Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 7th May 2017
Friday 26th April 2013, 8:56am
Cloudy but bright
It is a cloudy but bright morning in Yuzawa after another very mild (warm?) evening when temperatures didn't drop much under 10 degrees. It's around 13 degrees now here in town, though that is actually forecast to be the highest for the day as it should be clouding over soon and rain likely. Unfortunately that rain might well continue into tomorrow.
Clearer conditions probable on Sunday.
The 'Golden Week' period of holidays begins tomorrow. Basically we have a 3 day weekend coming up with Monday as a national holiday. Then the weekend after it's a 4 day weekend from Friday through Monday. That Monday (6th) marks the end of the season for all resorts in the area apart from the Kagura area, via the Mitsumata Ropeway.
Official resort snow depths @ Friday 26th April 2013, AM:
Kagura (Tashiro): 260cm Kagura (Kagura-Mitsumata): 310cm Gala Yuzawa: 150cm
Planned closing dates for the resorts in Yuzawa:
Kandatsu Kogen - weekends only until 6th May GALA Yuzawa - part open until 6th May - Central and North Areas Kagura (Tashiro) - until 6th May Kagura (Mitsumata) - until 26th May
All are subject to snow conditions and may change. All other resorts in Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma are now closed for the season. Read more ...
Friday 26th April 2013, 9:15am
Light rain again this morning, I'm afraid. Happily not quite as windy as yesterday, and while the King Number 3 lift at Niseko Grand Hirafu is open it looks like the top King Number 4 is not. Stronger winds up up there apparently.
It is around 8 degrees here as of 9am. Hopefully it will get colder, and there's even a chance that we might actually get to see some snow falling later on and into tomorrow in higher elevations.
It's Golden Week from tomorrow in Japan. Two long weekends this season (Saturday, Sunday and Monday this weekend; Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday the following weekend), though some lucky people may have the whole week off. More people should be around for this last stretch of the season to get in those last official slides of 12/13.
There has been lots of activity around the area in recent days with diggers and other machinery moving snow around - it's that time of the year when lots of people want to actually get rid of the snow to make way for spring activities.
You will actually be able to play golf in Niseko come next Wednesday! They were actually planning on opening the course up tomorrow but that has been delayed to 1st May with 9 holes planning to be open, and all 18 holes from Friday 3rd May. The Niseko Village Golf Course should be open on Saturday 11th May. Fancy both skiing and golf on the same day?!
Official Resort Snow Depths
Grand Hirafu & Niseko Hanazono Top - 425cm Bottom - 85cm
Niseko Annupuri Top - 300cm Bottom - 130cm
Planned resort operations
Niseko Hanazono - closed for the season Niseko Village - open between 27th April and 6th May Niseko Annupuri - part open until Monday 6th May Niseko Grand Hirafu - part open until Monday 6th May Read more ...
Friday 26th April 2013, 9:20am
It was just cloudy earlier on when I first looked out of the window this morning but rain is falling at the moment. Can't see much of the mountains as they are shrouded in cloud. And you know what, it looks like it is snowing at higher elevations taking a look at the Happo and 47 webcams right now. Yes, certainly looks like it, though visibility looks poor. Though I might just have to get up there to confirm!
The forecast seems to be telling us to expect similar conditions tomorrow as well.
Golden Week starts tomorrow with a 3-day long weekend in Japan. We then have three 'normal' weekdays, followed by a 4-day holiday run from next Friday until the following Monday. That last day of Golden Week of course also marks the end of the season for all of the ski resorts in Hakuba and Otari (though unofficially there's still lots of snow left in the mountains of course...)
Official snow depths and operations @ Friday 26th April 2013 AM:
Hakuba Goryu: The following lifts planned to be operating - Gondola, upper Number 1 and Number 3 pair lifts. Official snow depths: Alps daira - 150cm; Toomi - 0cm
Hakuba 47: The following lifts planned to be operating - Gondola, Line AB, C and E. Official snow depth: Upper - 100cm Lower - 15cm
Happo-one: The following lifts planned to be operating - Gondola, Alpen quad, Kurobishi Number 2 quad, Kurobishi Number 3 pair, Hakuba Kokusai Number 3 pair, Panorama pair, Skyline Number 2 pair, Grat quad, Usagidaira pair (Golden Week only) Official snow depth: Usagidaira - 125cm Lower - 0cm
Tsugaike Kogen: The following lifts planned to be operating - Gondola, Ropeway, Tsuga Number 2 pair, Hannoki pair. Official snow depth: Upper slopes - 160cm Lower slopes - 0cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field, Hakuba Sanosaka, Hakuba Cortina and Hakuna Minekata resorts are now closed for the season. Read more ...
Friday 26th April 2013, 9:24am
The snow has all but gone from the lower parts of Naeba now, just a few pockets of snow remaining here and there. More up higher on the mountain of course, but the winter season feels far away now. But it's not that far away of course as there's still lots of snow left at nearby Kagura.... and the main part of Kagura still boasting over 3m of snow depth.
Cloud and rain was forecast for today but we started off with fairly clear and bright conditions this morning. It has clouded over more in the last few hours but it's not raining yet. We might even get to see a dusting of snow higher up if we are lucky.
It's one of those mornings where there's a big difference in the temperatures up top and down in the village. The resort is reporting a temp. of +2 up on the top Yamabiko area, while down here in the village it is more like +10 degrees.
A cloudy start to the day in Nozawa and it looks like poor visibility up on those top runs that are open - fog? A chance of rain later and also tomorrow as well, perhaps even a chance of some snowy stuff up top.
It should be a relatively busy weekend coming up as there's 3 days holiday... Monday being a national holiday.
Here's the courses that plan to be open at Nozawa Onsen for that Golden Week period:
Yamabiko (all) Uenotaira (Snow Park will be open, but no half pipe) Paradise
Last stretch of the season!
Official snow depths Yamabiko 190cm
Courses open today at Nozawa Onsen (planned):
Yamabiko A Yamabiko B Yamabiko C Yamabiko D Yamabiko E
Nozawa Onsen planned opening dates to the end of season:
Daily until 6th May: Nagasaka Gondola Yamabiko Number 2 Four lift Yamabiko Four lift
27th April until 6th May Uenotaira Four lift Snow Park Paradise Four lift Skyline Connecting lift Read more ...
Friday 26th April 2013, 9:37am
Golden Week lies just ahead of us now. Zao is usually quite busy in Golden Week - skiers and boarders can expect to be sharing the Ropeway and Gondola to the top of the resort with lots of tourists going up there just for the views. Monday is a holiday and so it's a long weekend, followed by a four-day long weekend next weekend (Friday to Monday). That last Monday of Golden Week is the last day of the official ski season in Zao.
Since my last report the snow on lower slopes has really quickly dried up. There's literally just a few patches of snow left now down by the village and on lower runs. It's getting thinner on higher runs as well now, but still enough to last us through until the end of Golden Week.
A cloudy start to the day and mild too, just a light breeze. Chance or rain, even snow higher up, later.
Look out for a good chance of strong winds tomorrow with clearer and calmer conditions due Sunday.
The following lifts plan to remain open through until 6th May:
All the Ropeways Chuo Number 1 Pair AB (every day) Utopia Number 2 Pair Chuo Number 2 Pair AB (27th April until 6th May) Katakai Triple (27th-29th April, 3rd-6th May) Paradise Pair AB (27th April until 6th May)