And on this morning Yakebitaiyama is reporting 10-15cm of snowfall on its slopes. More of a dusting in the Maruike area - there is some snow around the sides of the roads but the roads themselves are clear though wet.
This is my last report of the season as today is the last day of the season. (Possibly, see below).
The parts of Shiga Kogen that were planning on being open until 6th May have taken the decision to cut their season short due to the government announced state of emergency due to the coronavirus.
I think it is fair to say that up here in Shiga Kogen we have done better than many lower regions this season.
It has certainly been a unique season.
The generally warmer conditions and less snowfall than usual would have been big enough news without the covid-19 thing also appearing.
So here's to brighter news by the time we get to the other side of summer and a situation where we can look forward to the 2020-2021 winter season.
Take care everyone and see you later in the year.
From tomorrow all of the ski lifts will be closed.
Yokoteyama is saying that there is a chance that they might re-open after 6th May - depending on the state of emergency declaration and no doubt snow conditions too.
I will update the report nearer that time of they will be re-opening. Read more ...
Sunday 19th April 2020, 8:34am
Fine and sunny
General message from SnowJapan (added 20th April 2020):
Today is the last day of operations at Niseko Grand Hirafu and therefore all of the ski lifts here in Niseko. Particularly gnarly folk may well continue their adventures, but the official ski season at the ski areas ends at 4:30pm today.
It has been a rather sad and sudden - or perhaps not so sudden? - end to the 2019-2020 season. This is the first time I can remember the season not finishing at the end of Golden Week in early May. All for good reason, of course.
We end the season with Niseko Grand Hirafu still officially reporting a snow depth of 275cm on their upper slopes. (It’s a different discussion but worth noting that Niseko Annupuri were reporting 150cm on their upper slopes as of last Friday).
I find myself with little else to add to what I wrote a few weeks ago in my last monthly wrap up (here) and what I have been posting since then.
I suppose to sum up this season, in my humble opinion:
- Kind of odd - Flashes of excellence - ...but far from being a classic - Below average (for Niseko) - ...but good compared to lots of Japan - Coronavirus - 728cm of snowfall observed at base - Toast
While that final snowfall number might be low for us, I am guessing that many ski areas in the world would love to be able to get that much snow at base.
Here’s my final observed snowfall totals for each of the last 8 seasons, for your let’s comparing pleasure.
Remember, my observed numbers are from base – there is more snow up there on the mountain.
All of these numbers can be found on the data tables below, the archived reports and the Snowfall Analysis page of this section. There’s lots of reading to be had.
A big otsukaresama deshita to all the good people involved in helping everyone enjoy the winter here in Niseko. There are a lot of them.
To the many fine people I met on lifts and chatted with through the season: it was a pleasure. (Even if you didn’t know it was me!)
And a big shout-out and respect for my friends at SnowJapan.com for providing this truly wonderful and unique platform. I am not here without them. You can say 'thank you' to them simply by letting other people know about SnowJapan.com.
With my decision last Friday I thought that I was going to unfortunately be missing some reports if the ski areas had continued operating. In the end they made their decisions and I have been able to keep to my record of posting every day - a (very) small personal pleasure. I love writing these reports. I love Niseko and Japan. It is disappointing to be finishing the season like this.
It is now time for me to fill up on toast and then go into hibernation for about six months.
I hope that when I return, there will be much brighter news around the world. That we will all be here and safe and healthy. And that we will be starting to get excited about the prospect of winter 2020-2021.