Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 28th May 2018

Minakami Now!

Saturday 24th December 2011, 8:42am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Snow all day yesterday has left nice piles of fresh snow everywhere. It has eased back a bit now but the snow is still falling. It is light and dry thanks to the cold temperatures which are also making driving conditions a bit tricky. We are waiting for the forecasted big dump and it looks as if that could hit tonight and tomorrow. It has been an awesome start to the season so far heavy snow on Christmas Day will be the best present of all.
   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Saturday 24th December 2011, 8:57am
Weather conditions: Sunny
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It is a beautiful day in Myoko, with perfect blue skies, a good amount of fresh snow (not as much as predicted, but still some new stuff) and a pretty cold temperature. Looks like it could be the first big ski day, as people get out for the sunny conditions. There are some big cloud banks out over the ocean, though, and the forecast is for more snow—maybe even heavy snow according to your Snow Japan weather forecast. I like the sound of that, though... Give me the heavy snow, keep the riffraff off the slopes, ski in the snow, not on it.

The official snow reports aren't so reliable yet; I get the word that the conditions have been updated, but there's no way that the snow pack went down from yesterday, which is what some are reporting. Take the totals with that proverbial pinch of salt; the reporting gets early and more accurate as we go along. The main thing today is, good snow and plenty of it.

Current Official Snow Depths

Akakura Onsen:

Akakan (Akakura Kanko):


Myoko Suginohara:

Seki Onsen:

Myoko Ski Park:



130cm   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Saturday 24th December 2011, 9:20am
Weather conditions: Blizzard conditions, huge snowfall and strong winds. Snow squalls.
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
The last great storm of 2011 continues.

While the wind is still strong and gusty at times, it has died down substantially from yesterday's insanity with near zero visibility.

It's hard to give you a straight answer to snowfall observed as it's 25cms in some areas and 50cms in others... and this is on my deck. I imagine the resort is much the same with perhaps bottomless stashes on leeward sides of the mountain. The snow from two nights ago was heavy but that has probably all but dissapeared.

Lake Shikotsu yestersday had a 1.5 meter swell and mini barrels were breaking on it. For the few nutbars that are still surfing, the sea of Japan will be massive.

All gates are closed today due to weather. I expect the weaker lifts to be running very slow or not run at all today. The new gondola in Hirafu will get its chance to show off today. Definitely worth catching the bus around the mountain if you want to ski another area, but lots of people are too lazy -- and that translates to freshies!

Don't do anything you have to second guess yourself on today. People try to hike cross resorts between the top lifts and end up getting lost in a snow squall, this has been happening for more that 30 years. If you're lucky enough to be here right now there would be no better way to spend the early hours of Christmas eve than on a deep nighta.

Warning: If you're pregnant or powder starved do not read on. The forecast for the next couple of days are for calming winds by tommorow night and up to 70cms in the next two...that's not including what falls today!

The forecast Current Official Snow Depths:

Grand Hirafu:
Top - 270cm
Bottom - 150cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 230cm
Bottom - 160cm

Niseko Hanazono:
Top - 270cm
Bottom - 150cm

Top - 220cm
Bottom - 150cm

Niseko Avalanche info reads:
Niseko base 6am: -7℃, 45cm of broken-particles dry snowfall in the past 12 hours. Coastal data: W19m/s at Benkei cape, 8.5m waves at Kamui cape, 997hPa atmospheric pressure. Annupuri peak wind: SW11.8m/s. Snowdrifts are drastically developing in all areas, cornices are unstable and avalanche risk is high especially in leeward slopes with heavy snowdrifts. All gates will be kept closed for the sake of all resort users. Potential risk of a 150cm thick surface slab avalanche hazard is present in Annupuri O-sawa’s 1000m cornice slopes. Trigger layer would be Dec 22nd and could run down through the valley reaching as far as 450m altitude level. Do not enter O-sawa area by ducking ropes around gate no.8, you could find yourself in an extremely hazardous zone. The snow within and around the courses is deep and nice. Beware of frostbites.

The 18th Niseko Avalanche Meeting will be held in Niseko town community hall at 6pm tonight.   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Saturday 24th December 2011, 9:35am
Weather conditions: Sunny
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It is going to be a blue bird day today here in Hakuba. The sun is shining and it is a cold crisp morning, with the snow all sparkling it looks very beautiful and very Christmas-y.

There is no new snow to report today here in the valley but up high there are some great powder and packed powder conditions. Still a bit sketchy on lower slopes that go right to the bottom as there is grass and some rocks still showing through. With a little more snow and some grooming this will not be an issue and we can safely ski top to bottom.

This weekend should be busier on the resorts as most people have their Christmas and New Years Holiday, so expect some crowds and maybe longer lift lines. In our experience though, a long lift line wait in Hakuba is 15 minutes. So really nothing to get worried about as there are many resorts and people generally get spread out on the slopes.

