Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 7th May 2017
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Thursday 5th January 2017, 8:11am
Good morning from Nozawa and it is snowing - as it should be!
Coming down nicely just now and so hopefully we'll be able to get a decent amount of snow through today and into tomorrow... just a thin layer down below just now and 5cm being reported up top by the resort.
Clouds are expected to be clearing by tomorrow morning and perhaps some sunshine over the weekend. Let's hope it keeps cold. After that, forecast has the next snow lined up around Monday.
Monday 9th January is a national holiday in Japan and for the long weekend (Saturday through Monday) the lifts will be opening 30 minutes earlier than usual - base lifts at 8am and gondolas from 8:10am.
Thursday 5th January 2017
Lifts that are planned to be operating: All lifts appear to be operating except for: - Challenge pair - Utopia pair - Kandahar pair - Karasawa pair
Most courses at Nozawa Onsen are now open. Courses not open are: - Skyline (lower part) - Kurokura - Grandprix - Jumping - Hachiman - Mukobayashi - Kandahar East - Kandahar West - Usagi
Fresh snow reported by resort since yesterday morning: - Yamabiko: 5cm - Uenotaira: 1cm - Hikage: 0cm - Nagasaka: 0cm - Karasawa: 0cm Read more ...
Thursday 5th January 2017, 8:17am
Didn't think we'd see much/any snow this morning, after the stars were out last night in a clear sky.
But now we're seeing some blustery conditions, with a strong wind coming in from the north blowing snow, and about 3cm on the ground so far (can be hard to tell with the drifting).
Looks like more of the same today, before the wind comes down and it gets clear towards the weekend.
At least the freezing line will stay low until the next batch of snow (when it actually will move up the hill a bit). Still too much brush to make it great outside the ski areas, although some intrepid skiers are finding what open white spaces they can!
It is a cold morning and there's fresh snow on the ground.
I have measured just 8cm but it's a welcome sight - and good quality stuff too; and there'll be more higher up on the places that really matter.
There's an increasing amount of blue sky turning up now to, so it feels like it is going to be a fine morning. It should be staying really cold though so need to be prepared for that.
Unfortunately, wind is affecting things at the start of the day and keeping some lifts from opening. See below for resort specific info as of 8:30am.
Might the snow of today (whether it has finished up or be more later on) be the last until around Monday evening? Let's keep an eye on the forecast for that ongoing story...
Niseko Avalanche Report: Niseko base 6am: -6℃, 10cm snowfall since early dawn. Moiwa850m: -6℃, 10cm snow, strong wind and snowdrifts developing. Annupuri1150m: -8℃, N15m/s, snowfall & wind from early dawn. Hirafu 1200m: -10℃, snow and wind picked up from 5am and snowdrifts are developing. Kamui cape lighthouse: NE2m/s, 1017hPa, 1.9m waves.
Snow and wind picked up from 5am under the winter barometric pattern. Drastic developments of snowdrifts have been observed around 800m elevation. The wind-affected slabs’ density is uneven and unstable. 40cm thick new snow sitting on top of Jan 4th layer can slide anytime. The general avalanche risk is high. Do not stimulate knolls and cornices. Remember that most accidents occur during bad weather.
Finally some long awaited snow has come, however still insufficient to cover the bushes. If you push your line too far down, you will have trouble coming back. Snowboarders better carry snowshoes if you are venturing out far. No matter the amount of snow, avalanches happen when conditions are right. The gate opening is yet to be decided.
Lift passes will be confiscated if ropes are crossed.
Beware of frostbites.
Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Niseko Grand Hirafu The top Ace Number 4 and King Number 4 lifts are on hold due to wind conditions.
Night skiing is planned until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village resort areas. There is no nighta in the Hanazono area. Read more ...
Thursday 5th January 2017, 8:37am
Snow storm conditions here this morning with snow falling and a strong wind blowing about too. That is making it harder to see how much snow has actually fallen, but in the few places I usually measure I have 7cm so far - the resort is this morning reporting 10cm. We should be getting more during most of the day today, so let's see how much we can amass...
From tomorrow a few days of clearer sunnier skies are on the forecast. Hopefully it will remain pretty cold as well keeping the snow in good condition.
It is the Madarao Fire Festival is on Saturday (7th January) and starts at 8pm. There'll be lots of festivities going on including food and drink, fireworks from 9pm and 'taimatsu' (torch lit skiing) from 9:05pm. Let's hope for clearer weather for the event.
