Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 30th May 2020

Yuzawa Now!

Sunday 14th January 2018, 7:42am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 23cm
Snow depth: --
I have good news this morning.

After a beautiful morning with clear blue skies, clouds gradually moved in later on in the day and it was snowing by evening.

And this morning I have 23cm of fresh snow on the ground to report. A very welcome refresh.

Here is the what ski reports themselves are reporting this morning:

Kagura (main): 40cm
Kagura (Mitsumata): 30cm
Kagura (Tashiro): 20cm
Maiko Snow Resort: 30cm
Muikamachi Hakkaisan: 30-40cm

So there's some decent numbers there and it should go a good way to covering up tracks - though more is of course always welcome.

It is snowing lightly at the moment, but it isn't expected to last today with sun on the forecast for later on.

Sun is forecast for tomorrow too with the next snow due around Wednesday but there's a chance of it being rain with milder conditions. Let's deal with that when we get there!

For today, things should be good.


Maiko Snow Resort was having issues with their Gondola yesterday, but it seems to be opening as planned this morning.


Images today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Yuzawa IC exit (Route 17).

Updated: Sunday 14th January 2018

** Official snow depths (where available) and resort specific information. Note that while we manually check this information each morning, sometimes official information is updated later than the time of these reports and so at times there may be an apparent delay.

Ski resorts in Yuzawa:

GALA Yuzawa
- 230cm

- 165cm

- Kagura area: 320cm
- Mitsumata area: 220cm
- Tashiro area: 270cm

Kandatsu Kogen
- 200cm

- 210cm (base)

NASPA Ski Garden
- 165cm

Yuzawa Kogen
- Top: 230cm
- Base: 170cm

Yuzawa Park
- 140cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
- 150cm


Ski resorts in Minamiuonuma (just to the north of Yuzawa):

Ishiuchi Maruyama
- 190cm

Joetsu Kokusai
- 190cm

Maiko Snow Resort
- Top: 210cm
- Base: 120cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- Closed on Wednesdays between 10th January and 14th March (!)
- 240cm   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Sunday 14th January 2018, 7:45am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 26cm
Snow depth: --
I'm happy to report that the decent snowfall I mentioned might happen in my last report has happened.

26+cm on the ground near my place and it is snowing quite heavily as I write this. Feels like mid winter once again.

I see that Okushiga Kogen are reporting 30-40cm over there.

Forecasts don't show this snow lasting long this morning - they can, of course, be wrong - with more sun or clearer skies expected over the next few days than snow.

It's cold and a bit windy too at the moment by the way...

Interesting to see how this pans out this morning. I'll let you know tomorrow.


Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:

Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish and we check and update them each morning.



Ichinose Family

Ichinose Diamond


70cm (!)


Okushiga Kogen

Sun Valley

Takamagahara Mammoth



170cm   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Sunday 14th January 2018, 7:52am
Weather conditions: High light cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Furano. Not quite as cold this morning - minus 12 at base. There is some very high light cloud that looks like it is the type that will burn off once the sun comes out. Just a dusting of new snow and no wind. Looks like we there is a chance of some decent snowfall later on tomorrow and then later in the week too.   Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Sunday 14th January 2018, 7:56am
Weather conditions: Mostly clear skies
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: --
Appi Sunday,

Clear skies today and quite cold up here this morning. We got a few cm of snow yesterday which should help for those who are on the first lifts this morning. Sunny conditions most of the day with light winds. Probably a camera will help if you want those great vacation pictures.

Stable temperatures until Tuesday although we should see the winds pick up tomorrow afternoon for a day or so.

All runs are open today and are in decent condition.


Planned lift operations (subject to change):

- APPI Gondola
- Central quad
- Central number 2 lift
- Central number 3 lift A
- Central number 4 lift
- Central number 5 lift
- Central number 6 lift
- Sailer gondola
- Sailer quad
- Vista quad
- Nishimori lift

Note: The Sailer Gondola, Central Number 4 lift and Vista quad are usually rested on normal weekdays


Official snow depth:

190cm   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Sunday 14th January 2018, 8:03am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 32cm
Snow depth: --
It is a very good morning here. :)

I have a decent delivery of fresh snow to report; the resort is reporting 30cm and I am measuring 32cm.

It's cold and good quality stuff.


