Snow and weather reports posted on Thursday 27th February 2020

Yuzawa Now!

Monday 22nd December 2014, 8:00am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, but bright for now
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 135cm
There wasn't really much going on weather wise yesterday with it rain, sleet and a bit of snow at different times. Not much of any of those though.

Just a dusting of snow at town level this morning, while Kagura report 10cm of fresh snow. Right now snow is falling but at the same time I can see the sun shining through in places, a real mix of conditions. It kind of feels a bit half-hearted right now.

There is a heavy snow warning out for this area though right now so perhaps it will come on and bring us the snow from now.

Looking ahead after the snow due today, clearer conditions expected tomorrow possibly with snow showers from time to time - snow back to the area by mid-week.

Seems odd to be saying this so soon after so much snow fell from the skies last week but... fresh snow please!


Official snow depths:

GALA Yuzawa:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Joetsu Kokusai:
Kandatsu Kogen:
Maiko Snow Resort:
NASPA Ski Garden:
Yuzawa Kogen:
Yuzawa Nakazato:


Planned opening dates for resorts in Yuzawa Town and Minamiuonuma City (by date):

All resorts not noted here are now at least part open.

Tuesday 23rd December:

Thursday 25th December:

Saturday 27th December:
Ishiuchi Hanaoka

Late December
Mt Granview


Ski resorts in Yuzawa town
Ski resorts in Minamiuonuma City   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Monday 22nd December 2014, 8:04am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 150cm
Hello from Nozawa, where I'm happy to report that it's snowing again.

The resort reports 8-10cm on the upper slopes since yesterday with none down below and at base, for the moment anyway. I don't think we'll be getting large amounts today. Perhaps the Snow Gods can take that as a dare. ;)

It's not that cold this morning the temperature is hovering around the 0C mark and will likely do so for the day. Colder up on the mountain of course, where it looks like visibility is quite poor on the upper slopes at the start of the day.

Cloud and snow showers forecast for tomorrow as well.

Some of the steeper slopes still not open yet... presumably we're waiting for another decent snowfall to get them open.


Fresh snow this morning:

Yamabiko - 10cm
Uenotaira - 8cm
Hikage - 0cm
Nagasaka - 0cm
Karasawa - 0cm

Official snow depths:

Yamabiko - 240cm
Uenotaira - 235cm
Hikage - 165cm
Nagasaka - 150cm
Karasawa - 140cm


Courses open:

All courses are now open except:

Hikage no kabe
Grand Prix course
Jumping Course
Challenge 39
Kandahara West
Kandahara East
Kamoshika Course


Lifts open (subject to weather conditions):

All lifts operating except:

Kandahar Pair
Hikage Number 2 Pair A line


Nozawa Onsen 6 day weather and snow forecast
Nozawa Onsen main resort data   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Monday 22nd December 2014, 8:25am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 20cm
Snow depth: 90cm
It's a really very - very - cold morning here in the Niseko area. My thermometer says -10C. Niseko Village has a low on their report of -16C. The numbers look cold and it sure feels cold too.

I bring news of fresh snow on the ground as well with 20cm at my base here and as you can see on the Avalanche Report below, 25-30cm being reported on the mountain. Lower areas could do with that again (and again, sorry for being greedy!) to freshen things up good and proper.

Unfortunately, the strong winds are still with us. Not as much as yesterday morning and this morning it's not affecting lifts like it was yesterday.

Forecast for the coming few days is slightly less cold and generally cloudy conditions with snow continiung to fall on and off.


Regular readers of Niseko Now will know that sometimes we look at the snowfall numbers that have been reported in Kutchan Town by the Japan Meteorological Agency. Just for a bit of fun. These are the official data recorded by JMA in Kutchan Town - not on the mountain, which usually gets considerably more snowfall. But as it's a constant that we can compare year to year, it's something that is of interest.

Anyway, last season here's the snowfall recorded in early season

November 2013: 99cm
December 2013: 258cm

And here's the same this year:

December 2014: 41cm
December 2014: 237cm

Of course, we were disappointed with November this year, but as you can see with over a week left for December we are only 21cm off the number from last season for the whole month.


Resort specific news at time of writing - subject to change during the day

Niseko Grand Hirafu:
Other than a problem with the Family Lift that they hope to get sorted quickly, Hirafu looks to be opening lifts as ppanned - Gondola running at slower speed.

Niseko Hanazono:
Niseko Hanazono looks set to start the day as planned.

Niseko Village:
Niseko Village looks set to start the day as planned.

Niseko Annupuri:
Annupuri Gondola not operating due to wind conditions.


