Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 23rd March 2018

Yuzawa Now!

Saturday 3rd March 2018, 7:00am
Weather conditions: Clear blue skies
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa.

There was more light snowfall during the day on and off yesterday and it didn’t really amount to much in terms of new cm, and there was even some sunshine at times in places. It remained quite cold too and didn’t get too far above zero which was a good thing. Visitors for the weekend (and the ski resorts themselves) will be thankful for that delivery of snow after what we got yesterday!

This morning, it is sunshine from the start. A beautiful day is on the cards.

We have been expecting warmer conditions this weekend and it still looks like what we are going to get. By lunchtime it might be as warm as 10C in town as the sun gets to work.

On Sunday the freezing level will zoom right up to around 3500m and we might experience temperatures even above 15C! That’s going to melt some snow and boggle some minds.

Very happily, come Monday it should start getting colder and we might get some fresh. Possibly even heavy snow in higher elevations. That’s more like it!

It’s the 66th Yuzawa Snow Festival in town tonight. If you are interested in checking it out, head over to the West side of the station and follow the people towards Yuzawa Kogen and the Nunoba slopes. Festivities are due to begin at 6pm with fireworks around 8:40pm.

Please note:

The official snow depth info below has not been updated today. Those updates will resume tomorrow.


Images today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Yuzawa IC (Route 17).


Updated: Friday 2nd March February 2018

Ski resorts in Yuzawa:

Checked and updated every morning. Note that some ski resorts may not have updated their own info at the time this report is published.

GALA Yuzawa
- 320cm

- 185cm

- Kagura area: 370cm
- Mitsumata area: 270cm
- Tashiro area: 320cm

Kandatsu Kogen
- 240cm

- 250cm (base)

NASPA Ski Garden
- 220cm

Yuzawa Kogen
- Top: 290cm
- Base: 220cm

Yuzawa Park
- 170cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
- 170cm


Ski resorts in Minamiuonuma (just to the north of Yuzawa):

Ishiuchi Maruyama
- 250cm

Joetsu Kokusai
- 220cm

Maiko Snow Resort
- Top: 240cm
- Base: 130cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- Closed on Wednesdays until 14th March
- 370cm
   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Saturday 3rd March 2018, 7:10am
Weather conditions: It is going to be a fine day
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Nozawa and it is an early report from me today. So, I’m happy that we have settled conditions this morning.

After a few days of rather mixed and sometimes ‘unsettled’ conditions, we got to see some sunshine in the afternoon yesterday – and it was actually pretty nice up there, and I feel there was more fresh snow than the resort actually reported. But there you go.

This morning we have clear skies over the mountain. Early morning so there's still shadows over the slopes but it is going to be a fine day. And as we have been expecting, it’s going to warm up to perhaps close on 10C down at base this afternoon. And then warmer still tomorrow.

Tonight, the ski resort is holding the what they call the ‘Festival of Lights’ at the base Hikage area of the resort. And this is what they say about it:

"There will be a candle and lantern display up by the magic carpet and a large snow stage in the centre of the base area. Starting with a large game of 'Rock, Paper, Scissors', prizes will be on offer for the last player standing! Afterwards, fire dancers will perform an exciting spectacle before the crowd will move to the base of the Hikage Quad slope.

Under the bright floodlights on the piste, our ski school will then showcase the progression of skiing technique and equipment from the 1920's up until today, demonstrating how the skis were used differently throughout the years. Finally the lights will dim and a long line of our torch bearing instructors will snake down the mountain before the evening culminates in a big fireworks display under the night sky.

After the ceremony the grooming machines will park by the beginner area for you to sit in and take pictures!"

So now you know!

“Rock, Paper, Scissors”. Gnarly! ;)

I hope you have a good Saturday, wherever you decide to spend it.


Saturday 3rd March 2018

Fresh snowfall since yesterday (as reported by the resort):

*** Too early for resort updates this morning! ***

- Yamabiko (1407m): -cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): -cm
- Hikage (660m): -cm
- Nagasaka (615m): -cm
- Karasawa (563m): -cm

Official snow depth numbers:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 320cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 255cm
- Hikage (660m): 175cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 170cm
- Karasawa (563m): 135cm

Lifts operations:

- All lifts should be open as planned this morning
- The Yunomine pair, Mizunashi triple, Challenge pair and Utopia pair lifts usually rested on weekdays.

The following courses either closed (or not fully available):

- Grand Prix
- Kandahar   Read more ...

Geto Kogen Now!

Saturday 3rd March 2018, 7:13am
Weather conditions: Mostly sunny
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
Clean up on aisle... everywhere.

