the ‘A Now’ report than ‘B Now’ report?”

That will be because more snow is being observed at base in ‘A’ than in ‘B’. It’s as simple as that.

Snowfall at higher elevations may well be a different matter - so please read the reports for such details...

We recommend you don’t spent much time comparing the snowfall numbers between regions

We totally understand the temptation to directly compare the snowfall numbers for the different areas, but we recommend that you don’t.

If you must though, at least be sure to look beyond just the headline numbers. Some regions simply get less snow at base than other regions - but base snowfall is far from being the full story.

If you are contemplating visiting one of the regions covered by our reports, we highly recommend that you spend time looking beyond just the headlines and read the full reports - including our archive reporting from previous seasons. Only that way will you get a true and detailed picture of what is happening and get an idea of how the snow falls in each of the regions and what to expect on-mountain.

---

This week looks like it is going to be a big week of snow in many regions. That’s what we all want. So here’s to some fresh deep conditions over the coming days, weeks and months. Thank you for reading!

If you want to contact us, you can do so here.
   Read more ...
 

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Tuesday 23rd January 2018, 8:20am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 9cm
Snow depth: --
Morning all.

Did you see the images from the Kanto area last night with all that snow falling in Tokyo? It's amazing how just 5-10cm or so can cause so many problems. Or is it amazing how we can cope with such a lot of snow when it arrives. Of course, for us here in Nozawa 10cm is on the lower end of a decent delivery of snowfall and we can cope with metres in a week.

Talking of which...

We also have 9cm here since yesterday but this morning curiously started with generally fine weather. Some low cloud and fog covering lower base areas still, but there was a bit of sun up top earlier - though it is already clouding over. And we do have that snow set to start again soon.

And most importantly the forecast still shows heavy snowfall over the next few days with snow clouds remaining over Nozawa through the weekend.

A nice consistent 30-40cm of light dry fluffy flakes each day please.

I'll update you again tomorrow.

---

Some more comments, observations and questions answered

This rather long message is being posted on all the daily ‘Now’ report pages on SnowJapan today, so it does not apply to any one report section. Long-time readers may well remember a similar message posted last season. This is a modified and updated re-write of that message.

As we head into what looks set to be a very exciting and snowy week in Japan, we wanted to share some comments and respond to some more frequently asked questions regarding the daily reports on SnowJapan.

Many people rely on our reporting to find out how the Japan winter season is shaping up. We take that responsibility very seriously and the integrity of our reports is extremely important to us.

The individuals who post the reports are told that it is fine to get very excited when conditions are excellent and there’s lots of snow falling. And hopefully you’ll see that in action this week!

But at the same time, we believe that it is essential to also report things that are less exciting; like crusty spring-like snow conditions in mid-January or nasty rain.

That kind of reporting is not ‘being negative’ - it’s simply reporting what is happening. Whatever is happening, that is what should be in the reports. Even if none of us particularly like it.

Forgive us for saying it again, but it’s important: one of the things that makes SnowJapan unique is the fact that we are not here to convince you to visit any one region of Japan. We’re not here to ask you to book accommodation, or to join tours, or to take ski lessons. We’re not asking you to buy anything. Rather, we are here to provide independent and correct information from around Japan – information that is free from the inevitable pressures of having to sell and market specific services.

Some people would seemingly prefer everyone believe that snow conditions are always close to what the marketing blurb says, whatever the actual reality is. By ignoring things when they are less than perfect or publishing information that is misleading, at best.

There was one good example yesterday. We were really disappointed to see a popular ski resort classifying their base area snow conditions as “powder” – after a week of almost no fresh snowfall, some rain and generally mild conditions. While it is absolutely true that different people have different standards and levels of expectation, no-one could reasonably describe those conditions as “powder”. We’re not going to get into naming names, but we think that’s a pretty bad thing to do.

We feel that (surely!) anyone visiting a ski resort would prefer to have honest reporting over something that just reads like a marketing brochure.

So, we just want to take this opportunity once again to assure our readers that even with ever increasing pressures to do otherwise, we won’t be changing the thinking behind our reports.

