Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 7th May 2017

Kiroro Now!

Wednesday 4th February 2015, 7:29am
Weather conditions: High Cloud
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 270cm
Wow what a day out there yesterday.

"This is the deepest powder I have ever ridden" was overheard mulitple times whilst out and about, along with "Best day of the season so far". And those claims are pretty well accurate too, the snow out there was just incredible!!

The best part was it never stopped snowing through the day, and it has lightly snowed overnight, 10cm to be precise so not exactly a huge dump but it will definitely be enough to give a decent covering. There certainly wont be any shortage of fresh snow out there today either!

Even better news is that the wind has dropped right off, and the forecast is even saying it may clear up enough that we see some sun at some stage today! How spectacular will that be, riding pow and soaking up some sunshine thats a winning combination right there.

Once again it is still cold out there, however if the sun pops out it may warm up slightly.

Today is another day not to miss out on, so if you werent up here yesterday dont make the same mistake again!!    Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Wednesday 4th February 2015, 7:40am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, clearing
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: 295cm
* 8:30am update below

Light snow on and off during the day yesterday, but not much in terms of new cm... 2cm actually here, and right now very light snow is lazily falling from the sky with the forecsst for the day being just cloudy conditions and more of the same tomorrow as well.

It feels and looks like it might clear up and be quite bright today actually.

Not a whole lot of snow forecast until Sunday really going into early next week. Temperatures should remain generally low though and so snow conditions should keep good.

Below are two photos taken yesterday in the Ishiuchi area just to the north of Yuzawa, some of those impressive walls of snow on the side of the roads. Fairly typical scenes at the moment.


8:30am update - clouds clearing, more blue sky and the sun coming out!


Official snow depths:

GALA Yuzawa:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Joetsu Kokusai:
Kandatsu Kogen:
Maiko Snow Resort:
380cm (upper)
300cm (lower)
NASPA Ski Garden:
Yuzawa Kogen:
320cm (Kogen)
260cm (Nunoba)
Yuzawa Nakazato:


Nighta in the area

Nighta 'night skiing' - where some slopes are floodlit for skiing and snowboarding in the evening - is available at the following resorts in the area.

Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Every day until 21st March (until 8:50pm)
Every day until 22nd March (until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays, 9pm on Saturdays)
Joetsu Kokusai:
Every day until 22nd March (until 9pm)
Kandatsu Kogen:
From 23rd January, 'all night' on Fridays and Saturdays (6pm or 10pm until 4am the next morning)
Maiko Snow Resort:
Every day until 14th March (until 8pm)
Every day until 29th March (until 9pm)
All night on 17th January; 14th February and 14th March (10pm until 6am)
NASPA Ski Garden (skiers only):
Saturdays until 29th February (until 7pm)
Yuzawa Nakazato:
Saturdays until 14th March (until 8:30pm)

Chateaux Shiozawa also have nighta but only on certain days - no fixed schedule available.
Resorts not mentioned above do not operate 'nighta' (or do not plan to have more this season).
Some resorts offer tickets that include nighta, others need a special lift ticket.


Ski and snowboard resorts in Yuzawa town

   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Wednesday 4th February 2015, 7:50am
Weather conditions: Cloud, clearer skies expected
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: 370cm
Morning from Hirafu.

Just a fairly thin layer of snow since yesterday - that early snowfall didn't really end up amounting to much in the end. Likely more higher up than down here of course. Light snowfall has been easing off this morning with clearer conditions now expected during the day today. So we might get some sunshine and clear skies today and tomorrow as well. Temperatures will hopefully remain in negative numbers. Looks like the wind isn't going to be a problem and there should be a calmer feel to proceedings over the next few days.

That should be nice, but what about the snow?

Well, look towards later in the day on Saturday for the start of what might potentially be a very decent snowfall coming out way.


Anyone see the piece that NHK TV did last night after the 7pm news about the increase in popularity of backcountry in Japan? I didn’t know that it was going to be - would have mentioned in advance if I had, so sorry about that.

With more people going out of bounds – and sadly in many cases without the knowledge and equipment needed to be safe - there has been an increase in unfortunate accidents, and even fatalities this season down in Nagano and Niigata.

