Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 28th May 2018

Yuzawa Now!

Saturday 26th December 2015, 8:02am
Weather conditions: Mix of cloud, blue sky, sun
New snowfall: 4cm
Snow depth: 10cm
Evening update:

It has been an odd kind of day really here, with fine clear blue skies opening up during the daytime. The forecast was insisting it was going to be raining during the daytime, but at one point there was hardly a cloud in the sky. It was keeping on the mild side as well with a high of about 6 degrees around lunchtime.

This evening there's a few spots of rain but snow is apparently imminent. Looks like it might be early tomorrow morning when temperatures really take a decent drop. Up to 30cm of snow is expected higher up on the mountains and up to 15cm expected around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma town areas. That is what is forecast up until 10am tomorrow morning and it should be snowing all day tomorrow. So things are looking promising.

Let's see how things are come report time tomorrow morning.

By the way, with Kagura currently the place where there's the most area open, they were really very busy today with overflowing car parks. Expect more of that tomorrow too and until there's more choice.


Original morning report:

It's good to see some white again. Not a huge amount - just under 5cm outside here - but there will be more on the mountains. Kagura resort are reporting 10-15cm of fresh.

Yesterday was a mostly wet day again though it turned into sleet and snow later in the dark, with this snowfall overnight.

This morning there are actually blue skies in places and the sun is out. It's just over 0 degrees right now and will be getting a little warmer during the day today but hopefully not too much. Later on precipitation is due again... might start as rain here in town but should soon be snow.

Overnight tonight and tomorrow is still the period to look to for potentially heavy snow. It's still there on the forecast.

Resorts around town are taking things day by day now. For example, NASPA Ski Garden has announced that it plans to open on Monday (28th) - all being well with the snowfall tomorrow. I would expect similar plans at other resorts.

It all depends on how much snow falls. (Obviously!)

All we can do is wait. Or enjoy the resorts that remain open.

I will update this report this evening with the latest news and forecast.


Resorts that are now at least part open (Saturday 25th December 2015) - subject to change:

Almost all of Kagura is now open.
Both Ropeways (Mitsumata and Tashiro) are open and you can ski or snowboard from one to the other.
The only areas now closed at Kagura are the very top pair lift, one of the main Mitsumata slopes and the Mitsumata downhill course back to base.

Lower Number 4 and 5 courses are open (with the help of artificial snow) and the upper Takenokodaira course is open (100% natural snow).

GALA Yuzawa
GALA Yuzawa is part open - the Melody and part of the Entertainment courses in the main Central Area are open.

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
The Technical course and Rakuraku A courses open with just two pair lifts operating (one to get to the open area).

Resorts on standby to open as soon as there is enough snow to open:

Chateau Shiozawa
Ishiuchi Maruyama
Kagura (Tashiro)
Kandatsu Kogen
Ludens Yuzawa
Muikamachi Ski Resort
Nakazato Snow Wood
NASPA Ski Garden
Yuzawa Nakazato
Yuzawa Park
Yuzawa Kogen

Planning to open on Saturday 26th December:
Ishiuchi Hanaoka
Mt Granview


List of ski resorts in Yuzawa town
List of ski resorts in Minamiuonuma City


Iwappara 6 day snow and weather forecast
NASPA Ski Garden 6 day snow and weather forecast
Kagura 6 day snow and weather forecast

   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Saturday 26th December 2015, 8:13am
Weather conditions: Blue skies
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 60cm
5-10cm at the base over night and a little more up top but Tenjin is still not open and Hodaigi is still only running the one, snow machine assisted lift.

Fingers crossed for some significant snow this evening which is on the forecast. Never seen a season start like this...

   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Saturday 26th December 2015, 8:25am
Weather conditions: Cloud cover
New snowfall: 6cm
Snow depth: 70cm
There's some fresh snow to report this morning from Grandeco.

6cm here at base and up to 20cm of fresh up on the mountain

It is still snowing lightly this morning on and off, with quite a lot of snow expected to fall tonight and then through into the early week. It's looking very promising!

The roads around the Ura Bandai area are snow covered with freezing road surface conditions - snow tires needed.