Each of our regional reports is written by a different person. So, it is natural that each has its own personality or character. Some of the reports are longer than others. Some of the reports are shorter than others. Some of the reports are more light-hearted in nature. Some of them cover one ski resort - like Madarao, Naeba, Furano. Some of them cover a much wider region - like Niseko, Hakuba and Yuzawa.

Posting a daily report every day through the season is a considerable commitment. Reports may sometimes appear later than usual, or a report might be missed, or might be shorter than usual, etc… We are not claiming that our reports are perfect and know that we will never satisfy everyone with our output, but we do try to provide the best reports possible.

** More on that kind of thing here.

----

While we are at it, here are a few other quick points that we made in our season end message last year.

About the SnowJapan ‘observed fresh snowfall’ data

The ‘observed fresh snowfall’ that we publish on each of our reports is the amount of snowfall that our reporters see with their own eyes and measure every day. It is taken from base area levels.

Why base areas? The reason for that is because it is the only place where a reliable measurement can be taken on a consistent basis every day throughout the season.

Does more snow fall at higher elevations on mountain than at base? In most cases - absolutely. And in some regions/resorts, much more so than others.

Within the text of our reports we try to report any fresh snowfall data that the ski resorts themselves are reporting from the mountain each morning - another reason why we want to wait for that information in a morning.

But it would be impossible for us to report from ‘higher up’ every day. Issues include the ability to get up top every morning (lifts might be closed); where exactly to take measurements from; how we would go about measuring ‘fresh snowfall’ over the period of 24 hours at a location. Remember, we’re not a ski resort.

So, the only place that we can reliably and consistently report from each morning is base.

”You under-report snow!” or ”You over-report snow!”

No, we really don’t. Our reporters report what they see with their own eyes and measure themselves. Yes, there will be more (or less) snow falling in areas nearby. Nature doesn’t evenly distribute snowfall. Someone visiting the same ski resort may well experience something slightly different. And actually, both may well be correct. Microclimates and the like. That’s nature for you.

Our measurements are coming to you from the same spot every day - generally very close to ski resort base lifts - and they are being reported by the same trusted individual who is not inclined to exaggerate.

Note: If you do feel something in our reports is wildly off the mark, please do let us know and we will certainly look into it.

“Why don’t you report more about actual quality of the snow?”

Different people have greatly different expectations and different points of reference when it comes to snow conditions so unless things are indisputably excellent or indisputably rubbish, we feel it’s probably best to avoid going into that kind of detail every day.

“Why is there more snow being reported on the ‘A Now’ report than ‘B Now’ report?”

That will be because more snow is being observed at base in ‘A’ than in ‘B’. It’s as simple as that.

Snowfall at higher elevations may well be a different matter - so please read the reports for such details...

We recommend you don’t spent much time comparing the snowfall numbers between regions

We totally understand the temptation to directly compare the snowfall numbers for the different areas, but we recommend that you don’t.

If you must though, at least be sure to look beyond just the headline numbers. Some regions simply get less snow at base than other regions - but base snowfall is far from being the full story.

If you are contemplating visiting one of the regions covered by our reports, we highly recommend that you spend time looking beyond just the headlines and read the full reports - including our archive reporting from previous seasons. Only that way will you get a true and detailed picture of what is happening and get an idea of how the snow falls in each of the regions and what to expect on-mountain.

---

This week looks like it is going to be a big week of snow in many regions. That’s what we all want. So here’s to some fresh deep conditions over the coming days, weeks and months. Thank you for reading!

If you want to contact us, you can do so here.


---

Tuesday 23rd January 2018

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

- Yamabiko (1407m): 10cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 8cm
- Hikage (660m): 10cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 11cm
- Karasawa (563m): -cm

Official snow depth numbers:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 250cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 200cm
- Hikage (660m): 140cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 135cm
- Karasawa (563m): 100cm

Lifts operations:

- All scheduled lifts should 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):

- Challenge 39
- Grand Prix
- Kandahar   Read more ...
 

