Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 7th May 2017
Monday 28th April 2014, 8:20am
After all that sun and warmth yesterday, we start today somewhat overcast and cloudy is what's on the forecast from this afternoon. It will probably still rise above 20 degrees again, though perhaps without the direct sunlight maybe not feel like it did yesterday. It was a real feel-good warm spring day yesterday.
Tomorrow onwards there's that good chance of rain still.
As I have mentioned before, tomorrow is a national holiday here - but the only one this week... next weekend is a 4 day weekend (Monday and Tuesday holidays) and signalling the end of the season at GALA Yuzawa, Naeba and the Tashiro area of Kagura.
Current planned resort operations:
26th-29th April and 3rd-6th May only: Naeba (Takenokodaira and Daishamen slopes)
Daily until 6th May: GALA Yuzawa (Central and part of North Area) Kagura (Tashiro area)
Daily until 25th May: Kagura (Mitsumata and main Kagura area)
All other resorts in the region are now closed for the season.
Official resort snow depths @ Monday 28th April 2014, AM: Kagura (Tashiro): 240cm Kagura (Mitsumata): 290cm Gala Yuzawa: 150cm Read more ...
Monday 28th April 2014, 8:20am
Blue sky, some cloud
Nice blue sky this morning with some white fluffy clouds here and there. Another fine spring morning, though it is not forecast to be quite as warm today as it has been.
The Hirafu Gondola is closed again today, but will be open for the national holiday tomorrow.
There's not many more chances now this season - 8 days including today, in fact.
Snow melting continues apace.
A fair number of die-hards and people getting in that last slide over the coming week, though I think thoughts of many are turning to spring and summer activities - like rafting. It's good that we have something else to click into right away once the snow sliding stops; if there were nothing it would feel rather empty!
Official snow depth numbers and planned operating lifts at time of writing:
Grand Hirafu: Top - 240cm Base - 20cm
Ace Number 2 Center Four lift King Number 3 Triple King Number 4 (* Hirafu Gondola will open only on 29th April and 3-6th May)
Annupuri: Top - 280cm Base - 40cm
Annupuri Gondola Jumbo No1 quad Jumbo No4 pair
Niseko Village: Top - 250cm Base - 50cm
Niseko Gondola Wonderland Chair
Niseko Annupuri plans to be at least part open until Tuesday 6th May. Niseko Grand Hirafu plans to be at least part open until Tuesday 6th May. Niseko Village plans to be at least part open until Tuesday 6th May.
Niseko Hanazono Resort is now closed for the season. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Monday 28th April 2014, 8:23am
It's a cloudier start to the day here in Nozawa. More grey than blue. Still keeping rather warm though.
Rain is on the radar, probably starting to fall sometime tomorrow. And just to mention this again, tomorrow is a national holiday here in Japan.
From this Saturday (3rd May) until Tuesday (6th May - the last day of the season), lifts will be start operating 30 minutes earlier than usual... so the Gondola will start moving at 8:10am. That should help more people get in more (last last) last slides of the season.
Check out how the snow has almost vanished from the lower Hikage slopes (photo below). Always surprising how quickly the snow goes once it decides that it's time is up!
Monday 28th April 2014:
Official snow depths: Yamabiko - 220cm Uenotaira - 120cm
Lifts Planned operating lifts for today: Nagasaka Gondola Yamabiko Four Yamabiko Number 2 Four Skyline connecting Uenotaira Four Paradise Four
Courses Planned courses to be open: Yamabiko A Yamabiko B Yamabiko C Yamabiko D Yamabiko E Kogenashi Paradise Uenotaira Bunabayashi Rinkan Read more ...
Monday 28th April 2014, 8:49am
It's a cloudy/overcast morning here in Hakuba. Didn't feel cold at all overnight as things continue to warm up. Having said that, it won't be quite as warm today without the sun shining through. I'm sure I'll still some t-shirts out there though - as well as some people still in full on winter gear.
Rain is still due to be falling soon - later today, or perhaps into tomorrow. Forecasts disagree with each other.
Official snow depth numbers and operations at resorts remaining open (as of 28th April 2014):
Hakuba Goryu: Plans to be open until early May. Top area open, need to get gondola back down to base. Upper - 140cm Toomi - 0cm
Hakuba 47: Plans to be open until early May. Almost all of Hakuba 47 remains open. Upper - 115cm Lower - 30cm
Happo-one: Plans to be open until early May. Top areas (Riesen Grat, Usagidaira, Kurobishi, Panorama, Skyline) open. Need to get lift back down to base. Usagidaira - 95cm Lower - 0cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Plans to be open until early May. Top area remains open. Tsuganomori - 175cm Lower - 0cm
Busy over the weekend in Zao. Of course, there's only limited upper areas remaining open now, so everyone's heading to the same place. But still, a fair amount of terrain open - Chuo, Paradise, Utopia and the top Zangezaka course.
Tomorrow is a holiday again, but sadly there's a good chance of rain and for the following few days as well. Hopefully conditions might clear up for the upcoming long - and last - weekend.
Snow continues to quickly dry up from the lower parts of the mountain.
The Zao Echoline road is now open. It seems that until some time in early May they will be closing the road from 5pm until 8am the next morning but during the day time it's open to enjoy.
Operating ski lifts at Zao (* subject to change):
Daily until 6th May: Ropeways and Gondolas (open through the year) Chuo Number 1 Pair Chuo Number 2 Pair Utopia Number 2 Pair Katakai Triple Paradise Pair AB
Official snow depths (28th April 14): Utopia: 120cm Chuo: 110cm Paradise: 120cm Uwanodai: 0cm
Here's some news about the Ropeways after the skijo closes. They are open 'throughout the year' but actually do close for periods of time for maintenance work. And here's the plans for them:
Lower section & Utopia Number 1 summer lift: Closed from Wednesday 7th May until Wednesday 4th June (* but will open on 24th and 25th May)
Upper section: Closed from Wednesday 7th May until Thursday 19th June (* but will open on 14th, 15th and 16th June)
Zao Chuo Ropeway
Closed from Wednesday 7th May until Friday 13th June
Warm conditions prevailed over the weekend and while the sun was out it was quite hazy too.
This morning it's not quite as warm - still very mild though - but it's much more cloudy. Rain is threatening to be with us soon, but hopefull it'll hold off today.
I went for a drive over to Kusatsu in Gunma on the newly re-opened Route 292 on Saturday. The road was quite busy especially in the area where the high snow walls are. The 8m snow walls part is actually rather short - couple of hundred meters - and for most of the other road there's not that much snow still around actually.
Quite a lot of people up at Shibutoge in particular as well with the ski lift looking very busy.
Tannenomori: Number 8 quad lift - until 6th May
Ichinose Diamond: Diamond quad lift - until 6th May.
Ichinose Family: Ichinose Number 2 Pair B - until 6th May Ichinose quad - until 6th May
Ichinose Yamanokami: 26th April until 6th May
Terakoya: Quad lift - until 6th May Pair lift - until 6th May
Mammoth: Quad lift - until 6th May Triple lift - 3rd-6th May
Yakebitaiyama: Number 2 Gondola - until 6th May Number 2 high speed - until 6th May
Okushiga Kogen: Number 2 pair lift - until 6th May Number 3 pair lift - until 6th May Number 4 pair lift - until 6th May Gondola - until 6th May
Kumanoyu: Number 1 pair - until 6th May Number 2 pair - until 6th May Number 3 quad - until 6th May Number 4 pair - unconfirmed
Yokoteyama: No firm details but as long as there's snow - probably beyond Golden Week