As well as giving some background to the situation and appeal of backcountry, they mentioned the Niseko Rules and gate system as a success story in avoiding fatalities since it started. They also showed Shinya-san up there at 5am in the morning checking on the snow and safety situation, making the decisions about gate openings, and him and his colleagues out there taking the time to communicate with folk venturing out of the gates. Otsukaresama deshita to all involved.


Resort specific news as of 8:30am - subject to change during the day

Niseko Grand Hirafu:
Looks set to open as planned this morning.

Niseko Hanazono:
Looks set to open as planned this morning.

Niseko Village:
Looks set to open as planned this morning.
'Early Morning Gondola' on Saturday (7th) and Sunday (8th) for 1300 yen, Gondola open from 7:30am until 8:30am.

Niseko Annupuri:
Looks set to open as planned this morning.


Niseko Avalanche Report

Niseko base 6am: -6C, light snowfall in the past 12 hours. Moiwa 800m: NNW10m/s, 5cm snowfall with 40cm snowdrift development. Annupuri 1150m: N10m/s, -12C, large development of snowdrifts. Hirafu ridge: strong northerly wind, -13C, light development of snowdrifts. Coastal data: Benkei cape NE10m/s, Kamui cape E4m/s, 1022hPa, 1.3m waves.

Intermittent northerly gusts continue above 800m. Cornices and snowdrifts are growing large in western areas above 800m. According to observation and snowfall transition, the snowpack is stabilizing, however avalanches are still likely to occur in heavy snowdrift loaded slopes such as 900m Osawa cornice slopes, Kozan no sawa (Backbowl). DO NOT traverse under cornices, it will trigger a slide. Hard-slabs slides triggered by collapsing crust layer are also to be expected in Higashi-One cornice slopes. A thin slide can easily carry a person all the way down to the bottom of the valley. Peak gates 2 & 3 are scheduled to open. Listen to the ski patrol’s instruction before stepping out of the gates. Avalanches are natural occurrences, they only become an accident when a human being is involved in it. Better not underestimate the consequences, always think safety first. Niseko respects the freedom to ride the out of bounds area, however is also deeply concerned about all users’ safety. The snow in the tree is mostly reset and in good condition. Have a nice day.


Official resort snow depths:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 370cm
Base - 125cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 280cm
Base - 180cm

Niseko Annupuri:
Top - 280cm
Base - 170cm


Lifts open for night skiing (planned):

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift

Niseko Hanazono Resort
No night skiing at the Hanazono area

Niseko Village
Community Chair and Banzai Chair

Niseko Annupuri
Jumbo Number 1 Quad


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

Hakuba Now!

Wednesday 4th February 2015, 8:05am
Weather conditions: Clear, blue skies, sunny. Cracker!
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 170cm
Hello and good morning from Hakuba and it's one of those easier days to report on.

No new to report from around the valley, but it's another cracker of a morning. Bright blue skies all round and the sun shining down on us. It was much cloudier when I got up a few hours ago, but cleared up very quickly and now there's hardly any clouds around at all. Beautiful morning.

Which is all well and good of course but we could do with a good delivery of light snow to freshen things up. Maybe some snow tomorrow into Friday but more promising looking is due on Sunday into early next week. Could be a decent dump lined up there.

It's keeping cold which is good, hopefully the sun won't warm things up too much. High of around 0C forecast for today and tomorrow daytime.


Official snow depth numbers and operations at time of writing on Wednesday 4th February 2015. Subject to change during the day:

Hakuba Goryu:
Reporting 0cm of new snowfall.
All courses planned to be open (except Adventure Course).

- Alps Daira - 290cm
- Toomi - 170cm
- Iimori - 170cm


Hakuba 47:
Reporting 0cm of new snowfall.
Tree Riding Zone is open.

- Upper - 295cm
- Lower - 175cm


Reporting 0cm of fresh snow at Usagidaira.
Happo Banks The Snow Park is now open.

- Usagidaira - 320cm
- Nakiyama - 170cm
- Sakka - 170cm


Hakuba Cortina:
Reporting 0cm of new snowfall.
Open as planned this morning.