Appi Kogen Now!

Tuesday 23rd January 2018, 8:33am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
It's a completely overcast day with a high of -4 to be expected, with a slight sprinkling of snow the mountain should have enough snow cover to keep from getting icy.

The snow is coming from the east which provides enough of a range for the snow to dry, leaving the powder at APPI, light fluffy and free from moisture, which should make for a free floating ride.

---

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:

195cm   Read more ...
 

Hakuba Now!

Tuesday 23rd January 2018, 8:34am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 16cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

This 'snow week' started off with the Kanto region grabbing all the headlines and a layer of snow causing all sorts of problems in the capital region. They're just not used to it like us. Hopefully transportation out of Tokyo and the region won't be a problem.

We also had snow falling during the day yesterday - probably about the same as what Tokyo got! I'm guessing a better quality of snow though. ;)

This morning here is what the resorts are reporting

Hakuba Cortina: 5-10cm at base; 10+cm up top
Hakuba Happo-one: 15cm at top Gondola station
Hakuba 47: 20cm
Hakuba Goryu: 10cm at Toomi; 20m up top

So you can get the idea - generally looks like we can expect around 20cm of snow on the mountain.... and counting, because it is snowing and likely to be building up nicely today and over the next run of days.

That exciting forecast is still looking good with a lot of snow due probably through into the weekend.

Expect conditions to be improving but be careful with limited visibility and always do remember to keep that excitement in check. I know, it can be difficult!

Enjoy.

---

Some more comments, observations and questions answered

This rather long message is being posted on all the daily ‘Now’ report pages on SnowJapan today, so it does not apply to any one report section. Long-time readers may well remember a similar message posted last season. This is a modified and updated re-write of that message.

As we head into what looks set to be a very exciting and snowy week in Japan, we wanted to share some comments and respond to some more frequently asked questions regarding the daily reports on SnowJapan.

Many people rely on our reporting to find out how the Japan winter season is shaping up. We take that responsibility very seriously and the integrity of our reports is extremely important to us.

The individuals who post the reports are told that it is fine to get very excited when conditions are excellent and there’s lots of snow falling. And hopefully you’ll see that in action this week!

But at the same time, we believe that it is essential to also report things that are less exciting; like crusty spring-like snow conditions in mid-January or nasty rain.

That kind of reporting is not ‘being negative’ - it’s simply reporting what is happening. Whatever is happening, that is what should be in the reports. Even if none of us particularly like it.

Forgive us for saying it again, but it’s important: one of the things that makes SnowJapan unique is the fact that we are not here to convince you to visit any one region of Japan. We’re not here to ask you to book accommodation, or to join tours, or to take ski lessons. We’re not asking you to buy anything. Rather, we are here to provide independent and correct information from around Japan – information that is free from the inevitable pressures of having to sell and market specific services.

Some people would seemingly prefer everyone believe that snow conditions are always close to what the marketing blurb says, whatever the actual reality is. By ignoring things when they are less than perfect or publishing information that is misleading, at best.

There was one good example yesterday. We were really disappointed to see a popular ski resort classifying their base area snow conditions as “powder” – after a week of almost no fresh snowfall, some rain and generally mild conditions. While it is absolutely true that different people have different standards and levels of expectation, no-one could reasonably describe those conditions as “powder”. We’re not going to get into naming names, but we think that’s a pretty bad thing to do.

We feel that (surely!) anyone visiting a ski resort would prefer to have honest reporting over something that just reads like a marketing brochure.

So, we just want to take this opportunity once again to assure our readers that even with ever increasing pressures to do otherwise, we won’t be changing the thinking behind our reports.

Each of our regional reports is written by a different person. So, it is natural that each has its own personality or character. Some of the reports are longer than others. Some of the reports are shorter than others. Some of the reports are more light-hearted in nature. Some of them cover one ski resort - like Madarao, Naeba, Furano. Some of them cover a much wider region - like Niseko, Hakuba and Yuzawa.

