Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 30th May 2020

Appi Kogen Now!

Wednesday 1st April 2020, 8:06am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Hello and good morning from Appi.

Here we are in April. Which means that the Sailer and Vista quad lifts are now closed for the season leaving us with 5 lifts operating today and 8 courses remaining available.

It is a mild morning with a lot of cloud and a foggy feel.. with rain due, heavy at times. And perhaps even some snow on mountain overnight.

From now until the end of the season I will update you a few times a week. Next on Friday for a pre-weekend report.

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APPI is open with the following lifts normally operating (subject to change):

- Appi Gondola
- Central quad lift
- Central Number 2 lift
- Central Number 3A lift
- Central Number 4 lift

- 8 courses remain open
- Subject to lift operations & weather conditions

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Snowfall numbers
The below numbers are reported by the resort

Cumulative snowfall:
610cm

Natural snow depth:
160cm

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About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

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Naeba Now!

Wednesday 1st April 2020, 8:14am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba.

I mentioned three lifts in the report yesterday... we are down to two lifts this morning - the lower Number 5 high speed lift and the Number 4 romance lift. Presumably wind that is affecting the Tashiro area of Kagura is also stopping our gondola here in Naeba from operating this morning.

Rain is also expected though forecasts vary on how much and timing...

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Official snow depth:

- 70cm

Planned operating lifts:

- Number 5 high speed lift
- Number 4 romance lift

Courses planned to be open:

- Naeba plans to be open until Sunday 5th April

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About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

Please read this message
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Geto Kogen Now!

Wednesday 1st April 2020, 8:18am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning.

Cloudy with spots of rain this morning with some rather mild conditions to start the day. Right now the rain has eased off but likely to be back.

And it looks like tomorrow will be a mix of cloud and the chance of rain once again. Hopefully better conditions upcoming for the weekend.

Apologies for a mistake I made yesterday: apparently those four tree run courses are still open subject to conditions. Check with the resort post 9am to check if you are here.

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Official snow depths:

* Top: 300m
* Base: 135cm

Planned operating lift information - subject to change:

* Number 1 Gondola
* Number 1 pair lift

Courses & Tree Runs:

* All of the main official course apart from A3 are available
* Some tree run courses open subject to conditions

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About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

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Niseko Now!

Wednesday 1st April 2020, 8:22am
Weather conditions: Fine, thin cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Niseko.

It was a warm one yesterday. Lovely too.

There is more thin cloud around this morning but some light blue sky on show and it should be another mild day.

And here's something that I prepared earlier...

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The 2019-2020 season so far: through until the end of March 2020

It’s the start of another month and so that means that it is time for me to look back on March 2020 and the statistics for the season so far.

As always, the usual up-front notes. (Shamelessly copied from last month):

I take my measurements from close to the base of the Niseko Grand Hirafu area of our mountain. There is usually more snow at higher elevations; many locals often say there’s often ‘about 1.5 times the amount’ that there is at base. And often that seems reasonable. It is impossible for me to take measurements from the top of the mountain every morning for all sorts of practical reasons. The observed snowfall numbers on these Niseko Now reports over the years can all be compared like-for-like, because they are my observations and are coming from the same place each season. And it goes without saying that there's much more to the story than just bare numbers; they may be interesting, but they are not the complete picture. For a more complete idea of the season, please read the reports for each day.

OK so here goes.

This is how much snowfall I have measured during the month of March over the last eight winter seasons:

March 2020: 59cm
March 2019: 45cm
March 2018: 49cm
March 2017: 83cm
March 2016: 109cm
March 2015: 139cm
March 2014: 113cm
March 2013: 164cm

Not huge numbers but we beat the previous two months this year. Hurray! (I’ll take the win).

I was able to record some snowfall on 12 of the 31 days in March 2020. Most of those were in the first half of the month, perhaps as you might expect with spring fast approaching. Having said that, the most over one 24-hour period was on the 17th March when I measured 10cm down at base.

