Snow and weather reports posted on Wednesday 20th February 2019
Tuesday 26th January 2016, 7:30am
Mostly clear blue skies over Yuzawa
Good morning from Yuzawa.
We enjoyed more snowfall through most of the day yesterday (and yes, we did get a few short periods where it backed off like the day before) and it was snowing pretty good for most of the day.
Since my report yesterday morning there has been another 14cm of snowfall down here by my base. Interestingly, once again resorts are if anything under-reporting with just 5cm from both Kagura and Maiko this morning. You'd think they'd want to shout out about the better actual numbers - of course, we don't want anyone to be 'lying' about conditions, that's not cool...
So this morning, just like the forecast told us to expect, we have beautiful almost clear blue skies from early on. There's just a bit of cloud about, and quite a bit to the north of Minamiuonuma still but it looks like it is going to be a really great morning to be strapped to the skis or board.
We're good for time being, but there's not much snow lined up on the 6-day forecast currently with the best chance of the next (decent) snow being around Saturday. Before then, we can probably expect some sun and temperatures warming up a bit. Look out for a chance of rain sometime around Thursday and Friday at town level. Let's hope we can avoid that.
By Saturday with that expected snow it should be getting colder once again.
I haven't been out myself the last few days but heard from friends about some great conditions at Kagura, GALA and Kandatsu the last few days which is good to hear. I'll be checking myself today.
Resort official snow depths (Tuesday 26th January 2016) and any specific news at time of writing:
All resorts in the area are either mostly or fully open. All slopes have enjoyed a decent refresh of snow over the last week.
Resorts in Yuzawa:
GALA Yuzawa 170cm The South Area is now part open and downhill Falcon course is also open
Good morning from Nozawa and an early report this morning because....well, I want to get up there early! To do research for these reports of course. ;)
But yes as we were expecting there's blue skies over Nozawa. Some cloud not too far off but over Nozawa it's blue lots of shadows being case by the mountain early on. It is going to be a very fine morning. Since my report yesterday there has been another 5-10cm of snow across the mountain and it today has started off very cold though the sun should take some of the sharpness off that during the day. Still, I'm going to be layering up just in case, don't like cold spoiling a morning.
Tomorrow might see sunshine as well though is forecast to be more cloudy than today.
Thursday is expected to get slightly warmer and there's some rain lurking on the forecasts as well which isn't something we want to hear. Beyond that we should be back to snow falling come Saturday morning.
So for the next few days clearer skies. Sounds good to me, I hope you can enjoy it too.
Official info at time of writing on Tuesday 26th January 2016 (subject to change):
If you were out yesterday and felt cold, don't think it was just you...it was really cold out on the mountain right throughout the day. If you had a face mask, you had it on. If you didn't, you spent the lift ride in conversation about how your face was frozen. The compensating factor was the blue skies and clear views. Today is at contrast with yesterday, with the temperatures being much milder (but still cold) and overcast skies clouding any spectacular views...however the cloud may lift according to the forecast and reveal some sun. Not much to report in the way of fresh snow except for 1cm, but tomorrow and Thursday look promising. The snow is forecast from tonight with the heaviest falls coming Wednesday and Thursday evening. At the same time winds may increase. Read more ...
Tuesday 26th January 2016, 7:57am
Cloud, bit of sun right now
Some fine conditions to enjoy out on the slopes here in Zao yesterday - my body is recalling it all and reminding me this morning!
There was more snow falling during the day but no more overnight. This morning it's cloudy but bright with the sun breaking through in places. We might get to see some sunshine over the next few days, perhaps a bit of light snow sprinkles as well.
Thursday seems to be Japan getting warmer generally, hopefully by not too much here, and the next snow due later Friday into Saturday.
Information as of Tuesday 26th January 2016 (subject to change)
Another early(ish) report; the official report from town isn't in yet (don't get me started), but at least the areas are logging in and reporting on the Japanese information page.
It's sunny today; OK, I'll admit it; it is pretty out there in sunlight - this morning early there was the amazing site of a full moon right above Mt. Myoko just before the sun rose.... It is nice to be able to see the whole area once in a while, even if we still could really use more snow. Oh, well, it will come - or not - but it is nice out there. I get to go for a hike in the woods, so I'm happy. It's cold out there, too, typical following a clear night.