Posting a daily report every day through the season is a considerable commitment. Reports may sometimes appear later than usual, or a report might be missed, or might be shorter than usual, etc… We are not claiming that our reports are perfect and know that we will never satisfy everyone with our output, but we do try to provide the best reports possible.

** More on that kind of thing here.

----

While we are at it, here are a few other quick points that we made in our season end message last year.

About the SnowJapan ‘observed fresh snowfall’ data

The ‘observed fresh snowfall’ that we publish on each of our reports is the amount of snowfall that our reporters see with their own eyes and measure every day. It is taken from base area levels.

Why base areas? The reason for that is because it is the only place where a reliable measurement can be taken on a consistent basis every day throughout the season.

Does more snow fall at higher elevations on mountain than at base? In most cases - absolutely. And in some regions/resorts, much more so than others.

Within the text of our reports we try to report any fresh snowfall data that the ski resorts themselves are reporting from the mountain each morning - another reason why we want to wait for that information in a morning.

But it would be impossible for us to report from ‘higher up’ every day. Issues include the ability to get up top every morning (lifts might be closed); where exactly to take measurements from; how we would go about measuring ‘fresh snowfall’ over the period of 24 hours at a location. Remember, we’re not a ski resort.

So, the only place that we can reliably and consistently report from each morning is base.

”You under-report snow!” or ”You over-report snow!”

No, we really don’t. Our reporters report what they see with their own eyes and measure themselves. Yes, there will be more (or less) snow falling in areas nearby. Nature doesn’t evenly distribute snowfall. Someone visiting the same ski resort may well experience something slightly different. And actually, both may well be correct. Microclimates and the like. That’s nature for you.

Our measurements are coming to you from the same spot every day - generally very close to ski resort base lifts - and they are being reported by the same trusted individual who is not inclined to exaggerate.

Note: If you do feel something in our reports is wildly off the mark, please do let us know and we will certainly look into it.

“Why don’t you report more about actual quality of the snow?”

Different people have greatly different expectations and different points of reference when it comes to snow conditions so unless things are indisputably excellent or indisputably rubbish, we feel it’s probably best to avoid going into that kind of detail every day.

“Why is there more snow being reported on the ‘A Now’ report than ‘B Now’ report?”

That will be because more snow is being observed at base in ‘A’ than in ‘B’. It’s as simple as that.

Snowfall at higher elevations may well be a different matter - so please read the reports for such details...

We recommend you don’t spent much time comparing the snowfall numbers between regions

We totally understand the temptation to directly compare the snowfall numbers for the different areas, but we recommend that you don’t.

If you must though, at least be sure to look beyond just the headline numbers. Some regions simply get less snow at base than other regions - but base snowfall is far from being the full story.

If you are contemplating visiting one of the regions covered by our reports, we highly recommend that you spend time looking beyond just the headlines and read the full reports - including our archive reporting from previous seasons. Only that way will you get a true and detailed picture of what is happening and get an idea of how the snow falls in each of the regions and what to expect on-mountain.

---

This week looks like it is going to be a big week of snow in many regions. That’s what we all want. So here’s to some fresh deep conditions over the coming days, weeks and months. Thank you for reading!

If you want to contact us, you can do so here.


---

Ski resort information on Tuesday 23rd January 2018 (at time of writing):

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned

Courses open:
- All course are open

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 350cm
- Usagidaira: 180cm
- Lower: 105cm

-----

Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned (Alps Number 2 and 4 lifts usually operate on weekends only)

Courses open:
- All courses are open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 300cm
- Toomi: 110cm
- Iimori: 60cm

-----

Hakuba 47

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned (Line D usually operates only when the Gondola is closed)

Courses open:
- All courses available apart from R4 / 47 Parks (Tuesday)

Official snow depth:
- Top: 260cm
- Base: 80cm

-----

Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner I are operating

Courses open:
- All course areas are open apart from Uma-no-se and parts of Sawa-one and Kane-no-naru-oka Number 2

