Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 26th May 2019

Madarao Now!

Tuesday 12th January 2016, 7:42am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: 90cm
It's a good cold morning in Madarao.

Winter-like, even! :)

Another 2-5cm being reported by the resort and yes, there has been 2cm since my last report at base.

Light snow has been continuing to fall early this morning, though in surrounding areas there are clearings in the clouds and even some sunshine - so maybe we will soon be getting some of that.

Different forecasts seem to be disagreeing about what to expect this week at the moment. Some have snow each day, some are expecting more clearer skies - sadly it's the latter forecast that is usually more accurate.

Though they all do agree though that it should be remaining cold, which in itself is a good thing as current snow conditions should remain decent.


Madarao Kogen 6 day snow and weather forecast


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

All planned lifts operating

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

All planned lifts operating

Tree Run Courses:

Not yet open   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Tuesday 12th January 2016, 7:55am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 12cm
Snow depth: 130cm
Before my report, news of a new Giveaway on SnowJapan - this time the friendly folk down there have over 150 ski lift tickets to send out to SnowJapan readers, including 10 lovely Niseko All Mountain ticket vouchers. And indeed over 140 lift tickets from other ski-jo around Japan:

I'm interested in winning some free lift tickets


And a good morning to you from Niseko where... it has been snowing again. It has been doing quite a lot of that of late!

This morning I have another 12cm of fine quality snow to add to the tally. Right at this moment it's just cloudy but snow falling is something that can happen any time and indeed those forecasts are still telling us to expect snow today and over the coming days.

It also remains very cold.

I am a bit earlier with my report this morning (out of necessity), but as I take the webcam images at 7:53am there's a bunch of folk already waiting for that Hirafu lift. Niseko Village look to be reporting winds of up to 17m/s up top so we'll have to keep an eye on that - hopefully wind won't be an issue today.

It should be another excellent day.


It's time to take another excite look at some numbers.

In the first 12 reports of January 2016 I have observed 117cm of snowfall here at my Hirafu base (and 94cm over the last 7 days). Last year during the same 12 day start to January 2015, I actually recorded 162cm - so like-for-like we are actually behind on last year. And if you remember, at the end of December 2015 (for the season so far up to that point) we were also about 2.5m behind on the same period the previous season.

The poor ('late') start to the season is of course a big reason for the December numbers, and perhaps the big picture is just one more reflection of the generally 'mild winter' that Japan has been experiencing so far. Even though obviously no-one could call it mild up here at the moment - rather, it's actually really cold. But that's beside the point.

And of course we are still enjoying very respectful and regular refresh rates, so that's all great. So perhaps and we should just consider ourselves lucky given the prolonged poor early season in many other regions of the country.

I am no meteorologist (as you can no doubt tell) but I did see an interview on television yesterday with one who was saying that there is a good chance that Japan as a whole will be getting colder and brushing aside this 'mild winter' soon. That would be good for everyone.

It's exciting to think how January could end up for us here in Hokkaido if the consistency continues.

Oh yes, please remember everyone my observations are - and always have been - from my base here in Hirafu.


Following on from my comments yesterday, the King Number 2 quad lift at Niseko Grand Hirafu is being rested again from today, so it looks like it was a long holiday special.


Resort specific lift opening news at time of writing - subject to change during the day:

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Niseko HANAZONO Resort
Niseko Village
Niseko Annupuri
Sorry, it's too early to confirm details this morning.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -10℃, 15cm new snow, calm. Moiwa 800m: -13℃, W10m/s, developing cornices and snowdrifts. Mikaeri anemometer: SSW2.3m, -12.8℃. Annupuri 1150m: -15℃, W15m/s. Hirafu 1000m: -14℃, mild wind and 20cm snowfall. Benkei cape: WNW12m/s, Kamui cape W9m/s, 1013hPa, 2.3m waves.

