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SnowJapan#David

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About SnowJapan#David

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  1. Accommodation Information on Bears House in Ishiuchi, Minamiuonuma, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/niigata/minamiuonuma/bears-house
  2. (NAEBA, YUZAWA) Jobs Available / Employment Information on jobs available at iCamp Hotel in Naeba, Yuzawa, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-general-information/employment-opportunites-at-icamp-hotel
  3. Accommodation Information on iCamp Hotel in Naeba, Yuzawa, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/niigata/yuzawa/icamp-hotel
  4. Accommodation Information on Bears House in Ishiuchi, Minamiuonuma, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/niigata/minamiuonuma/bears-house
  5. Added 11th June 2019: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/news-2019-developments-at-niseko-hanazono
  6. Added 8th June 2019: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/news-goodbye-oana-minakami
  7. SnowJapan#David

    Consumption tax increase (and Niseko lift ticket prices)

    Good point there Metabo Oyaji - we will edit it to make it very clear that those prices are for the all-mountain Niseko United ticket. (Edited: done that!) When we looked the other day the individual prices for 19/20 weren't up yet... but we'll add those in later too.
  8. (NAEBA, YUZAWA) Jobs Available / Employment Information on jobs available at iCamp Hotel in Naeba, Yuzawa, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-general-information/employment-opportunites-at-icamp-hotel
  9. Accommodation Information on iCamp Hotel in Naeba, Yuzawa, Niigata can be found here: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-places-to-stay/niigata/yuzawa/icamp-hotel
  10. SnowJapan#David

    About the upcoming consumption tax increase

    Unless there is a last minute change in policy, consumption tax rates in Japan are set to increase from 8% to 10% from October this year. Between April 1997 and March 2012 the consumption tax rate in Japan was 5%. It then increased to 8% in April 2014 with a view to it being increased to 10% by October 2015. For various reasons that was postponed twice meaning we are still currently at 8%, but the increase to 10% is scheduled to come into effect from October. The tax increase back in 2015 saw many things in Japan becoming more expensive and some companies also took the opportunity to increase prices further than the actual tax increase (which was kind of annoying!) It remains to be seen how things will change for the upcoming 2019-2020 winter season but we can probably expect a similar situation. Most ski resorts in Japan will not be updating their official information (including lift ticket prices) until the autumn months, but one or two have already made updates.... including lift ticket prices for the ever-popular Niseko United resorts in Hokkaido. And if we are doing our sums correctly it looks like most all-mountain Niseko United lift tickets (valid at Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko HANAZONO, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri) are going to be 8% more expensive in 2019-2020. Here's a few examples: A one day Niseko United lift ticket will cost 8,000 yen (it was 7,400 yen last season) A two day Niseko United lift ticket will cost 14,700 yen (it was 13,600 yen last season) A three day Niseko United lift ticket will cost 21,400 yen (it was 19,800 yen last season) A Niseko United season ticket will cost 125,000 yen (it was 115,600 yen last season) (Interestingly, the 'Free 50 hour' ticket is the only one that seems to remain unchanged). We have updated the lift ticket information on each of the relevant Niseko listing pages if you want to check them out (for example here is the page for Niseko Grand Hirafu). It is worth noting that in many respects Niseko remains a 'special case' in Japan. And also that the above ticket covers 4 resorts, and there will be cheaper tickets available for the individual resorts (and we'll post them when we have them). But even so most ski resorts could not even command such prices and we do not expect such large increases to be widespread. If the tax increase in 2015 was anything to go by we might expect a one day lift ticket at many ski hills to increase by around 100-150 yen. We shall see! And then of course there are the prices of transportation, accommodation, gear and everything else to consider too. It will certainly be interesting to see how different resorts deal with the situation. We will of course be updating the lift ticket prices for every ski resort around Japan within SnowJapan, but please note that it will very probably be autumn before this information becomes available for the most places. https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/news
  11. Added 6th June 2019: https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-ski-resorts/news-consumption-tax-increase-october-2019
  12. SnowJapan#David

