Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 26th May 2019

Naeba Now!

Wednesday 1st February 2017, 7:44am
Weather conditions: Its started sunny!
New snowfall: 15cm
Snow depth: --
Hello everyone.

The snow continued sporadically throughout the day yesterday which means we can report a further 15cm of snow since our last report.

Today has started very clear and the slopes are in fine condition. This could change this afternoon though as we are predicted a week of on and off snow fall.

See you out there.

Cloudless!   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Wednesday 1st February 2017, 7:50am
Weather conditions: Clear blue skies
New snowfall: 4cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa and it is a beautiful start to the day with clear blue skies. Can't say I was expecting it, but it is a nice surprise.

No new snowfall overnight but a few cm from yesterday added to the report today.

This may well be one of those calm-before-the-storm moments as it is forecast to be snowing by later this afternoon (rain first in town?) and then snow tomorrow and perhaps into Friday.

Should be a fantastic morning though!


Official snow depth information as of Wednesday 1st February 2017

Some note available yet at time of report and so not updated

GALA Yuzawa
Official snow depth: 300cm

Ishiuchi Maruyama
Official snow depth: 260cm

Official snow depth: 190cm

Joetsu Kokusai
Official snow depth: 260cm

Official snow depth:
Kagura - 330cm
Mitsumata - 280cm
Tashiro - 300cm

Kandatsu Kogen
Official snow depth: 250cm

Maiko Snow Resort
Official snow depth:
Upper - 275cm
Base - 140cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
Official snow depth: 300cm

Official snow depth: 240cm

NASPA Ski Garden
Official snow depth: 235cm

Yuzawa Kogen
Official snow depth:
Top - 300cm
Base - 210cm

Yuzawa Park
Official snow depth: 170cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
Official snow depth: 200cm


'Nighta' (floodlit night operations)

Below are details of the planned 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma this season.
This information is subject to change due to snow and weather conditions.
*** Please note that this section will not be updated every day.

Ishiuchi Maruyama
Daily until 19th March 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 8:50pm.
The Chuo Number 1, Chuo Number 2 and Kanko Number 3 Express lifts are open daily.
The Kanko Number 1 Express lift, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift and Hatsukaishi Number 2 pair lifts are also open on weekends and holidays.

Daily until 20th March 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays.
The Main course, Grand course and West courses are open during nighta.

Joetsu Kokusai
Daily until 20th March 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm.
The area in front of the main base hotel is open for nighta.

Kandatsu Kogen
'Hobo All Night' ('Almost All Night') is on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays until 1st April 2017.
The nighta opening times on those days is from 6pm until 4am the following morning.

Maiko Snow Resort
Daily until 19th March 2017.
Nighta is from 4pm until 8pm.
The Maiko center quad lift on the Maiko Side of the resort operates for nighta.

Daily until 26th March 2017.
Nighta is from 4pm until 8:30pm.

NASPA Ski Garden
'Thanks' (extended) opening on Saturdays in January and February.
On those days the Number 1 lift is open until 6pm.

Yuzawa Nakazato
Every Saturday until 11th March 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 8:30pm.
The Number 2 pair lift operates during nighta.
   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Wednesday 1st February 2017, 8:02am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, some sun in places, generally fine feeling for now
New snowfall: 19cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning everyone and welcome to February.

You can see my commentary on January below; I prepared that yesterday. And what better way to follow on from that than being able to report that February is off to a very good start! :)

It is nice and cold and I measured 19cm of fresh snow here at base. Good quality stuff too.

Resorts should be opening as normal this morning and so I am off to try and get some fairly early lifts.

Snow is on the forecast for later on but for right now the sun is out and it is a fine morning.


A look back at January 2017 and the season so far

It’s that time once again - a new month and so time for me to look back on the month that was and the season so far. In case you missed it, here’s the report that I posted on 3rd January 2017 that included my comments on the season up until that point.

So now let’s have a look at January 2017 and the total snowfall for the season so far. Remember, this is the amount of snowfall that I personally observe near the base of Niseko Grand Hirafu. Also, remember that more snow falls at higher elevations; this is not a scientific paper; etc, etc. OK? Yosh--, here we go.

