Snow and weather reports posted on Tuesday 20th February 2018

Zao Now!

Thursday 8th February 2018, 7:01am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Zao.

Some more snow on the ground this morning with light snow easing off.

As with what looks like most of Japan, temperatures are set to rise a little around Saturday but that shouldn't be lasting long with a quick dip back down due along with fresh snow... we should be starting the new week with snow on the ground;.

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Lifts and course info:

- All lifts appear to be opening as scheduled
- Note: the Karamatsu pair lift usually only operates on weekends
- All areas open

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 170cm
- Paradise area: 200cm
- Chuo area: 200cm
- Utopia area: 220cm
- Uwanodai area: 135cm
- Oomori area: 140cm

---

Zao Onsen forecast:

Zao Onsen 6-day snow and weather forecast

Floodlit night skiing is planned as follows:

In the Uwanodai area:
Daily until Sunday 4th March 2018
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 9th March until Sunday 18th March 2018

In the Yokokura area:
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only until Sunday 18th February 2018
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 2nd March until Sunday 11th March 2018

Night time 'light up' sightseeing ropeway is planned for the following dates:

February 2018: every day
March 2018: 1st-4th   Read more ...
 

Minakami Now!

Thursday 8th February 2018, 7:22am
Weather conditions: Clear
New snowfall: 4cm
Snow depth: --
Winter marches on and yesterday on mountain was pleasantly surprising with chopped up pistes during the morning that somehow stayed very soft and shreddable. Cold temps and wind transported snow got the job done, even more so in the afternoon when backcountry boot packs were half filled in after each 35 minute lap. We also saw light snow during the afternoon in spite of the generally clear weather.

Last night's snow fall was small at the base but I am guessing we will get a partial reset up top.

More sunny weather here right now and the forecast is for the next decent snowfall to commence Saturday evening.

I heard Hodaigi was great yesterday with untracked pow on piste.

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Ski resorts in Minakami:

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

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Resort Spotlights with more detail:

Norn Minakami
Okutone Snow Park

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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 ...
 

Geto Kogen Now!

Thursday 8th February 2018, 7:24am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: --
Good Morning!

We started out with some sun yesterday morning but before mid-morning it quickly changed, giving us some light snow for an hour or two and a couple of cm’s. Today, we’ve recorded 2cm overnight, and though that isn’t much to report, the powder across the resort is still light and dry thanks to the low temps. The calm winds is also playing.a factor, with the surface of the snow staying forgiving.

Light snow is expected throughout the day, perhaps 5cm across the whole day, with the wind to start light and gradually become stronger into the afternoon, but only by a little bit. Tops of -5C. Currently, the 2nd Gondola is only open on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. This shouldn’t affect your day though, as the terrain is still fully accessible and midweek we aren’t seeing big crowds.

Temps are set to warm up for the next two days, with Saturday showing some above-zero temps. No precipitation forecast though, so we should be safe. Then, more snow expected from Sunday into early next week.

Friday: light snow, tops of -2C, light winds
Saturday: light snow, tops of 2C, winds increasing
Sunday: light/mod snow, tops of -4C, moderate winds

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Official snow depths:

Top: 440cm
Base: 300cm

Night skiing operations are scheduled at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018   Read more ...
 

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Thursday 8th February 2018, 7:37am
Weather conditions: Blue skies above mountain, some low cloud
New snowfall: 12cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Nozawa.

Them there snow clouds did indeed visit us yesterday after that fine start and by 3pm the resort was reporting 4-7cm of snow on the upper areas of the resort with a few cm lower down and this morning the total snowfall reported by Nozawa is headlined by the 27cm at top Yamabiko and just over 10cm at base. So a nice new layer this morning.

Some low cloud aside, the clouds have dispersed again and blue skies are above the mountain. It is looking likely that today and tomorrow will be all about sun and while it's cold this morning over the next few days temperatures are going to be rising towards a high on Saturday. The next snowfall is due Saturday night but before that there looks to be a chance of rain - particular at lower elevations. Fingers crossed we can miss that and it just gets colder and starts snowing.

In the meantime, a very fine few days ahead. Let's Nozawa!

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Thursday 9th February 2018

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

- Yamabiko (1407m): 27cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 24cm
- Hikage (660m): 10cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 12cm
- Karasawa (563m): ?cm

Official snow depth numbers:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 335m
- Uenotaira (1230m): 285cm
- Hikage (660m): 195cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 195cm
- Karasawa (563m): 165cm

Lifts operations:

- All scheduled lifts appear to be operating as normal.
- 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 East   Read more ...
 

Hakuba Now!

Thursday 8th February 2018, 7:59am
Weather conditions: Cloud, some blue sky
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

The wind got itself under control yesterday and snow was falling on mountain by later in the afternoon. This morning the ski resorts are reporting just a thin layer of snow on the mountain (generally 1-2cm), though I suspect there was more than that up there.... but, hey, them be the numbers being reported.

