Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 16th December 2017

Yuzawa Now!

Friday 28th April 2017, 8:12am
Weather conditions: Sun, blue sky, cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa.

The sun is out at the moment and above Yuzawa there's a mix of cloud and blue sky.

As you can see from the Ishiuchi Maruyama webcam looking north (third image below), there's quite a lot of cloud around the valley but we are expecting clearer skies during the day today and temperatures rising to around 16-17C in town.

Should be a fine day.

It looks like there is a chance of some rain tomorrow and clearer conditions for Sunday, so keep an eye on the forecast if you plan to be around this weekend.

---

There is still excellent snow cover at Kagura and GALA Yuzawa as we head into Golden Week. Things are much more patchy at the lower Kandatsu Kogen but it remains open.

The Naeba resort will be re-opening once again from tomorrow, and be open through until 7th May. The snow is patchy on lower slopes but there's decent snow cover up top there too.

Not bad at all for the end of April!

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Tomorrow is the first day of the Golden Week period. My friend up in Niseko wrote it well and I hope they don't mind me copying...

Golden Week

What exactly is Golden Week?

It's basically a bunch of national holidays and here is the line-up for this year:

- Saturday 29th April is Showa Day (the birthday of Emperor Showa)
- Wednesday 3rd May is Constitution Day (Kenpo-kinenbi)
- Thursday 4th May is Greenery Day (Midori-no-hi)
- Friday 5th May is Children's Day (Kodomo-no-hi)

That means that from Wednesday next week until the end of the following weekend, there is a run of five days of holidays for many people. Add in the upcoming weekend and that's your 'Golden Week'. Some lucky folk might take next Monday and Tuesday off work as well, giving them a full 9 days. Nice!

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Resort information as of Friday 28th April 2017

Subject to change depending on snow and weather conditions.

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 closed - use the Gondola to get back down to base.
Official snow depth: 150cm

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 - 200cm; Tashiro - 240cm

Kandatsu Kogen
Kandatsu Kogen plans to be open until Sunday 7th May.
Most courses at Kandatsu Kogen remain open - but snow is getting thin on the ground.
Official snow depth: 120cm

Naeba
Naeba is closed today but plans to re-open from 29th April until 7th May.

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All other ski and snowboard resorts in the Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma region are now closed for the season.   Read more ...
 

Niseko Now!

Friday 28th April 2017, 8:31am
Weather conditions: Mostly clear blue skies, some cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning Niseko fans. Still with me? :) Thank you! Just nine more reports to go this season.

The sun is out this morning and it's mostly blue skies with just a bit of cloud here and there. A lovely morning, though perhaps there is some rain coming our way before the end of the day.

It appears that Niseko Annupuri are being a bit coy with updated information the last few days, taking the daily update regarding courses that remain open off the official website. Which seems a little bit naughty if you ask me. (If I'm wrong on that score, please do let me know where the info is folks). Anyway I am going to make sure that is updated for my report tomorrow even if it means me going over there and knocking on the office door.

Whatever, the snow has been rapidly disappearing from the base areas which are now looking rather bare - check the webcam images from Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Annupuri below.

Hirafu still have an 'official snow depth' of over 2m though; things keeping relatively cool has perhaps slowed down melt higher up.

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Golden Week

But what exactly is Golden Week?

It's basically a bunch of national holidays and here is the line-up for this year:

- Saturday 29th April is Showa Day (the birthday of Emperor Showa)
- Wednesday 3rd May is Constitution Day (Kenpo-kinenbi)
- Thursday 4th May is Greenery Day (Midori-no-hi)
- Friday 5th May is Children's Day (Kodomo-no-hi)

That means that from Wednesday next week until the end of the following weekend, there is a run of five days of holidays for many people. Add in the upcoming weekend and that's your 'Golden Week'. Some lucky folk might take next Monday and Tuesday off work as well, giving them a full 9 days. Nice!

As well as the Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Annupuri ski resort areas remaining open until Sunday 7th May, the Niseko Village part of the mountain will also be operating their Niseko Gondola from Saturday. Their Gondola will be operating but their ski courses will not be open - from the top of the Niseko Gondola, after a bit of a walk you can be skiing at the courses that remain open at the Niseko Grand Hirafu area. A lift ticket that is valid at all of the open resorts and ski lifts that are open over Golden Week is available and costs 3,800 yen for adults and 3,100 yen for children.

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Individual resort information: Friday 28th 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 - 220cm
Base - 0cm

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 **

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Niseko Annupuri
Niseko Annupuri plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May.

Official snow depth:
Top - 170cm
Base - 10cm (really?!)

Courses that remain open (*** note: unconfirmed - this info has not been updated for two days ***):
Champion
Shirakaba
Utopia
Paradise
'S' Ji
Silver
Family
Junior

Planned operating lifts:
Annupuri Gondola
Jumbo Number 1
Jumbo Number 4

---

Niseko HANAZONO Resort has closed for the season.   Read more ...
 