January 2017: 152cm
January 2016: 303cm
January 2015: 257cm
January 2014: 461cm
January 2013: 442cm

Unfortunately, unless we roped in some ‘alternative facts’, I don’t think even the most cunning of marketing types could make that comparison look particularly exciting.

Of course, quantity alone does not paint the whole picture.

Indeed, it is surely for the most part the quality of the snow that makes Niseko what it is, and we are rightly proud of it. And quality-wise, we did enjoy some moments in January 2017.

As per my comments last week about the Australian family who helped remind me how much I should appreciate living here (and I do, very much so), different people have different ideas of ‘quality’. Depending on their experiences, what they are used to, where they are from, etc.

Myself, I am used to ‘Niseko quality’ (and ‘Niseko quantity’) so that’s the benchmark for my reports… and while I did enjoy some excellent days, it is hard not to class January as anything other than a disappointment.

I was looking back at the individual data for each day, and the most I observed in one report was 18cm (on 13th January). Most of the other days when I reported any snowfall, it was maxing out at around 10cm. So we were just not seeing particularly large amounts of snowfall that gave us total resets. After that first dry part of the month though it was fairly regular, and that obviously is a good thing.

Let’s now take a look at the total snowfall observed from the beginning of the season until the end of January over the last handful of seasons:

2016/2017 season until the end of January 2017: 445cm
2015/2016 season until the end of January 2016: 611cm
2014/2015 season until the end of January 2015: 806cm
2013/2014 season until the end of January 2014: 850cm
2012/2013 season until the end of January 2013: 979cm

And if we look at that number as a percentage of the total snowfall for the whole season:

2016/2017 % of total season snowfall by end of January 2016: ** remains to be seen **
2015/2016 % of total season snowfall by end of January 2016: about 62%
2014/2015 % of total season snowfall by end of January 2015: about 70%
2013/2014 % of total season snowfall by end of January 2014: about 74%
2012/2013 % of total season snowfall by end of January 2013: about 66%

So over the previous five seasons, by the end of January we had already observed between around two-thirds and three-quarters of the total snowfall for the whole season. (At base - another important point to remember is that especially in early and late season, it is more likely to be snowing at higher elevations and not down at base where my observations are made ).

Looking forward, here’s what the months of February and March have brought us in the last few seasons.

February 2016: 266cm
February 2015: 196cm
February 2014: 178cm
February 2013: 316cm

March 2016: 109cm
March 2015: 139cm
March 2014: 113cm
March 2013: 164cm

I’m sure everyone reading this is very much hoping that we can surpass those numbers this season. A bumper February and March please!

A good friend pointed out to me yesterday that we are not yet even half way through the season. The lifts have now been open for a bit more than two months. With some operating through until early May, that means that there is actually a full three months left to go.

It gives us a lot of time for a large quantity of quality snowfall.

And it means I have a lots more words to type. I’ll try not to ramble on too much!


Just to throw some other numbers into the mix, below are the numbers that the Japan Meteorological Agency have recorded in Kutchan Town for January and the season so far:

January 2017: 160cm
January 2016: 258cm
January 2015: 230cm
January 2014: 317cm
January 2013: 268cm

2016/2017 season until the end of January 2017: 568cm
2015/2016 season until the end of January 2016: 488cm
2014/2015 season until the end of January 2015: 658cm
2013/2014 season until the end of January 2014: 674cm
2012/2013 season until the end of January 2013: 672cm

Their particularly large number for December still puzzles me… usually there’s more snowfall up here at Hirafu base than at their Kutchan town measuring point.

(Answers on a postcard please!)


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am:: -6℃, mild wind, 20cm crystal snow. Moiwa 800m: -8.5℃, NE breeze, 30cm snowfall, 163cm snow depth, light snowdrift development. Annupuri 1150m: -11℃, NW12m/s, 30cm snowfall, 165cm snow depth, some snowdrift development. Hirafu 1250m: -13℃, NW10m/s, 30cm snowfall with some snowdrift development. Kamui cape lighthouse: SW11m/s, 1012hPa, 1.9m waves.

Moderate snowfall amount under the typical winter pressure chart. The 60cm thick surface layer is sintered and stable. The new snowdrifts are consolidating uniformly and the general avalanche risk is low. Yesterday’s tracks are mostly reset and the snow is in really good shape. Better not over-estimate your equipment and/or skills. The valley streams aren’t fully buried and are hard to notice. Some cracks due to geothermal heat are also present. All gates are scheduled to open from the morning. Seek for advice from the ski patrol at the gates.

