Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 27th May 2019
Friday 12th April 2019, 7:43am
It is a nice clear sky morning with the blue vista above stretching through to Mt Tokachi on the other side of the valley. Currently 0c the temperature will top out at +6c, making it a warm spring day. The best snow conditions will be first thing this morning when the snow pack is still firm. It is late spring now but the trails are open from the top to base of the Kitanomine Zone allowing for long runs!
This morning it is a mix of cloud and blue sky - more cloud to the north of Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma.
It is keeping rather cold in the morning and evening; today temperatures will likely rise to around 9C in town.
Tomorrow the forecast is for mostly sunshine and warmer temps - perhaps rising to mid-teens. It is looking like we have probably seen the last snow of the season (down in town at least) with generally warmer conditions expected in the coming week. Lots of sunshine is expected apart from perhaps later on Sunday.
Updated: Friday 12th April 2019
GALA Yuzawa - Official snow depth: 260cm - The Central Area and part of the Northern Area of GALA Yuzawa remain open - The Gondola, Barouche quad, Phaeton pair, Coach pair and Victoria quad lifts are operating - The downhill Falcon course is closed for the season - take the Gondola down - GALA Yuzawa plans to be open until Monday 6th May
Kagura - Official snow depth: 260cm (Kagura); 230cm (Tashiro); 200cm (Mitsumata) - Kagura remains almost fully open - Tashiro Ropeway plans to be open until Monday 6th May - Kagura via Mitsumata Ropeway plans to be open until Sunday 26th May
Kandatsu Kogen - Official snow depth: 180cm - Kandatsu remains mostly open - The Tozawa pair, Onaka quad and Ikenodaira quad lifts are operating - Kandatsu Kogen plans to be open until Sunday 21st April
All other ski resorts in the Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma region are now closed for the season Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Friday 12th April 2019, 7:57am
Mostly cloudy but perhaps clearing
Good morning from Nozawa.
Rather cloudy this morning but some sun shining through in places and more of that likely during the day with clearer skies from the start and warmer conditions forecast for tomorrow. Sun followed by some potential rain (snow up top) for Sunday.
Still over 3m on the top courses and generally pretty good snow cover down to base.
Friday 12th April 2019
Fresh snowfall reported by the ski resort (since yesterday morning):
- Yamabiko (1407m): 7cm - Uenotaira (1230m): 0cm - Hikage (660m): no longer reporting - Nagasaka (615m): no longer reporting - Karasawa (563m): no longer reporting
Official snow depth numbers (reported by resort):
- Yamabiko (1407m): 305cm - Uenotaira (1230m): 225cm - Hikage (660m): no longer reporting - Nagasaka (615m): no longer reporting - Karasawa (563m): no longer reporting
The following lifts are normally operating:
- Nagasaka Gondola (8:10am - 3:30pm; last one down 3:30pm) - Yamabiko Four (8:30am - 3:20pm) - Yamabiko Number 2 Four (8:25am - 3:30pm)
The following courses are open:
- Yamabiko A - Yamabiko B - Yamabiko C - Yamabiko D - Yamabiko E - Kokenashi - Uenotaira - Paradise
The following courses remain available to ski back down:
Lovely weather yesterday and it's blue skies from the start again today. Just a few small clouds in places but mostly blue sky and sunshine. Temperatures might be approaching 10C at base today and rising above that tomorrow as things get warmer. A dip in temps is likely around Monday when we might even get some snowfall on the mountain but more sun and warmth is currently forecast from Tuesday onwards.
Lifts should be opening as planned this morning. I think I am going to get a few hours in this morning.
We are now into the 'Final Season' period and that means cheaper lift tickets again. That means that you can get a Hirafu 5 hour ticket for 3,000 yen or a one day ticket for 3,400 yen (2,200 yen and 2,500 yen for junior high students and seniors; 1,600 yen and 2,000 yen for elementary school students).
Note that the Hirafu Gondola will only be operating on Saturdays, Sundays and from 27th April through 6th May.
Over at Annupuri, one day lift tickets are 3,400 yen for adults, 3000 yen for junior high students and 2,600 yen for elementary school students. And I believe that includes 1,000 yen for some lunch and an onsen hot spring entry discount ticket.
All areas that plan to be open should be open this morning.
