Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 17th April 2020

Furano Now!

Wednesday 11th March 2020, 7:59am
Weather conditions: Rain
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
The rain arrived yesterday around lunchtime and has continued overnight with very heavy falls. The village looks like it is in an advanced state of the spring melt this morning with piles of snow shrunk from what they were yesterday and many of the roads washed clean of snow and ice.

It is still raining around the base area now but the precipitation will change to snow very soon. The temperature is +3c and will get colder down to -1c by afternoon. Expect the slopes to be very rain effected. Hopefully we get a decent layer of new snow on top during the day.

Operating lifts:

Kitanomine Gondola
Kitanomine Romance Chair
Kitanomine quad chair
Kitanomine Snow Escalator
Link lift

Furano Ropeway CLOSED
Furano Downhill chair #1
Furano Downhill chair #2
Furano Downhill chair #3
Prince Romance chair
Furano Snow Escalator

Kitanomine Zone: Open
Furano Zone: Open   Read more ...

Geto Kogen Now!

Wednesday 11th March 2020, 8:23am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --

It is mild and raining this morning. Everyone, say boo in a big loud voice and lets see if that works.

Not the nicest of mornings.

But... there's some occasional snow lined up there on the weekly forecast (though sun tomorrow) so we can hope for the chance of more fresh tracks.

Tree run courses closed.

I think today is a good day to have a soak in the onsen.


Official snow depths:

* Top: 300cm
* Base: 150cm

Planned operating lift information - subject to change:

* Number 1 Gondola
* Number 2 Gondola (operates on weekends and holidays only)
* Number 1 pair lift
* Number 2 pair lift
* Quad lift is now closed

Courses & Tree Runs:

* All of the main official courses are available
* The resort usually makes a final decision on tree run courses before 9am
* Generally, all tree runs apart from Extreme are opening   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Wednesday 11th March 2020, 8:33am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, fog up top
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Hello from Nozawa. How you all doing?

This morning it is mostly a story of cloud and fog on the upper areas of the mountain. It's actually quite bright with the sun trying to break through as I a type this, but the clouds are probably going to win through.

Less mild than the last few days, but still mild and it is due to get colder this evening. Some forecasts even show some snow. And there is snow on forecasts for over the weekend.

All over the place!


Wednesday 11th March 2020

Fresh snowfall recorded by resort since yesterday morning:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 0cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 0cm
- Hikage (660m): 0cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 0cm
- Karasawa (563m): 0cm

Official snow depth numbers (reported by resort):

- Yamabiko (1407m): 180cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 110cm
- Hikage (660m): 25cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 15cm
- Karasawa (563m): -cm

All lifts normally operating apart from the following lifts:

- Sorry, it seems I did not update this part yesterday. My mistake....
- Karasawa pair
- Challenge pair
- Mizunashi triple
- Utopia pair

All courses normally open apart from the following courses:

- Utopia B
- Grand Prix
- Hachiman
- Mukobayashi
- Jumping
- Schneider (south slope)
- Skyline (lower area closed; the upper area down to Tanuki course is open)
- Usagi
- Kurokura
- Nagasaka link
- Kandahar (last opening to public for season on 16th March)

Nighta until 8:00pm

- Nagasaka Four lift operates during nighta
- Every Saturday until 28th March
- 20th March
- Subject to change; check with resort   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Wednesday 11th March 2020, 8:34am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning.

Though 'good' probably wasn't the first word that comes to mind. It was raining when I got up (and it was raining when I went to bed). Not totally unexpected of course.

But there is reason to be cheerful with fresh snow due to start falling from sometime during the daytime today and beyond. We are expecting windy conditions too so it might get a bit wild before we can get to enjoy the snow that we receive.

As I post this report all of the top lifts are on hold, as are the Village and Annupuri gondolas.

I am happy to report that I can see light snow falling outside my window just now, so it is starting....

Seat belts on!


Niseko Avalanche Report

Mountain base: +4℃, rain. Moiwa 800m: NW 309°7.7m/s, -0.4℃. Annupuri 1100m: W 267°13.8m/s, -2.0℃. Yu no sawa 1000m: WSW 260°, -1.5℃. Village 900m: W 275°8.7m/s, -0.8℃. Hirafu 1000m: SE 131°5.1m/s, -0.7℃. Hanazono 720m: WSW 253°8.5m/s, +2.5℃. Sea of Japan Benkei cape: NW15m/s, Kamui cape: NW7m/s, 984hPa, 0.9m waves.