Niseko Avalanche Report

Moiwa base: -11C, 10cm of broken crystal snow. Moiwa 800m: -13C, NW20m/s, 30cm of new snow. Annupuri 1150m: -18C, W20m/s, 25cm of fresh. 1000m altitude snowpack 135cm. Coastal data: Benkei cape WNW23m/s, Kamui cape WSW19m/s, 1002hPa, 3.1m waves.

The atmospheric pressure gradient remains steep and the storm is persisting. Cornices and snowdrifts are developing and the avalanche risk is high in leeward knolls and cornice slopes around 700m. Avalanches mostly occur in heavy snowdrift slopes during and just after storms, and become an accident if somebody is involved in it. Do not duck ropes to seek fresh lines. One track left under the rope will lead many others to follow it and increase the chances of accidents to happen. Out of bounds access from the resort is still restricted. Avalanche risk is also high everywhere else in the Niseko backcountry area. Carefully chose your tour route. Snowdrift slabs take some time to stabilize after the storm settles down. Precaution is key to safety. Beautiful conditions in the trees today. Beware of frostbite.


Official snow depth numbers and any notes at time of writing:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 230cm
Base - 95cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 150cm
Base - 110cm

Niseko Annupuri:
Top - 135cm
Base - 110cm


Lifts open for night skiing (planned):

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift.
There is no night skiing at the Hanazono area.

Niseko Village
Community Chair and Banzai Chair

Niseko Annupuri
Jumbo Number 1 Quad


Niseko Grand Hirafu 6 day weather and snow forecast   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Monday 22nd December 2014, 8:45am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 110cm
Just a light dusting of snowfall overnight and a cloudy start to the day in Madarao Kogen.

Temperature of -5C.

Due to icy conditions the opening of the Tree Run courses seems to be postponed.

Which means... more fresh snow please!

We should be getting snowed on during the day today with clearer skies likely tomorrow. Look to the next snowfall after that on Christmas Eve into 25th. So it looks like it just might be a White Christmas. Ho ho ho. I bet Santa might even show up at Madarao.


Lifts open:

Number 1 lift
Number 2 quad lift
Super quad lift
Number 11 lift
Number 12 lift
Number 15 lift
Moving Walkway

Tree Run Courses opening postponed due to icy conditions this morning


Madarao Kogen 6 day weather and snow forecast
Madarao Kogen main resort data   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Monday 22nd December 2014, 8:58am
Weather conditions: Cloud and poor visibility
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: 175cm
Fresh snow to report this morning from Hakuba.

Around 5cm on the ground here by my place in the village but resorts around the valley reporting around 10cm at base and up to 30cm on upper slopes overnight.

It's coming down very nicely at the moment as well, so the cm should be building up quite quickly once again if this continues.

Visibility generally poor.. it's the price we must pay for heavy snow.

Those who brave the conditions this morning will be rewarded with some fine fresh snow conditions. Those who wait until tomorrow - looks like they'll be able to enjoy the fresh conditions with clearer skies above Hakuba....decent chance of sun making an appearance tomorrow and it'll be slightly warmer as well.

Do keep an eye on the data below as I do go through them all and update each morning... wouldn't want you to miss those updates! Takes time to get it all together each day. Gambarimasu.


Official snow depth numbers and operations as of 22nd December 2014. Subject to change during the day:

Hakuba Goryu:
Reporting 30cm of new snowfall at Alps Daira, now official 2.5m snow depth up there.
All lifts operating except Alps Daira 2&4 and Toomi Number 2 Pair lift.
All courses open except Adventure Course.
Night skiing at Toomi every day until 31st March.

- Alps Daira - 250cm
- Toomi - 175cm
- Iimori - 150cm


Hakuba 47:
Reporting 10cm at base and 20cm of fresh snowfall on upper slopes this morning. 5cm during the day yesterday as well on mountain.
All courses open.
Tree Riding Zone not open yet.

- Upper - 215cm
- Lower - 120cm


Reporting 10cm of new snowfall on the upper slopes this morning.
Most courses at Happo-one are now open.
The Kokusai Lift closed early on because of heavy snow fall on the safety nets.
Snow Chao Kids Park is now open.
Happo Banks The Snow Park not yet open.

- Usagidaira - 210cm
- Nakiyama - 120cm
- Sakka - 120cm


Hakuba Cortina:
Reporting 10cm of new snowfall at base and 20cm on upper areas.
Lifts 3, 5 and 7 not open - resort part open (Giant, Rabbit, Snake, Kamoshika not yet open).
Night skiing every day until 31st March.

- Upper - 245cm
- Lower - 155cm


Tsugaike Kogen:
Most areas of Tsugaike Kogen are now open, most notably the Uma-no-se course not yet open.
Han-no-ki Number 3 Quad and Han-no-ki high speed pair lifts delayed due to clearing snow.
Next night skiing is from 27th December through 1st January in both Kane-no-naru-oka and Karamatsu-Shirakaba areas.