In terms of forecasted snow we are excited and still waiting for this heavy snow that has been on the forecast for what seems like a long time now. Tonight is supposed to turn into a full-on blizzard and that is due to continue right through until Monday. Hopefully upwards of 20cms will fall overnight and then much more beyond that - it is not unlikely that we get even more than that during a very short time period...

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!


Official snow depths and operations @ Saturday 24th December 2011 AM:
Especially in this early season period please note that conditions can change quickly - resort operations as well as the weather, as resorts try to get as much open as possible. So please keep that in mind.

Hakuba Goryu:
Hakuba Goryu is reporting, er, 1cm (!) of snow on the upper slopes this morning. Nighta should start for the season from this morning.Ski lifts/courses:
Just the No2, No4 pairs and Iimori No1 lifts not moving now - all others are open.
Official snow depths:
Alps daira - 115cm;
Toomi - 45cm;
Iimori - 45cm.

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 are reporting no new snow this morning.
Ski lifts/courses:
Hakuba 47 have all of their courses open this morning, though lower slopes still need more snow and some parts of the lower may be closed off.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 130cm
Lower - 25cm

Ski lifts/courses:
Still need more snow on lower slopes to get things going more. Hopefully with the heavy snow forecast later today this will soon not be an issue!
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira/Kurobishi - 70cm;
Sakka - 30cm;
Nakiyama - 30cm.

Tsugaike Kogen:
Ski lifts/courses:
No new snow to report this morning.
Official snow depth:
Upper slopes - 125cm
Champion - 50cm

Hakuba Cortina:
Cortina is reporting 15-30cm of fresh snow this morning.
Ski lifts/courses:
Lifts No1 pair, No2 quad, No3 quad, No4 pair and No6 pair lifts operating.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 120cm
Lower - 80cm

Hakuba Norikura:
Ski lifts/courses:
No1 and No6 pair lifts and No4 triple lifts are operating
Official snow depth:

Hakuba Iwatake:
Iwatake is now part open - you need to take the Gondola back down to base.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 40cm
Lower - 15cm

Hakuba Sanosaka:
Three lifts operating from today.
Official snow depth:

Hakuba Minekata:
Not enough snow to open yet.   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Saturday 24th December 2011, 9:41am
Weather conditions: Cloud > clearing up!!
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Well, as I write this report, clouds seem to be parting and the sun is shining through! A bit unexpected given most of the reports last night and it just goes to show... that one I mentioned was correct. How long it lasts is a whole different matter of course and all of the reports have heavy snow back with us tonight, so hopefully a lull before the storm.

And actually we did get a decent amount of snow yesterday - especially in the afternoon. Not an epic portion of snow, but I would say a good 20cm or so in places, and more if you count what we had over the day. Kagura is reporting 30-40cm since yesterday. One thing is for sure and that is that the crowds who were expecting storms will be very pleasantly surprised by the weather and be treated to great snow conditions as well.

More of resorts now open and I think it is safe to say that we are close to fully open now, save a few lifts and courses here and there.

I'll post another report tonight with the lastest...

Official resort snow depths @ 24th December 11, AM:
Mt Naeba:
Kagura - Tashiro:
GALA Yuzawa:
Kandatsu Kogen:
NASPA Ski Garden:
Yuzawa Kogen:
Yuzawa Park:
Yuzawa Nakazato:
Ludens Yuzawa:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Centleisure Maiko:
Joetsu Kokusai:


Evening update

Can't say I was expecting that! It has been a beauty of a day here in Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma. The sun has been out, blue skies all around and for most of the morning there were hardly any clouds around either. Fantastic views all around to be had and with the snow that arrived yesterday and overnight conditions on the slopes has been excellent.

Clouds did start to form and move in on the area as we got into the afternoon but the sun was still out at 3pm. As things started to get dark there were definitely signs of 'snow clouds on their way'.

Resorts haven't been that busy either, considering it is Christmas Eve and a Saturday as well. Perhaps the forecasts for heavy snow put some people off? Very likely I would imagine. Which is a shame both for the resorts and also for the people who missed out on such a great day out there. Oh well, lesson learned.... we can't always totally rely on the forecasts!

Talking of which, the local Niigata forecast now tells us to expect a maximum of 30cm of fresh snow to fall between now and tomorrow morning at 9am. As I mentioned it did cloud over this afternoon and fingers crossed this is the beginning of that heavy snow we were promised. It should be snow from tonight through into Tuesday.

I'll bring you the news tomorrow morning.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Saturday 24th December 2011, 10:06am
Weather conditions: Sunny!
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Well, after about 20cm more snow yesterday and overnight, we wake today to increasingly blue skies and the sun shining down. Where's that snow storm!? Don't worry, it WILL be here later today - all the forecasts are saying that - and it is still due to bring with it some very healthy amounts of snow.

