Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 16th November 2018

Minakami Now!

Thursday 1st February 2018, 7:05am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Bluebird yesterday and there was still plenty of fresh snow to go round. Spent the day at Hodaigi which was excellent.

This morning sees overcast skies but no new snow as of yet. The forecast is calling for snow showers to kick off today at some point and looks like we will get something decent this evening.

For those keeping a close eye on things, we were skiing in a minimum of 50cm up on the mountain 2 days ago and it was chest deep in many places. Long range forecast is highlighting a significant storm kicking off on Saturday night and running through at least Tuesday.


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 ...

Geto Kogen Now!

Thursday 1st February 2018, 7:23am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
On and off yesterday, with the sun poking its head out here and there and some occasional snowfall. Overnight we’ve been left with 5cm on the ground to tuck into today. Expecting tops of -4C with mainly clear skies and light winds to calm further into the afternoon.

We’re in for a beautiful couple of days with clear, blue skies expected tomorrow, and then take us into the weekend with a bit more snow expected. With any luck, the resort will open the 1st Gondola for the weekend. We’ll keep you updated.

Friday: clear skies, no winds, tops of -3C
Saturday: light snow, little winds, tops of 0C
Sunday: light snow, light winds, tops of -2C


Official snow depths:

Top: 460cm
Base: 320cm

Night skiing operations are scheduled at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018.

The Number 1 Gondola is out of action at the moment - hopefully back online soon.   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Thursday 1st February 2018, 7:36am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
Temperatures are once again very cold as was expected. The high will be around -5c during the day so don't be put off by the -15c is it at the time of my writing of this report. Just a dusting of snow to report at 2cm, but it is very very light powder and perhaps there will be a bit more than that higher up on the resort, hopefully. Again, like yesterday, it is a clear day and the sun is already out strongly which is helping to ease the chilliness of the temperature. Yesterday the Kitanomine Gondola broke down and was out of action for maintenance. Fingers crossed it is operating this morning as without that access to the upper mountain things are a bit limited.   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Thursday 1st February 2018, 7:53am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa and here we are in February already.

Many resorts have about two more months to go but with Kagura usually opening until late May, we have a long way to go. Though it would be nice if time slowed down a bit!

Anyway. It was a very fine morning yesterday with the sun out and blue skies. The clouds that been hanging around to the north slowly started to move in and by afternoon it had become more cloudy over Yuzawa.

This morning there's a slight dusting of snow in places but not enough to register on the numbers this morning. The day is starting off cloudy - might there be some light snow in the day? It kind of feels like it just now...

Maybe more of a chance of clearer skies during the day tomorrow, with slightly milder conditions expected.

Looking ahead, the forecast is looking good for more fresh snow from the weekend and into next week.


I'll take a look back at the season up until now in the report tomorrow.


Images today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Ishiuchi Maruyama.


Updated: Thursday 1st February 2018, 8am

Ski resorts in Yuzawa:

GALA Yuzawa
- 320cm

- 230cm

- Kagura area: 350cm
- Mitsumata area: 250cm
- Tashiro area: 300cm

Kandatsu Kogen
- 270cm

- 240cm (base)

NASPA Ski Garden
- 255cm

Yuzawa Kogen
- Top: 280cm
- Base: 230cm

Yuzawa Park
- 190cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
- 190cm


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

Ishiuchi Maruyama
- 270cm

Joetsu Kokusai
- 310cm

Maiko Snow Resort
- Top: 260cm
- Base: 170cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- Closed on Wednesdays until 14th March
- 340cm   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Thursday 1st February 2018, 7:57am
Weather conditions: Beautiful morning
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Zao.

Blue skies over Zao this morning.

It's looking like it should be a beautiful day.

Not a huge amount of snow currently there on the forecast - perhaps some tomorrow and Saturday into Sunday - but as long as it keeps cold the snow conditions should keep well.

Things not looking busy at the moment... I wonder how much that volcano warning had on things. As I said yesterday Zao Onsen are pointing out that we are 5km from the area and well outside the 'zone'. It is not affecting the lives of people here...


Lifts and course info:

- All lifts appear to be opening as scheduled
- Note: the Karamatsu pair lift usually only operates on weekends
- All areas open

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 170cm
- Paradise area: 200cm
- Chuo area: 200cm
- Utopia area: 220cm
- Uwanodai area: 120cm
- Oomori area: 145cm


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:

February 2018: every day
March 2018: 1st-4th   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Thursday 1st February 2018, 8:05am
Weather conditions: Lots of cloud, fog
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Nozawa and welcome to February. Over 3 months to go!

Yesterday was a fine day but this morning the mountain is covered in cloud (and fog) early on. If it snowed overnight - some forecasts were calling for that - I can't see any evidence of it this morning and the resort does not seem to be reporting any snow on the mountain either.

