Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 19th November 2017

Niseko Now!

Thursday 28th April 2016, 9:02am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
Morning from Niseko.

There's a lot of cloud around today and some wind higher up it would seem, but the lifts are operating as normal this morning. It was a bit chilly as well this morning but less so now.

Rain is expected by the end of today and into tomorrow and there's still the sign of some snow as well on the forecast for tomorrow and into Saturday.

Snow would be great... we'll have some of that please!

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'Golden Week' officially starts from tomorrow.

Golden Week is a number of national holidays that happen close to each other giving lots of people a nice holiday in late April and early May. Most tourist spots get very busy as a result! Depending on what days they fall, some years it is a considerably long period. This year, the actual national holidays are 'Showa Day' on Friday 29th April, 'Constitution Day' on Tuesday 3rd May, 'Greenery Day' on Wednesday 4th May and 'Children's Day' on Thursday May 5th. This means that this year Golden Week looks like this:

* Friday 29th April - Sunday 1st May (3 day long weekend)
* Tuesday 3rd May - Thursday 5th May (3 day holiday mid-week)
* Saturday 7th May - Sunday 8th May (normal weekend)

No doubt some folk will be taking Monday 2nd May and Friday 6th May as a holiday as well giving them a 10 day break.

Thursday 5th May is scheduled to be the last day of the snow season here in Niseko.

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Resort specific lift opening news at time of posting:

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Niseko Annupuri
Expect the two resorts to be open as planned this morning.

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Official resort snow depths as of Wednesday 27th April 2016:

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Top - 250cm
Base - 0cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 230cm
Base - 10cm

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Resort operations - subject to change due to snow and weather conditions

Niseko Grand Hirafu resort area lift operations:
Ace Number 2 Center Four Quad (* this lift now used to get to and from the open courses - you can no longer ride back to base)
Ace Number 3 Pair
Ace Number 4 Pair

The resort is 'upgrading' the King Number 3 triple lift in time for next season. As part of that work the Hirafu Gondola, King Number 3 and 4 lifts have all now closed for this season. Niseko Grand Hirafu plans to remain open until Thursday 5th May.

Niseko Annupuri plans to be open until Thursday 5th May with the Gondola, Jumbo 1 and Jumbo 4 lifts operating.

Niseko Village is currently closed. The Gondola will be open between tomorrow and Thursday 5th May, acting as a way to get to Niseko Grand Hirafu (and also just for sightseeing). The resort has announced that the top Wonderland Chair will not be opening as originally planned.

Niseko Hanazono has now closed for the season.

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Niseko Grand Hirafu 6 day weather and snow forecast   Read more ...
 

Hakuba Now!

Thursday 28th April 2016, 9:20am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
Good morning from Hakuba.

Actually it's not a very nice morning.

Heavy rain overnight and this morning with rain still falling now, though less than it has been just for the moment. Rain is due to continue until tomorrow.

It's almost a bit chilly as well this morning and with temperatures set to drop further tomorrow as well, some snow might even fall at higher elevations. A bit of fresh up there would be good to see...

Golden Week holidays starting from tomorrow.

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Upcoming Golden Week holidays:

* Friday 29th April - Sunday 1st May (3 day long weekend)
* Tuesday 3rd May - Thursday 5th May (3 day holiday mid-week)
* Saturday 7th May - Sunday 8th May (normal weekend)

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6 day forecast for Happo-one:

6 day snow and weather forecast for Happo-one

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Resort news as of 9:43am on Thursday 28th April 2016 (subject to change due to snow and weather conditions)

Hakuba 47:
Only the top Route 8 course by Line E lift remains open (along with the top Panorama course of Hakuba Goryu).
Top Line E lift only operating.
Access is via Hakuba Goryu - the base area of Hakuba 47 resort is now closed.
47/Goryu lift tickets are now 2500 yen for adults and 1350 yen for children.
Line E plans to be operating until 5th May.
Official snow depth:
Upper: 80cm
Base: -cm

Hakuba Goryu:
Just the top Panorama course remains open (along with the Route 8 course of Hakuba 47).
Gondola and Alps Number 1 pair lift operating.
The lower main Toomi and Iimori areas are now closed.
Get the Gondola back down to base.
47/Goryu lift tickets are now 2500 yen for adults and 1350 yen for children.
Hakuba Goryu plans to be operating until 8th May.
Official snow depth
Alps: 80cm
Toomi: -cm
Iimori: -cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
Just part of Panorama and Kurobishi now remain open.
The Riesen Grat course is now closed due to insufficient snow but the Grat quad lift remains operating - for climbers only.
All other areas of the resort are now closed.
Get the Gondola back down to base.
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira: 30cm
Nakiyama: -cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
The top Upper Han-no-ki and part of Tsuga-no-mori courses remain open.
All other courses are now closed.
The top Tsugaike Ropeway is open for spring season (note: extra charge required).
Official snow depth:
Tsuga-no-mori: 45cm
Maruyama: -cm
Kane-no-naru-oka: -cm

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Other resorts are now closed for the season.
   Read more ...
 

Yuzawa Now!

Thursday 28th April 2016, 9:32am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
Morning from Yuzawa and it has been raining heavily overnight and this morning. Sometimes easing off a bit but then coming back heavy again and that is pretty much is what the forecast is for today and tomorrow as well - perhaps less heavy tomorrow.

It's colder than it has been as well with a high of around 16C forecast for today.

Due to the weather conditions the Tashiro area of Kagura is closed today, and Kagura is open up until the Kagura Number 1 lift.

Yesterday it seems was the last day of the season for the Tashiro Number 1 connecting course at the Tashiro area and a few other runs now seem to be showing as closed on the official site (sorry, can't get up there to check first hand!)

