Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 28th May 2018

Geto Kogen Now!

Monday 22nd January 2018, 7:27am
Weather conditions: Clear, cloud set to come over
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
Fresh snow! And with any luck, I’ll be starting the report with that for the next few days. Yesterday we saw some consistent, moderate snow falling from around mid-morning, with about 5cm hitting the ground throughout the day. Overnight, we’ve seen another 5, so since my last report, we’ve got 10cm to report.

It’s been a while since we’ve had some fresh stuff to report (but it's still Japan, so max 4 or 5 days). From my position, I can see the fresh snow on the sides that the groomer has missed, and it looks beautiful. We’ve got a cloudy morning in store with tops of -3C today and more snow on the way this evening, and for the coming few days.

Tuesday: light to moderate snow, light to strong winds, tops of 0C
Wednesday: heavy snow (30-40cm!), light to moderate winds, tops of -10C
Thursday: light to moderate snow, moderate winds, tops of -8C

Tips for the day: Stick to the sides of the runs to pick up that powder, or of course dip into the trees. Remember, the silver lining to the 1st Gondola being closed is that the access isn’t as easy as it usually is — so it’s all untouched. Get off the 2nd Gondola and take a 2 minute walk up the groomed run and you’ll find some nice points to drop in and enjoy the good stuff before anyone else can.

Let’s pray to the snow gods for a good winter harvest this Wednesday.


Gondola One Update:

According to the resort, they’re aiming for early February for the Gondola to be back up and running. Fingers crossed for the first week, but we’ll have to wait and see.


Zones open include Summit, Rabbit, Beech & Stream. At this stage Shooter will remain closed until the main gondola is open.


Official snow depths:

Top: 310cm
Base: 225cm

Nighta skiing operations are planned at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018.   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Monday 22nd January 2018, 7:43am
Weather conditions: Cloudy skies
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa.

After a lovely morning again yesterday, things started to cloud over in the afternoon and then some rain that turned into snow. A bit of a wind as well.

I am glad to be able to report almost 5cm of fresh snow on the ground. Not a huge amount - but we have large numbers to look forward to this week because the forecasts are still all pointing to some prolonged heavy snowfall into the weekend. The exciting full-on snowfall is due to start from later in the day tomorrow.

Exciting stuff.

Oh, by the way Kagura are reporting 10-20cm of fresh snowfall and Maiko Snow Resort is reporting 5-10cm.

In the meantime it is just cloudy at the moment this morning with the chance of some more snow falling later on.


Images today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Yuzawa IC exit (Route 17).

Updated: Monday 22nd January 2018

Ski resorts in Yuzawa:

GALA Yuzawa
- 210cm

- 140cm

- Kagura area: 310cm
- Mitsumata area: 210cm
- Tashiro area: 260cm

Kandatsu Kogen
- 180cm

- 210cm (base)

NASPA Ski Garden
- 145cm

Yuzawa Kogen
- Top: 170cm
- Base: 120cm

Yuzawa Park
- 110cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
- 120cm


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

Ishiuchi Maruyama
- 160cm

Joetsu Kokusai
- 170cm

Maiko Snow Resort
- Top: 175cm
- Base: 85cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- Closed on Wednesdays until 14th March
- 250cm   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Monday 22nd January 2018, 7:45am
Weather conditions: Foggy
New snowfall: 7cm
Snow depth: --
It is a cold morning and it won't get much warmer during the day. It is -9c now and will only rise up to -7c by midday, and just remember that is the temperature in the town so it will be a bit colder than that at the top of the resort. Furano received 12cm yesterday and this morning there has been a further top up of 7cm. It is certainly pretty heavy snow at the village level anyway. Looking up at the resort there is early morning cloud rolling down the slopes to the base level. This will probably lift later leaving a mainly overcast day.   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Monday 22nd January 2018, 8:05am
Weather conditions: Overcast and cloudy
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning!

After that clear start to the day yesterday, clouds did move in and...

Snow! It's good to see fresh snow around this morning - not massive amounts, but we can wait another day or two for that. Think of this as a starter. The resort is reporting 5cm at lower Hikage and Karasawa areas and 15cm up on the top Yamabiko areas.

So you know where to head this morning.