Wearing avalanche beacons are strongly recommended. It will allow others to find you, and you will be able to search your friends. Helmets are also strongly recommended as injuries on the head are more likely to be critical.


Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Niseko HANAZONO Resort
Niseko Village
Niseko Annupuri
All areas opening as planned at the start of the day.


Official resort snow depths as of Wednesday 1st February 2017:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 320cm
Base - 140cm

Niseko Village
Top - 250cm
Base - 140cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 275cm
Base - 135cm


Night skiing is planned until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village resort areas. There is no nighta in the Hanazono area.   Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Wednesday 1st February 2017, 8:42am
Weather conditions: Sunny blue skies, set to cloud over
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Appi,

Bright blue skies this morning and very light winds will make for an ideal day on the mountain if you’re taking in the view of the surrounding area. A temperature of -2 outside my door. Although the morning is starting off great the clouds will probably roll in by noonish and then the snowfall starts.

We are expecting around 20+cm this afternoon and tonight and with that comes a drastic reduction in temperature to around -14.

Thursday and Friday will bring intermittent snowfall and hopefully by Saturday the temperatures should start rising again to make it more manageable on the slopes. Overall the runs are in good shape with very little traffic on them most of the week.


Currently planned operating lifts (subject to change due to weather conditions):

Appi Gondola
Central quad
Central number 2
Central number 3a
Central number 4
Central number 5
Central number 6
Sailer Gondola
Sailer quad
Sailer connecting
Vista quad


Official snow depth:

160cm   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Wednesday 1st February 2017, 8:49am
Weather conditions: Blue skies, some sun, bit of thin cloud
New snowfall: 4cm
Snow depth: --
The sun is out and it is a cold morning here in Shiga Kogen on this first day of February.

More snow is forecast for tonight and tomorrow. Following that, perhaps a few days of clearer weather -- and then more snow late Sunday into Monday.

Be sure to click on the Snowfall Analysis tab at the top of this page and have a look at how we are doing so far this season.

Last season was perhaps not the best to compare with, but I have already this season so far observed over twice the amount of snow compared with this time last year... and already over 2 metres more snowfall than during the whole of last season. The comparisons look good!

Let's hope that February and the rest of the season can also deliver.


Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:

Most of ski lifts and courses in Shiga Kogen are now open.
Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish.



Ichinose Family

Ichinose Diamond




Okushiga Kogen

Sun Valley

Takamagahara Mammoth



280cm   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Wednesday 1st February 2017, 9:12am
Weather conditions: Mostly blue sky
New snowfall: 4cm
Snow depth: --
The morning is looking most attractive with mostly blue sky and sun over the resort. Yesterday delivered some fresh snow onto the slopes which will mean the groomed runs will have nice powder on them today. Some of the off piste runs that have had heavy traffic on them are quite bumpy and firm and will be pretty hard on the knees.

The clear conditions are likely to turn into snow from around midday, and moderate rates of precipation are expected from this evening through to Thurday evening.    Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Wednesday 1st February 2017, 9:20am
Weather conditions: Blue skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco on this first day of February.

And it is a lovely morning. Very cold but very bright with lovely blue skies.

According to weather forecast it should be snowing by this evening.

A slight covering of snow on the courses and conditions should be good.

It is a good day for snowshoeing up to Mt. Nishidaiten or Dekodaira Marshland..


Snow Park Information:

Waves, bank, 7m kicker, 8m kicker

6m straight wide box, 6m straight box, wave, volcano, drum can, 6m straight box, 8m straight rail, 6m arch box, 3m table top, 5m table top and bank.

Lifts operating:

Lifts Operating:

- Gondola
- Number 1 quad lift
- Number 2 quad lift
- Number 3 quad lift
- Number 4 quad lift

Courses open:

All courses now open

Official snow depth:

Road Condition to Grandeco:
Inawashiro through Goshikinuma: snow and ice
Goshukinuma through Grandeco: snow and ice   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Wednesday 1st February 2017, 9:57am
Weather conditions: Mostly clear; increasing high clouds
New snowfall: 7cm
Snow depth: --
Light snow continued to fall through the day yesterday; we could see the sun shining across the way toward Madarao and on to Nozawa, but we stayed in the shade, meaning there should be some great snow out there this morning.

