Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 1st April 2018

Niseko Now!

Sunday 25th December 2016, 8:31am
Weather conditions: Cloud, increasing blue sky
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Niseko and a very Merry Christmas to you all.

It was snowing lightly earlier on but that has eased off now and there's more and more blue sky appearing and the sun is currently shining through my window. It is probably going to be a fine day.

And look what Santa brought. Just a few cm of fresh on the ground but perhaps more importantly from today the top King Number 4 lift at Niseko Grand Hirafu and the top Jumbo Number 4 lift at Niseko Annupuri debut for the season... and it is now possible to slide between each of the resorts at the top. Yey! Though, the resorts themselves are making a point of warning that conditions aren't great (not sure exactly what they mean by that). It looks like the top lift at Niseko Village isn't budging for the moment.

Wherever you are in the world, have a fine day.


Visit the SnowJapan Facebook page for details on how to enter the current special tour Giveaway on Good luck to you all and thank you for all of the comments sent in so far.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -5℃, 2cm snowfall and no snowdrift development. Annupuri 1150m: -11℃, W12m/s, light dust. Moiwa 800m: -8℃, W8m/s, 4cm snowfall and no snowdrifts. Coastal data: Benkei cape WNW12m/s, Kamui cape W12m/s, 1024hPa, 1.0m waves.

Observations and impact test showed that the Dec 19th, 21st, 23rd and 24th layers are stable. Avalanche risk is generally low, except in 40+°steep slopes under chairlifts, cliffbands and course-side banks. The snowpack is still insufficient and the out of bounds areas are closed. Yesterday’s tracks aren’t covered.

Beware of recklessly speeding Santa-Claus at the resort!


Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):

The mountain is nearly (but not yet quite) fully open with top lifts. All resort areas appear to be opening as planned at the start of the day.

Niseko Grand Hirafu
The top King Number 4 lift is now operating.
The top Ace Number 4 lift remains closed.

Niseko HANAZONO Resort
All lifts generally open.

Niseko Village
The top Wonderland lift is not yet operating.
Otherwise open as normal (the Country Road lift is not usually open).

Niseko Annupuri
All lifts now operating and open as normal.


Official resort snow depths as of Sunday 25th December 2016:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 230cm
Base - 80cm

Niseko Village
Top - 130cm
Base - 100cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 105cm
Base - 80cm


Night skiing is planned until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village resort areas. There is no nighta in the Hanazono area.   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Sunday 25th December 2016, 8:32am
Weather conditions: Fine but foggy early on at base
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Nozawa. Happy Christmas!

This morning there's some lovely blue sky views to be enjoyed on the upper section of the mountain (so the webcams show me) but here at base as I write my report it's foggy and you can't see much of anything at all. I would expect that bank of cloud to clear fairly sharpish this morning and leave us with a fine day.

This morning Nozawa Onsen is reporting 5cm of snow on the upper slopes since yesterday evening and adding that to what fell during the day yesterday brings the additional snow up to just over 10cm at higher elevations and up to 4cm on the base areas. Not as much as we would have liked of course, but a fresh supply all the same.

I just spotted Santa strapping some skis on and heading up to the lifts, so he's apparently happy with the conditions.

The resort has opened up the Rinkan, Challenge and Hikage course areas appear to be open once again so you can now ski back down to base but be aware that snow is very thin on the ground in lower areas. Not sure I'd be taking my new gear out to ride there just yet. There seems to be some conflicting info from official sources this morning about exactly what is open, so I suggest checking with the resort themselves for the latest if you need that. Personally, I'd just be heading up to the upper areas which are all open... best place to be!

The forecast is looking quite promising for around Tuesday-Wednesday and then later in the week as well. Still a chance of rain before snow at lower elevations on Tuesday but that should hopefully quickly be turning into snowfall.


