Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 26th May 2019
Geto Kogen Now!
Wednesday 17th April 2019, 7:30am
Blue skies, some cloud
[Info as of 7:20am; webcam image photo below as of 11:50am]
Good morning from Geto Kogen.
There isn't much to report at the moment weather wise -- fine weather yesterday along with some strong winds but lifts remained operating. Calmer this morning but we are expecting fine weather over the next few days as temperatures begin to rise into mid to late teens down at base during the daytime. It should be a little cooler again from Friday and early next week but apart from some rain potential tomorrow night generally we are expecting clearer skies and sunshine.
Official snow depths:
* Top: 375cm * Base: 210cm
Planned operating lifts - subject to change due to weather:
* Number 1 Gondola * Number 1 pair lift
- Other lifts now closed for the season
Courses & Tree Runs - subject to change due to weather:
* All of the main official courses are available * All tree runs open Read more ...
Aizu Bandai Now!
Wednesday 17th April 2019, 8:22am
Sunny blue skies
Good morning from Urabandai.
It is a sunny morning with blue skies all around. It is getting warmer day by day at the moment but still quite cold during the night. This is making the slopes generally a bit icy this morning. Part of each of the lakes in Urabandai are still frozen.
It will be a sunny day until tomorrow with some rain forecast for the day after tomorrow.
The official snow depth at Grandeco is 210cm and 185cm at Nekoma.
Ski and cherry blossoms. Nice.
The photos for today are from Nekoma (the first two) and Grandeco.
Nekoma - lift 3/5, course 9/11 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 - see below for information on the 'walking link'
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 ...
Wednesday 17th April 2019, 8:43am
Fine and sunny, thin high cloud
Good morning from Yuzawa.
A fine and warm day yesterday and we are expecting another one of them today; with temperatures due to rise beyond 20C. (Yesterday afternoon when I drove past the temperature read out panel in Yuzawa it said 20C). There's some thin high cloud around this morning so more of an overcast look than yesterday.
More of the same due tomorrow.
Snow cover is still generally excellent at the open ski resorts. Even at the lower Kandatsu Kogen resort some bare patches are just now starting to show in places on the main lower course.
I think we can call that impressive for the middle of April, especially when you consider the snowfall patterns in the second half of this season.
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.
Photos from GALA Yuzawa and the now closed Ishiuchi Maruyama.
Updated: Wednesday 17th April 2019
GALA Yuzawa - Official snow depth: 230cm - 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: 250cm (Kagura); 220cm (Tashiro); 190cm (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: 145cm - 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 ...
Wednesday 17th April 2019, 8:47am
The strong spring weather has really settled in and we experienced a full day of spring rain earlier in the week. This was a real change from the usual winter precipitation of snow. This week is warming up substantially and this morning it is 8c and will head up to 15c by afternoon. The mountain snow coverage is still really good, and the upper half of the Furano Zone is providing some great spring conditions. Read more ...
Wednesday 17th April 2019, 8:51am
Clear blue skies and sunshine. Yey!
Good morning from Niseko.
It was very mild overnight last night and it is going to be a warm day today and tomorrow. The national TV news reports last night were excitedly talking about Hokkaido temperatures reaching 'June levels' over the next two days.
Come Friday though they are due to take a drop back down giving us some noticeably colder conditions.
At the time of writing (start of the days operations), the top lift at Niseko Annupuri appears to be on hold with their gondola operating at reduced speed. Strong westerlies are likely the reason for that.
Niseko Grand Hirafu is open as planned.
Ski resort operation information: Wednesday 17th April 2019 Planned resort operations - subject to change due to weather conditions
Niseko Village and Niseko HANAZONO areas are now closed for the 2018-2019 season Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Wednesday 17th April 2019, 9:01am
Blue sky, some cloud
Good morning from Nozawa.
It's sunny and warm with some cloud around this morning. Sun and spring warmth is expected both today and tomorrow.
Look for a dip in the temperature around Friday and maybe some rain but it should be generally skies for the weekend.
I was not out on the mountain yesterday and I can't make it today but as far as I can tell from official info sources, the only way back down to Isemiya/Hikage base area now is via the Rinkan (Forest) course. All other courses down to base now appear to be closed. There is a shuttle bus to take you back to Nagasaka if you want to get the gondola back up top.