Now on to the ‘season to date’ numbers, from the beginning of this season up until 31st March 2020:

2019/2020 season up to end of March 2020: 718cm
2018/2019 season up to end of March 2019: 945cm
2017/2018 season up to end of March 2018: 1,247cm
2016/2017 season up to end of March 2017: 688cm
2015/2016 season up to end of March 2016: 986cm
2014/2015 season up to end of March 2015: 1,141cm
2013/2014 season up to end of March 2014: 1,150cm
2012/2013 season up to end of March 2013: 1,459cm

There is no significant change of note to the ongoing commentary of the season really.

There has been less snow than we usually expect, but we have fared (much) better than lots of Japan.

I have met more than a few people out on the lifts this season who had holidays planned elsewhere in Japan and then decided to change and come up here to the better snow conditions.

The coronavirus topic and associated mess that the world increasingly finds itself in has of course become the unavoidable topic of March 2020. The Hokkaido government ‘state of emergency’ came and went... all the while, the ski resorts remained open. And of course, they still are. With the ramped up controls on people coming over from overseas, Niseko has become abnormally quiet. Which has been very nice for some people who have been able to enjoy some uncharacteristically quiet slopes, and giving things a rather different feel from usual.

And I must admit, with the knowledge that people are not well and close to home some of my own family in other countries are in ‘lockdown’, it feels rather strange to be sitting down each morning posting weather reports from a ski resort. Of course, we (meaning this website) certainly do not wish to be in any way insensitive. We are here to document the season from the start until the end and this is undoubtedly part of that story, so we feel it is appropriate to document the full season.

Most of you reading this probably aren’t here in Niseko, but there are still many people reading the reports every morning. (Hi! Thanks!)

There is another 5 weeks left of the (planned) ski season here in Niseko. We usually get a bit of snow down to base, with perhaps a bit more on the mountain. Here’s my observed base numbers from previous Aprils.

April 2019: 6cm
April 2018: 13cm
April 2017: 0cm
April 2016: 6cm
April 2015: 3cm
April 2014: 13cm
April 2013: 32cm

And as always, the Japan Meteorological Agency statistics from their observation station in Kutchan town for the month of March over the last eight years:

March 2020: 75cm
March 2019: 59cm
March 2018: 59cm
March 2017: 90cm
March 2016: 125cm
March 2015: 141cm
March 2014: 118cm
March 2013: 124cm

The JMA numbers for the season so far up until the end of March shape up like this:

2019/2020 season up to end of March 2020: 684cm
2018/2019 season up to end of February 2019: 867cm
2017/2018 season up to end of February 2018: 1,013cm
2016/2017 season up to end of February 2017: 831cm
2015/2016 season up to end of February 2016: 823cm
2014/2015 season up to end of February 2015: 966cm
2013/2014 season up to end of February 2014: 922cm
2012/2013 season up to end of February 2013: 1,024cm

I’ll make on final season recap once it is all over.

If that all goes to plan, it will be on 6th May!

Until then, see you every morning.

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Planned ski resort operation information: Wednesday 1st April 2020

Niseko Grand Hirafu

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 295cm
- Base: 65cm

The following lifts are scheduled to be operating:
- Ace Family quad
- Ace Number 2 quad (Center four)
- Hirafu Gondola
- Holiday Number 1 pair
- King Number 3 quad
- King Number 4

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Niseko Annupuri

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 170cm
- Base: 80cm

The following lifts are scheduled to be operating:
- Annupuri Gondola
- Dream Number 1 quad
- Jumbo Number 1 quad
- Jumbo Number 4 pair

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Niseko Village

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 170cm
- Base: 60cm

The following lifts are scheduled to be operating:
- Niseko Gondola
- Wonderland Chair

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- The Niseko HANAZONO area is now closed for the season.
- Night time floodlit operations have closed for the season.

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About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

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Yuzawa Now!

Wednesday 1st April 2020, 8:32am
Weather conditions: Lots of cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa.

Fine weather and warmth yesterday and lots of cloud this morning. Still feels fairly bright though and a few breaks in the cloud. We are expecting some rain though later on today and overnight - perhaps heavy at times. Hopefully that will mostly happen overnight.

From today just Naeba, GALA Yuzawa and Kagura remain open.