    Site updates: What we are up to until November

    Good morning. We thought we would update you on a few things as we head into early summer. SnowJapan introduces information on every ski hill/resort throughout Japan – all 500 or so of them. That’s a lot of information. Every year we check and update this information, and of course this year will be no different. Ideally we would like to have information updated sooner than later. But unfortunately, most official ski resort information does not become confirmed/available until the autumn months. Some Japanese ski resorts don’t release their information for the winter until November - or in some cases even December! Others drip-feed information over a period, making our updates complicated. Please remember that SnowJapan.com is not a ski resort, and we are not official representatives or mouthpieces of ski resorts. Our information is updated manually... by us. Right now, the ski resort information currently shown on the pages of SnowJapan is mostly from the 2018-2019 season. Over the next the next six months we will gradually be checking and updating the information for every ski resort around Japan. We want to do it properly and that takes a lot of time. Lots of this work will be done in the background (ie. offline) while some of it will be updated online. We will do our best to concentrate on updating information for major ski resorts earlier in this process, though it doesn’t always work like that. So updates may seem rather random – that’s because it basically is; it is a manual process. But don't worry - everything will be updated online in time for the 2019-2020 winter season. ----- Regarding planned ski resort opening dates: Opening dates for ski resorts are often very similar every year, so the dates from the 2018-2019 season can usually be taken as a good idea of what to expect for 2019-2020. ----- We are also working on some other updates for the site. Things to look forward to include new maps and lots of additional useful information. These things will appear later in the year, before the winter season. And of course our “Now” daily reporting will be back as the 2019-2020 season approaches. Look out for some signs of life in that section come November. ---- We'll continue to bring you independent and honest information direct from Japan. We’ll be continuing to filter out the increasing ‘noise’ and marketing messages that are out there. If you would like to help us, one great way to do so is to simply let other people know about our website. www.snowjapan.com Thank you!
  13. Good morning. We thought we would update you on a few things as we head into early summer. SnowJapan introduces information on every ski hill/resort throughout Japan – all 500 or so of them. That’s a lot of information. Every year we check and update this information, and of course this year will be no different. Ideally we would like to have information updated sooner than later. But unfortunately, most official ski resort information does not become confirmed/available until the autumn months. Some Japanese ski resorts don’t release their information for the winter until November - or in some cases even December! Others drip-feed information over a period, making our updates complicated. Please remember that SnowJapan.com is not a ski resort, and we are not official representatives or mouthpieces of ski resorts. Our information is updated manually... by us. Right now, the ski resort information currently shown on the pages of SnowJapan is mostly from the 2018-2019 season. Over the next the next six months we will gradually be checking and updating the information for every ski resort around Japan. We want to do it properly and that takes a lot of time. Lots of this work will be done in the background (ie. offline) while some of it will be updated online. We will do our best to concentrate on updating information for major ski resorts earlier in this process, though it doesn’t always work like that. So updates may seem rather random – that’s because it basically is; it is a manual process. But don't worry - everything will be updated online in time for the 2019-2020 winter season. ----- Regarding planned ski resort opening dates: Opening dates for ski resorts are often very similar every year, so the dates from the 2018-2019 season can usually be taken as a good idea of what to expect for 2019-2020. ----- We are also working on some other updates for the site. Things to look forward to include new maps and lots of additional useful information. These things will appear later in the year, before the winter season. And of course our “Now” daily reporting will be back as the 2019-2020 season approaches. Look out for some signs of life in that section come November. ---- We'll continue to bring you independent and honest information direct from Japan. We’ll be continuing to filter out the increasing ‘noise’ and marketing messages that are out there. If you would like to help us, one great way to do so is to simply let other people know about our website. www.snowjapan.com Thank you!
