Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 1st April 2018

Yuzawa Now!

Thursday 26th January 2017, 7:35am
Weather conditions: Blue sky, some cloud (due to clear)
New snowfall: 24cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning to you all from Yuzawa. It’s an early report this morning which means that some of the official snow depth numbers have not all been updated.

The snow continued falling through the day yesterday into the evening, continuing to build up very nicely. With a few more cm this morning, it gives me a total of 24cm to report today.

Clear skies are due for the day today and indeed it is a very nice start - though there is some cloud hanging on at the time of this report. And a fair bit of cloud still to the north of Yuzawa (as you can see on the Ishiuchi Maruyama webcam below). I wouldn't be surprised if we ended up with completely clear skies though today.

Snow conditions should be excellent whichever ski hill you choose.

The forecast is for generally clearer conditions over the coming days, maybe a bit more sleet-snow later tomorrow (rain in town? the local forecast shows some alarmingly warm temperatures in the daytime tomorrow). Let's hope things don't warm up much, it would be cruel to mess with the lovely snow we have now.


What a few weeks it has been.

Over the period of about two weeks, we have gone there not being much snow (along with frequent rainfall), to having a very large amount of snow.

The numbers I am about to mention are all available below on this page and also on the Snowfall Analysis page (tab at the top), but it’s worth pointing them out.

Here’s the snowfall that I have observed here at town level during the month of January in recent seasons:

449cm from 1st-26th January 2017
143cm for the whole month of January 2016
420cm for the whole month of January 2015
297cm for the whole month of January 2014
254cm for the whole month of January 2013

….and most of the snowfall this month has been in the last 14 days!

Here is the amount of snowfall observed from the beginning of the season through January:

595cm up until 26th January 2017
235cm up until the end of January 2016
979cm up until the end of January 2015
433cm up until the end of January 2014
479cm up until the end of January 2013

Remember, the 2014/2015 season was generally known as a season of ‘crazy snowfall’ and the 2015/2016 season was one of ‘much less than usual snowfall’. They were two extremes, almost.

Last season (2015/2016) we only observed 424cm of snowfall in total – for the whole season – so we have already had got more than that by late January.
Anyway, the last few weeks has really transformed the season here.

It will be interesting to see how the rest of the season shapes up.

Over the previous four seasons we have seen between 151cm and 238cm of snowfall during the month of February. We usually get much less in March, but it can throw in a few surprises (see March 2014).

Here’s to lots of regular snowfall through the next few months and for a long season!


Official snow depth information as of Thursday 26th January 2017

Some not updated for today due to early report

GALA Yuzawa
The South Area is closed at the moment due to the recent heavy snowfall. The main Central and North Areas remain open as normal.
Official snow depth: 330cm

Ishiuchi Maruyama
Official snow depth: 270cm

Official snow depth: 225cm

Joetsu Kokusai
Official snow depth: 270cm

Strong winds affecting some lifts at the start of the day.
Official snow depth:
Kagura - 330cm
Mitsumata - 200cm
Tashiro - 280cm

Kandatsu Kogen
Official snow depth: 290cm

Maiko Snow Resort
Official snow depth:
Upper - 310cm
Base - 190cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
Official snow depth: 300cm

Official snow depth: 230cm

NASPA Ski Garden
Official snow depth: 300cm

Yuzawa Kogen
Official snow depth:
Top - 290cm
Base - 200cm

Yuzawa Park
Official snow depth: 230cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
Official snow depth: 200cm


'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 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 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 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 until 1st April 2017.
The nighta opening times on those days is from 6pm until 4am the following morning.

Maiko Snow Resort
Daily 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 until 26th March 2017.
Nighta is from 4pm until 8:30pm.

NASPA Ski Garden
'Thanks' (extended) opening on Saturdays in January and February.
On those days the Number 1 lift is open until 6pm.

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

Hakuba Now!

Thursday 26th January 2017, 7:45am
Weather conditions: Clear blue skies. Very nice.
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Hakuba.

With no new snowfall since yesterday and settled weather conditions, I think it is safe to post an early report. Today is one of those days that I simply can’t resist. I feel the real need to get on some early ski lifts. I’m sure you understand. 

Yesterday there was generally lots of cloud hanging around in the morning but by the middle of the afternoon there was quite a bit of blue sky to enjoy and sunshine casting lots of moving shadows around the valley.