60% of the slope areas are now open at Grandeco with the Gondola and two quads operating.

Lifts operating:

Number 1 quad
Number 2 quad

Courses open:

(A-a) Rainbow 3500
(A-b) Rainbow 3500
(A-c) Rainbow 3500
(B-c) Mint
(C) Center
(D-b) Lavender
(F) Basil


Snow and weather forecast:

6 day snow and weather forecast for Grandeco


Welcome to our new ‘Grandeco Now' reports, exclusive to SnowJapan.

As with all our Now daily reports, it extremely important to us that the information we publish is useful, honest and correct and we’ll be doing everything we can to bring you some good info from this region. Grandeco is located in Kita Shiobara village in the north western region of Fukushima Prefecture - we are very pleased to be able to begin reporting from this region of Japan. More information on Grandeco can be found here and a Resort Spotlight on SnowJapan here.

** There may be a few glitches early on but please bear with us while we settle in this new report section. Thank you. **   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Saturday 26th December 2015, 8:34am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 24cm
Snow depth: 80cm
Thank you Santa!

I have a very respectable 24cm of fresh snowfall at base to report this morning. My friend at the resort is reporting over 35cm up there higher up on the mountain.

It was snowing through the day yesterday and at times in a particularly Niseko-like fashion. That's what we like! It feels like winter has started for proper.

OK, so with this fresh snowfall there's new lift and course action as well.

Top lifts are now open, as are top ski-able (and indeed snowboard-able) connections. But the resorts are advising only for 'advanced skiers' due to trees and things still sticking up from the snow which is still less than what we expect peak season. Hopefully not for long.

Niseko Grand Hirafu have added their King Number 4, King Number 1 pair and Ace Number 1 pair lifts to 'operating' status. Niseko Village plan to have their top Wonderland Chair operating this morning; Niseko Annupuri have their top Jumbo Number 4 lift due to be operating. I see that at the time of writing this the Niseko Gondola is running at a slow speed, probably due to wind conditions. Let's hope they don't affect things too much today.

There's lots more snow lined up today (it's still snowing) and right through until the middle of next week.

This is more like it and long may it continue.

Have a blast out there today and take care.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -7℃, snowing, 20cm of light crushed crystal snow in 12hours. Moiwa Mikaeri 800m: -8℃, W10m/s, notable development of snowdrifts. Annupuri 1000m: -13℃, W15-20m/s, large development of snowdrifts. Coastal data: Benkei cape WNW16m/s, Kamui cape WNW14m/s, 1008hPa, 2.5. waves.

Snowdrifts are developing with the persistent 15m/s westerly wind. These snowdrifts have drastically built up to 100cm thickness in some leeward slopes around 1000m. The wind may calm down in the afternoon and the snowdrift development may also slow down, however 60cm class surface slabs slides will be highly likely to occur in 40 grade slopes. Even the smallest avalanches can be powerful enough to burry a person to asphyxiation. Although the snowdrifts may be good snow to ski on, it is wiser to stay away from steep slopes in tight gullies and/or under chairlift lines for now.

Beware also of freshly buried obstacles lurking just beneath the surface.

The snow in the out of bonds area is still insufficient and gates’ opening is still to be confirmed. Please refrain from stepping out until the gates open. NEVER enter strictly off limits areas and NEVER duck any ropes. You are risking your lift ticket and maybe your season. Please respect the Niseko Rules.
Winter has finally come.


Planned resort operations (subject to change due to weather conditions during the day)

The lifts market with an asterix (*) below are planned to be open for night skiing

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Lifts planned to be running:
- Ace Family pair*
- Ace Number 1 pair
- Ace Number 2 Quad Center Four* (for transport)
- Ace Number 3 pair
- Hirafu Gondola*
- King Number 1 pair
- King Number 3 triple
- King Number 4
- Holiday Number 1 pair*
- Swinging Monkey
Courses planned to be open:
- Family
- Beginners access
- Center
- Shirakaba
- Green
- Kokutai
- Ni-kabe
- Alpen
- Sennoki
- Kogen
- Boyo
- Rinkan
- Jumbo
- Dynamic

