Just enough wind to move the enw leaves around
Temperature (mountain top):
A nice Golden Week day for a last report for the season: the snow is going, going, gone!
Akakan and Seki are still open today, though, with lots of people out there enjoying the last rides of the year (in the resorts, of course; the backcountry is still good out there, although that heavy snow of this season is really disappearing faster than we might have expected).
It was a good snow year for Myoko - nice to be the national leader in the SnowJapan reports! (Check out the observed snow data page linked to from here for evidence!)
With somewhere on the high side of 16 meters, that was a lot of snow out there. The patterns seem to be changing a bit, though; we didn't see the ongoing days and days of snow that are common here. Heavy snowfalls, and a lot more wind than we normally expect (at least judging from the north side of my house, which was completely buried by drifts, a first in 10 years in this location).
We also saw a real jump in the number of international travelers this year, which had some people a little bit nervous - as in, "can we keep our local feeling?". For the most part, though, local hotels and restaurants have had a few years to sort of ease into the change, so most people are pretty happy about the growth. Part of it, too, is that people are coming from more and more destinations—lots of North Americans and Northern European guests, as well as from Asia (still not as many as in many other destinations). What's the old thing about change being the only constant? With poor snowfall in a lot of places around the world, looks like Japan can only become more popular—and that's good for Japan for things beyond the snow season, too.
Your reporter remains positive, and ready for the next season.... see you then!