Sunday 25th December 2016

Lifts that are planned to be operating:
All lifts appear to be operating except for:
- Hikage quad
- Kandahar pair
- Nagasaka quad
- Nagasaka pair
- Karasawa pair

Courses that are planned to be open:
- Yamabiko A course
- Yamabiko B course
- Yamabiko C course
- Yamabiko D course
- Yamabiko E course
- Kokenashi course
- Uenotaira course
- Paradise course
- Paradise link
- Mizunashi A
- Mizunashi B
- Bunabayashi course
- Yunomine A course
- Yunomine B course
- Rinkan course
- Challenge course
- Hikage
- Nagasaka connecting

Official snow depths:
- Yamabiko: 95cm
- Uenotaira: 55cm
- Hikage: 25cm
- Nagasaka: 25cm
- Karasawa: 10cm

Fresh snow reported by resort since yesterday morning:
- Yamabiko: 11cm
- Uenotaira: 10cm
- Hikage: 4cm
- Nagasaka: 4cm
- Karasawa: 0cm   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Sunday 25th December 2016, 8:40am
Weather conditions: Blue sky and cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Happy Christmas!

I wanted to bring you more snowy news but unfortunately there's not much of that to report this morning. This morning the Kagura resorts are reporting just 1cm of fresh snow while I notice Maiko Snow Resort is reporting 10cm, presumably that is up on the top bowl area. Trees to fairly close to town are looking nice and snow-dusted this morning, though there's no fresh to report at base level I'm afraid. It did (wet) snow at times during the day yesterday but there were also period of clearer skies and nothing falling, so there was no really Yuzawa-like snowfall.

This morning it is a mix of blue sky, sun and cloud early on.

I am happy to report that Ishiuchi Maruyama is back open today by the way. As always, individual resort information has been updated below.

What to look out for on the forecast... snowfall on Tuesday into Wednesday and then Thursday into Friday. Please let it be decent snow. I'm hearing from too many resort folk about the feeling that this season is starting to look a bit like last season. We really don't want that to be the case, we want a classic Yuzawa season!

Ending on a positive note, we have heard from a number of people who are here and really enjoying themselves. We may be short on snow and not at full power, but there's still a lot of fun to be had out there. Living here for so long and knowing just how much it can and usually does snow in this region, expectations are always very high. Some would say too high. But I'm pretty sure it'll happen, we just need to be patient for a while longer.

Have a great day everyone and see you tomorrow.


Resort-specific info as of Sunday 25th December 2016

GALA Yuzawa
GALA Yuzawa is part open.
9 courses in the Central and North areas open in total.
Official snow depth: 80cm

Ishiuchi Maruyama
Lifts at all three areas are now open, with part of the courses open.
Official snow depth: 60cm

Iwappara is part open. 5 lifts and 13 courses are open.
Opening of nighta has been delayed until there is more snow.
Official snow depth: 30cm

Joetsu Kokusai
Part of the hotel base and Panorama area of Joetsu Kokusai is open with 6 lifts operating and 4 courses open.
Official snow depth: 40cm

All areas of Kagura are generally open. The top Kagura Number 5 pair lift and course will open from 1st January 2017.
The Dragondola was planning to be open from today, but they have delayed opening due to the lack of snow.
Official snow depth:
Kagura - 150cm
Mitsumata - 110cm
Tashiro - 130cm

Kandatsu Kogen
Kandatsu Kogen is part open with three lifts operating.
Official snow depth: 65cm

The Prince Number 2 Gondola, Takenokodaira pair, Number 3, 4 and 5 high speed lifts and Number 4 romance pair lifts are operating.
Official snow depth: 60cm

Maiko Snow Resort
The Gondola and Okusoeji quad and pair lifts are operating. 7 courses open in total.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 70cm
Base - cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
The Ropeway and Number 1 and Number 3 romance pair lifts are operating.
Official snow depth: 50cm

NASPA Ski Garden
NASPA Ski Garden is open with 2 courses and lifts 3, 4 and 5 operating.
Official snow depth: 35cm

Yuzawa Kogen
Yuzawa Kogen is part open. The lower Nunoba area is closed.
The Ropeway, Cosmos pair lift, Summit pair lift are operating.
Official snow depth:
Top - 80cm
Base - 10cm

Yuzawa Park
Yuzawa Park is closed due to the snow situation.
Official snow depth: -cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
Yuzawa Nakazato is part open with 4 lifts operating.
Official snow depth: 30cm


'Nighta' (floodlit night operations)

Below are details of the planned 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma this season.
This information is subject to change due to snow and weather conditions.
Please note that this section will not be updated every day.

Ishiuchi Maruyama
Daily from 23rd December 2016 until 19th March 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 8:50pm.
The Chuo Number 1, Chuo Number 2 and Kanko Number 3 Express lifts are open daily.
The Kanko Number 1 Express lift, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift and Hatsukaishi Number 2 pair lifts are also open on weekends and holidays.

