Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 5th May 2018

Geto Kogen Now!

Saturday 17th February 2018, 7:02am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 25cm
Snow depth: --

A calm day on the hill yesterday for the most part, we saw tops of -4C and mainly light winds, with some light snow falling throughout the day.

Today, we’ve woken up to 20cm of fresh snow, and the winds have picked up quite a bit, we’re looking at some mainly strong winds throughout the day and some moderate snow to continue into the afternoon. The winds are going to be particularly nippy, with the wind chill getting down to -21C.

The moderate snow should turn to heavy snow into tonight, with hopefully about 25cm to fall from now, into tomorrow morning. As for the next couple of days — this is the only snow we’re going to see for what looks like another few days, but with these chilly forecasted temps it should stay right where it is…

Sunday: light snow, moderate winds, tops of -10C
Monday: snow showers, moderate winds tops of -5C
Tuesday: clear with a chance of snow showers, light/moderate winds, tops of -7C


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!

Saturday 17th February 2018, 7:20am
Weather conditions: Clear for now!
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
It may well have been the best day of the season up there yesterday, perfect weather, excellent snow quality with about 30cm of fresh in the backcountry and about 30 people on the mountain to get it. There are still plenty of fresh lines up there if anyone is planning a trip to Tenjin today. At some point this morning though, it looks like big snow and strong winds are on the way. Solid snowfall is expected to continue right through tomorrow.


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 ...

Zao Now!

Saturday 17th February 2018, 7:45am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 15cm
Snow depth: --
Sorry for the missed report yesterday.

It has been a snowy few days and it's snowy morning with quite a lot of people around.

Limited visibility and a moderate wind this morning along with cold conditions. Not helping my mild case of flu I seem to be suffering from at the moment... there's lots of it about.

Snow might continue through the day today and into tomorrow too, though perhaps less so.

Chinese New Year weekend and quite a number of visitors from overseas here at the moment.


Lifts and course info:

- All lifts appear to be opening as scheduled
- Note: the Karamatsu pair lift usually only operates on weekends
- All areas open

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 200cm
- Paradise area: 240cm
- Chuo area: 240cm
- Utopia area: 260cm
- Uwanodai area: 155cm
- Oomori area: 175cm


Zao Onsen forecast:

Zao Onsen 6-day snow and weather forecast

Floodlit night skiing is planned as follows:

In the Uwanodai area:
Daily until Sunday 4th March 2018
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 9th March until Sunday 18th March 2018

In the Yokokura area:
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only until Sunday 18th February 2018
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 2nd March until Sunday 11th March 2018

Night time 'light up' sightseeing ropeway is planned for the following dates:

February 2018: every day
March 2018: 1st-4th   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Saturday 17th February 2018, 8:31am
Weather conditions: Clouds
New snowfall: 21cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Niseko.

More fresh snow this morning with 21cm measured and added to my reports.

Not bad... not bad.

(I'm just kidding - it's really great!)

But forgive me for refraining from my head overheating and exploding (or is that imploding?) due to overuse of cheesy over-the-top descriptions. It's kind of amusing in a weary kind of way, but I'll leave that kind of stuff for bar talk and marketing dudes.

Some heavier snow was falling earlier on this morning. That had eased a little while ago, but as of 8:20am it is snowing lightly again. Is that the sun breaking through some clouds again? Confusing!

Anyway, bottom line - lots of people around with exciting regular snowfall that is filling in tracks. All is good and I'm glad that Niseko is delivering for this very busy period. Hope some of you are out enjoying it.



You might notice that the official snow depth for the upper part of Niseko Grand Hirafu has now bust through the 5m mark. Let's comparing:

Niseko Grand Hirafu: 510cm
Niseko Village: 390cm
Niseko Annupuri: 390cm

Why the big difference some of you ask? Well, that's best asked of the people providing such numbers - ie. not me or SnowJapan.

In my humble opinion, official snow depth numbers are an interesting 'background number' looking at the season as a whole. A big base is of course great for a potentially long season: but it's always the amount of freshly fallen snow that is the much more important bit of info. You might notice that some resorts in Japan almost never change their official snow depth, over long periods when there are milder conditions and also fresh snowfall. Check out Kagura (in Yuzawa, Niigata) as a good example. That has to be one of the most unrealistically static bits of data out there!


