Jump to content


SnowJapan Admin
  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Blog Entries posted by SnowJapan

  1. SnowJapan
    Ski area opening & closing dates
    Here's something completely new for this year.
    On ski area information pages within SnowJapan, we have added the actual opening and closing dates for the 2021-2022 season as we all as the proposed opening and closing dates for the upcoming 2022-2023 season.
    What we used to do (on the old site)
    Previously, once a winter season was finished, we left the opening and closing dates untouched until the autumn months. Then, we gradually updated the information when specific dates became available (September through December).

    What we are doing now (on the new site)
    Take a look at this page, near the top:
    Planned season
    Friday 23rd December 2022 until early April 2023
    2021-2022 season (actual): 24th December 2021 - 3rd April 2022
    The red text shows the upcoming season's planned opening and closing dates.
    The blue text shows the actual opening date and the closing date for the 2021-2022 winter season that has just finished.
    This information can now be found on all of the 470+ ski area pages on SnowJapan.
    Further details
    About the planned dates for the 2022-2023 season
    The planned season dates are all subject to change (and some probably will). Most ski areas have not yet announced their specific planned opening and closing dates for the 2022-2023 season. The dates shown are either based on information from ski areas or based on previous recent seasons. Most ski areas will announce specific dates later in the year, usually between September and December. We will gradually update specific season dates on SnowJapan as we discover available updated information. Those updates will mostly happen between September and December. It is a manual process. About the actual dates for the 2021-2022 season
    This information is new for SnowJapan. We collected this information from official sources, including websites, social media, town websites, etc. Where official information was not available, we used other unofficial social media sources, searched, and made phone calls to discover dates. Even with our deep-dive search, it has been impossible to find actual dates for about 20 small ski areas. We have some other plans for this data. (More on that at a later date). We plan to check and update this information in May every year from now on.  
    >> Please see this message
  2. SnowJapan
    A new interactive guide to Japanese ski area opening & closing dates
    In late spring, as a new feature, we compiled and added the actual 2021-2022 season opening and closing dates for (almost) every ski area around Japan. That information is posted on the individual ski area pages within SnowJapan.
     We have brought all that information together in a new interactive table that lets you quickly view, compare, search, filter and sort it. Here it is:
    Please be sure to read the important notes to avoid any potential misunderstandings about the data.
     We plan to publish this information every year at the end of the snow season. Hopefully, it will be a valuable reference resource for anyone interested in when Japanese ski areas open and close each year.
    The planned opening dates for the upcoming 2022-2023 season will be checked and updated gradually over the coming weeks and months. Our manual information process updating process has already started.
    The countdown has begun!  
  3. SnowJapan

    SIte News
    On the new website we made some significant changes to the Webcams area of the site. Previously, all of the links were presented on one rather busy page. Some were links to pages within SnowJapan; some were links to outside SnowJapan. And (for various reasons) we were not able to make regular updates. Unfortunately, it had become rather outdated.
    On the new site, all that has changed with what we believe are many improvements. Here are the main changes:
    More than double the number of webcams
    As we were putting the new section together, we spent time to try and find as many interesting and relevant images/videos/feeds as possible from across Japan. On the new site we are presenting well over double the number of images that we were on the old page. That includes many new live video feeds. We plan to add more as we find them in the future.

    Northern, central and western Japan listings
    Due to the increasingly large number of links, we decided to split the section up into three main areas - northern, central and western Japan.

    All links now go to outside website
    Every link now goes directly to the webcam online or an official page presenting the data. (For those interested in such things: what goes on these pages is entirely at our discretion - it is not a form of promotion or advertising).

