Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 23rd February 2020

Furano Now!

Friday 15th January 2016, 7:41am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 295cm
In the village this morning the cold temperatures continue with the thermometer currently sitting at -10c. It will get a little warmer than that today probably heading towards a high of around -5c.

The good news is that the cloud is patchy, there is lots of nice blue sky between the clouds and we are going to get sunny conditions in the first part of the day.

Fresh snowfall is limited to a dusting in the village and I will call this 0cm for today. The resort itself is quoting a little bit of fresh on the mountain itself.   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Friday 15th January 2016, 7:52am
Weather conditions: Fairly sunny at the moment, but it looks like clouds will be moving in shortly
New snowfall: 7cm
Snow depth: 120cm
A quick report today, as I need to get out on the road. That weather report held out the promise of some heavy snow last night....

But we ended up with a nice light dusting and not much accumulation (my ruler, which I used officially, says 7 cm).

Snow is on the menu for the rest of today and through the weekend, so we continue to hope for a genuine, generous serving of real Myoko-weight snow.

(* means no report in yet - but thanks to the areas for picking up on their reporting).


Akakura Kanko:
-54° / 120cm *

Akakura Onsen:
-5° / 130cm

Ikenotaira Onsen:
-3° / 60cm

Myoko Suginohara:
-8° (top)/ 55cm *

Seki Onsen:
-3° / 170cm *

Myoko Ski Park:
0° / 95cm *

Kyukamura RunRun:
0° / 120cm *

Tangram Ski Circus:
-3° / 90cm

Madarao Kogen:
-4° / 90cm *
   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Friday 15th January 2016, 7:59am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy, some blue sky and bright
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: 40cm
Good morning from Yuzawa.

A bit of snowfall to report this morning though it's just small numbers again, I'm afraid. This morning Kagura are reporting 0-2 cm of fresh snow and Maiko are reporting 5cm; and it looks like Naeba are reporting 3cm.

I seem to have said this so many times this season but that is less snow than we were expecting again (the local Niigata local forecast told us to expect 10cm), with just 3cm on the ground this morning around town. Quite why those snow clouds are not coming that bit further south to our lovely little area is quite the puzzle.

And I definitely know that I have reported this before only for us to be disappointed, but early next week is really - REALLY! - looking good for some decent snowfall. I'm not going to say anything else about that other than to just keep your eye on the forecast and let's see where it goes. Fingers crossed.

For now though this morning resorts will have received a thin layer of snow on top of what they had with no major changes expected.

Lots of cloud around this morning but it is quite bright and as we approach 8am there's a bit of blue sky to be seen to. It's thankfully keeping fairly cold without the proper warm-up thing that we had going on a while back.

Weather for the weekend looks set to be... well, it's again really difficult to read and different forecasts tell different stories. Cloud and light snow maybe tomorrow morning, though quite a few days when we have had that forecast have ended up being clear and sunny, so who knows!


A few people have asked why we keep on mentioning the amount of fresh snow at Kagura and Maiko Snow Resort in particular and not other resorts. A good question and there's a really simple answer - they are the ones that report such numbers. Most other resorts just stick to their 'snow depth' which often doesn't change and don't mention how much snow has fallen over the last 24 hours. Seems to me that the fresh snow number is the most important number there is. It's the number I want to know each morning and odd that many resorts don't mention it. You might think that it is just this season because there's not as much snowfall, but it's actually something that has always been the case. It's the fresh snow we want to know about every day, right? So that is why those resorts are mentioned.

And they are actually pretty good ones to report location wise as Kagura is the highest resort in Yuzawa town and Maiko is nicely positioned right on the border of Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma (and physically very close to Iwappara).

I can only report on the amount of snow that has fallen at base in town here. Unfortunately I am not able to up to the top of resorts each morning with a measuring stick!


As promised here are a few photos from Wednesday.


SnowJapan has Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma lift tickets to give to readers - if you would like to enter the prize draw and win, more information here:


Resort official snow depths (Friday 15th 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 and some lower slopes are patchy.

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 ...

Grandeco Now!

