Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 5th May 2018

Yuzawa Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2018, 6:44am
Weather conditions: Rain
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa.

It's not particularly good news though, because it is raining. Bit wet. And mild too, so not feeling like there's much chance of better news from higher up. Early on GALA Yuzawa are also reporting rain. Temperatures are set to rise to around +12C here in town later on in the day today. Tomorrow should be less warm though more rain is likely with perhaps a better chance of snowfall at higher elevations.

Clearer skies still due over the weekend and it will be warm again into next week so the chance for further fresh snow towards the end of the month is looking unlikely.


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


Updated: Thursday 22nd March February 2018

Ski resorts in Yuzawa:

Checked and updated every morning. Note that some ski resorts may not have updated their own info at the time this report is published.

GALA Yuzawa
- 230cm

- 115cm

- Kagura area: 290cm
- Mitsumata area: 190cm
- Tashiro area: 240cm

Kandatsu Kogen
- 190cm

- 190cm (base)

NASPA Ski Garden
- 130cm

Yuzawa Kogen
- Top: 180cm
- Base: 100cm

Yuzawa Park
- 120cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
- 125cm


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

Ishiuchi Maruyama
- 150cm

Joetsu Kokusai
- 160cm

Maiko Snow Resort
- Top: 165cm
- Base: 50cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- Closed on Wednesdays until 14th March
- 240cm   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2018, 6:54am
Weather conditions: Rain
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
It's raining this morning, even higher up by the looks of the wet spots on the upper cams (light snow being reported up there yesterday afternoon).

Perhaps a chance of some more light snow before tomorrow at higher elevations, but it's not a particularly nice start to today.


Thursday 22nd March 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): 260cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 180cm
- Hikage (660m): 115cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 110cm
- Karasawa (563m): 55cm

Lifts operations:

- All lifts should be open as planned this morning
- 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
- Hachiman
- Kandahar   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2018, 7:43am
Weather conditions: Oercast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Kitanomine will close for the season this Sunday, so there are only a few more days left to ski that side of the mountain. Yesterday was a brilliant spring day with perfect blue sky staying all the way through until evening and great spring snow conditions that didn't make it to the sticky stage. This morning it is fairly cold but it will rise up to +3c. It is high overcast and we won't see the sun break through, so the snow won't soften up so quickly today.    Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2018, 8:01am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --

It's rather foggy and a bit wet this morning with still a chance of rain/snow into tomorrow. After that though it looks like it is going to be sunny and generally clearer skies.

There is now just 11 days to go in the season here at Madarao.


Official snow depth:


Operating lifts:

Number 1 lift
Number 2 quad 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
   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2018, 8:09am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

I have some exciting news this morning.

After snow starting to fall yesterday, there are some very interesting fresh snowfall numbers from the ski resorts. And here they are:

Hakuba Goryu: 5cm (base); 30cm (top)
Hakuba 47: up to 20cm
Hakuba Happo-one: 20-25cm
Hakuba Cortina 0-2cm

Rather curious to see the numbers from Cortina there... especially as the 'official snow depth' at Tsugaike Kogen has risen from 285cm to 330cm in one day!

Whatever the numbers, it would seem that there is a decent amount of fresh snow up there on the mountain this morning and most definitely worth checking out.

Very nice surprise.

The less good news is that it will probably be windy later on today higher up, and rain is spoiling it somewhat at lower elevations.

So it's an oddly mixed condition report this morning but I am personally going to get kitted up and check out the new snow.

Perhaps some more snow by tomorrow morning but after that we have a run of sunshine and warmer temperatures early next week.


Ski resort information on Thursday 22nd March 2018 (at time of writing):

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- All lifts appear to be operating

Courses open:
- All areas open as planned

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 360cm
- Usagidaira: 245cm
- Lower: 60cm


Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- All lifts should be operation as normal today

Courses open:
- All courses should be open as normal (apart from Adventure)

Official snow depth:
- Top: 330cm
- Toomi: 110cm
- Iimori: 80cm


Hakuba 47

Operating lifts:
- All lifts should be operation as normal today
- Line D usually operates only when the Gondola is not operating

Courses open:
- All main courses should be available

Official snow depth:
- Top: 330cm
- Base: 115cm


Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts should be operating as normal

Courses open:
- All course areas are open

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori: 330cm
- Han-no-ki: 290cm
- Maruyama: 75cm
- Shirakaba: 235cm
- Champion: 90cm
- Oya-no-hara: 105cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: 70cm


Hakuba Cortina

Operating lifts:
- Some lifts may be affected by wind today

Courses open:
- Some courses closed or on hold

Official snow depth:
- Top: 255cm
- Base: 130cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

- Resort remains part open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 180cm
- Base: 50cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Number 1 and 7 should be operating

Official snow depth:
- 120cm


Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

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

Official snow depth:
- 120cm


Hakuba Sanosaka

Operating lifts:
- All three lifts are operating
- Last day of the season planned as 25th March

Official snow depth:
- 85cm   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2018, 8:18am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning Niseko fans.