Operating status for the day at Madarao Kogen (at time of report):
- 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 - Moving walkway - Kids Park - Snow Mobile Land - Free ride Park
- Nighta at Madarao Kogen is every Saturday until 25th March (and also 8th January and 19th March)
Official snow depth:
Lifts currently operating at Tangram Ski Circus:
- Number 1 - Number 2 - Number 3 - Number 5 - Number 6 Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Thursday 5th January 2017, 8:37am
Snow and wind
It is a cold and windy morning here in Shiga Kogen. And snowy too, and it's coming down quite heavily now - though rather small snowflakes rather than that big fluffy kind - though hopefully it will be bringing us new cm of the lovely stuff by the time it's done.
It's windblown as I said so difficult to put a number on it but I think 20cm is probably representative (the official Shiga Kogen lift organisation is going with 25cm this morning). May adjust and update that tomorrow when things are clearer...
Clearer skies are forecast for tomorrow and perhaps the day after, so it's today that we need the delivery.
If you can put up with the conditions today, should be fun out there!
Some lifts may be affected by wind this morning...
Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:
Most of ski lifts and courses in Shiga Kogen are now open.
And after enduring some more rain/sleet during the day yesterday in town (snow if you went higher), this morning we have some proper snow to report.
Here's the headlines from the ski resorts (fresh snowfall):
Kagura: 20cm Mitsumata: 15cm Tashiro: 15cm Maiko Snow Resort: 10-15cm on lower areas; 25cm at top
We are measuring 12cm in Yuzawa and 8cm outside the office in Shiozawa, so somewhere around 10cm at town level and more as you go higher.
I'm also happy to report that it is still snowing and hopefully should be for the day and into tomorrow so there should be more in my next report.
We might get some clearer weather conditions for a few days from tomorrow, with a return to snow sometime around Monday-Tuesday.
Good to see a refresh; more please!
Resort-specific info as of Thursday 5th January 2017
GALA Yuzawa 11 courses in the Central and North areas are open as well as the sledding area. Official snow depth: 140cm
Ishiuchi Maruyama Lifts from all three base areas are operating and most course areas are available. Official snow depth: 80cm
Iwappara Iwappara is part open. 5 lifts and 14 courses are open - mid to upper areas. The resort has stopped nighta for the moment. Official snow depth: 40cm
Joetsu Kokusai 13 lifts are operating and 11 courses are open in front of the hotel and in the Panorama and Atema areas. The resort has stopped nighta for the moment. Official snow depth: 50cm
Kagura All areas of Kagura are open. The top Kagura Number 5 lift is now open. Official snow depth: Kagura - 170cm Mitsumata - 150cm Tashiro - 130cm
Kandatsu Kogen Kandatsu Kogen is now mostly open and four lifts operating. Official snow depth: 100cm
Maiko Snow Resort The upper Okusoeji area and part of the Maiko area are open. The resort has stopped nighta for the moment. 8 lifts and 12 courses are available. Official snow depth: Upper - 120cm Base - 20cm
Muikamachi Hakkaisan The Ropeway, Number 1 and 3 romance pair lifts are operating. Official snow depth: 80cm
Naeba Most lifts operating. Please see Naeba Now report for more specific details. Official snow depth: 100cm
NASPA Ski Garden NASPA Ski Garden is open. All lifts are operating and all courses (apart from the mogul and slopestyle course) are open. Official snow depth: 80cm
Yuzawa Kogen Yuzawa Kogen is mostly open including the lower Nunoba area. All lifts operating. Official snow depth: Top - 110cm Base - 40cm
Yuzawa Park Yuzawa Park is part open with the Number 1, 3 and 7 lifts operating. Official snow depth: 50cm
Yuzawa Nakazato Yuzawa Nakazato is open with all lifts operating. Official snow depth: 50cm
'Nighta' (floodlit night operations)
Below are details of the planned 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma this season. This information is subject to change due to snow and weather conditions. *** Please note that this section will not be updated every day.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Daily until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:50pm. The Chuo Number 1, Chuo Number 2 and Kanko Number 3 Express lifts are open daily. The Kanko Number 1 Express lift, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift and Hatsukaishi Number 2 pair lifts are also open on weekends and holidays.
