Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 1st April 2018

Myoko Now!

Friday 16th December 2016, 8:14am
Weather conditions: Snowing
New snowfall: 20cm
Snow depth: --
The snow is coming down, and it is coming down GOOD! Just in time for our second opening, at Akakan, with more to come tomorrow.

I'm going to give a real round number right now&madash;20 cm—because it is really snowing Myoko style this morning. We wondered a bit, with a beautiful moon shining down last night and nothing falling when we went to bed (and way to late, I have to say; daughter is back from high school and we had to get some panic projects done until wee hours). So it's probably only begun over the past few hours.

Powder time today! Get out there and start the season the right way (who needs artificial snow?).

The resorts that are open aren't all sending snow reports; some are old.


Akakura Kanko:
Opening today, full from tomorrow; all lifts except the lower two at the Hotel side (meaning gondola up)
-5, 70cm

Akakura Onsen:
60cm, -5°
Lifts: Yodel No. 1 Triple, Yodel No. 3 Triple, Yodel No. 4 Pair.

Ikenotaira Onsen:
-, -°
Opening 17th

Myoko Suginohara:
-, -°
Opening 23rd

Seki Onsen:
-, -°
Opening 23rd

Myoko Ski Park:
-, -°
Opening 18th

Kyukamura RunRun:
-, -°
Opening 17th

Tangram Ski Circus:
70cm, 5°
Opening 17th

Madarao Kogen:
50m, -2°
Opening 17th   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Friday 16th December 2016, 8:30am
Weather conditions: It's snowing
New snowfall: 36cm
Snow depth: --
A very good morning to you from here in the Niseko region, and what a morning it is.

After the disappointment of yesterday, what do we have here? Only an impressive 36cm of fresh snow on the ground! And if you check the Avalanche Report below, they are mentioning up to 60cm of fresh out there on the mountain. Very nice.

I almost didn't think it was going to happen but the snow started coming down in style later in the afternoon. And it really was snowing heavily for a while there - what a sight it was too! Strong winds joined in the mix and were blowing the snow around and so it's a case of more-or-less in different places. I think my 36cm is a representative amount to record in the report though and wherever you are taking readings from this morning, it's a lot.

It is keeping very cold, less wind and the snow is still falling now, so conditions out on the slopes should be fantastic. I tend to avoid using cheesy variations on the words like 'deep' in my reports, but that word will apply this morning. Especially with the limited visibility conditions early on, remember to be careful where you go. Everyone gets excited on a day like today but we need to keep our thinking head on at the same time.

Hopefully soon I'll be able to take down specific lift operation information and just be able to declare 'everywhere open', but it doesn't look like we're quite there just yet. This fresh snow will certainly help.

Snow clouds are forecast to be over us today and tomorrow but after that there's a run of clearer skies lined up along with somewhat milder temperatures.

Anyway time to post the report. I am officially excited and am going to wrap myself up, get the low visibility goggles on and go experience it all myself. I might not make it to the first lifts of the day - there's already people lining up for the first lifts as I write this about 30 minutes before they start moving - but there'll be more than enough for everyone to enjoy this morning.


Just a quick look at some numbers:

Last season, up until 16th December 2015 I had observed 137cm of snowfall.
This season, up until 16th December 2016 I have observed 223cm of snowfall.

Same me, same place. I like the sound of that. May it be the pattern for the season...


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6.00am: -8C, 50cm new light crystal snowfall in the last 12 hrs, light winds. Elevation 800m: light winds, 60cm new snow, no snowdrift development. Coastal data: Kamui Cape: W10m/s, 1008hPa, wave 1.1m.

We are currently in the middle of a winter weather pattern and there has been 40cm of new snow fall at mountain base. The wind above 800m is expected to increase from the west, along with increasing development of cornices and snowdrifts above that altitude. The weak frost layer from 14th Dec persists, however above this layer there is no wind pack so general avalanche risk is considered low..

Leaving the ski runs today and riding into the valley bottoms is not recommended today, it will be difficult to impossible to make it back to the resort in this deep snow. The gates are not set up yet and riding out of bounds is not allowed yet.

Don't duck ropes, passes will be confiscated. The snow is deep and good- winter is here!


Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):

All four resort areas appear to be able to open as planned at the start of the day.