A strong NW wind has picked up above 800m elevation as the low-pressure system passed. Hazard of glide avalanche is rising in 1100m elevation Back bowl and Osawa. Better stay away of valley bottoms. Hazard of surface slab avalanches will rise throughout the afternoon as the weather shifts into a snowstorm. Peak gates will be closed. Do not take it lightly and duck ropes to reach the out of bounds.

Rain and wet snow can easily cause hypothermia. Using wool base layers and waterproof outerwear is recommended. The weather will remain pretty bad for a while. Keep in mind that many of the accidents occur during foul weather. Always be prudent and make conservative decisions in the mountain. The community is always deeply concerned about all resort users’ safety. Have a nice day.


Ski resort operation information: Wednesday 11th March 2020

Niseko Grand Hirafu

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 300cm
- Base: 100cm

All lifts are normally operating EXCEPT:
- Ace Number 1 pair lift (normally rested)
- King Number 2 quad lift (normally rested)

Lifts scheduled for late operations:
- Ace Family quad until 8:30pm
- Ace Number 2 Center Four quad until 8:20pm
- Hirafu Gondola until 8:10pm
- Holiday Number 1 pair until 8:30pm


Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 198cm
- Base: 115cm

All lifts are normally operating


Niseko Annupuri

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 185cm
- Base: 110cm

All lifts are normally operating

Lift scheduled for late operations:
- Jumbo Number 1 quad until 8:30pm


Niseko Village

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 190cm
- Base: 110cm

All lifts normally operating EXCEPT:
- Country Road Chair (normally rested)

Lifts scheduled for late operations:
- Annupuri Village Gondola until 8:00pm
- Village Express until 8:00pm
- Banzai Chair until 8:00pm   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Wednesday 11th March 2020, 8:48am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa.

Some rain this morning, though Kagura are actually reporting snow falling up there. Good old Kagura! (They say it is rain down by the Mitsumata Ropeway).

It did get rather windy yesterday at times and affected some of Kagura during the day and this morning their top Number 5 lift is remaining on hold due to wind. It should be generally calmer though.

Let's not give up hope for fresh snowy goodness though. We might (just might) get some snow tonight, especially higher up, and there is some snow on the forecast for the weekend and beyond as things get colder once again.

Oh yes, we're expecting sunshine tomorrow. So if we can get some fresh tonight, tomorrow should be fun!


We'll keep showing you the NASPA Ski Garden webcam image (even though that ski hill is now closed), to give you an idea of weather over in that area. And the GALA Yuzawa webcams don't seem to be up and running again yet, so that is why they are not appearing.


Individual ski resort information: Wednesday 11th March 2020
All information checked and updated manually for each report. Subject to change.

GALA Yuzawa

- All lifts are operating
- All courses in the Central and Northern Area are open
- The Batman and Eliza courses in the Southern Area are open
- The Ropeway connecting GALA Yuzawa with Yuzawa Kogen is operating
- Official snow depth: 140cm

Ishiuchi Maruyama

- 7 courses open; access via Sunrise Express gondola lift at Chuo base
- Access to Chuo from other bases by shuttle bus
- Official snow depth: 120cm (upper); 40cm (mid)


- Iwappara is now closed for the season

Joetsu Kokusai

- 4 lifts operating; 5 courses open in the East and North areas
- Official snow depth: 70cm (upper)


- All areas of Kagura area open
- Top Romance Number 5 lift on hold due to wind
- Official snow depth: 190cm

Kandatsu Snow Resort

- A, B, C and E lifts operating; most courses open
- Official snow depth: 110cm

Maiko Snow Resort

- The Gondola and top two Okusoechi lifts are operating
- Official snow depth: 90cm (top)

Muikamachi Hakkaisan

- 7 courses open; 3 lifts operating
- Official snow depth: 150cm


- 14 of 22 courses open
- Official snow depth: 80cm
- Details on Naeba Now report here

NASPA Ski Garden

- NASPA Ski Garden is now closed for the season

Yuzawa Kogen

- The top Kogen area is all open
- Base area is now closed

Yuzawa Nakazato

- Number 1, 2 and 3 lifts are operating
- Official snow depth: 45cm

Yuzawa Park

- Number 7 lift is operating
- Official snow depth: 25cm


Photos (below) from around 8:45am on Wednesday 11th March 2020:

- Yuzawa Kogen
- NASPA Ski Garden [now closed]
- Ishiuchi Maruyama (2)
- Route 17/Yuzawa IC exit
- Maiko Snow Resort   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Wednesday 11th March 2020, 9:02am
Weather conditions: The sun is almost coming out now
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
It's just a bit cooler today than yesterday, but we're talking about 5° rather than 9°. Very very light rain is falling right now; maybe "misting" is a better description.