The clouds have cleared nicely overnight leaving us with the beautiful clear skies this morning.

It is a cold start to the day but the sun will warm things up a little and perhaps into low positive numbers.

It should be a great day, can’t wait.

And what’s more, I can see what looks like heavy snow on the forecast for the beginning of new week.

We’ll have some of that please! Or should I say, lots.


Resort news as of 7:40am on Thursday 26th January 2017:

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

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
All planned lifts are operating.
Tree Riding Zones scheduled to be open.
Official snow depth
Upper: 315cm
Base: 170cm

Hakuba Goryu:
Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
All scheduled lifts plan to be operating.
Official snow depth
Alps: 340cm
Toomi: 155cm
Iimori: 135cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
Otherwise all courses open. The Kurobishi off-piste area is also now open.
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira: 200cm
Kurobishi: 235cm
Lower: 140cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
All courses open.
Official snow depth:
Tsuga-no-mori: 310cm
Han-no-ki: 300cm
Maruyama: 220cm
Oya-no-hara: 160cm
Kane-no-naru-oka: 150cm

Hakuba Cortina:
The resort is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
Official snow depth:
Top: 330cm
Base: 215cm

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Official snow depth:
Top: 170cm
Base: 100cm

Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Official snow depth:
Top: 320cm

Official snow depth:
Top: 180cm

Hakuba Sanosaka:
Official snow depth:
Top: 135cm


Planned nighta operations - be sure to check with resorts for latest:

Hakuba Goryu:
Planned to be open daily from 6pm until 9:30pm

Tsugaike Kogen:
Planned at the Kane-no-naru-oka area on January 28th; February 4th, 11th (6pm until 8:50pm)
Planned at the Katamatsu-Shirakaba area on January 28th; February 11th, 18th; March 4th, 11th, 18th, 19th (6pm until 9pm)

Hakuba Cortina:
Planned to be open daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays)

Hakuba Happo-one:
Planned to be open daily until 9pm on the Nakiyama area.

Planned to be open daily.

There is no night skiing at the other resorts in the area.   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Thursday 26th January 2017, 7:53am
Weather conditions: Fantastic blue skies
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba everybody.

Well, it is a chilly start to the day however with a perfect bluebird day on the cards I imagine it will soon warm up to somewhere around 0 degrees celsius. Conditions out there are nicely groomed and soft all over the mountain! Take out your carving plank today as the snow could not be better for laying over some extreme carves!

Please bear in mind that whilst we are reporting 10 cm of new snowfall today this is because of snow that fell during the day after our report was posted. As such whilst there is lots of fresh snow around it has all been nicely groomed. As such please don't come out today expecting to find snow that you need to snorkel in!

Looking on the fine weather is supposed to hold out for today with a return to snow predicted for tomorrow. The rest of the week is predicted to be a mixture of clouds and light snow with potentially a little bit of rain thrown into the mix.


   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Thursday 26th January 2017, 8:12am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy
New snowfall: 11cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning to you all. The days keep on rolling on don't they - not much more of January left! Yikes.

Anyway, I have more fresh snow to report this morning. Another 11cm down here by Hirafu base since yesterday morning.

Some forecasts are promising us some blizzard like conditions to move in over the region starting tomorrow - strong winds ahoy - and into the weekend with some oddly mild temperatures mixed up in there as well. I have looked at four different forecasts and each tells a slightly different story. I'm no weather forecaster of course (I'm sure you can tell!), so will let you take a look if you like and we will just have to sit tight and see what happens and how much snow this particular storm brings us. A good Niseko-like end to the month would be great.

In the meantime we can probably expect generally cloudy conditions for the day today with the snow starting to fall and winds picking up overnight.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -5℃, 10cm new snow. Moiwa800m: -10.3℃, NW1.3m/s, 15cm snowfall, 20cm snowdrifts in east aspects. Annupuri 1150m: -13℃, NW10m/s, 20cm snowfall. Hirafu 1250m: -11℃, NW5m/s, 20cm snowfall. Kamui cape lighthouse: WSW7m/s, 1021hPa, 1.3m waves.

The isobars are spread out and the weather is generally calm, however a moderate westerly wind is blowing above 1000m. Although the overall snowfall is small, eastfacing slopes above 800m are mostly reset with 30cm of soft slabs. According to observations and snowfall transitions, a shallow surface slab slide from Jan 25th layer is to be expected in high elevation leeward slopes such as Higashi-One Cornice slopes and Backbowl sidewalls. There was a fatal accident in similar conditions in the past, where a skier jumped off a cornice, triggered an avalanche and injured his head to death.

