Snow and weather reports posted on Thursday 25th May 2017

Niseko Now!

Tuesday 7th May 2013, 8:25am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
So that was the 2012/2013 Niseko season.

The season ended slightly early over at Niseko Annupuri as strong winds in the afternoon put a halt to the lifts on that area with the resort closing at 3:30pm. Strong winds also put a stop to the season for the lifts at Niseko Village in the afternoon. So we ended up closing the 12/13 Niseko season with just the Ace Number 2 Center four lift and Hirafu Gondola operating at the Niseko Grand Hirafu resort area.

It’s kind of appropriate in a way - while Niseko is of course no stranger to windy conditions, stronger winds have affected the lift operations seemingly more than usual this past season.

But that doesn’t take away from the fact that Niseko once again delivered in style for 2012/2013, with an almost ridiculously large amount of that beautiful light powder being consistently served up for large parts of the season.

Discussion (and arguments!) on the actual numbers aside, it’s pretty amazing to finish the season on May 6th with the Niseko Grand Hirafu resort still reporting a snow depth of 420cm on it’s upper slopes. More than 4m! Last year, the corresponding number - reported by the same people on the same day - was 190cm.

The snow gods, whoever they may be in their wisdom, certainly do look down on Niseko favorably and in a large part it’s surely that consistency of excellent conditions that makes Niseko so popular. There’s certainly lots of confident marketing messages originating from Niseko, but thankfully I think the actual experience mostly lives up to expectations for most people.

Of course, all of this means that more and more people are making the trip to visit Niseko each season as well as the many people returning for more. While I don’t have any numbers at hand, it has certainly been another very busy season on the slopes and in the bars and restaurants around the area. Some people like that atmosphere, while some yearn for less crowded times. I think it’s fair to say that the increased numbers and larger crowds are encouraging more people to venture further afield from Niseko to places like Rusutsu and Kiroro Snow World during their stay.

With exchange rates currently looking more positive for many people wanting to visit Japan, I would guess that next year will once again see more growth.

A look back over these Niseko Now report archives brings back some amazing memories from the season, with some of those even being made as late as just in the last few weeks. There were just a few bumps along the way with some unseasonal rain and warming up, but thankfully those didn’t last too long.

Taking a look at the Niseko Now reports for this season, from November 2012 until this month, shows the following observed snowfall each month on our reports:

November 2012: 118cm
December 2012: 418cm
January 2013: 443cm
February 2013: 406cm
March 2013: 164cm
April 2013: 32cm
May 2013: 2cm

FULL SEASON: 1583cm

So that’s nearly 16m of observed snowfall in a period of just over 6 months, observed from the Hirafu village area near the base of Niseko Grand Hirafu. And to think, there will have been considerably more than that higher up on the slopes.

The Japan Meteorological Agency published numbers of monthly snowfall for Kutchan Town, at a slightly lower elevation than from where we do our report observations, are as follows:

November 2012: 98cm (82cm the previous November)
December 2012: 306cm (349cm the previous December)
January 2013: 268cm (290cm the previous January)
February 2013: 228cm (216cm the previous February)
March 2013: 124cm (79cm the previous March)
April 2013: 27cm (30cm the previous April)
Full season: 1051cm (1046cm the previous season)

Let’s hope that we can have another great season in 2013/2014.

The number of people coming to Niseko in the summer months each year is also increasing. There’s lots of things to do in the ‘Green Season’ including activities such as golf and the ‘Summer Gondola’ at Niseko Grand Hirafu, which the resort has confirmed will be operating this year from Saturday 13th July. One thing that I love about Niseko, apart from the obvious appeal of winter, is how cool the summers are. Memories of enduring the humid summer months in Tokyo still linger…!

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Thank you for reading these Niseko Now reports this season. I hope that you have enjoyed them and they have been useful as an ongoing commentary of the season. Now that the daily routine of writing reports has finished I think I’m going to have a few lie-ins and try to recharge after the long winter season! I have no doubt though that after just a short period of doing that, I’ll soon be looking forward to next winter.

The Niseko Now reports will be back on SnowJapan after the summer months in time for the build up to the 2013/2014 winter season.

From myself and SnowJapan, we hope you have a good summer wherever you are, and to see you back here in autumn.

Cheers.   Read more ...
 

Naeba Now!

Tuesday 7th May 2013, 8:35am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
After a fine and almost warm day yesterday, we are back to chilly and a bit wet this morning. Windy too. Hopefully it will clear up soon and clearer conditions are forecast from tomorrow.

