Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 30th May 2020

Zao Now!

Wednesday 17th January 2018, 7:28am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Zao.

Rain today? Snow? Hopefully the latter but I think we are going to get rained on in the village at least today.

I'll let you know tomorrow morning.

Next potential decent snow after that seems to be due around Monday.


Lifts and course info:

- All lifts operating (apart from Karamatsu, which is rested on normal weekdays)
- All areas open

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 135cm
- Paradise area: 150cm
- Chuo area: 150cm
- Utopia area: 160cm
- Uwanodai area: 90cm
- Oomori area: 90cm


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:

January 2018: 20th-21st, 27th-31st
February 2018: every day
March 2018: 1st-4th   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Wednesday 17th January 2018, 7:30am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Nozawa.

After the fine weather of the last few, today isn't going to be as nice.

In fact there are some spots of rain early morning - as can be seen on one of the base webcam images below - and rain is indeed still forecast for the day today. A high of around +6C is expected in the village today.

What we can hope for today and tomorrow is snow higher up and as little rain as possible please.

I'll update you again tomorrow of course.


Wednesday 17th January 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): 260cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 210cm
- Hikage (660m): 155cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 140cm
- Karasawa (563m): 110cm

Lifts operations:

- All scheduled lifts should 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):

- Challenge 39
- Grand Prix
- Kandahar   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Wednesday 17th January 2018, 7:48am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa.

Not the best of mornings though, I'm afraid. There has been some light rain early on - though it was holding off as I went outside just now - and as expected the chance of rain falling is going to loom over us today and tomorrow as temperatures rise to 8C and possibly even a little more in town.

Limited visibility on mountain by the looks of the webcams as we approach 8am.

Hopefully, we can get some snow out of this at higher elevations. All fingers crossed.

It's good to see some moderate-heavy snow now appearing on the forecast for early next week. We'll be in need of it to fresh things up.


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


Updated: Wednesday 17th January 2018

Ski resorts in Yuzawa:

GALA Yuzawa
- 230cm

- 140cm

- Kagura area: 320cm
- Mitsumata area: 220cm
- Tashiro area: 270cm

Kandatsu Kogen
- 205cm

- 220cm (base)

NASPA Ski Garden
- 180cm

Yuzawa Kogen
- Top: 220cm
- Base: 160cm

Yuzawa Park
- 140cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
- 135cm


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

Ishiuchi Maruyama
- 180cm

Joetsu Kokusai
- 200cm

Maiko Snow Resort
- Top: 190cm
- Base: 110cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- Closed on Wednesdays between 10th January and 14th March (!)
- 250cm   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Wednesday 17th January 2018, 7:51am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

It's white out this morning. Warm with fog - and not just on the ski hills but also in the village is foggy. And it will likely be rain in the afternoon today.

Not the best of news, to be sure and it will be better to be skiing in the morning, though visibility around base area is very poor like I said. So be careful when you ski.

It is much clearer up in higher elevation area, around the gondola top station, take a look the third picture.

The good and hopeful news is that rain will change into snow overnight tonight. I hope!


Lifts operating:

- All lifts operating

Courses open:

- All courses open

Official snow depth:
- 250cm

- Grandeco snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Wednesday 17th January 2018, 8:32am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Hello and good morning.

Cloudy. Relatively warm with the temperature above zero. And a bit of a southerly blowing wind.

Rain is holding off just where I am now but I am seeing some of the resort areas are actually reporting rain. Hmmm.

Actually it was wet snow earlier on when I got up but that has also stopped for now.

Let's get back to mid-winter shall we, please? Still holding out for the chance of snow later and overnight.

And the forecast is looking good for decent snowfall come Monday.


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



180cm   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Wednesday 17th January 2018, 8:34am
Weather conditions: Clouds over mountain still, sunshine
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning Niseko fans.

Just about 1cm of fresh snow to be able to report to you this morning. That's not particularly exciting but the weather conditions today should score some extra points - it seems calm and the sun is out looking out from the resort. Still a lot of cloud above the upper parts of the mountain but perhaps conditions will clear up more; I suspect they will.

It is colder this morning as well and so rather icy out there.

The forecast looks nice and promising at the end of the week and into next week so we should hopefully be getting a good old full-on reset soon.

I have recorded 99cm of snowfall in January up until today. That's less than quarter of the snowfall I measured during the full month of December, so a noticeable slowdown. It was always going to be difficult to keep up that pace. But anyway a second half of January that is more December than the first half would be very nice. Onegai shimasu!


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -5℃, 1cm snowfall, calm. Moiwa800m: -6.5℃, W3.2m/s. Annupuri 1150m: -9.9℃, WNW4.1m/s. Hirafu1250m: -9℃, 2cm snowfall, calm. Coastal data: Benkei cape NNE6m/s, Kamui cape N5m/s, 1019hPa, 0.7m waves.