There's cloud around this morning, but there's some blue sky too. A different feel/look depending on which direction you look in. I'd expect sunshine today and tomorrow though.

Looks like temps are going to warm up come Saturday and there's even the chance of rain but what comes after that looks pretty tasty - lots of snow.

It should be a good few days; but keep your eye on the forecasts for Saturday.

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Ski resort information on Thursday 8th February 2018 (at time of writing):

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- Lifts should be operating as normal

Courses open:
- All courses should be open as normal
- Happo Banks is now open

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 390cm
- Usagidaira: 225cm
- Lower: 145cm

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Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- Lifts appear to be operating as normal
- The top Alps Number 2/4 pair lifts will be open daily from 10th Feb until 18th March

Courses open:
- All courses should be open as normal

Official snow depth:
- Top: 380cm
- Toomi: 135cm
- Iimori: 107cm

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Hakuba 47

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned
- Line D usually operates only when the Gondola is not operating

Courses open:
- All main courses available

Official snow depth:
- Top: 330cm
- Base: 140cm

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Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- Should be open as normal apart from Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner I

Courses open:
- All course areas are open

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori: 320cm
- Han-no-ki: 315cm
- Maruyama: 130cm
- Shirakaba: 265cm
- Champion: 160cm
- Oya-no-hara: 150cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: 165cm

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Hakuba Cortina

Operating lifts:
- All lifts are operating this morning

Courses open:
- All courses apart from Itadaira Ridge should be open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 345cm
- Base: 211cm

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Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

Operating lifts:
- Most lifts are operating with most courses open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 220cm
- Base: 130cm

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Hakuba Norikura Onsen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Alps Number 7 should be operating as planned

Official snow depth:
- 270cm

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Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Number 10 should be operating

Official snow depth:
- 190cm

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Hakuba Sanosaka

Operating lifts:
- All three lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 150cm

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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
Kane-no-naru-oka area from 6pm until 8:50pm on 3rd, 10th, 11th February
Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6pm until 9pm on 10th, 11th, 17th February; 3rd, 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 ...
 

Yuzawa Now!

Thursday 8th February 2018, 8:05am
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa.

Those lovely blue skies lasted until around lunchtime yesterday, when clouds quite quickly moved in from the north and it started snowing.

This morning there's 10cm of fresh on the ground. (Kagura is reporting 15cm; Maiko Snow Resort is reporting 10cm).

...and, once again, beautiful clear skies over Yuzawa.

Clouds, once again, are starting the day off to the north of us.

It's a chilly start to the morning but we are expecting temperatures to be somewhat higher over the next few days, especially on Saturday (rising to around +7 or 8C) when it might rain before the next snow starts falling, which is due late Saturday or into Sunday.

This time the forecasts all seem to agree that tomorrow should see sunshine during the day.

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Images today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Ishiuchi Maruyama (looking north).

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Updated: Thursday 8th 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
- 310cm

Iwappara
- 205cm

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

Kandatsu Kogen
- 245cm

Naeba
- 240cm (base)

NASPA Ski Garden
- 240cm

Yuzawa Kogen
- Top: 280cm
- Base: 230cm

Yuzawa Park
- 180cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
- 180cm

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

Ishiuchi Maruyama
- 250cm

Joetsu Kokusai
- 250cm

Maiko Snow Resort
- Top: 260cm
- Base: 180cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- Closed on Wednesdays until 14th March
- 340cm   Read more ...
 

Myoko Now!

Thursday 8th February 2018, 8:15am
Weather conditions: Mostly sunny
New snowfall: 22cm
Snow depth: --
Another sunny day, after some nice, if not particularly heavy snowfall through late afternoon and into the night.

It is cold again, too; still -10° while the morning snow throwing was going on.

The resorts are all over the place, though: some have it warmer, some lower than yesterday.

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Akakura Kanko:
330 cm, -7°

Akakura Onsen:
380cm, -12°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
265cm, -10°

Myoko Suginohara:
220cm, -10°

Seki Onsen:
420 cm, -8°

Myoko Ski Park:
290 cm, -4°

Kyukamura RunRun:
330 cm, -5°

Tangram Ski Circus:
230 cm, -8°

Madarao Kogen:
240 cm, -9°

Kurohime Kogen Ski Park:
200cm, -9°
   Read more ...
 

Myoko Now!

Thursday 8th February 2018, 8:15am
Weather conditions: Mostly sunny
New snowfall: 22cm
Snow depth: --
Another sunny day, after some nice, if not particularly heavy snowfall through late afternoon and into the night. It is cold again, too; still -10° while the morning snow throwing was going on. The resorts are all over the place, though: some have it warmer, some lower than yesterday.