Golden Week is now behind us and of course yesterday was the last day of the season for the Tashiro Ropeway and that section of the Kagura resort. From today, the Mitsumata Ropeway is the only way to get up to Kagura. For now, the Mitsumata area also remains open.

Here's what Kagura plans to have open for the moment:

Mitsumata Ropeway
8am until 5pm (7:30am start on Saturdays and holidays)

Mitsumata Number 1 quad
8am until 4:30am (7:30am start on Saturdays and holidays)

Mitsumata Number 2 Romance lift
9am until 4:30pm (8:30am start on Saturdays and holidays)

Mitsumata Number 3 Romance lift
Operating only on Saturdays and holidays when busy conditions

Kagura Gondola
8:15am until 4pm (7:45am start on Saturdays and holidays)

Kagura Number 1 quad
8:30am until 4pm (8am start on Saturdays and holidays)

Kagura Number 1 pair
9am until 4pm on Saturdays and holidays

Kagura Number 3 pair
Operating only on Saturdays and holidays when busy conditions

As snow conditions change, and the snow gets thinner on the ground, this may well be updated and revised.

We'll keep an eye on the latest and let you know of any changes.   Read more ...
 

Yuzawa Now!

Tuesday 7th May 2013, 8:46am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
Good morning from Yuzawa.

Yesterday was a fine morning at least as things did cloud over and by evening it was raining, and it's still raining this morning though will hopefully clear up. After the warmth of yesterday as well it's rather cold this morning and the forecast is telling us that it probably won't warm up over 8 degrees today.

Very odd weather recently - it was on the tv this morning that in some regions of Japan it was close to 30 degrees, while it was still snowing up in some parts of Hokkaido!

Hopefully we'll see the sun and it will warm up a bit more tomorrow.

So from today, it's just Kagura via Mitsumata that remains open. We have posted the below information on the Naeba Now page, but I'll put it on here as well:

Mitsumata Ropeway
8am until 5pm (7:30am start on Saturdays and holidays)

Mitsumata Number 1 quad
8am until 4:30am (7:30am start on Saturdays and holidays)

Mitsumata Number 2 Romance lift
9am until 4:30pm (8:30am start on Saturdays and holidays)

Mitsumata Number 3 Romance lift
Operating only on Saturdays and holidays when busy conditions

Kagura Gondola
8:15am until 4pm (7:45am start on Saturdays and holidays)

Kagura Number 1 quad
8:30am until 4pm (8am start on Saturdays and holidays)

Kagura Number 1 pair
9am until 4pm on Saturdays and holidays

Kagura Number 3 pair
Operating only on Saturdays and holidays when busy conditions

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Official resort snow depths @ Tuesday 7th May 2013, AM:

Kagura (Kagura-Mitsumata):
290cm

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All resorts in the Yuzawa area apart from Kagura are now closed for the season.

We will post some updates on this page and the Naeba Now page until the end of the season up there.   Read more ...
 

Shiga Kogen Now!

Tuesday 7th May 2013, 8:52am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
It's May 7th and light snow being reported as falling up at the still-open Kumanoyu. Winter just won't let go this year! It is most certainly a cold morning anyway and very unseasonal. Kumanoyu is reporting a temp of -3, with Shibutoge saying it's -8 degrees at top!

So from today it's just Kumanoyu and Yokoteyama/Shibutoge that remain open in Shiga Kogen. Actually this morning so far the lifts at Yokoteyama are not moving as they wait for the moderate to strong winds to ease off.

From tomorrow we can look forward to a return of slightly warmer conditions.

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Kumanoyu plans to be open until Sunday 12th May.
Yokoteyama / Shibutoge plan to be open until the end of May.
   Read more ...
 

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Furano Now
06th Oct, 13:31
Niseko Now
20th Sep, 17:14pm
Minakami Now
17th Sep, 10:23
Madarao Now
22nd Jul, 13:05pm
Hakuba Now
14th Jul, 14:12pm
Myoko Now
01st Jul, 11:49pm
Yuzawa Now
29th May, 14:13pm
Shiga Kogen Now
29th May, 7:35
Appi Kogen Now
18th May, 8:33
Grandeco Now
07th May, 19:56pm
Zao Now
07th May, 19:55pm
Naeba Now
07th May, 19:55pm
Nozawa Onsen Now
07th May, 19:53pm
Kiroro Now
01st May, 9:18am

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