It always seems to happen like this, but the ground has 'suddenly' almost totally been revealed at the base Karasawa area. It totally makes sense of course with the last few cm of the white(ish) snow melting away with the warmth suddenly making way for dark browns and green. There are more patches now also appearing on the Nagasaka area. Farmers will soon be getting busy on those areas.
But that hardly matters of course as we still have a lot of snow remaining up on the main open upper slopes.
May 6th should be no problem up there.
Wednesday 17th 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): 275cm - Uenotaira (1230m): 195cm - 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 - Kokenashi - Uenotaira - Paradise
As far as I can tell the Utopia A, Challenge, Mizunashi, Bunabayashi, Schneider, Rinkan (Forest) and Rinkan shortcut courses are also available for coming down the mountain. May change as conditions change. Other courses now closed. Free shuttle bus from Isemiya to Nagasaka available.
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 (as reported by resort): - Kurobishi: 290cm - Usagidaira: 185cm - Nakiyama: 20cm
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
Operating lifts (planned): - Grat quad - Alpen quad - Riesen quad - Nakiyama Number 3 triple - ADAM Gondola - Panorama pair - Kurobishi Number 2 quad - Skyline Number 2 pair
Official snow depth (as reported by resort): - Top: 250cm - Toomi: -cm - Iimori: -cm
Notes: - Top areas remain open - Alps Number 2/4 should be operating for Golden Week (27th Apr - 6th May) - You can still ride back down to Toomi base - Iimori and Toomi base area lifts are now closed - Hakuba Goryu plans to be open until Monday 6th May
Operating lifts (planned): - Goryu Telecabin (Gondola) - Alps Number 1 pair lift - Alps Number 2 pair lift
Official snow depth (as reported by resort): - Tsuga-no-mori: 260cm - Han-no-ki: 235cm - Oya-no-hara: 30cm - Others: -cm
Notes: - Tsuga-no-mori, Han-kou and Han-no-ki 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
Operating lifts (planned): - EVE Gondola - Tsuga Number 2 pair lift - Han-no-ki high speed pair lift - Tsugaike Ropeway (* a separate ticket is required) Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Wednesday 17th April 2019, 9:36am
Hello from Shiga Kogen.
The sun us out and it is going to be a fine day with warming temperatures in the daytime. Tomorrow too. High temps getting up to or around 10C. Colder conditions are expected on Friday with the chance of rain (perhaps even a little snow in higher places).
Come the weekend we should be back to warmer days and sunny skies with highs reaching around 10C once again.
Worth noting that up here in Shiga Kogen, even when it starts getting warm in the daytime, it can still get pretty cold overnight and you need to be aware of that and potentially icy road conditions.
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 Route 292 is closed during the winter and it opening means that you can 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: Wednesday 17th 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 ...
Wednesday 17th April 2019, 9:48am
Blue skies, thin high cloud
Good morning from Zao.
Some strong winds affecting lifts on Monday but clearer skies since then and warmer conditions expected over the next few days too. Temperatures will be rising to mid teens and possibly even higher during the day.
Ropeways aside, we are now down to just the Chuo Number 1 pair, Utopia 2 pair and Kurohime quad lifts operating on weekdays. The Yokokura lift is now taking a rest!
More patches of ground on show on the lower slopes. Always kind of sad to see, but still a lot of fun left higher up.
The Zao Echo Line road should be opening up from 11am on Friday 26th April.
It is planned to be closed from 5pm until 8am from that day until mid May due to the chance of icy conditions overnight.
These are the planned lift closing dates as stated by the resort. There may be slight variations and they are also of course subject to change depending on snow conditions. Please check with the resort before going.
Operating until 6th May: - Chuo Number 1 pair - Chuo Number 2 pair: operating on 20th, 21st, 27th, 28th, 29th April, 3rd-6th May
Operating as long as snow allows: - Kurohime quad - Utopia Number 2 pair
Operating through the year (for sightseeing): - Sky Cable - Chuo Ropeway - Zao Ropeway
* Other ski lifts already closed * All dates subject to change depending on snow conditions Read more ...