Friday 15th January 2016, 8:09am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy
New snowfall: 6cm
Snow depth: 160cm
Good morning from Grandeco.

And it's good news. Apart from the 6cm of fresh snow here at base since yesterday the bigger news of the day is that... Grandeco is now fully open!

Yes, all of the lifts are moving from this morning and 100% open courses as well. It took long enough than everyone would have liked, but everyone is also very happy to get to this point!

The fresh snow this morning is light and blowing around a bit in the wind, so it should be good conditions out there.

The forecast is also very good for the coming week with quite a lot of snow due (especially early in the week). It should be snowing overt the weekend as well, and remain cold so come prepared!


There's a 'Kitakata ramen' event being held at the resorts over the next 6 weekends. Kitakata ramen is one of the famous ramen 'brands' (?), and definitely worth a lunchtime taste if you like noodles.


Lifts operating:

All lifts now operating

Courses open:

All courses now open


Snow and weather forecast:

6 day snow and weather forecast for Grandeco   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Friday 15th January 2016, 8:23am
Weather conditions: Blue sky, some cloud
New snowfall: 24cm
Snow depth: 130cm
My oh my, we really are enjoying a superb patch right now, aren't we?

There's 24cm of beautiful fresh new snowfall piled up round the back of my place this morning after the impressive snow that we had yesterday. Given that the mountain is often thought to get up to one and a half the amount we get here in the village area, that means we can very probably expect 30-35cm up there this morning. Out of duty I think I will have to force myself to make my way up there this morning right after posting this report, just so that I can check for myself and confirm. I already have most of my gear on!

It's the kind of morning that I love as well. The sun is out and there's increasingly more blue sky as well.

A beautiful morning... in so many ways.

Niseko Grand Hirafu today breaks the 3m barrier for official snow depth up top. And oh yes, snowfall still on the forecast every day over the next week with some sun still a possibility on Sunday.



How many of you felt the earthquake yesterday at 12:31pm?

It was quite a bit one as well - magnitude 6.7. The biggest shaking was felt in eastern parts of Hakodate city and along the coastline to the south east of Sapporo. Parts of Sapporo got a fair shake too. Here in the Niseko region a 'shindo 3' was recorded. The Japanese 'shindo' seismic intensity scale is actually very interesting and gives you a much better idea of how an earthquake affects people in different places on the ground rather than the simple magnitude number. It is measured in units which basically describe the degree of shaking at a point on the ground. Shindo 1 is a bit of wobble and some people might not notice it. The strongest Shindo 7 is a violent, destructive and terrifying earthquake. Wikipedia explains shindo 3 as being 'felt by most to all people indoors - some people are frightened' and 'objects inside rattle noticeably and can fall off tables'.

Shindo 3 isn't destructive at all and so there were no problems here that I am aware of.

Anyway, nothing to worry about.


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
All resort areas appear to be opening as planned this morning.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -8℃, 30cm snowfall. Moiwa 800m: -10℃, E5m/s, 40cm of wind-compacted snow. Mikaeri 740m: NW8m/s at 4am, 40cm snowfall with development of snowdrifts. Annupuri 1150m: -13℃, 50cm wind-affected slabs/ Hirafu 1000m: -10℃, mild wind, 30cm snowfall. Coastal data; Benkei cape S3m/s, Kamui cape ENE4m/s, 1014hPa, 1.5m waves.

Heavy snowfall continued in the western areas above 800m until late night and snowdrifts have largely developed, however the wind calmed down after 1am and no real snowfall since then. Looking at the weather transition and snow observations, the snowpack is stabilizing and the overall avalanche hazard level is lowering, however risk remains high in leeside slopes above 1000m. Stay away from Osawa (Annupuri bowl) cornice/knolls and Higashi-One (East ridge above Hanazono) cornices/knolls. 50cm thick slab slides are still highly likely to occur.

The snow is deep, beware of being stuck. Good idea to carry snowshoes/skins. Peak gates will open, please follow the patrol’s instructions.

The snow is wind-affected, bit heavy, good consistency. Beware of collisions and cracks. Most accidents can be avoided by being prudent. Have a great day!


