Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 1st May 2017
Sunday 30th April 2017, 7:38am
Clear skies and sunshine
Morning from Yuzawa on this last day of April.
Things got duller during the day yesterday and there was some rain as well, though we missed out on some of the heavier rain and thunderstorms going on a bit to the north in Niigata Prefecture. I wasn't actually in Yuzawa for the afternoon but things were pretty wild in Uonuma and Ojiya at times in the afternoon.
It's looking like today should be a much nicer and calmer day through until evening. It is going to be warmer too with highs of around 25C forecast this afternoon.
Back to rain again tomorrow morning though. Tuesday onwards and the weather should be settled once again.
A fine day for skiing or snowboarding or cherry blossom viewing. (Remember your blue sheet and beer).
There is still excellent snow cover at Kagura and GALA Yuzawa. Things are much more patchy at the lower Kandatsu Kogen resort but it remains open, and Naeba is patchy on lower slopes but you can still ski or board back down to base. More info below.
Resort information as of Sunday 30th 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 remains 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: 140cm
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 - 260cm; Mitsumata - 180cm; Tashiro - 220cm
Kandatsu Kogen Kandatsu Kogen plans to be open until Sunday 7th May. Most courses at Kandatsu Kogen remain open though snow is getting thin on the ground and some parts are narrow. Official snow depth: 110cm
Naeba Naeba plans to be open until Sunday 7th May. Naeba has re-opened for Golden Week period. The Number 2 Gondola and Takenokodaira Romance lift are operating. Courses on lower areas in front of the hotel are narrow but you can still ski or board back down to base. Note that the Dragondola is operating from 9am until 1pm but for sightseeing, not skiing and boarding! Official snow depth: 140cm
All other ski and snowboard resorts in the Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma region are now closed for the season. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Sunday 30th April 2017, 7:47am
Clear and sunny
Good morning from... Tokyo.
Sorry, I'm not in Nozawa this morning so going off reports from a friend and a bit of help from the webcams. And happily, it's an easy morning to report with the sun out and lovely blue skies. It's going to be a fine day and also warming up into the low 20s as well. Sounds like a feel-good morning.
There seems to be a bit of rain on the forecast for tomorrow morning but after that things look like they'll be settled for the main chunk of Golden Week coming up.
Nozawa Onsen will be open until Sunday 7th May.
8 days to go!
Lower slopes are now mostly bare but upper slopes still have an official snow depth of over 2m and excellent snow cover.
Sunday 30th April 2017
Official snow depths: - Yamabiko: 205cm - Uenotaira: 120cm - 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 - Uenotaira Four - Paradise Four - Skyline connecting pair - Yunomine (unconfirmed - the official website seems to be indicating it is open)
Planned lift operations for Golden Week (daily until 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 ...
Sunday 30th April 2017, 8:01am
Fine and clear
Morning from Hakuba.
After some gloomy clouds and a bit of rain yesterday, it's nice to see some beautiful clear skies this morning.
And is that 3cm of new snow being reported by Happo at the top of the Grat quad lift? It sounds like something I need to investigate and what a lovely morning to do that. I'm off out now! Have a great Sunday!
It should be a bit warmer today and temperatures rising into the low 20s, though colder again is what we can expect tomorrow. A clearer run of weather after tomorrow along with some Golden Week-like warmth.
Would be nice to get some proper warmth going now actually... I'm ready for it.
Resort information as of 7:55am on Sunday 30th 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: 120cm Base: 50cm --- 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: 180cm Toomi: 50cm --- Planned operating lifts: Gondola Alps Number 1 pair lift Alps Number 3 pair lift Alps Number 2/4 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 or Sakka Kita-one lifts to get up to the open areas and back down to base. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 85cm Kurobishi: 120cm 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 and Upper Han-no-ki areas remain open. The Lower Han-no-ki and Maruyama areas are part open. All other areas are now closed. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 215cm Han-no-ki: 200cm Shirakaba: 170cm 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 ...
Sunday 30th April 2017, 8:26am
Cloudy, few spots of rain
Hello and good morning from Niseko.
It is a cloudy start to the day with some spots of rain falling in some places, though it looks like it should be moving on quite quickly and not be major.
The skies should be clearer from tomorrow and generally fine weather is expected for the main part of Golden Week (which is the period Wednesday through Sunday). Going to get warmer as well which will be welcome.
Today, only the Jumbo Number 1 quad lift will be operating at Niseko Annupuri and that means just the Family, Paradise and Junior courses will be open... something to do with preparations for lifts being open tomorrow.
Niseko Village are operating their Niseko Gondola over the Golden Week period. The Gondola is operating but the ski courses at Niseko Village are not available - you can take the Gondola up and then walk over to the top area of Niseko Grand Hirafu and ski/board in that area.
A lift ticket that is valid on all ski lifts that are open over Golden Week is available. It costs 3,800 yen for adults and 3,100 yen for children.
Upcoming national holidays:
- 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)
Individual resort information: Sunday 30th 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 or Gondola back down to base.
Official snow depth: Top - 200cm Base - 0cm
Courses that remain open (checked daily with each report): Detour for beginners Shirakaba Center Large Rinkan Jumbo Dynamic
Planned operating lifts: King Number 3 (8:40am until 4:30pm) King Number 4 (8:50am until 4:30pm) Ace Number 2 Center Four (8:30am until 4:00pm) * to get up to and back down from open courses * Gondola (8:30am until 4:00pm) * to get up to and back down from open courses *
Niseko Annupuri Niseko Annupuri plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May.
Official snow depth: Top - 160cm Base - 10cm
Courses that are open today Paradise Family Junior
Planned operating lifts: Annupuri Gondola (CLOSED TODAY ONLY - BACK OPEN TOMORROW) Jumbo Number 1 Jumbo Number 4 (CLOSED TODAY ONLY - BACK OPEN TOMORROW)
It is a very (relatively) warm morning too. The snow depth will take a hit with the temperatures today for sure.
The Gondola and No.3 lift are moving and 85% of course is open in Grandeco.
One more ski hill that is open in this area is Nekoma. The Oguni No.1B lift in Nekoma is moving from 5:55 (exactly!) during the Golden Week (until 7 May). It's good to feel the early morning snow condition, if you can get up early enough!
It is warm today so many people will be out enjoying the skiing wearing short sleeves, but don't forget to protect your elbows and skin from injury and the strong sunshine too.
- 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.
Here we go into the last week of the 2016-2017 season!
I was going to report yesterday, but the weather looked pretty changeable. Which turned out to be true. It was very nice early in the morning, but things changed very quickly from noon or so, with wind, sometimes heavy rain and thunder and lightning. And I even got a phone call just after the lunch hour from someone up at the hut below Mt. Hicuhi (just to the northwest of Mt. Myoko) reporting a blizzard up high. 15cm or so of fresh snow, and powder skiing. No, I won't add the new stuff from 1,800 meters up to the total for the season.
Looks like a great day today; maybe some rain tomorrow but then rain for the rest of the week.
The snow is disappearing, no doubt about it, but there still is enough to have a lot of fun our there!