Snow and weather reports posted on Wednesday 21st March 2018

Geto Kogen Now!

Wednesday 7th March 2018, 7:20am
Weather conditions: Mostly sunny
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
Mostly snow showers throughout the day yesterday with tops of -6C and some pretty hefty winds here and there.

Today, clear blue skies with tops of -1 and some clouds to roll in around afternoon, with calm winds. After snow showers here and there, overnight there’s a couple of fresh cm’s on the mountain — two to be exact. The groomed terrain should be getting better everyday since the rain, with the chilly temps giving it a nice freeze. Though we are still in for a bit of rain...

Thursday: heavy evening rain, winds increasing and tops of 10C
Friday: heavy rain, moderate winds and tops of 11C
Saturday: afternoon snow showers, light to moderate winds and tops of -1C   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Wednesday 7th March 2018, 7:46am
Weather conditions: Fine and sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
It is a cold early morning in Zao but fine weather and nice blue skies.

No fresh snow to report but the morning in particular should be decent.

Not sure how to react to the forecasts for tomorrow and Friday. Warmer and rain shouldn't be a surprise tomorrow, turning into snow? I'll let Nature just deliver.


Lifts and course info:

- All lifts open as planned
- All areas open as planned
- Note: the Karamatsu pair lift has now closed for the season

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 205cm
- Paradise area: 230cm
- Chuo area: 230cm
- Utopia area: 220cm
- Uwanodai area: 160cm
- Oomori area: 160cm


Zao Onsen forecast:

Zao Onsen 6-day snow and weather forecast

Floodlit night skiing is planned as follows:

In the Uwanodai area:
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only until Sunday 18th March 2018

In the Yokokura area:
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only until Sunday 11th March 2018

Night time 'light up' sightseeing ropeway is planned for the following dates:
Now finished for the season   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Wednesday 7th March 2018, 8:00am
Weather conditions: Blue sky, cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Yuzawa.

And there is a mix of blue sky and cloud over the region this morning. There's even a dusting of snow on the ground to start the day off, though it really is just that - a dusting. Kagura is reporting 0-2cm of fresh snowfall but I see no other reports of fresh cn.

It should be a fine and sunny day here with a high of around +5C this afternoon - a nice day to be out.

Tomorrow through Saturday is looking... interesting. Variations on what to expect with different forecasts but it looks like a mix of rain and snow. All going to depend on how cold it can remain.

I'll be back with you tomorrow with another update.


Images today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Yuzawa IC (Route 17).


Updated: Wednesday 7th March February 2018

Ski resorts in Yuzawa:

Checked and updated every morning. Note that some ski resorts may not have updated their own info at the time this report is published.

GALA Yuzawa
- 290cm

- 170cm

- Kagura area: 350cm
- Mitsumata area: 250cm
- Tashiro area: 300cm

Kandatsu Kogen
- 230cm

- 240cm (base)

NASPA Ski Garden
- 200cm

Yuzawa Kogen
- Top: 240cm
- Base: 160cm

Yuzawa Park
- 170cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
- 155cm


Ski resorts in Minamiuonuma (just to the north of Yuzawa):

Ishiuchi Maruyama
- 210cm

Joetsu Kokusai
- 200cm

Maiko Snow Resort
- Top: 220cm
- Base: 110cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- Closed on Wednesdays until 14th March
- 320cm   Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Wednesday 7th March 2018, 8:04am
Weather conditions: High thin overcast with the sun peeking through
New snowfall: 30cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Appi,

Some high thin clouds this morning and a chilly -9 outside my front door. The sun is starting to make an appearance and we should have sunny skies most of the day as soon as it breaks through. We’ve certainly had our fair share of strange weather here lately. Yesterday brought us near white out conditions with the wind making any activity outside nearly impossible.

Tomorrow we’re going to see a massive swing in the temperature up to +10 degrees outside. Rain is forecast and the winds will pick up considerably again. Light crowds on the mountain will certainly make for a great day out there.

Looking at the end of the week and into the weekend the temperatures will up and down and hopefully stay in negative territory with a light dusting of snow.



