Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 5th May 2018

Geto Kogen Now!

Friday 16th February 2018, 7:07am
Weather conditions: Cloud, some sun
New snowfall: 25cm
Snow depth: --
As predicted, yesterday was a little messy out there. Fresh snow, yes, but with the 85km winds most of that fresh stuff was hidden elsewhere — though it definitely was there if you wanted to find it! We saw tops of -7C and with moderate winds out there, sure was nippy.

Today — after some light snow showers overnight and strong winds similar to yesterday, 25cm of snow but on the bright side (literally), the sun is out! Not completely, there are some clouds and we are expecting some snow showers into the afternoon, but nonetheless it appears we’re getting our weekly dose of sunshine.

Tops of -4C at the bottom, -8C at the top and some light winds for the most part of the day. A chance of a snow shower this evening.

After the past half week or so of heavy snowfall the resort finally had the chance to open the trees (when the resort gets close to a metre of snow, its safest to close the areas and let it settle for obvious safety reasons, also makes it easier to ride). So strap on the helmet and get in there, it should be magic and from all reports, it was a quiet day on the mountain yesterday so it won’t be too tracked out this morning.

As for upcoming snowfall, Saturday is looking our best bet with about 20cm into Sunday morning, but unfortunately we’re also seeing some very strong winds forecast (70km+), so we’ll just have to wait and see what this will make of the snow conditions…

Saturday: light/heavy snow, tops of -4C, strong winds
Sunday: light snow, tops of -8C, moderate winds
Monday: snow showers, tops of -5C, moderate winds


Official snow depths:

Top: 520cm
Base: 380cm

Night skiing operations are scheduled at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018

The Number 2 Gondola is currently open on weekends and national holidays   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Friday 16th February 2018, 7:52am
Weather conditions: Clear
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
Snow and strong winds at Tenjin all day yesterday.

Hodaigi was clear, calm and scored some snow starting mid to late afternoon.

It snowed all night and once again just a small accumulation at the base but it's blue today and Tenjin has had yet another complete reset.

The word from Tenjin yesterday was bottomless and today looks even better.


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 ...

Yuzawa Now!

Friday 16th February 2018, 7:57am
Weather conditions: Cloudy but perhaps clearing (sun appearing to the north)
New snowfall: 9cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa.

Light snow was falling for lots of the time during the day yesterday though it didn't amount to that much; and I'm happy to report more than was perhaps expected overnight with snow on the ground again this morning. Still not a huge amount but resorts appear to be reporting 5-10cm of snowfall.

Kagura: 5cm
Ishiuchi Maruyama: 10cm
Maiko Snow Resort: 15cm

With a few from yesterday I am measuring 9cm this morning.

Snow isn't expected to keep falling for long this morning, easing off leaving us with just cloudy skies. Maybe if we are lucky a bit of sun later on. That is the forecast.

But actually, as I am about to post this report approaching 8am, there are already some blue skies starting to appear over Minamiuonuma just to the north of Yuzawa and the sun is peeking through... so it may well end up a fine day weather wise.

With that bit of fresh snow, there should be nice conditions to enjoy this morning.

The forecast for the weekend is a return to more snow falling and perhaps some windy/stormy conditions. So come prepared!


There are a lot of visitors to Yuzawa from overseas at the moment, many of them celebrating the Chinese New Year holidays.

A very Happy Chinese New Year!

This weekend is also the Tokamachi Snow Festival which is always worth a visit if possible with events and impressive snow sculptures. Tokamachi city is about 30km to the north of Yuzawa.


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


Updated: Friday 16th February 2018

Ski resorts in Yuzawa:

Checked and updated every morning. Note that some ski resorts may not have updated their own info at the time this report is published.

GALA Yuzawa
- 300cm

- 190cm

- Kagura area: 350cm
- Mitsumata area: 250cm
- Tashiro area: 300cm

Kandatsu Kogen
- 240cm

- 240cm (base)

NASPA Ski Garden
- 230cm

Yuzawa Kogen
- Top: 280cm
- Base: 230cm

Yuzawa Park
- 180cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
- 170cm


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

Ishiuchi Maruyama
- 250cm

Joetsu Kokusai
- 240cm

Maiko Snow Resort
- Top: 250cm
- Base: 160cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- Closed on Wednesdays until 14th March
- 350cm   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Friday 16th February 2018, 8:03am
Weather conditions: Fair
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

It is a beautiful morning with blue skies all around. Lovely.