Just cloudy skies at the moment and things are going to be keeping colder today - with a good chance of more snowfall later on today/tonight.

And that forecast is still looking really promising. I can't wait to bring you news of big snow this week!


Monday 22nd January 2018

Fresh snowfall since yesterday (as reported by the resort):

- Yamabiko (1407m): 15cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 5cm
- Hikage (660m): 5cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 5cm
- Karasawa (563m): -cm

Official snow depth numbers:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 245cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 190cm
- Hikage (660m): 130cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 120cm
- Karasawa (563m): 90cm

Lifts operations:

- All scheduled lifts should 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):

- Challenge 39
- Grand Prix
- Kandahar   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Monday 22nd January 2018, 8:18am
Weather conditions: Part cloudy
New snowfall: 11cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Zao.

A layer of fresh snow to report at base this morning... slightly over 10cm. It's a cold start to the day too with the top station reporting a temperature of -14C. The snow conditions should be good, especially if there's more fresh up on the mountain.

A more full-on prolonged dump of light snow would be welcome and this week should be bringing just that. Heavy snow at times along with strong winds likely through the week, starting tomorrow.


Lifts and course info:

- All lifts operating (apart from Karamatsu which is normally closed on weekdays)
- All areas open

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 135cm
- Paradise area: 150cm
- Chuo area: 150cm
- Utopia area: 160cm
- Uwanodai area: 90cm
- Oomori area: 90cm


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:

January 2018: 27th-31st
February 2018: every day
March 2018: 1st-4th   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Monday 22nd January 2018, 8:20am
Weather conditions: Cloudy skies
New snowfall: 8cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning.

It is going to be a very good week. I can feel it.

We have a modest amount of fresh snow on the ground this morning - the resort is reporting 10cm; I am measuring 8cm - but this is just the start of what looks set to be one of the snowiest weeks of the season.

Once it starts snowing again later today, we're expecting it to pretty much continue right through until Saturday and at times it be coming down at a really fast rate.

Sounds like Tokyo is going too get snow today. They aren't used to it like we are so there may well be transportation disruption depending on how that pans out.

Anyway, expectations are very high - let's hope it lives up to them!


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
Snow Mobile Land

Planned nighta operations this season:

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

Minakami Now!

Monday 22nd January 2018, 8:29am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: --
Yesterday's late afternoon snow fall came in heavily for about an hour and then eased off here at the base. It was accumulating very quickly up top when I left Tenjin at about 4pm and there is likely to be quite a bit of soft fluffy stuff but the car park was largely spared.

A total of about 3-5cm fell at the base.

The forecast is still for us to get hammered by snow over the next week or so - it's all snow.


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 ...

Grandeco Now!

Monday 22nd January 2018, 8:29am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

There was 10cm of new snowfall in the afternoon yesterday, but it stopped falling in the evening. Not as heavy as we might have liked but all of the courses are covered with a layer of fresh snow.

According to the forecast, it will be snowing in Tokyo and many parts of the Kaneto area this afternoon through tomorrow - keep an eye on the traffic reports and drive safe... they aren't equipped or experienced to deal with it like we are here in Ura Bandai.

It will be snowing in this region from this evening through tomorrow and hopefully beyond.

The snow condition is getting soft, a good day to ride.


Lifts operating:

- All lifts operating

Courses open:

- All courses open

Official snow depth:
- 230cm

- Grandeco snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Monday 22nd January 2018, 8:31am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 16cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from here near Hirafu base.

And, hurray!, after snow (and wind) during the day yesterday I have double digit fresh snowfall numbers to report this morning - a very reasonable 16cm. And I see lots of people lined up waiting for the lifts to get going.

But there's a lot more to come this week, with some very decent snowfall being forecast by... the forecasts... into the weekend and beyond. It looks like it should be a very good week for snow, which is what I love to report.

And not only here in Hokkaido but lots of regions of Japan are set to get snowed on. Even Tokyo, which is set to get some snow today. Of course they don't like getting snow and it causes all sorts of problems (cue video on the national news of people slipping on the snow, along with some instantly broken umbrellas), so it would be good if it just fell in the areas that want it. Like, us.

Hopefully wind won't cause too many problems.

