Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 15th December 2017
Monday 4th April 2016, 7:15am
Update at 3pm:
Kandatsu Kogen have announced that tomorrow (Tuesday 5th April) will be their last day of the season.
Original morning report:
Good morning from Yuzawa.
It's a wet and cloudy morning here and after yesterday when temperatures shot up to above 20 degrees during the day, it is going to be a much cooler day today with temperatures actually dropping this morning after a warm overnight. Hopefully the rain won't last too long and we'll end up with a just cloudy afternoon.
Sun and slightly warmer (but not as warm as yesterday) conditions are forecast for tomorrow.
From today we are left with just three resorts open in Yuzawa - Kandatsu Kogen, GALA Yuzawa and Kagura. Their planned closing dates are mentioned below - do keep in mind though that they might not be able to manage to remain open as per the original plans with the lower snow bases and warm conditions. We shall see, and we'll update the report each day with any news.
Tomorrow's Yuzawa Now report may appear late in the day due to some more background technical maintenance work being done on the server - apologies in advance.
Resorts that remain open in Yuzawa (Monday 4th April 2016):
GALA Yuzawa GALA Yuzawa resort plans to be open until Sunday 8th May. Five of the six courses in the Central Area and one course in the Northern Area currently remain open. The downhill Falcon course back to the Cowabunga base is now closed. Official snow depth: 100cm
Kagura The Tashiro Ropeway plans to be open until 8th May. The Kagura area via Mitsumata Ropeway plans to be open until 29th May. All areas currently remain open apart from the Gondola east course and the downhill course back to Mitsumata car park which is now closed. Official snow depth: Kagura area - 220cm Tashiro area - 190cm Mitsumata area - 160cm
Kandatsu Kogen Kandatsu will be open until tomorrow, Tuesday 5th April. There is now no snow at the resort base area - a free shuttle bus takes people from the base up to close to the still-operating Ikenodaira quad lift. Official snow depth: 55-75cm
Resorts that are not listed below are now closed for the season.
Drizzly rain this morning I'm afraid but hopefully it will be sunny again tomorrow.
Yesterday was warm and fine for the last day of the season for a handful of resort areas. Things are more limited from today with some resorts hoping to be open through until May, and others now just opening on weekends. Details below.
From now I plan to post a few Shiga Kogen reports each week through into Golden Week in early May.
Remember to keep your eye on the 6-day forecasts - below...
Planned late season dates for Shiga Kogen resort areas:
Please note that the below dates are all subject to change and of course dependant on snow conditions (and there's less snow than usual this season). We'll try to keep this up-to-date with every new report.
Takamagahara Mammoth The quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only until 28th April).
Tannenomori Okojo The quad lift is closed this week but plans to be operating again on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th April.
Ichinose Family The Ichinose quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Ichinose Number 2 pair B lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May.
Terakoya The Terakoya lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only until 28th April).
Ichinose Diamond The Ichinose Diamond quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only until 28th April).
Okushiga Kogen The Okushiga Kogen Number 6 pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 24th April. The Okushiga Kogen Number 2 and 3 pair lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Okushiga Kogen Number 4 pair lift plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only until 28th April). The Okushiga Kogen Gondola lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May.
Kumanoyu The Kumanoyu Number 2 pair A and B lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Kumanoyu Number 3 quad lift plans to be operating on 9th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 23rd, 24th April and from 29th April until 8th May.
Yokoteyama & Shibutoge The Yokoteyama Number 1 Sky A and B lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May. The Yokoteyama Number 2 and 3 Sky lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 8th May (and perhaps beyond depending on snow conditions). The Yokoteyama Number 4 pair lift plans to be operating until Thursday 5th May. The Shibutoge lift plans to be operating until Sunday 8th May (and perhaps beyond depending on snow conditions).
All other areas of Shiga Kogen not mentioned above are now closed.
Good morning from Niseko and what we can probably call 'the last part of the season', though if they have their way there might be a full month left to go.
The Niseko Hanazono and Niseko Village resort areas are now closed - though the latter plans to re-open just for Golden Week, details below - so we are left with just the Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Annupuri resorts remaining open now. Both are still offering top to bottom open courses.
