Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 26th May 2019

Appi Kogen Now!

Monday 11th January 2016, 7:45am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 23cm
Snow depth: 45cm
Yesterday brought the snow we needed!

With a steady snow fall most of the day and through the night we’ve added a meaningful amount to the whole mountain. Appi is still reporting a 45cm base but I’m sure they’ll be recalculating that figure in the coming days.

Right now its cloudy with a brisk wind blowing which will intensify during the day to make for gusty and cold conditions on the mountain. We still only have 10 of 21 runs in operation today and for those braving the falling temperatures you can expect a steady -11 degrees most of the day, not including the wind-chill which should lower it considerably more to the -20 range, if not lower. No doubt the main Gondola will see sporadic operation today given the forecast windy conditions.

We are expecting another 6-8 cm of snow today and light flurries expected tomorrow and Wednesday. Temperatures for the next few days will be hovering around -10 but the wind should hopefully die down somewhat and make the on-piste conditions enjoyable for a change.


Currently planned operating lifts:

- Appi Gondola
- Central Number 1 quad
- Number 2 lift A
- Number 2 lift B
- Number 3 lift B
- Number 4 lift
- Sailer quad


Welcome to our brand new independent ‘Appi Kogen Now' daily report, exclusive to SnowJapan.

As with all the ‘Now’ daily reports on SnowJapan, it is extremely important to us that the information we publish is useful, totally honest and correct – we are not posting the reports to try and sell you something, and we certainly do not wish to mislead in any way. We’ll be doing everything we can to bring you good information from this popular region of Iwate.

Appi Kogen resort is located in Hachimantai in the north western area of Iwate Prefecture in the Tohoku region. We are very pleased to be able to start our daily reporting from this region of Japan. More information on Appi Kogen can be found here.

** Please note that there may be a few glitches early on but please bear with us while we settle in this new report section to the site. Thank you. **

   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Monday 11th January 2016, 8:00am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: 20cm
Yesterday things got a bit on the wet side in the region, but this morning there is fresh snow on the ground.

There's about 5cm here in base areas and the resort is reporting a fresh layer of 7-8cm on the upper Yamabiko and Uenotaira areas of the resort.

Poor visibility by the looks on those upper areas this morning and better lower down - but it's higher up where most people will be heading...

The snow clouds are going to weaken this morning probably leaving us with just cloudy skies for the rest of the day. Regular snowfall is actually on the forecast now over the coming week so I'll just leave it at that for now and we'll see how it pans out.


A competition is being held on the Yunomine A course until today meaning that course will be closed to the public.


Official info at time of writing on Monday 11th January 2016 (subject to change):

Official snow depths:

Yamabiko: 100cm
Uenotaira: 95cm
Hikage: 20cm
Nagasaka: 20cm
Karasawa: 10cm

New snowfall as reported by the resort since yesterday:

Yamabiko: 7cm
Uenotaira: 8cm
Hikage: 5cm
Nagasaka: 5cm
Karasawa: 5cm

All lifts now planned to be operating except:

- Kandahar pair
- Karasawa pair

The following courses are not currently open:

- Skyline
- Paradise connection
- Yunomine A (competition)
- Schneider
- Utopia 2
- Challenge 39
- Hikage no kabe
- Kurokura
- Grand Prix
- Jumping
- Hachiman
- Mukoubayashi
- Kandahar West
- Kandahar East
- Kamoshika
- Tanuki
- Usagi
- Karasawa


Nozawa Onsen 6 day weather and snow forecast

Nozawa Onsen main resort data
   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Monday 11th January 2016, 8:08am
Weather conditions: Thick fog
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 110cm
We may not have typical, massive snow in Myoko this year, but I think we're ahead of the pack: the parking lot at Akakura Kanko Ski Area was completely full by 9:30 yesterday, with lots of out-of-town license plates on the cars.

Today though I doubt it will be that crowded, as we're socked out in a heavy fog with a pretty heavy north wind.

Too bad, really, as there is some new snow out there to make things a little more soft and enjoyable. I will end on that positive note, because I know a lot of people are going to look out and see the gray and be less enthusiastic (but, remember, you can't ski on blue skies!).


Akakura Kanko:
All lifts running
-5° / 110cm

Akakura Onsen:
All runs open
-4° / 120cm

Ikenotaira Onsen:
All main lifts running
-4° / 60cm

Myoko Suginohara:
Main lifts running
-9° (top)/ 50cm (this hasn't changed for days....)

