Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 4th May 2018
Geto Kogen Now!
Monday 23rd April 2018, 7:48am
Fine weather over the weekend with temperatures rising throughout Japan, including our region.
It looked more like summer than April on the national news last night.
This morning is not as warm and there is a lot of cloud around and just a slight breeze.
The forecast is for cloud and a good chance of rain today and tomorrow too. Let's hope we can minimise that.
The resort is still reporting over 2.5m of snow on the upper area of the mountain though it is gradually going down. By base there's some areas where ground is showing through close to courses but snow cover on the courses is still good.
Official snow depths:
Top: 260cm Base: 120cm
Number 1 Gondola and Number 1 pair lift are operating
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 ...
Monday 23rd April 2018, 8:16am
Down to two resorts, with only Lotte Arai open on weekdays. Seki Onsen reopening on the 28th.
Lotte Arai Resort: 216cm, 11.1°; Zokenashi and Arai Gondola lifts running; Bear Valley, Be Free, Encore, Myoko Long Upper Run and Rind Upper courses open; Ohkenashi Bowl, FK, North Bowl, Funaishi-zawa, Happy Place and Benzaku-zawa open in the avalanche-controlled areas open; closing May 6
- Nagasaka Gondola - Yamabiko Four - Yamabiko Number 2 Four
Planned open courses today:
- Yamabiko courses - Kokenashi - Bunabayashi (until mid-station) - Get the Gondola back down to base
General resort operations information until Sunday 6th May:
The Gondola will be open from 8:10am daily; The Number 1 car park will be free daily; There will be no village shuttle bus between until 27th April; Nozawa Onsen plans to remain open until Sunday 6th May. Read more ...
Monday 23rd April 2018, 8:47am
Good morning from Niseko.
More fine weather up here with clear skies and once again a little hazy looking over towards that beautiful mountain called Yotei.
Temps set to be low teens today and tomorrow, with cloudier skies due.
The Gondola at Niseko Grand Hirafu is taking five days off now until the weekend.
14 days left of ski lift operations, including today.
Monday 23rd April 2018
Resort specific information (operations subject to change):
- Ace Number 2 Center Four (* operating daily until 6th May) - King Number 3 (* operating daily until 6th May) - King Number 4 (* operating daily until 6th May) - Hirafu Gondola (* operating only on 21st, 22nd April & 28th April - 6th May)
- Most of Hirafu remains open - Lower part of Super closed - All of the Hanazono area is closed
Well, as expected, it was a really warm weekend. The resort yesterday were reporting a temperature of 22.8C at lunchtime yesterday. It was over 27C to the north in Yuzawa town. Felt hot! Those temperatures are more typical for around June.
The warmth means that the sakura cherry blossoms are out earlier than usual. Last year they were out on 3rd May. This year, they are out... now! And looking very pretty as well, of course. Photo from yesterday below, courtesy of the resort.
This morning has been fine but is more overcast now.
We can expect some rain tomorrow and Wednesday.
Naeba is closed again now for weekdays and still plans to re-open once again for Golden Week which starts on Saturday.
The Dragondola at Naeba will be operating between Saturday 28th April and Sunday 27th May for some spring sightseeing. Not for skiing/boarding!
Planned operating dates through until the end of the season:
SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Closed weekdays Saturday 28th April Sunday 29th April Monday 30th April Tuesday 1st May Wednesday 2nd May Thursday 3rd May Friday 4th May Saturday 5th May Sunday 6th May << planned last day of the season!
Planned operating lifts on the days when Naeba will be open:
SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Prince Number 2 Gondola Takenokodaira romance lift Daishamen romance lift
After that warm weekend, things should be cooling down a little for this week.
This morning lots of cloud around and what looks like foggy conditions up on the open Chuo area this morning and rain is due.
There's hardly any snow to see at all around lower areas now, though snow cover is still ok on the open upper areas - though the snow surface is looking a little... 'dirty'... in places.
Zao hopes to keep the courses open until 6th May; it will be interesting to see if that will be possible.
Next update before the weekend.
Course areas open
- Chuo - Utopia - Top course (* part)
Lifts that are still operating
- Utopia Number 2 pair: open daily until 6th May - Chuo Number 1 pair: open daily until 6th May - Chuo Number 2 pair: open 28th, 29th, 30th April & 3rd-6th May - Zao Ropeway: open daily - Zao Chuo Ropeway: open daily - Sky Cable: open daily
* The Ropeways operate throughout the year for sightseeing * Earlier than planned closing might be possible - will depend on snow conditions
We start the day with sunshine. The local news last night was reporting a temperature of just over 27C in Yuzawa yesterday.
And more like June than April.
It probably won't be as hot today and this coming week, more like... rather warm. It was a bit of a special case with temperatures more likely to be bumping along close to 20C this week (a bit above that today).
The GALA Yuzawa resort is now closed for the season. Otsukaresama deshita!
Naeba is closed again from today through Friday. They were reporting a temps of nearly 23C and the blooming of cherry blossoms around base. It will be interesting to see if they are able to re-open and continue through 6th May as planned...