Niseko Grand Hirafu

Lifts planned to be operating:

- Ace Family pair*
- Ace Number 2 Center Four*
- Ace Number 3 pair
- Hirafu Gondola*
- King Number 3 quad
- Holiday Number 1 pair*
- Swinging Monkey

Courses that are not yet open:

- Onsenzawa
- Large
- Miharashi
- Dynamic

Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts planned to be operating:

- Hanazono 1 quad
- Hanazono 2 quad
- Hanazono 3 quad

Courses planned to be open:

- All open apart from Hanazono Park

Niseko Village

Lifts planned to be operating:

- Niseko Gondola
- Upper Village Gondola*
- Village Express*
- Community Chair*
- Banzai Chair

Niseko Annupuri

Lifts planned to be operating:

- Jumbo Number 1 quad* (opening late this morning)
- Jumbo Number 2 pair
- Jumbo Number 3 pair
- Annupuri Gondola

Courses planned to be open:

- Utopia
- Shirakaba
- Silver
- Paradise
- Junior
- Family
- Dynamic


Official resort snow depths as of Friday 16th December 2016:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 220cm
Base - 100cm

Niseko Village
Top - 100cm
Base - 80cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 100cm
Base - 90cm


Night skiing is planned until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village resort areas. There is no nighta in the Hanazono area.

The lifts marked with a * above are the lifts that are planned to be operating for nighta.   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Friday 16th December 2016, 8:33am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 6cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Nozawa and 5-10cm of snow being reported by the resort this morning and 6cm measured by myself.

Yesterday late afternoon deserves a mention. Not for snow but the spectacular colours that nature provided - a mix of pink and blue pastel shades to the skies and clouds, it was beautiful.

But we want more beautiful snow of course, so it's good that there's some fresh this morning and it is snowing as I write this as well. After today the forecast is looking rather dry and at times quite mild too, so we could do with a decent dump of snow today.

Actually, from today the 'Yu Road' is open and also the Hikage Gondola is going to open so the Paradise course is scheduled to be available as well. The resort has also said that it is preparing the Paradise Four lift, the Hikage triple lift and Shinyu pair lift as well, so we're going to be seeing more open very soon.


Friday 16th December 2016

Lifts that are planned to be operating:
Nagasaka Gondola (8:30am-3:30pm)
Yamabiko Four Lift (9:00am-3:30pm)
Yamabiko Number 2 Four Lift (8:55am-3:40pm)
Uenotaira Four Lift (9:00am-3:40pm)

Courses that are planned to be open:
Yamabiko A course
Yamabiko B course
Yamabiko C course
Yamabiko D course
Yamabiko E course
Uenotaira course

Official snow depths:
Yamabiko: 110cm
Uenotaira: 80cm
Hikage: 50cm
Nagasaka: 50cm
Karasawa: 40cm

Fresh snow reported by resort since yesterday morning
Yamabiko: 10cm
Uenotaira: 10cm
Hikage: 8cm
Nagasaka: 8cm
Karasawa: 5cm   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Friday 16th December 2016, 8:40am
Weather conditions: The sky if mostly overcast as the snow is still falling.
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning!

There hasn't been a great deal of snow overnight last night but the snow is still falling hard this morning in Naeba.

We are also happy to report that more of the resort is now open for us to explore! Gondola 2 is now open and it leads to Daishamen, the downhill course and high speed piste no. 4. Looks like our snow dances have paid off!

The conditions on the mountain are chilly but with a little powder from the snow that's still falling. Wrap up warm and enjoy the new runs!
   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Friday 16th December 2016, 8:44am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 8cm
Snow depth: --
The snow continued falling for most of the day yesterday, though it didn't actually result in that much more cm on the ground. With more snowfall overnight I record another 8cm of fresh snowfall since my report yesterday morning. (Interestingly, Kagura are just reporting 5cm of fresh and so are Maiko Snow Resort).

Talking of Maiko Snow Resort - they are open this morning. They have their gondola moving as well as the two lifts in the upper Okusoeji area and about 2/3 of the courses up there open. They are reporting a snow depth of 95cm up top with about 30cm at base.

And it also looks like Kandatsu Kogen have opened this morning as well - their official opening was planned for tomorrow, but it seems they just can't wait! In what they are calling 'pre-open', 60% of their courses will be available.

GALA Yuzawa enjoys a high elevation and so expect a large part of that resort to be open. They have said that they will have their Central and North areas open with 7 courses available.

There's a bunch of ski and snowboard resorts in Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma preparing to open from tomorrow and with the snowfall we have received I expect them all to be able to - to varying degrees. There's still not a huge amount of snow at town level but more the higher up you go.

It's all happening now though, and it feels good. After the poor start to the season last year I think many people were wary but we need to remember that last year was not 'normal'. We have a promising start here now so hopefully we're back to normal and we can expect some very nice snowfall this season. For the moment, it will be really great if the resorts can all open as planned.

