Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 1st May 2017
Tuesday 5th May 2015, 7:37am
We enjoyed the sun for lots of the day yesterday, a bit of a wind in the afternoon and cloudier conditions later on with then rain during the night. Quite heavy at times too.
It is not raining this morning but cloud remains over the area and it is very noticeably not as warm as it has been over the last week or so. We are forecast to get to see the sun again today but it doesn't look like it will get as hot with the local forecast predicting a high of about 20 degrees.
Tomorrow it's sun all the way and more like mid-20s so that should be good weather for the last day of the season at GALA Yuzawa, Naeba and Tashiro areas. Naeba were hoping to be able to keep the Daishamen course open, but have had to close it due to the lack of snow up there. Snow melt has been fast over the last week or so...
From Thursday onwards only Kagura (via Mitsumata Ropeway) will remain open and they plan to continue on until the end of May.
We'll be posting our last daily update of the season tomorrow, and then reports at least once a week until Kagura closes.
Official snow depths: ** General opening plans - any unplanned closures will be mentioned in the above report **
GALA Yuzawa: Official snow depth of 110cm. Most of the Central Area and part of the North Area remain open. The South Area is now closed. The downhill course is also now closed - get down back to base using the Gondola.
Kagura: Official snow depth of 270cm. All three main areas of Kagura remain pretty much fully open.
Naeba: Official snow depth of 80cm. Part of the upper area of Naeba will open from until 6th May. The Daishamen course has now closed. All lower areas are closed.
Planned closing dates for resorts in the Yuzawa region Information as currently available and of course subject to change depending on conditions. Resorts not mentioned below are now closed.
Hello and good morning. I wasn't actually around for most of yesterday but we do seem to have had some rain falling.
It's definitely colder this morning. It was almost chilly earlier on when I was out taking an early morning walk and there was even some fog around. The sun has appeared now though and more blue skies appearing too, it looks to be clearing up nicely and the local forecasts tell us to expect a fine day with it not warming up too much. Pleasant.
Sunny conditions are forecast for tomorrow as well.
Tomorrow is of course the last day of the official ski and snowboard season here in Niseko and at the end of the day the ski lifts will stop for the last time.
It will also be my last Niseko Now report of the 2014-2015 season. I'm happy to have been able to get one posted for every day that the ski lifts have been moving - and even some days when they have not been moving due to mad weather conditions!
Please note that my report tomorrow might be posted later than in the day than usual.
Planned resort operations for the rest of the season - weather conditions may mean changes on any given day, but these are the plans!
Niseko Grand Hirafu: - Ace Quad Number 2 Center four - until May 6 - King Triple Lift Number 3 - until May 6 - King Number 4 - until May 6 - Hirafu Gondola - from May 2 until May 6 - Spring Park plans to be open until May 6
Lower areas closed - get back down using the Ace Number 2 Center four lift or the Hirafu Gondola.
Niseko Annupuri: - Annupuri Gondola - until May 6 - Jumbo Number 1 quad - until May 6 - Jumbo Number 4 pair - until May 6
The rain in the later part of yesterday certainly helped to cool things down. It's not as warm this morning and the resort are even reporting a temp. up on Yamabiko of 1C. Down here in the village it dropped to around 7C overnight and it might not get to 20C today during the day. While it has started off cloudy, the skies are expected to clear and we'll should end up with a fine and sunny day once again.
Last day of the season tomorrow - and my last report too!
Official snow depths:
Yamabiko - 135cm Uenotaira - 40cm
Operating daily until Wednesday 6th May:
* The times in brackets are the special early opening times until Wednesday 6th May:
- Nagasaka Gondola (*8:10am) - Yamabiko Number 2 Four lift (*8:30am) - Yamabiko Four lift (*8:25am) - Uenotaira Four lift (*8:30am) - Paradise Four lift (*8:30am) - Skyline connecting pair lift
Courses that remain open
Yamabiko A Yamabiko B Yamabiko C Yamabiko D Yamabiko E Kokenashi Uenotaira Paradise
Cloudy skies still over Hakuba early on this morning but it is dry now and the forecast tells us that we should get to see the sun today... it just won't be quite as warm, much like yesterday. Clouds do seem to be getting less quite quickly over the last hour or so, so perhaps we can expect some good weather today fairly soon.
Tomorrow the sun is due for the day and temperatures rising over 20 degrees, so it should be a good last day of the season for Hakuba 47 and Tsugaike Kogen.
Currently it's looking like we might get some more rain on Thursday...
Official snow depth numbers and planned operations. Subject to change:
Hakuba Goryu: Top of Hakuba Goryu plans to be at least part open until Sunday 10th May. All lower areas arew now closed. Top Panorama, Grand Prix and Super courses remain open. Ride the Gondola back down. The following lifts remain open: - Hakuba Goryu Telecabin Gondola (until 10th May) - Alps Number 1 pair lift (until 10th May) - Alps Number 3 pair lift - Alps Number 2/4 pair lift
** Official snow depth: Alps Daira - 120cm
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 plans to be open until tomorrow. Almost all areas remain open, though lower northern facing areas especially are very thin on snow. The following lifts remain open: - Gondola - Pair lift Line AB - Quad lift Line C - High speed pair Line E
** Official snow depth: Upper - 75cm Lower - 10cm
Happo-one: Happo-one plans to be at least part open until Sunday 10th May. The top area of the resort remains open - all lower areas now closed, so you need to take the Gondola back down. The following lifts remain open: - Adam Gondola - Alpen quad - Usagidaira pair - Kurobishi Number 2 quad - Kurobishi Number 3 pair - Skyline Number 2 pair - Grat quad - Panorama pair - Hakuba Kokusai Number 3 pair
The Kokusai Number 1 pair and Saka Kita One quad lifts are also scheduled to be operating from today until Wednesday 6th May. They are effectively acting as 'get you there' lifts to relieve some of the pressure from the Gondola.
** Official snow depth: Usagidaira - 85cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Tsugaike Kogen plans to be at least part open until tomorrow. Top area open. Lower areas all closed. The following lifts remain open: - Eve Gondola - Han-no-ki high speed pair - Tsuga Number 2 pair - Tsugaike Ropeway
** Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori - 170cm
Other resorts in the area are now closed for the season. Read more ...
Tuesday 5th May 2015, 10:54am
Perfect blue skies
A nice Golden Week day for a last report for the season: the snow is going, going, gone!
Akakan and Seki are still open today, though, with lots of people out there enjoying the last rides of the year (in the resorts, of course; the backcountry is still good out there, although that heavy snow of this season is really disappearing faster than we might have expected).
It was a good snow year for Myoko - nice to be the national leader in the SnowJapan reports! (Check out the observed snow data page linked to from here for evidence!)
With somewhere on the high side of 16 meters, that was a lot of snow out there. The patterns seem to be changing a bit, though; we didn't see the ongoing days and days of snow that are common here. Heavy snowfalls, and a lot more wind than we normally expect (at least judging from the north side of my house, which was completely buried by drifts, a first in 10 years in this location).
We also saw a real jump in the number of international travelers this year, which had some people a little bit nervous - as in, "can we keep our local feeling?". For the most part, though, local hotels and restaurants have had a few years to sort of ease into the change, so most people are pretty happy about the growth. Part of it, too, is that people are coming from more and more destinations—lots of North Americans and Northern European guests, as well as from Asia (still not as many as in many other destinations). What's the old thing about change being the only constant? With poor snowfall in a lot of places around the world, looks like Japan can only become more popular—and that's good for Japan for things beyond the snow season, too.
Your reporter remains positive, and ready for the next season.... see you then! Read more ...