Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 28th May 2018

Yuzawa Now!

Sunday 14th December 2014, 8:13am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 60cm
Snow depth: 50cm
Yesterday started off really disappointing, the sun even came out for a few moments time to time and some clear conditions. It was frustrating seeing the heavy snow in Niigata City reported on the TV news... it's wasted up there! But anyway, snow clouds came down to this region later in the day and...

This morning is very different.

Tons of snow on the ground, easily more than 50cm on the top of my car - and Kagura is reporting 50-80cm of fresh snow (though the snow depth remains at 150cm!)

Naeba are reporting 40-6cm of fresh and that their patrol are out this morning checking things and there's a chance of more opening up today, depending on safety etc.

I can't find any news on other courses/lifts opening up at the resorts that are now open but of course would expect that to happen soon if not today. Then again, it's blowing a snow storm out there at the moment - not sure many people will be wanting to be out just at the moment. Once it has eased off a bit though things will be very good indeed I should imagine. Though looking at the forecast, while snow might ease off later today or into tomorrow, we're going to get a quick second wave move in late Tuesday into Wednesday.

So no complaints this morning. (Perhaps other than from people who have to have to go outside and shift it!)

Loads of snow and we're now back and beyond what we had last weekend. There's no doubt now that this snow will be sticking around, especially with the snow lined up in the coming week as well. In fact, it will surely be a really great start to the season for all of the resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma which is a great thing to be able to report.

I'm going to spend the day first off moving snow and then watching it from inside and looking forward to being able to enjoy it.


Remember you can win lots of Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma lift tickets in the Prize Draw here:


Resorts currently open:

Kagura (Mitsumata)
Kagura (Tashiro)
Iwappara (part open)
Joetsu Kokusai (part open)
Naeba (part open)
Maiko Snow Resort (part open)


Planned opening dates for resorts in Yuzawa Town and Minamiuonuma City (by date):

Friday 19th December:
Ishiuchi Maruyama
Muikamachi Ski Resort
Yuzawa Nakazato
Yuzawa Kogen
Yuzawa Park

Saturday 20th December:
Chateau Shiozawa
GALA Yuzawa
Kandatsu Kogen
Ludens Yuzawa
Nakazato Snow Wood
Muimamachi Hakkaisan
NASPA Ski Garden
Yuzawa Kogen (Nunoba area)

Tuesday 23rd December:

Thursday 25th December:

Saturday 27th December:
Ishiuchi Hanaoka

Late December
Mt Granview


Ski resorts in Yuzawa town
Ski resorts in Minamiuonuma City   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Sunday 14th December 2014, 8:31am
Weather conditions: Everything is white/gray, ground to sky
New snowfall: 90cm
Snow depth: 170cm
This would have been a nice, early report if it weren't for the (dramatic pause, please) nearly one meter of snow that fell overnight.

Thanks to my highly sensitive testing methods - ruler on the leg up to the snow level point, discovered as the snowthrower cut through the drifts - I found 95cm of snow on the driveway. Some from yesterday was there; let's say 90cm of fresh.

And it's still snowing.

Looks like we're getting 2cm or more every hour.

Traffic will be terrible, especially along the coast with the north wind picking up right now. But that's nothing, when it looks so great (and with skiing to do soon....)   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Sunday 14th December 2014, 8:35am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 30cm
Snow depth: 110cm
'It just doesn't stop snowing' is what I heard a few people say yesterday, and sometimes it feels like that.

Another 30cm of snow observed since last report and the official numbers are gradually going up as well with Niseko Grand Hirafu nearly up to the 2m mark at peak. Take a look at the Avalance Report below... 50cm of new snowfall at Annupuri 1000m. It probably shows how much we are use to things here and how much we expect when the snowfall we have been having is seen as 'still insufficient'!

There's more on the way though. It might ease tomorrow but heavy snowfall is again forecast from later Tuesday through Wednesday with a good chance of strong winds as well.

Did I mention it's keeping very cold? -8 here earlier and that was at base. Shouldn't be quite as cold from tomorrow.

So great snow conditions to play in at the moment, and still things are not as busy as they will soon be getting so a it's a fine time to be able to get out there.

Hope you can get to enjoy it. Don't get stuck in it!


Niseko Avalanche Report

Niseko base 6am: -8C, 30cm of broken crystal snow and light development of snowdrifts. Moiwa 650m: WNW10m/s, 40cm of new snow and moderate development of snowdrifts. Coastal data: NW16m/s at Benkei cape. Anupuri 1000m: W13m/s, -12CX, 50cm of new snow and bad visibility.