Niseko HANAZONO Resort
Lifts planned to be running:
- Hanazono Number 1 quad
- Hanazono Number 2 quad
- Hanazono Number 3 quad
Courses planned to be open:
- Connecting
- Parallel
- Silver Dream
- Stairway to Heaven
- Setsuzoku course
- Crystal Garden
- Yotei Sunset (ungroomed)

Niseko Village
Lifts planned to be operating:
- Niseko Gondola
- Community Chair*
- Banzai Chair*
- Morino Chair
- Wonderland Chair

Niseko Annupuri
Lifts planned to be operating:
- Annupuri Gondola
- Jumbo Number 1 quad*
- Jumbo Number 2 pair
- Jumbo Number 3 pair
- Jumbo Number 4 pair
Courses planned to be open:
- Utopia
- Shirakaba
- Paradise
- Junior
- Family
- Dynamic
- Silver


Official resort snow depths as of Saturday 26th December 2015:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 220cm
Base - 80cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 140cm
Base - 80cm

Niseko Annupuri:
Top - 90cm
Base - 70cm


Niseko Grand Hirafu 6 day weather and snow forecast   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Saturday 26th December 2015, 8:35am
Weather conditions: Getting a bit sunnier than we would like, but mostly cloudy
New snowfall: 25cm
Snow depth: 25cm
I'm sitting here waiting for the official report to come in (which since you're reading this, have in fact arrived). The good, great, wonderful news is that we have snow on the ground. Not a whole lot, but enough to fire up the mighty snowthrower and for ski areas to start opening up (belated Merry Christmas present for all!).

And they're starting to come in! Most everyone is open, at least a little bit. Kyukamura and Tangram are not open; Suginohara has not sent a report to the town or updated its own website today, so I don't know what they're doing. It's still snowing (yeah!) but the sun is also peeking out a bit (boo!).

Akakura Kanko:

Myoko Kogen Sky Cable, Hotel No. 5 lift
-4° / 25cm

Akakura Onsen:
Yodel Triple No. 2, No. 4; shuttle bus from Yodel Information Center at the base up to Yodel No. 3 lift
-4° / 20cm

Ikenotaira Onsen:
Karamatsu lift only
2° / 25cm

Myoko Suginohara:
No report, from the town or the hill (come on guys!)

Seki Onsen:
-2° / 40cm

Myoko Ski Park:
Partially open
0° / 25cm

Kyukamura RunRun:
Reporting the most snow, but not open
5° / 40cm

Tangram Ski Circus:
Not open yet
-1° / 20cm

Madarao Kogen:
No. 1 Lift (only)
-4° / 30cm   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Saturday 26th December 2015, 8:45am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 6cm
Snow depth: 10cm
Good morning from Nozawa and we have a fresh blanket of snow with the resort reporting 15cm of fresh snowfall on the upper Yamabiko and Uenotaira areas this morning. Colder too as well. It is not snowing as I write this report but snow is expected on and off during the day today, with temperatures not rising that much over freezing. Currently it is -1C here at base.

Should be some improved conditions up top this morning then and they are set to improve more in the coming days with decent snowfall forecast for tonight and into tomorrow and hopefully a bit beyond as well. The cold is going to continue as well with low temperatures tomorrow in particular expected.

I am hoping that my report tomorrow morning will bring you some exciting snow news.

In the meantime, a lot of people are expected in Nozawa this weekend. Early starts recommended especially as the whole mountain is not yet open.

Until tomorrow. Let it snow!