Thanks to the locals who are feeding in some information as people do start to head out into the backcountry more. Still too much brush (have a good short turn if you're thinking about heading out), but the snow is pretty stable, after some initial sluffing following the last snowfall. In short, it's not at the levels we'd like, but the other side is that things are safer than if we had a lot of snow coming down all the time. Glass half full, that kind of thing.
A very good morning to you from here near Hirafu base.
I have 14cm of fresh snow to report here at base this morning with most of that was falling later on in the day yesterday and late night. Not bad! More please. (I always want more).
First lifts should be good today and it looks like there are lots of people thinking the same too waiting for the lifts to start moving.
Wind doesn't seem to be an issue this morning and so I expect the resorts to be opening as planned and gates are expected to be open.
It is snowing as I write this and indeed the 6-day forecast has regular snow lined up each day so hopefully we will get the daily top-ups.
It is Australia Day today and of course there are more than a handful of good Australian folk here in Niseko, either on holiday or working. No doubt there will be some fun celebrations as well, so I will see you in the bar tonight!
A close friend mentioned to me last night that I'm still not half way through my daily reporting duties for the season (if you didn't know, I continue posting these reports every day right through until the end of the season in early May). It's pretty daunting when I think about it like that, just have to take it one day at a time.
Help me out by keeping on reading even if your Niseko visit is over and done for the season, ok! Arigato.
Resort specific lift opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):
Niseko base 6.00am: -7°C, 15cm crystal snowfall, calm. Moiwa 800m: -8°C, W5m/s, 20cm new snow, minor snowdrift development. Mikaeri 740m: -8.0°C, light winds, 30cm new snow. Annupuri 1150m: -9°C, W10-15m/s. Hirafu ridge line -10°C, w5m/s, 20cm new snow, minor snowdrift development. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:WNW14m/s. Kamui Cape SW14m/s, 1015hPa, wave 1.4m.
Isobars are far apart and the weather is calm. Snow fell till around midnight and has settled till dawn. Leeward slopes are reset. From data and observation general avalanche risk is low. All peak gates are expected to be open. Please talk to the patrol before going out of bounds. It is possible the wind will pick up above 1000m with the passing of a low pressure trough. Be aware of a sudden change in the weather and bad visibility. Snow conditions above 1000m are crusty, snow in the trees is good. Do not enter Strictly Off Limits areas(Yu no Sawa, Haru no Taki). If you get caught you will loose your pass and you season will be finished. Respect and follow Niseko Rules. Your freedom and a minimum level of safety to ride out of bounds is protected by Niseko Rules. Have a safe day.
Official resort snow depths as of Tuesday 26th January 2016:
Yesterday a humdrum kind of day with a very quiet mountain and very little snow falling. The weather did cooperate bringing mostly sunny skies all day but the forecast snowfall was nowhere to be seen. The small amount we actually received fell in the overnight hours.
This morning it’s certainly warmed a little and we should see a temperature averaging -3 at the base. Outside it’s currently sunny but we can expect the clouds to roll in later this morning and into the afternoon with a ‘forecast’ of moderate snowfall later in the day. Fingers crossed it arrives this time. The winds should be light and variable all day too.
17 of 21 runs still open with the conditions being average on the slopes. Still no word on the Sailer gondola opening or for that matter the rest of the Sailer or second runs. While this season is certainly not turning out to be an ideal one for most ski resorts in Japan I’m praying that we can get all the runs open here at Appi before the season comes to an end!
The forecast for the next few days calls for cloudy skies and a steadily decreasing temperature with a smattering of snow Wednesday and Thursday and a slight increase in the wind.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 2 lift A - Number 3 lift B - Number 3 lift C - Number 4 lift - Sailer quad - Vista quad Read more ...
Tuesday 26th January 2016, 8:35am
Blue skies and sunny
Good morning from a beautiful Hakuba.
Blue skies above, the sun out, no wind that's going to cause us any issues. Nice.