The strong atmospheric pressure gradient is generating continuous snowfall. Cornices and snowdrifts are developing above 800m. The snow is slightly wind-affected, heavy and deep but in good shape. The snow is deep and you’ll easily get stuck in flat slopes, better stay close to the groomers. Beware of hitting trees. The snow is still insufficient and the gates opening will take some more time. Do not duck ropes to step out of bounds, always use gates. Niseko’s backcountry safety has been based on this simple rule in Niseko. Please follow the rules to protect the freedom of out of bounds riding. The avalanche risk is relatively high in all areas around Niseko today, especially around 800m leeward open steep slopes. Carefully select your route. No matter the snowfall amount, avalanches happen when the conditions are right, and become an accident if a person is involved. Beware of frostbites. Have a nice day.


Here's what is planned to be open today (subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Family Course, Sen-no-ki, Alpen, Detour for Beginners, Green, Onsenzawa, Center, Shirakaba, Kokutai, Kogen, Ni-Kabe, Jumbo, Parallel, Rinkan, Setsuzoku, Jumbo, Parallel, Holiday
Ace Family Lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Ace Number 3 lift, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift, Hirafu Gondola, King Number 3 Triple lift, Swinging Monkey.
Night skiing lifts:
Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift

Niseko Hanazono
Courses: Stairway to Heaven, Silver Dream, Legend of Shinya, Yotei Sunset, Crystal Garden
Lifts: All 3 quad lifts operating
Night skiing lifts: No night skiing at Hanazono

Niseko Village
Final Fling, Shaky Knees, Next Stage, Banzai, Cruiser, Don't Blink, beginners course from Gondola, Junkyard, Namara (part ungroomed), Jagaimo (ungroomed), Misoshiru (ungroomed)
Niseko Gondola, Community Chair, Banzai Chair
Night skiing lifts:
Community Chair and Banzai Chair

Niseko Annupuri
Paradise, Family, Challenge, Marchen, Dynamic, Junior, Utopia, Shirakaba, Silver (9 out of 13 courses open)
Annupuri Gondola, Jumbo Number 1 Quad, Jumbo Number 2 Pair, Jumbo Number 3 Pair
Night skiing lift:
Jumbo Number 1 Quad


Official snow depth numbers at the time of writing:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 190cm
Base - 110cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 120cm
Base - 80cm

Top - 130cm
Base - 100cm


Niseko lift tickets can be won in the SnowJapan Prize Draw, details here:


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

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Sunday 14th December 2014, 8:49am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 70cm
Snow depth: 100cm
Some great big whopping ridiculously large numbers to report this morning.

The resort yesterday was noting 10cm of snowfall during the day on the upper slopes when I checked last night. Hmmm, ok, but where's the heavy snow we wanted.

Well, this morning, it's here!

For the period 3pm yesterday until 8am this morning, this is how much fresh snow they are reporting:

Yamabiko - 95cm (!)
Uenotaira - 90cm
Nagasaka - 80cm

That's new snowfall, not the snow depth.

That new snow has all of a sudden brough up the snow depth on the top Yamabiko runs up to 165cm. In previous reports I have mentioned how quickly things can change and today is a great example. All of a sudden, 1m of fresh snow.

Lifts and courses that are open seem to be the same as yesterday and while it's a decent area, it will be great to see the whole resort be able to open and I'm sure that will be fairly soon with all this snow.

Forecast: snow through today and getting weaker by tomorrow morning. Then more heavy snow late Tuesday and Wednesday.

We might get some sun on Friday. Lots more snow to get before then though.

It's all great to get very excited about the deep powder snow conditions, but care is most definitely needed.


Courses open:

Yamabiko A
Yamabiko B
Yamabiko C
Yamabiko D
Yamabiko E
Mizunashi A
Mizunashi B
Yunomine B
Nagasaka connect


Lifts moving:

Nagasaka Gondola
Yamabiko Four Lift
Yamabiko Number 2 Four Lift
Uenotaira Four
Yu Road (Moving walkway)


Official snow depth:
Yamabiko - 165cm
Uenotaira - 150cm
Nagasaka - 100cm


If you would like to win some Nozawa Onsen lift tickets, check out the SnowJapan Prize Draw:

SnowJapan Prize Draw to win lift tickets


Nozawa Onsen 6 day weather and snow forecast
Nozawa Onsen main resort data   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Sunday 14th December 2014, 9:15am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 40cm
Snow depth: 110cm
There's a slight bit of sun out at the moment over parts of the valley as I start writing this report, but that's definitely not the story of the last 24 hours.