No fresh snowfall to report.

Yesterday was a beauty but this morning it's all much duller - at the start of the day at least.

It seems there is going to be a lot of sun over the coming week though with the chance of further snow getting less and less now. Think full on spring conditions and enjoy it while you can. And surely we will be able to enjoy it right through until the planned closing in early May as there is a very large amount of snow still out there.

It means that we have over 6 weeks left!

I will be with you every day, even if there might be less to say over the coming weeks.



Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: +1℃, no snowfall, cloudy. Moiwa800m: -2.3℃, E3.9m/s, no snowfall. Annupuri1150m: no data, 440cm snowpack at 1000m elevation, almost double of last season’s. Hirafu peak: -6℃, light breeze, no snowfall. Benkei cape: SSE4m/s, Kamui cape: ENE5m/s, 1013hPa, 0.9m waves.

Dominant high pressure area before the approaching Low. The mountain and ocean is calm. The wind will pick up in higher elevation, however not a lot of snowfall is expected in Sea of Japan side. All gates will open today. Ask the patrol’s opinion, be prepared before stepping out of bounds. Light is weak and visibility is poor. Be careful.

A low pressure is moving along the Honshu pacific coast and making damages. It was under similar conditions that the avalanche accident in Nasu occurred on March 27th last year. The swirling wind created by Low pressures can make snowdrifts grows drastically in a short period of time and critically rise the avalanche hazards. Keep in mind that many of the avalanche accidents occurs during stormy weather, weather in Winter or Spring.

Artificial avalanche experiments will be taking place in Mizuno no Sawa from today. Please stay away from the valley. Glide avalanche risk is rising in 1000m Backbowl & Osawa, 700m Mikaeri middle ridge. Stay away of the valley bottoms. Lukewarm air today… beware.


Thursday 22nd March 2018

Resort specific information (operations subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts should be operating as planned (King Number 2 lift not operating)

Official snow depth:
- Top: 460cm
- Base: 190cm

Niseko Annupuri

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

Official snow depth:
- Top: 440cm
- Base: 190cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts should be operating as planned (Country Road Chair lift not operating)

Official snow depth:
- Top: 410cm
- Base: 190cm   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2018, 8:47am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.
There was some snow falling yesterday but we just got a thin covering.

Unfortunately it is a rainy morning here with some strong southern winds blowing about. The resort has announced that it is going to be difficult to open the gondola today and maybe the Number 1, 2 and 3 lifts will be operating at slow speeds.

The course conditions are very slippery because of the rain.


Lifts operating:

- All lifts operating

Courses open:

- All courses open

Official snow depth:
- 250cm

- Grandeco snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2018, 8:58am
Weather conditions: Rain
New snowfall: 6cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba. I am happy to report that we got 6cm of fresh snow yesterday evening accumilating at the base. Sadly, however, the snow has turned to rain and things are looking quite damp out there! The wind has dropped off significantly, so it's quite calm today in the valley. We can expect the rain to continue until lunch time, with it easing off into the afternoon. The air temperature will be comfortably above 0°C today, remaining there until the skies clear on Saturday.

Looking forwards, we can expect precipitation through until Friday night, with above freezing air temperatures. From Saturday onwards, a belt of high pressure will move in from the north west bringing calm, clear and warm weather until at least Tuesday.   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2018, 9:49am
Weather conditions: Gray low and fog high
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
The wind really blew through the day yesterday, closing the gondolas at both Suginohara and Akakan. A few other lifts closed as well (we didn’t have official reports, but heard from people out on the hill). Then the rain - pounding, wind-driven rain during the night and into the early morning. It’s quiet and gray now, with no precipitation but fog below and above base level. Clearing a little bit to the east/southeast at the moment, but no blue skies or anything.

The good? The snow has certainly settled nicely and it’s soft, so with the sun predicted for the weekend and beyond it’s looks like good spring skiing for the last week for most resorts. Could be fun out in the backcountry as well with some good corn snow skiing….the next best thing to powder, or something like that.