What more to say. We need to get out and enjoy it!

(Sun later on? Or tomorrow?)


Official snow depth:

Operating lifts:

Number 1 lift
Number 2 quad lift
Number 3A lift
Super quad lift
Number 11 lift
Number 12 lift
Number 13 lift
Number 15 lift

Powder Wave I
Powder Wave II
Free Ride Park
Powder Theater
Adventure Aisle
Crystal Bowl

Kids Park
Snow Mobile Land

Planned nighta operations this season:

11th February 2018
Every Saturday between 4th January and 24th March 2018   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Sunday 14th January 2018, 8:06am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 36cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Nozawa.

And there's some very good news this morning with a lot of fresh snow to report. Check out the fresh snow reported by the resort - 40-46cm across the mountain. I'm measuring just over 35.

Now that's what we like!

It's a cold start to the morning but clearer skies are forecast for later on. So put on those layers and get up there; it should be a really great day. Tomorrow too, with sun forecast for the day.

Hope you can get to enjoy it.


The main part of the 'Dosojin Fire Festival' takes place tomorrow, Monday 15th. More details on the festival itself are posted below.

One important thing though, and I can't say it much better than the official resort website; so let me just post what they say:

"A reminder that the Fire Festival is a privilege and an amazing experience to witness but visitors must remember to be respectful of the local people and their traditions. Specifically, only receive alcohol if you are offered it and avoid pestering the town members given that it is theirs to enjoy.

The people in the village are very generous and want to make it a safe and incredible experience. Don't drink too much and prepare for a cold night, as there is a good amount of standing around."

There have been some cases in the past of visitors getting somewhat over-enthusiastic and causing some problems.

Let's all take a step back, respect the locals, respect the event and enjoy the spectacle.


Sunday 14th January 2018

Fresh snowfall since yesterday (as reported by the resort):

- Yamabiko (1407m): 40cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 46cm
- Hikage (660m): 45cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 45cm
- Karasawa (563m): 40cm

Official snow depth numbers:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 280cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 230cm
- Hikage (660m): 180cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 175cm
- Karasawa (563m): 145cm

Lifts operations:

- All scheduled lifts should be operating as normal

The following courses either closed or not fully available:

- Challenge 39
- Grand Prix
- Mukobayashi
- Kandahar


The Dosojin Fire Festival

The Dosojin Fire Festival is the biggest date on the calendar for Nozawa Onsen and is one of the three most famous ‘fire festivals’ in Japan.

The festival is held on the 15th of January every year - no matter what day that falls on. The festival is to pray for a plentiful harvest, health and good fortune in the coming year and dates back to 1863. Though the locations may have changed, the festivities remain pretty much the same.

During this festival the 25 and 42-year-old men from the village play a very important role. An old belief in Japan dictates that, for men, these years are ‘unlucky’ ages. The 25 and the 42-year-old men in their unlucky ages construct the shaden (shrine) from beech wood, reaching a height of 18 meters. Every year it takes 100 villagers to build the shrine. The trees are cut down in October and brought down from the mountain, through the village, on January 13th.

After the shaden has been constructed, the priest from Kosuge shrine performs a ceremony to endow it with a God. Along with the shaden there are an average of five tôrô (dedicatory lantern poles) erected every year. These poles are made by a family in the village to celebrate the birth of the first son. The tôrô are offered to the Gods in a prayer for health and good fortune.

The festivities begin with the lighting of the fire by the 25 and 42-year-old men. A small group of men carry a torch, which is lit by striking two stones together, from the Kôno residence to the festival grounds. The torch is used to start a bonfire from which the handmade torches, used to attack the shrine, are lit.

The festival centres around the shaden. The 42-year-old men sit on top and the 25 year old men stand guard at the base. Those who are 41 and 43 years old stand around the perimeter to protect the spectators. Torch bearing villagers of all ages attempt to break through the guards and light the shaden on fire. A dangerous and lively battle ensues. The defenders try to put out the fire by striking it with pine branches. The attack lasts for about one hour, after which the 42-year olds call an end to the ceremony and the shaden together with the tôrô are set on fire in an offering to the Gods.

The entire festival can take up to four hours from the beginning to the end, but the main attraction is the battle between the guards and the torch bearing villagers.   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Sunday 14th January 2018, 8:22am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Niseko.