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -6℃, 15cm snowfall. Moiwa800m: -7.8℃, SE5.7m/s, 20cm snowfall, no snowdrift. Annupuri1150m: -9℃, SE10m/s, 20cm snowfall. Hirafu1250m: -10℃, SE15m/s, 10cm snowfall. Coastal data: Benkei cape S7m/s, Kamui cape SE2m/s, 998hPa, 0.6m waves.

Calm morning, with typical pre low-pressure snowfall since before dawn. Looking at the past 12 hours snowfall transition and test results, the snowdrifts that developed until yesterday are now mostly stable. The general avalanche risk is relatively low. Gates opening is yet to be decided. Please follow the patrol’s instructions.

Many uneven layers are still present in the snowdrifts that developed in the past 4 days. Avalanches from deeper layers caused by strong stimulations, such as falling cornices, are to be highly expected. Stay away from cornice slopes and gullies even if the gates open. Many of the past avalanche accidents occurred when skiing unstable wind-loaded steep slopes during and just after stormy conditions.

Today’s snow is quite better than yesterday’s. Avoid cornices and drop in from the ridges. Do not cut/traverse knolls. Stay alert as heavy low-pressure snowfall can cause loose snow avalanches in the forests. Beware of hidden cracks. The snowfall will pick up again as the low-pressure passes.

Have a nice day.


Saturday 17th 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
- Top Ace, King Number 4 and Hanazono Number 3 lifts on hold at the start of the day due to weather conditions

Official snow depth:
- Top: 510cm
- Base: 250cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts should be operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 390cm
- Base: 260cm

Niseko Village

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

Official snow depth:
- Top: 390cm
- Base: 280cm


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 ...

Naeba Now!

Saturday 17th February 2018, 8:34am
Weather conditions: Partly Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba! It's a clear start in the Mikuni valley today. After a cold night last night, ice is rife around the resort, with temperatures plummeting to as low as -10°C. The skies are currently clear, but do not expect this to last long. Moderate snowfall should commence this afternoon, and continue through the night. Strong winds of up to 45kmph are predicted in the valley tonight, with gusts as high as 65kmph at the top of the mountain. Snow accumulation are predicted to be a moderate 20cm over the next 24 hours. The air temperature will drop significantly after lunch, so be sure to pack some layers today.

Looking forwards, we can expect the snow to continue until Monday morning, but with far lesser accumulations tomorrow. The wind will continue to play a significant role until Monday also. The air temperature will struggle to pass -6°C through this stormy period, but things should warm up again on Monday to a more temperate -2°C. From Monday onwards, the forecast indicates a mix of light snow, cloud and clear skies. Winds are expected to remain below 20kmph and the air temperature will be hovering around just below 0°C.    Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Saturday 17th February 2018, 8:34am
Weather conditions: Earlier clearer skies clouded over
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa.

A fine morning yesterday with the sun coming out and then more cloud moving in again later in the day.

This morning started off with clearer skies again, but it has clouded over pretty quickly and as of 8:30am snow has started falling close to town level and snow is forecast for the day and into tomorrow.

GALA Yuzawa is going to be closed today due to forecast windy conditions through the day. Hopefully they will be back up and open tomorrow.

Other resorts appear to be opening as normal.

It's not particularly cold this morning but we are expecting winds to increase as the days go on and possibly some quite heavy snowfall too.

See you tomorrow.


Update about 30 minutes after above initial report was posted:

That snow has stopped and there's even a bit of sun. Difficult to read what is going to happen today - I'll update you tomorrow!


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

Updated: Saturday 17th 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
- 320cm

- 190cm

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

Kandatsu Kogen
- 240cm

- 250cm (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: 240cm
- Base: 150cm

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

Hakuba Now!

Saturday 17th February 2018, 8:36am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds back
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

Lots of cloud around yesterday but some blue sky too; no snow falling through the day.

But the snow clouds are back now and it has started falling again from early this morning.

Just a little fresh snow being reported by resorts so far this morning:

Hakuba Goryu: up to 5cm
Hakuba Cortina: 2-3cm
Hakuba Happo-one: 3cm (top Gondola station)

Hopefully some more (bigger) numbers to report tomorrow morning.

Hope you have a good Saturday.