But... with some strong winds forecast, GALA Yuzawa is actually going to be closed for the day today. The Tashiro Area of Kagura is also closed along with the top Kagura Number 5 romance lift in the main area.

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Individual ski resort information: Wednesday 1st April 2020
The below ski areas remain open. All information is checked and updated manually for each report. Subject to change.

GALA Yuzawa

- Closed today due to wind
- Official snow depth: 150cm
- Planned closing date: 6th May

Kagura

- Tashiro Area closed today; Mitsumata and Kagura areas open
- Official snow depth: 170cm
- Planned closing dates: 4th May (Tashiro); 24th May (Mitsumata)

Naeba

- 5 of 22 courses open; 2 lifts operating
- Official snow depth: 70cm
- Planned closing date: 5th April
- Details on Naeba Now report here

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- Other ski resorts in the area are now closed

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Photos (below) from around 8:30am on Wednesday 1st April 2020:

- Yuzawa Kogen
- Yuzawa Kogen
- Route 17/Yuzawa IC exit

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About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

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Nozawa Onsen Now!

Wednesday 1st April 2020, 8:42am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Nozawa.

There's not much to report to you this morning as we enter April.

Cloudy skies and rain is due as temperatures remain quite warm.

Looks like it might be quite heavy rain overnight and that might wipe out the remaining snow around base areas.

Still officially reporting 175cm up top though and good snow cover up there...

---

I wonder where Nasuki/Naski goes when the snow has gone from Hikage. I'm sure our fave skiing bright green vegetable would be keen to get up to the top of the mountain. We should start a petition...

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Wednesday 1st April 2020

Fresh snowfall recorded by resort since yesterday:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 0cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 0cm
- Lower areas are not reporting any more

Official snow depth numbers (reported by resort):

- Yamabiko (1407m): 175cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 100cm
- Lower areas are not reporting any more

The following lifts are operating:

- Nagasaka gondola [8:10am until 3:00pm; last one down 3:40pm]
- Yamabiko quad [8:30am until 3:20pm]
- Yamabiko Number 2 quad [8:25am until 3:30pm]
- Uenotaira quad [8:30am until 3:30pm]
- Paradise quad [8:30am until 3:40pm]

The following courses remain open:

- Yamabiko A
- Yamabiko B
- Yamabiko C
- Yamabiko D
- Yamabiko E
- Kogenashi A
- Kogenashi B
- Uenotaira
- Paradise
- Bunabayashi
- Schneider (to mid point)
- Rinkan

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About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

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Shiga Kogen Now!

Wednesday 1st April 2020, 8:44am
Weather conditions: Cloud, some blue sky in places
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Shiga Kogen.

There was a little rain last night. This morning mostly cloudy skies and some blue sky. There is more rain lined up there on the forecast though and we'd probably be lucky to avoid it... hopefully that will drain out of the system before tomorrow.

Some parts of Shiga Kogen are now closed for the season. Please refer to the list below as to what is planned to remain open over the coming weeks.

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From now on I plan to post updates to this Shiga Kogen Now report a few times a week this month. I will aim to get a report up before the weekend and early in the week.

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Photos: Kumanoyu and Hasuike Junction

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Shiga Kogen resort info: Wednesday 1st April 2020

The below information is manually checked - but the report is too early for any changes today
Official snow depth numbers are as reported by the ski resorts themselves.

Higashitateyama
- Official snow depth: 140cm

Ichinose Family
- Official snow depth: 150cm

Kumanoyu
- Official snow depth: 200cm

Maruike
- Official snow depth: 60cm

Okushiga Kogen
- Official snow depth: 170cm

Takamagahara Mammoth
- Official snow depth: 150cm

Terakoya
- Official snow depth: 140cm

Yakebitaiyama
- Official snow depth: 160cm

Yokoteyama
- Official snow depth: 210cm

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Planned resort operations:

** IMPORTANT: SUBJECT TO CHANGE! **

Giant:
Open on Saturday 4th April and Sunday 5th April

Takamagahara Mammoth:
Quad lift open until Sunday 5th April and then on 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th April and 29th April until 6th May