Updated: Monday 23rd April 2018, 9:00am
Planned resort operations - subject to change
Kagura - Tashiro Ropeway plans to be at least part open until Sunday 6th May - Mitsumata Ropeway and the main Kagura area plan to be at least part open until Sunday 27th May - Official snow depth: Kagura area - 210cm; Mitsumata area - 110cm; Tashiro area - 160cm - The Gezan downhill course to Mitsumata base is closed - take the Ropeway back to base - The Gondola East Course at Tashiro is also closed - All other courses remain open
Naeba - Naeba is closed today - It is still planning to re-open from 28th April until 6th May Read more ...
Monday 23rd April 2018, 9:19am
Fine, sunny, cloud, haze
It's a warm morning again.
The sun is out as I write this. There is some cloud around and a hazy feel going on.
Feel good weather over the weekend with temps rising and the sun out, not much of a wind. The downer of course is that the remaining snow on the mountains is melting away. We're into the last stretch of the season now with two weeks left to go for lift operations.
The Toomi course over at Hakuba Goryu was really doing well to remain open but nature has melted away the snow and from today it that lower course is no longer open. So you need to get the Gondola back down to base at Goryu... the upper areas remain open.
You can still ride back down to base at 47.
Planned ski resort operations on Monday 23rd April 2018:
We are checking the below information every morning, but please note that resort operations are beyond our control and subject to change.
- Gondola - Alpen quad - Usagidaira pair (* open only on weekends/holidays) - Panorama pair - Grat quad - Kurobishi Number 3 pair - Kurobishi Number 2 quad - Skyline Number 2 pair - Kokusai Number 3 pair (* open only on weekends/holidays)
- Gondola - Pair Line A-B - Quad Line C - Pair Line E
- Most course areas remain open - Lower part of R-7 closed, only part of upper area R-7 open - You can still ride back down to base but... - ...the resort recommends that beginners take the Gondola back down to base - The Tree Riding Zones are now closed for the season
- Gondola - Han-no-ki high speed pair - Tsuga Number 1 pair - Tsugaike Ropeway
- Only the top Tsuga-no-mori and Han-kou courses remain open - You can no longer ride back down to base areas - all base areas now closed - Take the Gondola back down to base - The Tsugaike Ropeway plans to be open daily until 6th May - The Ropeway is open only for hiking and climbing; a special form must be submitted
Wow it was almost like summer in lots of areas of Japan over the weekend with temperatures shooting up to over 30C in some places; and some of them not too far from here!
Looks like it was something of a one-off with things cooling down a little this week, but it will remain warm.
As you might expect, with such warm conditions, snow is going to melt and things are definitely getting more limited now with ground showing through in places and areas off the courses that remain open.
Today the following areas are part open, as far as I can work out:
(I'm pretty sure Terakoya were not planning on being open weekdays this week, though they say open on the official site. Don't know; somewhat frustrated. I'm doing my best with the information available!)
Golden Week starts at the weekend and I will post another update before the weekend.
One more bit of resort operations news this morning to report.
Okushiga Kogen were planning on being part open beyond May 6th, but they have changed that plan with May 6th now being the last day of the season for them.
I think that is all there is on that score for now.
The section of Route 292 between Shiga Kogen and Kusatsu opened at 10am.
Due to the Kusatsu-Shirane volcano warning being raise from level 1 to level 2, part of it the road is now closed once again unfortunately. This means that you can't get to Shiga Kogen via Kusatsu, but you can still get to (and from) Shiga Kogen via the Manza road from the south.
This level warning thing is apparently due to an increase in volcano-related small earthquakes (that can't be felt by us) and I wouldn't personally be too concerned about it - not enough to make me change my mind about being here anyway.
Planned ski resort operations in Shiga Kogen. Note that all are subject to change - please check with resorts:
Ichinose Family Quad lift open daily until 6th May Number 2 pair B lift open until 6th May
Terakoya Quad lift open 28th April until 6th May Pair lift open 28th April until 6th May
Ichinose Diamond Quad lift open 28th April until 6th May Ichinose Diamond pair lift open 28th April until 6th May
Yakebitaiyama Number 1 Gondola open on 28th April until 6th May Number 2 high speed lift open 28th April until 6th May
Okushiga Kogen Number 2 pair lift open daily until 6th May Number 3 pair lift open daily until 6th May Number 4 pair lift open daily 28th April until 6th May Number 6 pair lift open daily until 6th May Gondola open until 6th May
Kumanoyu Number 2 pair B lift open daily until 13th May Quad lift open on 28th April until 6th May
Yokoteyama & Shibutoge Number 1 Sky A lift open daily until 6th May - possibly beyond that depending on snow conditions Number 1 Sky B lift open daily until 6th May - possibly beyond that depending on snow conditions Number 2 Sky lift open daily until 6th May - possibly beyond that depending on snow conditions Number 3 Sky lift open daily until 6th May - possibly beyond that depending on snow conditions Shibutoge lift open daily until 6th May - possibly beyond that depending on snow conditions Read more ...