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Updates & Reports: Our plans for the 2020-2021 winter season



Greetings to you all from a (still-hot) Niigata Prefecture.

Wherever you are in the world, we hope this message finds you well.

2020 has been such a difficult year for so many - both individuals and businesses - and many unanswered questions remain regarding the upcoming winter season. Back at the end of last season we were all hoping that the covid-19 situation would have cleared up more than it has done by now, but the subject of course still looms large. We wish we had answers to the big questions. All we can really do for now is remain patient and hopeful for brighter news… sooner than later, please.

I think we have all probably read more than enough on that particular subject, so we do not wish to dwell on it any further for the moment. Rather, we want to be positive and look forward, and take this opportunity to tell you what we have planned for the coming months and during the 2020-2021 Japan winter season.

Basically, we are preparing SnowJapan.com to be running as close to normal as is possible. 

It's what we do.

Here's more details:

Updating our ski area information   [September-December]

The process of updating our all-Japan ski area information on SnowJapan has started.

In a normal year...

Our updating work usually takes us 3+ months, from September through until December.

This year...

We have only just started working on updates for the upcoming season, so we have not yet delved deep. However, we get the feeling that this year information gathering is going to be more complicated than usual. And perhaps generally later than usual, as ski areas wait on updates to general/travel circumstances. There is also probably going to be lots of ‘News’. In addition to updating information on all the ski area pages within SnowJapan, we also plan to separately post various news items on the site. That should start around early October.

Every year...

  • As we check and update information, we are as careful and thorough as possible. Our intention is to bring you correct, reliable, and up-to-date information.
  • We are not here to bring you shiny marketing messages or promotional press releases.
  • The process of carefully checking and updating information on about 500 ski areas in multiple stages takes a lot of time.
  • The work is all manual and we only use original Japanese sources.
  • Updates on our site may seem to be somewhat random…
  •  …and in some ways, they are!  That is because we keep checking, re-checking and updating as we find relevant information.
  • Updates for each ski area will probably be done in stages, as more information becomes available.
  • This work is ongoing and information is updated gradually (it doesn't all appear at once).
  • We try to update information for larger, more well-known ski areas as early in the process as possible.
  • We cannot update the information on SnowJapan if we do not have confirmation of information from original sources.
  • In our experience over the years, many ski areas around Japan do not update their own websites until November (or even December!)
  • Expect most visible updates to appear on SnowJapan around the period late-October through late-November.
  • Just so it's clear... no-one is telling us what to do. It's all us - checking, updating, checking and updating manually.
  • Gambarimasu...!

'Now' daily reports   [during the winter season]

We intend to publish as many of our popular ‘Now’ daily reports as possible through the 2020-2021 winter season.

However we cannot yet confirm full details… because we do not know ourselves what is going to be possible. For a ‘Now’ daily report section to be possible, we need our trusted reporters to be available, on location, and committed to posting reports every day of the season. There is no 'mid' setting - it's either a full proper report every day or no report. Due to various circumstances beyond our control, that may well not be possible for some of our usual reports this year.

But we will certainly do what we can!

Daily snow depth data   [during the winter season]

The official daily snow depth data for ski areas throughout Japan should be updating as normal throughout the winter season.



So keep an eye on the site for updates over the coming weeks and months.

In the meantime, if the subject of ski areas from the past sounds interesting to you, be sure to check out the new SnowJapanHistory website here: www.snowjapanhistory.com. SnowJapanHistory is a personal project of the creator of SnowJapan. Currently the website introduces 114 historic ski areas around Japan and more are being added each week.

That’s all for now.

Stay safe and take care.





Recommended Comments

  • SnowJapan Admin

24th September UPDATE:

It is still early days, but it appears that many ski areas are going to be putting out information later than usual - due to there being many unknowns.

As such we expect that updates to SnowJapan are going to be generally later than in a normal year.





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  • SnowJapan Admin

9th November UPDATE:

The big task of gradually checking and updating ski area information continues.

We are working through it and updates are being made every day.

As expected, lots of information is being released later than normal this year.... so we just need to be patient.

Some information (not all) is being picked up and noted in the various threads in the Blog section:







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  • SnowJapan Admin

21st November UPDATE:

The work continues!

By our reckoning, somewhere between 150-200 ski areas around Japan have still not released official information regarding the 2020-2021 season and/or updated their websites.

Even a few larger and more popular ski areas...   :confused:

Yes, we think it a bit mad too.

But we can't do anything about it.

Perhaps some are leaving things even later this year to make some final decisions regarding the coronavirus situation? 

All we can do is to continue checking and making updates as we find them.

And that is what we will do!


As always, the individual ski area pages on the site are where all the gradual updates are happening, and some highlighted here:







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  • SnowJapan Admin

3rd December UPDATE:

The updates continue!

By our reckoning, as of 1st December 2020 around over 150 (and as many as 175) ski areas around Japan had still not updated their own information (!)

We expect to be able to make lots of the remaining updates in the coming days. Hopefully by the middle of December it will be almost done.




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  • SnowJapan Admin

4th December UPDATE:

Just one more point:

There are rumours about a number of ski areas that will not be opening this season -- hence the non-appearance of information as yet.

We plan to report on those things when we have more confirmation.... rather than just rumours.



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  • SnowJapan Admin

16th December UPDATE:

There's still about 100 to go... mostly small ski areas.

They seem to be later than usual; perhaps some of them are not going to update and not open....

We're still checking and updating each day.



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  • SnowJapan Admin

21st December UPDATE:

The very heavy snowfall over the last week has delayed our updating.... we have been distracted by the need to be out shovelling, and our daily reports are also taking up a lot of time each day.

We are hoping to get most of the remaining updates done by the end of the weekend.



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  • SnowJapan Admin

27th December UPDATE:

At last!!!  Today we have completed our updates.   :friend:

Sort of.... :confused:

There are about 20 ski areas around Japan that we still are unable to find recent information on --- either online or even calling telephone numbers of the ski areas and local tourism boards etc in the search for information.

For the moment we have noted those ski areas as 20-21 season details unconfirmed.

There are also a few things that we have flagged to re-check.

So we will be trying to fill in any gaps as much as possible in the next 1-2 weeks.

In early January we plan to put together a few interesting findings and observations from our Japan-wide updates.




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