Daily from 17th December 2016 until 20th March 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays.
The Main course, Grand course and West courses are open during nighta.

Joetsu Kokusai
Daily from 17th December 2016 until 20th March 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm.
The area in front of the main base hotel is open for nighta.

Kandatsu Kogen
'Hobo All Night' ('Almost All Night') is on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays between 29th December 2016 and 1st April 2017.
The nighta opening times on those days is from 6pm until 4am the following morning.

Maiko Snow Resort
Daily from 28th December 2016 until 19th March 2017.
Nighta is from 4pm until 8pm.
The Maiko center quad lift on the Maiko Side of the resort operates for nighta.

Daily from 17th December 2016 until 26th March 2017.
Nighta is from 4pm until 8:30pm.
Part of the lower area of the resort is usually open for nighta.

NASPA Ski Garden
'Thanks' (extended) opening on Saturdays in December, January and February and also on 23rd December and from 30th December until 8th January 2017.
On those days the Number 1 lift is open until 6pm.

Yuzawa Nakazato
Every Saturday from 7th January until 11th March 2017, 29th December until 3rd January, 8th January 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 8:30pm.
The Number 2 pair lift operates during nighta.   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Sunday 25th December 2016, 8:45am
Weather conditions: Mostly clear with a few scattered clouds
New snowfall: 6cm
Snow depth: --
Merry Christmas from Naeba!

Well today should be a good one with a fair amount of snow on the hill and the sun in the sky.

Yesterday we had consistent snow fall throughout the day clearing in the evening for the fireworks.

The forecast is looking promising for mid and late week so hopefully we'll get a decent amount of fresh in before new year.   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Sunday 25th December 2016, 8:50am
Weather conditions: Cloud, snow
New snowfall: 4cm
Snow depth: --
Merry Christmas from snowy Grandeco.

Happily, 4cm of fresh snow has accumulate at base last night even the forecast was telling us to expect just cloudy conditions. It is still continuing to fall this morning 8am. Thanks Santa.

The snow condition is fairly decent, light snow but the resort has decided to close Basil and lower part of Rainbow 3500 course today to preserve what they have, leaving 3000m course length still open.

The forecast remains positive for good snow in the coming week. Let's hope it is right!


Lifts operating:

Number 1 quad lift
Number 2 quad lift

Courses open:

[A-a] Rainbow 3500
[A-b] Rainbow 3500
[B-c] Mint C
[C] Center
[D-b] Lavender B

Official snow depth:

Road condition to Grandeco:
Inawashiro through Goshikinuma : a little icy but no snow.
Goshikinuma through Grandeco : snow, snow tires are necessary.   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Sunday 25th December 2016, 8:52am
Weather conditions: Clear
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
Stunning bluebird day here with not a breath of wind.

It snowed on and off all yesterday and reports from Tenjindaira were that parts of the mountain were waist deep in the morning and generally above the knee. Last night the accumulation at the top of the resort was 10cm. They are always conservative with their numbers but here at the base of the mountain there was weather but very little snow.

The forecast is for it to be a warm one today with highs above zero up top, more good weather tomorrow before the next snow, forecast to be big, on Tuesday night.


Official snow depths:

100cm Tenjin
50cm Hodaigi
15cm Okutone


Resorts in Minakami (forecasts available from each page):

Minakami Hodaigi
Minakami Kogen Ski Resort
Minakami Kogen Fujiwara
Norn Minakami
Okutone Snow Park
Tanigawa Tenjindaira
Tanigawa Onsen White Valley   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Sunday 25th December 2016, 9:05am
Weather conditions: Clear blue skies
New snowfall: 8cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Madarao and Happy Christmas!

It's a beautiful morning here with lovely blue skies up there and a real chill in the air too.

Really fun day out in the snow yesterday and I even spotted Santa out there. (I heard someone saw him over in Myoko and even Nozawa too - they must have been fakes!)

Yesterday Madarao was open for nighta and light snow was falling still but visibility was good. Good to see the floodlights on. The clouds cleared up later on leaving us with this cold morning.

Next snow due Tuesday. Lots please!

