Today is the last day of the 2015-2016 season (with just one short run remaining open at Kumanoyu today).
Looking back over my archived Shiga Kogen Now reports here on SnowJapan, let's take a look at the closing dates for all resorts in Shiga Kogen over recent years:
14/15 season: 17th May 13/14 season: 25th May 12/13 season: 26th May 11/12 season: 27th May 10/11 season: 29th May 09/10 season: 30th May
So as you can see, this season has ended considerably earlier than usual. And it's actually interesting - and slightly worrying - to see that the last day of the season has also been getting progressively 'earlier' each season in recent years. The timing of the days+dates may well have something to do with that, but still...
For the season that has just finished, it's no real surprise with the weather and snowfall that we experienced this time round.
Resorts themselves are using phrases such as 例年に無い積雪不足 (snow shortages not experienced in previous seasons).
I was reading through the season end reports on Nozawa Now and Madarao Now, and it's a fairly similar story here.
This season the consistency that we are used to just wasn't there for the most part and there were more than a few times when we had to go back to discussing the 'odd weather' in these reports. Please be sure to look back over the season reports to get a clear picture of how it all happened. And as the other reports have mentioned, make sure to read the reports from previous seasons as well.
Still, it may not have been anything like a classic season but I enjoyed some very fine days out there on the snow, as did many people who I met visiting from overseas.
But here's to a return to more consistency and huge amounts of regular snowfall in 16/17!
Shiga Kogen is of course a fine place to visit throughout the year - especially the ability to escape the heat and humidity of the valleys and cities - and now that the snow is not blocking the roads you can approach the region from Gunma as well as from the Nagano side.
I hope you have a good few months, thanks for reading and I'll see you back here on Shiga Kogen Now before winter arrives.