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Upcoming Golden Week holidays:

* Friday 29th April - Sunday 1st May (3 day long weekend)
* Tuesday 3rd May - Thursday 5th May (3 day holiday mid-week)
* Saturday 7th May - Sunday 8th May (normal weekend)

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Resorts that remain open in Yuzawa on Thursday 28th April 2016:

Kagura
The Tashiro Ropeway / Tashiro area plans to be part open until 8th May.
The Kagura area (via Mitsumata Ropeway) plans to be part open until 29th May.
Whether they can actually remain open until those dates with the amount of snow left remains to be seen.

The following courses at Kagura remain at least part open:

- Gondola course
- Kagura main course
- Giant course
- Mogul (until early May)
- Family Course at Mitsumata (open just to connect to the Gondola - snow mats, no natural snow)

Official snow depth:
Kagura area: 150cm
Tashiro area: 100cm
Mitsumata area: -cm

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All other resorts in Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma are now closed for the season.

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List of ski resorts in Yuzawa town
List of ski resorts in Minamiuonuma City

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Iwappara 6 day snow and weather forecast
NASPA Ski Garden 6 day snow and weather forecast
Kagura 6 day snow and weather forecast   Read more ...
 

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Thursday 28th April 2016, 9:50am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
Nozawa open until tomorrow, Friday 29th April.

It's the news I think lots of us were expecting.

There's now just over one more day left open at Nozawa.

The resort folk have been working tirelessly to try and keep things going and really couldn't have done any more, but there just hasn't been enough snow to play with and nature eventually has won out.

So for today and tomorrow, the plan is just for the Yamabiko D course to remain open with the Nagasaka Gondola and Yamabiko 2 Four lifts operating.

Sadly nature isn't being kind for us today either with rain falling, and quite heavily at times. And rain is expected tomorrow as well. Ironically there might even be a bit of snow falling on the top runs. We are not amused!

I'll post a wrap-up final post here on the Nozawa Now report sometime in the next few days.   Read more ...
 

Shiga Kogen Now!

Thursday 28th April 2016, 10:11am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
Morning from Shiga Kogen. And we're down to two now. Or actually none today.

Let me explain:

The Ichinose Family and Shibutoge lifts have now closed for the season. They just can't beat the warmth that we have had and the rain that we are having today. I can't remember any year previously when Shibutoge hasn't been open for Golden Week, and as you will see in the archives Yokoteyama/Shibutoge is often still going at the end of May. That just shows how 'different' this season has proved to be.

With those areas now closed, that just leaves us with Takamagahara Mammoth and Kumanoyu that remain 'open'. But...

Mammoth plans to re-open from tomorrow for Golden Week. It is not open today and there is currently no official mention of a planned last day.
And due to the weather conditions today (wind), Kumanoyu appears to be closed today.

That basically means that... everywhere is closed for today.

Hopefully tomorrow they will both be open (though Kumanoyu have said that they plan to continue until 1st May now, rather than the previous target of 5th May).

It all sounds complicated doesn't it. Sudden announcements don't help, but there you go.

If you want to get that last ski or board in, things are extremely limited now and time is fast running out.

There might even be a bit of snow falling tonight into tomorrow!

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Planned end of season dates for Shiga Kogen resort areas - subject to change!

Takamagahara Mammoth
The quad lift plans to be operating again from Friday 29th April.

Kumanoyu
The Kumanoyu Number 2 pair A and B lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 1st May (mid station to base open).

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All other areas of Shiga Kogen not mentioned above are now closed.

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6 day snow and weather forecasts:

Ichinose Family 6-day snow and weather forecast
Okushiga Kogen 6-day snow and weather forecast
Yokoteyama 6-day snow and weather forecast   Read more ...
 

Zao Now!

Thursday 28th April 2016, 10:28am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
This is my last Zao Now report of the 2015/2016 season.

It has been decided that the last day of the snow season here in Zao will be Saturday 30th April... if the narrow open Chuo area can actually make it until then. It's borderline! I can't say that what is left looks particularly appealing and rain falling is not helping. But if you really must get in that last slide of the season...

It has been a very odd season. And not just here in Zao and Yamagata but it seems in most snow regions of the main island of Honshu. Almost every region of Japan has experienced less snow - and in some cases much less snow - than usual. We expect so much snow and consistent snowfall here that worrying about snow is something that people just simply aren't used to. And of course everyone is hoping that they will not need to be thinking about again next season.

If you want to get a picture of the season as a whole please do read through all of the Zao Now archives below.

I highly recommend that you also read through the archives from previous seasons as well - mainly because this last season has definitely not been 'normal' or 'average' (however you define those terms).

So, here is to a good summer season and then a much more snowy 2016-2017 winter season. It is, after all, what we expect!

I'm confident that's what we will get.

See in back here in late autumn when the Zao Now reports will start up again.

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6 day Zao Onsen snow and weather forecast

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The Zao Ropeway, Sky Cable gondola and Chuo Ropeway are all open throughout the year (apart from specific maintenance periods)   Read more ...
 

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Madarao Now
20th Nov, 13:02pm
Naeba Now
20th Nov, 9:42am
Zao Now
20th Nov, 9:31
Grandeco Now
20th Nov, 9:00
Hakuba Now
20th Nov, 8:55
Shiga Kogen Now
20th Nov, 8:50
Yuzawa Now
20th Nov, 8:29
Niseko Now
20th Nov, 8:20
Furano Now
20th Nov, 8:05
Myoko Now
19th Nov, 10:57am
Nozawa Onsen Now
19th Nov, 9:59
Minakami Now
17th Sep, 10:23
Appi Kogen Now
18th May, 8:33

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