Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 19th January 2020
Friday 26th April 2019, 7:44am
Good morning from Yuzawa.
There was a bit of sun in the morning yesterday in places but it remained mostly cloudy and relatively cold for the day with a few spots of rain in the evening when I was out.
We are expecting rain during the day today and tomorrow too, perhaps quite heavy at times. And, perhaps some snow even falling at higher elevations tomorrow as it gets almost winter-like cold once again.
Sun is due Sunday and warming temperatures should be back later from Monday.
Photos from GALA Yuzawa and Kagura.
Updated: Friday 26th April 2019
GALA Yuzawa - Official snow depth: 130cm - All courses in the Central Area remain open - Broadway, Swan, Super Swan and Super Broadway in the Northern Area remain open - Gondola, Barouche quad, Phaeton pair, Coach pair and Victoria quad lifts are operating - The downhill Falcon course is closed for the season - take the Gondola back down to base - GALA Yuzawa plans to be open until Monday 6th May
Kagura - Official snow depth: 220cm (Kagura); 190cm (Tashiro); 160cm (Mitsumata) - Kagura remains almost fully open - The downhill course to base at Mitsumata is now closed - Some lifts only operating on holidays and busy periods - Tashiro Ropeway plans to be open until Monday 6th May - Kagura (via Mitsumata Ropeway) plans to be open until Sunday 26th May
All other ski resorts in the Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma region are now closed for the season Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Friday 26th April 2019, 8:18am
Cloud, fog, mist
Morning from Nozawa.
As you can see on the images below, it's very limited visibility on the top Yamabiko area this morning, lots of cloud around Paradise and hardly any snow left on the base Hikage area. The resort is still reporting 180cm of snow depth on that top area. Easily enough for them to remain open as planned until 6th May.
Expect rain today and into tomorrow.
It's going to be interesting to see what kind of snowfall we might see tomorrow and how far down the mountain it might get... whatever it is going to be pretty cold tomorrow - certainly not normal 'Golden Week' warmth - so come prepared. Sun is forecast from Sunday with something of a warm up due from Monday.
OK, so tomorrow is the start of the Golden Week holidays in Japan and the last 10 days of the ski season here in Nozawa.
The Skyline connecting lift, Uenotaira and Paradise quads are scheduled to be working over the holidays with those areas also opening; more people expected to be here.
Friday 26th April 2019
Official snow depth numbers (reported by resort):
- Yamabiko (1407m): 180cm - Uenotaira (1230m): 110cm - Hikage (660m): no longer reporting - Nagasaka (615m): no longer reporting - Karasawa (563m): no longer reporting
Lift operating information:
- Nagasaka Gondola (8:10am - 3:00pm; last one down 3:40pm) - Yamabiko Four (8:30am - 3:20pm) - Yamabiko Number 2 Four (8:25am - 3:30pm) - Skyline connecting pair (8:25am - 3:30pm) [** operating 27th April - 6th May **] - Uenotaira Four (8:30am - 3:30pm) [** operating 27th April - 6th May **] - Paradise Four (8:30am - 3:20pm) [** operating 27th April - 6th May **]
Course opening information:
- Yamabiko courses - Kokenashi - Uenotaira [** only open 27th April - 6th May **] - Paradise [** only open 27th April - 6th May **] - Bunabayashi (to mid-point) - Yunomine B
All other courses are now closed.
Ride the Gondola back down to base.
The village shuttle bus will be operating from 27th April until 6th May for Golden Week.
Cloudy morning yesterday but by lunchtime we were enjoying some blue skies and sunshine.
It is cloudy this morning again but not windy and so lifts appear to be preparing to move as planned this morning. Hurray!
Golden Week starts from tomorrow. Here's what my friend Wiki P says about it this year:
"Golden Week in 2019 is particularly long due to the 2019 Japanese imperial transition, with the succession of the new emperor on 1 May designated as an additional national holiday. As 29 April and 3 May are already holidays, this causes 30 April and 2 May to be public holidays as well, making 2019's Golden Week ten consecutive days, from Saturday 27 April through Monday 6 May."
I'll fill you in on what each of the holidays is in the report for that day.
I know more than a few people who are (sort of) moaning that it is 'too long'. I can kind of see their point. They're not used to such a long period of time off all at once and many would prefer to take their holidays when most other people are working. Personally, I also like to avoid travel during Golden Week because popular places are often very busy. (Not that I could do much travel anyway - I have Niseko Now duties to see to!)
It will be interesting to see how many people choose to come and ski or board.
Ski resort operation information: Friday 26th April 2019 Planned resort operations - subject to change due to weather conditions
Courses that remain open: - Champion - Utopia - Silver - Shirakaba - S-ji - Paradise - Family - Junior
* You can still ride back down to base * The Gondola is also open for 'sightseeing' (ie. without skis or boards)
Niseko Village and Niseko HANAZONO areas are now closed for the 2018-2019 season Read more ...