The general avalanche risk is low. All gates are expected to open from the morning. Although many tracks are present, the snow quality remains good thanks to low temperature. Do not duck ropes, one track under the rope would lead many to do the same and eventually raise the chances of an accident. Niseko community respects the freedom to ski out of bounds, but is also concerned about all guests’ safety. Ignoring or interpreting the Rules selfishly is nothing but a menace to the today’s gate system. Have a nice day.


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

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Niseko HANAZONO Resort
Niseko Village
Niseko Annupuri
All lifts appear to be ready to move as normal at the start of the day.


Official resort snow depths as of Thursday 26th January 2017:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 290cm
Base - 110cm

Niseko Village
Top - 220cm
Base - 130cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 235cm
Base - 135cm


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 ...

Madarao Now!

Thursday 26th January 2017, 8:15am
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny
New snowfall: 12cm
Snow depth: --
Beautiful morning here in Madarao with blue skies and sunshine. Just take a look at those photos below.

Who wouldn't want some of that?

Not much more to say really other than it should be a fabulous day... and the next few should be generally fine too.

Hopefully it won't warm up too much tomorrow...

Anyway, I am going to get out there early this morning. Hope to see some of you!


Operating status for the day 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 13 lift
- Number 15 lift
- Moving walkway
- Kids Park
- Free Ride Park

- Powder Wave I
- Powder Wave II
- River Line
- Powder Theater
- Adventure Aisle
- Crystal Bowl
- Ninja
- Sawa
- Rabbit
- Kamoshika
- Bear

- Nighta at Madarao Kogen is every Saturday until 25th March (and also 8th January and 19th March)

Official snow depth:

- 300cm   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Thursday 26th January 2017, 8:21am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog over mountain
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Just a slight dusting of snow to report this morning - so 0cm - and a cloudy start to the day here in Zao.

Looks like there's really poor visibility up on the mountain with a thick fog hanging around... perhaps that will clear up during the day.

Possibly stormy conditions tomorrow maybe with strong winds and some snow on the forecast. Right now it looks like over the weekend conditions should be somewhat calmer.


All lifts apart from the following appear to be operating today:
Diamond Number 1 pair
Paradise Number 3 pair
Karamatsu pair
Yokokura Number 2 pair

All courses are open


Official snow depths (as published by the resort itself):
Summit - 100cm
Paradise - 170cm
Chuo - 170cm
Utopia - 140cm
Uwanodai - 100cm
Yokokura - 125cm


Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time Zao Ropeway operations - upcoming dates

January 2017: 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 ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Thursday 26th January 2017, 8:26am
Weather conditions: Blue skies and sunshine
New snowfall: 19cm
Snow depth: --
It is a beautiful early morning in Nozawa.

More snow during the day yesterday and a bit further overnight, and this morning the scene is set for what will surely be one of the best of the season so far. I love it when there's lots of fresh snow and the weather is like this; I'm sure lots of other folk do too.

It's a cold start but will warm up a bit during the day - not as much as tomorrow though when temperatures may (according to the local forecast) rise to about +6C in the afternoon. Would be nice if we could avoid that please.

In the meantime it should be a fantastic day.


Thursday 26th January 2017

Fresh snow reported by resort since yesterday morning:
- Yamabiko: 25cm
- Uenotaira: 25cm
- Hikage: 20cm
- Nagasaka: 19cm
- Karasawa: 18cm

Official snow depths:
- Yamabiko: 360cm
- Uenotaira: 275cm
- Hikage: 220cm
- Nagasaka: 210cm
- Karasawa: 180cm

Lifts operations:
All lifts plan to be operating apart from:
- Yunomine pair
- Mizunashi pair
- Challenge pair
- Utopia pair
- Kandahar pair

Most courses at Nozawa Onsen are open. Courses not open are:
- Grand Prix
- Kandahar East
- Kandahar West
- Kamoshika   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Thursday 26th January 2017, 8:38am
Weather conditions: Bluebird
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: --
A sunny day: regular readers know that we prefer those wonderful snowy days when you can hardly see a thing, but after the constant (and sometimes unexpectedly heavy) snowfall, we can use a reset day.

