Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 1st May 2017
Wednesday 26th April 2017, 7:24am
Good morning from Yuzawa.
An early report this morning, before some of the information is in from resorts - but I would expect things to be open as normal.
After another fine day of weather yesterday, it's a cloudier start today and forecasts pointing towards some light rain from around lunchtime onwards.
Hopefully the sun will be back tomorrow. By then, the tulips in my garden should be in bloom... they were looking good around Echigo Yuzawa Station yesterday.
Resort information as of Wednesday 26th April 2017
Subject to change depending on snow and weather conditions. Not all info updated for today.
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. 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: 170cm
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 - 280cm; Mitsumata - 210cm; Tashiro - 240cm
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: 130cm
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 ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Wednesday 26th April 2017, 7:38am
Good morning from Nozawa.
Lovely day yesterday again with nice comfortable and warm temperatures of around 20 degrees. And cherry blossoms looking good too. Ahh, spring time.
This morning early on there is a lot more cloud up there and some rain is forecast for later today (there might have been a bit overnight by the looks of things). It's holding off for now though.
Come tomorrow, the sun should be back. It's not going to be as warm today or tomorrow though, probably struggling to get into the low teens.
Nozawa Onsen will be open until Sunday 7th May.
12 days to go!
Upper slopes still with an official snow depth of over 2m.
Wednesday 26th April 2017
Official snow depths: - Yamabiko: 220cm - Uenotaira: 140cm - 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 ...
Wednesday 26th April 2017, 7:57am
Good morning from my Niseko base here in Hirafu.
It's an overcast feel to the early morning here but with perhaps brighter weather later in the day. Some forecasts seem to add a little rain into the mix, so there you go. We'll just have to see what happens.
And that's about it really. I would expect the lifts to be opening as planned this morning.
I'd love to know how many people buy a ticket at this time of year. It's very quiet and I suspect many of the people making the effort are locals or people who have been working here...
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 Saturday. 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
Individual resort information: Wednesday 26th 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 - 230cm Base - 5cm
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
And a bit gloomy with light drizzly rain this morning unfortunately. The rain is probably manageable in terms of it not being particularly bothersome, but it may get a little heavier and continue for much of the day. I suspect it's going to be rather quiet out on the slopes today.
Hakuba 47 still have all their courses open and the bottom slope is still decently wide. The lower slope of Hakuba Goryu is very narrow now. The lower slopes of Happo-one and Tsugaike Kogen are all now closed. All resorts still have very good snow cover higher up though and they should all be good to remain open until the end of Golden Week on Sunday 7th May.
Golden Week is a bunch of national holidays that occur together and they often give a lot of people a decent break in late April and early May. This year, Wednesday 3rd, Thursday 4th and Friday 5th are national holidays, and so with the weekend after that makes for a 5 day holiday period. That will be the main chunk of Golden Week this year, though some people will be taking Monday and Tuesday off to make for a full week.
I think generally people will be referring to Golden Week as the period starting from this coming Saturday until Sunday 7th May.
Resort information as of 8:10am on Wednesday 26th 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: 150cm Base: 65cm --- 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 now very 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: 190cm Toomi: 60cm --- 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: 90cm 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 and Maruyama areas remain open. Other areas (including base areas) now closed. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 230cm Han-no-ki: 225cm Base areas: 0cm --- 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 ...
Wednesday 26th April 2017, 8:35am
Good morning from Grandeco.
There was no rain last night but it is forecast to rain from this afternoon and tonight. If the forecast is right, it'll be heavy rain as well at times and so an early ski in the morning is recommended!
The official snow depth on the courses is 190cm now - though less than that in places of course. There's a bit of ground starting to appear in some parts of the lower course areas - but nothing major yet.
- Gondola - Number 3 quad lift
85% courses now open. Lavender A, Mint B and Center 33 course are closed. The Snow Parks are now closed.
It is a nice warm day with light cloud cover blocking the direct rays of the sun. In the morning the snow was firm and skiing nicely, and then softening up as the day went on. The skiing is still really good and trails from the top of the resort to base are still open. On the lower third of the mountain the snow cover is starting to recede and expose the ground. Hopefully the snow will last for another week? The forecast for the next few days is light rain in the village but the possibility of fresh snow at the top. Read more ...