It's hard to figure the wind, too; it's just a light breeze, but it is shifting all over the compass dial. That's kind of in keeping with the winds around Japan, though. It's crazy, with some front out in the Sea of Japan diverting what could be nice Siberian (snow-bearing) winds to instead come from the west. It's interesting, but not so much for the skiing side of things.

Oh, and those strong winds yesterday really put a dent in the snowpack. Ouch. The resorts are doing a pretty good job generally in reporting the slow decline of our white stuff (Seki still says 350cm, but they're closed again today, too). Time to get out the canoe?


Akakura Kanko:
140cm, 1°C

Akakura Onsen:
175cm, 4°C

Ikenotaira Onsen:
85cm, 2°

Myoko Suginohara:
75cm, 0°1

Seki Onsen:

Myoko Ski Park:
110cm, 8°

Kyukamura RunRun:
120cm, 5°

Tangram Ski Circus:
60cm, 2°

Madarao Kogen:
90cm, 3°

Lotte Arai Resort
288cm, 5.9°

Kurohime Kogen Snow Park
Closed   Read more ...

Aizu Bandai Now!

Wednesday 11th March 2020, 9:07am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning.

This morning we have lots of cloud, we have some earlier light rain easing off and Grandeco were reporting some (very) light snow.

It is going to be a windy day and indeed the wind is causing a few problems at Minowa where just the B lift is operating with 3 courses available this morning.

The walk route at Nekoma should be open as normal.

Sunshine is expected tomorrow along with calmer winds, and hopefully it will remain colder than it has been.


Grandeco Snow Resort:
- 4 (of 5) lifts operating
- 11 (of 13) courses open
- Weekday operations
- Official snow depth: 140cm

Hoshino Resort Urabandai Nekoma:
- Now open daily
- 5 (of 6) lifts operating
- 14 (of 15) courses open
- The walk course connecting Nekoma with the top of Alts Bandai is open today...
- ...the top lift at Alts Bandai is operating (though Alts Bandai as a whole is closed for the season)
- Official snow depth: 135cm (top)

Listel Ski Fantasia:
- Part open
- Official snow depth: 40cm

- 1 (of 3) lifts operating
- 3 (of 12) courses open
- Official snow depth: 110cm


Photo today:

- Grandeco
- Minowa   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Wednesday 11th March 2020, 9:19am
Weather conditions: Cloudy (fog higher up?)
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --

Well, it's windy this morning and it is affecting lift operations with the top section of the Zao Ropeway closed as well as a bunch of other lifts - see below.

Limited visibility in some areas and the last few days some lower slopes are starting to take on a different look with patches of brown. The official snow depth numbers have all taken a hit today.

There might be some snow overnight but it won't be significant; the best chance for snow looks to be for around Monday.


Official snow depths (as reported by resort):

- Summit area: 70cm
- Paradise area: 80cm
- Chuo area: 90cm
- Utopia area: 80cm
- Uwanodai area: 55cm
- Oomori area: 25cm

- Kotan and Nakamori slope closed
- Other areas only part open

Lifts on hold this morning at time of report (subject to change):

- Zao Ropeway top section
- Diamond Number 1 pair
- Astraea Number 3 pair
- Kurohime Number 1 quad
- Ryuzan pair
- Nakamori Number 1 triple
- Nakamori Number 2 pair
- Yokokura Number 2 pair

The following lifts are now closed for the season:

- Zao Paradise Number 3 pair
- Karamatsu


Night time operations:

** Subject to change. Please check with the resort! **

Nighta in the Uwanodai area is scheduled for 14th, 20th and 21st March 2020. 5:00pm until 9:00pm.   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Wednesday 11th March 2020, 9:35am
Weather conditions: Lots of cloud but some blue sky and sunshine too
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

Rain yesterday though there has been some light snow on the upper mountain areas overnight. It feels a bit colder though still relatively mild.

Happo-one are reporting 3cm of fresh snow at the top of the Riesen quad, and Hakuba 47 are also mentioning 5cm on the upper areas - though those numbers are not being reflected on the official numbers. Rather, there is just one number in the table today with Hakuba Goryu reporting 2cm on upper slopes. Here are said numbers:

The information in this table is data reported by the ski resortsNew snowfall (lower)New snowfall (upper)TOTAL ACCUMULATION (UPPER)
Hakuba 470cm0cm445cm
Hakuba Cortina0cm0cm561cm
Hakuba Goryu0cm2cm479cm
Hakuba Happo-one0cm0cm675cm

IMPORTANT: See below for an explanation of the above data

Remember, I am simply the messenger. And that if you only look at the official numbers, you'd miss those other two. So, you're welcome. ;)

At the time of writing, lifts at Happo-one on hold so it must be windy up there.

