Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 30th May 2020

Yuzawa Now!

Monday 13th April 2020, 6:44am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
An early report from Yuzawa on this Monday morning.

There was some windy conditions up at Kagura yesterday with the Tashiro area closing.

It feels much calmer this morning. There is a lot of cloud around but some sun breaking through in places. Check out the dramatic image from Ishiuchi Maruyama below.

We are expecting rain today though, and perhaps there might even be some snow overnight on the mountains as temperatures remain 'lower than usual' (grrrrrrr).

---

GALA Yuzawa is now closed for the season.

Otsukaresama deshita!

The 'Summer Park' at GALA Yuzawa plans on opening from 23rd July.

---

Monday 13th April 2020

Kagura

- All main areas are open, via Mitsumata and Tashiro Ropeways bases
- Official snow depth: 170cm
- Planned closing dates: 6th May (Tashiro); 24th May (Mitsumata)

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- All other ski resorts in the area are now closed for the season

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Photos (below) from around 6:45am on Monday 13th April 2020:

- Kagura
- Ishiuchi Maruyama [closed]
- Route 17/Yuzawa IC exit

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About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

Please read this message   Read more ...
 

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Monday 13th April 2020, 7:08am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Nozawa.

After a colder-than-usual weekend, here we are back on a Monday morning.

From today we are back to weekday operations again, so the Uenotaira and Paradise lifts and courses are closed again.

It looks like we should be getting some rain today - snow on the mountain overnight? - and then a mix of conditions over the coming days. It hasn't been as warm but we are probably due to warm up somewhat again around Wednesday.

And yes, Nozawa Onsen remains open despite the coronavirus situation (and some other high profile season-ending resort closings because of it). No doubt we all have our own opinions on that, but I will continue to post two weather updates a week until the ski area closes.

Next update before the weekend (or before if there is any big news).

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Monday 13th April 2020

Fresh snowfall recorded by resort since yesterday:

- Yamabiko (1615m): 0cm
- Uenotaira (1406m): 0cm
- Lower areas are not reporting any more

Official snow depth numbers (reported by resort):

- Yamabiko (1615m): 180cm
- Uenotaira (1406m): 90cm
- Lower areas are not reporting any more

The following lifts are operating on weekdays:

- Nagasaka gondola [8:10am until 3:00pm; last one down 3:40pm]
- Yamabiko quad [8:30am until 3:20pm]
- Yamabiko Number 2 quad [8:25am until 3:30pm]

The following courses remain open on weekdays:

- Yamabiko A
- Yamabiko B
- Yamabiko C
- Yamabiko D
- Yamabiko E
- Kogenashi A
- Kogenashi B
- Bunabayashi (to mid point)

- Ride the Gondola back down to base

---

About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

Please read this message   Read more ...
 

Furano Now!

Monday 13th April 2020, 7:22am
Weather conditions: Bluebird/clear
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
It is a nice sunny morning here in the resort. It is a classic spring start at -1c and frost sitting on top of car roofs as the sun beams down on the village. The ski resort is bluebird while Furano town has some valley fog sitting above it. The high today will be +6c. Furano Zone is still open from top to bottom with great spring skiing conditions.

Operating lifts:

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

Kitanomine Zone: CLOSED FOR SEASON
Furano Zone: Open   Read more ...
 

Geto Kogen Now!

Monday 13th April 2020, 7:42am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning.

Yesterday we started off fine but got some rain around the middle of the day, clearing up again and then cloudy for the evening.

And it is a cloudy start to the day today.

We might not be able to escape rain again today but it should be getting colder and there might be some snowfall.

Tomorrow clearer skies once again forecast.

From today, just the Number 1 Gondola is operating but all the main courses remain available.

---

Official snow depths:

* Top: 315cm
* Base: 135cm

Planned operating lift information - subject to change:

* Number 1 Gondola

Courses & Tree Runs:

* All of the main official courses are available
* Check with the resort for tree run course status which varies
---

About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

Please read this message
   Read more ...
 

Appi Kogen Now!

Monday 13th April 2020, 7:59am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Appi.

It is Monday morning again so the gondola is taking a rest - 4 lifts are operating and 8 courses are open.

It is a rather cloudy morning with rain due and maybe some snow.

Clearer conditions and a bit warmer temperatures are due from tomorrow. For the moment, it is keeping colder than usual for mid April.

---

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

- Appi Gondola (OPEN WEEKENDS)
- Central quad lift
- Central Number 2 lift
- Central Number 3A lift
- Central Number 4 lift

- 8 courses remain open
- Tree run courses are now closed
- Subject to lift operations & weather conditions

---

Snowfall numbers
The below numbers are reported by the resort

Cumulative snowfall:
635cm

Natural snow depth:
130cm

---

About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

Please read this message   Read more ...
 

