Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 10th May 2021
Friday 1st May 2015, 7:55am
Good morning from Niseko. Here we are, on the first of May with just 6 days left of the snow season including today.
This morning the sun is out once again and I don't think wind should be causing much of a problem today.
The fine weather is due to continue over the weekend as well.
Just 3cm of snow was recorded (by me) during the month of April 2015 and that compares with 13cm from April 2014. Observed snowfall numbers here at base for the last two seasons look like this:
2014-2015 season: 1144cm 2013-2014 season: 1163cm
Remarkably close numbers there but unless we get 19cm of snowfall in the village here in the next few days (!), last season will have edged it. In terms of how much snowfall I record here at base. I'll write more about that at the end of the season proper, but you can always take a look at the numbers that are shown lower down this page.
As there's not a whole lot to report right now and I only have a few reports left to this season, I thought that over the next few days I'd get round to answering some questions that have been sent in to SnowJapan by Niseko Now readers.
One of the most frequent questions is people asking for my identity. I'd prefer not to divulge and remain anonymous. Hopefully you'll still trust me without knowing exactly who I am. There's a few reasons for that, not least that lots of people would very probably treat me differently if they knew; and also the simple fact that I enjoy being private/anonymous. I'm also buffered from any moans from folk asking why I write about rain and wind (when it is raining and it is windy) and other stuff that might not be overwhelmingly Niseko-tastic - and that can only be a good thing! I do of course get to see all comments that are sent in to SnowJapan about my reports. And again, thank you for those they are always good to read.
If you want to send me a question, please do and I might get round to answering it over the next few days. And sorry in advance if I can't (or won't) answer!
Planned resort operations for the rest of the season - weather conditions may mean changes on any given day, but these are the plans!
Niseko Grand Hirafu: - Ace Quad Number 2 Center four - until May 6 - King Triple Lift Number 3 - until May 6 - King Number 4 - until May 6 - Hirafu Gondola - from May 2 until May 6 - Spring Park plans to be open until May 6
Lower areas closed - get back down using the Ace Number 2 Center four lift or the Hirafu Gondola on the days it is operation. The Holiday Course is open when the Gondola is operating.
Niseko Annupuri: - Annupuri Gondola - until May 6 - Jumbo Number 1 quad - until May 6 - Jumbo Number 4 pair - until May 6
The fine, bright, warm and sunny conditions continue in the region, and further afield by the looks of things.
Today, tomorrow and Sunday are all expected to deliver similar conditions.
Naeba will once again open for the weekend and continue through until Wednesday 6th - they plan to have the Number 2 Gondola, Takenokodaira Romance lift and Daishamen Romance lift operating.
Things forecast to get a slightly cooler on Monday with the chance of some rainfall. It will be the first rain we have had for quite a while.
Official snow depths: ** General opening plans - any unplanned closures will be mentioned in the above report **
GALA Yuzawa: Official snow depth of 150cm. Most of the Central Area and part of the North Area remain open. The South Area is now closed. The downhill course is also now closed - get down back to base using the Gondola.
Kagura: Official snow depth of 290cm. All three main areas of Kagura remain pretty much fully open.
Naeba: Official snow depth of 120cm. Part of Naeba will open from Saturday 2nd until 6th May.
Planned closing dates for resorts in the Yuzawa region Information as currently available and of course subject to change depending on conditions. Resorts not mentioned below are now closed.
Open until Wednesday May 6th:
- Naeba (** ONLY OPEN Saturday 2nd until Wednesday 6th **) - GALA Yuzawa - Kagura (Tashiro)
Subject to change. This is what the plans are for the lifts that remain operating at Zao Onsen:
Until Wednesday 6th May Chuo Number 1 Pair AB Chuo Number 2 Pair AB
Operating through the year (for general tourism outside of snow season) Sky Cable Chuo Ropeway Zao Ropeway
Last day of the snow season currently planned for Wednesday 6th May. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Friday 1st May 2015, 9:01am
The sun continues to shine
And the sun continues to shine!