Generally things are clearer and brighter than earlier and there's some blue sky and sunshine even. Having said that, I spy some snow on the forecast for tonight.

I don't think I'm confused!


Individual ski resort information
The below information is checked from official sources and manually adjusted each morning.

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from the lifts noted below are normally operating:
- Nakiyama Number 2 pair
- Shirakaba Number 1 pair
- Shirakaba Number 2 pair
- Central pair
- Sakka Number 2 pair
- Sakka Number 3 triple

Courses open:
- All courses apart from the following are at least part open:
- Central
- Olympic II
- Kita-one
- Kokusai
- Nakiyama Wall/North
- Shirakaba North
- Sakka
- Nakiyama South and Shirakaba South base areas are open; others closed
- You can also take the Gondola or other lifts back down to base

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 185cm
- Usagidaira: 115cm
- Nakiyama: 50cm

Hakuba 47

All lifts apart from the lifts noted below are normally operating:
- Pair Line D (usually only operates when Gondola not operating)

Courses open:
- All main courses now open
- Tree Riding Zones: upper area part open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 155cm
- Base: 45cm

Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- All lifts are normally operating except:
- Toomi Number 2 pair (closed 9th-13th March)

Courses open:
- All courses are open now apart from the following:
- Cosmo River
- Sunny Way
- Straight Whiskey
- Snow Diving
- Adventure

Official snow depth:
- Alps: 165cm
- Toomi: 55cm
- Iimori: 40cm

Tsugaike Kogen

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori: 180cm
- Maruyama: 25cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: -cm
- Lower Kane-no-oka areas are now closed
- Champion part open
- DBD gates: Gates 1 open

Hakuba Cortina

Official snow depth & info:
- Top: 134cm
- Base: 45cm
- Most courses open

Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Official snow depth & info:
- Top: 90cm

Hakuba Norikura Onsen

Official snow depth & info:
- Top: 50cm

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

Official snow depth & info:
- Top: 80cm

Hakuba Sanosaka

Official snow depth & info:
- Top: 35cm


- Top: 10cm


Photos today (below):

- Hakuba Happo-one [Usagidaira]
- Hakuba Happo-one [Usagidaira]
- Hakuba Goryu [base area]
- Hakuba 47
- Tsugaike Kogen [upper Tsuganomori area]
- Tsugaike Kogen [lower Kane-no-naru-oka area]
- Hakuba Iwatake
- Looking towards Hakuba Iwatake and Hakuba Happo-one


About the data in the above ‘snowfall as reported by ski resorts’ table
* The table within the above report contains data that is published by individual ski resorts
* The data shown is the amount of snowfall that the ski resorts are themselves reporting each 24 hour period on the upper areas of their mountain
* The source ‘new snowfall’ data and ‘total accumulation’ data is not updated at the same time
* The ‘new snowfall’ data is updated in the morning
* The ‘accumulation’ data is apparently updated/refreshed at midnight
* That means that there is a time lag between the two numbers being updated
* We manually check and update the data just before we publish each Hakuba Now report - so the data in each Hakuba Now report table is what is available at that time
* Any odd-looking numbers are due to the source data. We are not responsible for and have no control over the data. We are simply sharing the data with you
* Just to be extra clear, unlike our own ‘observed snowfall’ data from base that we show at the top of each report, the data in the table is not an independent observation by SnowJapan
* A more in-depth introduction and explanation can be found in this report   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Wednesday 11th March 2020, 9:36am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
It is a cloudy start to the day here in Shiga Kogen after that 'spring storm' kind of day yesterday.

The southern winds got pretty strong in the afternoon with a bunch of lifts having to close.

Things have calmed down this morning and it is feeling somewhat colder (though still relatively mild).

Forecasts are looking interesting. If they pan out, we'll see a return to winter like conditions around Monday with a real dip in temperatures and... potentially decent amounts of fresh snow.

Sounds good to me!

Before then we can expect more sun than snow tomorrow and Friday.


All areas and connections at Shiga Kogen are now open (with just a few minor exceptions).


Photos: Kumanoyu and Hasuike Junction


Shiga Kogen resort info: Wednesday 11th March 2020

The below information is manually checked - but the report is too early for any changes today
Official snow depth numbers are as reported by the ski resorts themselves.