Official resort snow depths as of Friday 15th January 2016:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 310cm
Base - 130cm

Niseko Village
Top - 230cm
Base - 130cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 200cm
Base - 140cm


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 ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Friday 15th January 2016, 8:26am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: 50cm
Well it’s snowing here again today and Appi has lifted the official base depth to a whopping 50cm.

Yesterday was as advertised but no real accumulation because of the gusty wind conditions. After taking a peek at some of the closed runs yesterday they remain threadbare in places, especially near the summit, and in all rights should remain closed for a while. How long before they’re open is anyone's guess unfortunately.

We did get an additional 3cm of snowfall overnight and with it forecast to snow most of the day here at least we’ve something to be Appi for. The winds should be fairly light most of the day and into tomorrow with base temperatures steady around -7 and we should see a ‘forecast’ 4-6cm of accumulation.


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
- Sailer Number 2
- Sailer connecting   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Friday 15th January 2016, 8:43am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: 20cm
The snowfall was somewhat disappointing yesterday with not a whole lot to show for it. I so want the season to get going properly. And while we do have some snow possible today and tomorrow, it's Monday through the middle of next week that we should be excited about. The forecasts that matter still show us down for heavy snow around Tuesday-Wednesday.

Nozawa-like snowfall please!

For the coming weekend the forecasts give us a mix of cloud and light snowfall at times, and happily it will be keeping decently cold.

Hope those of you in Nozawa now enjoy the festival. Take care, enjoy the local traditions and have fun.


Official info at time of writing on Friday 15th January 2016 (subject to change):

Official snow depths:

Yamabiko: 100cm
Uenotaira: 90cm
Hikage: 20cm
Nagasaka: 15cm
Karasawa: 5cm

New snowfall as reported by the resort since yesterday:

Yamabiko: 5cm
Uenotaira: 5cm
Hikage: 0cm
Nagasaka: 1cm
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 ...

Hakuba Now!

Friday 15th January 2016, 8:54am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, a few sunny patches at times
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: 50cm
Good morning from Hakuba.

Snow was falling for much of the day yesterday on mountain and this morning resorts are again reporting some new cm of fresh - mostly quite similar amounts to what they were yesterday. Here in the village base areas just a few cm.

With this gradual arrival of fresh snow at higher elevations in particular, resorts are gradually being able to open up a bit more as well. This morning I can see that Route 7 at Hakuba 47 is now open as well as (part of) the Merry Land course at Hakuba Goryu. A few more courses have also opened up at the Hakuba Iwatake resort.

Of course we are still in need of (a lot) more snow. Could it be on the way soon?

That forecast I was mentioning yesterday - it's still looking very good indeed for the first part of next week. Take a look here:

6 day snow and weather forecast for Happo-one

Nice. Now let's see that happen!

Before then we can most likely expect calm weather conditions over the weekend.


Resort news as of 8:45am on Friday 15th January 2015 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 is reporting 5cm of fresh snowfall on lower areas and 10cm on upper areas.
All courses are now officially open.
Tree Riding Zone not yet open for the season.
Official snow depth
Upper: 160cm
Base: 30cm

Hakuba Goryu:
Hakuba Goryu is reporting 3-5cm of fresh snowfall on lower areas and 10cm on upper area.
Panorama, Grand Prix, Super Course, Champion Dynamic and Woody Courses in upper area; the main Toomi course and the Soft Cream and Merry Land courses in the Iimori area are planned to be open.
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: 155cm
Toomi: 50cm
Iimori: 45cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 5cm of new snowfall.
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: 110cm
Nakiyama: 35cm
Sakka: 15cm

Hakuba Cortina:
Hakuba Cortina reporting 5cm of fresh snowfall.
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: 135cm
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: 144cm
Maruyama: 40cm
Kane-no-naru-oka: 30cm

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Reporting up to 5cm of fresh snowfall.
The View C, View D, North and East courses on Mountain Side are currently open.
Planned lifts:
Noah Gondola
View 2
3Sen Line North
4Sen Line East
Line Lift
Official snow depth
Upper: 80cm
Lower: 20cm

Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Official snow depth
All lifts apart from Number 8 lift are operating and 8 of the 12 courses are open at Hakuba Norikura Onsen.