Happily the rain of yesterday is now a memory and while there is still a lot of cloud around this morning, there is some blue sky and clearer conditions are expected and a high of around 8C here at base later on.
More sun is due through the coming week. And is that the chance of some fresh snow due as we enter next weekend? Yes, please!
(Please note that while I will be writing my report tomorrow at the normal time, it may not appear until late in the day due to some technical maintenance work being done. Apologies!)
Resort specific lift opening news at time of posting:
Resort operations - subject to change due to snow and weather conditions
Niseko Grand Hirafu resort area lift operations: Ace Family Pair - until 10th April Ace Number 2 Center Four Quad Ace Number 3 Pair Ace Number 4 Pair Holiday Number 1 Pair - until 10th April
The resort is going to be 'upgrading' the King Number 3 triple lift in time for next season - as part of this work the Hirafu Gondola, King Number 3 and 4 lifts have all now closed for the 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 but plans to be open again for Golden Week from Friday 29th April until Thursday 5th May.
After the mostly cloudy but warm weather of yesterday, it's raining this morning both here at base and up top too, as we expected really. Expect some soft snow conditions this morning but temperatures not to be quite as warm as yesterday.
It doesn't look like it's going to really belt it down with rain, but waterproofs recommended. Hopefully the rain will ease off later on early afternoon.
Tomorrow and Wednesday should see a return to sunny skies before more rain due on Thursday.
Just a quick note - tomorrow's report may appear late in the day.
Resort news as of 8:40am on Monday 4th April 2016 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Most courses at Hakuba 47 remain open. The lower part of R1 course has now closed - but the resort is still open top to bottom. Beginners are recommended to use the Gondola to get back to base. The Tree Riding Zone is now closed for the season. Official snow depth: Upper: 150cm Base: 40cm
Hakuba Goryu: The top area of Goryu remains open except Champion Expert course. The lower main Toomi run remains open, but just as a way to get back to base; the Iimori area is closed. Official snow depth Alps: 206cm Toomi: 45cm Iimori: -cm
Hakuba Happo-one: The lower areas of the resort - apart from Nakiyama South - are now closed. Upper mountain courses remain open. To get back down from the upper areas either ski down to Nakiyama South (not suitable for beginners) or get the Gondola back to base. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 120cm Nakiyama: 30cm
Tsugaike Kogen: The Tsuga-no-mori, Upper Han-no-ki, (part of) Lower Han-no-ki and (part of) Oya-no-hara remain open. The top Tsugaike Ropeway is also now open for spring season (note: extra charge required). Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 176cm Maruyama: -cm Kane-no-naru-oka: -cm
Due to the heavy rain this morning, the resort has decided that Melissa, Basil and the lower part of Rainbow 3500 courses will close from tomorrow (Tuesday). Deco land will also close from tomorrow for a re-arrange, with plans to re-open from Saturday.
Original morning report
Unfortunately, Grandeco has endured heavy rainfall from last night.
This morning the rain is still falling and it's heavy rain at times. Not the nicest of conditions! Might be better to wear a rain suit than ski wear today.
The rain should (hopefully) clear this afternoon and it will be sunny once again tomorrow.
Some courses are closed but the 4000m long run remains open. For beginners to intermediates, take the gondola, #1 and #2 lift. For the more advanced courses, take the #3 lift.
All lakes around Urabandai were covered with ice during the winter but the ice has disappeared now.
Grandeco will continue on with the season until the snow has disappeared from the slopes.
Lift 4 has closed for the season, but all of the other lifts and Gondola remain operating
Courses open except
[B-b] Mint [D-a] Lavender [G] Lavender 28 [H] Center 33
Resorts that remain open in the region are Grandeco, Nekoma and Minowa. Nekoma will be closed between 19th-21st and 26th-28 April but these resorts all plan to be open until 5th May ---- whether they can do that or not will totally depend on the snow levels of course, which are less than usual and less than expected. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Monday 4th April 2016, 9:18am
Hello from Nozawa.
It's really not a very nice morning unfortunately with rain falling here in the village and more importantly up at the top of the resort as well. Lots of cloud and fog around in places too.
Let's hope it clears by this afternoon.