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori: 260cm
- Han-no-ki: 255cm
- Maruyama: 100cm
- Shirakaba: 220cm
- Champion: 130cm
- Oya-no-hara: 110cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: 110cm

-----

Hakuba Cortina

Operating lifts:
- All lifts are operating

Courses open:
- All courses apart from Mt Hieda 3 and Itadaira Ridge are open (those courses closed due to ground cracks)

Official snow depth:
- Top: 260cm
- Base: 160cm

-----

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

Operating lifts:
- Most lifts are operating with most courses open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 180cm
- Base: 100cm

-----

Hakuba Norikura Onsen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Alps Number 1 and 7 are operating

Official snow depth:
- 190cm

-----

Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Number 8 and 10 are operating

Official snow depth:
- 150cm

-----

Hakuba Sanosaka

Operating lifts:
- All three lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 110cm

-----

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
Kane-no-naru-oka area from 6pm until 8:50pm on 3rd, 10th, 11th February
Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6pm until 9pm on 27th January; 10th, 11th, 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 ...
 

Madarao Now!

Tuesday 23rd January 2018, 8:39am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 7cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning.

It's snowing.

Not mad yet, but the forecast is still there and looking good. So strap yourself in and let's get snowed on!

I look forward to writing the next few reports.

---

Some more comments, observations and questions answered

This rather long message is being posted on all the daily ‘Now’ report pages on SnowJapan today, so it does not apply to any one report section. Long-time readers may well remember a similar message posted last season. This is a modified and updated re-write of that message.

As we head into what looks set to be a very exciting and snowy week in Japan, we wanted to share some comments and respond to some more frequently asked questions regarding the daily reports on SnowJapan.

Many people rely on our reporting to find out how the Japan winter season is shaping up. We take that responsibility very seriously and the integrity of our reports is extremely important to us.

The individuals who post the reports are told that it is fine to get very excited when conditions are excellent and there’s lots of snow falling. And hopefully you’ll see that in action this week!

But at the same time, we believe that it is essential to also report things that are less exciting; like crusty spring-like snow conditions in mid-January or nasty rain.

That kind of reporting is not ‘being negative’ - it’s simply reporting what is happening. Whatever is happening, that is what should be in the reports. Even if none of us particularly like it.

Forgive us for saying it again, but it’s important: one of the things that makes SnowJapan unique is the fact that we are not here to convince you to visit any one region of Japan. We’re not here to ask you to book accommodation, or to join tours, or to take ski lessons. We’re not asking you to buy anything. Rather, we are here to provide independent and correct information from around Japan – information that is free from the inevitable pressures of having to sell and market specific services.

Some people would seemingly prefer everyone believe that snow conditions are always close to what the marketing blurb says, whatever the actual reality is. By ignoring things when they are less than perfect or publishing information that is misleading, at best.

There was one good example yesterday. We were really disappointed to see a popular ski resort classifying their base area snow conditions as “powder” – after a week of almost no fresh snowfall, some rain and generally mild conditions. While it is absolutely true that different people have different standards and levels of expectation, no-one could reasonably describe those conditions as “powder”. We’re not going to get into naming names, but we think that’s a pretty bad thing to do.

We feel that (surely!) anyone visiting a ski resort would prefer to have honest reporting over something that just reads like a marketing brochure.

So, we just want to take this opportunity once again to assure our readers that even with ever increasing pressures to do otherwise, we won’t be changing the thinking behind our reports.

Each of our regional reports is written by a different person. So, it is natural that each has its own personality or character. Some of the reports are longer than others. Some of the reports are shorter than others. Some of the reports are more light-hearted in nature. Some of them cover one ski resort - like Madarao, Naeba, Furano. Some of them cover a much wider region - like Niseko, Hakuba and Yuzawa.

Posting a daily report every day through the season is a considerable commitment. Reports may sometimes appear later than usual, or a report might be missed, or might be shorter than usual, etc… We are not claiming that our reports are perfect and know that we will never satisfy everyone with our output, but we do try to provide the best reports possible.