The isobars are spread out and the weather is calm over the Mountains and Seas. No snow clouds are present over the Sea of Japan and snowfall on the Niseko range is scarce. No notable development of snowdrifts and cornices as the wind remained calm. According to the observations, the general avalanche risk is low. Peak gates are expected to open from the morning. Ask for the patrol’s advice, be prepared for backcountry touring and always use the gates to step out of bounds.

Resort accessible areas are mostly tracked out. Beware of hidden bushes in the tree-runs. Mountains are never 100% safe. Be cautious at all times. The groomers conditions are wonderful this morning. Do not enter the strictly off limits areas such as Haru no Taki to seek fresh snow. Violators will be severely punished. Have a wonderful day.


Wednesday 17th January 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
- 'Early Morning' services from 8:00am until 8:20am (Ace Number 2 Center Four quad lift). Until 28th January. 500 yen special ticket required.

Official snow depth:
- Top: 365cm
- Base: 165cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts are generally operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 280cm
- Base: 170cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts apart from the Country Road Chair lift should be operating
- 'Early Gondola' service from 7:30am until 8:30am (Niseko Gondola). January 20th-21st, 27th-28th; February 3rd-4th. 1,400 yen special ticket required.

Official snow depth:
- Top: 270cm
- Base: 180cm


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, Banzai Chair
   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Wednesday 17th January 2018, 8:43am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Madarao.

Lovely weather yesterday with blue sky, sunshine and some wispy clouds.

Rain is never nice to report in winter, but sadly - and as expected - that is what is happening this morning.

I'll keep it short in protest.

Fingers firmly crossed we might get some fresh snow out of this by tomorrow morning.


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
Free Ride Park
Powder Theater
Adventure Aisle
Crystal Bowl

Kids Park
Snow Mobile Land

Planned nighta operations this season:

11th February 2018
Every Saturday between 4th January and 24th March 2018   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Wednesday 17th January 2018, 8:44am
Weather conditions: Foggy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from a slightly damp Naeba! Sadly, the clouds have rolled in but the temperature hasn't dropped sufficiently for us to get any snow. It's currently raining very lightly, making the pistes very spring-like. The air temperature is comfortably above 0°C and we should expect it to remain here until at least Thursday afternoon. The light is very flat today as a product of the high, moist clouds.

Looking forwards, we should expect the temperature to drop below 0°C again on Friday, and remain just below freezing into early next week. The wind is expected to remain light for the foreseeable future, meaning we have a short wait for the next storm system to blow through. Just popped up on the horizon is the next potential snow storm, with the forecast currently suggesting heavy snow on Monday. Keep your fingers crossed!

Shimetta!   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Wednesday 17th January 2018, 8:46am
Weather conditions: Rain
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

Well, the feeling is there! But it's not a particularly good morning... rather, it's raining down here at base.


It is trying to snow and in places around base wet snow is actually happening now. With temperatures set to rise a bit though, not sure if that can last.

I see that Happo are reporting 5cm of fresh snow at the top of the Adam gondola. No other resorts appear to be reporting fresh and there's none down at base. But snow does seem to be falling at higher elevations and we are still hopeful of some fresh numbers to report from the slopes tomorrow morning. Let's see.

Limited visibility in places too early on and these conditions may well affect some course/lift openings.

In the meantime I think more than a few people might take a day off today and either soak in an onsen or do some other 'cultural stuff'! That does mean of course that if you want to brave the conditions the slopes should be rather quiet.


Ski resort information on Wednesday 17th January 2018 (at time of writing):

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned

Courses open:
- All course are now open

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 345cm
- Usagidaira: 175cm
- Lower: 90cm


Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned (Alps Number 2 and 4 lifts usually operate on weekends only)

Courses open:
- All courses are open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 305cm
- Toomi: 115cm
- Iimori: 65cm


Hakuba 47

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned (Line D usually operates only when the Gondola is closed)

Courses open:
- All courses available apart from lower part of R-7 due to avalanche risk. Beginners recommended to take the Gondola back down to base

Official snow depth:
- Top: 270cm
- Base: 95cm


Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- Most lifts are operating as planned

Courses open:
- All course areas are open apart from some parts of Sawa-one and Kane-no-naru-oka Number 2

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori: 270cm
- Han-no-ki: 265cm
- Maruyama: 100cm
- Shirakaba: 225cm
- Champion: 110cm
- Oya-no-hara: 110cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: 120cm


Hakuba Cortina

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Number 4 and 5 are operating

Courses open:
- A number of courses closed today - check with resort if you plan on being there

Official snow depth:
- Top: 270cm
- Base: 160cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

Operating lifts:
- Most lifts are operating with most courses open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 180cm
- Base: 100cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Alps Number 7 and 10 are operating

Official snow depth:
- 235cm


Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Number 8 and 10 are operating

Official snow depth:
- 150cm


Hakuba Sanosaka

Operating lifts:
- All three lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 110cm


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
Kane-no-naru-oka area from 6pm until 8:50pm on 3rd, 10th, 11th February
Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6pm until 9pm on 20th, 27th January; 10th, 11th, 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 ...