Friday 26th April 2019, 8:32am
Good morning from Hakuba.
Lots of cloud around this morning and some rain. Fingers crossed the rain might clear later on but it might be back tomorrow - as might snow. Whether that will just be 'up top' or lower down, we shall just have to wait and see what happens. As they say. Whatever, it's going to be a cold start to the weekend so don't come expecting warm and sunny typical Golden Week weather. Not just yet anyway, we might get some of that next week.
Snow is retreating and there is less of it about especially in lower areas that remain open (see 47 and Goryu) but there's still a fair bit up there enabling the resorts to remain open until the end of Golden Week on Monday 6th May. Not sure I'd want to use my new expensive gear (not fresh and fluffy, some ground showing through in some lower places etc).
Ski resort information on Friday 26th April 2019: The below info is checked manually each morning and believed to be correct at time of report.
Official snow depth (as reported by resort): - Kurobishi: 200cm - Usagidaira: 100cm - Nakiyama: -cm
Notes: - The upper Riesen Grat, Usagidaira, Kurobishi, Panorama and Skyline areas remain open - All base areas are now closed - Take the Gondola back down to base - Hakuba Happo-one plans to be open until Monday 6th May
Operating lifts (planned): - Grat quad - Alpen quad - ADAM Gondola - Panorama pair - Kokusai Number 3 pair - Kurobishi Number 2 quad - Skyline Number 2 pair
Official snow depth (as reported by resort): - Top: 210cm - Toomi: -cm - Iimori: -cm
Notes: - Top areas remain open - Champion Expert course is now closed - You can still (just about!) ride back down to Toomi base - Iimori and Toomi base area lifts are now closed - Alps Number 2/4 should be operating for Golden Week (27th Apr - 6th May) - Hakuba Goryu plans to be open until Monday 6th May
Operating lifts (planned): - Goryu Telecabin (Gondola) - Alps Number 1 pair lift - Alps Number 2 pair lift
Official snow depth (as reported by resort): - Top: 180cm - Base: 50cm
Notes: - The resort is reporting 90% area still open - The lower part of Route 7 is now closed - Beginners are recommended to use the Gondola back down to base - You can still ride down to base via Route 1 - The Tree Riding Zones are now closed - Hakuba 47 plans to be open until Monday 6th May
Operating lifts (planned): - Gondola - Line AB pair lift - Line C quad lift - Line E high speed pair lift
Official snow depth (as reported by resort): - Tsuga-no-mori: 190cm - Han-no-ki: 170cm - Oya-no-hara: 30cm - Others: -cm
Notes: - The upper Tsuga-no-mori and Han-kou course areas remain open - All other course areas are now closed - Take the Gondola back down to base - Tsugaike Kogen plans to be open until Monday 6th May
Operating lifts (planned): - EVE Gondola - Tsuga Number 2 pair lift - Han-no-ki high speed pair lift - Tsugaike Ropeway (* a separate ticket is required) Read more ...
Aizu Bandai Now!
Friday 26th April 2019, 9:08am
Good morning from Urabandai.
It is a foggy and dark rainy morning and forecast to be just cloudy in the afternoon with rain falling again tomorrow.
Visibility is very poor with fog --- it's not a very appealing morning!
According to the forecast, it will be cold tomorrow evening but unfortunately there is no snow forecast.
It is still possible to ski from the top to the base (total length 4500m) at Grandeco.
Nekoma has a snow park on the Devil 3 course even in this (generally) warm spring season.
The photos for today are all from Nekoma (note: the first snow park photo was taken yesterday).
Lifts: Devil cat chair and forest cat chair
Courses: Forest 1, 3, devil 1, 2, 3, Friendly
* The Excite cat chair lift and excite 1 course is closed today due to the maintenance
Lifts: Gondola and No.3
Courses: Melissa, Mint A, B, Lavender B, Basil, Center, Rainbow 3500 and hotel connecting Read more ...
Friday 26th April 2019, 9:15am
The snow is receding rapidly these days and cherry blossoms are out just down the valley in Yubiso village but not yet up here at my place. Translation, it's still pretty cold and raining to boot here this morning.
At Tenjin, the cat track has been closed now for nearly two weeks but up top the lifts will be turning throughout Golden Week and as has been the case since February, elementary school-aged kids are free.
The Minakami Vibes bowl is still in good shape from what I've seen on social media photos and the snow base is a robust 2.5m.
I haven't been up on the mountain in a while so I can't honestly comment on snow quality but I'll take a wild stab in the dark and predict that on the sunny days, it's slushy, and on the cold days, probably slushy too.
Looks like a lot of weather coming in this evening and it's forecast to snow all day tomorrow up top and even down to my place at the base... and just as I'd trundled the snow muncher round the back...
Good weather on Sunday if the meteorologists have it right!