Official info at time of writing on Saturday 26th December 2015 (subject to change):

Official snow depths:

Yamabiko: 40cm (+15cm)
Uenotaira: 40cm (+15cm)
Hikage: 0cm
Nagasaka: 0cm
Karasawa: 0cm

New snowfall as reported by the resort since yesterday:

Yamabiko: 40cm
Uenotaira: 40cm
Hikage: 0cm
Nagasaka: 0cm
Karasawa: 0cm

Planned lift operations:

- Nagasaka Gondola (from 8:40am)
- Hikage Gondola (from 8:40am)
- Skyline link lift
- Yamabiko Four lift
- Yamabiko Number 2 lift
- Uenotaira
- Yu Road (from 8:30am)

Courses planned to be open:

- Yamabiko A course
- Yamabiko B course
- Yamabiko C course
- Yamabiko D course
- Yamabiko E course
- Paradise
- Kokenashi
- Uenotaira
- Bunabayashi


Nozawa Onsen 6 day weather and snow forecast

Nozawa Onsen main resort data   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Saturday 26th December 2015, 8:55am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: 50cm
I was hoping to be able to report more than 1cm of snow this morning, but that's the number. That's not the whole story though as proper heavy snow is due tonight and tomorrow. Strong winds as well due tomorrow along with a real drop in temperatures so it might get stormy out there.

For today though the day has started off calm enough but due to turn into those mid-winter conditions later on in the day.

See you tomorrow. Hopefully I'll have to shovel myself out of the house!


Information as of Saturday 26th December 15 (subject to change)

Lifts that are planned to be operating at Zao Onsen:

- Sky Cable (gondola)
- Zao Chuo Ropeway
- Zao Ropeway
- Onsen Number 1 pair
- Mikaeri pair
- Chuo Number 1 pair AB
- Chuo Number 1 pair AB
- Katakai triple
- Diamond Number 1 pair
- Zao Paradise pair AB
- Shobunuma Number 1 triple
- Shobunuma Number 2 pair
- Utopia Number 2 pair


Official snow depths:

Utopia: 25cm
Chuo: 50cm
Paradise: 30cm
Uwanodai: 10cm


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

Hakuba Now!

Saturday 26th December 2015, 8:57am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 6cm
Snow depth: 20cm
Morning from Hakuba where it is snowing, I am very happy to report.

Resorts around the area seem to be generally reporting up to 10cm of fresh.

As usual Hakuba 47 seem to be juggling what is open over there and reacting to the snowfall, but for the moment it looks like the other resorts that are open remain open with the same lifts and courses. For now. If this snow continues we can of course expect more openings very soon.

Hakuba Cortina are this morning reporting 10cm which of course isn't enough to get open, but the forecast for the region is for continued snow today and tomorrow. Cortina is of course well known for being a place that often enjoys huge amounts of snow dumpage during a storm, so let's hope that tonight and tomorrow delivers.

I hope to bring exciting news in my report tomorrow. Wrap up warm if you plan to be here, it's going to get very cold.


6 day forecast for Happo-one:

6 day snow and weather forecast for Happo-one


Resort news as of 8:45am on Saturday 26th December (all subject to change due to weather conditions)

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 is reporting 10cm of new snowfall this morning.
Upper Route 1, Route 2, Route 4, Route 5, Route 6 and upper Route 8 courses are open.
Planned lifts:
Line AB
Line C
Line E
Official snow depth
Upper: 80cm
Base: 3cm

Hakuba Goryu:
Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of new snowfall, but there was definitely some!
The upper Panorama Course, Grand Prix and Super courses at Hakuba Goryu are open, as well as the lower Toomi run.
Upper and lower areas not connected - gondola needed to get down from upper area.
Planned lifts:
Telecabin Gondola
Alps Number 1 pair lift
Alps Number 2/4 pair lift
Alps Number 3 pair lift
Toomi Sky Four lift
Official snow depth
Alps: 65cm
Iimori: -cm
Toomi: 20cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
Happo-one is reporting 10cm of new snowfall this morning.
The Usagidaira, Panorama and Kurobishi areas are open.
The Gondola is operating to take skiers and boarders there and back.
Planned lifts:
Adam Gondola
Alpen quad lift
Usagidaira pair lift
Kurobishi Number 2 quad lift
Kokusai Number 1 lift
Kokusai Number 3 lift
Panorama pair lift
Official snow depth
Usagidaira: 50cm
Nakiyama: -cm
Sakka: -cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
The upper Tsuga-no-mori area and upper part of the Han-no-ki course areas are open.
Planned lifts:
Eve Gondola
Tsuga Number 1 pair lift
Tsuga Number 2 pair lift
Han-no-ki high speed pair lift
Official snow depth
Tsuga-no-mori: 79cm
Maruyama: -cm