There's so much information to try and gather and with resorts themselves crazy busy in 'bata-bata' mode, I will do my best tomorrow morning to bring you all of the latest details.. and apologies in advance if the report is posted later than usual.


Oops, I nearly forgot the forecast - snow through the day today and perhaps into tomorrow, some clearer skies and milder temperatures into early next week. Not too warm please!!


Resort-specific info as of Friday 16th December 2016

Ski resorts that are currently open in the region:
All areas of Kagura are now open. The top Kagura Number 5 pair lift and course will open from 1st January 2017.
The resort is reporting 5cm of fresh snow.
Official snow depth:
Kagura - 120cm
Mitsumata - 80cm
Tashiro - 100cm

More of Naeba opening up now with the Number 2 gondola operating.
Official snow depth: 60cm

Maiko Snow Resort
The top Okusoeji area is about 2/3 of that area is open from this morning.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 95cm
Base - 30cm

Kandatsu Kogen
Special 'pre-open' today with the resort saying it is '60% open'.
Official snow depth: 80cm

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

Planned opening tomorrow:
GALA Yuzawa
Joetsu Kokusai
Ludens Yuzawa
Muica Snow Resort
Muikamachi Hakkaisan
Nakazato Snow Wood
Yuzawa Kogen
Yuzawa Nakazato
Yuzawa Park

Wednesday 21st December:
Ishiuchi Maruyama

Thursday 22nd December:
NASPA Ski Garden

Friday 23rd December:
Chateau Shiozawa

Saturday 24th December:
Hakkai Sanroku
Mt Granview

Wednesday 28th December:
Ishiuchi Hanaoka


'Nighta' (floodlit night operations)

Below are details of the planned 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma this season. This information is subject to change due to snow and weather conditions.

Ishiuchi Maruyama
Daily from 23rd December 2016 until 19th March 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 8:50pm.
The Chuo Number 1, Chuo Number 2 and Kanko Number 3 Express lifts are open daily.
The Kanko Number 1 Express lift, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift and Hatsukaishi Number 2 pair lifts are also open on weekends and holidays.

Daily from 17th December 2016 until 20th March 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays.
The Main course, Grand course and West courses are open during nighta.

Joetsu Kokusai
Daily from 17th December 2016 until 20th March 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm.
The area in front of the main base hotel is open for nighta.

Kandatsu Kogen
'Hobo All Night' ('Almost All Night') is on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays between 29th December 2016 and 1st April 2017.
The nighta opening times on those days is from 6pm until 4am the following morning.

Maiko Snow Resort
Daily from 28th December 2016 until 19th March 2017.
Nighta is from 4pm until 8pm.
The Maiko center quad lift on the Maiko Side of the resort operates for nighta.

Daily from 17th December 2016 until 26th March 2017.
Nighta is from 4pm until 8:30pm.
Part of the lower area of the resort is usually open for nighta.

NASPA Ski Garden
'Thanks' (extended) opening on Saturdays in December, January and February and also on 23rd December and from 30th December until 8th January 2017.
On those days the Number 1 lift is open until 6pm.

Yuzawa Nakazato
Every Saturday from 7th January until 11th March 2017, 29th December until 3rd January, 8th January 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 8:30pm.
The Number 2 pair lift operates during nighta.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Friday 16th December 2016, 8:46am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 12cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Shiga Kogen.

I enjoyed a great half-day yesterday. The sun was out and there were some fine snow conditions to be found as well. We're still early season low on snow of course, but there was some real fun to be had.

From early this morning the snow has returned and already there's decent cm piling up, and it's coming down in style as well just at the moment. Well it was when I first started writing this report, it has eased off a bit right now. But... snow forecast for the day so fingers crossed we're on for some decent numbers before the weekend.

I don't have any inside info to share but especially if we can get some more decent snow falling today I would think that there'll be more lifts operating and courses open from tomorrow.


Areas of Shiga Kogen currently open:

Ichinose Family
The Number 2 pair A and B lifts are operating with 600m of course open.

The Number 1 and Number 2 lifts are operating.

Okushiga Kogen
The Number 2 pair and Number 3 pair lifts are operating.

Takamagahara Mammoth
The Number 2 triple lift is operating with the lower part of the slopes open.

The Number 2 Gondola and Number 2 pair lifts are operating with the South Course, Panorama Course and Karamatsu Course open.
The resort is preparing the Number 1 Gondola to get moving as well by the looks...