It's very cold as well. At 8am Happo-one were reporting -14C degrees and Hakuba 47 also had -11C at base as of 7:30am. My thermometer says -6C just now. I think we can call all of them either very cold or extremely cold!
Is it going to be an 'everywhere is open' morning? Almost! Just a few courses still yet to open in places, but I think it's fair to say that Hakuba (taking all the ski areas into account) is almost all open as normal this morning. Hurray.
A quick look at the forecast and it shows fine weather through the day today, then cloud tomorrow with perhaps some light snow at times.
Temperatures looks set to rise a bit mid week - some forecasts say rain for the village but I refuse to believe it - and then some promise of decent snowfall as we enter the weekend.
In the meantime, it is a beautiful morning here and there should be some great conditions to enjoy. Just wrap up well enough. I hope that you can get out to enjoy it.
Resort news as of 8:30am on Tuesday 26th January 2015 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. All courses are now open. The R4 Snow Park is closed today as they do a 'full remake' - it should be back open tomorrow. The lower part of the Tree Riding Zone is now open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba 47. Official snow depth: Upper: 200cm Base: 70cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is again reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. All courses except Snow Diving are now officially open. The Toomi area will be open until 9:30pm tonight for 'nighta'. Lift info: All lifts are operating as planned this morning (the Alps 2 and 4 lifts are weekend and holiday only). Official snow depth Alps: 215cm Toomi: 95cm Iimori: 95cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. Almost all course areas of Happo-one are now open... only the Kurobishi off-piste area is still not open yet. The lower Nakiyama area plans to be open for 'nighta' every day until 9pm. Lift info: All planned lifts are now operating. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 190cm Nakiyama: 70cm Sakka: 50cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. All courses are now open. The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 8pm tonight. Lift info: All lifts (apart from Number 7 pair) plan to be operating. Official snow depth: Top: 195cm Base: 130cm
Tsugaike Kogen: All course areas are now open except Uma-no-se. Lift info: All lifts apart from lower Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner I are operating. Note that the top Tsugaike Ropeway only opens from spring. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 230cm Maruyama: 90cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 70cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Reporting up to 0cm of fresh snowfall. Most of the Village Side is now open. The Sonezawa area and View A and B areas are still closed on the Mountain Side. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Lift info: All lifts on the Village Side are now operating and all lifts on Mountain Side except View 1 and Hikage are operating. Official snow depth: Upper: 140cm Lower: 50cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: All lifts apart from Number 8 lift and all courses except Snake and Expert are open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake. Official snow depth: 100cm
Hakuba Sanosaka: All 5 lifts are operating though some courses not yet open. There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Sanosaka. Official snow depth: 85cm Read more ...
Tuesday 26th January 2016, 8:44am
Absolutely perfect blue bird conditions today.
Good morning from Naeba everybody and what a glorious morning it is! Not even one cloud in the sky today and therefore another great day to work on your goggle tans.
Whilst there was small flurries of snow yesterday it didn't really add up to much throughout the day. Conditions on piste today and medium to soft.
The weather forecast is still looking like snow most days with a moderate dump of snow coming over Friday and Saturday.
The cold conditions remain this morning though it is expected to get a bit warmer this week. Down in the valleys that may be a problem and it might rain but hopefully up here we will be spared that happening. Hopefully it won't rain down there but even if it does there's a good chance it will be snow up here.
Anyway back to this morning. Yes it's a very cold start and the sun is out with lovely clear blue skies above - an excellent morning to be out on the snow.
The next decent snow is expected by the weekend, perhaps some light snow before then mid week.
Today should be a pick of the season though...
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Tuesday 26th January 2016):
We have had just a slight dusting of snow overnight, about 1cm.
It is a very calm morning with not much of a wind.
It remains cold as well, so snow conditions keeping very good.
It will be cloudy at times today according to the forecast and we are expecting more snowfall tomorrow and then more later in the week.
Regular top-ups are good!
By the way some people have asked us about day trips to Grandeco from Tokyo.
The Tohoku Shinkansen train from Tokyo to Koriyama takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes. From there you can get a bus from Koriyama Station at 8:15am to Grandeco which takes around two hours (and costs 1230 yen). Reservations can be made for that bus with the resort itself.