  14. This message is being posted on all the daily Now reports on SnowJapan.com at the end of the 2018-2019 season https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-daily-snow-weather-reports Thank you very much for using SnowJapan.com and reading our daily reports. We hope you have enjoyed them and found them to be a useful resource guiding you through the Japanese winter season. This year marks 20 years of SnowJapan and to celebrate we might just enjoy a special cake on our birthday in September. We are happy to report that during the 2018-2019 season more people than ever have been using the site. Our daily reports are an important part of what we do. Looking back, since 1999 we have published over 25,000 daily weather and snow reports, and over 2,000 reports during the 2018-2019 winter season alone. We would like to take this end-of-season opportunity to answer some questions/comments that we receive, as well as making some important points about what we are and what we stand for. * Regular readers may recognise some parts of this message from last year – but many of the same points still apply! SnowJapan.com is not a ski resort or a travel agency or a tour company or a hotel or a ski school SnowJapan.com is an independent website that publishes independent information about winter sports in Japan. Our snow reports are not official ski resort reports Our daily reports are not funded by or sponsored by or influenced by ski resorts (or any other business). The integrity of our reporting This remains very important thing to us. We advise the people who write our reports that it is fine to get excited about excellent snow conditions. Luckily for us, there’s usually lot of great snow conditions in Japan! But at the same time, it is essential that our reports are clear and honest about things when they are less exciting - like when it is raining, or when there is a lack of fresh snow. Such reporting is not ‘being negative’. It’s reporting what is being observed, even if none of us particularly like it. SnowJapan is not here to sell you anything There are a few things that make SnowJapan.com unique. We are not trying to convince you to visit any one region of Japan. We are not asking you to book accommodation. We are not asking you to join tours. We are not asking you to book ski lessons. In fact, we are not asking you to buy or book anything... we don’t have anything to sell. What we are here to do is provide good independent information from around Japan. And the way we run things means that we are free from the inevitable pressures of having to sell and market products or services. There is increasing pressure to hype things up Some people do take issue with our position regarding snow reports – especially when snow conditions are less than perfect. At times we are asked by some businesses to avoid some less palatable truths and to sugar-coat conditions. To perhaps report more snow than we observe. To not report rain when it is raining (…maybe just ignore it). That kind of thing. Some even get annoyed with us when we refuse to do those things. We truly love being able to keep out of local ‘politics’ and having to always be wary of sales and marketing issues – we wouldn’t have it any other way - but unfortunately, with the ‘inbound’ market becoming increasingly competitive every year we see this kind of pressure becoming more prominent. In our reports we make a point of avoiding cheesy marketing words. We avoid endless Superlative Adjectives In Capital Letters. We avoid unrelenting ‘epic conditions!’ style descriptions in our reports. We find that kind of ‘reporting’ to be really cringeworthy. You will be able to tell when our reporters are genuinely excited by conditions. And because it is genuine, you’ll know that the conditions at that time are worthy of real excitement. We believe that most people reading the reports appreciate this approach. And to those people - don’t worry, we won’t be changing it! Comment: “I disagree with your observed snowfall’ numbers” The ‘observed snowfall’ that we publish on each of our reports is the amount of snowfall that our reporters see with their own eyes every day. It is taken from close to base area levels. Why base areas? Because that is the only place where a reliable measurement can be taken on a consistent basis every day throughout the season. Does more snow fall at higher elevations on mountain than at base? In most cases, yes, absolutely. And in some regions/resorts, there’s way more snow up there than at base. That is one reason why you need to read the reports and not just look at that number. Within the text of our reports we do our best to report any fresh snowfall data that the ski resorts themselves are reporting from the mountain each morning as well as any other personal observations. That is one reason why we generally wait for that information to be available before posting reports in a morning. It would be impossible for us to report our own observations from ‘higher up’ every day of the season for several reasons. Such reasons include the ability to get up to the top of the mountain every morning (lifts might be closed some days, we might be busy); where exactly might such measurements be taken from?; how would we go about measuring ‘fresh snowfall’ over the period of 24 hours at a difficult-to-reach location? Things like that. Remember, we’re not operating the ski resorts. So, the only place that we can reliably and consistently report from every single morning is base. Comment: “You under-report snow!” or “You over-report snow!” (Yes, we get both of those!) All we can say to this is - our reporters simply report what they see. If you are in one of the areas covered by our reports, you may well disagree with the snowfall number that is shown in our reports on any particular day. More - or less - snow may fall in places that are even close-by to where our measurements are being taken. Microclimates and the like. That can’t be helped. All we can say in response to this (accusation) is that our reporters report what they see and measure themselves. Our measurements are coming to you consistently from the same spots every day, generally very close to ski resort base lifts. And they are being reported by the same trusted individual who is not inclined to exaggerate. Again: the observed snowfall numbers are not being measured from mid-mountain or upper-mountain. Every year we review the situation for each report in an effort to keep on improving - and we will once again be doing the same this year. Comment: “Your reports are useless for my epic backcountry adventures and avalanche studies” Sorry about that. But we do not claim that our reports provide detailed daily back-country information or scientific avalanche data. Comment: “Why don’t you report more about actual quality of the snow?” Different people have greatly different expectations and different points of reference when it comes to snow conditions. That includes the individuals who post our reports. So, unless things are indisputably excellent or indisputably rubbish, we feel that it is best for us to avoid concentrating on that kind of subjective personal opinion in our reports. Comment: “Why is there more snow being reported on the ‘A Now’ report than ‘B Now’ report?” That will be because more snow is being observed at base in ‘A’ than in ‘B’. It really is as simple as that. Snowfall at higher elevations will surely often be a different matter - so please read the individual reports for details beyond the numbers. And for that reason... We highly recommend that you DO NOT compare the base snowfall numbers between our different Now reports We understand the temptation to directly compare numbers between the different regional reports. However, we highly recommend that you do not do that. If you must though, be sure to look beyond just the headline numbers. Observed base snowfall is far from being the full story. There is so much more beyond those numbers. Some regions simply get less snow at base areas than other regions. That does not mean they get less snow at the top of the mountain. If you are contemplating visiting one of the regions covered by our reports, we highly recommend that you spend time looking beyond the headlines and read the full reports - including our archive reporting from previous seasons. Only that way will you get a true and more detailed picture of what is happening and get an idea of how the snow falls in each of the regions and what to expect on-mountain. Unfortunately, we cannot help it if some people do not properly read our reports. Or mis-interpret and mis-quote them. (Please don’t do that). Comment: "Why don’t the SnowJapan.com daily reports appear earlier each morning? I’m already on the lift at 8:30am." If we owned or operated a ski resort, we would make it a high priority to post snow reports very early each morning. We would report how much new snow has fallen on the upper slopes and base, weather conditions, lift operations and snow depth. We would also have multiple and meaningful webcams pointing out to locations around the resort. And we’d make sure that those webcams were backed up with adequate bandwidth to keep them working properly. We think it is probably reasonable to think that ski resorts might ideally be doing the above things for their customers. But... we do not own or operate a ski resort. The fact is, a fair number of Japanese ski resorts only post their morning information updates after 8am - and in some cases, it is later than that. Our daily reports are generally a mix of observed snowfall data, observed weather conditions, personal comments about what is going on - as well as information/data that has been manually checked from official ski resort sources each morning. This is all in the interest of creating interesting and reports that are as detailed as possible. If we posted our daily reports much earlier than we currently do (for example at 7am or before), they would more than likely be missing what we consider to be important information. For example, we would often not be able to include things like how much fresh snow the ski resorts are reporting, or news of any ski lift disruption at the start of the day. People who are lucky enough to already be at a ski resort and preparing to ride the first lifts of the day can get a good idea of weather conditions by taking a look outside the window when they get up, asking accommodation staff and/or perhaps checking out official resort sites etc. If we posted our daily