Akakura Kanko:
330 cm, -7°

Akakura Onsen:
380cm, -12°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
265cm, -10°

Myoko Suginohara:
220cm, -10°

Seki Onsen:
420 cm, -8°

Myoko Ski Park:
290 cm, -4°

Kyukamura RunRun:
330 cm, -5°

Tangram Ski Circus:
230 cm, -8°

Madarao Kogen:
240 cm, -9°

Kurohime Kogen Ski Park:
200cm, -9°
   Read more ...
 

Madarao Now!

Thursday 8th February 2018, 8:20am
Weather conditions: Mostly blue sky, some thin cloud
New snowfall: 12cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Madarao.

More sunshine and blue skies (with a bit of think cloud) this morning over our mountain. We did get some fresh snow with the clouds moving in and delivery yesterday. This morning the resort is reporting 5cm and I am actually measuring 12cm.

Sun is probably going to be the main feature of the weather over the next few days. Saturday is due to be mild but it be getting cold by night time with fresh snow due before my report on Sunday... and we could be on for a decent amount too as we enter next week.

A mix of sunshine and regular fresh snow with a snow storm fairly regularly - sounds like a good pattern that. Let's hope it keeps on going right through the next few months.

Should be another really fun morning.

---

Official snow depth:
240cm

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
Free Ride Park
Powder Theater
Adventure Aisle
Crystal Bowl
Ninja
Sawa
Rabbit
Kamoshika
Bear

Kids Park

Planned nighta operations this season:

Every Saturday until 24th March 2018
11th February 2018
   Read more ...
 

Shiga Kogen Now!

Thursday 8th February 2018, 8:28am
Weather conditions: Sunny, blue skies
New snowfall: 18cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning.

That pattern of snow overnight and sun in the morning is continuing. It's a good pattern, especially if there's up to 30cm of fresh snow coming during the night! This morning the Kumanoyu area is reporting 20-30cm of fresh; I am measuring 18cm.

And it's cold and sunny now.

Excellent.

Sun is expected tomorrow too.

Things seem set to change at the weekend. Up here in Shiga Kogen snow should start falling by the end of the day and at least a few days of snow - heavy at times - is forecast. (Lower down in the valleys, rain is still there on the forecast as temperatures are going to be a big higher).

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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.

Giant
170cm

Higashitateyama
190cm

Ichinose Family
210cm

Ichinose Diamond
210cm

Kumanoyu
270cm

Maruike
110cm

Nishitateyama
210cm

Okushiga Kogen
250cm

Sun Valley
110cm

Takamagahara Mammoth
210cm

Terakoya
190cm

Yakebitaiyama
220cm

Yokoteyama
250cm   Read more ...
 

Niseko Now!

Thursday 8th February 2018, 8:30am
Weather conditions: Cloud, some blue sky...
New snowfall: 7cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Niseko.

This morning I have 7cm of fresh snow to add to my reports and I notice 15cm being reported from Moiwa (below). So a modest refresh which should be nice to ride on.

As I write the report this morning snow is falling, but it's quite bright and there is also blue sky in places so a somewhat confusing - and very pretty - mix of conditions. Perhaps some more light snow today, or perhaps clearing skies?

Resorts are opening as planned this morning.

Maybe no snow tomorrow and then slightly milder conditions on Saturday.

Beyond that, the forecast is looking pretty good over the coming week and with the Chinese New Year holidays fast approaching, we can hopefully look forward to a fresh delivery of snow daily to fill in tracks (please). Perhaps with some sunshine during the day for the views. Onegai shimasu!

---

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -6℃,10cm snowfall, calm. Moiwa800m: -9℃, WNW3.6m/s, 15cm snowfall, snowdrifts developed at night until dawn. Annupuri1150m: -9℃, W7m/s, 10cm snowfall, 330cm snowpack at 1000m. Hirafu1250m: -11℃, northerly wind & snow before dawn with 5cm snowfall. Coastal data: Benkei cape NW13m/s, Kamui cape WSW13m/s, 1011hPa, 1.2m waves.

A light storm under 15m/s has persisted over the Sea of Japan, however the isobars are spreading out and the wind is starting to calm down in lower elevations. A northerly wind has picked up overnight and made cornices and snowdrifts develop. Surface slab avalanches are to be expected during the morning at knolls and around cornices above 800m elevation. Potential sliding layer is Feb 5-7th’ low pressure snowfall. The new snowdrifts are yet to form notable slabs, however are dangerous enough. All gates are expected to open. Please seek the patrol’s advice and be well prepared before stepping out of the gate.