- Upper - 430cm
- Lower - 260cm


Tsugaike Kogen:
Uma-no-se and Forest courses not open first thing this morning.
Please note that the top Tsugaike Ropeway only opens for spring season.

- Tsuga-no-mori - 345cm
- Maruyama - 195cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka - 215cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.

- Upper - 260cm
- Lower - 155cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.

- 285cm


All areas now open.

- 200cm


Night skiing at resorts in the Hakuba area:

Hakuba Goryu:
Toomi area every day until 31st March. 6pm until 9:30pm.
Hakuba Happo-one:
Nakiyama area every day until mid March. 5pm until 9pm.
Hakuba Cortina:
Every day until 31st March. 5pm until 8pm.
Tsugaike Kogen:
Kane-no-naru-oka on Saturdays in January; February 7th, 14th. 6pm until 8:50pm.
Karamatsu-Shirakaba on Saturdays in January; February 7th, 14th, 28th; Saturdays in March. 6pm until 9pm.
Every day until 15th March. 4:30pm until 9:30pm.   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Wednesday 4th February 2015, 8:08am
Weather conditions: Early morning low cloud, blue skies above
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: 290cm
Few cm of snow on the mountain since yesterday (up to 10cm higher up, just a bit lower down) and mixed weather conditions at 8am this morning. Cloudy low down and higher up too (fog) with some clearer conditions mid mountain. I think the cloud will clear up this morning and the sun break through for a fine day. That's what the forecast says and it feels like that's what will happen today.

Maybe some light snow at times Friday but other than that generally calm and fine weather through until Sunday. Temperatures might be nudging into positive (but low) numbers over the next few days down at village level but remaining firmly in the negative up top.

Next snow storm looks set to arrive over Nozawa sometime Sunday.


Fresh snow to report this morning since yesterday afternoon:

Yamabiko - 5cm
Uenotaira - 8cm
Hikage - 2cm
Nagasaka - 2cm
Karasawa - 2cm

Official snow depths:

Yamabiko - 430cm
Uenotaira - 395cm
Hikage - 280cm
Nagasaka - 270cm
Karasawa - 235cm


Courses open:

All courses are open except:

Grand Prix course
Jumping Course
Challenge 39


Lifts open (subject to change):

All lifts operating except:

Yunomine pair
Mizunashi triple
Challenge pair
Utopia pair
Hikage Number 2 Pair B line


Night skiing at Nozawa until 8pm on the following dates:

Every Saturday until 28th March


Nozawa Onsen 6 day weather and snow forecast
Nozawa Onsen main resort data
   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Wednesday 4th February 2015, 8:13am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy, more blue sky showing
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 290cm
Morning. No fresh cm of snow this morning, rather a day of fine weather in store.

Some cloud this morning but looks like it's quickly dispersing leaving us with lots of blue sky.

It's a cold morning and fingers crossed will keep chilly for the day.

Next snow? Next decent snow is forecast for late weekend and early week.


Lifts planned to be open:

Number 1 lift
Number 2 quad lift
Number 3A
Number 5
Super quad lift
Number 11 lift
Number 12 lift
Number 13 lift
Number 15 lift
Moving Walkway
Kids Park
Freeride Park
Tree Run Courses should be open today.

Night skiing at Madarao is every Saturday until 21st March 2015.


Madarao Kogen 6 day weather and snow forecast
Madarao Kogen main resort data
   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Wednesday 4th February 2015, 8:43am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, sunny spells
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: 260cm
Good morning from Naeba.

We have a very fine layer of fresh snow this morning (between 2-5cms). The sun is currently trying to poke its head out and looking like it might succeed as the day continues, with blue skis forcast! The wind has dropped right down allowing all lifts to be open at Naeba today.

It is currently cold (-5) and cloudy this morning.

All lifts are open at Naeba today currently, weather permitting.

The Dragondola over to Tashiro/Kagura is open and all lifts are open at Tashiro and Kagura.

It’s definitely a day to get your carving skis out and hit the slopes.