reports mostly for the benefit of those lucky ‘first lift’ people - who probably only account for a very small percentage of the total number of people reading the reports each day - they would not be as good or detailed as they are. We feel that our way makes for better all-round reports and a more complete overview of the season. Please remember, real people with good intentions are writing the reports There is a lot of time and effort involved in creating the reports every morning. In particular, the reports that cover wider areas - for example Niseko, Hakuba, Yuzawa - take quite a bit of time to put together every morning. Lots of information needs to be checked, data needs to be updated, the report needs to be written and then checked... The people who are posting these reports are not ski resort employees doing this as part of their job. Our reporters probably need some coffee before posting and toast in some cases. They may need to dig themselves out of their home if it is snowing heavily. And they may also need to see to any number of circumstances and random complexities that life throws at them on any given morning. So please keep all that in mind. Each Now daily report is written by a different person. Each are based in the area that is being covered. In most cases, they have been there for quite some time. We purposefully don’t say who they are, not least because some of them would very much prefer to remain anonymous. It is natural that each report will have its own personality and character. Some of the reports are longer than others; some are shorter; some are more humorous; some cover one ski resort; some cover a much wider region. Posting a report every single day for over five months is a considerable commitment and a real responsibility. And remember, the people posting the reports are real people who have their own lives and sometimes circumstance might get in the way. Comment: “Why do ‘official snow depth’ numbers often not correspond with how much snow is being reported as falling?” In our Now daily reports, the ‘official snow depth’ data is information that the ski resorts themselves publish. We gather that information from official sources to be shown on our reports. Different ski resorts in Japan report their ‘official snow depth’ number from different places. For some ski resorts, it is being measured at the top of the mountain. For some ski resorts, it is being measured at the base area. For other ski resorts, it is being measured at other locations. Bottom line - there are no consistent rules regarding where resorts take their snow depth measurements. And what they report is of course totally out of our control. What about daily fresh snowfall? Somewhat frustratingly, many ski resorts in Japan do not actually publish a ‘new snowfall’ number on a consistent daily basis from the same spot each day. It would be great if they did. And even when they do publish such a number, the ‘official snow depth’ number often doesn’t often rise by a corresponding amount. There are a few reasons for that: Snow is always melting and compacting; groomers, skiers and snowboarders compact it; prevailing weather conditions and temperatures have an impact on how that is happening; wind blows snow around. Nature happens. It is also worth noting that some Japanese ski resorts sometimes seem wary of reporting huge amounts of snowfall. This may be hard for some of you to believe, but ‘too much snow’ all at once is thought to scare away the Japanese customers. Some Japanese ski resorts would prefer not to add 50cm in one day - even if that much snow actually fell overnight. Some ski resorts may also just not update their snow depth number regularly - simple as that! So, in reality the snow pack (the ‘official snow depth’) will be changing way more than most ski resorts actually publish. Finally... We do not claim that our reports are perfect. We do not claim that our reports should be viewed as ‘definitive’. We do not claim that our reports provide detailed backcountry and avalanche information. We do however put a lot of time and effort into putting the reports together every day and we feel a real responsibility to get things as right as possible. While we are aware that we will never be able to provide reports that satisfy everyone, we are always keen to hear on how people feel we can further improve things. And it’s always very nice to hear from friendly folk who just want to say hello and pass on some friendly comments as well. If you want to contact us, please do so using the form here: ** Contact SnowJapan.com Sorry, but we are not able to answer individual questions about ski resorts, accommodation, ski lessons, transportation, etc. And we never respond to rude people. ----- Keep an eye out for further improvements to the site over the coming months. We will be busy with a number of other things over the next six months. If you use and enjoy SnowJapan.com, please do let your friends know about us. And if you know of an accommodation or business that might be interested in having a presence on our website, do let them know about us too. We appreciate the support! Thank you and enjoy the summer. --- Our daily reporting will be back in the autumn in the run-up to the 2019-2020 winter season.