It’s been a chaotic couple of days on the mountain here at Geto Kogen. In the past 48 hours we’ve seen some significant heavy rainfall. Yesterday we saw some significant heavy rain, as well we saw winds reach 120km/h, staying high into the evenings with winds still going at a strong 75km/h toward 1am. With the winds this strong, we saw the mountain closed yesterday. But I guess you’ve got to have some rain to see a rainbow, or in this case snow. We also saw some heavy snow falling into the afternoon, so it’s looking up.

Today, fine and dandy by the looks of things — mostly clear skies, tops of 4 degrees and light winds. All lifts should be spinning again tomorrow with the resort back in operation, though keep in mind that with these hectic winds we’re definitely going to be seeing some sparse patches in some areas — particularly A1 toward the top, and any other area with open terrain and a lack of tree cover… Though this also means wind drift — so keep an eye out for those slashable spots…

3 days into the first week of spring and we’ve got some terrifyingly high temps on our way for the weekend. We’ll see some moderate rain come Monday by the looks of things, but with the temps to drop this should turn to snow fairly quickly, with about 30cm to fall by Tuesday morning...

Sunday: mostly sunny, moderate winds & tops of 9C
Monday: some moderate morning rain, turning to heavy snow around lunch time, a light breeze & tops of 4C
Tuesday: snow showers, moderate winds & tops of -4C


Official snow depths:

Top: 505cm
Base: 345cm

Night skiing operations have finished for the season.   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Saturday 3rd March 2018, 7:15am
Weather conditions: Clear
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
There was a great big white moon right over Mt. Myoko early this morning (I guess yesterday was the full moon), and the skies are clear and blue this morning.

Should be pretty warm today, definitely warm tomorrow.

The interesting things happen on Monday, when the freezing level (the 0° point) will fall from an insane 3450 meters to 750, bringing the possibility of heavy snow. In short, the weather is slightly crazy, but it’s been that kind of year.

Only Akakan and Lotte Arai have reported thus far; no change in snow but warmer than yesterday.


Akakura Kanko:
320 cm, -2°

Akakura Onsen:
365cm, -4°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
250cm, -4°

Myoko Suginohara:
215cm, -8°

Seki Onsen:
450 cm, -5°

Myoko Ski Park:
280 cm, -2°

Kyukamura RunRun:
300 cm, -1°

Tangram Ski Circus:
220 cm, -1°

Madarao Kogen:
230 cm, -6°

Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Saturday 3rd March 2018, 7:35am
Weather conditions: Fair blue skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

The spring storm has now passed and it is a beautiful sunny morning.

All lifts and all courses should be open today.

Temperatures are going to rise high, and it will be very warm later and tomorrow.

Waxed gear will be important today.

Have a good one.


Lifts operating:

- All lifts operating

Courses open:

- All courses open

Official snow depth:
- 340cm

- Grandeco snow and weather forecast
   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Saturday 3rd March 2018, 8:48am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy
New snowfall: 25cm
Snow depth: --
The whole resort was a whiteout yesterday with severe winds throughout the day. The double good news is that there is another 25cm of snow at village level and the storm has passed. The gondola is moving, so that should be good to go at the official opening time of 9am. It is warm again, just below zero at the moment and will head up to +2c today. The weather is mainly cloud but plenty of sun is coming through. It will be a good day with lots of fresh snow. Early lifts will be a must do.   Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Saturday 3rd March 2018, 8:50am
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny
New snowfall: 20cm
Snow depth: --
The snowstorm has finally passed, leaving lots of fresh snow with us and blue skies this morning.

It's going to get 'mild' today with temperatures expected to rise into low positive numbers. And tomorrow, warmer still as with what seems like all of Japan. It should be colder sometime on Monday though and while we might see some rain it should be turning into snow and hopefully we'll get another good reset by Tuesday.

Some lift stuff to explain this morning...

The Sailer Gondola is having some technical trouble it would seem and as such isn't moving this morning. Also, the Central Number 4, Sailer quad and Nishimori lifts are also not moving today as the resort copes with the snow after the storm. Hopefully they should be going again tomorrow.


Planned lift operations (subject to change):

- APPI Gondola
- Central quad
- Central number 2 lift
- Central number 3 lift A
- Central number 5 lift
- Central number 6 lift
- Vista quad

Note: The Sailer Gondola, Central Number 4 lift and Vista quad are usually rested on normal weekdays


Official snow depth:

320cm   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Saturday 3rd March 2018, 9:02am
Weather conditions: Bluebired
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba! After a very blustery day yesterday, you will be pleased to hear that the weather has calmed significantly in the Mikuni Valley. Strong winds throughout yesterday scrapped the pistes as bar as they could, revealing ice for those who braved the skiing through into the late afternoon. Overnight, we have had clear skies, leading to a cool start here today at -6°C. The weather is expected to remain stable for the next couple of days, with daytime highs pushing up today to as much as 7°C. These warmer temperatures will melt up any remaining hard pack from yesterday wind scouring meaning there will be spring conditions across the mountain as off around 11am. There will be little wind to note and all lifts are open.