The Number 1 Sky B, Number 2 Sky pair and Number 5 lifts are operating.   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Friday 16th December 2016, 8:53am
Weather conditions: Cloud, snow
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

It was a lovely day yesterday and I had a fine time up at Hakuba Goryu.

There's not a whole lot to report this morning in terms of weather with just a dusting again at lower levels and resorts reporting a thin layer of snow higher up (Cortina saying there's up to 10cm of fresh on it's slopes).

There's lots of cloud around this morning and light snow has been falling and snow is on the forecast for today and tomorrow. Here's to a snowy report tomorrow morning.

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field opens up for the season from this morning and they have their Gondola moving along with two lifts and courses over on the Mountain Side of the resort. At Hakuba Goryu, the Toomi Sky Four lift is now operating and the Toomi course open from today.

Hakuba Sanosaka, Hakuba Norikura Onsen and Kashimayari are set to open from tomorrow - I would expect them to be 'part openings', as per the resorts that are currently open.

More people are now arriving in Hakuba for an early season ski and while there's places open and fun to be had we could do with a decent dump of snow to really kick things off.

Until tomorrow and... let it snow!


Resort news as of 8:45am on Friday 16th December 2016:

All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 is currently part open.
The resort is reporting 1cm of fresh snowfall.
Gondola downloading required. Connection with Goryu not yet open.
Lift & course info:
The Gondola, Line A.B and Line C lifts are operating.
The following courses are open:
- Route 1 (Upper)
- Route 2
- Route 3
- Route 5
- Route 6
- Route 8 (Lower)
Official snow depth
Line C Upper: 100cm
Base: 10cm

Hakuba Goryu:
Hakuba Goryu is currently part open.
The resort is reporting 1-2cm of fresh snowfall.
Gondola downloading required. Connection with Hakuba 47 not yet open.
Lift & course info:
The Gondola, Alps Number 1 and 3 and Toomi Sky Four lifts are operating with the Toomi course available from today.
The following courses are open:
- Grand Prix
- Panorama
- Toomi
Official snow depth
Alps: 80cm
Toomi: 20cm
Iimori: 15cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
Hakuba Happo-one is currently part open.
Lift & course info:
The Adam Gondola, Alpen Quad, Panorama pair, Kokusai Number 3 pair and Kurobishi Number 2 quad lifts are operating.
Gondola downloading required.
The following courses are at least part open:
- Kurobishi
- Usagidaira
- Panorama
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira: 75cm
Nakiyama: -cm
Sakka: -cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
Tsugaike Kogen is currently part open.
Lift info:
The Eve Gondola and the top Han-no-ki and Tsuga Number 2 pair lifts are operating.
The following courses are open:
- Han-no-ki
- Tsuga-no-mori
Official snow depth:
Tsuga-no-mori: 70cm
Han-no-ki: 70cm
Oya-no-hara: 20cm
Kane-no-naru-oka: -cm

Hakuba Cortina:
Hakuba Cortina is currently part open.
The resort is reporting 5-10cm of fresh snowfall.
Lift info:
The Number 2 quad lift and Number 4 pair lifts are operating.
The following courses are at least part open:
- Ikenoda
- Mt Hieda Rinkan
- Mt Hieda 1
- Itadaria
Official snow depth:
Top: 100cm
Base: 50cm

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field is currently part open.
Lift info:
The Gondola, 3-sen North and 4-sen East lifts are operating.
The following courses are at least part open:
- North
- East
Official snow depth:
Top: 30cm
Base: -cm


Kashimayari plans to open from Saturday 17th December.

Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Hakuba Norikura Onsen plans to open from Saturday 17th December.

Hakuba Sanosaka:
Hakuba Sanosaka plans to open from Saturday 17th December.


Please note that Yanaba ski hill will not be opening for the 2016-2017 season   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Friday 16th December 2016, 9:06am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Zao.

It's a cloudy start to the day with what looks like limited visibility up on the mountain.

It's a cold start to the day as well, and still only -3C here at base and minus double digits higher up.

I have just a few cm of fresh snow to report this morning but hopefully I will be reporting some good numbers tomorrow morning. After tomorrow the forecast shows some clearer skies and milder temperatures as well early next week and not much in terms of snowfall...

To a snowy day today!


Lifts that are planned to be operating today at Zao Onsen:

Zao Ropeway
Chuo Ropeway
Sky Cable
Mikaeri pair
Chuo Number 1 pair AB
Onsen Number 1 pair
Utopia Number 2 pair

Official snow depths:
Chuo - 40cm
Utopia - 40cm
Uwanodai - 40cm
Paradise - 40cm

   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Friday 16th December 2016, 9:15am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 8cm
Snow depth: --
A fine day weather wise in the region yesterday, but we're back to snow this morning.

