Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 7th May 2017
Friday 6th January 2017, 7:17am
Good morning from Hakuba.
I have to post an early report this morning which unfortunately means that there's not much news in from resorts as yet... so apart from taking out any 'snowfall reported' news, the resort-specific section has not been updated this morning. Apologies, I will catch up on any changes tomorrow.
Anyway this morning there's 3cm of fresh snow on the ground at base and surely more higher up. The one number I can find is Happo-one reporting 5cm.
It is a mostly cloudy - and cold - start to the day but clearer skies are forecast for the day. Hopefully not warming up too much in the day, though tomorrow is expected to be milder in the daytime (up to around 5C in the village?)
Anyway, it should be a fun morning out there. Have fun if you can get out.
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 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 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. 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: 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 ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Friday 6th January 2017, 7:45am
Good morning from here in Nozawa.
It is a cold start to the day and a cloudy start as well. Lots of clouds hanging on but the forecasts tell us to expect clearer skies (to some extent) by the end of the day today - though it should remain cold.
Snow continued to fall during the day and into the evening yesterday and since the morning report the resort is reporting 23cm of snowfall on the top Yamabiko area, so conditions should be very good up there. Less accumulating on lower levels, so I would say Uenotaira and Yamabiko are the places to head to.
Tomorrow sunshine is forecast and it will likely warm up a slightly, venturing into low positive numbers in the afternoon.
After that, the next snowfall is still due around Monday and we need to be prepared for the chance of some rain on that day before the snow arrives; though it will probably be straight to snow higher up on the mountain. It's looking quite promising though is Monday night and Tuesday so that will be something to look forward to.
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.
Friday 6th January 2017
Lifts that are planned to be operating: All lifts appear to be operating except for: - Challenge pair - Utopia pair - Kandahar 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: 23cm - Uenotaira: 11cm - Hikage: 8cm - Nagasaka: 8cm - Karasawa: 5cm Read more ...
Friday 6th January 2017, 8:13am
Good morning from Niseko.
I have just 1cm of fresh snow to report to you from base this morning.
The good news is that it is not as windy this morning and so I expect all four of the resorts to be open as planned from 8:30am. With some lifts and areas not being available yesterday because of the wind halting them, there should be some fresh to be found this morning.
It is a cloud-covered start to the day here and I can't see any of Mt Yotei, other than the very lower parts. Perhaps though we might see a bit of sun at times today?
The next snowfall is due late Monday and I think everyone is hoping it will be the start of a run of snowy days. For the weekend we will very probably be playing in what we got. Temperatures are remaining cold and so conditions should be keeping, but a lot of tracks are being made out there so without regular top-ups, conditions will probably be getting rather tracked out by the time that fresh snow arrives.
The 'Early Morning' service at Niseko Grand Hirafu starts from tomorrow and continues until 29th January. Basically it involves the Ace Number 2 quad lift operating from 8am until 8:20am and the Super, Furiko, Green (part), Alpen and Sen-no-ki courses available. It costs 500 yen - please note that this is not covered by a season pass or a normal lift pass. It's premium!
Annupuri also offers a similar early morning service tomorrow, Sunday and Monday. On those days the Gondola will be operating between 7:20am and 8:20am and the charge is 1000 yen.
(It's a pity that - for this weekend at least - it doesn't look like there'll be any (newly fallen) fresh snow to play in).
With Monday being a national holiday in Japan and of course early January being peak season, I suspect that it is going to be a very busy weekend out there...
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -6℃, no snowfall. Moiwa800m: -8℃, mild wind, no snowfall, but 60cm snowdrift development. Annupuri1150m: -10℃, 15cm snowfall, NNW5m/s, snowdrifts developing. Hirafu1200m: -8℃, mild wind and light snowfall. Kamui cape lighthouse: WNW4m/s, 1024hPa, 1.8m waves.
The snowdrifts developed yesterday have stabilized and the general avalanche risk is low. Beware of falling cornices. Gate 1, 8 and 10 are scheduled to open today. Snowpack is insufficient and bushes are thick. Be careful not to break your goggles. You won’t be able to come back to the course if you drop the line too far down. Snowboarders better carry snowshoes.
The Niseko Rules are being officially put into practice with the understanding of all related organizations in order to protect the freedom and safety of all guests. It seems some companies are interpreting it as a gray zone of the Japanese Law, neglecting it and trying to run a business in a selfish assumption. The National Park Law authorizes anyone to use the parks. Even if a business has been approved by a local authority to operated in those park areas, they must act in accordance to the law. Monopolizing the use of a public area, running snowmobiles or snowcats outside the leased land and/or oppressing and exclusive attitude to other park users are all against the law in Japan.
Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
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 ...
Friday 6th January 2017, 8:18am
Let's say snow, but sometimes fog
Nice snowfall continued through the day into the morning today.
It's tapered off now, with some fog replacing the snow (although, a quick glance out the window is showing very, very fine snow continues to fall). The weather report is for sun today, and it did get a bit brighter occasionally during the morning snow clearing rituals. It does require faith; today the peetah - the local name for snowthrowers - decided to turn off the joystick controlling the direction of the snow blast....
Back to the Beat poets and the Buddha nature of machines... Sorry, I've been up since early morning doing my mechanical snow study.
We enjoyed seeing the snow fall for pretty much most of the day yesterday and while it wasn't big thick fluffy flakes for the most part it is good to see another 13cm on the ground this morning. And here's what resorts are reporting:
Kagura: 10-15cm Maiko Snow Resort: 5-15cm
More snow means more lifts and courses being able to open - so while I can't quite say that "everywhere is open", we're getting there...
It's also good to see nighta starting up again at Iwappara and Joetsu Kokusai, with Maiko Snow Resort following on tomorrow.
The snow has now stopped and it is a generally very cloudy morning but if the forecasts are correct we might see some sun later on this afternoon. Fine weather is expected tomorrow as well and while it is a chilly start to the day today it will probably be slightly warmer tomorrow. Fingers crossed not too much.
With Monday being a holiday in Japan, tomorrow is the first day of the long weekend and traditionally one of the busiest weekends of the season at popular resorts. If you are planning on being in Yuzawa and if it is possible, an early start is recommended!
The next snow due around Monday night. (There's a chance of rain before snow at town level; let's avoid that this time, hey?!)
It should be good out there on the slopes this morning.
Resort-specific info as of Friday 6th January 2017
GALA Yuzawa 11 courses in the Central and North areas are open as well as the sledding area. Official snow depth: 160cm
Ishiuchi Maruyama Lifts from all three base areas are operating and most course areas are available. Official snow depth: 110cm
Iwappara Iwappara is part open. 5 lifts and 14 courses are open - mid to upper areas. Nighta is back on from today! Official snow depth: 60cm
Joetsu Kokusai 15 lifts are operating and 14 courses are open. The resort has started nighta again. Official snow depth: 60cm
Kagura All areas of Kagura are open. Official snow depth: Kagura - 170cm Mitsumata - 150cm Tashiro - 130cm
Kandatsu Kogen Kandatsu Kogen is now 'fully open'. (Note that Milky Way and Andromeda courses are open only on weekends and holidays). Nighta from 6pm until 4am tomorrow morning. Official snow depth: 120cm
Maiko Snow Resort The upper Okusoeji area and part of the Maiko area are open. From noon today the Nagamine downhill course should also be open. The resort has stopped nighta for the moment - but it should be back open from tomorrow. 9 lifts and 14 courses are available. Official snow depth: Upper - 130cm Base - 30cm
Muikamachi Hakkaisan The Ropeway, Number 1, 2 and 3 romance pair lifts are operating. Official snow depth: 100cm
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 course) are open. Official snow depth: 105cm
Yuzawa Kogen Yuzawa Kogen is open including the lower Nunoba area. All lifts operating. Official snow depth: Top - 120cm Base - 50cm
Yuzawa Park Yuzawa Park is part open with the Number 1, 3 and 7 lifts operating and 8 courses open. Official snow depth: 60cm
Yuzawa Nakazato Yuzawa Nakazato is open with 6 lifts operating. Official snow depth: 65cm
'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 ...
Friday 6th January 2017, 9:58am
Good morning from a chilly Grandeco.
8cm of new fresh snow this morning and it is cold.
Very good snow condition out there, light as powder on every courses so a good day to be out enjoying the Urabandai snow today.
According to the forecast, this area can expect for some snowfall every day around until 13th Friday. (Hopefully not an unlucky one!)
Course maintenance teams at the resort have decided to open No.3 lift and Mint A course from tomorrow. It is a chance to hike up to Mt. Nishidaiten using No.3 lift this weekend. So that means that 4km of course from top to base will be available from tomorrow.
Snow park information: New items with kicker!
4m straight rail, 5m straight rail, 4 formed cask, drum can, 6m straight box, 8m straight rail, 3m kicker, 5m table top, 6m down box and 6m wide box.
- 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 ...
Friday 6th January 2017, 10:11am
Strong winds caused a few issues yesterday (in particular the Number 13 lift) but it was all in the name of fresh snow.