Niseko Now!

Monday 13th April 2020, 8:00am
Weather conditions: Clear blue skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Niseko.

Beautiful blue skies this morning. A cold start but it should be a mild day.

Yesterday proved to be the last day of the season for the Niseko Village section of our mountain. On speaking with a manager over there, the main reason was snow (ie. not enough of it) but they had also been getting people asking about whether they should be open or not... you know, given all the 'stuff' going on.

And on that note, here's some more news.

>>

Japan's northernmost main island of Hokkaido issued a further declaration of a state of emergency on Sunday, following one issued previously in late February, after seeing the pace of coronavirus infections picking up.

In Tokyo, the total number of virus infections topped 2,000 as the capital and six other prefectures experienced their first weekend under a state of emergency the government declared, urging residents to refrain from nonessential outings and some businesses to shut. In a bid to prevent a further escalation of the pandemic, on April 7 Prime Minister Shinzo Abe declared a monthlong state of emergency in Tokyo, Chiba, Kanagawa and Saitama in the east, and Osaka, Hyogo and Fukuoka in the west. On Saturday, he extended his request to the governors of all 47 prefectures to ask their residents to refrain from visiting nightclubs, hostess bars and busy downtown spots in a push to prevent cluster infections of the novel coronavirus.

While Hokkaido was not covered in the state's declaration of an emergency, the prefectural government and the municipal government of Sapporo, the prefectural capital, issued a joint emergency declaration following reports of double-digit increases in infections for the fifth straight day.

"We are facing a crisis of a second wave in the spread of (the coronavirus) infections," Hokkaido Gov Naomichi Suzuki told reporters, asking residents to refrain from making nonessential outings.


>>

So Niseko Village has decided to close, but for the moment Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Annupuri are remaining open.

Is skiing and snowboarding an 'essential outing'?

....

I do wonder for how long this will continue.

Anyway, here is the Hokkaido Government site again, though currently it does not seem to have been updated since Friday.

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Planned ski resort operation information: Monday 13th April 2020
Subject to change and weather conditions

Niseko Grand Hirafu

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 300cm
- Base: 50cm

The following lifts are scheduled to be operating:
- Ace Number 2 quad center four
- King Number 3 quad
- King Number 4

- The following upper courses remain open:
- Detour for Beginners
- Shirakaba
- Center
- Large
- Holiday
- Rinkan
- Jumbo
- Dynamic

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Niseko Annupuri

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 150cm
- Base: 35cm

The following lifts are scheduled to be operating:
- Annupuri Gondola
- Jumbo Number 1 quad
- Jumbo Number 3 pair

- 8 courses open

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- The Niseko HANAZONO and Niseko Village areas are now closed for the season.
- Night time floodlit operations have closed for the season.

-----

About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

Please read this message   Read more ...
 

Shiga Kogen Now!

Monday 13th April 2020, 8:07am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Hello from Shiga Kogen.

This morning we have some light snow falling (and a light dusting on the ground) in some places, spots of rain in others.

A bunch of lifts are rested again now it is a weekday... and it actually looks like some planned lifts are closed due to windy conditions - including the Gondola at Yakebitaiyama and all of Yokoteyama. If you are here and plan to be heading out, check with the resorts before heading out.

I am pretty sure that Mammoth planned on being open beyond next weekend but they are now saying they are closed. Same for Tannenomori Okojo. And as is sadly so often the case, actual updated official details are proving almost impossible to find.

Next update before the weekend.

---

Photos: Mammoth and Hasuike Junction

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Shiga Kogen resort info: Monday 13th April 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.

Ichinose Family
- Official snow depth: 130cm

Kumanoyu
- Official snow depth: 170cm

Okushiga Kogen
- Official snow depth: 150cm

Terakoya
- Official snow depth: 140cm

Yakebitaiyama
- Official snow depth: 150cm

Yokoteyama
- Official snow depth: 180cm

---

Planned resort operations:

** IMPORTANT: SUBJECT TO CHANGE! **

Ichinose Family:
Ichinose quad and Ichinose Number 2 pair B line open until 6th May

Terakoya:
18th, 19th, 25th, 26th April and 29th April until 6th May

Ichinose Diamond:
18th, 19th, 25th, 26th April and 29th April until 6th May

Yakebitaiyama:
Number 1 Gondola until 6th May
Number 2 high speed on 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th April and 29th April until 6th May

Okushiga Kogen:
Number 2 and 3 high speed pairs until 6th May
Number 4 and 6 pairs on 18th, 19th April and 25th April until 6th May

Kumanoyu:
Number 3 quad on 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th April and 29th April until 6th May
Number 2 pair A line until 10th May

Yokoteyama & Shibutoge
Until 6th May and possibly beyond that

---

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)

---

About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

Please read this message   Read more ...
 

Minakami Now!