Light snow is falling as I write this report and snow on and off is what seems to be on the local forecasts for the day, though there's actually a bit of sun shining through a break in the clouds over to the east.

All ski resort areas appear to be opening as planned this morning - check for gate info.

Let's get ready for it. It should be a good week and a very positive last section of the month.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -10℃, 15cm snowfall with snowdrifts. Moiwa 800m: -13℃, W15m/s, large snowdrifts. Annupuri 1150m: -17℃, W15/s, 15cm snowfall with large snowdrifts. Hirafu1250m: -19℃, 20cm snowfall, mild wind with occasional gusts. Benkei cape: NW15m/s, Kamai cape: WSW12m/s, 1019hPa, 2.6m waves.

The isobars were tight and the wind stayed strong until late night, the leeward aspects have heavy load of snowdrifts and the avalanche risk is high above 800m. The wind is forecasted to calm down, the gates opening is still undetermined, but working on it. Please follow the patrol’s instructions.

The avalanche risk in the Backbowl, Osawa, Higashi-One is high, please refrain from going too far even after the gate open. Avalanche swipes the whole valley at 100+km/h. Better stay away from the bottom to be able to avoid. Traversing knolls and steep slopes can trigger a slide at anytime. Never traverse avalanche terrain. The tree runs are filled with slightly heavy, wind affected snow, very good conditions.

Please be mindful of your tour route. Being careful will prevent most accidents. Have you turned your beacon on? Helmet? Not obligatory, but strongly recommended. Beware of frostbites. The Niseko Rules exist to protect the safety and freedom of out of bounds riding. Please respect the Rules. Stormy days will persist throughout the week. We hope no accidents will happen.


Monday 22nd January 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
- 'Early Morning' services from 8:00am until 8:20am (Ace Number 2 Center Four quad lift). Until 28th January. 500 yen special ticket required.

Official snow depth:
- Top: 375cm
- Base: 175cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts are generally operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 290cm
- Base: 170cm

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). January 27th-28th; February 3rd-4th. 1,400 yen special ticket required.

Official snow depth:
- Top: 290cm
- Base: 170cm


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!

Monday 22nd January 2018, 8:33am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

And here we are at the start of a week that brings a lot of promise of large amounts of fresh snow. Yummy!

First of all the fresh snowfall headlines:

Hakuba Cortina: 5-10cm
Hakuba 47: reporting 10cm yesterday afternoon upper slopes
Hakuba Goryu: Toomi 1cm; upper areas 5cm
Hakuba Happo-one: 2cm at top Gondola station

So a modest layer of snow can be expected on the slopes - but there's that promise of much more just ahead of us.

Yesterday there was some good snow falling later in the afternoon and it was piling up quite quickly for a while, but it eased off in the evening.

This morning it's cloudy skies with snow forecast to be falling later on. Calm before the storm perhaps as when it starts snowing again it should be the start of the excellent week for snowfall that we are all expecting.

It's pretty exciting to look at the forecasts. If the snow happens like they are saying it will, we're on for some serious snowfall. Really serious.

And I will of course look forward to letting you know all about it every morning. :)


R4 / 47 Parks at Hakuba 47 are closed today and tomorrow as they do some 'remaking'.


Ski resort information on Monday 22nd January 2018 (at time of writing):

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned

Courses open:
- All course are open

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 340cm
- Usagidaira: 165cm
- Lower: 80cm


Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned (Alps Number 2 and 4 lifts usually operate on weekends only)

Courses open:
- All courses are open apart from Adventure

Official snow depth:
- Top: 290cm
- Toomi: 105cm
- Iimori: 50cm


Hakuba 47

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned (Line D usually operates only when the Gondola is closed)

Courses open:
- All courses available apart from R4 / 47 Parks (Monday and Tuesday)

Official snow depth:
- Top: 240cm
- Base: 70cm


Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner I are operating

Courses open:
- All course areas are open apart from Uma-no-se and parts of Sawa-one and Kane-no-naru-oka Number 2

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori: 260cm
- Han-no-ki: 255cm
- Maruyama: 100cm
- Shirakaba: 220cm
- Champion: 120cm
- Oya-no-hara: 110cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: 110cm


Hakuba Cortina

Operating lifts:
- All lifts are operating

Courses open:
- All courses apart from Mt Hieda 3 and Itadaira Ridge are open (those courses closed due to ground cracks)

Official snow depth:
- Top: 270cm
- Base: 155cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

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

Official snow depth:
- Top: 180cm
- Base: 100cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen

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

Official snow depth:
- 185cm


Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

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

Official snow depth:
- 140cm


Hakuba Sanosaka

Operating lifts:
- All three lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 105cm


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 27th January; 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 ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Monday 22nd January 2018, 9:00am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 4cm
Snow depth: --
Hello and good morning from Shiga Kogen.