Some local forecasts are saying there is a chance of some sun later today so maybe the clouds will clear. A higher probability of that happening tomorrow.

Then come the weekend we should be back to decent snowfall. Looks to Sunday-Monday for the chance of some good numbers as temperatures drop back down once again.

Things are looking good at the moment. Hope you can come and enjoy it. :)


Thursday 1st February 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): 320cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 270cm
- Hikage (660m): 205cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 200cm
- Karasawa (563m): 175cm

Lifts operations:

- All scheduled lifts appear to 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):

- Grand Prix
- Kandahar East   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Thursday 1st February 2018, 8:23am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Madarao.

Not much to see this morning... literally!

After the lovely clear skies we enjoyed in the morning yesterday, this morning visibility is right down this morning as the mountain is covered with cloud.

No fresh snowfall to report this morning.

The forecasts show a chance of a sunny day tomorrow with a return to snow falling over the region over the weekend - in particular Sunday through Monday and then early week. So it looks like we are set for regular resets. Nice.


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
River Line
Free Ride Park
Powder Theater
Adventure Aisle
Crystal Bowl

Kids Park

Planned nighta operations this season:

Every Saturday until 24th March 2018
11th February 2018   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Thursday 1st February 2018, 8:26am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, increasing blue sky
New snowfall: 13cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning!

February. Is it really February already? Why does winter always seem to fly by so very fast. It's not fair!

Still, when you have conditions like we had yesterday, all worries seem to go away. Although having said that I did hear more than a few people struggling with all the fresh snow, saying that there was 'too much' and it was 'too deep' - we'll have none of that talk here, please!

The snowfall eased off in the afternoon yesterday. The sun made a special appearance and even Mt Yotei appeared for a cameo too. Everyone wanted in, and rightly so as conditions were excellent.

This morning I have a total of 13cm observed fresh snowfall to add to my numbers.

We are not expecting the early morning snow clouds to remain over us for long, and indeed even now some blue sky is starting to appear and the sun shining through in some places. So it may well clear up and be a fine day weather-wise.

Sunshine is lined up for tomorrow too with the next decent snowfall due later on Saturday and into Sunday.

Hopefully all the top gates might get to open this morning.

Do take care out there - 'Always stay humble in the mountains' (below report; I like that) - be prepared & have tons of fun.


Today I'm going to get my 'month review' finished up and I will post it tomorrow.



Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 5am: -9℃, 10cm, calm. Moiwa 800m: -7.3℃, W0.4m/s, moderate snowdrift development at night. Annupuri 1150m: -11℃, westerly wind & snow with gusts, 20cm snowfall with snowdrifts development. Hirafu 1250m: -13℃, mild wind, 20cm snowfall. Coastal data: Benkei cape NNW9m/s, Kamui cape N3m/s, 1024hPa, 0.9m waves.

The isobars are spreading out and the newly grown snowdrifts are starting to stabilize. No notable weakness has been observed during the morning pressure test. The avalanche risk is relatively low this morning.

Peak gates are expected to open. Please talk to the patrols at the gates and be prepared for out of bounds conditions.

Better not stimulate cornices, knolls and steep terrains. The stabilization of higher elevation slopes is delayed and risks of large scale slides are still considerable under the current conditions. Stay away from the Backbowl sidewalls and Higashi-One cornice slopes. Also, avoid skiing the bottom of the valleys even if you are in lower elevation. Avalanches that start higher will strike everything under it.

Waist deep powder conditions today. Snowboarders should better carry snowshoes and poles, skiers better use a leashes. Beware of hidden cracks in the snowpack. This information is issued for the safety of all resort users. Be conscious that knowledge and experience can be useless sometimes. Always stay humble in the mountains. Precaution is crucial to come back safe.

Fantastic conditions today, enjoy :)


Thursday 1st February 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

Official snow depth:
- Top: 475cm
- Base: 240cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts should be operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 360cm
- Base: 250cm

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) - on February 3rd-4th. 1,400 yen special ticket required.

Official snow depth:
- Top: 350cm
- Base: 220cm


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 ...

Hakuba Now!

Thursday 1st February 2018, 8:28am
Weather conditions: Cloud, blue sky
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning everyone.

There was a lot of cloud remaining during the day yesterday but gradually more blue sky appeared in the afternoon and the sun was breaking through the clouds in some places for short periods too.

No fresh snow to report (other than 1cm by Hakuba Goryu on upper slopes) this morning but it's keeping cold which is good news. There is lots of cloud around early on with some blue sky visible at the moment. Early conditions should be very nice.

The forecast for snow is still looking good. Expect sun tomorrow but back to snow falling on Saturday into next week. Some decent fresh snowfall numbers look likely come Monday and Tuesday.

There's not much else to say really this morning other than... I'm off for some morning skiing!