Iwappara Daily until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays. The Main course, Grand course and West courses are open during nighta.
Joetsu Kokusai Daily until 20th March 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm. The area in front of the main base hotel is open for nighta.
Kandatsu Kogen 'Hobo All Night' ('Almost All Night') is on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays between 29th December 2016 and 1st April 2017. The nighta opening times on those days is from 6pm until 4am the following morning.
Maiko Snow Resort Daily until 19th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8pm. The Maiko center quad lift on the Maiko Side of the resort operates for nighta.
Naeba Daily until 26th March 2017. Nighta is from 4pm until 8:30pm. Part of the lower area of the resort is usually open for nighta.
NASPA Ski Garden 'Thanks' (extended) opening on Saturdays in January and February and also from 30th December until 8th January 2017. On those days the Number 1 lift is open until 6pm.
Yuzawa Nakazato Every Saturday from 7th January until 11th March 2017, 8th January 2017. Nighta is from 5pm until 8:30pm. The Number 2 pair lift operates during nighta. Read more ...
Thursday 5th January 2017, 8:55am
Good morning from Hakuba.
Yesterday was an odd one with that mix of wind (and then another spell of wet conditions to put the boot in down at lower levels). But there was some decent snow falling higher up, with Hakuba 47 reporting 5cm of fresh on upper areas by late afternoon.
So the gusty winds did ease off a bit and let the resorts open up not long after my report.
There seems to be less wind this morning though it still sounds like it's out there. For example the Happo gondola was delayed opening - but seems to be operating as normal now.
I noticed that the Champion Dynamic course at Goryu is also now open (but they are saying conditions aren't the best and only suitable for skilled riders).
Light snow at the moment here at base but I can see from the webcams that it's snowing more up there and visibility looks pretty limited in places too. Snow clouds should be with us for the day today and we're hoping they'll deliver some more goods.
Clearer weather conditions are forecast from tomorrow through Sunday presently with the next snow due at the end of the weekend and into the start of next week.
Let's keep an eye on the forecast, without wishing time to pass too quickly of course. One day soon, all the resorts will be "fully open". I eagerly await that day!
Resort news as of 8:55am on Thursday 5th January 2017:
All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions.
Hakuba 47: The resort was reporting 5cm of fresh snowfall on the upper areas yesterday, no additional reported this morning. The top connection with Hakuba Goryu is open. Operating lifts and course info: - All lifts operating apart from Line D. - All courses now open apart from Route 7. - The Tree Riding Zones are not yet open. Official snow depth Upper: 120cm Base: 25cm
Hakuba Goryu: The resort is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. The top connection with Hakuba 47 is open. Operating lifts and course info: - All lifts apart from the Alps Number 2/4, Iimori Number 1 pair and Cosmo quad lift are operating. The following courses are open: - Grand Prix - Panorama - Super - Champion Dynamic - Woody - Toomi - Soft Cream - Powder Snow Official snow depth Alps: 125cm Toomi: 30cm Iimori: 20cm
Hakuba Happo-one: The upper areas of Hakuba Happo-one are open. You can now ski or board back down to base via the Riesen Slalom and Nakiyama South course. Downloading via Gondola or lift required in the other areas. The resort is reporting 3cm of fresh snowfall. Operating lifts and course info: - Most lifts are now operating with just a number of base area lifts still to get moving. The following courses are open: - Kurobishi - Usagidaira - Skyline - Riesen (part) - Panorama - Nakiyama South (part) - Kita-one 3 Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 90cm Kurobishi: 130cm Lower: 20cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Tsugaike Kogen is part open. Operating lifts and course info: - Most lifts are now operating. The following courses are open: - The Tsuga-no-mori, Upper Han-no-ki, Lower Han-no-ki, Maruyama and Oya-no-hara areas are open. - The Forest course, Shirakaba and Kane-no-naru-oka areas are part open. - The Uma-no-se course and Champion area are closed. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 110cm Han-no-ki: 100cm Maruyama: 40cm Oya-no-hara: 25cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 25cm
Hakuba Cortina: The resort is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. Operating lifts and course info: - Hakuba Cortina is now mostly open. - Snake course closed. Official snow depth: Top: 134cm Base: 85cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field is currently part open. Operating lifts and course info: - Gondola - Paradise triple - 3-sen North lift - 4-sen East lift The following courses are at least part open: - East - North - Paradise (part) - by1 Official snow depth: Top: 60cm Base: 30cm
Kashimayari: Kashimayari is currently part open. Operating lifts: - Number 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7 lifts. Official snow depth: Top: 30cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Hakuba Norikura Onsen is currently mostly open. Lift info: - All but one lift are now operating with most courses planned to be open. Official snow depth: Top: 70cm
Hakuba Sanosaka: Hakuba Sanosaka is now part open. Official snow depth: Top: 25cm
Please note that Yanaba ski hill will not be opening for the 2016-2017 season Read more ...