Monday 13th April 2020, 8:08am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
General message from SnowJapan (added 20th April 2020):

--- Read message here


---

Original report:

Hello from Minakami.

And so... that's it. The season is over.

Tenjin yesterday announced that it would be the last day of their season, in response to the Japanese government's 'state of emergency' declaration for Tokyo and other areas due to the coronavirus.

So that means that as from today, all ski areas in Minakami are now closed.

Thank you for reading the reports this season. A general closing message will be added here in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, stay safe and take care.   Read more ...
 

Zao Now!

Monday 13th April 2020, 8:20am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Zao.

It's a wet and windy morning with rain/snow falling and all lifts on hold at the start of the day.

We might get some cm of snow today especially higher up with clearer skies (and hopefully less windy) due from tomorrow.

---

Official snow depths (as reported by resort):

- Summit area: 40cm
- Paradise area: 40cm
- Chuo area: 60cm
- Utopia area: 55cm
- Uwanodai area: 0cm
- Oomori area: 0cm

- Generally upper areas remain part open; lower areas are closed

The following lifts continue to operate (subject to change):

- Zao Ropeway [open daily]
- Zao Chuo Ropeway [open daily]
- Chuo Number 1 pair AB [open daily until 6th May]
- Chuo Number 2 pair AB [open until 12th April and 18th-19th April]
- Diamond Number 2 pair [open 11th-12th April]
- Utopia Number 2 pair [open daily until 6th May]
- Sky Cable [open daily]

- Other lifts are now closed for the season

---

About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

Please read this message   Read more ...
 

Hakuba Now!

Monday 13th April 2020, 9:02am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
General message from SnowJapan (added 20th April 2020):

--- Read message here


---

Original report:

Hello everyone.

Yesterday I spent some time writing lots of words as a season wrap-up. But I have decided to scrap that. I have written billions of words since November in my daily reports. Well, maybe not quite so many. They are all there. You can go read them at any time. They tell the story of the season.

So I am going to make this last post relatively short.

What a season it has been.

Alas, it has not been the amazing season that we all yearn for and has been punctuated by two major things going on - the low levels of snowfall and then the coronavirus.

From the viewpoint of covering the season by writing these reports every morning, it feels like it has been an ongoing struggle throughout the season. I imagine more than a few other people involved have similar feelings. So let me just say a big thank you and well done to all of the people working at the ski areas and related services and dealing with everything. I hope that you can get to have a rest.

Taking a look at the official snowfall data table below, Happo-one reported over 8m of snowfall and the other resorts reported around 6m of snowfall on their upper slopes. It has not been as consistent as we would have liked, but I have been able to enjoy some great days on the mountain. There have been periods of excellent conditions. I hope that if you did get to visit Hakuba this season you were able to enjoy good timing in terms of snow conditions and that you could enjoy getting to know this lovely place.

As always, there was much more snow on the mountain than down in base areas. But this year there was clearly less than we expect and some lower slopes have been really struggling throughout the season.

The snowfall situation has not been just a Hakuba thing - it has been a most-of-Japan thing. Everyone is hopeful that this season was just strangely abnormal and that we can get back to more like what we expect for 2020-2021.

And then came coronavirus. The first thing we noticed was a decrease in visitors from overseas around the Chinese New Year period. And then it just got more of a thing, leading up to the early closures of Happo-one and then the other ski areas a few days ago.

It is going to feel odd to not be writing Hakuba Now reports right through until the end of Golden Week in early May.

But sadly, not much feels normal right now.

Some things do remain constant though:

- the stunning beauty of Hakuba
- the very fine people of Hakuba
- Japan is ace

Like everyone else, I am so much looking forward to hearing brighter news regarding the virus and then hopefully we can have a normal 2020-2021 season with consistent snow and lots of happy smiles.

I choose to believe that.

Thank you for reading my reports this season and for following the season through all the ups and downs. You can re-visit the season at any time by reading the archive reports below.

I will be back with you in November.

For now, I am going to sign off with how I ended a report last week because it seemed fitting.

Take care.

Love Hakuba.

-----

Here is the final official snowfall data table of the season:

The information in this table is data reported by the ski resortsTOTAL ACCUMULATION (UPPER)
Hakuba 47556cm
Hakuba Cortina573cm
Hakuba Goryu623cm
Hakuba Happo-one 827cm


About the data in the above table

The table contains data that was published by individual ski resorts. The data shown is the amount of snowfall that the ski resorts themselves reported on the upper areas of their mountain. Unlike our own ‘observed snowfall’ data (which is observed from base areas), 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

Also, note that Hakuba Cortina closed and then re-opened... some snowfall was not recorded during the closed period.

Look at the data as an interesting bit of additional information, rather than as a detailed scientific study!   Read more ...
 

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

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
Zao 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

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