Tannenomori Okojo:
4th, 5th, 11th, 12th April and 29th April until 6th May

Ichinose Family:
Ichinose quad and Ichinose Number 2 pair B line open until 6th May

Terakoya:
4th, 5th, 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th April and 29th April until 6th May

Ichinose Diamond:
Until 5th April and then 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th April and 29th April until 6th May

Yakebitaiyama:
Number 1 Gondola until 6th May
Number 2 Gondola until 5th April
Number 2 high speed until 5th April and then 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th April and 29th April until 6th May

Okushiga Kogen:
Number 1 pair lift and Gondola until 5th April
Number 2 and 3 high speed pairs until 6th May
Number 4 and 6 pairs until 5th April and then 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th April and 25th April until 6th May

Kumanoyu:
Number 1 pair until 5th April
Number 3 quad until 5th April and then 11th, 12th, 18th, 19th, 25th, 26th April and 29th April until 6th May
Number 2 pair A line until 10th May

Yokoteyama & Shibutoge
Until 6th May and possibly beyond that

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The section of road connecting the southern area of Shiga Kogen (from Yokoteyama onwards) with Gunma Prefecture is now closed for the season. It will be closed until 24th April 2020. Approach Shiga Kogen using Route 292 from the west (Nagano/Nakano/Yamanouchi)

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About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

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Zao Now!

Wednesday 1st April 2020, 8:53am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Hello from Zao.

After the fine weather yesterday, this morning... rain, I'm afraid.

A few more lifts have closed for the season: updated below.

I'm always surprised at how quickly the last of the snow on base areas dries up in such a short time. (So perhaps I shouldn't be surprised!) Those lower areas are looking rather bare now.

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For the remainder of the season, I plan to post a couple of updates each week. I will of course keep an eye on any news regarding planned closing.

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Official snow depths (as reported by resort):

- Summit area: 65cm
- Paradise area: 80cm
- Chuo area: 90cm
- Utopia area: 75cm
- Uwanodai area: 30cm
- Oomori area: 5cm

- Generally upper areas remain part open; lower areas are closed

The following lifts continue to operate (subject to change):

- Zao Ropeway
- Zao Chuo Ropeway
- Mikaeri pair
- Chuo Number 1 pair AB
- Chuo Number 2 pair AB
- Diamond Number 2 pair
- Utopia Number 2 pair
- Sky Cable

- Other lifts are now closed for the season

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About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

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Aizu Bandai Now!

Wednesday 1st April 2020, 9:08am
Weather conditions: Clouding over
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning.

Fine early on this morning (see photo from Minowa below) but we do have rain forecast today over the region along with continued mild temperatures.

It should have cleared up by tomorrow though with some sunshine due on Friday.

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Grandeco Snow Resort:
- 4 (of 5) lifts operating
- 10 (of 13) courses open
- Official snow depth: 144cm

Hoshino Resort Urabandai Nekoma:
- 5 (of 6) lifts operating
- 15 (of 15) courses open
- The walk course connecting Nekoma with the top of Alts Bandai is open today
- Official snow depth: 140cm (top)

MinowaMinowa:
- 2 lifts operating (A Lift is now closed for the season)
- 7 (of 12) courses open
- Official snow depth: 80cm

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Photos today:

- Grandeco
- Minowa

---

About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

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Hakuba Now!

Wednesday 1st April 2020, 9:14am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Hello from Hakuba.

Fine weather yesterday morning - a warm, spring day clouding over later on.

Unfortunately, April is beginning with some wet and mild conditions.

It should be getting colder overnight and there might even be some snow on the mountains.

In the meantime, official data today is unchanged:


The information in this table is data reported by the ski resortsNew snowfall (lower)New snowfall (upper)TOTAL ACCUMULATION (UPPER)
Hakuba 470cm0cm549cm
Hakuba Cortina [CLOSED]--573cm [at closing]
Hakuba Goryu0cm0cm607cm
Hakuba Happo-one0cm0cm817cm

IMPORTANT: See below for an explanation of the above data



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Individual ski resort information
The below information is checked from official sources and manually adjusted each morning.