Typical winter pressure distribution (High in the west, Low in the east) continues. The wind is stagnating around 10-15m/s westerly at sea and in the sky. Intermittent gusts with heavy snowfall are making the snowdrifts and cornices grow slowly around 800m elevation. 120cm thick slab largely slid with the snow-cat pressure test, however seems stable with ski compaction. Looking at all data and observations, the avalanche hazard level under 1000m elevation is low. Peak gates will open as they’re ready. Please follow the patrol’s instructions and step out of the gates. Carrying avalanche transceivers (beacons) is not mandatory in Niseko, however it is strongly recommended to. It may save not only yours but other people’s lives.

The avalanche hazard level in areas above 1100m is moderate to high. 60cm thick slides are likely to occur with ski compaction. Better not stimulate slopes with knolls and cornices. Beware of frostbites and hypothermia. Overall good conditions this morning.


Official resort snow depths as of Tuesday 12th January 2016:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 280cm
Base - 130cm

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!

Tuesday 12th January 2016, 8:24am
Weather conditions: Cloud, blue sky, some sun
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: 40cm
It was snowing for a good part of the day yesterday, though it was mostly that kind of lazily falling light snow that doesn't really build up. Still resorts are reporting this morning up to 5cm of fresh snow since yesterday and the snowfall was welcome. Just 1cm down here in town. The snowfall eventually eased off in the evening.

Cloud has been forecast for the first part of today and there is cloud around but quite a bit of blue sky as well along with the sun breaking through the clouds in places. Very scenic. We are expecting snow clouds to be back over the region later on this afternoon.

It has been keeping colder too the last few and that looks set to continue. In fact, there seems to be a feeling that more winter-like weather should be with us from now and the chance of snow most days. Still, some forecasts do not have a huge amount of snowfall lined up for the coming 5-6 days. It's honestly a bit of a confused picture really - certainly not clear cut what we can expect.

We have just got to enjoy what we got! Which isn't deep but generally resorts are doing a good job at keeping things going well. The webcams and images this morning show some very inviting groomed runs on offer. (See the photos from Maiko this morning on the PC version of this report).

It's back to a normal weekday from today after that long weekend so resorts should be relatively quiet now. A fine time to be out on the slopes especially when there's fresh snow out there.


SnowJapan has a lot of Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma lift tickets to give to readers over the next few weeks. If you would like to enter the prize draw and win some lift tickets, more information here:


In case you did not know, you can view this report and all of the other Now reports on the mobile version of SnowJapan:


Resort official snow depths (Tuesday 12th 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 ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Tuesday 12th January 2016, 8:33am
Weather conditions: Mix of cloud, blue sky, sun
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: 25cm
Good morning from Nozawa.

There's a lot of cloud up there but also some blue sky and the appearing at times too making for some dramatic scenery at times. It's keeping nice and cold too.

Only a bit of snow since the report yesterday really not much more than a dusting really. Snow is still expected to be back with us later on and a real mix of things on the forecast over the next week. Still hoping for regular snowfall amongst the clearer skies here and there. It does look like colder conditions are here to stay at least. Other than that, let's just keep watching for forecast to see where the journey takes us.

This morning though it should be very good to be up there on those upper areas.

Here we are back to weekdays and that means a number of ski lifts being rested, though the open course situation remains unchanged. Weekday and so less people around. The famous Fire Festival is coming soon though and so we always expect more people around for that.


If you would like to win a lift ticket for Nozawa Onsen (or other resorts as well), do check out the SnowJapan lift ticket giveaway, details here:

Good luck.


Official info at time of writing on Tuesday 12th January 2016 (subject to change):

Official snow depths:

Yamabiko: 105cm
Uenotaira: 95cm
Hikage: 25cm
Nagasaka: 20cm
Karasawa: 10cm

New snowfall as reported by the resort since yesterday:

Yamabiko: 1cm
Uenotaira: 1cm
Hikage: 0cm
Nagasaka: 2cm
Karasawa: 0cm

All lifts now planned to be operating except:

- Yunomine pair
- Mizunashi triple
- Challenge pair
- Utopia pair
- Kandahar pair
- Hikage Number 2 pair B
- Karasawa pair

The following courses are not currently open:

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


Nozawa Onsen 6 day weather and snow forecast

Nozawa Onsen main resort data   Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Tuesday 12th January 2016, 8:34am
Weather conditions: Sunny
New snowfall: 4cm
Snow depth: 45cm
Good Morning from Appi.