It is sunny and blue out there, with just enough clouds drifting around to remind us that the weather will be changing shortly, and that snow will be returning.

It's nice and cold, too, despite that warm sun. I'm still hoping that warm sun will finally get that lingering, massive snow on my roof hanging on from our few-days-two-meter fall of about two weeks ago. Waiting for that, so I can clear the sides of the building! Scary while it hangs over our heads.


Akakura Kanko:
320cm, -6°

Akakura Onsen:
350cm, -6°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
270cm, -8°

Myoko Suginohara:
240cm, -9°

Seki Onsen:
480cm, -8°

Myoko Ski Park:
280cm, -3°

Kyukamura RunRun:
320cm, -1°

Tangram Ski Circus:
240cm, -4°

Madarao Kogen:
270cm, -7°

   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Wednesday 1st February 2017, 10:18am
Weather conditions: (Almost) clear blue skies, sunny
New snowfall: 4cm
Snow depth: --
It's a beautiful morning in Nozawa with mostly blue skies and sunshine.

Clouds are expected to move back in later on though and snow should hopefully be falling before the end of the day/sometime tonight.

Fingers crossed it'll be cold enough for it to be straight to snow down here in village level too.

Then it's snow for tonight and through the day tomorrow. Let's see another decent refresh!


Wednesday 1st February 2017

Fresh snow reported by resort since yesterday morning:
- Yamabiko: 0cm
- Uenotaira: 0cm
- Hikage: 0cm
- Nagasaka: 0cm
- Karasawa: 0cm

Official snow depths:
- Yamabiko: 320cm
- Uenotaira: 250cm
- Hikage: 180cm
- Nagasaka: 170cm
- Karasawa: 135cm

Lifts operations:
All lifts plan to be operating apart from:
- Yunomine pair
- Mizunashi triple
- Challenge pair
- Utopia pair

Most courses at Nozawa Onsen are open. Courses not open are:
- Grand Prix   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Wednesday 1st February 2017, 10:34am
Weather conditions: Generally cloudy
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
It is a cloudy day here in Zao.

A cold start but it has warmed up a bit and doesn't feel too chilly here at base now but the top station is reporting -10C as of 10:30am. Should be nice snow conditions.

More snow is due tonight and probably through tomorrow as well and if the forecasts are correct we can probably also expect some moderate to strong winds.

Be prepared if you plan to be here tomorrow!


All lifts apart from the following appear to be operating today:
Paradise Number 3 pair
Karamatsu pair

All courses apart from Kotan are open.


Official snow depths (as published by the resort itself):
Summit - 100cm
Paradise - 175cm
Chuo - 175cm
Utopia - 130cm
Uwanodai - 110cm
Yokokura - 120cm


Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time Zao Ropeway operations

Every day until 5th March 2017.
Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm.
Ropeway return charges are 2,600 yen for adults and 1,300 yen for children.
In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled.   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Wednesday 1st February 2017, 11:50am
Weather conditions: Clear skies have clouded over by lunchtime
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba... it's just about still morning as I write the report today - my apologies!

It has been a beautiful morning, starting off with mostly clear blue skies and cloud gradually increasing as the morning went on. There's still a bit of blue sky to be seen now but lots of cloud and we're expecting more this afternoon... and then hopefully straight to snowfall.

Tomorrow should be cold and very snowy. It looks like we can perhaps expect a decent amount of fresh snow through the day tomorrow.

It does look like due to strong winds as of 12 noon, upper lifts at Happo-one have been suspended.

Weather is changing! Bring on the snow for a nice reset.


Resort news as of 11:45am on Wednesday 1st February 2017:

All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions.