  15. Thanks for reading our daily reports this last season - we hope you enjoyed them and found them to be useful. They'll be back in late autumn in the run up to the 2019-2020 season. ---- This message is being posted on all the daily Now reports on SnowJapan.com at the end of the 2018-2019 season https://www.snowjapan.com/japan-daily-snow-weather-reports Thank you very much for using SnowJapan.com and reading our daily reports. We hope you have enjoyed them and found them to be a useful resource guiding you through the Japanese winter season. This year marks 20 years of SnowJapan and to celebrate we might just enjoy a special cake on our birthday in September. We are happy to report that during the 2018-2019 season more people than ever have been using the site. Our daily reports are an important part of what we do. Looking back, since 1999 we have published over 25,000 daily weather and snow reports, and over 2,000 reports during the 2018-2019 winter season alone. We would like to take this end-of-season opportunity to answer some questions/comments that we receive, as well as making some important points about what we are and what we stand for. * Regular readers may recognise some parts of this message from last year – but many of the same points still apply! SnowJapan.com is not a ski resort or a travel agency or a tour company or a hotel or a ski school SnowJapan.com is an independent website that publishes independent information about winter sports in Japan. Our snow reports are not official ski resort reports Our daily reports are not funded by or sponsored by or influenced by ski resorts (or any other business). The integrity of our reporting This remains very important thing to us. We advise the people who write our reports that it is fine to get excited about excellent snow conditions. Luckily for us, there’s usually lot of great snow conditions in Japan! But at the same time, it is essential that our reports are clear and honest about things when they are less exciting - like when it is raining, or when there is a lack of fresh snow. Such reporting is not ‘being negative’. It’s reporting what is being observed, even if none of us particularly like it. SnowJapan is not here to sell you anything There are a few things that make SnowJapan.com unique. We are not trying to convince you to visit any one region of Japan. We are not asking you to book accommodation. We are not asking you to join tours. We are not asking you to book ski lessons. In fact, we are not asking you to buy or book anything... we don’t have anything to sell. What we are here to do is provide good independent information from around Japan. And the way we run things means that we are free from the inevitable pressures of having to sell and market products or services. There is increasing pressure to hype things up Some people do take issue with our position regarding snow reports – especially when snow conditions are less than perfect. At times we are asked by some businesses to avoid some less palatable truths and to sugar-coat conditions. To perhaps report more snow than we observe. To not report rain when it is raining (…maybe just ignore it). That kind of thing. Some even get annoyed with us when we refuse to do those things. We truly love being able to keep out of local ‘politics’ and having to always be wary of sales and marketing issues – we wouldn’t have it any other way - but unfortunately, with the ‘inbound’ market becoming increasingly competitive every year we see this kind of pressure becoming more prominent. In our reports we make a point of avoiding cheesy marketing words. We avoid endless Superlative Adjectives In Capital Letters. We avoid unrelenting ‘epic conditions!’ style descriptions in our reports. We find that kind of ‘reporting’ to be really cringeworthy. You will be able to tell when our reporters are genuinely excited by conditions. And because it is genuine, you’ll know that the conditions at that time are worthy of real excitement. We believe that most people reading the reports appreciate this approach. And to those people - don’t worry, we won’t be changing it! Comment: “I disagree with your observed snowfall’ numbers” The ‘observed snowfall’ that we publish on each of our reports is the amount of snowfall that our reporters see with their own eyes every day. It is taken from close to base area levels. Why base areas? Because that is the only place where a reliable measurement can be taken on a consistent basis every day throughout the season. Does more snow fall at higher elevations on mountain than at base? In most cases, yes, absolutely. And in some regions/resorts, there’s way more snow up there than at base. That is one reason why you need to read the reports and not just look at that number. Within the text of our reports we do our best to report any fresh snowfall data that the ski resorts themselves are reporting from the mountain each morning as well as any other personal observations. That is one reason why we generally wait for that information to be available before posting reports in a morning. It would be impossible for us to report our own observations from ‘higher up’ every day of the season for several reasons. Such reasons include the ability to get up to the top of the mountain every morning (lifts might be closed some days, we might be busy); where exactly might such measurements be taken from?; how would we go about measuring ‘fresh snowfall’ over the period of 24 hours at a difficult-to-reach location? Things like that. Remember, we’re not operating the ski resorts. So, the