Snow and weather reports posted on Thursday 18th January 2018
Sunday 25th December 2016, 8:31am
Cloud, increasing blue sky
Good morning from Niseko and a very Merry Christmas to you all.
It was snowing lightly earlier on but that has eased off now and there's more and more blue sky appearing and the sun is currently shining through my window. It is probably going to be a fine day.
And look what Santa brought. Just a few cm of fresh on the ground but perhaps more importantly from today the top King Number 4 lift at Niseko Grand Hirafu and the top Jumbo Number 4 lift at Niseko Annupuri debut for the season... and it is now possible to slide between each of the resorts at the top. Yey! Though, the resorts themselves are making a point of warning that conditions aren't great (not sure exactly what they mean by that). It looks like the top lift at Niseko Village isn't budging for the moment.
Wherever you are in the world, have a fine day.
Visit the SnowJapan Facebook page for details on how to enter the current special tour Giveaway on SnowJapan.com. Good luck to you all and thank you for all of the comments sent in so far.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -5℃, 2cm snowfall and no snowdrift development. Annupuri 1150m: -11℃, W12m/s, light dust. Moiwa 800m: -8℃, W8m/s, 4cm snowfall and no snowdrifts. Coastal data: Benkei cape WNW12m/s, Kamui cape W12m/s, 1024hPa, 1.0m waves.
Observations and impact test showed that the Dec 19th, 21st, 23rd and 24th layers are stable. Avalanche risk is generally low, except in 40+°steep slopes under chairlifts, cliffbands and course-side banks. The snowpack is still insufficient and the out of bounds areas are closed. Yesterday’s tracks aren’t covered.
Beware of recklessly speeding Santa-Claus at the resort!
Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
The mountain is nearly (but not yet quite) fully open with top lifts. All resort areas appear to be opening as planned at the start of the day.
Niseko Grand Hirafu The top King Number 4 lift is now operating. The top Ace Number 4 lift remains closed.
Night skiing is planned until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village resort areas. There is no nighta in the Hanazono area. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Sunday 25th December 2016, 8:32am
Fine but foggy early on at base
Good morning from Nozawa. Happy Christmas!
This morning there's some lovely blue sky views to be enjoyed on the upper section of the mountain (so the webcams show me) but here at base as I write my report it's foggy and you can't see much of anything at all. I would expect that bank of cloud to clear fairly sharpish this morning and leave us with a fine day.
This morning Nozawa Onsen is reporting 5cm of snow on the upper slopes since yesterday evening and adding that to what fell during the day yesterday brings the additional snow up to just over 10cm at higher elevations and up to 4cm on the base areas. Not as much as we would have liked of course, but a fresh supply all the same.
I just spotted Santa strapping some skis on and heading up to the lifts, so he's apparently happy with the conditions.
The resort has opened up the Rinkan, Challenge and Hikage course areas appear to be open once again so you can now ski back down to base but be aware that snow is very thin on the ground in lower areas. Not sure I'd be taking my new gear out to ride there just yet. There seems to be some conflicting info from official sources this morning about exactly what is open, so I suggest checking with the resort themselves for the latest if you need that. Personally, I'd just be heading up to the upper areas which are all open... best place to be!
The forecast is looking quite promising for around Tuesday-Wednesday and then later in the week as well. Still a chance of rain before snow at lower elevations on Tuesday but that should hopefully quickly be turning into snowfall.
Sunday 25th December 2016
Lifts that are planned to be operating: All lifts appear to be operating except for: - Hikage quad - Kandahar pair - Nagasaka quad - Nagasaka pair - Karasawa pair
Courses that are planned to be open: - Yamabiko A course - Yamabiko B course - Yamabiko C course - Yamabiko D course - Yamabiko E course - Kokenashi course - Uenotaira course - Paradise course - Paradise link - Mizunashi A - Mizunashi B - Bunabayashi course - Yunomine A course - Yunomine B course - Rinkan course - Challenge course - Hikage - Nagasaka connecting
Fresh snow reported by resort since yesterday morning: - Yamabiko: 11cm - Uenotaira: 10cm - Hikage: 4cm - Nagasaka: 4cm - Karasawa: 0cm Read more ...