Yesterday was busy, cold and windy. The holiday crowd combined with limited open runs made for quite a squeeze on the hill yesterday. We did get a little snow on and off throughout the day which is certainly helping the base layer here. Todays sunny skies also brings another welcome surprise. They’re opening an additional run today! I know it's only one more but beggars can’t be choosers now can they.

The forecast for today calls for partly cloudy skies, temperatures still a chilly -6 to -10 at the base with very little if any snowfall. Now the crowds have all gone home you'll be able to enjoy a little more elbow room on the slopes.

The winds should die down a little but overall the next few days should be quite similar. We're looking for partly cloudy skies, relatively calm winds and temperatures hovering in the -8 to -10 range.


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.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Tuesday 12th January 2016, 8:44am
Weather conditions: Sunny blue sky some cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 40cm
It's a cold morning here in Shiga Kogen. A beautiful, cold morning.

There is no fresh cm of snow to report around base but the cold conditions are going to help us keep decent snow conditions.

Regular snowfall remains on the forecast for the coming week with some due later on in the day today, perhaps tonight, and into tomorrow. Though - just as this morning - there's a good chance of some sunshine tomorrow morning as well.

Regardless of the actual amount of snowfall that we get, the cold winter-like temperatures should be continuing through the week at least and hopefully beyond.

Have a great morning.


Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Tuesday 12th 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 ...

Grandeco Now!

Tuesday 12th January 2016, 8:59am
Weather conditions: Cloud and some blue sky
New snowfall: 8cm
Snow depth: 150cm
Good morning from Grandeco.

This morning there is no wind, some blue sky and it is very cold. Very beautiful.

There's also 8cm of fresh snowfall here at base.

It is looking like today and tomorrow the snow will be taking a break, but snowfall is expected every day from 14th until 18th and potentially some heavy snowfall in there as well.

The advanced course beside No.4 quad lift and Lavender 28 (28 degree moguls) are still closed at Grandeco, but the resort is now preparing to open these course and lift this weekend! If they can get that done, at last the resort will be fully open. Put it in your diaries, planned open from 15th!

Fingers crossed.


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 ...

Hakuba Now!

Tuesday 12th January 2016, 9:02am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy, some blue sky to be seen in places
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: 45cm
Some news of interest to most people reading my reports this morning - SnowJapan has a bunch of Hakuba Valley and Happo-one lift tickets to send out to lucky site readers. If you would like to win a Hakuba lift ticket, check out the link below for more information and details:

Good luck to you all!


And to todays report...

A few cm or so of fresh snow perhaps on the mountain during the day yesterday and there were some good conditions to be enjoyed up there. It felt something like a mid-winter day, which is what most days should feel like right now of course. A good thing!

Slopes and lifts were less busy as well, certainly over at 47 where I was in the afternoon, as lots of people started making their way back home after the long weekend. It should be much quieter from today.

This morning it is pretty cold here in the village with a dusting of new snow around base areas and light snow falling early. It's mostly cloudy right now with some blue sky to be seen in places and even the sun trying to break through as well.

Snow remains on the forecast over the coming week - hopefully decent amounts and regular as well, obviously. The colder conditions are should stay with us as well.


6 day forecast for Happo-one:

6 day snow and weather forecast for Happo-one


Resort news as of 8:45am on Tuesday 12th January 2015 (all subject to change due to weather conditions)

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall at base and 3cm 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 1-3cm of fresh snowfall at base and 3cm 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 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 5cm 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: 35cm
Sakka: 15cm

Hakuba Cortina:
Hakuba Cortina reporting 2cm of fresh snow at base and 8cm on upper areas.
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: 130cm
Base: 75cm

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: 131cm
Maruyama: 40cm
Kane-no-naru-oka: 35cm

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
The North and East courses on Mountain Side are currently open.
Planned lifts:
Noah Gondola
3Sen Line North
4Sen Line East
Line Lift
Official snow depth
Upper: 60cm
Lower: 20cm

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, Number 2 quad and Number 5 pair lifts operating.   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Tuesday 12th January 2016, 9:41am
Weather conditions: Cloud cover/overcast
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: 285cm
Wow, at -12c in the village it is feeling really cold, but luckily there is no wind whipping around today. Since yesterday there has been another 5cm of new snow meaning yet again it will be a day with a nice coating of fresh all over the mountain. We certainly have been lucky this winter with fresh snow a daily occurance since Christmas.