- Tsuga-no-mori - 260cm
- Maruyama - 210cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka - 160cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Reporting 0-5cm of fresh snowfall.
Resort is part open.

- Upper - 170cm
- Lower - 90cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Reporting 10cm of fresh snowfall.
Resort is part open.

- 200cm


All areas now open.
Night skiing every day until 31st March.

- 120cm   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Monday 22nd December 2014, 9:30am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: 160cm
A few cm of new snowfall this morning in Zao along with cold temperatures (-6C when I got up this morning), morning fog and generally poor visibility both at base and on the slopes.

Hardly any wind though... for the moment.

Very nice snow conditions out there with more fresh snow on the way today and forecast stronger winds.

Clearer weather is probably tomorrow before we get back into fresh snow falling for Christmas.

All of Zao is now open apart from the Ryuzan area (and the Karamatsu lift which is closed on weekdays).


Official snow depths (22nd December 14):

Utopia: 160cm
Chuo: 160cm
Paradise: 150cm
Uwanodai: 125cm


Night skiing operations at Zao this season

Uwanodai area:
From today until 22nd March

Yokokura area:
From Friday 26th December until 4th January;
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Friday 9th January until 15th March

Open times from 5pm until 9pm.


Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time ropeway operations

December 2014: 27th-31st
January 2015: 1st-4th, 10th-12th, 17th-18th, 24th-31st
February 2015: 1st-28th

Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm.
Ropeway return charges are 2600 yen for adults and 1300 yen for children.
In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Monday 22nd December 2014, 9:30am
Weather conditions: Clouded over in the last hour
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 60cm
Early on this morning we were treated to a lovely sunrise and clearer skies, but since then it has clouded over, started snowing - and we should have snow for the day.

It's a cold morning too with temperatures down into minus double figures.

Snow isn't expected to be falling into tomorrow though with a good chance of clouds moving on and making way for some clearer conditions. After that, snow expected on Christmas Day.


Resort areas status with official snow depths:

Okushiga Kogen:
Most open (note: skiers only resort area)

Most open

Ichinose Family
Most open

Ichinose Yamanokami:

Ichinose Diamond:
Part open

Takamagahara Mammoth:




Most open

Happo Bundaraia:

Sun Valley:



Open (note: skiers only resort area)

Most open.
Shibutoge area not yet open.


Planned night floodlit skiing at Shiga Kogen resort areas this season:

Sun Valley:
December 29th-30th; January 1st-2nd, 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd to March 21st

December 29th-31st; January 1st-3rd, 10th, 11th

Takamagahara Mammoth:
December 20th-22nd, 27th-31st; January 1st-3rd

Ichinose Family:
Every day until March 29th

Ichinose Diamond:
December 27th-31st; January 1st-3rd, 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until March 28th

December 27th-31st; January 1st-3rd, 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until February 21st

December 20th-23rd, 27th-31st; January 1st-3rd; Every Saturday from January 3rd until March 28th   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Monday 22nd December 2014, 9:33am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 170cm
Light snow showers from this morning with heavy snow forecast, winds estimated to reach 50km from this evening and easing off through tomorrow, with clear skys from the afternoon.


Snow depths:

Valley 20cm
Upper Mountains 170cm


New snowfall:

Valley 0cm
Upper Mountains 0cm   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Monday 22nd December 2014, 9:48am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 50cm
Stepping outside this morning you could feel the return to double digit negatives and that wintery chill on your face. Conditions are a bit of a mixed bag with some rain and warmer temps hitting the slopes over the weekend making the snow a bit frosty in places.

Unfortunately the rumours of Kitanomine opening last weekend didn't come to fruition, and there is still a substaintial fall of snow needed to get things going on that side.

The good news is that there snow is on the radar for today through until fingers crossed to see what comes through.   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Yuzawa Now
27th Feb, 10:30am
Minakami Now
27th Feb, 10:12am
Aizu Bandai Now
27th Feb, 9:56am
Naeba Now
27th Feb, 9:22
Myoko Now
27th Feb, 9:14am
Hakuba Now
27th Feb, 9:12
Shiga Kogen Now
27th Feb, 9:00
Zao Now
27th Feb, 8:59
Nozawa Onsen Now
27th Feb, 8:46
Madarao Now
27th Feb, 8:44
Appi Kogen Now
27th Feb, 8:40
Niseko Now
27th Feb, 8:20
Geto Kogen Now
27th Feb, 7:56
Furano Now
26th Feb, 7:39
Grandeco Now
06th Dec, 14:16am