Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 9th October 2020
Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 7:32am
There is another 9cm of new snow to report this morning at village level. On top of yesterdays 15cm, that is a total of 24cm in two days, and the quality of the skiing has been transformed as a result. Snow has stopped falling and the sky above looks good with a mix of blue sky, cloud and morning sun. It is -8c as I write this and the temperature will rise up to a max of -2c.
Another nice filling of snow through the day yesterday, so that we got a total (with settling) of 45cm. Nice. Need more, but nice.
Cold, too, with a low at nearly -11° here at the base. Nice snow out there, too; not super-super light, but pretty nice.
Now a day of sun, and then warming and even rain... if we had more snow I'd worry about avalanches, new snow not liking rain very much. But there just isn't much out there, although there are the first hints of cornices forming on the ridges.
Yesterday was a good day. It felt like we were in a normal season - a good thing!!
Lots of snow coming down at a rate and piling up.
The resort itself was saying 65cm over a 24 hour period as of yesterday afternoon. My own observed numbers over the last two reports come fairly close. Lots of snow. The third photo today is from Madarao yesterday.
This morning the official snow depth at Madarao is up to 120cm. That is still lower than normal but it is great to see it quickly bumping up.
It is a cold morning, the sun is out and we have blue skies and some wispy thin clouds.
It should be top morning. And I'm going to enjoy it (just so I can report to you tomorrow of course).
I will leave it at that... until tomorrow!
Current operations: Wednesday 22nd January 2020
- All ski lifts apart from Number 13 lift are operating - Main courses appear to be mostly open - SAWA II and Bear scheduled to be open this morning - Other tree run courses not currently available - Official snow depth: 120cm
Tangram Ski Circus: - All ski lifts are operating - 9 courses open - Official snow depth: 65cm (not updated this morning yet perhaps?) Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 8:22am
Blue sky, sun, some cloud
Good morning from Nozawa.
Now that's more like what we expect!
By late yesterday afternoon the resort was reporting another 35cm of fresh snowfall on the top Yamabiko area. 18cm at Uenotaira and 13cm across the lower half of the mountain. They are adding 2-3cm of that overnight since 3pm.
This morning the sun is out and it should be an excellent morning. :)
It has been a cold start to the day, let's hope that it doesn't warm up much. Tomorrow is likely to be milder, perhaps rising to around 6C or so in the village and the chance of some rain (noooooooooo!). Beyond that it should be colder again with what looks like the chance of some more snowfall later on Friday.
Official info is saying that the Usagi course is now open.
Wednesday 22nd January 2020
Fresh snowfall recorded by resort since yesterday morning:
All courses open apart from the following courses:
- Kandahar - Grand Prix - Mukobayashi - Hachiman - Nagasaka link Read more ...
Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 8:24am
Cloudy, some blue sky in places
Good morning everyone.
Yesterday was a good one! Definitely one of the best days of the season so far for me and no doubt for many others too. People certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves.
This morning I have measured an additional 12cm of snow here at base to add to my report today, with almost all of that coming during the day yesterday.
There is a lot of cloud around and some very (very) light snow has still been falling as I put this report together in some areas; there is a bit of blue sky in others. Mt Yotei is currently shrouded in cloud.
There's not much of a wind at all. All in all, I think it should be another very fine day and there's lots of good folk lined up for first lifts.
I was of course very pleased with the conditions we enjoyed here in Niseko yesterday, but also very happy to see that snow was falling in lots of mountainous regions of Japan too.
It felt more like a 'normal' day in January for Japan.
Here's to lots more of those.
Someone asked about the 'official snow depth' data from the ski resorts that I keep updated each morning (below).
'Why is it just 100cm at base at Annupuri and Village?' 'Why is it 155cm at Annupuri and 250cm at Hirafu?' 'Why doesn't it increase by 30cm when you report 30cm of snowfall at base in your report?'