It is cloudy at the moment but there is a thin layer of fresh snow to report since yesterday once those clouds moved in later in the day.

Good to see a return to colder conditions and we are now expecting a week of cold and snow.

Lots of it.

If you are planning to be here this week - be prepared!


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



180cm   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Monday 22nd January 2018, 9:30am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 14cm
Snow depth: --
The snow has started; not a whole lot of new stuff here at base, but the first bit of what we hope will be a lot more snow. Kind of weird to have wind from the east, and heavier cloud cover to the south and east than to the (more common) north and west.

Tomorrow could be pretty wild, though, as a huge low pressure cell moves in and the wind really picks up.

Keep an eye for lift closures if the predicted 70kph winds materialize in the afternoon.


Akakura Kanko:
240 cm, -6°

Akakura Onsen:
270cm, -7°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
195cm, -5°

Myoko Suginohara:
170cm, -9°

Seki Onsen:
330 cm, -4°

Myoko Ski Park:
190 cm, -1°

Kyukamura RunRun:
240 cm, -2°

Tangram Ski Circus:
180 cm, -4°

Madarao Kogen:
170 cm, -6°

Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Monday 22nd January 2018, 10:01am
Weather conditions: Sunny
New snowfall: 11cm
Snow depth: --
Hello from Appi,

It is sunny and no wind, but a very cold morning here.

We had about 11cm of snow last night and we are expecting some more tonight. Some of the runs are closed today, but the sun is up with clear sky and so it should be a great day for skiing!


Planned lift operations (subject to change):

- APPI Gondola
- Central quad
- Central number 2 lift
- Central number 3 lift A
- Central number 5 lift
- Central number 6 lift
- Sailer quad
- Nishimori lift

Note: The Sailer Gondola, Central Number 4 lift and Vista quad are usually rested on normal weekdays


Official snow depth:

195cm   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Monday 22nd January 2018, 10:17am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 8cm
Snow depth: --
It's cool, fresh start to the day in Naeba today, with the air temperature reading -6°C. We had a little snow later in the afternoon yesterday, which continued to fall into the late evening, however accumulation was limited to 8cm. The pistes have certainly benefited from the top up, however a good dump of fresh snow is what's needed to really liven things up. As for today's weather so far, there is no precipitation...yet! But the wind is slowly picking up indicating we could expect "Storm Finn" to arrive later in the afternoon. We should expect a little snow overnight again tonight and for temperatures to hover just below 0°C.

Looking forwards, there is a significant shift in the weather patterns we have been seeing over the past couple of weeks. Firstly, the temperature is expected to plummet down to as low as -15°C at the base on Saturday night, and day time highs are expected to be around -9°C. This, coupled with any wind chill, means that any snow which is falling is going to stay in fantastic condition. The snow accumulation predicted currently for "Storm Finn" is totaling 98cm at the base. Now, of course this predicted number will fluctuate as the week goes on, however that is a healthy figure to start the storm off. Of course, a far greater accumulation is expected higher up on the peaks. Coupled with this snow fall, we can expected some brisk winds, with the worst of these passing through on Thursday and Friday. It's great to be welcoming winter back into Mikuni valley!

Yuki!   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Yuzawa Now
29th Jun, 17:50am
Grandeco Now
28th Jun, 19:23am
Niseko Now
06th May, 9:21am
Furano Now
06th May, 9:04am
Hakuba Now
06th May, 9:02
Nozawa Onsen Now
06th May, 8:41
Shiga Kogen Now
06th May, 8:35
Myoko Now
06th May, 8:35am
Zao Now
06th May, 8:30am
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
Madarao Now
05th May, 19:10pm