Loads of snow!

Happo-one reporting 60cm. Cortina reporting 50cm.

Hakuba 47 reported 30cm of fresh snowfall up by Line C during the day yesterday, and I can confirm there was that much to move off the top of the car at the end of the day. And the rest.

Goryu is this morning reporting 40cm on the upper slopes and 20cm at the lower Iimori area.

15cm more snow overnight, and it is still snowing now. Less so than it has been and as I said a bit of sunlight down by the village though the mountains are still covered with cloud and getting snowed on.

Snowfall is forecast for the day today and through into tomorrow morning, but it should clear up tomorrow. Bit of a rest on Tuesday maybe before another snow storm arrives by Wednesday which will bring with it more copious amounts of snow (hopefully).

I have updated the information below. Happily it will not be long now before they are all just 'open'. :)

Have fun if you can make it out. Get wrapped up well and take care. Visibility is limited and with all of the new snowfall, do remember the dangers.


Part of upper areas open. Skyline opens! 30-40cm of fresh snow reported at Usagidaira.

Official Snow depths:
Base - 50cm
Usagidaira - 150cm

Open lifts:
-Kokusai Number 3
-Alpen Quad
-Kurobishi Number 2 Quad
-Skyline Number 2 pair
-Adam Gondola (to take people up)
-Kokusai Number 1 pair (to take people up)

Open courses:
-Kurobishi (part)
-Skyline (part)
-Please note, can't ski back down to base.


Hakuba 47
Hakuba 47 is now declaring itself fully open (well, apart from the Tree Riding Zone!)

Official Snow depths:
Base - 80cm
Upper - 170cm

Open courses:
-Route 1 Upper
-Route 1 Lower
-Route 2
-Route 3
-Route 5
-Route 6
-Route 7
-Route 8
-The Tree Riding Zone is not open yet.

Open lifts:
-Line AB
-Line C
-Line E


Hakuba Goryu
Iimori Number 6 Pair joins in the fun, with the resort reporting 40cm of fresh snow on upper slopes this morning.

Official Snow depths:
Iimori - 60cm
Toomi - 110cm
Alps Daira - 155cm

Open lifts:
-Alps Number 1 Pair lift
-Alps Number 3 Pair lift
-Toomi Sky Four lift
-Cosmo Four lift
-Iimori Number 6 Pair lift

Open courses:
-Alps Daira Panorama
-Alps Daira Grand Prix
-Super Course
-Champion Dynamic Course
-Champion Expert Course
-Woody Course
-Soft Cream Course
-Powder Snow Course


Tsugaike Kogen
Lots of new snow with the upper slopes now reporting snow depth of 190cm. More lifts and courses open.

Official Snow depths (as of yesterday):
Maruyama - 50cm
Oya-no-hara - 90cm
Tsuga-no-mori (upper) - 190cm

Planned open lifts:
-Han-no-ki High Speed Pair
-Tsuga Number 2 Pair lift (weather preventing opening early on)
-Shirakaba Quad
-Maruyama Number 1 Quad
-Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner I

Open course areas:
-Tsuga no mori
-Upper Han-no-ki
-Lower Han-no-ki
-Part of Shirakaba
-Part of Oya-no-hara
-Part of Kane-no-naru-oka


Hakuba Cortina
Cortina reporting 50cm of fresh snow this morning.

Official Snow depths:
Base - 150cm
Upper - 190cm

Open lifts:
-Number 2 Quad
-Number 4 Pair

Open course areas:
-Mt Hieda Forest
-Mt Hieda Ridge
-Mt Hieda 1
-Mt Hieda 2
-Mt Hieda 3


Part open

Official Snow depth:


Hakuba Norikura Onsen
Part open

Official Snow depth:


Other planned opening dates:

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field - Friday 19th December
Hakuba Sanosaka - Saturday 20th December


SnowJapan is running a lift ticket prize draw with 400+ lift tickets to send out to site members - 50 of those are for resorts in the Hakuba area, so lots to win. For details on the prize draw, check out this page:   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Sunday 14th December 2014, 10:06am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 100cm
More fresh snowfall to report, though not quite the amounts I am reading about on some of the other Now reports on SnowJapan - well done Nozawa and Myoko!