Grandeco Now!

Friday 28th April 2017, 8:35am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

There was a little rain last night but it is just cloudy early this morning.

It should be sunny by this afternoon if the forecast is right.

Because of the decreasing snow depth, the Lavender 28 and Melissa - both advanced courses - will have to be closed in a few days. So go enjoy those courses while you still can.

For people wanting to see sakura cherry blossom trees in this region, go to Aizu Wakamatsu or Kitakata city. The sakura blooms in Inawashiro should be with us in early May this year.

---

Lifts information:

- Gondola
- Number 3 quad lift

Courses open:

85% courses now open.
Lavender A, Mint B and Center 33 course are closed.
The Snow Parks are now closed.

Official snow depth:
Top: 180cm
Base: 80cm

Road Condition to Grandeco:
Dry, no snow   Read more ...
 

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Friday 28th April 2017, 8:45am
Weather conditions: Lots of blue sky, some cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Nozawa.

It's a fine morning. The sun is out and there's lots of blue sky and some nice looking fluffy clouds.

Things usually start warming up proper over Golden Week and it looks like Saturday might be the day when things start getting warmer. Fine weather forecast for the weekend.

---

Nozawa Onsen will be open until Sunday 7th May.

10 days to go!

Upper slopes still with an official snow depth of over 2m.

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Friday 28th April 2017

Official snow depths:
- Yamabiko: 210cm
- Uenotaira: 135cm
- Base areas: 0cm

Planned operations - see above report for any disruptions to the plans!

Planned lift operations today:
- Nagasaka Gondola
- Yamabiko Four
- Yamabiko Number 2 Four

Planned open courses today:
- Yamabiko A
- Yamabiko C
- Yamabiko D
- Yamabiko E
- Kokenashi
- Uenotaira
- Paradise
- Bunabayashi
- Rinkan

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Planned lift operations for Golden Week (29th April - 7th May):

Nagasaka Gondola - 8:10am until 3:30pm
Yamabiko Number 2 Four lift - 8:25am until 3:30pm
Yamabiko Four lift - 8:30am until 3:20pm
Uenotaira Four lift - 8:30am until 3:30pm
Paradise Four lift - 8:30am until 3:40pm
Skyline connecting pair - 8:25am until 3:50pm (** this lift not operating on 1st, 2nd May)   Read more ...
 

Hakuba Now!

Friday 28th April 2017, 8:48am
Weather conditions: Lots of sunny blue skies, some cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning to you all from Hakuba.

It's a beauty of a morning.

Lovely blue skies and just a few small fluffy white clouds.

Fine weather is forecast for the weekend, with temperatures rising come Sunday.

The official village site has got the sakura webcam going as the trees in the village come to life and look ever so pretty.

It may be sad that the snow is disappearing and the season is coming to a close, but it is at the same time a lovely time of the year.

It's nearly time for a re-charge, which I'm looking forward to.

Golden Week starts from tomorrow with the main part from Wednesday next week.

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Resort information as of 8:50am on Friday 28th 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:
Almost all of the courses at Hakuba 47 remain open.
A bit of walking is needed on the lower part of Route 7, but you can still ride down using Route 1.
The Tree Riding Zone gates are closed for the season.
Official snow depth:
Upper: 130cm
Base: 60cm
---
Planned operating lifts:
All lifts plan to be operating
---
Hakuba 47 plans to be open until Sunday 7th May.

Hakuba Goryu:
The upper areas remain open.
The Champion Expert Course is now closed.
The lower (and now extremely narrow) Toomi course can be used to get back down to base.
Official snow depth:
Alps: 185cm
Toomi: 50cm
---
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:
The upper areas that remain open are Riesen Grat, Usagidaira, Kurobishi, Panorama and Skyline.
All of the 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: 85cm
Kurobishi: 130cm
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:
The upper Tsuga-no-mori, Han-no-ki and Maruyama areas remain open.
All other areas, including the base areas, are now closed.
Official snow depth:
Tsuga-no-mori: 215cm
Han-no-ki: 200cm
Shirakaba: 190cm
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.

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All other ski and snowboard resorts in the area are now closed for the season.   Read more ...
 

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Niseko Now
16th Dec, 13:51pm
Appi Kogen Now
16th Dec, 10:02
Naeba Now
16th Dec, 9:50am
Shiga Kogen Now
16th Dec, 9:44
Hakuba Now
16th Dec, 9:39
Yuzawa Now
16th Dec, 9:23am
Madarao Now
16th Dec, 9:11
Nozawa Onsen Now
16th Dec, 8:42
Myoko Now
16th Dec, 8:17am
Grandeco Now
16th Dec, 8:16
Zao Now
16th Dec, 8:03
Furano Now
16th Dec, 8:00
Geto Kogen Now
16th Dec, 7:45
Minakami Now
14th Dec, 8:34

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