** More on that kind of thing here.

----

While we are at it, here are a few other quick points that we made in our season end message last year.

About the SnowJapan ‘observed fresh snowfall’ data

The ‘observed fresh snowfall’ that we publish on each of our reports is the amount of snowfall that our reporters see with their own eyes and measure every day. It is taken from base area levels.

Why base areas? The reason for that is because it is the only place where a reliable measurement can be taken on a consistent basis every day throughout the season.

Does more snow fall at higher elevations on mountain than at base? In most cases - absolutely. And in some regions/resorts, much more so than others.

Within the text of our reports we try to report any fresh snowfall data that the ski resorts themselves are reporting from the mountain each morning - another reason why we want to wait for that information in a morning.

But it would be impossible for us to report from ‘higher up’ every day. Issues include the ability to get up top every morning (lifts might be closed); where exactly to take measurements from; how we would go about measuring ‘fresh snowfall’ over the period of 24 hours at a location. Remember, we’re not a ski resort.

So, the only place that we can reliably and consistently report from each morning is base.

”You under-report snow!” or ”You over-report snow!”

No, we really don’t. Our reporters report what they see with their own eyes and measure themselves. Yes, there will be more (or less) snow falling in areas nearby. Nature doesn’t evenly distribute snowfall. Someone visiting the same ski resort may well experience something slightly different. And actually, both may well be correct. Microclimates and the like. That’s nature for you.

Our measurements are coming to you from the same spot every day - generally very close to ski resort base lifts - and they are being reported by the same trusted individual who is not inclined to exaggerate.

Note: If you do feel something in our reports is wildly off the mark, please do let us know and we will certainly look into it.

“Why don’t you report more about actual quality of the snow?”

Different people have greatly different expectations and different points of reference when it comes to snow conditions so unless things are indisputably excellent or indisputably rubbish, we feel it’s probably best to avoid going into that kind of detail every day.

“Why is there more snow being reported on the ‘A Now’ report than ‘B Now’ report?”

That will be because more snow is being observed at base in ‘A’ than in ‘B’. It’s as simple as that.

Snowfall at higher elevations may well be a different matter - so please read the reports for such details...

We recommend you don’t spent much time comparing the snowfall numbers between regions

We totally understand the temptation to directly compare the snowfall numbers for the different areas, but we recommend that you don’t.

If you must though, at least be sure to look beyond just the headline numbers. Some regions simply get less snow at base than other regions - but base snowfall is far from being the full story.

If you are contemplating visiting one of the regions covered by our reports, we highly recommend that you spend time looking beyond just the headlines and read the full reports - including our archive reporting from previous seasons. Only that way will you get a true and detailed picture of what is happening and get an idea of how the snow falls in each of the regions and what to expect on-mountain.

---

This week looks like it is going to be a big week of snow in many regions. That’s what we all want. So here’s to some fresh deep conditions over the coming days, weeks and months. Thank you for reading!

If you want to contact us, you can do so here.


---

Official snow depth:
170cm

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
Free Ride Park
Powder Theater
Adventure Aisle
Crystal Bowl
Ninja
Sawa
Rabbit
Kamoshika
Bear

Kids Park
Snow Mobile Land

Planned nighta operations this season:

11th February 2018
Every Saturday between until 24th March 2018   Read more ...
 

Zao Now!

Tuesday 23rd January 2018, 8:49am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 26cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Zao.

Some good snowfall to report this morning with lots more on the way this week and at least to the beginning of next week. That's if the forecasts are good.

This morning visibility is ok and not much falling right now, but more serious stuff due later on.

The next few reports at least should bring further decent numbers as the mountain gets a good refresh.

---

Lifts and course info:

- All lifts operating (apart from Karamatsu which is normally closed on weekdays)
- All areas open

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 135cm
- Paradise area: 160cm
- Chuo area: 160cm
- Utopia area: 160cm
- Uwanodai area: 95cm
- Oomori area: 100cm

---

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:

January 2018: 27th-31st
February 2018: every day
March 2018: 1st-4th   Read more ...
 

