Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 24th May 2019
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Thursday 18th April 2019, 7:37am
Clear and sunny
Hello from Nozawa.
Clearer blue skies this morning and we have another warm day ahead of us.
It does seem there may be some light rain tomorrow morning and it won't be as warm, with a high of around 10C (rather than the 18C or so forecast for today).
Two and a half weeks left. (Is it a case of "just!!" or "still!!"?)
Thursday 18th 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): 270cm - Uenotaira (1230m): 190cm - 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 (part), Rinkan (Forest) and Rinkan shortcut courses are also available for coming down the mountain. 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.
Yesterday while it was warm - getting up to around 20C in town - the skies were more overcast than clear and blue, but this morning we have those clear skies and the forecast is for the temperature to be slightly higher than yesterday.
Light rain is forecast overnight and early morning and it should be much cooler, closer to 10C with cloudy skies.
Beyond that it's sunshine all the way into at least the middle of next week as things warm up once again.
Spring is really taking hold now. Some blossoms are already starting to come out - the cherry blossom season is just ahead of us. Get your blue mat ready!
Photos from GALA Yuzawa and the now closed Ishiuchi Maruyama.
Updated: Thursday 18th April 2019
GALA Yuzawa - Official snow depth: 220cm - All courses in the Central Area remain open - Broadway, Swan, Super Swan and Super Broadway in the Northern Area 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 back down to base - 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: 140cm - 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 ...
Thursday 18th April 2019, 8:00am
Mostly clear blue skies
Good morning from Niseko.
Toasty! And that's not just talking about my beloved choice of breakfast.
Yes, it's really warm at the moment. Niseko Grand Hirafu is actually saying 15C at base as of 7:30am. My thermometer is saying 13C, even after I shake it a bit. (Probably not a good idea). Whatever... it's warm.
It's sunny too - a fine spring morning. There is just some thin cloud in places around over our mountain; clearer over towards Mt Yotei.
Tomorrow it is due to suddenly get colder again though with the temperature pulling back to single digits and things should remain similarly cooler into next week. So it seems that these last few days have been the abnormal rather than the general pattern of things.
It should be a fine day to be enjoying the outdoors. And that's what I plan to do.
After some extra toast.
Ski resort operation information: Thursday 18th 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 ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Thursday 18th April 2019, 8:08am
Many apologies for the unavoidable break in reporting in the first half of April. We have added some reports to record snowfall since then.
There was some decent snowfall at the end of March and the first few days of April but that was the last of the accumulation to report.
The resort is still open, mainly the central area with the Gondola and three other lifts operating.
The rain we have been getting, along with warming temperatures, hasn't been helping the snow remain. However, all being well part of the ski lifts and courses at Appi hope to remain open until the end of Golden Ween on 6th May.
Looking forward, there is a chance of some light rain overnight tonight but beyond that there's lots more sunshine forecast... though over the coming weekend it shouldn't be quite as warm as it has been these last few days.
A further report will be posted next week.
Planned lift operations & course areas (subject to change due to weather conditions):
- Appi Gondola - Central Quad lift - Central Number 2 - Central Number 3A
- Hayabusa upper area - Hayabusa lower - Ootaka lower - Kakesu - Yamabato - Shirakaba - Sailer Long upper - Number 1 Sailer A Read more ...
Thursday 18th April 2019, 8:19am
Clear blue skies
Good morning from Hakuba.
Yesterday ended up being rather cloudy but this morning it is a beauty of a morning with clear blue skies all around and calm conditions.
The Hakuba mountains are looking magnificent.
It is going to be another warm day today. Tomorrow will likely see things getting a little colder once again with maybe some rain early morning.
Ski resort information on Thursday 18th April 2019: The below info is checked manually each morning and believed to be correct at time of report.
Official snow depth (as reported by resort): - Kurobishi: 285cm - Usagidaira: 180cm - 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: 230cm - Toomi: -cm - Iimori: -cm
Notes: - Top areas remain open - You can still ride back down to Toomi base - Iimori and Toomi base area lifts are now closed - Alps Number 2/4 should be operating for Golden Week (27th Apr - 6th May) - 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: 255cm - Han-no-ki: 230cm - Oya-no-hara: 30cm - Others: -cm
Notes: - Tsuga-no-mori, Han-kou and Han-no-ki course areas remain open - You can still ride down to the lower part of Han-no-ki course - All base courses are now closed - ride the Gondola back down to base - Other course areas are now closed - 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 ...
Aizu Bandai Now!
Thursday 18th April 2019, 9:14am
Fair, sun, some cloud
Good morning from Urabandai.
Beautiful blue skies again with just a bit of cloud and it is very warm.
There is still a lot of snow on the slopes but it warming up and with some rain forecast for tomorrow. I am not sure how long the snow will be able to remain with this spring weather.
The Nekoma - Alts walking link (details below) will open again this Saturday and Sunday. Realistically that might well be the last chance to experience that for this season.
Forecasts say: rain likely on Friday; fair/cloudy on Saturday and Sunday.
The photos today are all from Nekoma.
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 AT TIME OF REPORT - BUT OPEN 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 ...