Looking forwards, we still have a variable forecast ahead. Temperatures are expected to rise as high as 13°C in the valley tomorrow, with clear skies and no wind. On Monday, temperatures will push up even further to 14°C, but this is accompanied with a moderate wind which will bring in some moist air from the north west. The will initially fall as rain during Monday afternoon, but rapidly turn to snow overnight, with significant accumulations currently predicted.   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Saturday 3rd March 2018, 9:26am
Weather conditions: Blue skies, clear, sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Beautiful clear blue skies over the region this morning.

And as expected, it's mild. And I think we need to bring out the 'warm' word for tomorrow too (if not today).

Monday is looking interesting. It should be colder and there's snow on the forecast. Quite a bit of it too possibly. That sounds good.

Tree Runs back open and feel-good weather. I am all for making the most of it and enjoying this early spring weekend.


Operating lifts:

Number 1 lift
Number 2 quad lift
Number 3A lift
Super quad lift
Number 11 lift
Number 12 lift
Number 13 lift
Number 15 lift

Powder Wave I
Powder Wave II
River Line
Powder Theater
Free Ride Park
Adventure Aisle
Crystal Bowl

Kids Park

Planned nighta operations this season:

Every Saturday until 24th March 2018   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Saturday 3rd March 2018, 9:51am
Weather conditions: Not a cloud to be seen
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Shiga Kogen.

Not much to say this morning other than --- beautiful weather with blue skies and no clouds.

More of the same expected tomorrow along with warmer still conditions... possibly venturing easily into high single digit numbers, even up here in Shiga Kogen. It'll be positively toasty down in the valleys (with a lot of snow very quickly melting away). So let's just hope it trends lower rather than higher!

I like the look of some forecasts for Monday. They give us a chance of decent/heavy snowfall. Some of that please!


Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:

Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish and we check and update them each morning.



Ichinose Family

Ichinose Diamond




Okushiga Kogen

Sun Valley

Takamagahara Mammoth



260cm   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Saturday 3rd March 2018, 9:55am
Weather conditions: Beautiful blue skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

Beautiful clear blue skies this morning. The Hakuba mountain backdrop is looking stunning.

No fresh snow being reported... rather sun and warmth.

And warm is the word. Just about double digits expected today with a high rising above that tomorrow. It's really going to feel like 'spring'. So let's just make the most of that particular feel-good feeling.

Earlier on some lifts were affected by wind in places, but things seem to generally all be open as normal now.


Ski resort information on Saturday 3rd March 2018 (at time of writing):

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- All lifts now appear to be operating

Courses open:
- All areas open

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 425cm
- Usagidaira: 255cm
- Lower: 115cm


Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- All lifts should be operation as normal today
- The top Alps Number 2/4 pair lifts are scheduled to be open daily until 18th March

Courses open:
- All courses apart from Adventure should be open as normal

Official snow depth:
- Top: 400cm
- Toomi: 140cm
- Iimori: 100cm


Hakuba 47

Operating lifts:
- All lifts should be operation as normal today
- Line D usually operates only when the Gondola is not operating

Courses open:
- All main courses should be available

Official snow depth:
- Top: 350cm
- Base: 150cm


Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts should be operating as normal

Courses open:
- All course areas are open

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori: 360cm
- Han-no-ki: 350cm
- Maruyama: 130cm
- Shirakaba: 280cm
- Champion: 160cm
- Oya-no-hara: 150cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: 155cm


Hakuba Cortina

Operating lifts:
- All lifts should be operating

Courses open:
- Most courses should be open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 350cm
- Base: 205cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

Operating lifts:
- Lifts should be opening as planned

Official snow depth:
- Top: 210cm
- Base: 130cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Number 7 should be operating

Official snow depth:
- 160cm


Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Operating lifts:
- All lifts should be operating

Official snow depth:
- 240cm


Hakuba Sanosaka

Operating lifts:
- All three lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 140cm


Night time skiing (nighta) at resorts in the region - weather & conditions permitting
The below 'nighta' information will not be updated every day - please check with resorts if you plan to go!

Hakuba Happo-one
Daily from 5pm until 9pm in the Nakiyama 2 area
Adults - 2,000 yen; children - 1,200 yen

Hakuba Goryu
Daily from 6pm until 9:30pm in the Toomi area until 31st March
The Sky Four quad operates daily; the Number 2 pair mostly on Saturdays and holidays
Adults - 1,900 yen; children - 850 yen

Hakuba Cortina
Daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays)
Adults - 1,500 yen; children - 1,000 yen

Tsugaike Kogen
Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6pm until 9pm on 3rd, 10th March
Adults - 2,200 yen; children - 1,700 yen

There are no other nighta operations at other ski resorts in the region   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Saturday 3rd March 2018, 10:07am
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Zao.