Brrrr, it was really cold out there and snowing lightly when I went out to measure the 5cm of fresh snow this morning. (Toast update: came back in and had some extra toast).

So yes, just 5cm to report today - sure, not enough to cover tracks from a busy day on the slopes yesterday, but good quality snow and certainly better than none and there should be a little more in higher areas. There's not much of a wind this morning so if you get wrapped up it should be a nice morning out.

If the forecasts are correct, we can expect clearer skies during the day today and then much milder conditions tomorrow with the chance of some snowfall (very probably not the quality of snow we have this morning).


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6.00am: -6°, trace new snow, calm. Moiwa 800m : -9°, 5cm new snow, calm, minor snow drift development from the west. Annupuri 1150m: -11°, light winds, 5cm new snow. Hirafu 1250m: -13°, 5cm new snow, calm. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:NW6m/s. Kamui Cape: N8m/s,1025hPa, wave 1.0m.

The area is covered by a high pressure system and the mountains and seas are calm. There is no significant snow clouds over the Sea of Japan with little snowfall and snowdrift development in the last 12 hours. Yesterdays tracks can still be seen with less than 10cm new snow. From observation general avalanche risk is low. All gates are expected to be open. Listen to the patrols advice before going out of bounds. Do not duck the ropes.

Niseko Rules exist to make riding out of bounds safer. There have been increasing numbers of people who don't know the rules ducking ropes and getting lost. Accommodation providers and ticket counters in the area need make everyone aware of Niseko Rules. Do not enter Strictly Off Limits areas Haru no Taki and YunoSawa looking for fresh snow. If you get caught you will be banned from the all Niseko resorts.

Although yesterdays tracks remain, its cold and snow on and off the runs is good. Beware going fast and hitting trees, falling into cracks. Weather changes quickly in the mountains. Have a good day.


Sunday 14th January 2018

Resort specific information (operations subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts are generally operating
- 'Early Morning' services from 8:00am until 8:20am (Ace Number 2 Center Four quad lift). Until 28th January. 500 yen special ticket required.

Official snow depth:
- Top: 380cm
- Base: 165cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts are generally operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 280cm
- Base: 170cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts except Country Road Chair are generally operating
- 'Early Gondola' service from 7:30am until 8:30am (Niseko Gondola). January 14th, 20th-21st, 27th-28th; February 3rd-4th. 1,400 yen special ticket required.

Official snow depth:
- Top: 260cm
- Base: 160cm


Floodlit 'nighta' skiing:

Night skiing is planned for every evening at the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri areas. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO area. Ski lifts that are scheduled to be operating for nighta are noted below (subject to change):

* Niseko Grand Hirafu - Ace Family quad, Ace Number 2 quad, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 pair
* Niseko Annupuri - Jumbo Number 1 quad lift
* Niseko Village - Village Express, Upper Village Gondola, Community Chair, Banzai Chair   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Sunday 14th January 2018, 8:24am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

There was a bit of snowfall last night and it is still falling on and off as the resort opens this morning.

The snow condition is very light powder snow.

It will not be as crowded as yesterday, so should be a good day to enjoy the powder snow.

Sorry this info is too late for today but... Grandeco will begin the gondola operations from 7:15am on every Sunday morning until February 25 as a 'fast track' service. (There's an extra charge of 500yen to use this).


Lifts operating:

- All lifts operating

Courses open:

- All courses open

Official snow depth:
- 270cm

- Grandeco snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Sunday 14th January 2018, 8:33am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 20cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba! It's a snowy, windy start here at the base, with 20cm of fresh snow falling since approximately 1700 last night. The air temperature this morning is -8°C, however with the blustery conditions it will feel cooler than this. Although all of the lifts are due to open today, with the wind it seems likely that some may remain on standby until later in the day. The forecast suggests this squall should blow out of the valley this afternoon, giving way to a clear sky tonight and into tomorrow. The pistes, having had a dose of fresh snow on top, are in fabulous condition, and the ice which has plagued the lower slopes over the last couple of days ceases to be a problem.

Looking forwards, things are meant to clear up significantly tomorrow and the sun should stick around until Tuesday night. Sadly, the forecast is still indicating rain at the base all of Wednesday. This is due to exceptionally warm air temperatures, particularly overnight on Wednesday.