Operating status at Madarao Kogen (at time of report):

- Number 1 lift
- Number 2 quad lift
- Number 5 lift
- Super quad lift
- Number 11 lift
- Number 12 lift
- Number 15 lift
- Moving walkway
- Kids Park
- Freeride Park

Official snow depth:

- 60cm

Lifts currently operating at Tangram Ski Circus:

- Number 1
- Number 3
- Number 5
- Number 6   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Sunday 25th December 2016, 9:20am
Weather conditions: Beautiful blue skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba and my oh my it's Christmas Day already. Merry Christmas!

Santa is here in Hakuba this morning and he has brought with him some beautiful weather. Just a few fluffy clouds here and there, but mostly clear blue skies. Beautiful.

Looks like we can next expect some beautiful fresh snowfall on Tuesday (though it may well rain in the village before it turns into snow) with snow due on Wednesday and then more around the end of the week too. Can we have a lot of snow in this last week of December? Onegai shimasu.

There's a lot of folk here in Hakuba now who are raring to go and expecting much.

Head up to the higher areas for the best snow conditions - it should be a stunner today.

In resort news, the top Grad quad lift at Happo-one is now operating but it is for mountain climbers only -- the top course of the resort is not open for skiing and snowboarding. Happo-one also has the Usagidaira pair lift, Skyline Number 2 pair and Sakka Kita-one quad lifts moving today as well with the Skyline course now open. I'm going to go and check it out this morning.

I hope you have a fun day - see you tomorrow!


Resort news as of 9:05am on Sunday 25th December 2016:

All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions.

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 is now mostly open.
The resort is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
Gondola downloading no longer required - you can ski/board to base but not recommended for beginners.
The upper course connection with Goryu is now open.
Operating lifts and course info:
- Gondola
- Line A.B
- Line C
- Line E
All courses now open apart from Route 7. The Tree Riding Zone is not yet open.
Official snow depth
Line C Upper: 100cm
Base: 20cm

Hakuba Goryu:
Hakuba Goryu is currently part open.
The resort is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
Gondola downloading required back to base.
The upper course connection with Hakuba 47 is now open.
Operating lifts and course info:
- Gondola
- Alps Number 1
- Alps Number 3
- Alps Number 2/4
- Toomi Sky Four
- Toomi Number 1 pair
- Milky Four
The following courses are open:
- Grand Prix
- Panorama
- Super
- Toomi
- Soft Cream
Official snow depth
Alps: 110cm
Toomi: 30cm
Iimori: 20cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
Hakuba Happo-one is currently part open. Downloading via Gondola or Kokusai Number 1 pair lift required.
Operating lifts and course info:
- Gondola
- Grat quad (for climbing)
- Alpen quad
- Usagidaira pair
- Panorama pair
- Kokusai Number 1
- Kokusai Number 3
- Kurobishi Number 2 quad
- Skyline Number 2 pair
- Sakka Kita-one quad
The following courses are open:
- Kurobishi
- Usagidaira
- Skyline
- Panorama
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira: 80cm
Kurobishi: 100cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
Tsugaike Kogen is currently part open.
Operating lifts and course info:
- Eve Gondola
- Han-no-ki pair
- Tsuga Number 1 pair
- Tsuga Number 2 pair
The following courses are open:
- Han-no-ki
- Tsuga-no-mori
Official snow depth:
Tsuga-no-mori: 100cm
Han-no-ki: 100cm
Oya-no-hara: -cm
Kane-no-naru-oka: -cm

Hakuba Cortina:
Hakuba Cortina is currently part open.
The resort is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
Operating lifts and course info:
- Number 1 pair
- Number 2 quad
- Number 4 pair lift
The following courses are at least part open:
- Ikenoda
- Mt Hieda Rinkan
- Mt Hieda 1
- Itadaria
- Ipponmatsu
Official snow depth:
Top: 95cm
Base: 60cm

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field is currently part open.
Operating lifts and course info:
- Gondola
- 3-sen North lift
- 4-sen East lift
The following courses are at least part open:
- East
- North
Official snow depth:
Top: 50cm
Base: -cm

Kashimayari is currently part open.
Operating lifts:
- Number 1 quad
- Number 2 pair
- Number 3 quad
- Number 6 quad
Official snow depth:
Top: 30cm

Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Hakuba Norikura Onsen is currently part open.
Lift info:
The Alps Number 1 pair lift is operating with one course open.
Official snow depth:
Top: 30cm

Hakuba Sanosaka:
Hakuba Sanosaka planned to open but has delayed opening.