Shiga Kogen Now!

Tuesday 23rd January 2018, 8:58am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 12cm
Snow depth: --
Update early afternoon: Kusatsu Shirane eruption

It is starting to make international news so you might be hearing about this.

There was a volcanic eruption at Mt Shirane this morning and with an associated avalanche there have been some injuries over at the Kusatsu Kokusai ski resort.

Mt Shirane and the Kusatsu Kokusai ski resort are geographically close Shiga Kogen, though not connected. The nearest ski resort area of Shiga Kogen is Yokoteyama in the southern area. There does not seem to be any disruption over on this Shiga Kogen side of the mountain. And with the wind blowing from a westerly direction, any ash or rocks have been going over towards Kusatsu rather than Shiga Kogen. I did not feel anything either.

Anyway, thoughts with anyone involved in this situation and I hope to bring you further information in my report tomorrow.

---

Original morning report

Morning from Shiga Kogen.

Moderate snowfall as we approach 9am and the kind that feels like it is going to be building up nicely.

Bit of a wind. Cold, but not crazy cold.

But yes, it feels like this might be the start of the storm we're all expecting lots from.

Anyway for now there's 12cm to report...

Hopefully lots more over the next few days. The forecast is still good for lots of snow.

And I will of course let you know.

---

Some more comments, observations and questions answered

This rather long message is being posted on all the daily ‘Now’ report pages on SnowJapan today, so it does not apply to any one report section. Long-time readers may well remember a similar message posted last season. This is a modified and updated re-write of that message.

As we head into what looks set to be a very exciting and snowy week in Japan, we wanted to share some comments and respond to some more frequently asked questions regarding the daily reports on SnowJapan.

Many people rely on our reporting to find out how the Japan winter season is shaping up. We take that responsibility very seriously and the integrity of our reports is extremely important to us.

The individuals who post the reports are told that it is fine to get very excited when conditions are excellent and there’s lots of snow falling. And hopefully you’ll see that in action this week!

But at the same time, we believe that it is essential to also report things that are less exciting; like crusty spring-like snow conditions in mid-January or nasty rain.

That kind of reporting is not ‘being negative’ - it’s simply reporting what is happening. Whatever is happening, that is what should be in the reports. Even if none of us particularly like it.

Forgive us for saying it again, but it’s important: one of the things that makes SnowJapan unique is the fact that we are not here to convince you to visit any one region of Japan. We’re not here to ask you to book accommodation, or to join tours, or to take ski lessons. We’re not asking you to buy anything. Rather, we are here to provide independent and correct information from around Japan – information that is free from the inevitable pressures of having to sell and market specific services.

Some people would seemingly prefer everyone believe that snow conditions are always close to what the marketing blurb says, whatever the actual reality is. By ignoring things when they are less than perfect or publishing information that is misleading, at best.

There was one good example yesterday. We were really disappointed to see a popular ski resort classifying their base area snow conditions as “powder” – after a week of almost no fresh snowfall, some rain and generally mild conditions. While it is absolutely true that different people have different standards and levels of expectation, no-one could reasonably describe those conditions as “powder”. We’re not going to get into naming names, but we think that’s a pretty bad thing to do.

We feel that (surely!) anyone visiting a ski resort would prefer to have honest reporting over something that just reads like a marketing brochure.

So, we just want to take this opportunity once again to assure our readers that even with ever increasing pressures to do otherwise, we won’t be changing the thinking behind our reports.

Each of our regional reports is written by a different person. So, it is natural that each has its own personality or character. Some of the reports are longer than others. Some of the reports are shorter than others. Some of the reports are more light-hearted in nature. Some of them cover one ski resort - like Madarao, Naeba, Furano. Some of them cover a much wider region - like Niseko, Hakuba and Yuzawa.

Posting a daily report every day through the season is a considerable commitment. Reports may sometimes appear later than usual, or a report might be missed, or might be shorter than usual, etc… We are not claiming that our reports are perfect and know that we will never satisfy everyone with our output, but we do try to provide the best reports possible.