Geto Kogen Now!

Wednesday 17th January 2018, 8:54am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
It was a mild day yesterday, partly cloudy on the mountain with temps hovering just above zero and some snow falling lightly into the evening. Today, overcast again with some light snow into this afternoon, then a chance of some heavy snow into this evening. We’re looking at just over 10cm of snow, but there's a chance of a couple mm of rain before we get it.

Tops of 3 degrees for this morning but those temps should drop as the day goes on. Little to no winds and good visibility.


Zones open include Summit, Rabbit, Beech & Stream. At this stage Shooter will remain closed until the main gondola is open.

News on Main Gondola:

At this time unfortunately the Main Gondola (Gondola 1) is closed for repair. The resort is working on the repairs, but it will require the next few weeks until it is back in operation. They estimate late January, early February for it to be back in action.


Official snow depths:

Top: 315cm
Base: 230cm

Nighta skiing operations are planned at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018.   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Wednesday 17th January 2018, 8:57am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
The warming began yesterday with what was pretty nice snow getting just a little heavier by mid-morning.

By yesterday afternoon, the fluffy white stuff was starting to look rather tired in the valleys and this morning, we have temps firmly above zero and the snow looks a bit grim. It is lightly precipitating and its rain but the volume is negligible. No need for a jacket etc.

The forecast is for this warm weather to continue throughout the day and some significant rain is expected this evening. The mountain forecast is for this rain to turn to snow sometime tonight and it looks like a reasonable amount at the top of Tenjin (1500m) but a small amount at the base. Last time rain was forecast we dodged the bullet so fingers crossed we do so again.

The longer term forecast is for a small snow tomorrow night, then clear through Monday and then some decent snow for a spell.


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 ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Wednesday 17th January 2018, 9:05am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, fog
New snowfall: 15cm
Snow depth: --
Hello from Appi,

Cloudy skies today and a lot of fog on the mountain. Don’t let that hold you back though as we have 15cm of fresh snow up there and very few people at the resort. If you’re heading up you’ll be guaranteed a great day.

Warmer temperatures today with clouds until tomorrow morning when we’ll see a drop in temperature and a little sunshine.

Perhaps some snow this evening and a smattering throughout the rest of the week and into the weekend.


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 quad
- Nishimori lift

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


Official snow depth:

190cm   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Wednesday 17th January 2018, 9:06am
Weather conditions: Rain and gray
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
A nice day by the fire... a cup of coffee... a good book... monkeys stewing in a hot spring.

Pick your preferred non-ski activity and this might be the morning to do it. It’s not nice out there - but this wasn't unexpected. The good thing is that snow does seem to be falling at the top of the hill, and the forecast for later in the day/evening is for snow. The one thing everyone around here agrees on is how strange it is to have rain in January, and to have the freezing level move so high during the early season. It’s going back down from today, but still hanging between 500 and 1000 meters. All good, as long as it means snow not rain.


Akakura Kanko:
260 cm, 1°

Akakura Onsen:
280cm, 0°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
210cm, 0°

Myoko Suginohara:
190cm, -1°

Seki Onsen:
330 cm, -1°

Myoko Ski Park:
200 cm, 3°

Kyukamura RunRun:
240 cm, 1°

Tangram Ski Circus:
200 cm, 1°

Madarao Kogen:
170 cm, -1°

Read more ...

Furano Now!

Wednesday 17th January 2018, 10:10am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
There has been a dusting of snow overnight and on the slopes this fresh layer is sitting on top of the grooming. The ski area is very very quiet this morning apart from some large Japanese school groups on the leaners slopes. Today will again be a warm day topping out at -2c, but with plenty of sun around there will be melt on roads and roofs. The forecast is showing continuous light snow from Thursday onwards.   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Shiga Kogen Now
30th May, 10:10
Geto Kogen Now
06th May, 15:13pm
Appi Kogen Now
23rd Apr, 17:30
Furano Now
22nd Apr, 10:12am
Madarao Now
20th Apr, 9:52am
Zao Now
20th Apr, 9:52am
Nozawa Onsen Now
20th Apr, 9:51am
Niseko Now
20th Apr, 9:50am
Naeba Now
20th Apr, 9:49am
Myoko Now
20th Apr, 9:48am
Minakami Now
20th Apr, 9:47am
Hakuba Now
20th Apr, 9:40am
Aizu Bandai Now
20th Apr, 9:38am
Yuzawa Now
20th Apr, 9:37am
Grandeco Now
06th Dec, 14:16am