Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 7th May 2017
Monday 24th April 2017, 8:08am
Morning from Zao.
Fine weather this morning and perhaps the sun today will warm things up more than they have been.
The snow melt continues quickly and now we're down to just 75cm as the official snow depth though the upper areas still remain open.
Golden Week is now fast approaching. I'll update the report again before the weekend with any news.
Zao Onsen plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May.
The Zao Echo Line road is now opens.
Official snow depths (as published by the resort): Summit - 75cm Paradise - 70cm Chuo - 70cm Utopia - 90cm Uwanodai - 35cm Yokokura - 5cm
Planned closing dates for lifts at Zao Onsen - subject to change due to snow conditions:
Operating until Sunday 7th May: - Chuo Number 1 pair AB - Chuo Number 2 pair AB (** only on holidays **) - Utopia Number 2 pair
Open all year (* for sightseeing): - Sky Cable - Chuo Ropeway - Zao Ropeway
All other ski lifts at Zao Onsen are now closed for the season. Read more ...
Monday 24th April 2017, 8:13am
Clear and sunny
A decent day of weather yesterday with temperatures still keeping relatively low.
This morning has started with beautiful clear blue skies and sunshine. It's going to be a lovely spring day, and it should be getting a little warmer again - perhaps to around 20 degrees in town. There's lots of cherry blossom trees looking very pretty at the moment.
Naeba has closed once again this week - it plans to re-open from Saturday - so we are back to Kagura, GALA Yuzawa and Kandatsu Kogen as the ski resort choice in the area for the next five days.
The forecast for tomorrow is clear and sunny weather with perhaps some rain on Wednesday.
Resort information as of Monday 24th April 2017
Subject to change depending on snow and weather conditions.
GALA Yuzawa GALA Yuzawa plans to be open until Sunday 7th May. All of the Central Area courses and part of the North Area currently remain open. (Note that the Jiji Course will be closed to the public in the morning). The sledding area is also open. The Falcon downhill course is now closed - use the Gondola to get back down to base. Official snow depth: 190cm
Kagura The Tashiro Area of Kagura plans to be open until Sunday 7th May. The Kagura Area (via Mitsumata Ropeway) plans to be open until Sunday 28th May. Almost all Kagura courses remain open. Closed courses according to official website are the Gondola East Course (at Tashiro) and the downhill course (back to Mitsumata car park). Official snow depth: Kagura - 290cm; Mitsumata - 220cm; Tashiro - 250cm
Kandatsu Kogen Kandatsu Kogen plans to be open until Sunday 7th May. Most courses at Kandatsu Kogen remain open. Nighta has now finished. Official snow depth: 150cm
Naeba Naeba is closed today but plans to re-open from 29th April until 7th May.
All other ski and snowboard resorts in the Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma region are now closed for the season. Read more ...
Monday 24th April 2017, 8:31am
Sunny, blue skies
And what a beautiful morning it is.
There's clear blue skies all around, lots of sunshine. A cracker!
It should be a warming up a little today as well with temperatures around 12C this afternoon at base.
Looks like there might be some rain due late tomorrow and perhaps into Wednesday.
Anyway, a beautiful day today. And things are so quiet. Those of you who visited peak season would be shocked!
News about Niseko Village and the upcoming Golden Week:
The Niseko Village part of the mountain was planning on opening for Golden Week, but it sounds like there won't actually be any of their ski courses open - not enough snow left. They do plan however to operate their Niseko Gondola. From the top of the Gondola, after a couple of hundred metres walk (or shuffle) you can be skiing at the courses that remain open at the Niseko Grand Hirafu area. (Of course you will also be able to just start and finish at Niseko Grand Hirafu if that fits your plans).
A lift ticket that is valid at all of the open resorts and ski lifts that are open over Golden Week - Saturday 29th April until Sunday 7th May - costs as follows:
Adults (over 12): 3,800 yen Children: 3,100 yen
Opening times: 8:30am until 4:30pm
Individual resort information: Monday 24th April 2017:
Planned openings. This info subject to change due to snow and weather conditions - any closings due to weather will be mentioned in the main report above.