The snow reported today is 5cm for today and 25cm from Monday morning through yesterday morning. (Total 30cm)


Planned lift operations (subject to change):

- APPI Gondola
- Central quad
- Central number 2 lift
- Central number 3 lift A
- Central number 5 lift
- Central number 6 lift
- Sailer quad
- Nishimori pair

Note: The Sailer Gondola, Central Number 4 lift and Vista quad are usually rested on normal weekdays


Official snow depth:

320cm   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Wednesday 7th March 2018, 8:06am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 11cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning.

It is good and cold this morning and I have 11cm of fresh snowfall to report to you from overnight. Hurray!

Looks like the weather will be calmer today after some fairly strong winds during the afternoon yesterday.

It was snowing earlier on but isn't just now as I write this. Actually, it just about is - but it's very very light and almost too difficult to see!

Might we get to see some sunshine today? We might.

And I will of course let you know tomorrow.

Expect lifts and gates to be open this morning.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -8℃, 10cm snowfall. Moiwa800m: -11.7℃, WSW5.4m/s, 15cm snowfall wit snowdrifts development. Annupuri1150m: -15℃, NW15m/s, 15cm snowfall. Hirafu peak: -15℃, W15m/s, 15cm snowfall. Benkei cape: NW12m/s, Kamui cape WNW7m/s, 1043hPa, 2.0m waves.

A strong cold airflow is brought on the edge of the high-pressure system. Intermittent snowfall with 15m/s wind is persisting through the morning. Snowdrifts are slowly growing in leeward slopes. There were no notable instability observed in the snowpack around 800m elevation. The avalanche risk below treeline is low. The wind stayed relatively strong in higher elevation and the new snowdrifts (soft slabs) could easily slide from March 5th layer. Avalanche hazard is relatively high in long and wide open steep slopes.

Peak gates are expected to open depending on the peak chair operation. Listen to the patrol’s instructions, be well prepared and step out from the gates. The new snow in the trees is a bit shallow, but very good for this time of the season. Glide avalanche (full depth slides) hazard is rising in upper west-ridge’s Backbowl side and Annupuri O-sawa 1100m. Glide avalanche does not necessarily occur in warm temperature and visible cracks are not the only signs to evaluate the risks. It is strongly recommended not to ride the valley bottoms in order to avoid being caught in case it slides. Thaw & freeze, the mountain is slowly shifting to Spring. Today’s still like winter. Enjoy your day.


Wednesday 7th March 2018

Resort specific information (operations subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts should be operating as planned

Official snow depth:
- Top: 530cm
- Base: 250cm

Niseko Annupuri

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts should be operating as planned

Official snow depth:
- Top: 450cm
- Base: 240cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts should be operating as planned (Country Road Chair lift not operating)

Official snow depth:
- Top: 450cm
- Base: 280cm


Floodlit 'nighta' skiing - until Sunday 18th March

Night skiing is planned for every evening at the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri areas. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO area. Ski lifts that are scheduled to be operating for nighta are noted below (subject to change):

* Niseko Grand Hirafu - Ace Family quad, Ace Number 2 quad, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 pair
* Niseko Annupuri - Jumbo Number 1 quad lift
* Niseko Village - Village Express, Upper Village Gondola, Community Chair
   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Wednesday 7th March 2018, 8:16am
Weather conditions: Blue sky, sunshine, cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

First of all - check out the webcam image from Happo-one this morning below. Impressive 'sea of clouds' there. Awesome scenery. (But it probably won't last long).

Sounds like there has been a dusting of snow at higher elevations but not much - and no numbers. Oh, apart from the 1cm that Goryu are reporting up top.

So yes, today should be fine and sunny and be fairly mild after the chilly start. Temps in the village to rise to around 5-6C this afternoon.

Colder conditions expected tomorrow with a mix of rain and snow seemingly lined up on the forecast for the last few days of the week. Obviously, we'd much prefer the latter.


Ski resort information on Tuesday 6th March 2018 (at time of writing):

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from the Kita-one quad appear to be operating

Courses open:
- All areas open

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 390cm
- Usagidaira: 235cm
- Lower: 95cm


Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- All lifts should be operation as normal today
- The top Alps Number 2/4 pair lifts are scheduled to be open daily until 18th March

Courses open:
- All courses should be open as normal (Adventure - preparing to open?)