Sunday 25th December 2016, 8:40am
Blue sky and cloud
I wanted to bring you more snowy news but unfortunately there's not much of that to report this morning. This morning the Kagura resorts are reporting just 1cm of fresh snow while I notice Maiko Snow Resort is reporting 10cm, presumably that is up on the top bowl area. Trees to fairly close to town are looking nice and snow-dusted this morning, though there's no fresh to report at base level I'm afraid. It did (wet) snow at times during the day yesterday but there were also period of clearer skies and nothing falling, so there was no really Yuzawa-like snowfall.
This morning it is a mix of blue sky, sun and cloud early on.
I am happy to report that Ishiuchi Maruyama is back open today by the way. As always, individual resort information has been updated below.
What to look out for on the forecast... snowfall on Tuesday into Wednesday and then Thursday into Friday. Please let it be decent snow. I'm hearing from too many resort folk about the feeling that this season is starting to look a bit like last season. We really don't want that to be the case, we want a classic Yuzawa season!
Ending on a positive note, we have heard from a number of people who are here and really enjoying themselves. We may be short on snow and not at full power, but there's still a lot of fun to be had out there. Living here for so long and knowing just how much it can and usually does snow in this region, expectations are always very high. Some would say too high. But I'm pretty sure it'll happen, we just need to be patient for a while longer.
Have a great day everyone and see you tomorrow.
Resort-specific info as of Sunday 25th December 2016
GALA Yuzawa GALA Yuzawa is part open. 9 courses in the Central and North areas open in total. Official snow depth: 80cm
Ishiuchi Maruyama Lifts at all three areas are now open, with part of the courses open. Official snow depth: 60cm
Iwappara Iwappara is part open. 5 lifts and 13 courses are open. Opening of nighta has been delayed until there is more snow. Official snow depth: 30cm
Joetsu Kokusai Part of the hotel base and Panorama area of Joetsu Kokusai is open with 6 lifts operating and 4 courses open. Official snow depth: 40cm
Kagura All areas of Kagura are generally open. The top Kagura Number 5 pair lift and course will open from 1st January 2017. The Dragondola was planning to be open from today, but they have delayed opening due to the lack of snow. Official snow depth: Kagura - 150cm Mitsumata - 110cm Tashiro - 130cm
Kandatsu Kogen Kandatsu Kogen is part open with three lifts operating. Official snow depth: 65cm
Naeba The Prince Number 2 Gondola, Takenokodaira pair, Number 3, 4 and 5 high speed lifts and Number 4 romance pair lifts are operating. Official snow depth: 60cm
Maiko Snow Resort The Gondola and Okusoeji quad and pair lifts are operating. 7 courses open in total. Official snow depth: Upper - 70cm Base - cm
Muikamachi Hakkaisan The Ropeway and Number 1 and Number 3 romance pair lifts are operating. Official snow depth: 50cm
NASPA Ski Garden NASPA Ski Garden is open with 2 courses and lifts 3, 4 and 5 operating. Official snow depth: 35cm
Yuzawa Kogen Yuzawa Kogen is part open. The lower Nunoba area is closed. The Ropeway, Cosmos pair lift, Summit pair lift are operating. Official snow depth: Top - 80cm Base - 10cm
Yuzawa Park Yuzawa Park is closed due to the snow situation. Official snow depth: -cm
Yuzawa Nakazato Yuzawa Nakazato is part open with 4 lifts operating. Official snow depth: 30cm
'Nighta' (floodlit night operations)
Below are details of the planned 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma this season. This information is subject to change due to snow and weather conditions. Please note that this section will not be updated every day.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Daily from 23rd December 2016 until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:50pm. The Chuo Number 1, Chuo Number 2 and Kanko Number 3 Express lifts are open daily. The Kanko Number 1 Express lift, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift and Hatsukaishi Number 2 pair lifts are also open on weekends and holidays.
Iwappara Daily from 17th December 2016 until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays. The Main course, Grand course and West courses are open during nighta.
Joetsu Kokusai Daily from 17th December 2016 until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm. The area in front of the main base hotel is open for nighta.
Kandatsu Kogen 'Hobo All Night' ('Almost All Night') is on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays between 29th December 2016 and 1st April 2017. The nighta opening times on those days is from 6pm until 4am the following morning.
Maiko Snow Resort Daily from 28th December 2016 until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8pm. The Maiko center quad lift on the Maiko Side of the resort operates for nighta.