Hakuba Sanosaka:
Official snow depth
Part open with the Number 1 triple lift, Number 2 quad and Number 5 pair lifts operating.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Friday 15th January 2016, 9:02am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy, some blue sky in places
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: 40cm
Snow was falling overnight but it had cleared up by early morning and there was quite a bit of blue sky amongst the clouds. Less so now as I write this and it is mostly cloudy.

My friend was last night telling me about how in 1962 there was hardly any snow even by the end of January. But then here in Shiga Kogen we got over 3m of snowfall in not much more than a week. It sounds like a fantastic story and I can imagine people going from moaning about no snow to too much snow in a very short period of time!

But could we be on for another similar kind of surprise? The forecast is certainly looking very exciting in terms of snowfall at the end of the weekend and into next week.

There sure would be lots of happy people. Not just here in Shiga Kogen but many other regions of Japan that are experiencing much less snow than usual this season so far.


Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Friday 15th 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 ...

Naeba Now!

Friday 15th January 2016, 9:10am
Weather conditions: Today there is a mixture of thick cloud cover in certain places and blue skies in others.
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: 70cm
Good morning from Naeba everybody.

Again we've had a small amount of snow over night although again it's not a massive amount. 3 cm of fresh snow has fallen since yesterday with light snow having fallen for most of the morning although it has now stopped.

The weather forecast is currently saying light snow over the next few days with a big dump of snow starting as of Monday and finishing who knows when. Hopefully this comes through.

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

Madarao Now!

Friday 15th January 2016, 9:11am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 90cm
There is lots of cloud around this morning and it was snowing lightly earlier on but that has eased off for now.

Light snow is something of a theme this year isn't it. We want heavy snowfall.

There may be more light snow to get out of today but for the potential of heavy snow we can look at the forecast for early in the week. Serious snowfall on the way? Perhaps.

I wouldn't be surprised if we had some sunshine at the weekend though before that snowfall arrives.

Tomorrow should be cold, perhaps Sunday less so, and then a drop again as this promised winter storm approaches...


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

Madarao Tree Run Courses:

Ninja and Kamoshika open   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Friday 15th January 2016, 9:14am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 85cm
Hello from Zao where it is a cloudy and calm morning.

We can maybe expect some light snow today and tomorrow too, though the sun might be with us tomorrow as well. Whatever happens in the skies, it should keep very cold.

I was taking a quick look at the other Now reports as well as forecasts for other regions. It looks like there's a winter snow storm on the way to many regions early next week.

You can just imagine how many people - ski resort owners, hotel owners, skiers, snowboarders, snow removal truck drivers... - are looking to the skies and hoping and wishing that it happens!

Count me in as one of those people; and no doubt all of you reading this are feeling exactly the same. Bring it on!


Information as of Friday 15th 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 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: 65cm
Chuo: 85cm
Paradise: 60cm
Uwanodai: 40cm


6 day Zao Onsen snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Friday 15th January 2016, 18:18pm
Weather conditions: Blue skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 100cm
Light snow again overnight but nothing major.

Temps have chilled considerably to what we were seeing in early January and according to the forecast we can expect a substantial storm next week.

An initial fall Sunday night followed by serious snow from Monday night onward. Would be just what the doctor ordered.


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
23rd Feb, 12:52pm
Naeba Now
23rd Feb, 12:51pm
Myoko Now
23rd Feb, 9:47am
Aizu Bandai Now
23rd Feb, 9:31
Appi Kogen Now
23rd Feb, 9:30
Zao Now
23rd Feb, 9:22
Hakuba Now
23rd Feb, 9:10
Nozawa Onsen Now
23rd Feb, 8:52
Madarao Now
23rd Feb, 8:51
Niseko Now
23rd Feb, 8:30
Furano Now
23rd Feb, 7:55
Shiga Kogen Now
23rd Feb, 7:34
Geto Kogen Now
23rd Feb, 7:25
Minakami Now
22nd Feb, 10:48
Grandeco Now
06th Dec, 14:16am