    Regular updates throughout the winter season
    During the winter months all the links are checked at least once a week, and updated as necessary. This is because sometimes the links change, especially for the more modern youtube-style video feeds. SnowJapan does not control any of these images and feeds, of course, but we can keep an eye on them for you and adjust as necessary. And that is what we will do. We even plan to check them outside of the winter season from time to time.
    Mobile friendly
    The webcam listing pages can now easily be viewed on mobile devices. This is, of course, a site-wide improvement.
  4. SnowJapan
    Asama Onsen was a ski area located in Matsumoto City in Nagano Prefecture.
    It was a fairly small area and was open between the 1950s and 1972. Despite having being closed for nearly 50 years, the ski lift is still there.
    More details along with a lot of photographs here:
    Asama Onsen, Matsumoto City
  5. SnowJapan
    Family Skijo オース was a ski area located to the east of central Fukui City in what used to be Miyama Town. The full name of the ski area in Japanese was ファミリースキー場オース but it is unclear how the last part of the name should be written in English characters. Perhaps one reason why the name is a mystery is… because the ski area never actually opened.
    The facility was built in 1994 and was officially abandoned in 2007 but during that period it did not officially open… not even for one day!
    More details here:
    Family Skijo, Fukui City
  6. SnowJapan
    Makiyose was a ski area in the Shiojima neighbourhood of Hakuba Village in the northern region of Nagano Prefecture. Makiyose opened in 1962 and closed after less than a decade of operations in 1969. The single ski lift at Makiyose remains in place but it has been swallowed up by more than 50 years of natural growth, providing some very striking images. In recent years cross country and snow shoe tours have been held on this hill, and the old ski area has become something of a historical monument reminding us of a past era.
    More details here:
    Makiyose Ski Area, Hakuba Village, Nagano Prefecture
  7. SnowJapan
    Sarugedake was a ski area located on the north western slopes of the mountain of the same name, in the Saruge neighbourhood of Kamo City in Niigata Prefecture. Sarugedake opened in the mid 1960s and closed in the late 1970s. This region of Niigata Prefecture used to receive more snow than it does now, but even back in the 1970s Sarugedake apparently struggled with limited snowfall. A hiking course on the mountain comes down through what used to be the ski slopes. The old ski lift and other facilities remain in place. They are now surrounded by forest and undergrowth, making for some very striking and unique scenery.
    More details here:
    Sarugedake Ski Area, Kamo City, Niigata Prefecture
  8. SnowJapan
    Kamishiro was the name of a ski area in the Kamishiro neighbourhood of Hakuba Village in Nagano Prefecture. This ski area existed before what is now known as Hakuba Goryu was fully developed. The top of the Kamishiro slope was connected with the Champion Expert Course at Hakuba Goryu as that ski area expanded. The ski lift at Kamishiro closed in the 1980s and has been removed. In recent years the area has been used as an official tree run course of Hakuba Goryu and is known as the Kamishiro Gelande.
    More details here:
    Kamishiro Ski Area, Hakuba Village
  9. SnowJapan
    Annandaira was a ski area located in Yamanouchi Town in the northern region of Nagano Prefecture. It was on the lower western slopes of Boderayama, about 3km off Route 292 at a point before the road starts to climb up to the Shiga Kogen area. Annandaira opened in 1980 and closed in 1986 and so only had a short lifespan, but it has a fascinating story:
    Annandaira Ski Area, Yamanouchi Town
  10. SnowJapan
    The downhill events of the  1972 Sapporo Winter Olympics were held on custom-made ski runs on the south west slopes of Mt Eniwa in Chitose City, Hokkaido. The location was chosen after no suitable venue could be found within the borders of Sapporo City, the official host city of the Olympics. A brand new 31 person ropeway, ski lift, heliport and other related facilities were all constructed - on the condition that they would be completely dismantled after the Olympics, and that the mountain would be restored to its original state.
    More on this fascinating story over on the SnowJapanHistory site here:
  11. SnowJapan
    Mikuni was a ski area in the southern region of Yuzawa Town in Niigata Prefecture, close to the border with Minakami Town in Gunma Prefecture. It was less than 4km to the south of the famous Naeba ski resort and was operated by the same company.
    Located deep in the mountains at the end of a winding and sometimes narrow road, Mikuni had a distinctly different feel to the more famous - and much busier - neighbour. For a long time, Mikuni was a skiers-only hill and joint lift tickets were available for the other two nearby areas - Shirakabadaira and Asagai.
    Mikuni closed in 2004 and the mountain has been returned to nature.
    More information and photos here:
  12. SnowJapan
    Akagisan Dai 1 (Akagisan Number 1) is a ski area located on the north-eastern slopes of the 1,674m Jizodake, by the side of Lake Onuma in Maebashi City in Gunma Prefecture.
    At one time there were three ski areas by the lake. Akagisan Dai 2 and Akagisan Dai 3 are now both closed, but Akagisan Dai 1 remains in operation. However, the current ski area is a greatly scaled-down version of what it used to be and in recent years it has boasted of being the ‘self-proclaimed smallest ski area in Japan’!
    At one time Akagisan Dai 1 was known as ‘the closest ski area to Tokyo'.
    More information and photos here:
  13. SnowJapan
    Nanamaki was a ski area located in the Nanagamaki neighbourhood of Nozawa Onsen Village in the north-western region of Nagano Prefecture. It was to the north of the famous Nozawa Onsen ski area - less than 3km direct or just over 10km by road.
    Skiers would get off the train at nearby Kuwanagawa Station, take a ferry boat across Chikuma River and then walk about 1km to get to the ski hill. Nanamaki was the end point of a popular tour course coming down from the Uenotaira area of the Nozawa Onsen ski area.
    Nanamaki closed in 1982 and apart from the concrete foundations of the ski lift and base building, little evidence of the ski area remains.
    More information and photographs here:
  14. SnowJapan
    Shinanodaira was a ski area located on the eastern slopes of Kuroiwayama and to the north of central Iiyama City in the northern region of Nagano Prefecture.
    It was originally known as Kuroiwa and experienced a few different ski lift set ups during the years of operation before closing in 2001.
    More information and photos here:
  15. SnowJapan
    Urasa was a ski area located in the northern region of Minamiuonuma City in Niigata Prefecture. It was just 1km from the central town area of Urasa and the Shinkansen Station.
    Urasa was only a small ski area but it was very well known in the Japan ski community due to the reputation of the ski school… people come from afar to take lessons and take the ‘badge test’ at Urasa.
    It first opened in 1958 and closed in 2011.
    More information and photos here:
  16. SnowJapan
    Kirifuri Kogen was a ski area located on the eastern slopes of Mt Nyoko to the north of Nikko City in Tochigi Prefecture.
    The base was located at an altitude of 1,230m but even so it did not receive huge amounts of snowfall and a number of snow-making machines were used to help out. The lifts at Kirifuri Kogen were also used outside of the winter season for sightseeing.
    The ski lifts are now gone but the Kisugedaira Park still opens during the summer months.
    More information and photos here:
  17. SnowJapan
    Iizuna Kogen was located to the north of Nagano City on the southern slopes of Mt Iizuna, between the still-operating Togakushi on the western slopes and Iizuna Resort on the eastern slopes of the same mountain.
    Iizuna Kogen was owned by the city and was popular with locals. The Moguls events of the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics were held on the F Course and Tae Satoya won the gold medal. Subsequently, the course was named after her.
    In recent years Iizuna Kogen struggled with snowfall and made various changes to lift and course operations. The last day of operation was 16th February 2020.
    More information and photos here:
  • Create New...