Happy to see that the rain predicted for tomorrow is switching over to the white stuff, although Sunday now is looking more likely for rain.

It's cool and clear now, though, with a warm sun.

Really a nice day to get out and see Mt. Myoko (which many visitors never actually get to see except in photos!)


Akakura Kanko:
340cm, -7°

Akakura Onsen:
350cm, -8°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
250cm, -6°

Myoko Suginohara:
270cm, -13°

Seki Onsen:
460cm, -8°

Myoko Ski Park:
310cm, -4°

Kyukamura RunRun:
370cm, -5°

Tangram Ski Circus:
270cm, -7°

Madarao Kogen:
300cm, -7°

   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Thursday 26th January 2017, 8:43am
Weather conditions: Blue skies
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from a chilly Grandeco.

Beautiful skies above the region again and a bit of snowfall (3cm) last night.

The snow conditions remain excellent, very dry and light powder.

It should be fair all day today, getting windy and snowy from tomorrow evening until Saturday.


Snow adventure park (snowmobiles and snow rafting) will open today.

Snow Park Information:
6m straight wide box, 6m straight box, wave, volcano, drum can, 6m straight box, 8m straight rail, 6m arch box, 3m table top, 5m table top and bank.


Lifts operating:

Lifts Operating:
- Gondola
- Number 1 quad lift
- Number 2 quad lift
- Number 3 quad lift
- Number 4 quad lift

Courses open:

All courses now open

Official snow depth:

Road Condition to Grandeco:
Inawashiro through Grandeco: all Bandai area covered with snow.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Thursday 26th January 2017, 8:46am
Weather conditions: Sunny and clear
New snowfall: 6cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Shiga Kogen and it is a beautiful start to the day here in the region.

The sun is out and it's clear blue skies.

Just a bit of snow from yesterday to report this morning.

Close to perfect today? It might just be. I'm off out to check. In the name of quality reporting of course. ;)


Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:

Most of ski lifts and courses in Shiga Kogen are now open.
Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish.



Ichinose Family

Ichinose Diamond




Okushiga Kogen

Sun Valley

Takamagahara Mammoth



280cm   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Thursday 26th January 2017, 9:14am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
New snowfall: 7cm
Snow depth: --
It is looking like a perfect morning with clear skies that are blue with scattered clouds. There is just a little bit of mist hovering around the peaks at the moment but that should lift during the morning. I am also happy to report 7cm of very light powder snow at village level, and I would expect it to be around double that at the top of the resort.

Tomorrow looks to bring good and bad. The good is that heavy snow is forecast for the top of the resort on Friday, but there will also be severe winds on Firday and Saturday. The winds are forecast to reduce on Sunday. Heavy snow is forecast for Sunday evening as well. At base level on Friday temperatures may rise above freezing and there is the possibility of rain rather than snow at base.

   Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Thursday 26th January 2017, 10:38am
Weather conditions: Sunny
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Appi,

Currently sunny skies and an outside temperature of -2 at my front Door. It should be like this today and into tomorrow morning. Steady winds at 7m/s out of the West.

The winds should pick up tomorrow to the 12m/s range and temperatures should rise a little. No snow forecast today but we should see some tomorrow before the weekend arrives.

Bring your camera today for some great shots!


Currently planned operating lifts (subject to change due to weather conditions):

Central quad
Central number 2
Central number 3a
Central number 4
Central number 5
Central number 6
Sailer gondola
Sailer quad
Vista quad


Official snow depth:

140cm   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Thursday 26th January 2017, 23:12pm
Weather conditions: Clear
New snowfall: 25cm
Snow depth: --
Insane day at Tenjin.

The mountain opened at about 9am and the cat track opened shortly after. Exceptional conditions and there is still plenty of fresh lines for those willing to get out in the backcountry after it.

More clear weather expected tomorrow so will be an early start up there. Looks like potentially a small amount of snow coming in tomorrow night but nothing else till Monday.


Fresh snowfall:

25cm Tenjin
10cm Hodaigi
5cm Okutone

Official snow depth:

385cm Tenjin
190cm Hodaigi
180cm 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


Please note that the fresh snowfall number being reported on this report is taken from the ‘base area’ of Tenjindaira - which is just by the top station of the Ropeway at that resort. Other snowfall numbers and commentary will be mentioned within each report when available.
   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