Seki Onsen:
-4° / 160cm

Myoko Ski Park:
0° / 90cm

Kyukamura RunRun:
0° / 110cm (but they haven't reported in days, even on their own site)

Tangram Ski Circus:
-3° / 90cm

Madarao Kogen:
Main lifts open
?° / 90cm (not reporting to the town, incomplete on site)
   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Monday 11th January 2016, 8:14am
Weather conditions: Snow cloudy
New snowfall: 8cm
Snow depth: 160cm
Morning from Grandeco.

At last, the Center 33 course is opening from today. Named after the average 33 degree slope for those looking for more of a challenge.

We have had another 8cm of fresh snowfall here at base and no doubt more higher up; and the forecast remains good for regular snowfall over the coming week, perhaps with Friday especially heavy snow currently on the forecast.

Today is the last day of the long holiday in Japan and so less people are expected on the slopes.

The roads leading up to Grandeco and around the Ura Bandai area remain covered with snow.

Take care.


Lifts operating:

Number 1 quad
Number 2 quad
Number 3 quad

Courses open:

(A-a) Rainbow 3500
(A-b) Rainbow 3500
(A-c) Rainbow 3500
(B-a) Mint
(B-c) Mint
(C) Center
(D-b) Lavender
(E) Melissa
(F) Basil
(H) Center 33

The Snow Park (Decodaira E Park) is open on Lavender B course with a 5m kicker, 5m table top and other box items.


Snow and weather forecast:

6 day snow and weather forecast for Grandeco   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Monday 11th January 2016, 8:56am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 11cm
Snow depth: 125cm
Good morning from my secret base here in Hirafu where I have another 11cm of fresh powder to report since yesterday.

It's a very cold one today with the resorts reporting temperatures of -14C and -15C on upper areas. Brrrr. Be sure to be wrapped up well to go up there and face masks are recommended.

There don't seem to be wind issues at the start of the day with all of the four resorts open as planned. However, we are warned of the possibility of stronger winds and more storm-like conditions so keep that in mind.

The Niseko Grand Hirafu official snow depth numbers have actually taken a drop today even with the fresh snow. Perhaps it's all those naughty people making tracks and compacting the snow. ;)

Not to worry as the weekly forecast still has regular and consistent snowfall lined up for the coming week. There doesn't seem to be a let up in sight just yet.

Today is the last day of the long weekend in Japan, and the early morning services at Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri were until this morning. The Niseko Grand Hirafu early morning service will continue on until 31st January (more details in previous reports).


Apologies for not mentioning this yet, but at Niseko Grand Hirafu the King Number 2 quad lift has been moving this weekend. (There were some interesting stories about that lift last year if you want to go check some archives, and it will be interesting to see if they will keep it running or just have it for holidays).

I thought I would this morning also mention the Free Ride Park that they have going on over there at Niseko Grand Hirafu. I'm not really into park myself, but for those who are here's what they have: 4m table top, 5m table top, 7m table top, 5m wide box, 5m narrow box, 5m down rail, 8m double down rail, 5m cylinder rail, 5m U-rail. I hope I have written them all correctly. Sounds interesting actually, perhaps I should go and give it a whirl. It's open from 10am until 4pm.


Last chance to enter the three day private tour if you are interested - Information here (a few posts down)


Resort specific news/notes at time of writing - subject to change during the day:

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Niseko HANAZONO Resort
Niseko Village
Niseko Annupuri
All resort areas appear to be opening as planned this morning.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -11℃, 20cm snowfall, no snowdrifts development.
Moiwa 750m: -13℃, WSW10m/s, 20cm snow, cornices/snowdrifts are developing.
Mikaeri turnoff: -13℃, W2.0m/s, 30cm snowfall with snowdrifts.
Anupuri 1150m: -15℃, W8m/s, scarce snowfall on the course, developing snowdrifts.
Hirafu 1200m: -15℃, stormy weather with poor visibility.
Benkei cape: NNW14m/s. Kamui cape: NNW10m/s, 1015hPa, 2.4m waves.

The winter pressure distribution is generating intermittent strong wind and snow in areas above 1000m as the isobars spacing shifts. The stabilization of the snowdrifts in slopes with cornice/knoll features is delayed and are highly likely to collapse. The overall avalanche hazard level is moderate to high, highest in leeside steep slopes above 1200m elevation.

