Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 15th December 2017
Friday 5th December 2014, 7:31am
A little foggy/obscured up the hill
Here it comes.... Things are white outside at the moment. Still some grass poking through around the house, but the weather report is for possible heavy snow along the Japan Sea coast in the Hokuriku area. Meaning us. National broadcaster NHK just said there might be 60cm in some mountain areas. That would start getting us set up!
First day below zero; first day to use the yellow, lined gloves that are the sign of a local (and they make a great gift).
Hope to have news of lots of wet stuff tomorrow.
Official opening dates: Akakura Onsen and Akakura Kanko: December 20 Ikenotaira: December 19 Suginohara: December 20 Seki Onsen: As soon as there's enough snow
Things clouded over yesterday and in the afternoon it started raining in town - it was snowing higher up - and this morning it's was raining but has just started to change. Sleet in places and go higher to get some snow falling.
I was over in Naeba yesterday afternoon and as I was there it started snowing... nothing sticking but I can see on the webcam image that this morning there's a thin white cover over there which is nice to see.
No official word from the Tashiro part of Kagura just yet regarding opening tomorrow, which is when they have been planning/hoping to. I suppose it is all going to depend on what we can get out of today, so will try to update this report later on today with any news on that. It's snowing up there now so fingers crossed.
OK so back to town. It's starting to snow here now and the forecast is for borderline sleet/snow for the day and getting colder with snow forecast for tomorrow.
Can we get our first layer of snow down on the ground here in town today please?
Oh yes as you can see from the list below, Iwappara and Joetsu Kokusai also have a planned opening date of tomorrow, but with no snow yet I think it's safe to say that is not going to happen.
Kagura: From today Kagura will re-open the 1500m run that had open last week. A shuttle bus takes people from the top of the Ropeway to the base of the Kagura Gondola, which then takes them up to the base of the main Kagura area. The Kagura Number 1 Romance pair lift is operating to service the open course.
Planned opening dates for resorts in Yuzawa Town and Minamiuonuma City (by date):
It's snowing this morning still - nice snow for sure, but still not quite as much as we would all like.
But... movement has been detected!
Today will see the first ski lift of the season in action... just the one, over at Niseko Village. Yes, the Community Chair will be opening at 8:30am for the first official turns of the season with Final Fling, Shaky Knees and Next Stage (part) courses open. They are mentioning about the fact that there's still not much snow out there so lots of bushes and sasa sticking up. Caution needed. The lift will be open until 4pm today with a special 8 hour lift ticket which costs 2600 yen for adults and 2200 yen for children.
It seems that Niseko Village is the only one of the resorts that will be opening anything today, so if you want to hit first runs that's where you need to be!
This morning Niseko Grand Hirafu are reporting 30cm at base and 60cm at peak with temperatures ranging from -5 to -8 and winds from 1m/s-5m/s. Yesterday evening they were saying that there still was not enough snow to open and that an opening today was unlikely.
As for tomorrow? Well, we'll have to see about that. Tomorrow is the date when the Hanazono area also planned to join the party, so all of the resorts should be open. It's going to be 2 weeks since the original planned opening dates for two of the resorts, so they will be aching to get open - as we all are to get out there!
UPDATE AT 1:30PM
OK some good news! Niseko Grand Hirafu will be starting up the lifts tomorrow morning, Saturday 6th.
Lifts that will be moving: -Ace Number 3 Pair lift -Ace Family Pair -Ace Number 2 Center Four (connecting) -Hanazono Number 1 Quad -Hanazono Number 2 Quad -Hanazono Number 3 Quad
Courses that will be open: -Center Course -Family Course -Yotei Sunset (Hanazono area) -Silver Dream (Hanazono area)
Hirafu and Hanazono won't be linked up yet, not skiable anyway - connection between the two will be by shuttle bus if you so wish.
Nuseko Annupuri have said that they don't have enough snow to be able to open tomorrow.
That's the news for now. I'll do another check and update tomorrow morning.
Niseko Village: The Community Chair lift is operating from 8:30am on Friday 5th December
Planned opening dates for the different resort areas on the mountain:
Niseko Grand Hirafu - will be part open from tomorrow Niseko Annupuri Kokusai - will open as soon as there's enough snow Niseko Village - Community Chair Niseko Hanazono - Saturday 6th December
More snow to report this morning and I'm happy to report that today marks the official start of the season in Hakuba with Happo-one part opening from 9am this morning.