only place that we can reliably and consistently report from every single morning is base. Comment: “You under-report snow!” or “You over-report snow!” (Yes, we get both of those!) All we can say to this is - our reporters simply report what they see. If you are in one of the areas covered by our reports, you may well disagree with the snowfall number that is shown in our reports on any particular day. More - or less - snow may fall in places that are even close-by to where our measurements are being taken. Microclimates and the like. That can’t be helped. All we can say in response to this (accusation) is that our reporters report what they see and measure themselves. Our measurements are coming to you consistently from the same spots every day, generally very close to ski resort base lifts. And they are being reported by the same trusted individual who is not inclined to exaggerate. Again: the observed snowfall numbers are not being measured from mid-mountain or upper-mountain. Every year we review the situation for each report in an effort to keep on improving - and we will once again be doing the same this year. Comment: “Your reports are useless for my epic backcountry adventures and avalanche studies” Sorry about that. But we do not claim that our reports provide detailed daily back-country information or scientific avalanche data. Comment: “Why don’t you report more about actual quality of the snow?” Different people have greatly different expectations and different points of reference when it comes to snow conditions. That includes the individuals who post our reports. So, unless things are indisputably excellent or indisputably rubbish, we feel that it is best for us to avoid concentrating on that kind of subjective personal opinion in our reports. Comment: “Why is there more snow being reported on the ‘A Now’ report than ‘B Now’ report?” That will be because more snow is being observed at base in ‘A’ than in ‘B’. It really is as simple as that. Snowfall at higher elevations will surely often be a different matter - so please read the individual reports for details beyond the numbers. And for that reason... We highly recommend that you DO NOT compare the base snowfall numbers between our different Now reports We understand the temptation to directly compare numbers between the different regional reports. However, we highly recommend that you do not do that. If you must though, be sure to look beyond just the headline numbers. Observed base snowfall is far from being the full story. There is so much more beyond those numbers. Some regions simply get less snow at base areas than other regions. That does not mean they get less snow at the top of the mountain. If you are contemplating visiting one of the regions covered by our reports, we highly recommend that you spend time looking beyond the headlines and read the full reports - including our archive reporting from previous seasons. Only that way will you get a true and more detailed picture of what is happening and get an idea of how the snow falls in each of the regions and what to expect on-mountain. Unfortunately, we cannot help it if some people do not properly read our reports. Or mis-interpret and mis-quote them. (Please don’t do that). Comment: "Why don’t the SnowJapan.com daily reports appear earlier each morning? I’m already on the lift at 8:30am." If we owned or operated a ski resort, we would make it a high priority to post snow reports very early each morning. We would report how much new snow has fallen on the upper slopes and base, weather conditions, lift operations and snow depth. We would also have multiple and meaningful webcams pointing out to locations around the resort. And we’d make sure that those webcams were backed up with adequate bandwidth to keep them working properly. We think it is probably reasonable to think that ski resorts might ideally be doing the above things for their customers. But... we do not own or operate a ski resort. The fact is, a fair number of Japanese ski resorts only post their morning information updates after 8am - and in some cases, it is later than that. Our daily reports are generally a mix of observed snowfall data, observed weather conditions, personal comments about what is going on - as well as information/data that has been manually checked from official ski resort sources each morning. This is all in the interest of creating interesting and reports that are as detailed as possible. If we posted our daily reports much earlier than we currently do (for example at 7am or before), they would more than likely be missing what we consider to be important information. For example, we would often not be able to include things like how much fresh snow the ski resorts are reporting, or news of any ski lift disruption at the start of the day. People who are lucky enough to already be at a ski resort and preparing to ride the first lifts of the day can get a good idea of weather conditions by taking a look outside the window when they get up, asking accommodation staff and/or perhaps checking out official resort sites etc. If we posted our daily reports mostly for the benefit of those lucky ‘first lift’ people - who probably only account for a very small percentage of the total number of people reading the reports each day - they would not be as good or detailed as they are. We feel that our way makes for better all-round reports and a more complete overview of the season. Please remember, real people with good intentions are writing the reports There is a lot of time and effort involved in creating