The forecast remains good for the weekend, with a chance of rain as we enter next week. That would certainly make for a change, though perhaps it would be good if it could wait until the lifts close - after Wednesday!
The Rinkan course now closed.
Official snow depths:
Yamabiko - 170cm Uenotaira - 75cm
Operating daily until Wednesday 6th May:
* The times in brackets are the special early opening times on the last 5 days of the season from Saturday 2nd until Wednesday 6th May:
- Nagasaka Gondola (*8:10am) - Yamabiko Number 2 Four lift (*8:30am) - Yamabiko Four lift (*8:25am) - Uenotaira Four lift (*8:30am) - Paradise Four lift (*8:30am)
Saturday 2nd May until Wednesday 6th May:
- Skyline connecting pair lift
Courses that remain open
Yamabiko A Yamabiko B Yamabiko C Yamabiko D Yamabiko E Kokenashi Uenotaira Paradise
Just how long are these clear skies going to continue?
If the forecasts are right, the sun is going to be out in force through the weekend and maybe taking a bit of a break early week, before coming back for the end of the Golden Week run of holidays.
Temperatures have been and will be rising to mid-20s levels in the afternoon. Feels fantastic to be out and on the mountains.
Official snow depth numbers and planned operations. Subject to change:
Hakuba Goryu: Top of Hakuba Goryu plans to be at least part open until Sunday 10th May. All lower areas arew now closed. Top Panorama, Grand Prix and Super courses remain open. Ride the Gondola back down. The following lifts remain open: - Hakuba Goryu Telecabin Gondola - Alps Number 1 pair lift - Alps Number 3 pair lift - Alps Number 2/4 pair lift
** Official snow depth: Alps Daira - 140cm
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 plans to be at least part open until Wednesday 6th May. Currently all open (top to bottom) apart from a small lower part of R7. Slight walk from the snow at base to the Gondola. All good exercise! The following lifts remain open: - Gondola - Pair lift Line AB - Quad lift Line C - High speed pair Line E
** Official snow depth: Upper - 115cm Lower - 20cm
Happo-one: Happo-one plans to be at least part open until Sunday 10th May. The top area of the resort remains open - all lower areas now closed, so you need to take the Gondola back down. The following lifts remain open: - Adam Gondola - Alpen quad - Usagidaira pair - Kurobishi Number 2 quad - Kurobishi Number 3 pair - Skyline Number 2 pair - Grat quad - Panorama pair - Hakuba Kokusai Number 3 pair
The Kokusai Number 1 pair and Saka Kita One quad lifts are also scheduled to be operating from today until Wednesday 6th May. They are effectively acting as 'get you there' lifts to relieve some of the pressure from the Gondola.
Happo has started it's 'yuki asobi' (play in the snow) event and that will go on until 10th May when the ski resort closes.
** Official snow depth: Usagidaira - 110cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Tsugaike Kogen plans to be at least part open until Wednesday 6th May. Top area and part of Maruyama remain open. Lower areas all closed. The following lifts remain open: - Eve Gondola - Han-no-ki high speed pair - Tsuga Number 2 pair - Tsugaike Ropeway
** Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori - 195cm
Other resorts in the area are now closed for the season. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Friday 1st May 2015, 9:26am
The warm and sunny weather continues - it's been beautiful weather the however many days or so (seems like forever).
Late weekend as we enter early next week there are signs of colder temps and even some rain.
I have checked and updated the lift operations info below. Beyond next Wednesday (which is the last day of the Golden Week holidays here in Japan), just a few lifts will be operating until the following Sunday and then after that it's down to Yokoteyama and Shibutoge - and who knows how long they will continue to be open! Any joint tickets will only be able to be used until Wednesday... after that it's individual ski-jo tickets only.