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
All planned lifts are operating.
Tree Riding Zones should be open today.
Official snow depth
Upper: 280cm
Base: 140cm

Hakuba Goryu:
Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
All scheduled lifts plan to be operating.
Official snow depth
Alps: 305cm
Toomi: 145cm
Iimori: 130cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
Top lifts suspended as of 12 noon due to strong winds.
All courses open.
The Kurobishi off-piste area is open.
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira: 195cm
Kurobishi: 195cm
Lower: 120cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
All courses are open.
Official snow depth:
Tsuga-no-mori: 285cm
Han-no-ki: 280cm
Maruyama: 170cm
Oya-no-hara: 130cm
Kane-no-naru-oka: 135cm

Hakuba Cortina:
The resort is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
Official snow depth:
Top: 290cm
Base: 190cm

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Official snow depth:
Top: 170cm
Base: 100cm

Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Official snow depth:
Top: 210cm

Official snow depth:
Top: 175cm

Hakuba Sanosaka:
Official snow depth:
Top: 130cm


Planned nighta operations - be sure to check with resorts for latest:

Hakuba Goryu:
Planned to be open daily from 6pm until 9:30pm

Tsugaike Kogen:
Planned at the Kane-no-naru-oka area on February 4th, 11th (6pm until 8:50pm)
Planned at the Katamatsu-Shirakaba area February 11th, 18th; March 4th, 11th, 18th, 19th (6pm until 9pm)

Hakuba Cortina:
Planned to be open daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays)

Hakuba Happo-one:
Planned to be open daily until 9pm on the Nakiyama area.

Planned to be open daily.

There is no night skiing at the other resorts in the area.   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Wednesday 1st February 2017, 12:52pm
Weather conditions: Blue skies and sun
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: --
* This report was written at around 9am (photo from 12:47pm) *


Good morning from Madarao, and it is a fine start to the day today.

Looks like we will be able to enjoy the snow with blue skies and sunshine - at least for this morning. Snow is still due sometime tonight so expect things to cloud over this afternoon. Snow is due to be falling through the day tomorrow as well. Wrap up well and be prepared to ride as it snows tomorrow.

At the moment the forecast shows us milder conditions as we enter the weekend but further snowfall due back as we enter next week.


Operating status for the day at Madarao Kogen (at time of report):

- Number 1 lift
- Number 2 quad lift
- Number 3A
- Number 5 lift
- Super quad lift
- Number 11 lift
- Number 12 lift
- Number 13 lift
- Number 15 lift
- Moving walkway
- Kids Park
- Free Ride Park

- Powder Wave I
- Powder Wave II
- River Line
- Powder Theater
- Adventure Aisle
- Crystal Bowl
- Ninja
- Sawa
- Rabbit
- Kamoshika
- Bear

- Nighta at Madarao Kogen is every Saturday until 25th March (and also 8th January and 19th March)

Official snow depth:

- 270cm   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Wednesday 1st February 2017, 17:20pm
Weather conditions: Clear
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Wow, unbelievable day on Tenjin.

The snow had settled after yesterday's closure but was perfect and still very fresh. One of the best days we get up there and there were very few people on the resort which opened quite late.

They are down to one Piston Bully but saw a truck taking one of the broken ones away so hopefully the mechanic gets his work done quick.

It was clear all day but snow has started falling this afternoon from 4:30pm and it looks like this storm is going to be a big one with snow forecast to fall through tomorrow night.


Fresh snowfall:

0cm Tenjin
0cm Hodaigi
0cm Okutone

Official snow depth:

305cm Tenjin
190cm Hodaigi
180cm Okutone


Resorts in Minakami (forecasts available from each page):

Minakami Hodaigi
Minakami Kogen Ski Resort
Minakami Kogen Fujiwara
Norn Minakami
Okutone Snow Park
Tanigawa Tenjindaira
Tanigawa Onsen White Valley


Please note that the fresh snowfall number being reported on this report is taken from the ‘base area’ of Tenjindaira - which is just by the top station of the Ropeway at that resort. Other snowfall numbers and commentary will be mentioned within each report when available.
   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Yuzawa Now
14th Jun, 10:19am
Naeba Now
07th Jun, 10:08am
Aizu Bandai Now
31st May, 13:35
Shiga Kogen Now
27th May, 9:56am
Furano Now
08th May, 8:47am
Niseko Now
07th May, 19:19pm
Myoko Now
06th May, 9:33am
Hakuba Now
06th May, 9:09
Nozawa Onsen Now
06th May, 8:46
Minakami Now
06th May, 8:16
Madarao Now
06th May, 8:13am
Zao Now
06th May, 7:59
Appi Kogen Now
06th May, 7:59am
Geto Kogen Now
06th May, 7:12
Grandeco Now
02nd Feb, 12:34am