The snow in the trees is fairly good, probably a little better than yesterday’s. Avoid cornices and knolls. Cracks in the Mikaeri bowl area are growing. Glide cracks are forming due to heavy amount of snow, predominantly in south facing aspects. These cracks are forming as the slope is releasing its own tension. They most probably won’t slide right away, however chances of glide avalanches are to be expected. Stay away from slopes without wrinkles under cracks. Do not stay put at the bottom of the valleys. Avalanches strike from above.

There is no 100% safety in the mountains, however most risks can be avoided by making conservative decisions. Beware of sudden weather change and falling in cracks, they are difficult to notice from above. Have a nice day.

---

Thursday 8th February 2018

Resort specific information (operations subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts (apart from King Number 2) should be operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 420cm
- Base: 200cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

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

Official snow depth:
- Top: 360cm
- Base: 230cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts (apart from the Country Road Chair lift) should be operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 360cm
- Base: 230cm

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Floodlit 'nighta' skiing:

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 ...
 

Naeba Now!

Thursday 8th February 2018, 8:33am
Weather conditions: Bluebird
New snowfall: 6cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba! It's another cool, crisp and clear morning in the Mikuni valley today. The pistes are in fantastic condition and were topped up nicely with 6cm of fresh snow yesterday afternoon. Quite the squall came through yesterday between 3 - 5pm, snowing heavily for this period but subsequently blowing itself back out of the valley in the evening. For the remainder of today, we can expect the air temperature to remain well below 0°C, dropping to as low as -13°C overnight tonight. There could be some cloud and even light snow falling later into this afternoon. The wind will gradually pick up as the day goes on, but this is unlikely to have too much of an impact.

Looking forwards, we can expect another clear day tomorrow, with air temperatures creeping up far closer to 0°C than they have for a good few days. Following this, on Saturday, things will warm up significantly, indicating the imminent arrival of the next storm system into the Mikuni valley. The snowfall is currently predicted to begin overnight on Saturday with heavy precipitation. Snow will continue until at least Tuesday, as currently predicted. As this storm system settles in, the air temperatures will drop significantly again, back to being similar to the recent highs we have been experiencing of around -5°C. The wind is predicted to strengthen somewhat during this period, however current suggestions indicate that it shouldn't be a significant problem.

Taiyō!   Read more ...
 

Grandeco Now!

Thursday 8th February 2018, 8:41am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy
New snowfall: 17cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

It was snowing on and off through the day yesterday with 17cm of new snowfall to report this morning.

It has stop falling now and is currently some blue sky to be can be seen between the clouds, but according to the forecast, it should be a generally calm and cloudy day today.

Whichever, a good day to ride on the fresh snow.

---

Lifts operating:

- All lifts operating

Courses open:

- All courses open

Official snow depth:
- 310cm

Forecast:
- Grandeco snow and weather forecast

   Read more ...
 

Appi Kogen Now!

Thursday 8th February 2018, 11:50am
Weather conditions: Cloudy...
New snowfall: 4cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Appi,

What started off as a bluebird day changed in about 20 minutes and now we’re looking at cloudy skies with some very light snowfall. The sun keeps trying to peek through but is fighting a losing battle. The winds may pick up late afternoon making it a little chilly at the summit. As far as snow goes we could get another 15cm today with much more still forecast at the weekend starting late Saturday.

We may see a warming spell here as temperatures at the base rise to around -3 tomorrow. Cloudy skies are also in the forecast for the next week or so with relatively stable winds around 10-15m/s.

The mountain is in great shape although I wish they would have left a little more ungroomed after the deluge of snow we received a few days ago. They have a penchant for grooming almost everything here when it would be so much more fun at least for the first few hours of the day. That being said all the groomed runs are in excellent shape.

---

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 lift

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

---

Official snow depth:

250cm   Read more ...
 

Furano Now!

Thursday 8th February 2018, 12:05pm
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
It was cold to start off at around -10c. Since then it has warmed up to -2c at base, and with strong sunshine it felt pretty warm with no jacket needed for a short walk in the village. The skies have gone from blue to mostly grey now but it is still a very nice day. There was only the slightest of dustings overnight so the slopes are pretty much unchanged from yesterday. More snow to freshen things up would be most welcome. There is a possibility Saturday could bring some rain to lower elevations.   Read more ...
 

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Madarao Now
20th Feb, 8:36
Shiga Kogen Now
20th Feb, 8:34
Hakuba Now
20th Feb, 8:17
Nozawa Onsen Now
20th Feb, 8:15
Grandeco Now
20th Feb, 8:11
Niseko Now
20th Feb, 8:01
Naeba Now
20th Feb, 8:00am
Yuzawa Now
20th Feb, 7:57
Geto Kogen Now
20th Feb, 7:20
Furano Now
20th Feb, 7:19
Myoko Now
19th Feb, 15:47pm
Appi Kogen Now
19th Feb, 10:49
Zao Now
19th Feb, 10:05
Minakami Now
19th Feb, 8:33

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