The peak gates’ opening will be delayed and hinge upon lifts operation. Please follow the ski patrol’s instructions. Stay away from hazardous aspects. Coldest temperature of the season so far, beware of frostbites and hypothermia. Wind-affected soft snow has blanketed the tree runs. Cracks are opening and are hard to notice from above, be careful not to fall in one.


Official resort snow depths as of Monday 11th January 2016:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 280cm
Base - 125cm

Niseko Village
Top - 200cm
Base - 120cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 165cm
Base - 110cm


Lifts planned to be open for night skiing:

Niseko Grand Hirafu:
Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift
(There is no night skiing at the Hanazono area)

Niseko Village:
Community Chair and Banzai Chair

Niseko Annupuri:
Jumbo Number 1 Quad


Niseko Grand Hirafu 6 day weather and snow forecast   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Monday 11th January 2016, 9:01am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: 40cm
Morning from Yuzawa.

Resorts are this morning reporting up to 10-15cm of fresh snowfall, with 4cm on the ground here.

Yesterday was another fine day, with clouds staying just to the north of our region for most of the day until the evening... when it started raining. It was cold though and it turned into snow overnight so let's quickly move on. (I've had enough of the r word!)

It is snowing very lightly as I write the report and the local forecast is for the snow to stop sometime this morning leaving us with cloudy conditions for the rest of the day.

Unfortunately there seems to be less snow now on the weekly forecast than there was just yesterday. Not sure what is going on there but if it's right it'll just be a continuation of what we have been having so far (but hopefully less of the rain). Snow is there on the forecast, just generally light rather than the Yuzawa-like heavy snow that I have been mentioning we are used to.

But, forecasts can change quickly so let's not put too much in it for now.

Generally there will be better and fresher snow conditions higher up.

Today is a national holiday in Japan and so the last day of the long weekend. It will be less busy than yesterday and Saturday though with people starting to return home. We'll be back to a normal weekday today.


Resort official snow depths (Monday 11th January 2016) and any specific news:

All resorts in the area are now generally open for the season, though please note that some areas and courses are not yet open.
Generally steeper slopes that need more snow are still closed.

Resorts in Yuzawa:

GALA Yuzawa

Ishiuchi Maruyama


Joetsu Kokusai

90cm (Mitsumata)
120cm (Tashiro)
150cm (Kagura)

Kandatsu Kogen

Maiko Snow Resort
90cm (upper)
20cm (lower)

Muikamachi Hakkaisan


NASPA Ski Garden

Yuzawa Kogen

Yuzawa Nakazato

Yuzawa Park


List of ski resorts in Yuzawa town
List of ski resorts in Minamiuonuma City


Iwappara 6 day snow and weather forecast
NASPA Ski Garden 6 day snow and weather forecast
Kagura 6 day snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Monday 11th January 2016, 9:16am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy
New snowfall: 9cm
Snow depth: 285cm
For most of yesterday there was a constant snowfall coming down on the resort, and the village, which meant there was a never ending fresh supply of soft powder on top of the runs. The day started off cloudy but that soon lifted around mid morning to give great views across the valley.

Last night some moderate winds passed thorugh the village, but they have long gone and it is calm around the base area with some wind still around the tops. This morning it is particularly cold with temperatures into the minus teens, and for the next few days this level of coldness will stay with us.

Snow should continue to fall through today, and tomorrow, getting lighter each day through until Friday, on which it seems we are due for a break from the snow. There has been another mpressive 9cm of fresh snow at base over night.

Happy powder riding to those who can get out there today.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Monday 11th January 2016, 9:23am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 4cm
Snow depth: 40cm
A happy Monday morning to you from Shiga Kogen where there has been a modest 4cm of snowfall overnight.

Light snow has been falling early this morning, though at the moment it is just cloudy and perhaps light snow still falling in some higher areas.

Maybe some more snow today though I doubt it will be anything significant. This year so many places are struggling to clock up what you might term 'heavy snowfall', which is not like Japan. Shiga Kogen is not known for record amounts of snowfall even in a good winter - it's more the quality of snow up here that people love.

Anyway I see the forecast still tells us nice stories of regular snowfall over the coming week. Hopefully not fairy tales!


Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Monday 11th January 2016):

Sun Valley






Takamagahara Mammoth


Tannenomori Okojo

Ichinose Family


Ichinose Diamond

Ichinose Yamanokami


Okushiga Kogen


Yokoteyama & Shibutoge


6 day snow and weather forecasts:

Ichinose Family 6-day snow and weather forecast
Okushiga Kogen 6-day snow and weather forecast
Yokoteyama 6-day snow and weather forecast

   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Monday 11th January 2016, 9:23am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, due to be clearer
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 90cm
10-15cm of fresh snow is being reported by Madarao this morning and the day has started with light snow continuing to fall though that isn't expected to continue for long. Clearing up is the more likely.

It's keeping quite cold this morning so the conditions out there should be pretty good this morning.

And there will be less people around now that we are on the last day of the long weekend. Especially by this afternoon expect things to be something more like a normal weekday, and then of course we'll be back into the normal weekday routine from tomorrow.

Can't help but feel looking at the forecast that it has been somewhat 'downgraded' in terms of likely snowfall in the next week. Hmmm.

Anyway, good for this morning!


Madarao Kogen 6 day snow and weather forecast


Madarao Kogen lifts operating (planned at time of writing):

All lifts operating

Tangram Ski Circus lifts operating (planned at time of writing):

All lifts operating

Tree Run Courses:

Not yet open   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Monday 11th January 2016, 9:50am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: 45cm
[Apologies for this report appearing a little later today - it was actually posted at 8:45am but a few technical issues prevented it from appearing until now]

Good morning from Hakuba.

After the gusty early conditions yesterday, Happo-one managed to get open from around noon which was good to hear.

Clouds moved in around the mountains and it started snowing up there.

And this morning there is some fresh snow on the ground. Just a bit here at village/base (2cm) but resorts are reporting 10-20cm of fresh - check the individual resort details below for news from each of the ski-jo.

Let's take a look at the forecasts. Still looking promising with a bit more snow today into early tomorrow and then around Thursday and Friday. It should be keeping fairly cold as well which is good; if it keeps cold conditions should keep well.

And it should be pretty decent up there this morning. I'm going to go and check!


Just a reminder to some of you who may not know. You can access this report and all of the other Now reports (as well as other information) on the new mobile version of SnowJapan. Just go here... go there!


6 day forecast for Happo-one:

6 day snow and weather forecast for Happo-one


Resort news as of 8:30am on Monday 11th January 2015 (all subject to change due to weather conditions)

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 is reporting 5cm of fresh snowfall at base and 20cm up top.
All courses apart from Route 7 officially open.
Tree Riding Zone not yet open for the season.
Official snow depth
Upper: 145cm
Base: 25cm

Hakuba Goryu:
Hakuba Goryu is reporting 2-3cm of fresh snowfall at base and 15cm on upper areas.
Panorama, Grand Prix, Super Course, Champion Dynamic and Woody Courses in upper area; the main Toomi course and the Soft Cream course in the Iimori area are planned to be open today.
Planned lifts:
Telecabin Gondola
Alps Number 1 pair lift
Alps Number 2/4 pair lift
Alps Number 3 pair lift
Toomi Sky Four lift
Toomi Number 1 pair lift
Toomi Number 2 pair lift
Milky Four lift
Official snow depth
Alps: 150cm
Toomi: 45cm
Iimori: 40cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 20cm of new snowfall on upper areas.
Grat (part), Usagidaira, Kurobishi, Panorama, Skyline, Kita One and Riesen Slalom areas are planned to be open, lower course areas still closed.
Take one of the Gondola, Kokusai Number 1 pair, Sakka Kita-one quad or Nakiyama Number 3 triple lifts to get back down to base.
Planned lifts:
Adam Gondola
Grat quad lift
Alpen quad lift
Usagidaira pair lift
Happo Riesen quad
Nakiyama Number 3 triple
Kurobishi Number 2 quad lift
Kurobishi Number 3 pair lift
Skyline Number 2 pair lift
Kokusai Number 1 lift
Kokusai Number 3 lift
Panorama pair lift
Kita One quad lift
Kita One Number 3 pair lift
Official snow depth
Usagidaira: 100cm
Nakiyama: 30cm
Sakka: 15cm

Hakuba Cortina:
Hakuba Cortina reporting 10-15cm of fresh snow.
The courses at Cortina that remain closed are: Mt Hieda Ridge, Mt Hieda 2 and 3, Itadaria Ridge and Giant.
All other courses are now open.
Planned lifts:
All lifts apart from Number 7 pair lift now operating
Official snow depth
Top: 125cm
Base: 65cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
Most areas of Tsugaike Kogen are now at least part open.
Planned lifts:
Almost all of the lifts at Tsugaike Kogen are now operating.
Official snow depth
Tsuga-no-mori: 130cm
Kane-no-naru-oka: 30cm

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Only a limited area of the Mountain Side (North and East courses) is currently open.
Planned lifts:
Noah Gondola
3Sen Line North
4Sen Line East
Line Lift
Official snow depth
Upper: 60cm
Lower: 15cm

Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Official snow depth
7 lifts are operating and 7 courses are open at Hakuba Norikura Onsen.