Ski resort operation information: Friday 12th April 2019 Subject to change due to weather conditions
Official snow depth (reported by resort): - Peak: 310cm - Base: 75cm
Planned ski lift operations: - Hirafu quad [8:30am - 4:30pm] * weekends only - Ace Family quad [8:30am - 4:30pm] * until 14th April - Ace Number 2 Center Four quad [8:30am - 4:30pm] - King Number 3 quad [8:40am - 4:30pm] - King Number 4 [8:50am - 4:30pm]
Notes: - Riesen Grat, Usagidaira, Kurobishi, Panorama, Skyline, Riesen Slalom and Nakiyama South Side areas remain open - Base areas are closed apart from Nakiyama South Side and Shirakaba South Side - Hakuba Happo-one plans to be open until Monday 6th May
Notes: - Top areas remain open - Gondola and Alps Number 1 and 3 pair lifts operating - You can still ride back down to base - Iimori and Toomi base area lifts are now closed - Hakuba Goryu plans to be open until Monday 6th May
Notes: - Tsugaike Ropeway is now generally open for spring operations (check for daily operation plans) - Tsuga-no-mori, Han-kou, Han-no-ki and Karamatsu course areas remain open - Other course areas are now closed - You can still ride back down to Gondola base - Tsugaike Kogen plans to be open until Monday 6th May Read more ...
Geto Kogen Now!
Friday 12th April 2019, 8:35am
Cloud / blue sky
Good morning from Geto Kogen.
More snow to report from yesterday morning as the top official snow depth reaches 400cm.
No more snow overnight. This morning has been cloudy early on but there's some nice blue sky around too - as well as sometimes windy conditions.
Fine weather is expected for tomorrow and it is looking like we will have generally warmer conditions over the coming week.
Official snow depths:
* Top: 400cm * Base: 250cm
Planned operating lifts - subject to change due to weather:
* Number 1 Gondola * Number 1 pair lift
- Other lifts now closed for the season
Courses & Tree Runs - subject to change due to weather:
* All of the main official courses are available * All tree runs open Read more ...
Aizu Bandai Now!
Friday 12th April 2019, 8:54am
Cloudy, some blue skies
Good morning from Urabandai.
Snow was falling on and off yesterday and it is a beautiful morning with some blue skies this morning with 8cm of new snow being measured at Grandeco base.
The snowfall stopped in the night and the temps was quite cold that the snow condition on the slopes are quite hard snow.
Nekoma has announced that their steep courses are not groomed this morning - maybe good news for off-piste fans!
It will be a sunny day through tomorrow.
Catch the new snow while you can.... there surely can't be much more of it coming!
The photos for today are from Nekoma (the first two) and Grandeco.
Nekoma - lift 4/5, course 11/11 open (open until there is enough snow) Grandeco - lift 2/5 include one gondola, course 8/11 open (open until there is enough snow)
Minowa, Alts Bandai, Urabandai, Inawashiro, Inawashiro resort, Numajiri, Listel, Family Bandai Bandai - already closed for the season
Nekoma - Alts 'walking link'
The Alts Bandai resort has already closed for the season but in what seems to be an experimental kind of special opening, there is now an official 'walking link' available between the Nekoma and Alts Bandai resorts, with Alts opening up their top Muhyo ski lift.
This is how it works.
Basically you get up to the top of the Nekoma resort via the Excite Cat Chair lift. You can walk about 800m (15 minutes) over to the top of the Alts Bandai resort - there is a rope along the way to keep you going in the right direction - where the Muhyo lift is operating. You can then enjoy the top area of Alts Bandai using the Muhyo lift.
It is important to note that you cannot ski back down to the base of Alts Bandai and it is prohibited to go outside of the official walking course.
Once you have had your fill of the top of Alts Bandai you need to then walk back over to the top of Nekoma, and then ski/board back down to the base of that resort.
The Mukyo lift is open between 9am and 1pm; the walking link is open between 9am and 1:30pm; the gate on the Nekoma side closes at noon.
This link will be open until the middle of this month so if you want to try it out, you'll need to get there soon!
It will be interesting to see if this idea is deemed a success and what kind of feedback the resorts get. It is unknown right now if they have kind of plans to do this again next year in any form.