Course 2 is open
Planned lifts:
Number 2 pair lift

Other planned resort opening dates

As soon as there is enough snow:
Hakuba Cortina:
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Hakuba Sanosaka:   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Saturday 26th December 2015, 9:10am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 15cm
Snow depth: 30cm
Madarao have suddenly decided to open this morning. The 15-20cm of snow on the slopes since last night no doubt helped, and it was actually more than they were expecting.... hence the 12 noon opening today.

Hurray! Thank you Mr Santa-san. But... more please!

It's going to be the Number 1 lift again moving, so limited and the lift tickets will cost just 1000 yen for adults and 500 yen for children.

More snow is due today, tonight and tomorrow as well so fingers crossed that tomorrow more of the mountain might get to be open.

The Tangram Ski Circus is not opening just yet it would seem.


Madarao Kogen 6 day snow and weather forecast


Madarao Kogen will be open from 12 noon today.
Tangram Ski Circus is not yet open.
   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Saturday 26th December 2015, 9:30am
Weather conditions: Cloud, bit of sun
New snowfall: 4cm
Snow depth: 30cm
Good morning from Shiga Kogen. It is snowing, though right now as I type this there's even a bit of sun coming through the mostly cloudy skies.

Snow to report this morning. Certainly not as much as I wanted to be able to report - around 5cm - but we'll take it. And the forecast is still looking good for some decent snowfall going into tonight and through into tomorrow.

Maruike and Giant are now part open and with more snow arriving expect more areas, courses and lifts to follow.

We could just do with one significant snowfall to really get things going. I seem to recall saying that before now. Might tonight deliver the goods?

I'll let you know tomorrow morning.


Resort operations (Saturday 26th December) - subject to change

The following resort areas of Shiga Kogen are part open. Snow and courses that are open remain limited as wait for more snowfall.

Ichinose Diamond
Ichinose Family
Nishitatyama (Mammoth side)
Okushiga Kogen
Sun Valley
Takamagahara Mammoth

Other ski areas of Shiga Kogen currently remain closed.


6 day snow and weather forecasts:

Ichinose Family 6-day snow and weather forecast
Okushiga Kogen 6-day snow and weather forecast
Yokoteyama 6-day snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Saturday 26th December 2015, 9:56am
Weather conditions: Today is a mixture of low level cloud and clear blue skies. Expected to alternate throughout the day.
New snowfall: 4cm
Snow depth: 35cm
Good morning from Naeba everyone and sorry about the late update today.

The morning has begun in fine fashion with 4cm of fresh snow falling over night.

This has dramatically improved things in the base area of Naeba with the man made pistes now being widened giving more room for you to play in the snow.

Unfortunately the official base depth of 35cm is still only on those man made pistes. Off to the side of these pistes is still not ridable.

Today's weather is expected to warm up to a little above 0 degrees Celcius.

The weather for this week is still looking good for snow over the next three days.

Naeba 6-day snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Saturday 26th December 2015, 12:31pm
Weather conditions: Very cloudy dumping snow.
New snowfall: 22cm
Snow depth: 120cm
Still snowing heavily in Furano

Lovely fat snow falling in Furano, typically dry and light. No wind but occasional breezes. Just saw a gust in town while I was at a red light.

Minus seven degrees Celsius just now when I crossed the Sorachi River into town. Forecast is for (wait for it) snow. No breaks, no sun. I hope they are a tiny bit wrong because I like the sun. But this snow is fantastic.

The skiing and boarding on the resort is superb. The gondola is running today on the Kitanomine Zone and most of it is now open. Those top runs are excellent. I was just talking to an American boarder who had never skied snow like it. She fell at the top and spent ages getting back up. I asked how deep it was and she said neck, but I think she meant while she was fallen over. Although she was petite...

It is about thigh-deep at the top though. Really dry and floaty.

Photo is at Kitanomine gondola base where the learner's magic carpet should start operating soon.
   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