Please note that Yanaba ski hill will not be opening for the 2016-2017 season   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Sunday 25th December 2016, 9:24am
Weather conditions: Pure blue goodness
New snowfall: 23cm
Snow depth: --
It is really Christmas-y out there today; the trees are covered in white - frosted, we could say - and the sky is a perfect blue.

Long-time readers know that I'm not all that crazy about bluebird days during the height of the season. Give me those heavy snows and deep fog to keep the riff-raff out, but even I'll admit that this would be a great day to get out skiing.

All the resorts appear to be operating at full strength or close to having all the lifts up and running. Even some of those further south around the mountain who are reporting 40cm or so gave some great skiing, my inside informers tell me. So it's all good, a great big Christmas gift from Mt. Myoko and its big snow shadow to the east.


Akakura Kanko:
80cm, -4°

Akakura Onsen:
75cm, -6°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
40cm, -3°

Myoko Suginohara:
40cm, -2°

Seki Onsen:
100cm, -5°

Myoko Ski Park:
70cm, 0°

Kyukamura RunRun:
100cm, -1°

Tangram Ski Circus:
60cm, -4°

Madarao Kogen:
60cm, -4°

   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Sunday 25th December 2016, 10:00am
Weather conditions: Clear, sunny, cold. Nice.
New snowfall: 7cm
Snow depth: --
It is a beautiful Christmas morning here in Shiga Kogen.

Some fresh snow on the ground from yesterday and now the sun shining down on us - but it's keeping cold.

Perfect really. (For the moment, we could do with more snow of course!)

A look at the map and more and more of the resort areas are now open. I'd say it's more like 75% open now which is good to see. Just bits here and there that remain closed. Next up, fully open please!

The forecast looks good for decent amounts of fresh snow from Tuesday onwards.


Areas of Shiga Kogen currently open and official snow depths:

Please note that all areas remain only part open




Ichinose Family

Ichinose Diamond




Okushiga Kogen

Sun Valley

Takamagahara Mammoth



50cm   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Sunday 25th December 2016, 10:07am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Zao and ho-ho-ho and a happy Christmas to everyone.

Santa didn't bring us heavy snow alas, but he promises the snow for around Tuesday and towards the end of the coming week.

Not much to report this morning really. Visibility was fine earlier on but it looks pretty poor on the mountain now...


>b>The following lifts are not operating:
Astraea Number 3 pair
Kurohime Number 1 quad
Onsen Number 2 quad
Onsen Number 3 parallel AB
Onsen Number 4 quad
Zao Kokutai pair
Ryuzan pair
Karamatsu pair
Sunrise pair AB
Nakamori Number 1 triple
Nakamori Number 2 pair
Zao Paradise Number 3 pair
Yokokura Number 1 pair A
Yokokura Number 2
Astraea Number 1 pair
Astraea Number 2 pair
Omori quad


Official snow depths:
Chuo - 50cm
Utopia - 35cm
Uwanodai - 15cm
Paradise - 40cm


Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time Zao Ropeway operations

December 2016: 29th-31st
January 2017: 1st-3rd, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 27th-31st
February 2017: 1st-28th
March 2017: 1st-5th

Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm.
Ropeway return charges are 2,600 yen for adults and 1,300 yen for children.
In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled.   Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Sunday 25th December 2016, 11:45am
Weather conditions: Sunny
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: --
Merry Xmas from Appi!

It’s a busy Sunday morning on the slopes here at Appi. We had a little snowfall yesterday to help with the weekend traffic and as of now we still only have two runs open. If you’re not here already then you can expect the runs to be a little worn in by mid afternoon.

Today brings mostly sunshine with light to moderate Westerly winds. All in all a nice day to be had on this festive occasion. The week should bring more snow and temperatures hovering around -4-8. Taking a look a little further down the road lets hope the 29th delivers what it promises namely 20+cm of snow !!! I know we’ve all got excited before and been let down but I’ve got a gut feeling about this one.

Come and join us here today, wear something festive and smile for those Xmas shots.


Currently planned operating lifts:

Central quad
Central number 1
Central number 2


Official snow depth:

40cm   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Madarao Now
16th Jul, 11:46pm
Grandeco Now
16th Jul, 11:27am
Niseko Now
16th Jul, 11:26am
Yuzawa Now
29th Jun, 17:50am
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