Ski resort information on Saturday 17th February 2018 (at time of writing):

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- Lifts should be operating as normal

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

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 420cm
- Usagidaira: 255cm
- Lower: 125cm


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: 410cm
- 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: 320cm
- Han-no-ki: 305cm
- Maruyama: 130cm
- Shirakaba: 255cm
- Champion: 170cm
- Oya-no-hara: 145cm
- 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

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


Hakuba Norikura Onsen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts (apart from 1 and 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 ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Saturday 17th February 2018, 8:41am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Hello from Appi,

Cloudy skies this morning with some moderate snowfall and a fairly light breeze. The forecast calls for 30cm again today and it looks promising already. We can expect the clouds to stay with us all day and unfortunately we’ll be seeing the afternoon winds again. The forecast is for 20+m/s winds, that’s around 70kmh and with the snow you can expect unfriendly condition to reign late in the afternoon.

The weekend we’re expecting cloudy skies, stable temperatures around -8 to -10 at the base and fairly light winds. Overall the next few days should be fairly nice and the conditions on the mountain excellent for a little fun.


The Central Number 4 lift is not operating today due to 'snow removal'.


Planned lift operations (subject to change):

- APPI Gondola
- Central quad
- Central number 2 lift
- Central number 3 lift A
- Central number 5 lift
- Central number 6 lift
- Sailer gondola
- Sailer quad
- Vista quad
- Nishimori lift

Note: The Sailer Gondola, Central Number 4 lift and Vista quad are usually rested on normal weekdays


Official snow depth:

280cm   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Saturday 17th February 2018, 8:48am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Nozawa.

No cm of fresh snow to report this morning but it has started snowing lightly (more higher up). Snow due for the day and tomorrow?

The webcam shows very limited visibility on the upper slopes this morning, not so bad on lower base areas.

Nighta operations tonight from 5pm until 8pm on the Nagasaka area.


Saturday 17th February 2018

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

- Yamabiko (1407m): 0cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 0cm
- Hikage (660m): 0cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 0cm
- Karasawa (563m): 0cm

Official snow depth numbers:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 320cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 265cm
- Hikage (660m): 190cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 185cm
- Karasawa (563m): 140cm

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 following courses either closed (or not fully available):

- Grand Prix
- Kandahar   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Saturday 17th February 2018, 8:49am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds back
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Madarao.

I have no new cm of snowfall to report this morning, but it looks like the snow clouds are back for today and into tomorrow along with some forecast stronger winds later on today. It doesn't feel that cold this morning though with the expected winds perhaps it will during the day.

Here's to a snowy weekend.


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 ...

Grandeco Now!

Saturday 17th February 2018, 8:57am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

It is keeping cold meaning that the snow conditions are nice light and powder this morning - 3cm of fresh snow last night helps and it is falling on and off this morning.

According to the forecast, it will be the weather like this with snowing falling at times through tomorrow.

Should be a good weekend and the slopes will likely be busy.


Lifts operating:

- All lifts operating

Courses open:

- All courses open

Official snow depth:
- 340cm

- Grandeco snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Saturday 17th February 2018, 9:14am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Shiga Kogen.

I'm feeling a bit better this morning.

And it is good to see some snow falling outside my window, though I'm keeping wrapped up and inside myself over the weekend. I can see 1cm of snow on the top of my car outside so it looks like it could be quickly building up. (All this considering that it was actually much clearer very early on this morning).

The forecasts seem to be pointing to snowy (maybe windy) conditions into 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 ...

Myoko Now!

Saturday 17th February 2018, 10:41am
Weather conditions: Snowing
New snowfall: 6cm
Snow depth: --
Not a lot of snow up to know, but that snow is coming down very nicely. Myoko style (and its been a while since we’ve seen this kind of good, solid snowfall).

It’s also going to be a good, cold day, thanks to the low pressure cells in the Pacific pulling lots of cold air right down from the northwest.

Could be windy up high, too (it’s calm at base) - might even get windy lower down later in the day as well.


Akakura Kanko:
330 cm, -5°

Akakura Onsen:
370cm, -5°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
255cm, -4°

Myoko Suginohara:
220cm, -8°

Seki Onsen:
430 cm, -8°

Myoko Ski Park:
280 cm, -1°

Kyukamura RunRun:
320 cm, -3°

Tangram Ski Circus:
220 cm, -3°

Madarao Kogen:
230 cm, -4°

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