Madarao Kogen is of course opening for the season from tomorrow. Yes! And here is what is planned to be open:

- Number 1 lift
- Number 2 quad lift

Lift tickets will be available at the special price of 2000 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children (elementary school age). Those lower prices will be available until Thursday 22nd December.

The resort is currently reporting 50cm snow depth and that should be more by tomorrow with snow forecast for the day today.

Might we even get some sunshine for the opening day tomorrow? As long as we get some decent snow today, I'm good with that.

Can't wait!

   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Friday 16th December 2016, 9:19am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, blue skies
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from a chilly Grandeco.

There's another 2cm of new snow this morning. Not as much as we would like of course but it all counts. The cold low temperatures are giving us very good quality snow even in this early season. More of it please!

The new soft snow is covering the top of the base which is still a little hard so a bit scrape-y in places.

According to the forecast, this area can expect new snowfall for today and tomorrow... but how much? I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

The resort is hoping to open more courses for this weekend.

Snow park information:

One 6 meters down box at this moment; another 6 meters wide box will appear from tomorrow.

Ski resorts which are open at this moment in the region are Minowa, Grandeco --- and Nekoma from today.


Lifts operating:

- Gondola
- Number 1 quad lift
- Number 2 quad lift

Courses open:

- Center Course (2km)
- Upper part of Rainbow 3500 (1km)
- Lavender B course (1km)

Official snow depth:
- 65cm

Road condition to Grandeco:
- Inawashiro through Grandeco, compacted snow, snow tires are necessary.   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Friday 16th December 2016, 11:19am
Weather conditions: Blue sky
New snowfall: 6cm
Snow depth: --
It is another extremely cold day in Furano with -16c at base level and even colder -18c at the top of the resort. As is often the case with these cold Furano mornings it is a superb day with deep blue sky, full sun and not a breath of wind - I have posted 3 photos below the report that were taken this morning. The snow today on course is also very very good with a further 6cm of extremely light powder accumulating in the village overnight.

Todomatsu Course is now open at the bottom of the Furano Zone. Night skiing is now available on both the Prince Course and Todomatsu Course.

There is still no offical guidance from the resort as to when they expect to get the Kitanomine side operating. Lets just see if they make an announcement over the weekend. With guest numbers in the resort increasing as we head towards Christmas the lift system on the Furano Zone is under a bit of pressure. Yesterday there were reports of the line for Furano Ropeway being extremely long.

Saturday and Sunday are expected to be windy, but both days should deliver a little more snow, althought nothing siginificant.

The following courses are expected to be open today:

   Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Friday 16th December 2016, 16:05pm
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: --
Hello from Appi,

More snow last night here and more to follow. Only 5cm overnight. It's been snowing all day and we've received quite a bit more for the report tomorrow. Perhaps an additional 10cm at least.

It's certainly hilly on the mountain and only 2 runs are still open but I'm sure we're going through see that improve for the weekend.

Temperatures are firmly in the -7 range with the wind-chill making it feel like -14. Saturday, Sunday and Monday are looking good bringing more snow to our hill. Let's hope the forecast rain for Tuesday doesn't materialize.

The runs open are in relatively good shape but are fairly tracked out by mid day so come early if you're coming.


Currently planned operating lifts:

Central quad
Central number 2 lift


Official snow depth:

30cm   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Friday 16th December 2016, 16:11pm
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
Snow keeps falling here in Minakami.

There was a brief clear patch this morning and its backed off a bit in the past hour or two but more snow is forecast tonight so the weekend is shaping up to be a good one.

Hodaigi and Norn to open tomorrow, Tenjin is running full steam and was yesterday too...


Official snow depths:

110cm Tenjin
50cm Hodaigi
30cm Okutone


Currently part open

Okutone Snow Park
Tanigawa Tenjindaira

Planned opening dates of ski resorts in Minakami

Saturday (tomorrow!):
Minakami Hodaigi
Minakami Kogen Fujiwara
Norn Minakami

Thursday 22nd December:
Tanigawa Onsen White Valley

Friday 23rd December:
Minakami Kogen Ski Resort
Oh-ana   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Madarao Now
16th Jul, 11:46pm
Grandeco Now
16th Jul, 11:27am
Niseko Now
16th Jul, 11:26am
Yuzawa Now
29th Jun, 17:50am
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