Nature does not deliver snowfall in uniform numbers (though many Japanese ski resorts do appear to record their numbers in clean units of 5cm!), and there are indeed variations between even close-by areas. Snow gets groomed and packed. Etc. Sometimes numbers might just not get updated. (I am not suggesting that is the case here at the Niseko resorts). I am not in control of those numbers - I am just checking and reporting them to you. In contrast, I am 100% in charge of my own observed snowfall number each morning. I tell you what I see, no naughty adding or subtracting!
My personal feeling is that while official snow depth numbers can be interesting - especially when looking at a season as a whole and comparing with previous seasons - too much thinking about them won't get you anywhere. The amount of fresh snow that we are getting is much more meaningful on a day to day basis.
The developments of snowdrifts and cornices have settled down. Looking at various data, the slabs in leeward slopes below 800m elevation are consolidating/stabilizing and the avalanche risk is lowering, however hazard level remains relatively high in 900-1000m leeward slopes of the Backbowl and O-sawa, as well as SW gullies of Chisenupuri and NE gully of Iwaonupuri and Higashi-One cornice slopes. 50-60cm thick slides triggered from Jan 20th low-pressure snowfall can occur anytime. Most accidents happen during and just after snowstorms.
Leeward slopes below 800m have been mostly reset and the snow in the woods is good. Stay away from knolls, cornices and do not group at the bottom of a slope. Avalanches strike from above and there are many people riding the same zone. Be mindful of other skiers/snowboarders. Have you turned your beacon on? Do you carry safety gear? Proper equipment can not only save your life, but help others too. All gates are scheduled to open. Follow the ski patrol’s instructions. Have a nice day.
Ski resort operation information: Wednesday 22nd January 2020
Official snow depth (reported by resort): - Peak: 175cm - Base: 100cm
All lifts normally operating EXCEPT: - Country Road (this lift is normally rested)
Lifts scheduled for late operations: - Annupuri Village Gondola until 8:00pm - Village Express until 8:00pm - Banzai Chair until 8:00pm Read more ...
Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 8:37am
Fine sunny, some cloud moving in?
Morning from Naeba.
It's a cracker! Check out the sunrise image below. Forecast to cloud over as the day progresses but should keep generally fine.
Fresh snow from yesterday and a fine morning. Cold start. What more could we want? (Loads more upcoming snowfall aside of course!)
It should be a very fine morning. Don't warm up too much please.
Official snow depth:
Planned operating lifts:
- Prince Number 2 Gondola - Takenokodaira romance pair lift - Takenokoyama romance pair lift - Number 4 romance pair lift - Number 3 high speed lift - Number 5 high speed lift (open for nighta until 8:30pm) - Hiuchi Number 1 romance pair lift - Dragondola
Courses planned to be open:
- 20 of 22 courses are now open - Takenokoyama and Splash Bowl are currently not open - The Dragondola is operating to get over to the Tashiro Area of the Kagura resort Read more ...
Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 9:02am
Clear, some clouds
Really solid snowfall here yesterday.
Tenjin was shut due to wind though I suspect it had far more to do with potential avalanche danger.
Skied Hodaigi which had at least 50cm of very nice quality snow around the top lifts. Nice to see snow everywhere and our fire escape, in the lee of my building, has rails that still have 30cm on them despite not seeing any direct snowfall.
Good to see resorts mostly open and enjoying that fresh snowfall.
Weather is forecast to be clear today, there is a chance of some rain tomorrow afternoon which I sincerely hope we avoid. Snow is forecast again for Friday.
Snowfall recorded today is from yesterday
Akasawa Normally part open Note: closed on Tuesdays (apart from 11th February, when it will be closed on 12th February)
Fujiwara Part open Number 1 and 2 lifts are running
Yesterday felt really good. It was the kind of mid-winter feel that we know and love here in Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma.
It was actually snowing for most of the day until evening time and while I can only report 5cm of snow down at my base measuring point, I would imagine that there will have been more on the slopes. Kagura are reporting 5cm of snowfall since yesterday. I thought that would be more.
NAPSA Ski Garden are reporting 'over 30cm' since the snow started the day before yesterday.
