Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 6th May 2019
Monday 15th April 2019, 7:10am
Good morning from Hakuba.
Quick report this morning - I'm off to Nagano this morning.
It's snowing at higher elevations! Some cm of snow can be seen on one of the upper Happo webcams, but none actually being reported by the resort currently and none by Hakuba 47 early morning. Worth checking out though I reckon.
Down by base it is cloudy and fairly mild, actually +5C.
Watch out for potentially quite strong wind today - it might play with ski lift operations... checking with resorts recommended if you plan to be out.
From tomorrow we look set to enjoy a few days of sunny and warm conditions.
Ski resort information on Monday 15th April 2019: The below info is checked manually each morning and believed to be correct at time of report.
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 - 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 - Alps Number 2/4 should be operating 27th April - 6th May - 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 ...
Monday 15th April 2019, 7:40am
Hello and good morning from Yuzawa.
Some heavy rain earlier on, less so now and there is some blue sky opening up to the north of Yuzawa over Minamiuonuma as I write this. We may get some of that over Yuzawa soon but there is a chance of some more rain later on as well as maybe quite strong blowy winds. A high of around 11C is forecast for this afternoon.
The Kagura resort seems to be reporting light snow at higher elevations but don't seem to be reporting any cm accumulation and don't expect it to last.
Tomorrow the forecast is for mostly sunny skies through the day with warmer temperatures. By mid week we might be seeing temps get close to 20C in town.
We are now in the last week of the ski season for the Kandatsu Kogen resort which is open until Sunday 21st April.
Beyond that GALA Yuzawa and all of Kagura will be open until Monday 6th May, and then from the 7th May just the main Kagura area of that resort will remain open until their planned closing date of Sunday 26th May.
These Yuzawa Now daily reports will continue until Monday 6th May and after that we plan to post a few updates until Kagura closes.
Note: The Okutadami Maruyama ski hill, located to the north of Yuzawa in Uonuma city, is also open into May.
Photos from GALA Yuzawa and the now closed NASPA Ski Garden and Route 17/Yuzawa IC exit.
Updated: Monday 15th April 2019
GALA Yuzawa - Official snow depth: 250cm - 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: 160cm - 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!
Monday 15th April 2019, 7:42am
Sun, blue sky, some cloud
Good morning from Nozawa.
It's a fine morning in Nozawa. The weekend folk are gone and we are back to a Monday morning. And there's not many left now as we enter the last three weeks of the season.
Mild conditions overnight but it's not set to warm up too much today. Tomorrow will be warmer. We are due now for a run of clearer and sunnier skies with some warmth sneaking in to mid week.
I'm going to try and enjoy it all while I can.
Monday 15th April 2019
Fresh snowfall reported by the ski resort (since yesterday morning):
- Yamabiko (1407m): 0cm - 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): 285cm - Uenotaira (1230m): 205cm - 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 B - Yamabiko C - Yamabiko D - Yamabiko E - Kokenashi - Uenotaira - Paradise
The Utopia A, Challenge, Mizunashi, Ushikubi, Rinkan, Bunabayashi and Kumataka courses are also available for coming down the mountain. Other courses now closed.
The Uenotaira Cross country course (3km) and Snow Park are both open.
The village shuttle bus will be operating from 27th April until 6th May for Golden Week.
Parking is now free every day.
Spring season cheaper lift tickets are now in effect (3700 yen adult one day; 2700 yen adult half day).
All subject to change of course due to conditions.
Official snow depth (reported by resort): - Peak: 240cm - Base: 50cm
Planned ski lift operations: - Annupuri Gondola - Jumbo Number 1 quad - Jumbo Number 4 pair
Niseko Village and Niseko HANAZONO areas are now closed for the 2018-2019 season Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Monday 15th April 2019, 8:53am
Blue sky, cloud
Morning from Shiga Kogen.
I have been away for the weekend and returned to some sunshine, blue sky and white cloud. Nice morning. Apparently there was a little light snow falling overnight but I can't see any of that on the ground.
It's keeping unseasonably cold at the moment but it would appear that mid week will be warmer and we are forecast at least a few days of sunshine.
Some lifts are now going to be rested again on weekdays, so the choice for this week (as per plans) is Ichinose Family, Kumanoyu, Yokoteyama, Okushiga Kogen and Yakebitaiyama.
Next report later on in the week.
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: Monday 15th 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 - 20th, 21st April; 27th April until 6th May
Tannenomori Okojo 20th, 21st April; 27th April until 6th May
Ichinose Family Quad and Number 2 pair B - until 6th May
Terakoya 20th, 21st April; 27th April until 6th May
Ichinose Diamond Diamond pair and quad - 20th, 21st April; 27th April until 6th May
Kumanoyu Number 3 quad - 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 - 20th, 21st April; 27th April until 6th May Number 4 pair lift - 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 ...
Aizu Bandai Now!
Monday 15th April 2019, 9:07am
Good morning from Urabandai.
It is a rainy morning with a strong spring wind blowing. According to the forecast, it will be raining through the day tomorrow with fairer weather due tomorrow. Some lifts may operate at slower speed today due to the wind. Not the best of conditions...
The walking link between Nekoma and Alts Bandai is closed from today with the next open day planned for 20th and 21st April - the weekend.
The photo for today is from 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)
* Alts Bandai has already closed for the season, but the Muhyo lift is operating when the 'walking link' is open (see below)
Other ski resorts in the area are all now closed for the season
Nekoma - Alts 'walking link'
** CLOSED TODAY - NEXT PLANNED OPENING ON 20TH & 21ST APRIL **
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 ...
Monday 15th April 2019, 10:40am
Clear with scattered clouds
Great weekend on the mountain at Tenjin and the Minakami Vibes bowl will be in fine fettle for weeks to come. It's a huge one, looks very robust and it's about as close to riding a wave as you can get. Photos below.
Clear weather prevailed all weekend and the snow was soft and forgiving.
Overnight we had light rain here at the base of Tenjin but weather has cleared this morning. The peak was still shrouded in cloud about an hour ago and it was 9C at 9am this morning. I wouldn't go near that bowl without soft snow which should be around henceforth.
Weather forecast is for clear weather tomorrow followed by potential light rain Wed and Thur.
One slight downer, the course to the bottom is closed as of today. It was actually in pretty good shape yesterday and there goes our best leg burner. Read more ...