- Official snow depth: 160cm

Ichinose Family
- Official snow depth: 160cm

- Official snow depth: 190cm

- Official snow depth: 110cm

Okushiga Kogen
- Official snow depth: 170cm

Takamagahara Mammoth
- Official snow depth: 170cm

- Official snow depth: 160cm

- Official snow depth: 190cm

- Official snow depth: 200cm


Originally planned night time operations at the Shiga Kogen ski areas are as follows; subject to change, so please check with the resorts.
Note that separate lift tickets are required.

Ichinose Diamond
20th-21st March 2020
Quad lift
6:30pm until 9:00pm

Ichinose Family
Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays until 21st March 2020
Number 2 pair B lift
6:30pm until 9:00pm

Every Saturday until 28th March 2020
20th March 2020
Number 1 pair lift
6:30pm until 9:00pm

Takamagahara Mammoth
Saturdays until 21st March 2020
20th March 2020
Number 2 triple lift
6:30pm until 8:30pm


The section of road connecting the southern area of Shiga Kogen (from Yokoteyama onwards) with Gunma Prefecture is now closed for the season. It will be closed until 24th April 2020. Approach Shiga Kogen using Route 292 from the west (Nagano/Nakano/Yamanouchi)
   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Wednesday 11th March 2020, 9:53am
Weather conditions: Lots of cloud, but the sun breaking through in places
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Madarao.

Some changing conditions during this morning already.

I am happy that the rain has eased off and it's good to see the sun breaking through the clouds.

The below images show contrasting conditions - first one lots of cloud earlier on, second one a bit later with less cloud and then the third one is from Tangram showing some blue sky and sunshine...

More clouds due to move in later in the day today and hoping for some snow overnight tonight.


Current operations: Wednesday 11th March 2020


- All lifts apart from Number 5 should be operating
- Powder Wave, Crystal Bowl, Rabbit tree run courses closed
- Other tree run courses open
- Official snow depth: 90cm

Tangram Ski Circus:

- All lifts are operating
- Part open
- Official snow depth: 60cm   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Wednesday 11th March 2020, 9:57am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Hello from Naeba.

Earlier rain has eased off now and there is a lot of cloud around.

The forecast for the coming week is curiously encouraging. We might see some fresh snow overnight tonight and then on Saturday and then on Monday, with Monday looking the best chance for multiple cms.

It would feel something like a good bonus now at this stage of the season.


Official snow depth:

- 80cm

Planned operating lifts:

- Prince Number 2 Gondola
- Takenokodaira romance pair lift
- Number 4 romance pair lift
- Number 3 high speed lift
- Number 5 high speed lift (open for nighta until 8:30pm)
- Hiuchi Number 1 romance pair lift
- Dragondola

Courses planned to be open:

- 14 of 22 courses are normally open


Planned lift operations at Naeba from 16th March 2020:

- Prince Number 2 Gondola
- Number 5 high speed lift
- Takenokodaira pair lift   Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Wednesday 11th March 2020, 10:30am
Weather conditions: Cloudy overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Appi.

It’s still quite wet today, but the rain is slowly turning to snowfall.

It’s overcast with grey clouds dominating the mountain, and strong winds which may affect lift operations.

Unfortunately yesterday saw constant rain throughout the day and into the evening. It has taken its toll on the snow which is very icy today. Fingers crossed for the next snow dump.


APPI is open with the following lifts normally operating (subject to change):

- Appi Gondola
- Central quad lift
- Central Number 2 lift
- Central Number 3A lift
- Central Number 5 lift
- Nishimori lift
- Sailer quad lift
- Vista quad lift

- All normal courses at APPI are open
- Dragon tail, Cruise 1, Cruise 2, Bravo, Attack tree run courses are normally open
- Subject to lift operations & weather conditions

Snowfall numbers
The below numbers are reported by the resort

Cumulative snowfall:

Natural snow depth:
230cm   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Zao Now
15th Sep, 13:18am
Shiga Kogen Now
30th May, 10:10
Geto Kogen Now
06th May, 15:13pm
Appi Kogen Now
23rd Apr, 17:30
Furano Now
22nd Apr, 10:12am
Madarao Now
20th Apr, 9:52am
Nozawa Onsen Now
20th Apr, 9:51am
Niseko Now
20th Apr, 9:50am
Naeba Now
20th Apr, 9:49am
Myoko Now
20th Apr, 9:48am
Minakami Now
20th Apr, 9:47am
Hakuba Now
20th Apr, 9:40am
Aizu Bandai Now
20th Apr, 9:38am
Yuzawa Now
20th Apr, 9:37am
Grandeco Now
06th Dec, 14:16am