Official snow depth:
- Top: 370cm
- Toomi: 135cm
- Iimori: 90cm


Hakuba 47

Operating lifts:
- All lifts should be operation as normal today
- Line D usually operates only when the Gondola is not operating

Courses open:
- All main courses should be available

Official snow depth:
- Top: 330cm
- Base: 130cm


Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts should be operating as normal

Courses open:
- All course areas are open

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori: 320cm
- Han-no-ki: 310cm
- Maruyama: 110cm
- Shirakaba: 260cm
- Champion: 130cm
- Oya-no-hara: 140cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: 130cm


Hakuba Cortina

Operating lifts:
- Number 4 and 5 lifts on hold at start of the day

Courses open:
- Some courses closed - best to check with resort if you are going

Official snow depth:
- Top: 300cm
- Base: 180cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

Operating lifts:
- Lifts should be opening as planned
- Central high speed and Rai pair lift open only on some days

Official snow depth:
- Top: 190cm
- Base: 100cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Number 1 and 7 should be operating

Official snow depth:
- 150cm


Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from 8 and 10 should be operating

Official snow depth:
- 200cm


Hakuba Sanosaka

Operating lifts:
- All three lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 140cm


Night time skiing (nighta) at resorts in the region - weather & conditions permitting
The below 'nighta' information will not be updated every day - please check with resorts if you plan to go!

Hakuba Happo-one
Daily from 5pm until 9pm in the Nakiyama 2 area
Adults - 2,000 yen; children - 1,200 yen

Hakuba Goryu
Daily from 6pm until 9:30pm in the Toomi area until 31st March
The Sky Four quad operates daily; the Number 2 pair mostly on Saturdays and holidays
Adults - 1,900 yen; children - 850 yen

Hakuba Cortina
Daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays)
Adults - 1,500 yen; children - 1,000 yen

Tsugaike Kogen
Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6pm until 9pm on 10th March
Adults - 2,200 yen; children - 1,700 yen

There are no other nighta operations at other ski resorts in the region   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Wednesday 7th March 2018, 8:21am
Weather conditions: Fair blue skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from blue skies around Grandeco.

It is cold at the moment early morning but it will be warming up during the day today.

The snow condition is a little hard this morning but it will change to be soft and sorbet-like after this.

No wind, blue skies, just don’t forget to protect your eyes and skin from the strong sunshine.

It is Wednesday meaning there's few skiers at each of the ski hills in the region. Like your own private ski-jo!


Lifts operating:

- All lifts operating

Courses open:

- All courses open

Official snow depth:
- 310cm

- Grandeco snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Wednesday 7th March 2018, 8:41am
Weather conditions: Mostly clear skis and sunshine
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --

The sun is out. It's a lovely morning here in Nozawa. Quite cold too actually at least for now - it's going to warm up during the day, maybe up to around +4C later in the day.

The forecast for the region is looking curious tomorrow into Saturday. Rain looks likely to be on there but snow as well later on Friday. Some forecasts saying decent amounts of it too, particularly in higher areas of the resort. Going to be interesting to see how that turns out.

Today though things are pretty quiet and it's a good day to be on the mountain.


Tuesday 6th March 2018

Fresh snowfall since yesterday (as reported by the resort):

- Yamabiko (1407m): 0cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 0cm
- Hikage (660m): 0cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 0cm
- Karasawa (563m): 0cm

Official snow depth numbers:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 290cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 210cm
- Hikage (660m): 160cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 155cm
- Karasawa (563m): 100cm

Lifts operations:

- All lifts should be open as planned this morning
- The Yunomine pair, Mizunashi triple, Challenge pair and Utopia pair lifts usually rested on weekdays.

The following courses either closed (or not fully available):

- Grand Prix
- Kandahar   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Wednesday 7th March 2018, 8:45am
Weather conditions: Blue sky, some cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Lovely morning here and there's a good frosted look in the morning sunshine. It's quite cold actually but should be warming up a bit during the day time.

Nice blue skies for now.

Tomorrow and Friday is looking like it will generally be rain (warmer tomorrow) turning into snow (colder on Friday). Just how fast it gets to snow is the big question mark and obviously we hope it'll be sooner than later.

Let's see how things look in the morning.

For now, a very nice morning to be out on the slopes.


Operating lifts:

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

Powder Wave I
Powder Wave II
River Line
Powder Theater
Free Ride Park
Adventure Aisle
Crystal Bowl

Kids Park

Planned nighta operations this season:

Every Saturday until 24th March 2018
   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Wednesday 7th March 2018, 9:05am
Weather conditions: Sunshine, blue skies, some cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Shiga Kogen.