Tanoshī!   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Sunday 14th January 2018, 8:36am
Weather conditions: Cloud, sun... probably more sun due
New snowfall: 13cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Hakuba.

It is another very cold morning. There is a lot of grey cloud hanging over the village at the moment but clearer blue skies above that. So some very varied scenery early on depending on where you are. I recommend a trip up as high as you can to see over the clouds.

Hakuba Cortina: 30-50cm
Hakuba 47: 10cm
Happo-one: 5cm (top of Gondola)

Interesting to see Cortina reporting so much fresh; and Happo-one only 5cm.


The resorts curiously don't seem to be reporting as much as we are seeing. I usually check four different location numbers in a morning as a kind of check, and obviously there are areas that get more or less snow than others. This morning the numbers around base areas are 5cm, 9cm, 13cm (the place we usually measure) and 15cm since yesterday. You can see the problem we face with this Nature thing!

Whatever, the headline numbers aside, I think it's fair to say there's a layer of fresh snow out there with more of it to the north at Cortina and Norikura.

Sun is expected today so these clouds are probably going to be moving on this morning. It should be a very good day.

Sun is forecast for tomorrow too, when it should also be a little milder.

The forecasts are looking.... interesting for mid-week. Heavy rain or heavy snow? I know which I prefer.


Ski resort information on Sunday 14th January 2018 (at time of writing):

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned

Courses open:
- All course are now open

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 360cm
- Usagidaira: 190cm
- Lower: 105cm


Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned (Alps Number 2 and 4 lifts usually operate on weekends only)

Courses open:
- All courses are open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 305cm
- Toomi: 120cm
- Iimori: 70cm


Hakuba 47

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned (Line D usually operates only when the Gondola is closed)

Courses open:
- All courses available

Official snow depth:
- Top: 295cm
- Base: 100cm


Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- Most lifts are operating as planned

Courses open:
- All course areas are open apart from some parts of Sawa-one and Kane-no-naru-oka Number 2

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori: 285cm
- Han-no-ki: 275cm
- Maruyama: 120cm
- Shirakaba: 245cm
- Champion: 150cm
- Oya-no-hara: 130cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: 135cm


Hakuba Cortina

Operating lifts:
- All lifts are operating

Courses open:
- All courses apart from Itadaira Forecast opening at time of report

Official snow depth:
- Top: 300cm
- Base: 200cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

Operating lifts:
- Most lifts are operating with most courses open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 180cm
- Base: 100cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Alps Number 7 are operating

Official snow depth:
- 210cm


Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Operating lifts:
- All lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 150cm


Hakuba Sanosaka

Operating lifts:
- All three lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 110cm


Night time skiing (nighta) at resorts in the region - weather & conditions permitting
The below 'nighta' information will not be updated every day - please check with resorts if you plan to go!

Hakuba Happo-one
Daily from 5pm until 9pm in the Nakiyama 2 area
Adults - 2,000 yen; children - 1,200 yen

Hakuba Goryu
Daily from 6pm until 9:30pm in the Toomi area until 31st March
The Sky Four quad operates daily; the Number 2 pair mostly on Saturdays and holidays)
Adults - 1,900 yen; children - 850 yen

Hakuba Cortina
Daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays)
Adults - 1,500 yen; children - 1,000 yen

Tsugaike Kogen
Kane-no-naru-oka area from 6pm until 8:50pm on 3rd, 10th, 11th February
Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6pm until 9pm on 13th, 20th, 27th January; 10th, 11th, 17th February; 3rd, 10th March
Adults - 2,200 yen; children - 1,700 yen

There are no other nighta operations at other ski resorts in the region

   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Sunday 14th January 2018, 9:09am
Weather conditions: Generally cloudy
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
Earlier light snow eased off as of 9am and it is mostly cloudy but visibility looks pretty decent at the moment.

Update on the forecast is for the next decent snow to be with us here in Zao on Wednesday.