Niseko Grand Hirafu Niseko Grand Hirafu plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May. You need to get the Ace Number 2 Center Four quad lift back down to base.
Official snow depth: Top - 235cm Base - 10cm
Courses that remain open (checked daily with each report): Detour for beginners Shirakaba Center Large Rinkan Jumbo Dynamic
Planned operating lifts: Ace Number 2 Center Four (8:30am until 4:30pm) King Number 3 (8:40am until 4:30pm) King Number 4 (8:50am until 4:30pm) Gondola (8:30am until 4:30pm) ** open only from 29th April until 7th May **
Niseko Annupuri Niseko Annupuri plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May. You can still ski or board back down to base... just about!
Official snow depth: Top - 180cm Base - 10cm
Courses that remain open (checked daily with each report): Champion Shirakaba Utopia Paradise 'S' Ji Silver Family Junior
Planned operating lifts: Annupuri Gondola Jumbo Number 1 Jumbo Number 4
The clouds yesterday morning gradually disappeared leaving us with clear blue skies in the afternoon.
And this morning we start off with similarly clear blue skies and lots of sunshine.
It's going to be getting a little warmer as well in the day time today and tomorrow, probably approaching 20C in the village. Sun is forecast for tomorrow as well, with maybe some rain on Wednesday.
For now though a fantastic morning to be outside. It feels wrong to be sat in front of a computer display...!
Resort information as of 8:50am on Monday 24th April 2017:
** Below are the planned operations for each of the ski resorts that remain open. Any news for the day will be mentioned in the above report. **
Hakuba 47: All of the courses at Hakuba 47 remain open. Tree Riding Zone gates are now closed for the season. Official snow depth: Upper: 170cm Base: 70cm --- Planned operating lifts: All lifts plan to be operating --- Hakuba 47 plans to be open until Sunday 7th May.
Hakuba Goryu: Upper areas remain open. Champion Expert Course now closed. The lower and increasingly narrow Toomi course is now used just to get back down to base. The Iimori area of the resort is closed. Official snow depth: Alps: 200cm Toomi: 70cm --- Planned operating lifts: Gondola Alps Number 1 pair lift Alps Number 3 pair lift --- Hakuba Goryu plans to be open until Sunday 7th May.
Hakuba Happo-one: Upper areas that remain open: Riesen Grat, Usagidaira, Kurobishi, Panorama and Skyline. All base areas are now closed - use the Gondola and Sakka Kita-one lifts to get up to the open areas and back down to base. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 95cm Kurobishi: 155cm Nakiyama: -cm --- Planned operating lifts: Gondola Alpen quad lift Grat quad lift Panorama pair lift Kokusai Number 3 pair lift Kurobishi Number 2 quad lift Kurobishi Number 3 pair lift Skyline Number 2 pair lift Sakka Kitaone quad --- Hakuba Happo-one plans to be open until Sunday 7th May.
Tsugaike Kogen: Tsuga-no-mori, Han-no-ki, Maruyama and part of Oya-no-hara areas remain open. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 230cm Han-no-ki: 225cm Oya-no-hara: 15cm --- Planned operating lifts: Tsugaike Ropeway Gondola Tsuga Number 2 pair lift Han-no-ki high speed pair lift --- Tsugaike Kogen plans to be open until Sunday 7th May.
All other ski and snowboard resorts in the area are now closed for the season. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Monday 24th April 2017, 9:04am
Blue skies and sunshine
Good morning from Shiga Kogen.
After some colder temperatures and even a bit of light snow falling yesterday morning again (!), it does look like it should be warmer today and tomorrow.
The day has started with clear blue skies and bright sunshine and more of the same is expected tomorrow.
Fewer ski lifts are available weekdays now, with more opening up once again for the Golden Week holidays starting on Saturday. There will still be a lot of snow around for the Golden Week period if you are still up for it!