It sounds like it is going to be a good December for many of the snow regions of Japan.

OK so about 10cm more this morning and snow falling still now, though we expect it to get less later on today. But more due around Wednesday and strong winds forecast as well.

Great conditions out there. Just very cold. And snowy.

The cheaper early season lift ticket prices (3000 yen for adults, 1500 yen for childen) are available until 20th December.


If you want to win a free lift ticket for Zao Onsen, please check the Prize Draw currently running on SnowJapan


Operating lifts at time of writing:

Onsen Number 1 pair lift
Onsen Number 2 quad
Mikaeri pair lift
Chuo Number 1 pair lift
Chuo Number 2 pair lift
Paradise pair lift
Yokokura Number 1 pair lift
Utopia Number 2 pair lift
Shobunuma Number 1 triple
Shobunuma Number 2 pair
Kuroboshi Number 1 Quattro quad lift
Katakai triple lift
Diamond Number 2 lift
Nakamori Number 1 triple lift
All Ropeways/gondolas


Official snow depths (14th December 14):

Utopia: 160cm
Chuo: 100cm
Paradise: 110cm
Uwanodai: 100cm


Night skiing operations at Zao this season

Uwanodai area:
From Sunday 21st December until 22nd March

Yokokura area:
From Friday 26th December until 4th January;
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Friday 9th January until 15th March

Open times from 5pm until 9pm and the cost is 2000 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Sunday 14th December 2014, 10:10am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 30cm
Snow depth: 50cm
Decent amount of snow since yesterday with most of the resorts adding about 15-20cm to their snow depths, but there has been more than that. They seem to like under-reporting the snow for some reason, that's what I think anyway. As if we wouldn't like heavy snow.

You may have noticed that Nozawa reported close to 1m of snow. Yes, they're not right next to each other and conditions can often be very different, but that gives you an idea.

Anyway, it's snowing quite heavily still now so I would expect more to be added. Easing off by late today but another winter storm on the way on Wednesday and perhaps the coldest - and windiest - conditions of the season yet.

Friday might be a good day to arrive here with clearer conditions forecast.


Resort areas status with official snow depths:

Okushiga Kogen
Part open

Part open

Ichinose Family
Part open

Ichinose Yamanokami
Part open

Ichinose Diamond
Part open

Part open

Part open

Plans to open on 20th December

Plans to open on 20th December

Plans to open on 20th December

Plans to open on 20th December

Sun Valley
Plans to open to public on 14th December

Plans to open on 20th December

Plans to open on 20th December

Almost all open (note: skiers only resort area)

Lower areas open   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Sunday 14th December 2014, 10:45am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 60cm
Snow depth: 80cm
Tons of snow in Madarao over the last day or so. Just loads. I hesitate to put a number on it, but for the record I will.

What's absolutely certain now, with the snow that's due mid week as well, is that Madarao will be getting off to a flying start on Friday.

What makes it even better is the decent chance of clear and sunny conditions on Friday. Keep cold and 20cm the night before please.

Very exciting times.


Madarao Kogen plans to open on Friday 19th December.

The resort plans to have the Number 1 lift and Number 2 Quad lifts operating on the first day.


Interested in winning a free lift ticket for Madarao Kogen? SnowJapan is running a Prize Draw and Madarao Kogen is part of it. Click on the link below for more details:


Madarao Kogen 6 day weather and snow forecast
Madarao Kogen main resort data   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Sunday 14th December 2014, 10:52am
Weather conditions: Whisper of clouds
New snowfall: 15cm
Snow depth: 30cm
Yesterday afternoon turned out to have wonderful falls of snow and things are shaping up nicely after the slow start. The snow is nice and powdery.
Overnight we had a topping as well.

It's a really nice morning out there and has been perfect conditions to get unto speed.


Official snow depth:
Lower: 30cm
Upper: 45cm

   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Yuzawa Now
10th Sep, 17:36am
Niseko Now
27th Aug, 14:26am
Grandeco Now
24th Aug, 11:16am
Madarao Now
12th Aug, 0:17pm
Furano Now
06th May, 9:04am
Hakuba Now
06th May, 9:02
Nozawa Onsen Now
06th May, 8:41
Shiga Kogen Now
06th May, 8:35
Myoko Now
06th May, 8:35am
Zao Now
06th May, 8:30am
Naeba Now
06th May, 8:28am
Minakami Now
06th May, 8:27am
Appi Kogen Now
06th May, 8:04
Geto Kogen Now
06th May, 8:01