There is a gentle wind, it's good and cold, the snow condition is a little core but still good quality.

Enjoy the great view of the mountains but don’t forget to protect your eyes and face from the strong sunshine.

Excellent day to be on the slopes.

A return to snowfall from tomorrow is expected.


Lifts operating:

- All lifts operating

Courses open:

- All courses open

Official snow depth:
- 340cm

- Grandeco snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Friday 16th February 2018, 8:27am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy
New snowfall: 6cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Nozawa.

There's lots of cloud around this morning but some blue sky too and perhaps things will clear up more.

Since yesterday the resort is reporting up to 16cm of fresh snow (Uenotaira) and 5-10cm on lower areas so there's a fresh layer out there.

Tomorrow should see a return to snow falling along with the chance of some stronger winds too, and the snow might continue into Sunday.

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone visiting Nozawa and celebrating!


Friday 16th February 2018

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

- Yamabiko (1407m): 10cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 16cm
- Hikage (660m): 10cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 10cm
- Karasawa (563m): 5cm

Official snow depth numbers:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 325cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 275cm
- Hikage (660m): 195cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 195cm
- Karasawa (563m): 145cm

Lifts operations:

- All scheduled lifts appear to be operating as normal.
- The Yunomine pair, Mizunashi triple, Challenge pair and Utopia pair lifts usually rested on weekdays.
- The cross country

The following courses either closed (or not fully available):

- Grand Prix
- Kandahar East   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Friday 16th February 2018, 8:29am
Weather conditions: Cloudy but more blue sky appearing
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

And to those celebrating today, a very Happy Chinese New Year! Many visitors here in Hakuba at the moment so there should be some celebrations going on this weekend.

I don't know about you but I was over at Iwatake yesterday afternoon for a short time and visibility was... limited! Foggy conditions meaning there wasn't much to see out there at all. Things look clearer this morning.

And here are the fresh snowfall headlines:

Hakuba Goryu: reporting 2cm up top
Hakuba 47: reporting 5cm
Hakuba Cortina: reporting 2-3cm
Hakuba Happo-one: reporting 3cm (top Gondola base)

Cloudy conditions this morning but increasingly blue skies and some sunshine. It feels like it is going to clear and be a very fine day.

We're due for some more fresh snowfall tomorrow perhaps into Sunday - tomorrow might be snowy, cold and windy so if you are planning on being here for the weekend come prepared for those kinds of conditions.

Have fun!


Ski resort information on Friday 16th February 2018 (at time of writing):

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- Lifts should be operating as normal
- Top lifts on hold at start of the day? (Unclear)

Courses open:
- All courses should be open as normal
- Happo Banks is now open

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 410cm
- Usagidaira: 255cm
- Lower: 130cm


Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- Lifts should be operating as normal
- The top Alps Number 2/4 pair lifts are scheduled to be open daily until 18th March

Courses open:
- All courses should be open as normal

Official snow depth:
- Top: 415cm
- Toomi: 155cm
- Iimori: 132cm


Hakuba 47

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned
- Line D usually operates only when the Gondola is not operating

Courses open:
- All main courses available

Official snow depth:
- Top: 365cm
- Base: 160cm


Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- Lifts should be opening as normal

Courses open:
- All course areas are open

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori: 330cm
- Han-no-ki: 315cm
- Maruyama: 135cm
- Shirakaba: 260cm
- Champion: 170cm
- Oya-no-hara: 150cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: 175cm


Hakuba Cortina

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart should be operating

Courses open:
- All courses should be open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 350cm
- Base: 205cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

Operating lifts:
- Should be opening as normal

Courses open:
- Most areas open; some restrictions on the Village Side due to competitions (13th-16th Feb)

Official snow depth:
- Top: 230cm
- Base: 140cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Number 7 should be operating as planned

Official snow depth:
- 245cm


Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Number 8 should be operating

Official snow depth:
- 210cm


Hakuba Sanosaka

Operating lifts:
- All three lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 150cm


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
Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6pm until 9pm on 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 ...