RESORT AREAS THAT REMAIN OPEN & PLANNED CLOSING DATES:
At least part open until Wednesday May 6th
Ichinose Diamond: The Diamond quad lift open daily until May 6th
Ichinose Family: The Ichinose Quad and Ichinose Number 2B pair lifts open daily until May 6th
Takamagahara Mammoth: The Takamagahara Quad open daily until May 6th
Tannenomori Okujo: Open daily until May 6th
Terakoya: Open daily until May 6th
Yakebitaiyama: Number 2 Gondola and Number 2 high speed lift open daily until May 6th
Beyond Wednesday 6th May
Okushiga Kogen: Okushiga Number 4 lift and Gondola open daily until May 6th Okushiga Number 2, Okushiga Number 3 open daily until May 10th
Kumanoyu: Kumanoyu Number 1 and 3 lifts open daily until May 6th Kumanoyu Number 2 pair lift open until May 10th
Yokoteyama-Shibutoge: Yokoteyama Skylift 1 A and B lines open until May 6th Yokoteyama Skylift 2 and 3 and Shibutoge lift open beyond May 6th Read more ...
Friday 1st May 2015, 9:44am
Clear and sunny
Good morning from Naeba and since last week we have enjoyed lots of sunshine and warm conditions... with snow very quickly melting away.
And here's what Naeba plans to have open from tomorrow until Wednesday 6th May, which will be the last day of the Naeba season.
- Number 2 Gondola (8:30am until 4pm) - Takenokodaira Romance lift (8:45am until 4pm) - Daishamen Romance lift (8:45am until 3:45pm)
Still, almost all of the Kagura areas remain open as normal. The Dragondola connecting Naeba with Tashiro is not open and the downhill course at Mitsumata (back down to the car park) is also closed for the season... you need to get the Ropeway back down at Mitsumata.
Basically - a bit of terrain open at Naeba and a lot of it open at Kagura. Expect Kagura to be especially popular over this Golden Week period - and early start is advised if you don't want a long walk from the car to the Ropeway and/or a wait for the Ropeway itself.
Official Kagura snow depth is at the time of writing on 290cm and 120cm at Naeba.
Photos added below, taken on Friday 1st May.
Naeba: A small upper part of Naeba will be open from Saturday 2nd May until Wednesday 6th May.
Kagura: The Tashiro area will be open daily until May 6th. The main Kagura area, via Mitsumata Ropeaway, will be open daily right through until May 31st.
This Naeba Now report will now be updated once a week until the end of the season.
For daily reports from the Yuzawa region, please check out the Yuzawa Now reports on SnowJapan. Yuzawa Now will be updated on a daily basis through until Golden Week and after that we'll keep you updated regularly until the lifts finally stop moving at Kagura.
This Naeba Now report started updating for the 2014/2015 season on 31st January 2015. As such, the 'observed snowfall season' numbers shown at the bottom of the report will only reflect data from that date onwards. Please read our Yuzawa Now daily reports section for more information on the first part of the season in the Yuzawa region. Read more ...
Friday 1st May 2015, 9:54am
Clear and sunny
Beautiful weather over the last week and things have really warmed up. The clear conditions look likely to continue over the weekend too and probably into next week as well.
There's still a lot of snow up top but it's all quickly melting now.
Tanigawa Tenjindaira is of course the only ski resort that remains part open in the area and they plan to be open for skiing/boarding until at least the end of Golden Week (Wednesday 6th) and possibly a bit beyond... undetermined right at the moment. Basically it will depend on the snow.
The Tenjin Toge pair lift is now open once again with a some snow walls on either side... it's on it's lower 'summer setting' now ready for the tourist season. Read more ...
Friday 1st May 2015, 10:09am
It is another nice spring day here in Furano. The snowcapped upper mountain contrasts with the green grasses of the valley, and the pink of the blossoms that are now out. We are now in the final stages of the ski season with just a few days left. The last day of operation for the ski area will be 6 May, as long as the snow holds out. The skiing on the open trails is still pretty good and it is worth while heading up for a few golden week last turns. The next few days are forecast to be generally sunny but there is some heavy rain on the radar for Tuesday evening and light rain Wednesday morning.