Sunny skies are forecast for tomorrow and Wednesday with rain due back on Thursday. I don't think we'll be seeing any more snow this season.
From today, it's just most of the upper half of the mountain that remains open with all lower courses and lifts now closed and increasingly bereft of snow. There's still 8000m of course up there to enjoy though. Lift and course information is updated below.
Cheaper lift tickets are also available from today until the end of the season:
Adults: 3700 yen Children: 1700 yen Seniors: 2900 yen
When will the end of the season be?
The resort is still talking 8th May... but with that still being over a month away and the snow base we have, it seems overly optimistic. This time last year there was 330cm of snow officially up on Yamabiko - today it is exactly one third of that. I'll let you know of any news that I hear.
From now until the end of the season the Nozawa Now reports will be posted at least a few times a week.
Official info at time of writing on Monday 4th April 2016 (subject to change):
It's warm and it's wet. It's cloudy and foggy in places. It's basically not a very nice morning.
If you are out on the mountain though, your choice of courses has decreased from today. It's mostly an 'upper areas only' situation now, with the only lower area still part open being the Uwanodai.
Some lifts came to a rest for the season yesterday, including it seems a few that were planning on continuing on further but decided to call it a day. (It would be nice if the resort were clearer about these things, finding the information is not exactly easy!)
I have done my best to check and update the information as it is available below.
We're expecting a return to clearer and sunny skies tomorrow and Wednesday before more rain comes in around Thursday.
The season lasting for another month seems very optimistic.
I will continue to update Zao Now until the end of the snow season and plan to post perhaps two or three reports each week.
Information as of Monday 4th April 2016 (subject to change)
Planned closing dates of lifts at Zao Onsen (subject to change due to snow conditions)
Open until Sunday 10th April: Mikaeri pair lift (* unconfirmed, weekend only?)
Open until Thursday 5th May (*some not daily): Chuo Number 1 pair lift AB Chuo Number 2 pair lift AB (* Sat/Sun and holidays only) Katakai triple lift (* Sat/Sun and holidays only) Paradise pair AB lift (* Sat/Sun and holidays only) Utopia Number 2 pair lift
The Zao Ropeway, Sky Cable gondola and Chuo Ropeway are all open throughout the year (apart from specific maintenance periods)
Lifts not mentioned in the above list have closed for the season. Read more ...
Monday 4th April 2016, 9:28am
Fantastic weekend up here and a lot of very high level snowboarding got done up on the Minakami Vibes bowl. Honshu pros everywhere and they were all going for it.
The weather held for the whole weekend too which was a big relief.
The rain forecast has come in this morning and it's moderate but continues to sock it down. Hopefully it leaves the bowl intact for people to ride tomorrow and Wednesday which look like seeing decent weather.
Thursday and Friday are forecast to be rainy.
Yesterday was the last day of the season for Minakami Kogen Ski Resort.
Today is going to be the last day of the season for Minakami Hodaigi.
Just Tenjindaira and Minakami Hodaigi remain (at least part) open as of today. All other resorts in Minakami are now closed.
Well the weekend is over and we’ve lost some base layer.
Right now its 2 degrees outside my door with light rain falling. Not much wind today thankfully.
Things should improve over the next few days with sunny skies forecast tomorrow and Wednesday. Unfortunately temperatures on most of the mountain will be in the positive range meaning more of what we have still will be melting away.
Last night did bring a sprinkling of snow but it’s already turned to a slushy mess outside. More rain may be coming our way on Thursday too so if you’re desperate for a few quick runs then I think you’ve got the best of it now.
The resort have officiailly announced that Sunday 10th April will be the last day of the season at Appi Kogen, which is somewhat sooner than planned but rather inevitable given the amount of snow that has been left.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - Number 3 lift B - Number 4 lift
Sunday was a day with plenty of seasonal variation, with a light layer of fresh snow on the ground in the morning and then the rain that was promised came through. After that the day fined up nicely.
This morning is another nice cool spring morning with good clear conditions in the sky. Temperatures haven't frozen overnight so the snow will be soft from early morning. The Furano Zone still has plenty of snow cover and is skiable from top to base.
There is a small amount of snow on the forecast for Tuesday evening and possibly rain on Thursday evening. Read more ...