Akakura Kanko:
240 cm, 3°; closing May 6

Akakura Onsen:
230cm, 1°; closing April 8

Ikenotaira Onsen:
190cm, 2°

Myoko Suginohara:
150cm, 1°; closing April 1

Seki Onsen:
350 cm, -2° (no new report for today); closing May 6

Myoko Ski Park:
180 cm, 5°; closing April 1

Kyukamura RunRun:
190 cm, 4°; closing April 1

Lotte Arai Resort:
406cm, 4.2°; Exciter and Discovery permanently closed; Be Free, Mamushigaeshi closed, Rindou Lower possibly closed; Funaishi-zawa, Happy Place and Benzaku-zawa in the avalanche-controlled areas open; others closed (see website for updates); closing May 6

Tangram Ski Circus:
140 cm, 2°; closing April 1

Madarao Kogen:
160 cm, 1°; closing April 1

Kurohime Kogen Snow Park:
130cm, 0° closing April 1   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2018, 11:02am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 4cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Shiga Kogen.

After some very strong winds yesterday that affected lift operations, today I introduce to you...

Fresh snow! Sleet! Rain! The official site is reporting 10cm of fresh snow this morning though I didn't see that much - I am reporting a few and I see so are the Kumanoyu area. And that has disappeared now with the wet that has been falling since then (but has since eased off).

Snow clouds may stick around until tomorrow but beyond that clearer skies and increasing temperatures are forecast from the weekend onwards.


'Planned closing dates' information for resorts in Shiga Kogen. Basically:

- all ski areas in Shiga Kogen plan to be at least part open until the end of March;
- a bunch of resorts will be open on specific dates (usually weekends and Golden Week) once we get into April;
- the remaining resorts will be open daily until 6th May and beyond that (they will close when there's not enough snow left to ski or board!)

Once we get to the end of March, I will add specific lift operation plans for the ski resorts that remain open during the months of April and May.


Planned closing date information for the ski areas around Shiga Kogen. Note that all are subject to change.

At least part open daily until Sunday 1st April:

Sun Valley
Hoppo Bunadaira

At least part open daily until Sunday 1st April; then open on some days (mostly weekends and Golden Week) until Sunday 6th May:

Takamagahara Mammoth
Ichinose Family
Ichinose Diamond

As least part open daily until 6th May; then part open from 7th May:

Okushiga Kogen
Yokoteyama & Shibutoge

Details of ski lift operations during the months of April and May will be posted by the end of March   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2018, 11:06am
Weather conditions: Snow and wind
New snowfall: 4cm
Snow depth: --

It is snowing (with some on the ground) and strong winds are blowing this morning... affecting a number of higher lifts and gondolas.

We may get some more fresh snow by tomorrow morning too. Might it be the last of the season? It may well be - conditions from the weekend are due to calm down and get brighter with sunny skies on the forecast into next week.

Come on let's get some more cm!


Lifts and course info:

Most course areas remain open. Some lifts affected by weather this morning.

The following lifts have now closed for the season:

- Zao Paradise Number 3 pair
- Diamond Number 1 pair
- Zao Kokutai
- Ryuzan pair
- Karamatsu pair

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 175cm
- Paradise area: 190cm
- Chuo area: 190cm
- Utopia area: 175cm
- Uwanodai area: 95cm
- Oomori area: 90cm


Zao Onsen forecast:

Zao Onsen 6-day snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2018, 14:30pm
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Snow arrived yesterday afternoon and continued till late last night but it was the same soft, slightly wet stuff that Tokyo was hit by and not enough fell to really have any impact. What did fall was trumped by the rain that came in this morning. Skies are still overcast here and having just come back from the mountain, conditions are not good. The rain seems to have combined with what snow did fall, to create a slushy mess that it's really hard to keep speed on;
As the water percolates through the snow pack and once things harden up this evening, I expect we will be back to decent Spring corn by tomorrow but lets see.

There is still plenty of weather about in the form of clouds and the forecast is potentially for snow this afternoon and tomorrow but I'll believe it when I clear it off the car park. The weekend weather forecast looks good with blue skies and light winds predicted for the weekend.


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 ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Myoko Now
06th Oct, 15:27am
Yuzawa Now
10th Sep, 17:36am
Niseko Now
27th Aug, 14:26am
Grandeco Now
24th Aug, 11:16am
Madarao Now
12th Aug, 0:17pm
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
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