It's pretty cold this morning actually. But the sun is out and there is a lot of blue sky up there making it a very fine morning to be out and about sliding. It feels kind of winter-like this morning. Forecasts show things warming up a little during the day, but hopefully not by too much.

Tomorrow, warmer and rain in lower areas with hopefully snow higher up here in Shiga Kogen. Fingers crossed we miss out on rain, but we might not. Though snow seems to be what we should be getting come Friday.


Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:

Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish and we check and update them each morning.



Ichinose Family

Ichinose Diamond




Okushiga Kogen

Sun Valley

Takamagahara Mammoth



220cm   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Wednesday 7th March 2018, 9:06am
Weather conditions: Blue bird
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba! It's a bright start here today, with clear blue skies and the sun beating down into the valley. The air temperature at the base is currently reading -6°C, but this will rapidly rise as the sun takes a hold of the mountains. Highs of 4°C are predicted for today. There is little wind and no imminent clouds to concern us today. The pistes will likely be spring-like and slushy.

Looking forwards, we have a large block of warm, mist air heading our way from initially the south east. This will push air temperatures well above 0°C, meaning that it is likely we will get some more rain tomorrow through until Friday lunch time, when the wind direction swings 180° and brings cooler air from the north west. The precipitation will subsequently turn to snow fall from Friday evening onwards, as is currently predicted. Accumulations at the base are currently predicted to be moderate, but only time will tell. The wind will be more noticeable in the days ahead, accompanying this more unsettles spring weather.   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Wednesday 7th March 2018, 9:49am
Weather conditions: Mostly sunny
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
Sunny and nice today, a little fresh snow on top.

A fairly cold start, too, although the sun is pretty warm and the streets are already wet. Once again we’re going to see the freezing level go up over 3000 meters, and more rain - maybe heavy down low on Friday morning. It’s still early March, though, and snow could fall again...

Hope so, because those snow walls are pretty low this year - saw a photo from the same time last year, and there is no comparison. Four meters or more last year, maybe two plus now?


Akakura Kanko:
290 cm, -6°

Akakura Onsen:
325cm, -3°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
235cm, -5°

Myoko Suginohara:
190cm, -8°

Seki Onsen:
430 cm, -1°

Myoko Ski Park:
250 cm, -1°

Kyukamura RunRun:
270 cm, -2°

Tangram Ski Circus:
200 cm, -5°

Madarao Kogen:
190 cm, -6°

Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Wednesday 7th March 2018, 13:01pm
Weather conditions: Clear
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Light snow last night but not enough for any real accumulation.

I'm helping to sculpt the likes of Anpanman and a Panda for the Yubiso Yuki Matsuri which will be held this weekend. No entry fee, plenty of slides and cool stuff for kids. Highly likely a snow mobile will be doing the rounds too.

Anyway, the rain crust is one foot thick and quite hard going on the Northern faces.

Southerly slopes will be softening up as it's warm and sunny.


Temperature at base -1C @ 8am; top -7@ 9:20am


Ski resorts in Minakami:

Minakami Hodaigi
Minakami Kogen Fujiwara
Minakami Kogen Ski Resort
Norn Minakami
Okutone Snow Park
Tanigawadake Tenjindaira
Tanigawa Onsen White Valley


Resort Spotlights with more detail:

Norn Minakami
Okutone Snow Park


Please note that the snowfall numbers posted in this report will be observed from close to the base Tenjindaira Ropeway station - which is often much more than in the central town area of Minakami.    Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Myoko Now
21st Mar, 10:20
Naeba Now
21st Mar, 10:19
Furano Now
21st Mar, 7:47
Niseko Now
21st Mar, 7:24
Geto Kogen Now
21st Mar, 7:03
Nozawa Onsen Now
21st Mar, 7:01
Yuzawa Now
21st Mar, 6:52
Hakuba Now
20th Mar, 14:27
Grandeco Now
20th Mar, 8:35
Madarao Now
20th Mar, 8:32
Shiga Kogen Now
20th Mar, 8:29
Zao Now
20th Mar, 7:48
Minakami Now
18th Mar, 9:10
Appi Kogen Now
17th Mar, 11:49