The Adam Gondola lift at Happo will start moving at 9am this morning. That and the Kokusai Number 1 lift take you up to the ski-able area - which is the Panorama Course. The Kokusai Number 3 and Panorama lifts will be open (from 9:10am) up there. It's cold and poor visibility so if you are going to head out, be prepared!
Snow clouds are expected to be with us at least until Sunday, so here's to all that snow we are waiting for.
I have been trying to find out about any more possible openings early this morning with other resorts but haven't been able to confirm anything. With the snow continuing to fall I would definitely expect more to be happening tomorrow.
Some bits of info just for now:
10cm or so of snow at base areas and counting.
Happo-one are reporting 30cm of snowfall and a temperature of -5 degrees at the Usagidaira area of the resort, with heavy snow falling up there.
RESORT INFO UPDATE AT 9:30AM
Hakuba Goryu is open as well, and fittingly are also opening their Panorama Course up top - the Gondola gets you up there and the Alps Number 1 lift is servicing the run. Open until 4pm. They are reporting 80cm of snow. Cost is 2500 yen for adults and 1350 yen for children.
Tsugaike Kogen are also open this morning with the Han-no-ki pair lift moving and the Gondola lift getting you there. They are reporting 100cm of snow on the upper slopes this morning. (Sadly, they don't also have a 'Panorama Course' to open. They should make one. ;))
As of 9am, Hakuba 47 were in the process of checking everything and planning to announce their plans this afternoon. They have even hinted at the chance of a 'full open' from tomorrow. Depending on snow conditions of course.
RESORT INFO UPDATE AT 12:45PM
The Hakuba 47 resort have made their announcement, and excite it is too. They are planning to be almost-all-open ('hobo zenmen') tomorrow and Sunday with it possible to ski or board from top to bottom. And presumably beyond Sunday as well! Yey.
That's it for the updates today. There will be no doubt further developments tomorrow to report. For now though... open for the weekend!
Planned opening dates:
Happo-one - part open from today Hakuba 47 - as soon as there's enough snow Hakuba Goryu - part open from today Tsugaike Kogen - part open from today Kashimayari Sports Village - early December Hakuba Sanosaka - mid December Hakuba Norikura Onsen - mid December Hakuba Cortina - Saturday 13th December Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field - Friday 19th December Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Friday 5th December 2014, 8:45am
Morning from Nozawa.
A bit more like it this morning, but still nothing like the full-on winter storm that we are waiting for.
As you can see on the images, there has been some snowfall on the mountain overnight with the upper slopes looking more white again and coming down close to the base, but it's not much. Nozawa usually opens just the top runs first at the beginning of the season, so we don't need snow on the lower slopes to get things going, but there's still not enough up there to get started yet.
It's just about hovering slightly above zero before 9am this morning with light snow falling. Some forecasts are confident of heavier snowfall - the kind that will make a difference - later today and into tomorrow and it does look like it should get colder.
Let's see what I can report tomorrow morning.
Nozawa Onsen was hoping to be able to open on Saturday, but there's not much snow as yet up there.
Just a bit more fresh snow since yesterday here and it's a cloudy start to the day in the village, a bit of light snow lazily falling.
All this snow and I think people are still in shock. Is the full mountain open? Er, no. Looks like we have the Chuo Number 1 Pair lift moving and just that Chuo area of the resort open this morning. That's the latest as of 8:45am this morning.
Utopia is today reporting 130cm of snow. Nice. The Chuo official snow depth has gone down from 120cm to 70cm today. Not sure what's going on there - who ate the snow?! - but there you go, those are the numbers.
I would imagine that surely tomorrow we will see more of the resort open, but no official word yet. Perhaps it's a secret? ;)
Official snow depths (5th December 14): Utopia: 130cm Chuo: 70cm Paradise: -cm Uwanodai: 80cm
It was just cloudy when I got up earlier on but snow is now falling... and falling nicely as well.
It's coming down the best it has so far this season and if it continues like this we are on for some good new cm. The forecast is good for today and tomorrow in terms of snow, so perhaps this weekend we will be able to see more opening up.
Great to see the snow falling... more! More! More!
Kumanoyu has managed to widen the open course it has due to the new snowfall, adjusted below. Expect more changes soon!
Still very limited operations at the moment as we wait for the snow to change things:
Takamagahara The lower run is open, with the Number 2 triple lift moving
Ichinose Family The Number 2 Pair A line is moving and there's a 380m long and 30m wide course open
Kumanoyu Number 2 Pair A and B lifts are servicing a 600m long and 60-70m wide course. Read more ...