Fine weather here with lovely blue skies and sunshine.

Good to see the mountain back fully open again after that stormy period.

Tomorrow should also be fine and warmer even than today - very spring like - but things are going to get colder come Monday.

Rain? Snow? Heavy snow? I'll let you know.


Lifts and course info:

- All lifts on standby due to weather conditions
- Note: the Karamatsu pair lift usually only operates on weekends
- All areas open

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 215cm
- Paradise area: 240cm
- Chuo area: 240cm
- Utopia area: 250cm
- Uwanodai area: 165cm
- Oomori area: 180cm


Zao Onsen forecast:

Zao Onsen 6-day snow and weather forecast

Floodlit night skiing is planned as follows:

In the Uwanodai area:
Daily until Sunday 4th March 2018
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 9th March until Sunday 18th March 2018

In the Yokokura area:
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 2nd March until Sunday 11th March 2018

Night time 'light up' sightseeing ropeway is planned for the following dates:

Daily until Sunday 4th March   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Saturday 3rd March 2018, 10:15am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 14cm
Snow depth: --
Oh dear, I'm a bit late this morning aren't I? Gomenasai!

OK so I'll try to get this up as quickly as possible.

14cm of fresh snowfall and happily the worst of that storm has now passed... though it's still quite windy and top lifts are not open at the moment (see below for resort specifics). I reckon there'll be more snow in places, but less in others too so variable conditions. Let me add I have not been out there to check on that yet.

It's mild today and tomorrow milder still. Happily, it won't be as warm as some places to the south of us look set to be. (Yikes!)

I will try to be back to my usual time tomorrow.


Temperatures below are from early morning


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -3℃, 20cm snowfall. Moiwa800m: -6.4℃, SW7.5m/s, large snowdrift development. Annupuri1150m: -9℃, SW15m/s, cornice and snowdrifts development. Hirafu1250m: -10℃, strong NW wind with snowdrifts developing. Benkei cape: WNW16m/s, Kamui cape SW16m/s, 1010hPa, 2.9m waves.

The storm has passed, however the development of the snowdrifts has been drastic in the past 24hours. The course and chair-lift maintenance will take longer than usual. So much snow deposit that the terrain has changed in some areas. The snowpack is starting to stabilize, but 2 uneven bonding and one deeper weak layer (Mar 1st low pressure snow) has been observed in the morning pressure test. The snowpack is relatively stable, however if a slide happens, it could be in a very large scale. The avalanche risk in areas above 800m is high. Gates opening is undetermined, please respect the patrol’s decision.

Avalanches caused by collapsing snowdrifts that developed thick during strong storms are the most terrifying. Many of the accidents occur during and just after storms and most of then could be avoided if all mountain-goers were paying more attention to the recent weather transition.

An avalanche experiment will be undertaken at Mikaeri Bowl this morning. A large slide is expected to occur, please stay away from Moiwa bowl and Mikaeri area. The snow in the trees is dense, but in good condition. Have a nice day.


Saturday 3rd March 2018

Resort specific information (operations subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- Top Ace and King Number 4 lifts and Hanazono Number 3 lift on hold currently due to strong winds

Official snow depth:
- Top: 515cm
- Base: 245cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- Gondola and top Jumbo Number 4 lift on hold currently due to strong winds

Official snow depth:
- Top: 420cm
- Base: 250cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- Top Wonderland Chair lift on hold and Gondola moving at slow speeds currently due to strong winds

Official snow depth:
- Top: 420cm
- Base: 280cm


Floodlit 'nighta' skiing:

Night skiing is planned for every evening at the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri areas. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO area. Ski lifts that are scheduled to be operating for nighta are noted below (subject to change):

* Niseko Grand Hirafu - Ace Family quad, Ace Number 2 quad, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 pair
* Niseko Annupuri - Jumbo Number 1 quad lift
* Niseko Village - Village Express, Upper Village Gondola, Community Chair   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Appi Kogen Now
23rd Mar, 16:13
Myoko Now
23rd Mar, 15:53pm
Madarao Now
23rd Mar, 9:39
Minakami Now
23rd Mar, 9:12
Naeba Now
23rd Mar, 8:14
Grandeco Now
23rd Mar, 8:01
Hakuba Now
23rd Mar, 7:44
Zao Now
23rd Mar, 7:40
Niseko Now
23rd Mar, 7:29am
Nozawa Onsen Now
23rd Mar, 7:24
Shiga Kogen Now
23rd Mar, 7:04
Yuzawa Now
23rd Mar, 6:57
Furano Now
22nd Mar, 7:43
Geto Kogen Now
21st Mar, 7:03