Naeba Daily from 17th December 2016 until 26th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8:30pm. Part of the lower area of the resort is usually open for nighta.
NASPA Ski Garden 'Thanks' (extended) opening on Saturdays in December, January and February and also on 23rd December and from 30th December until 8th January 2017. On those days the Number 1 lift is open until 6pm.
Yuzawa Nakazato Every Saturday from 7th January until 11th March 2017, 29th December until 3rd January, 8th January 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:30pm. The Number 2 pair lift operates during nighta. Read more ...
Sunday 25th December 2016, 8:45am
Mostly clear with a few scattered clouds
Merry Christmas from Naeba!
Well today should be a good one with a fair amount of snow on the hill and the sun in the sky.
Yesterday we had consistent snow fall throughout the day clearing in the evening for the fireworks.
The forecast is looking promising for mid and late week so hopefully we'll get a decent amount of fresh in before new year. Read more ...
Sunday 25th December 2016, 8:50am
Merry Christmas from snowy Grandeco.
Happily, 4cm of fresh snow has accumulate at base last night even the forecast was telling us to expect just cloudy conditions. It is still continuing to fall this morning 8am. Thanks Santa.
The snow condition is fairly decent, light snow but the resort has decided to close Basil and lower part of Rainbow 3500 course today to preserve what they have, leaving 3000m course length still open.
The forecast remains positive for good snow in the coming week. Let's hope it is right!
Gondola Number 1 quad lift Number 2 quad lift
[A-a] Rainbow 3500 [A-b] Rainbow 3500 [B-c] Mint C [C] Center [D-b] Lavender B
Official snow depth: 60cm
Road condition to Grandeco: Inawashiro through Goshikinuma : a little icy but no snow. Goshikinuma through Grandeco : snow, snow tires are necessary. Read more ...
Sunday 25th December 2016, 8:52am
Stunning bluebird day here with not a breath of wind.
It snowed on and off all yesterday and reports from Tenjindaira were that parts of the mountain were waist deep in the morning and generally above the knee. Last night the accumulation at the top of the resort was 10cm. They are always conservative with their numbers but here at the base of the mountain there was weather but very little snow.
The forecast is for it to be a warm one today with highs above zero up top, more good weather tomorrow before the next snow, forecast to be big, on Tuesday night.
Official snow depths:
100cm Tenjin 50cm Hodaigi 15cm Okutone
Resorts in Minakami (forecasts available from each page):
Good morning from Hakuba and my oh my it's Christmas Day already. Merry Christmas!
Santa is here in Hakuba this morning and he has brought with him some beautiful weather. Just a few fluffy clouds here and there, but mostly clear blue skies. Beautiful.
Looks like we can next expect some beautiful fresh snowfall on Tuesday (though it may well rain in the village before it turns into snow) with snow due on Wednesday and then more around the end of the week too. Can we have a lot of snow in this last week of December? Onegai shimasu.
There's a lot of folk here in Hakuba now who are raring to go and expecting much.
Head up to the higher areas for the best snow conditions - it should be a stunner today.
In resort news, the top Grad quad lift at Happo-one is now operating but it is for mountain climbers only -- the top course of the resort is not open for skiing and snowboarding. Happo-one also has the Usagidaira pair lift, Skyline Number 2 pair and Sakka Kita-one quad lifts moving today as well with the Skyline course now open. I'm going to go and check it out this morning.
I hope you have a fun day - see you tomorrow!
Resort news as of 9:05am on Sunday 25th December 2016:
All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions.