Anyway, the snow clouds cleared overnight leaving us with a bright and sunny morning with lots of early blue skies. It is more cloudy now as I prepare this report to go live - and definitely much cloudier than it was when I took the images below.
It should be a really great morning to be out on the mountains with fresh snow conditions to enjoy.
I note that Yuzawa Kogen now have their lower area open, and NASPA Ski Garden have all their courses open. Other than that no major changes that I can find.
It was fantastic to have that snowfall yesterday, but we of course still need more. There isn't much sign of snowfall on the weekly forecast, so for now let's just hope it doesn't warm up too much while we enjoy what we have.
(Happily, the temps tomorrow don't seem set to be as high as they were threatening to be on the forecasts a few days back. Phew!)
Individual ski resort information: Wednesday 22nd January 2020 All information checked and updated manually for each report. Subject to change.
- All of the Central Area and Northern Area courses are open - All lifts are now operating apart from the Ropeway lift connecting with Yuzawa Kogen in the Southern Area - The Southern Area is part open - Batman and Eliza courses are open - Take the Gondola back down at the end of the day (Falcon downhill course not yet available) - Official snow depth: 140cm
- The Gondola and top Okusoechi quad and pair lifts are operating with 8 courses in that top area open. - Take the Gondola back down to base. - 1 course and 1 lift (Center quad) open in the Maiko Area - Official snow depth: 110cm (upper); 20cm (base)
- Yuzawa Ropeway operating - All Kogen lifts now operating and Kogen Snowland is open - Base area is also now open - The Ropeway connecting Yuzawa Kogen with the Southern Area of GALA Yuzawa is not yet operating - Official snow depth: 90cm (Kogen); 20cm (base)
- Number 1 and 7 lifts operating - Official snow depth: 50cm
Photos (below) from around 9:00am on Wednesday 22nd January 2020:
- GALA Yuzawa (2) - Yuzawa Kogen (2) - NASPA Ski Garden - Ishiuchi Maruyama (2) - Route 17/Yuzawa IC exit - Maiko Snow Resort Read more ...
Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 9:23am
Fine, some cloud
Good morning from Hakuba.
I spent my post-report morning at the base Toomi run at Hakuba Goryu with some visiting friends from the US - their first time skiing. They had a blast, brought back lots of memories from all those years ago.
The snow eased off later in the morning but I believe it was still snowing at times higher up and it looks like Hakuba 47 were reporting up to 5cm - though that is not showing on their numbers this morning.
Resorts aren't reporting any in fact since yesterday....
The information in this table is data reported by the ski resorts
New snowfall (lower)
New snowfall (upper)
TOTAL ACCUMULATION (UPPER)
IMPORTANT: See below for an explanation of the above data
This morning we have some sunshine and a mix of blue sky and thin cloud. It has been a cold start to the day (-6C when I got up at just past 7am) but the temps has already risen and it is destined to be a fairly mild day. Tomorrow too with the chance of rain on lower areas, which is quite annoying, but hopefully it will be cold enough to be snowing higher up.
Today should be good.
I will see you tomorrow.