Looking onto later in the weak… looks like we are in for some more snow on Saturday so definitely get out and enjoy the clearer conditions over the next couple days.


Official snow depths:

Naeba: 260cm
Kagura: 340cm


New snowfall:




This Naeba Now report started updating for the 2014/2015 season on 31st January 2015. As such, the 'observed snowfall season' numbers shown at the bottom of the report will only reflect data from that date onwards. Please read our Yuzawa Now daily reports section for more information on the first part of the season in the Yuzawa region.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Wednesday 4th February 2015, 8:44am
Weather conditions: Blue skies and sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 200cm
It's a beautiful morning here in Shiga Kogen.

Blue skies, the sun shining brightly, good and cold. I love the heavy snowfall but days like today are something to look forward to as well.

Next few days forecast is calm conditions, quite a bit of sunshine with the next significant snow expected on Sunday.


Resort areas status with official snow depths:

Okushiga Kogen:
Open (note: skiers only resort area)


Ichinose Family

Ichinose Yamanokami:

Ichinose Diamond:

Takamagahara Mammoth:




Most open

Happo Bundaraia:

Sun Valley:



Open (note: skiers only resort area)

Yokoteyama & Shibutoge:


Planned night floodlit skiing at Shiga Kogen resort areas:

Sun Valley:
Every Saturday until March 21st

Ichinose Family:
Every day until March 29th

Ichinose Diamond:
Every Saturday until March 28th

Every Saturday until February 21st

Every Saturday until March 28th
   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Wednesday 4th February 2015, 8:50am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 200cm
A lot of grey cloud up there this morning again, but some clearer patches and the sun making it's way through as well at times.

Sun expected tomorrow and shouldn't be far away through Saturday either, but temps should remain low.

Later on in the weekend the next snap of snow-cold is due over the region and should bring with it some good snowfall.


Official snow depths (Wednesday 4th January 15):

Utopia: 220cm
Chuo: 200cm
Paradise: 200cm
Uwanodai: 150cm

Zao Onsen is fully open (* note that the Karamatsu pair lift is closed on weekdays).


Night skiing operations at Zao this season

Uwanodai area:
Daily until 22nd March

Yokokura area:
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from until 15th March

Open times from 5pm until 9pm.


Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time ropeway operations

Every evening now until 28th February

Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm.
In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled.   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Wednesday 4th February 2015, 9:17am
Weather conditions: Bluebird/clear
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 180cm
It is an absolutely stunning morning with perfect blue sky all around and amazing views of Mt Tokachi in the distance. The sun will stay for the day and the rest of the week through until Saturday. Clear blue skies in Furano usually mean cold temperatures and today is no exception to that with -22c recorded at the top of the resort this morning. Needless to say wrap up warm and use a hot can of coffee as a hand warmer once in a while. The pistes are firm and well groomed. There is almost no wind forecast for the next few days. Snow is still on the radar for Sunday night.   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Wednesday 4th February 2015, 9:58am
Weather conditions: Clear
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: 390cm
Just a dusting of light snow overnight and bluebird conditions today.

The top of Tenjindaira is open and I expect Tajirisawa courses to open for the first time in a few days around noon.

The snow was wind packed during the recent storm so very fast with plenty of fluffy stuff in the gullies and a lot of people are looking to charge the peak. Going to be a day to remember.


Snow depths:

Tenjindaira: 390cm
Hodaigi: 220cm


Base: 5cm
Tenjindaira: 10cm   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Niseko Now
20th Sep, 17:14pm
Minakami Now
17th Sep, 10:23
Madarao Now
22nd Jul, 13:05pm
Hakuba Now
14th Jul, 14:12pm
Myoko Now
01st Jul, 11:49pm
Yuzawa Now
29th May, 14:13pm
Shiga Kogen Now
29th May, 7:35
Furano Now
25th May, 9:01
Appi Kogen Now
18th May, 8:33
Grandeco Now
07th May, 19:56pm
Zao Now
07th May, 19:55pm
Naeba Now
07th May, 19:55pm
Nozawa Onsen Now
07th May, 19:53pm
Kiroro Now
01st May, 9:18am