Ski resort information on Thursday 1st February 2018 (at time of writing):

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- Lifts appear to be operating as normal

Courses open:
- All courses should be open as normal

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 365cm
- Usagidaira: 195cm
- Lower: 145cm


Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- Lifts appear to be operating as normal
- The top Alps Number 2/4 pair lifts will be open weekends until 4th Feb; then daily from 10th Feb until 18th March

Courses open:
- All courses should be open as normal

Official snow depth:
- Top: 370cm
- Toomi: 130cm
- Iimori: 95cm


Hakuba 47

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned
- Line D usually operates only when the Gondola is not operating

Courses open:
- All main courses available

Official snow depth:
- Top: 300cm
- Base: 120cm


Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- Most lifts apart are operating as scheduled
- Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner I, IV and Number 11 romance not operating

Courses open:
- All course areas are open apart from parts Kane-no-naru-oka Number 2

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori: 290cm
- Han-no-ki: 290cm
- Maruyama: 120cm
- Shirakaba: 260cm
- Champion: 150cm
- Oya-no-hara: 170cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: 160cm


Hakuba Cortina

Operating lifts:
- All lifts are operating this morning

Courses open:
- All courses apart from Itadaira Ridge should be open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 330cm
- Base: 200cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

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

Official snow depth:
- Top: 220cm
- Base: 130cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Alps Number 1 and 7 are operating.

Official snow depth:
- 270cm


Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

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

Official snow depth:
- 170cm


Hakuba Sanosaka

Operating lifts:
- All three lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 150cm


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 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 ...

Myoko Now!

Thursday 1st February 2018, 8:29am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Just a light dusting of snow overnight; ready for a refill. That could happen tomorrow night, some of the forecasts say.

A pretty good crust on fresh snow at base today, although it was really nice all down the mountain yesterday.

Good on the slopes, and it will be getting colder through the week and into the weekend as well.


Akakura Kanko:
300 cm, -5°

Akakura Onsen:
370cm, -6°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
255cm, -4.5°

Myoko Suginohara:
215cm, -12°

Seki Onsen:
400 cm, -5°

Myoko Ski Park:
280 cm, -2°

Kyukamura RunRun:
350 cm, -3°

Tangram Ski Circus:
220 cm, -3°

Madarao Kogen:
230 cm, -5°

Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Thursday 1st February 2018, 8:35am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba! It's an overcast start in the Mikuni valley today, with low cloud and a little light snow falling. The air temperature is reading -5°C, but with this low cloud it feels quite close out there. The pistes are still fresh after the recent storms, but they are well groomed all around. The forecast has shifted somewhat since yesterday, now predicting that we should expect a reasonable snowfall overnight tonight and that temperatures should hover just below 0°C throughout the storm.

Looking forwards, we should expect light snow and temperatures above 0°C throughout tomorrow, with little wind. On Saturday, another block of moist air will move in, bringing with it light snow to begin with, followed by heavy snow on Sunday night. This heavy snow will continue until at least Tuesday. The air temperature of this storm system will be hovering around 0°C to begin with, but dropping significantly on Monday to lows of -9°C. The wind is predicted to remain light throughout, however this seems unlikely due to the volume of snow and temperatures that are being predicted.

Kumotta!   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Thursday 1st February 2018, 8:50am
Weather conditions: Fair
New snowfall: 7cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

We have beautiful blue skies all around the entire Bandai region this morning. Lovely.

And as a bonus, there's also 7cm of fresh snow on the ground from last night. So conditions are soft and light once again this morning.

The sunshine is very strong this morning, so eye protection is required.

The road snow plow teams are working hard every morning to keep the access roads clear and letting us all get to the resort easily... so a big thank you to them.


Lifts operating:

- All lifts operating

Courses open:

- All courses open

Official snow depth:
- 280cm

- Grandeco snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Thursday 1st February 2018, 8:53am
Weather conditions: Generally cloudy skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Hello and good morning from Shiga Kogen.

Beautiful day yesterday and it didn't warm up (good thing).

There is more cloud around this morning but it feels like it is going to be a fine day weather wise. But which way will it go? Some forecast say a chance of snow by the end of the day. We'll have to see what nature decides to do.

We enter February in good shape with the forecast also looking tasty for snowfall over the coming week.


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



250cm   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Yuzawa Now
16th Nov, 12:39pm
Niseko Now
16th Nov, 12:13pm
Hakuba Now
16th Nov, 10:48
Madarao Now
16th Nov, 10:21
Shiga Kogen Now
15th Nov, 9:32
Nozawa Onsen Now
13th Nov, 9:34
Zao Now
07th Nov, 7:27
Grandeco Now
19th Oct, 14:51am
Myoko Now
06th Oct, 15:27am
Furano Now
06th May, 9:04am
Naeba Now
06th May, 8:28am
Minakami Now
06th May, 8:27am
Appi Kogen Now
06th May, 8:04
Geto Kogen Now
06th May, 8:01