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- Grad quad
- Alpen quad
- Happo Riesen quad
- Nakiyama 3
- ADAM Gondola
- Panorama pair
- Kokusai 3 pair
- Kurobishi 2 quad
- Skyline Number 2 pair

Courses open:
- Generally the upper areas of the resort remain open

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 170cm
- Usagidaira: 30cm
- Nakiyama: 40cm

Hakuba 47

All lifts apart from the lifts noted below are normally operating:
- Pair Line D (usually only operates when Gondola not operating)

Courses open:
- All main courses now open
- Restrictions on the winding lower course: beginners should take the gondola down
- Tree Riding Zones: open until 5th April

Official snow depth:
- Top: 180cm
- Base: 45cm

Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- Gondola, top Alps Number 1 and 3 pair lifts and Toomi quad lift operating
- Other lifts closed

Courses open:
- All of the upper area (apart from Champion Expert) and the main Toomi run are open
- The lower Iimori area is now closed

Official snow depth:
- Alps: 185cm
- Toomi: 55cm
- Iimori: -cm

Tsugaike Kogen

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori (upper): 195cm
- Han-no-ki: 170cm
- The top Tsuga-no-mori and Han-kou areas remain open

Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Official snow depth & info:
- Top: 85cm

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About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

Please read this message

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Photos today (below):

- Hakuba Happo-one [Usagidaira]
- Hakuba Happo-one [Usagidaira]
- Hakuba 47
- Tsugaike Kogen [upper Tsuganomori area]
- Tsugaike Kogen [lower Kane-no-naru-oka area]
- Hakuba Iwatake
- Looking towards Hakuba Iwatake and Hakuba Happo-one

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About the data in the above ‘snowfall as reported by ski resorts’ table
* The table within the above report contains data that is published by individual ski resorts
* The data shown is the amount of snowfall that the ski resorts are themselves reporting each 24 hour period on the upper areas of their mountain
* The source ‘new snowfall’ data and ‘total accumulation’ data is not updated at the same time
* The ‘new snowfall’ data is updated in the morning
* The ‘accumulation’ data is apparently updated/refreshed at midnight
* That means that there is a time lag between the two numbers being updated
* We manually check and update the data just before we publish each Hakuba Now report - so the data in each Hakuba Now report table is what is available at that time
* Any odd-looking numbers are due to the source data. We are not responsible for and have no control over the data. We are simply sharing the data with you
* Just to be extra clear, unlike our own ‘observed snowfall’ data from base that we show at the top of each report, the data in the table is not an independent observation by SnowJapan
* A more in-depth introduction and explanation can be found in this report   Read more ...
 

Myoko Now!

Wednesday 1st April 2020, 10:47am
Weather conditions: Bright but cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Things are not exactly clear around here, information-wise-speaking, but it is clear that resorts are closing and the snow is disappearing really fast.

There's been a fairly strong southwest wind that took away 20cm overnight in my little test area.... The Akakura resorts are reporting a bit more snow than is probably out there; Seki Onsen is definitely not covered in 280cm of snow at -1°C; and I doubt Arai has the depths of snow it's reporting.

It wasn't clear at first what Ikenotaira was doing; the section of the website that I always look at still tells which lifts are open, and then I looked at the news column, and they have been closed for a few days. Sorry about that (but I will shift the blame to those providing the information).

I think it's countdown to the end now, not really snow reports any more!

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Akakura Kanko:
130cm, 8°
Sky Cable gondola and Hotel No. 3 lift.

Akakura Onsen:
140cm, 6°
Ginrei area closed; all other main lifts running

Ikenotaira Onsen:
Closed

Myoko Suginohara:
Closed

Seki Onsen:
280cm, -1° (still no change?)

Myoko Ski Park:
No info
Open weekends only

Kyukamura RunRun:
No new information on their site or the town's....

Tangram Ski Circus:
30cm, 2°
Lifts No. 1 pair, 3 quad, 5 quad open

Madarao Kogen:
Closed

Lotte Arai Resort
261cm, 14.9°
Sanroku No. 1 and 2 closed

Kurohime Kogen Snow Park
Closed    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

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