Anyway like I said we do have some nice new fluffy snow on the ground and more importantly on the courses this morning and so conditions actually out there are really very good. There's not much of a wind but it is a cold morning.

Should be a good day out there but we need more snow. Bring it on tonight please Santa!

Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort area:

- Sun Valley
- Ichinose Family
- Ichinose Diamond
- Kumanoyu

Official resort snow depths as of 24th December 2011 AM:

Sun Valley:
Ichinose Family:
Ichinose Diamond:
Okushiga Kogen:
60cm   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Saturday 24th December 2011, 10:17am
Weather conditions: Sunny skies
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Another 20cm or so this morning in Madarao but right now the skies are blue and the clouds have moved on. Fresh snow and fine weather - close to perfect conditions.

Those snow clouds are due to be back in the region by the end of the day though and that storm that was forecast should bring with it large amounts of snow over the next few days. The forecast looks good for snow so best to enjoy the good clear weather while you can, hopefully it is the lull before the storm as they say.

Lifts currently operating:
All lifts apart from No13 are moving at Madarao now and most courses are open.
Kids Park and Zipline are also open.
Powderwave I, II, Usagi and River Line and Freeride Park are not open yet.

Official snow depth:
130cm   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Saturday 24th December 2011, 10:29am
Weather conditions: Sunny, blue skies
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Things have calmed right down today after the blustery day we had yesterday... and the sun is out and we have blue skies up there.

More good news - Naeba really is pretty much fully open today. And the Dragondola is now connecting Naeba with Tashiro. So it feels like the winter has really started proper. A few steeper slopes aside, all of the courses are open and all the lifts are moving.

After the snow of yesterday as well (20-40cm depending on where you are on the mountain) conditions this morning are really good. In for a treat if you get out there.

The official snow depths are being very conservative I reckon.

The heavy snow that we have all been expecting this weekend does still seem to be on it's way, slightly delayed perhaps. But odds on that it will be snowing again by the end of the day and tomorrow will see heavy snow.

Enjoy! And I hope you have a fun Christmas Eve. After all, in Japan Christmas is over come the 25th! ;)

Resort Operations, 24th Dec (subject to change)
Apart from a few steeper areas, Naeba is fully open
Pretty much all of Kagura is open

Official snow depths
150cm   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Saturday 24th December 2011, 10:39am
Weather conditions: Sun is out its a perfect day
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Santa has come a day early in Nozawa Onsen delivering a huge 50cm of fresh snow again overnight on the top slopes with 30cm of new snow on the lower slopes according to the resort! Conditions are looking perfect for the first big weekend of the resort.

We cleared the driveway yesterday and was amazed when we had almost 2 feet of fresh lying on there this morning. That was not even forecasted to be the big one so we are almost scared of what will fall from the heavens tonight and tomorrow night both expecting serious dumps.

Yesterday was a terrific day on the slopes with light to moderate falls all day and some nice fluffy powder to be had. It is blue skies up high now and will be an amazing day. Crowds not even too bad for a Saturday. More good news to come for Christmas day so will keep you posted.

Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:

180 cm

180 cm


Current Lift operations:
All but Kandaha

Current courses open:
All but Kandaha
Yu Road is also open the moving walkway from the Village   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Saturday 24th December 2011, 10:46am
Weather conditions: Scattered Snow Showers
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Around 15cm+ fell yesterday and overnight in town with even heavier accumulations in some places on the mountain, and things are just getting started for this Christmas snowmaker that moved into the area over Thursday night. The weather system is perched and not looking to go anywhere until after Santa has done his thing. Conditions are just right for snow and lots of it all across the Furano Valley, and things are promising to stay this way until well after Christmas.

It's currently -3 degrees outside, which is just perfect for substantial snowflakes that are continuing to pile up out there. The snow will taper on and off throughout the day, following the direction that the windshifts take. Given the right gust of wind, we could easily see another 15cm before tomorrow morning.

I think it's going to be a White Christmas afterall.   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Saturday 24th December 2011, 20:54pm
Weather conditions: Fine > clouding over > snow
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Sorry for the late report today. It was a really cold start to the day... in face the coldest of the season so far and the thermometer I was looking here in the village said -10.5 degrees at around 7:30am this morning. Cold!! Just a few cm of snow to report and actually fine clear conditions for the most part today. Some fine scenery on show today. And more importantly some fine conditions out there as well.

It's all change again though tonight as we have moderate to heavy snow overnight and then through tomorrow as well. The cold conditions will continue and tomorrow we can also expect some at times very strong winds. It might be time for a Christmas onsen tomorrow actually if the forecast comes through correctly.

Official snow depths (24th Dec 11)
Utopia - 65cm
Chuo - 60cm
Paradise - 65cm
Uwanodai - 45cm

Operating lifts (23rd Dec '11)
All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) and most lifts.
All the runs at Zao are now open/accessible.   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

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
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