** More on that kind of thing here.

----

While we are at it, here are a few other quick points that we made in our season end message last year.

About the SnowJapan ‘observed fresh snowfall’ data

The ‘observed fresh snowfall’ that we publish on each of our reports is the amount of snowfall that our reporters see with their own eyes and measure every day. It is taken from base area levels.

Why base areas? The reason for that is because it is the only place where a reliable measurement can be taken on a consistent basis every day throughout the season.

Does more snow fall at higher elevations on mountain than at base? In most cases - absolutely. And in some regions/resorts, much more so than others.

Within the text of our reports we try to report any fresh snowfall data that the ski resorts themselves are reporting from the mountain each morning - another reason why we want to wait for that information in a morning.

But it would be impossible for us to report from ‘higher up’ every day. Issues include the ability to get up top every morning (lifts might be closed); where exactly to take measurements from; how we would go about measuring ‘fresh snowfall’ over the period of 24 hours at a location. Remember, we’re not a ski resort.

So, the only place that we can reliably and consistently report from each morning is base.

”You under-report snow!” or ”You over-report snow!”

No, we really don’t. Our reporters report what they see with their own eyes and measure themselves. Yes, there will be more (or less) snow falling in areas nearby. Nature doesn’t evenly distribute snowfall. Someone visiting the same ski resort may well experience something slightly different. And actually, both may well be correct. Microclimates and the like. That’s nature for you.

Our measurements are coming to you from the same spot every day - generally very close to ski resort base lifts - and they are being reported by the same trusted individual who is not inclined to exaggerate.

Note: If you do feel something in our reports is wildly off the mark, please do let us know and we will certainly look into it.

“Why don’t you report more about actual quality of the snow?”

Different people have greatly different expectations and different points of reference when it comes to snow conditions so unless things are indisputably excellent or indisputably rubbish, we feel it’s probably best to avoid going into that kind of detail every day.

“Why is there more snow being reported on the ‘A Now’ report than ‘B Now’ report?”

That will be because more snow is being observed at base in ‘A’ than in ‘B’. It’s as simple as that.

Snowfall at higher elevations may well be a different matter - so please read the reports for such details...

We recommend you don’t spent much time comparing the snowfall numbers between regions

We totally understand the temptation to directly compare the snowfall numbers for the different areas, but we recommend that you don’t.

If you must though, at least be sure to look beyond just the headline numbers. Some regions simply get less snow at base than other regions - but base snowfall is far from being the full story.

If you are contemplating visiting one of the regions covered by our reports, we highly recommend that you spend time looking beyond just the headlines and read the full reports - including our archive reporting from previous seasons. Only that way will you get a true and detailed picture of what is happening and get an idea of how the snow falls in each of the regions and what to expect on-mountain.

---

This week looks like it is going to be a big week of snow in many regions. That’s what we all want. So here’s to some fresh deep conditions over the coming days, weeks and months. Thank you for reading!

If you want to contact us, you can do so here.


---

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.

Giant
130cm

Higashitateyama
150cm

Ichinose Family
160cm

Ichinose Diamond
160cm

Kumanoyu
180cm

Maruike
80cm

Nishitateyama
130cm

Okushiga Kogen
150cm

Sun Valley
80cm

Takamagahara Mammoth
160cm

Terakoya
150cm

Yakebitaiyama
200cm

Yokoteyama
180cm   Read more ...
 

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Yuzawa Now
25th May, 18:26pm
Niseko Now
06th May, 9:21am
Furano Now
06th May, 9:04am
Hakuba Now
06th May, 9:02
Nozawa Onsen Now
06th May, 8:41
Shiga Kogen Now
06th May, 8:35
Myoko Now
06th May, 8:35am
Zao Now
06th May, 8:30am
Grandeco Now
06th May, 8:29am
Naeba Now
06th May, 8:28am
Minakami Now
06th May, 8:27am
Appi Kogen Now
06th May, 8:04
Geto Kogen Now
06th May, 8:01
Madarao Now
05th May, 19:10pm

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