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is now mostly open. The resort is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. Gondola downloading no longer required - you can ski/board to base but not recommended for beginners. The upper course connection with Goryu is now open. Operating lifts and course info: - Gondola - Line A.B - Line C - Line E All courses now open apart from Route 7. The Tree Riding Zone is not yet open. Official snow depth Line C Upper: 100cm Base: 20cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is currently part open. The resort is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. Gondola downloading required back to base. The upper course connection with Hakuba 47 is now open. Operating lifts and course info: - Gondola - Alps Number 1 - Alps Number 3 - Alps Number 2/4 - Toomi Sky Four - Toomi Number 1 pair - Milky Four The following courses are open: - Grand Prix - Panorama - Super - Toomi - Soft Cream Official snow depth Alps: 110cm Toomi: 30cm Iimori: 20cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is currently part open. Downloading via Gondola or Kokusai Number 1 pair lift required. Operating lifts and course info: - Gondola - Grat quad (for climbing) - Alpen quad - Usagidaira pair - Panorama pair - Kokusai Number 1 - Kokusai Number 3 - Kurobishi Number 2 quad - Skyline Number 2 pair - Sakka Kita-one quad The following courses are open: - Kurobishi - Usagidaira - Skyline - Panorama Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 80cm Kurobishi: 100cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Tsugaike Kogen is currently part open. Operating lifts and course info: - Eve Gondola - Han-no-ki pair - Tsuga Number 1 pair - Tsuga Number 2 pair The following courses are open: - Han-no-ki - Tsuga-no-mori Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 100cm Han-no-ki: 100cm Oya-no-hara: -cm Kane-no-naru-oka: -cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is currently part open. The resort is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. Operating lifts and course info: - Number 1 pair - Number 2 quad - Number 4 pair lift The following courses are at least part open: - Ikenoda - Mt Hieda Rinkan - Mt Hieda 1 - Itadaria - Ipponmatsu Official snow depth: Top: 95cm Base: 60cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field is currently part open. Operating lifts and course info: - Gondola - 3-sen North lift - 4-sen East lift The following courses are at least part open: - East - North Official snow depth: Top: 50cm Base: -cm
Kashimayari: Kashimayari is currently part open. Operating lifts: - Number 1 quad - Number 2 pair - Number 3 quad - Number 6 quad Official snow depth: Top: 30cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Hakuba Norikura Onsen is currently part open. Lift info: The Alps Number 1 pair lift is operating with one course open. Official snow depth: Top: 30cm
Please note that Yanaba ski hill will not be opening for the 2016-2017 season Read more ...
Sunday 25th December 2016, 9:24am
Pure blue goodness
It is really Christmas-y out there today; the trees are covered in white - frosted, we could say - and the sky is a perfect blue.
Long-time readers know that I'm not all that crazy about bluebird days during the height of the season. Give me those heavy snows and deep fog to keep the riff-raff out, but even I'll admit that this would be a great day to get out skiing.
All the resorts appear to be operating at full strength or close to having all the lifts up and running. Even some of those further south around the mountain who are reporting 40cm or so gave some great skiing, my inside informers tell me. So it's all good, a great big Christmas gift from Mt. Myoko and its big snow shadow to the east.
Morning from Zao and ho-ho-ho and a happy Christmas to everyone.
Santa didn't bring us heavy snow alas, but he promises the snow for around Tuesday and towards the end of the coming week.
Not much to report this morning really. Visibility was fine earlier on but it looks pretty poor on the mountain now...
>b>The following lifts are not operating: Astraea Number 3 pair Kurohime Number 1 quad Onsen Number 2 quad Onsen Number 3 parallel AB Onsen Number 4 quad Zao Kokutai pair Ryuzan pair Karamatsu pair Sunrise pair AB Nakamori Number 1 triple Nakamori Number 2 pair Zao Paradise Number 3 pair Yokokura Number 1 pair A Yokokura Number 2 Astraea Number 1 pair Astraea Number 2 pair Omori quad
Official snow depths: Chuo - 50cm Utopia - 35cm Uwanodai - 15cm Paradise - 40cm
Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time Zao Ropeway operations
December 2016: 29th-31st January 2017: 1st-3rd, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 27th-31st February 2017: 1st-28th March 2017: 1st-5th
Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm. Ropeway return charges are 2,600 yen for adults and 1,300 yen for children. In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled. Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Sunday 25th December 2016, 11:45am
Merry Xmas from Appi!
It’s a busy Sunday morning on the slopes here at Appi. We had a little snowfall yesterday to help with the weekend traffic and as of now we still only have two runs open. If you’re not here already then you can expect the runs to be a little worn in by mid afternoon.
Today brings mostly sunshine with light to moderate Westerly winds. All in all a nice day to be had on this festive occasion. The week should bring more snow and temperatures hovering around -4-8. Taking a look a little further down the road lets hope the 29th delivers what it promises namely 20+cm of snow !!! I know we’ve all got excited before and been let down but I’ve got a gut feeling about this one.
Come and join us here today, wear something festive and smile for those Xmas shots.