Niseko Now!

Friday 16th February 2018, 8:30am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 17cm
Snow depth: --

Happy Chinese New Year!

And to celebrate, how about lots of fresh new snowfall once again. I have 17cm to add to my observed snowfall here at base, with most of that coming from yesterday. Check out the Avalanche report below; their numbers are 30-40cm of fresh at higher elevations. In short - lots more fresh snow since yesterday.

It was snowing still when I got up earlier, but as I started writing this report there was actually some sunshine coming through my window and the snow had eased off. Since then and as I get to post the report, the sun is back in hiding and there is some very light snow falling. There's a bit of wind blowing the flags I can see across the road and it looks like the top lift at Annupuri is going to be on hold. Latest info on lifts as I post the report below...

The forecast remains good for continued snowy conditions over the coming week. Look out for some potential heavy snow and winds tomorrow.


I was just looking at the numbers from previous seasons (below).

Last season I observed 160cm of snowfall during the full month of February. With todays haul, my number for this month in the first 16 days is close to that at 156cm. Still a ways to go before reaching the 266cm I observed in February 2016. Let's see if we can 'beat' that. If the forecasts are right, I think we might.


This weekend the busiest weekend of the season? It may well be. Have you booked a restaurant yet? If not, be sure to get to the convenience store quickly before it sells out! ;)


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -7℃, 40cm snowfall in the last 24 hours. Moiwa 800m: -10.2℃, NW19,6m/s at 4am, 30cm snowfall with snowdrift/cornice development. Annupuri 1150m: -13℃, stormy condition, bad visibility, 350cm snowpack at 1000m elevation. Hirafu 1250m: -13℃, strong NW wind, 30cm snowfall with heavy snowdrift development. Coastal data: Benkei cape NW14m/s, Kamui cape NW11m/s, 1011hPa, 2.2m waves.

Storm continues and the growing cornices/snowdrifts are very unstable. The avalanche risk in Mikaeri Bowl, Back bowl, Osawa and far side Higashi-One is very high and will remain high all day even if the wind calms down. Peak gates will be closed. Do not duck ropes to access fresh tracks.

The conditions in the trees is awesome, however better stick on ridge terrain to ride down and stay away from gullies and slopes with cornices above. Choose your route wisely today. Ride one by one and do not stay put at the bottom of the valleys. Stay within controllable speed and watch out for cracks. Better not stimulate cornices and knoll terrains.

Is your avalanche beacon switched on? Are you wearing a helmet? Although not mandatory, it is highly recommended to wear those safety equipment. A strong north westerly wind is persisting above 1000m elevation. Don’t push is too far and have a great day.


Friday 16th February 2018

Resort specific information (operations subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts (apart from King Number 2) should be operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 490cm
- Base: 245cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts should be operating
- The top Jumbo Number 4 lift is on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds

Official snow depth:
- Top: 380cm
- Base: 250cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts (apart from the Country Road Chair lift) should be operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 380cm
- Base: 270cm


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   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Friday 16th February 2018, 8:44am
Weather conditions: Some clearing now to the east
New snowfall: 16cm
Snow depth: --
One last day of making a highly educated guess here (the flu must not win!) but one aided with at least one ruler-augmented poke in the snow, if not in the formal snow plot.

Happy to say we got way more than the 2cm predicted by Niigata prefecture. That’s good news; also, despite a high-pressure cell off the coast that probably is responsible for today’s slight rise in the freezing level - but only to 800 meters this time - the freezing level is going back down to sea level and snow should continue to fall.

The winds have quieted down, which is good news all around (all the lifts are running today, and the really high winds on the peaks yesterday hopefully have calmed for the climbing set).