Thursday 5th January 2017, 9:09am
Looking up at the resort it looks like a great day to head out early and make the most of the great conditions that we have at the moment. There are clear skies and it is a fairly chilly morning with -7c in the village. On piste the snow will be firm and will be skiing reasonably fast. Over the next few days there is very little in the way of snow on the forecast with the next significant snow falls forecast to arrive on Monday afternoon.
14cm on the ground (with 10cm being reported by the resort) with more snowfall expected during the day today and clearer skies expected from tomorrow and a return to snowfall forecast from late Monday.
More good news with 15cm of fresh snowfall in this area last night.
The resort has now opened Basil course (intermediate) and Rainbow 3500 lower course (beginners) from this morning which is good to see. That means that there is now 3500m of beginners course available, and 70% of the courses at the resort are open.
The snow condition is nice and light this morning because of the low temperature.
The forecast tells us to expect snowfall to stop this afternoon and be back around Sunday.
Once there's enough decent snowfall, the remaining advanced course will open. Fingers crossed.
- Gondola - Number 1 quad lift - Number 2 quad lift
[A-a] Rainbow 3500 [A-b] Rainbow 3500 [A-c] Rainbow 3500 [B-c] Mint C [C] Center [D-b] Lavender B [F] Basil
Official snow depth: 90cm
Road condition to Grandeco: Inawashiro through Goshikinuma: wet snow Goshikinuma through Grandeco: snow Snow tires are necessary. Read more ...
Thursday 5th January 2017, 12:35pm
Good morning from Zao and sorry for the late report today.
It was great to see some proper snowfall yesterday with a decent amount falling both at base and on the slopes. I have measured 25cm since my report yesterday and hopefully we'll be adding to that during the day today too.
Should be very nice snow conditions out there today.
There's not a whole lot of snow forecast through until early in the week. And while we still need and want more snow we should be good for now.
The following lifts are not operating: Kurohime Number 1 quad Zao Kokutai pair Ryuzan pair Karamatsu pair Nakamori Number 2 pair Zao Paradise Number 3 pair Yokokura Number 2 pair Omori quad
Official snow depths: Chuo - 75cm Utopia - 60cm Uwanodai - 40cm Paradise - 70cm
Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time Zao Ropeway operations
January 2017: 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 27th-31st February 2017: 1st-28th March 2017: 1st-5th
Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm. Ropeway return charges are 2,600 yen for adults and 1,300 yen for children. In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled. Read more ...
Thursday 5th January 2017, 12:49pm
Light snow and calm at base.
Snow depth as of this morning is 145 cm at the base and 260 cm at the peak.
There was 32 cm of new snow at the base and 40 cm at the peak this morning. Light snow has continued into the afternoon, and all together 16 cm of new snow may fall over the course of the day. Not much snow is expected for the next 3 or so days, but it should return by Tuesday.
During my tour from the resort yesterday, the snow was great, but after coming back to the resort for a few laps, the off-piste in-resort areas were pretty tracked out. It's no wonder with how many people are coming here from Niseko, though.
Missed report yesterday but Tenjindaira Ski resort called it 15cm of fresh in the morning and its been snowing ever since. The resort was shut today due to 10m/s winds up top but the snow has been coming in large. Was over at Hodaigi and it was fantastic in the morning with about 30cm of fresh, it then snowed all day culminating in a virtual blizzard in the late afternoon. It's going to be great over there tomorrow.
Expect Tenjin to not open all lifts till around 11:30am as all this snow will need to settle on the steep terrain. Unless the wind has packed the snow down, I expect the base is going to be very healthy when we find out what the number is tomorrow morning.
45cm Tenjin 40cm Hodaigi 10cm Okutone
Official snow depths:
120cm Tenjin 80cm Hodaigi 45cm Okutone
Resorts in Minakami (forecasts available from each page):