Planned lifts:
Kashimayari is part open.

Hakuba Sanosaka:
Part open with the Number 1 triple lift operating (Number 2 quad used for connection).   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Monday 11th January 2016, 10:02am
Weather conditions: Today is fairly overcast with slight flat light conditions in the base area with visibility expected to be worse higher up the mountain.
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: 70cm
Good morning from Naeba everybody.

Again we've had a small amount of snow overnight with 5cm having fallen since yesterday night and the resort reporting 10cm on upper areas of the mountain.

Light snow has fallen all morning so far and is still falling even now.

The weather forecast is still showing snow most days over the next week with moderate snow falling on Wednesday.

Naeba 6-day snow and weather forecast
   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Monday 11th January 2016, 10:06am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog
New snowfall: 11cm
Snow depth: 80cm
Morning from Zao.

Another 11cm of fresh this morning so the snow is slowly but surely coming. As have the people this weekend, with lots of them around. So we do actually need 'refils' as well as 'base'!

Yesterday the Omori lift started its season and that area of the resort part opened. That means that all of the areas of Zao Onsen are now at least part open, though with some courses not open just yet. I am very much looking forward to the day when I can actually say that 'Zao Onsen is fully open'. It is evidently a gradual process this year though; hopefully it won't be long.

Forecast has quite regular snowfall lined up for our mountain here. Looks towards later on Thursday in particular for potentially heavy snowfall. You know how quickly forecasts can change though...

Back to this morning though and it is cold. Wrap up well and some decent snow to be found.

It is interesting to note that on the official website where they usually mention snow conditions in the different areas of Zao from 'S' (powder snow) through to 'E' ('inferior' snow), they don't seem to have been updating that at all yet this season...


Information as of Monday 11th January 2016 (subject to change)

All of the lifts at Zao Onsen are operating.
All areas of Zao Onsen are now at least part open.
Note that there is still less snow than usual and it is thin on the ground especially on lower course areas of the resort.

Official snow depths:

Utopia: 55cm
Chuo: 80cm
Paradise: 55cm
Uwanodai: 35cm


6 day Zao Onsen snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Monday 11th January 2016, 10:28am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 15cm
Snow depth: 105cm
Light snow overnight but it built up to 15-20cm cm at the base. Up top that usually means 30cm but will be up there momentarily to see for sure.

Winds remain light.

The snow, which fell from around 9pm through 7am, is fine, light, dry powder - just much less volume than a normal year's levels. Once that base is in these are actually the sort of snow falls that allow the best access up on the mountain.

Looking quite crowded today (last day of the long weekend) but it should be quiet mid-week.

Potentially clear weather through Wed night when small snow is expected on the forecast.


All snow resorts in Minakami were at least part open, but with the recent weather some are now closed waiting for more snowfall:

Minakami Kogen Fujiwara
Currently closed

Minakami Hodaigi
Part open

Minakami Kogen Ski Resort
Currently closed

Norn Minakami
Part open

Currently closed

Okutone Snow Park
Currently closed

Tanigawadake Tenjindaira

White Valley
Currently closed


Weather forecast:

Tanigawa Tenjindaira 6 day snow and weather forecast
   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Yuzawa Now
14th Jun, 10:19am
Naeba Now
07th Jun, 10:08am
Aizu Bandai Now
31st May, 13:35
Shiga Kogen Now
27th May, 9:56am
Furano Now
08th May, 8:47am
Niseko Now
07th May, 19:19pm
Myoko Now
06th May, 9:33am
Hakuba Now
06th May, 9:09
Nozawa Onsen Now
06th May, 8:46
Minakami Now
06th May, 8:16
Madarao Now
06th May, 8:13am
Zao Now
06th May, 7:59
Appi Kogen Now
06th May, 7:59am
Geto Kogen Now
06th May, 7:12
Grandeco Now
02nd Feb, 12:34am