Akakura Kanko:
330 cm, -7°

Akakura Onsen:
375cm, -6°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
255cm, -4°

Myoko Suginohara:
225cm, -16°

Seki Onsen:
430 cm, -5°

Myoko Ski Park:
290 cm, -1°

Kyukamura RunRun:
350 cm, -3°

Tangram Ski Circus:
220 cm, -5°

Madarao Kogen:
230 cm, -5°

Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Friday 16th February 2018, 9:05am
Weather conditions: Partly Cloudy
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba! It's a beautiful start to the day here, with light, fluffy clouds clinging to the mountainsides backed with bright blue skies. There has been a dusting of fresh snow at the base, suggesting there should be a little more up the mountain. The pistes are again in fantastic conditions. For the remainder of today, we can expect the skies to stay clear until at least lunchtime, when there is a chance of higher cloud pushing in and hiding the sunshine. The air temperature will be around 0°C for most of today, at the base.

Looking forwards, we can expect the air temperature to plummet tomorrow afternoon, as a result of a cold block of air pushing in from the north west. This will be brought in by some strong winds, which may strengthen to up to 45kmph at the base overnight on Saturday. This air will bring some moderate snowfall with it also. Temperatures will remaining well below 0°C until at least Monday, as with the snow. Accumulations are estimated to be modest after the heaviest snow on Saturday night.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Friday 16th February 2018, 11:07am
Weather conditions: Fine > cloudy
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
Apologies for late report today - flu has struck out Shiga Kogen reporter, so we are filling in

Looks like it should be a good day with snow due again over the weekend.

Should be back to normal 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




Okushiga Kogen

Sun Valley

Takamagahara Mammoth



250cm   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Friday 16th February 2018, 11:28am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 8cm
Snow depth: --
The resort is being hit by light winds at the moment and at the same time it is snowing very lightly, but little is accumulating on the ground. However yesterday post report and overnight accumulation has amounted to 8 cm, which is pretty good.
The day is overcast with gray skies. It is not cold at -4°C, but adding in the windchill factor it feels pretty cold out there.   Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Friday 16th February 2018, 14:30pm
Weather conditions: Clear
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
Hello from Appi,

Apologies for the missed reports over the last few days.

Amongst other things, we’ve actually been digging out from the massive amounts of snow we’ve had the last 3 days here... so here’s a recap.

Wednesday offered up 30cm of snowfall which settled quite nicely in anticipation for the net days deluge. It was relatively windy that day with cloudy skies.

Thursday brought us snow fall we haven’t seen in a long time here. 50cm of snowfall in a 12 hour period. Needless to say most of the lifts were closed, the roads were impassable and anything outside was virtually unrecognizable. While we tried to dig ourselves out those venturing up to the mountain were frustrated with the lack of open runs but still had a decent time of it.

Today brings clear skies with an additional 10cm overnight is going to make the conditions on the mountain probably the best we’ve seen all season. Sunny skies will reign most of the day here with fairly light winds and maybe sporadic light snowfall.

On the Appi official newscast all but one lift is open although I somewhat doubt it. I’ve got a feeling that they are working feverishly to get the gondolas and lifts working so people can utilize all of the hill. Expect the groomed runs to offer some tremendous times and those venturing into the trees and up to Mt.Nishimori can expect waist deep powder with all of it untouched. Who said Appi didn’t have enough Off piste powder !   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Friday 16th February 2018, 20:58pm
Weather conditions: Lots of cloud, bit of sunshine
New snowfall: 7cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Madarao.

Some more snow this morning with the resort reporting 5cm and me measuring a bit more. There is a lot of cloud around this morning, but the sun is making it through some clouds at the moment. The forecast appears to point to cloud with the chance of clearer skies at times for the day today. Same forecasts call for snow to return for the day tomorrow.

It is Chinese New Year today so happy Chinese New Year to visitors to our region for their holidays.

It'll be a busy weekend so I recommend and early start 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
River Line
Free Ride Park
Powder Theater
Adventure Aisle
Crystal Bowl

Kids Park

Planned nighta operations this season:

Every Saturday until 24th March 2018   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Myoko Now
06th Oct, 15:27am
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
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