Lifts and course info:

- All lifts operating
- All areas open

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 135cm
- Paradise area: 150cm
- Chuo area: 150cm
- Utopia area: 165cm
- Uwanodai area: 90cm
- Oomori area: 95cm


Zao Onsen forecast:

Zao Onsen 6-day snow and weather forecast

Floodlit night skiing is planned as follows:

In the Uwanodai area:
Daily until Sunday 4th March 2018
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 9th March until Sunday 18th March 2018

In the Yokokura area:
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 12th January until Sunday 18th February 2018
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 2nd March until Sunday 11th March 2018

Night time 'light up' sightseeing ropeway is planned for the following dates:

January 2018: 13th-14th, 20th-21st, 27th-31st
February 2018: every day
March 2018: 1st-4th   Read more ...

Geto Kogen Now!

Sunday 14th January 2018, 9:10am
Weather conditions: Cloud, some sun
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Happy Sunday!

On and off snow on the mountain again yesterday, mostly higher up as it was clear toward the base, but nonetheless a few flurries here and there. This morning is the same - I can see some flurries but no new snow to mention, partly cloudy and the visibility is fine.

We can expect the light snow showers to ease into the afternoon as the temps drop, as well as the winds easing back down for a calm night. Tops of -4C today.

Snow is still in great condition - light winds and cold temps mean the pockets of powder are staying right where they are. Picks would be tree areas for sure, just remember that helmets are mandatory.

For your week ahead...

Monday: partly sunny, chance of a snow shower, winds increasing, tops of 0C
Tuesday: fine and sunny in the morning, chance of snow later on with light winds and tops of 0C
Wednesday: cloudy with heavy snow in the evening, light winds, tops of 3C


Zones open include Summit, Rabbit, Beech & Stream. At this stage Shooter will remain closed until the main gondola is open.

News on Main Gondola:

At this time unfortunately the Main Gondola (Gondola 1) is closed for repair. The resort is working on the repairs, but it will require the next few weeks until it is back in operation. They estimate late January, early February for it to be back in action.


Official snow depths:

Top: 325cm
Base: 245cm

Nighta skiing operations are planned at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018.
   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Sunday 14th January 2018, 9:30am
Weather conditions: Getting sunnier
New snowfall: 62cm
Snow depth: --
I was complaining yesterday about the snow falling elsewhere and not here. No more complaining. We got hit by 62cm of fairly dense powder, and it’s still snowing a bit, although the sun and blue skies can be seen to the south and east of us (we’re still under the usual Mt. Myoko snow shadow. Looks like a great day to be out on the slopes. Could be a little heavy going in the backcountry, and there is always the chance of stuffing that could be dangerous, especially in the tighter valleys (which are everywhere here).

Still nice and cold today, but things will start warming up in a few days….just how much, we worry (no rain, please!). It’s dondon yaki day, the festival where people burn things like Daruma dolls (which people put out for good luck, one eye painted in, and the other painted in when the good luck arrives, dolls, combs, New Year decorations, etc.), so I'll put in a good word with the local spirits.


Akakura Kanko:
280 cm, -7°

Akakura Onsen:
300cm, -6°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
235cm, -7°

Myoko Suginohara:
220cm, -14°

Seki Onsen:
330 cm, -5°

Myoko Ski Park:
260 cm, -2°

Kyukamura RunRun:
250 cm, -3° (yesterday’s report)

Tangram Ski Circus:
210 cm, -4°

Madarao Kogen:
200 cm, -7°

Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Sunday 14th January 2018, 10:08am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 15cm
Snow depth: --
Finally some decent snow.

15cm of light dry powder snow in the car park, 25cm up at Tenjindaira and it's still snowing. At times light and at times moderately but it looks set in for the day here and is supposed to clear this evening.

Forecast wise, tomorrow is expected to be clear, snow showers on Tuesday and on Wednesday there is both snow and rain forecast so let's hope its the former and not the latter. Thursday looks like decent snow coming in the evening but mountain forecasts more than a couple days out should not be taken too seriously.


Ski resorts in Minakami:

Minakami Hodaigi
Minakami Kogen Fujiwara
Minakami Kogen Ski Resort
Norn Minakami
Okutone Snow Park
Tanigawadake Tenjindaira
Tanigawa Onsen White Valley


Resort Spotlights with more detail:

Norn Minakami
Okutone Snow Park


Please note that the snowfall numbers posted in this report will be observed from close to the base Tenjindaira Ropeway station - which is often much more than in the central town area of Minakami.    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