the reports every morning. In particular, the reports that cover wider areas - for example Niseko, Hakuba, Yuzawa - take quite a bit of time to put together every morning. Lots of information needs to be checked, data needs to be updated, the report needs to be written and then checked... The people who are posting these reports are not ski resort employees doing this as part of their job. Our reporters probably need some coffee before posting and toast in some cases. They may need to dig themselves out of their home if it is snowing heavily. And they may also need to see to any number of circumstances and random complexities that life throws at them on any given morning. So please keep all that in mind. Each Now daily report is written by a different person. Each are based in the area that is being covered. In most cases, they have been there for quite some time. We purposefully don’t say who they are, not least because some of them would very much prefer to remain anonymous. It is natural that each report will have its own personality and character. Some of the reports are longer than others; some are shorter; some are more humorous; some cover one ski resort; some cover a much wider region. Posting a report every single day for over five months is a considerable commitment and a real responsibility. And remember, the people posting the reports are real people who have their own lives and sometimes circumstance might get in the way. Comment: “Why do ‘official snow depth’ numbers often not correspond with how much snow is being reported as falling?” In our Now daily reports, the ‘official snow depth’ data is information that the ski resorts themselves publish. We gather that information from official sources to be shown on our reports. Different ski resorts in Japan report their ‘official snow depth’ number from different places. For some ski resorts, it is being measured at the top of the mountain. For some ski resorts, it is being measured at the base area. For other ski resorts, it is being measured at other locations. Bottom line - there are no consistent rules regarding where resorts take their snow depth measurements. And what they report is of course totally out of our control. What about daily fresh snowfall? Somewhat frustratingly, many ski resorts in Japan do not actually publish a ‘new snowfall’ number on a consistent daily basis from the same spot each day. It would be great if they did. And even when they do publish such a number, the ‘official snow depth’ number often doesn’t often rise by a corresponding amount. There are a few reasons for that: Snow is always melting and compacting; groomers, skiers and snowboarders compact it; prevailing weather conditions and temperatures have an impact on how that is happening; wind blows snow around. Nature happens. It is also worth noting that some Japanese ski resorts sometimes seem wary of reporting huge amounts of snowfall. This may be hard for some of you to believe, but ‘too much snow’ all at once is thought to scare away the Japanese customers. Some Japanese ski resorts would prefer not to add 50cm in one day - even if that much snow actually fell overnight. Some ski resorts may also just not update their snow depth number regularly - simple as that! So, in reality the snow pack (the ‘official snow depth’) will be changing way more than most ski resorts actually publish. Finally... We do not claim that our reports are perfect. We do not claim that our reports should be viewed as ‘definitive’. We do not claim that our reports provide detailed backcountry and avalanche information. We do however put a lot of time and effort into putting the reports together every day and we feel a real responsibility to get things as right as possible. While we are aware that we will never be able to provide reports that satisfy everyone, we are always keen to hear on how people feel we can further improve things. And it’s always very nice to hear from friendly folk who just want to say hello and pass on some friendly comments as well. If you want to contact us, please do so using the form here: ** Contact SnowJapan.com Sorry, but we are not able to answer individual questions about ski resorts, accommodation, ski lessons, transportation, etc. And we never respond to rude people. ----- Keep an eye out for further improvements to the site over the coming months. We will be busy with a number of other things over the next six months. If you use and enjoy SnowJapan.com, please do let your friends know about us. And if you know of an accommodation or business that might be interested in having a presence on our website, do let them know about us too. We appreciate the support! Thank you and enjoy the summer. --- Our daily reporting will be back in the autumn in the run-up to the 2019-2020 winter season.

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About SnowJapan

SnowJapan.com is the independent guide to skiing and snowboarding in Japan and has been online since 1999.

SnowJapan.com covers the whole of Japan. We are here to introduce the world to unbiased, honest and detailed information about winter sports in Japan. We publish exclusive and in-depth and daily content throughout the winter season and we add new functionality and content to the site every year.

We are not here to promote any specific destinations or resorts, or to sell our readers any kind of products or services. We are not a travel agency and we do not own any ski resorts, ski schools, accommodations or other related businesses.

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