Some good snowfall during the day, and this morning I measure 14cm of fresh and the resort is reporting 10cm. It is a cold morning and generally just cloudy with perhaps light snow at times higher up. Less wind than yesterday and so things should be open as normal.
It's expected to clear later on though and tomorrow morning should see a sunny start to the day.
Next snow still due sometime on Monday and into Tuesday.
Should be very nice conditions this morning!
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 ...
Friday 6th January 2017, 10:43am
Morning from Zao and another 12cm of snow to report. I must admit, better than I was expecting (the best kind of surprise!)
More lifts moving now and it looks to me like there's just 3 lifts that are not operating today. So we are getting close to me declaring the place fully open! Hurray!
We're on for a bit of a dry patch though from today if the forecast is right with the next snow due to be around these parts sometime around Tuesday next week.
If it's dry, let's have some sun over the long weekend (Monday is a national holiday) -- just as long as it remains cold...
Time to go out and enjoy this fresh snow. :)
The following lifts are not operating: Karamatsu pair Nakamori Number 2 pair Yokokura Number 2 pair
Official snow depths: Chuo - 80cm Utopia - 60cm Uwanodai - 45cm Paradise - 75cm
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 ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Friday 6th January 2017, 10:45am
Cloudy, snow clouds
Morning from Shiga Kogen and another decent amount of snowfall since my report yesterday. Just over 20cm of it in fact. Nice.
It's very cold too, brrrrrr!
There is a lot of cloud lingering about early this morning, and light snow continuing to fall in places, but it is forecast to clear up during the day today and we might see clearer skies and even some sunshine.
After today, we're forecast some clearer and sunny skies over the weekend before back to snowfall on Monday. Sounds good to me.
It's one of the big weekends of the season as Monday is a holiday. Conditions should be very nice for it too. Hope you can come and enjoy it.
Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:
Most of ski lifts and courses in Shiga Kogen are now open.
There is no fresh snow to report once again, but from Monday onwards things are starting to look interesting with substantial snow on the forecast. For today the weather is pretty good with overcast conditions, but still fairly bright out on the resort with very good visibility. Despite lacking fresh top ups recently the slopes are still in excellent condition and are certainly not icy at all. Read more ...
Friday 6th January 2017, 13:31pm
Clearing from early morning snow at base.
Snow depth as of this morning is 155 cm at the base and 280 cm at the peak.
There was 21 cm of new snow at the base and 35 cm at the peak this morning. It was still snowing first thing in the morning, but the clouds are clearing by now. With over half a meter of new snow at the base over the past 48 hours and nearly blue skies, and little wind, I have to imagine that conditions are great out there. I'll let you know tomorrow after my ride in a few minutes. It doesn't look like there will be much new snow over the next couple of days, but it should return by the beginning of next week.
Unfortunately, flocks of guests from Niseko have also followed the snow and choked up the lines in the morning, so going is slow to start. Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Friday 6th January 2017, 14:04pm
Cloudy, some blue sky
[Report originally posted early morning - apologies for it appearing late]
Hello from Appi,
Groundhog Day here with little/no change at all. Same lifts open, same runs open same weather albeit 2 degrees colder.
Winds should pick up to a brisk westerly by tomorrow but die down by Sunday. Snow is in the forecast for Thursday (!) - seems like a long time to go.
We're all hoping here that the doldrums disappear soon so we can get back to our regularly scheduled snowfall and decent skiing.
Currently planned operating lifts:
Gondola Central quad Central number 3a Central number 2 Central number 5
Good afternoon from Naeba everybody and apologies for the late updates these last two days.
Well today was probably the best day of the season so far for powder due to the excessive amount of snowfall we experienced during the night into the morning.
Conditions are excellent out there and I predict some incredible groomer days as a result over this weekend with another snow storm hopefully on its way as of Monday.
There is not a piece of grass in sight on the whole mountain and it seems like we finally have our bulletproof base in place for the rest of the season.
It was pretty cold out there today however I predict warmer temperatures over the weekend with a return to the cold on Monday when the snow should come. Read more ...
Friday 6th January 2017, 17:30pm
Plenty of snow this morning here in Minakami and just about all the ski hills in the area are looking good. Doesn't look like any fresh snow expected till Thursday but the 1.8m base at Tenjin ought to tide us over till then.
Blue skies expected tomorrow and the late afternoon weather here today suggests it just might come through.
40cm Tenjin 0cm Hodaigi 0cm Okutone
Official snow depths:
180cm Tenjin 120cm Hodaigi 50cm Okutone
Resorts in Minakami (forecasts available from each page):