Individual ski resort information This information is checked and manually adjusted each morning
Operating lifts: - All lifts apart from the lifts noted below are normally operating: - Kurobishi Number 3 pair - Nakiyama Number 2 pair - Shirakaba Number 1 pair - Shirakaba Number 2 pair - Central pair - Sakka Number 2 pair - Sakka Number 3 triple
Courses open: - Riesen Grat - Panorama - Usagidaira - Kurobishi - Skyline - Riesen Slalom - Kita-one 3 - Kita-one - Nakiyama South - Olympic Course (partially closed) - Sakka South (partially closed) - Sakka North (partially closed) - The base Nakiyama South and Sakka areas are now at least part open - You can also take the Gondola or other lifts back down
Operating lifts: - All lifts apart from the lifts noted below are normally operating: - Han-no-ki Number 4 - Tsuga Number 1 pair - Han-no-ki Number 1 quad - Han-no-ki Number 2 pair - Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner I - Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner III - Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner IV - Kane-no-naru-oka Number 11 Romance
Courses open: - Most course areas are now at least part open - Lower course through the forest closed - DBD not available yet
About the data in the above ‘snowfall as reported by ski resorts’ table * The table within the above report contains data that is published by individual ski resorts * The data shown is the amount of snowfall that the ski resorts are themselves reporting each 24 hour period on the upper areas of their mountain * The source ‘new snowfall’ data and ‘total accumulation’ data is not updated at the same time * The ‘new snowfall’ data is updated in the morning * The ‘accumulation’ data is apparently updated/refreshed at midnight * That means that there is a time lag between the two numbers being updated * We manually check and update the data just before we publish each Hakuba Now report - so the data in each Hakuba Now report table is what is available at that time * Any odd-looking numbers are due to the source data. We are not responsible for and have no control over the data. We are simply sharing the data with you * Just to be extra clear, unlike our own ‘observed snowfall’ data from base that we show at the top of each report, the data in the table is not an independent observation by SnowJapan * A more in-depth introduction and explanation can be found in this reportRead more ...
Aizu Bandai Now!
Wednesday 22nd January 2020, 9:27am
Cloud, blue sky
Some more fresh snow since yesterday and blue skies to enjoy this morning.
It should be a top morning.
More good news from Nekoma. It seems that they are now planning to be open every day right through until the end of the season; not just until the end of January. The original plan was to be closed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, but with some other ski resorts struggling and them having a fairly decent base it does seem like a good idea to not close up when there's lovely snow to enjoy. Good decision I say! Let's hope it can be a long season.
Hashtag freshsmow (with an 'm'), as some are saying. I know, it's surely a typo. I just personally find the whole hashtag thing a bit ridiculous; old dinosaur I may be! :)
Grandeco Snow Resort: - 4 (of 5) lifts operating - 9 (of 13) courses open - Kids Park open - Official snow depth: 120cm
The sun is out this morning. The clouds are gone, the winds have disappeared and it's bright and definitely one of those feel good cold mornings.
Curiously, resorts don't seem to be reporting any fresh snow, but I sure saw some since my report yesterday morning. Wind was blowing around so variable numbers, I suppose. I'm just surprised there are none to be found.
Anyway, it should be an excellent morning.
Lower regions may get some rain tomorrow. We should be good hanging out up here and if anything falls we can likely see some snow.
For what it's worth, I have added the snow depth data for a selection of the main areas of Shiga Kogen below.
I have also added upcoming planned nighta dates too.
Almost all courses and connections at Shiga Kogen are now open with just a few minor exceptions.
Photos: Kumanoyu, Takamagahara and Hasuike Junction
Shiga Kogen resort info: Wednesday 22nd March 2020
The below information is manually checked for each report. Official snow depth numbers are as reported by the ski resorts themselves.
Planned night time operations at the Shiga Kogen ski areas are as follows; subject to change. Note that separate lift tickets are required.
Ichinose Diamond 22nd-23rd February 2020 20th-21st March 2020 Quad lift 6:30pm until 9:00pm
Ichinose Family Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays until 21st March 2020 Number 2 pair B lift 6:30pm until 9:00pm
Kumanoyu Every Saturday until 28th March 2020 23rd February 2020 20th March 2020 Number 1 pair lift 6:30pm until 9:00pm
Takamagahara Mammoth Saturdays until 21st March 2020 (not 7th February) 23rd February 2020 20th March 2020 Number 2 triple lift 6:30pm until 8:30pm
Sun Valley 22nd-23rd February 2020 Number 1 quad lift 7:00pm until 8:30pm
Yakebitaiyama Every Saturday until 29th February 2020 23rd February 2020 Number 3 high speed lift 6:00pm until 8:00pm
The section of road connecting the southern area of Shiga Kogen (from Yokoteyama onwards) with Gunma Prefecture is now closed for the season. It will be closed until 24th April 2020. Approach Shiga Kogen using Route 292 from the west (Nagano/Nakano/Yamanouchi) Read more ...