Perhaps we can look forward to more news on this next season. We'll keep an eye on it. Read more ...
Friday 12th April 2019, 8:58am
Morning from Zao.
A cloudy morning with temperatures hovering around zero as of 7:30am here at base.
The forecast says we should be seeing some sun tomorrow and perhaps Sunday too, with a bit of rain or possibly snow higher up later on in the day. It would seem that beyond that temperatures are going to be rising a little. Maybe we will start to see spring take proper control over proceedings.
Next report early in the week. Have a good weekend.
These are the planned lift closing dates as stated by the resort. There may be slight variations and they are also of course subject to change depending on snow conditions. Please check with the resort before going.
Operating until 14th April: - Katakai triple: operating on 13th and 14th April - Paradise pair AB: operating on 13th and 14th April
Operating until 6th May: - Chuo Number 1 pair - Chuo Number 2 pair: operating on 20th, 21st, 27th, 28th, 29th April, 3rd-6th May
Operating as long as snow allows: - Yokokura Number 1 pair A - Kurohime quad - Utopia Number 2 pair
Operating through the year (for sightseeing): - Sky Cable - Chuo Ropeway - Zao Ropeway
* Other ski lifts already closed * All dates subject to change depending on snow conditions Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Friday 12th April 2019, 9:02am
Good morning from Shiga Kogen.
A bit more snow being reported by Kumanoyu (5cm) since yesterday but mostly it is just cloudy this morning. It was cold overnight and roads coming up to the area are icy.
Conditions are really rather good especially when you consider the date. It should be a good weekend and I would expect quite a few people to be turning up to take advantage. As you would!
Fine sunny weather is forecast for tomorrow with perhaps some rain/snow later in the day on Sunday. It does look like after that we can expect temperatures to start rising a bit - full on spring just around the corner perhaps?
The section of Route 292 that connects the Yokoteyama area of Shiga Kogen with Kusatsu in Gunma Prefecture (the Shiga Kusatsu Kogen Route) will be opening from 10:00am on Friday 19th April.
That section of road is closed during the winter. It opening means that you will be able to get to Shiga Kogen from the south (Kusatsu) as well as from the north-west.
The high snow walls along the road are usually very impressive and are definitely worth a look.
Shiga Kogen resort info: Friday 12th April 2019
The below information is manually checked for each report. Official snow depth numbers are as reported by the ski resorts themselves.
** Planned closing dates - all subject to change, depending on conditions **
Takamagahara Mammoth Quad lift - 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st April; 27th April until 6th May
Tannenomori Okojo 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st April; 27th April until 6th May
Ichinose Family Quad and Number 2 pair B - until 6th May
Terakoya 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st April; 27th April until 6th May
Ichinose Diamond Diamond pair and quad - 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st April; 27th April until 6th May
Kumanoyu Number 1 pair - until 14th April Number 3 quad - 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st April; 27th April until 6th May Number 2 pair A line - until 12th May
Yokoteyama / Shibutoge Number 4 pair lift - every Saturday from 1st April Number 1 Sky A and B - until 6th May Number 2 Sky - beyond 6th May Number 3 Sky - beyond 6th May Shibutoge - beyond 6th May
Okushiga Kogen Number 6 pair lift - 13th, 14th, 20th, 21st April; 27th April until 6th May Number 4 pair lift - 12th, 13th, 14th, 19th, 20th, 21st April; 27th April until 6th May Number 2 high speed pair - until 6th May Number 3 high speed pair - until 6th May Gondola - until 6th May
Yakebitaiyama Number 4 romance lift - operating when the Number 2 gondola is not operating Number 1 Gondola - until 6th May Number 2 high speed lift - until 6th May Read more ...
Friday 12th April 2019, 15:22pm
The snow finally stopped falling yesterday afternoon however Tenjin was shut all day due to strong winds up top.
This morning wasn't all time but it was pretty good at least in the morning. I just did one cheeky lap and got out of there but it's stayed cool pretty much all day and has generally been overcast.
Good weather is forecast from tomorrow right through till Sunday afternoon for Minakami Vibes which will see the Toge lift reopen for the first time in ages.
The bowl is looking great but forgot to take a photo!
Temp as of 8am
Tenjindaira is the only ski resort open in Minakami. All of the others are now closed for the season. Read more ...