Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 18th December 2017
Wednesday 9th November 2016, 9:54am
Almost on the edge of fog here
It's still more than a month until the ski areas have their scheduled openings (and all you people making early-season reservations: it's iffy until around Christmas, and often not so great even then), but it is snowing, so I have to make a report!
We're got about 5cm on the ground of good, heavy, wet, early-season snow, and it's coming down pretty steadily at the moment. The forecast is for up to about 10cm, which looks about right. The roads are pretty wet, so all of us who haven't put on our snow tires are still OK (although I did see some tire tracks for someone who couldn't make it up the long slope up to the ski area, and decided to turn around).
Does it really predict the season ahead? Probably not, but there's something special about that snow smell, and the first minus temperature on the car's display (hey, it's the first "on the ground" data I get every day). It's also amazing to see the jungle of sasa — the grass bamboo — getting flattened down almost immediately. If you visit here in the summer, you know how green and lush it is. Then we all forget when everything is under meters of snow )and the reverse, too. We forget how green it gets when everything is white for a long time).
Not a lot of changes to report locally. The lift ticket prices were released, and there's only a tiny increase in the rates. So we remain a true bargain; great value for your snow dollar. Or yen.
I suspect it will be a few weeks before I'm back with any snow news, but you never know. But, yes, that first snowfall does make things exciting.... Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Wednesday 9th November 2016, 10:21am
Hello everyone and welcome back to the Nozawa Now reports for the 2016-2017 season. The reports will appear daily once the ski lifts start moving, and I will try to keep you up to date on the weather from time to time before that date.
Everyone here is highly expectant - and simply just really, really hoping! - that this season will bring much more snow than last season. Which was something of an oddity.
And this morning I bring news of the first snowfall down to the village. Just a bit on the ground but I have been able to make a little mini-snowman and can get the snowfall numbers off to a start.
There's a saying in Nozawa (and indeed other regions) that once it snows three times up on the mountain, it gets snowing down in the village. And that is what has happened. A good start, indeed. Let's hope that is a good sign.
It's cold too, but it will be getting colder over the coming week and we will see more sunshine. So no rush to get the skis or boards waxed up just yet.
Hopefully Nozawa Onsen will be able to open on Saturday 26th November.
Look out for some major updates to SnowJapan in the coming days - and a new look for these reports. Read more ...
Wednesday 9th November 2016, 11:01am
After a long break and a good re-charge, it is nearly winter time once again here in Nagano Prefecture - and time for me to get ready to post my snow reports.
And how about this? Snow on the ground! I was actually down in Iiyama overnight and this morning driving up to Madarao was a bit dicey in my car. You see, I haven't changed to my snow tyres yet, something that I now regret. But the mountain is looking white and there was 4cm on the ground.
It is still really early of course, and this snow will melt away and we'll see more autumn-like warmer days again. So winter surely hasn't set in properly just yet, but it is a good sign.
Madarao Kogen is one of the resorts that usually waits for a decent base and a set opening date in mid December to open up for the season. The official opening date for Madarao Kogen this season is Saturday 17th December. So hopefully by then, hopefully there will be a really good base building up by then. Who knows, how about an early opening? (Just wishing). It's all looking positive though for a good start to the 16-17 season.
15-16 was disappointing in many regions of Japan... here's to a real bounce-back-to-form 16-17 season.
I will post more Madarao Now reports when there is further snowfall, and then the reports will be updating daily once the ski lifts start moving.
You may have noticed elsewhere on the website, but there are some big changes coming to SnowJapan in the next few days. The changes include a new look to these reports as well as an overhaul of the Resorts section of SnowJapan. All very exciting. Hopefully the updates will go smoothly, and you will like all of the new things that will be available to you to enjoy. Read more ...
Wednesday 9th November 2016, 12:07pm
After a cold night last night, we woke up this morning to rain in town and snow falling as you got higher up... with snow sticking on the mountainsides as well. No cm to report down in town.
See the photos below of Maiko Snow Resort and Ishiuchi Maruyama, looking towards Yuzawa from Minamiuonuma.
While it will undoubtedly quickly melt away, it is of course great to see. It's cold out there and not getting any warmer than 5 degrees here in town. There might be more rain/sleet/snow overnight but it should clear up tomorrow though it will remain cold.
More detailed reports coming next week as the season approaches. Read more ...
Wednesday 9th November 2016, 14:41pm
This report was written earlier this morning. Apologies for the delay in it appearing. Preparations for major site updates are making things complicated just at the moment. Things will hopefully settled down in that technical respect over the coming few days.
This is very nice.
Another 8cm of lovely snow on the ground at my measuring point this morning and very cold this morning. Feels like the coldest so far this season. The snow quality looks pretty good too, even down here at base, so I can imagine some good things happening up there higher up.
As I think I mentioned in my last report, we do expect things to get less cold and maybe sunny tomorrow and there's not much snow on the forecast over the coming week after tomorrow morning. Though early season forecasts have certainly been known to not be right before.
Just 2 weeks now from the first ski lifts (planned) opening in Niseko. Below are the planned dates for the four main resorts:
Niseko Grand Hirafu: Wednesday 23rd November 2016 until Sunday 7th May 2017 Niseko Annupuri: Saturday 26th November 2016 until Sunday 7th May 2017 Niseko Hanazono: Saturday 3rd December 2016 until Sunday 2nd April 2017 Niseko Village: Thursday 1st December 2016 until Sunday 2nd April 2017
Night skiing is planned from Saturday 10th December until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Annupuri, Grand Hirafu and Village resort areas. Read more ...
Wednesday 9th November 2016, 17:04pm
There was fairly thick cloud cover for most of the day today however it is clearing up now.
Good evening from Naeba everybody.
Well today has been a super exciting day for us all here as we have had had the first real snow of the season falling in Naeba today!
As of 1700 this afternoon a total of 6cm of snow had fallen at the base level of Naeba.
Whilst we are still quite a way away from opening day this is excellent news and a really good foreboding for the coming season.
Everyone please keep you fingers crossed and keep doing your snow dance, it's obviously working!
Yesterday the village was pelted by a significant amount of rain, and temperatures rose up to +6c. Things cooled down in the evening and by this morning it was pretty cold again and temperatures have remain negative all through the day. There was 4cm of new snow on the ground in the morning and another 6cm has fallen during the day. The forecast is for the snow to continue through tomorrow, but ease off in the evening. Read more ...