During the winter season, the section of the Route 292 main road that connects Shiga Kogen (from Yokoteyama) with Kusatsu Onsen in Gunma Prefecture is closed due to all the snow.
From Friday last week, that section of road was officially re-opened. The opening of the road means that you can now get to Shiga Kogen via Gunma Prefecture - either for spring skiing and snowboarding or just for sightseeing. The road has been 'cut out' meaning there are snow walls on either side.
That road is actually recommended at any time of the year - a very fine drive.
Next report due before the weekend.
Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:
Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish.
Late season planned opening dates for Shiga Kogen resort areas:
Subject to change!
Takamagahara Mammoth The quad lift plans to be operating until from 29th April until 7th May
Tannenomori Okojo The quad lift plans to be operating from 29th April until 7th May
Ichinose Family The Ichinose quad lift and Ichinose Number 2 pair B lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 7th May
Terakoya The Terakoya lifts plan to be operating from 29th April until Sunday 7th May
Ichinose Diamond The Ichinose Diamond quad lift plans to be operating from 29th April until Sunday 7th May
Okushiga Kogen The Okushiga Kogen Number 4 pair lift plans to be operating from 29th April and 7th May The Okushiga Kogen Gondola, Number 2, 3, and 6 pair lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 7th May
Kumanoyu The Kumanoyu Number 1 pair lift plan to be operating until Sunday 7th May The Kumanoyu Number 2 pair A and B lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 14th May The Kumanoyu Number 3 quad lift plans to be operating from 29th April until 7th May
Yokoteyama & Shibutoge The Yokoteyama Number 1 Sky A and B lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 7th May The Yokoteyama Number 2 and 3 Sky lifts plan to be operating until late May The Yokoteyama Number 4 pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 7th May (may be closed on certain days) The Shibutoge lift plans to be operating until late May
Please note that from 8th May, joint Shiga Kogen lift tickets are not valid - individual tickets from the individual areas will be required. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Monday 24th April 2017, 9:05am
Clear and sunny
Morning from Nozawa Onsen.
There are beautiful clear blue skies above us this morning and the sun is shining down.
It should be a little warmer as well today and tomorrow. Very fine spring days.
Look out for some rain around Wednesday and a return to fine weather after that.
Nozawa Onsen will be open until Sunday 7th May.
14 days to go!
Monday 24th April 2017
Official snow depths: - Yamabiko: 235cm - Uenotaira: 150cm - Base areas: 0cm
Planned operations - see above report for any disruptions to the plans!
Planned lift operations: - Nagasaka Gondola - Yamabiko Four - Yamabiko Number 2 Four
Planned open courses: - Yamabiko A - Yamabiko C - Yamabiko D - Yamabiko E - Kokenashi - Uenotaira - Paradise - Bunabayashi - Rinkan - Challenge
Planned lift operations for the rest of the season:
Nagasaka Gondola - 8:10am until 3:30pm Yamabiko Number 2 Four lift - 8:25am until 3:15pm Yamabiko Four lift - 8:30am until 3:40pm Uenotaira Four lift - 8:30am until 3:40pm (*** only 29th April until 7th May) Paradise Four lift - 8:25am until 3:50pm (*** only 29th April until 7th May) Read more ...
Monday 24th April 2017, 10:41am
Pure blue skies
I was going to give an update yesterday, after a really nasty Saturday (pea soup visibility and cold), and a pretty cold Sunday, but then remembered I had to get out for the neighborhood removal of the supports on trees, monuments, stone lanterns, etc. that keep things from getting damaged by the heavy snow. (And even then, things do get crunched).
Today, though, is a day to get out spring skiing. It's a beautiful, sunny, bluebird day, and the snow looks really good up there.
There's still a lot of snow at both Akakan and Seki Onsen, and finally some of the suntan weather that, really, spring skiing should be all about... looking really good for the Golden Week holidays.