The weather is overcast all over the resort and it doesn't look like the sun will break through today. The lower valley fog may lift and give a view of the town mid morning. Tomorrow the forecast is predicting very light snow through the day with broken cloud and possibly the sun making and appearance.

All lifts are operating except the Downhil Swift Lift No.1 in the Furano Zone. It seems this may be out of action for a while pending repairs.

(Photos today from nighta last night).   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Tuesday 12th January 2016, 9:48am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, but a bit brighter than it was earlier in the day
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 120cm
Some nice light snow overnight. Once again, not a huge, Myoko-typical dump, but still a welcome addition to a slowly but steadily increasing snowpack.

It's still a little light for getting out into the backcountry, but the bush is slowly disappearing.

Just remember that you probably won't be doing massive powder turns anytime soon, but it is nice out there.

Akakura Kanko:
All lifts running
-5° / 120cm

Akakura Onsen:
All runs open
-5° / 120cm

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

Myoko Suginohara:
Main lifts running
-9° (top)/ 50cm (still no update, Suginohara?)

Seki Onsen:
-5° / 170cm

Myoko Ski Park:
0° / 100cm

Kyukamura RunRun:
0° / 120cm

Tangram Ski Circus:
-3° / 90cm

Madarao Kogen:
Main lifts open
-6° / 90cm    Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Tuesday 12th January 2016, 10:04am
Weather conditions: Almost a perfect bluebird day again today.
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 70cm
Good morning from Naeba everyone.

Yet another beautiful day seems to be on the cards for today. With barely a cloud in the sky bluebird is the word.

Snow conditions are fairly hard packed today with decent coverage other all of the main slopes now.

Weather forecast for the coming week is still predicting snow on most days although there are no big dumps forecast.

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

Zao Now!

Tuesday 12th January 2016, 10:29am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, white-out higher up
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: 80cm
White-out conditions again, higher up in particular, this morning.... and another cold day is on the cards.

Cold conditions, snow falling on and off and some gusty wind as well especially up there on the higher slopes.

Snow is expected to ease or just be light for the rest of the day today and tomorrow until later on in the day tomorrow - decent snowfall Thursday and Friday? Looking likely... expect the cold temps to continue as well.

Consistent mid-winter like conditions sounds good!


If you would like to win some lift tickets for Zao Onsen, along with lots of other tickets, please check out the Lift Ticket Giveaway that SnowJapan have put together. Information and entry here:


Those of you in Japan may have seen Zao on the 9pm news on NHK last night. The weather forecast lady was seen taking the Ropeway up to the top of the resort and commenting on how the 'juhyo' ice monsters are still relative babies this year. Still growing and hopefully making some good growth spurts soon.

The resort staff that she was with also mentioned how there is 1/4 (one quarter) of the usual amount of snow up there. It was good to hear them being up front about it.

Still, it looked pretty good up there even if a strong wind was blowing and it looked mighty cold. It certainly looked mid-winter in terms of weather conditions.


Information as of Tuesday 12th January 2016 (subject to change)

All of the lifts at Zao Onsen are operating (except the Karamatsu pair lift which is closed weekdays).
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!

Tuesday 12th January 2016, 16:29pm
Weather conditions: Cloudy skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 105cm
Fine sunny weather this morning which is unfortunate from a snow perspective but beautiful all the same.

Things have clouded over now and its lightly snowing with brisk winds from the North and markedly lower temperatures. At this point there is no indication it will be a substantial snowfall but that remains to be seen.

The forecast ahead is cold and snowy though not much in terms of real size indicated aside from a moderate amount Thursday night.

Tenjin resort was quiet today but conditions are pretty good and only the cat track to the base is not open for business. Hodaigi still running the two lifts and needing substantially more snow, along with other resorts in the area.


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