Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 4th May 2018

Minakami Now!

Wednesday 28th February 2018, 6:56am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: --
Beautiful weather here lately but no fresh snow and when combined with the general steepness at Tenjin its not been great though there are still some patches of good stuff around in the backcountry.

This morning things have clouded over and I have a light dusting on the car park but though there is probably more up top, it's likely not enough for a reset.

Think I will be spending the day on the mellower ridges over at Kagura.

The resort is gearing up for the Tenjin Banked Slalom race this weekend and forecast wise, Sunday is set to get really warm (best not be near the backcountry if temps get up to 6C as forecast).

Monday it looks like we have a proper Winter storm on the way along with the Kamoshika race at Okutone (its also a banked slalom style event).


Photo from yesterday


Ski resorts in Minakami:

Minakami Hodaigi
Minakami Kogen Fujiwara
Minakami Kogen Ski Resort
Norn Minakami
Okutone Snow Park
Tanigawadake Tenjindaira
Tanigawa Onsen White Valley


Resort Spotlights with more detail:

Norn Minakami
Okutone Snow Park


Please note that the snowfall numbers posted in this report will be observed from close to the base Tenjindaira Ropeway station - which is often much more than in the central town area of Minakami.    Read more ...

Furano Now!

Wednesday 28th February 2018, 7:15am
Weather conditions: Clear
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
It is another really cold start to the day with the thermometer showing -16c right at this moment. Apparently an hour ago it was -23c in Furano according to the weather data! It will warm up a lot during the day and head up to a high of -3c. It is another day with clear skies but some cloud is expected to move in during the day. With blue skies and sun it should be a great day, although there is no new snow. Yesterday Kitanomine Gondola was closed due to technical issues - hopefully that has all been sorted out for today.   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Wednesday 28th February 2018, 7:24am
Weather conditions: Clouds, fog, but sun trying to peak out east
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
February is going out like a lion (or was that March that's a lamb or a lion?).

Anyway, we started the day with a pretty stiff north wind, and a light fall of small ice pellets. Almost rain, actually, as it's just about 0°C at the moment. That wind is going to pick up later in the day and into tomorrow; time to watch for possible lift closures, especially the gondolas. That wind is going to switch around to the SSW too, so it will be warmer as the freezing level heads up to 1900 meters or so.

If we're lucky it will be snow up higher; we could use one last snow here before the freezing level really heads up - to something around 3000 meters - on Sunday, when it will be warm, and it will rain.

Lotte Arai remains a question mark, as even quite early this morning it reported that only the Sanroku lifts No. 1 and 2 are open, and only the Myoko Long Run Lower open... we'll ask them what the deal is today.


Akakura Kanko:
330 cm, -3°

Akakura Onsen:
395cm, -4°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
260cm, -1°

Myoko Suginohara:
220cm, ?°

Seki Onsen:
450 cm, -4° (not updated today)

Myoko Ski Park:
300 cm, +2°

Kyukamura RunRun:
320 cm, +1°

Tangram Ski Circus:
230 cm, -1°

Madarao Kogen:
270 cm, -5°

Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Wednesday 28th February 2018, 7:53am
Weather conditions: Fair skies
New snowfall: 13cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

I am happy to report that there is 13 cm of fresh snow on the ground this morning.

Though the weather is feeling more like spring this morning. A relatively warm west wind is blowing, the sunshine is out, and the snow on the roads is getting wet...

It is better to go to the upper course to get the best snow conditions.

According to the forecast, there will be a spring storm coming around Friday... probably not going to be a good idea to plan for that day.


Lifts operating:

- All lifts operating

Courses open:

- All courses open

Official snow depth:
- 340cm

- Grandeco snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Wednesday 28th February 2018, 8:03am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba! It's an overcast start today, with a cooler base air temperature of -3°C to start us off. There is a thick layer of cloud, with it's base at around 1600m shrouding the mountain tops in the Mikuni valley. The air temperature is expected to rise sharply today, with morning highs of up to 5°C, pushing up to 6°C in the afternoon. The snow will be solid this morning, softening up as the temperature increases later on. The wind will remain calm to light all day.

Looking forwards, we can expect stronger winds with rain overnight tonight. This should fall as snow at higher elevations. The wind will peak tomorrow lunchtime, and then begin to tail off, giving way to more settle weather from Friday to Sunday. On Friday, air temperatures will be cooler again, allowing the snow to firm up and hopefully remain in good condition. On Sunday, we are predicted very balmy conditions, with day time highs as much as 12°C on Sunday at the base. Rain is forecast up to the very top station of Naeba on Sunday also, so it looks as though Spring is really making it's mark.   Read more ...

Geto Kogen Now!

Wednesday 28th February 2018, 8:22am
Weather conditions: Blue skies, sun, some cloud
New snowfall: 15cm
Snow depth: --
We’ve seen 15cm of fresh snow hit the ground this morning after moderate snow yesterday and light to moderate winds. Currently we’re seeing fairly light winds with mostly sunny conditions and a chance of some light snow into this evening. Tops of -1C throughout the day, and then the temps should raise to 1C this evening getting ready for a warm one tomorrow.

We’ve got a bit of a wild week ahead, tomorrow we’re not only set to get some heavy rain down the bottom, there’s some heavy snow and some extreme winds. I thought about whether “extreme” was the right word, and yes, with winds that are set to reach 110km/h at the top, I’d say extreme is a great term.

The upside for the winds is that we’re probably going to see about 30cm from tomorrow into Saturday. So there’s that to look forward to…

Thursday: heavy rain/heavy snow, extreme winds, tops of 4C
Friday: light snow, strong winds, tops of -5C
Saturday: mostly sunny, calm winds & tops of 3C


Official snow depths:

Top: 525cm
Base: 355cm

Night skiing operations are scheduled at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018

The Number 2 Gondola is currently open on weekends and national holidays   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Wednesday 28th February 2018, 8:31am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds are back
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Niseko.

And for this last report of February 2018, I have 3cm of fresh snowfall to report. Bringing my total observed snowfall for the month to 299cm and the total for the season so far to 1198cm.

(These numbers can of course always be seen lower down this page, but I'll post my wordy monthly summary in my report on Friday. Will get to putting that together today and tomorrow).

Back to this morning. Oh hold on, before that, back to yesterday. Lovely weather. Beautiful blue skies and sunshine. Excellent.

This morning the snow is back with that 3cm I mentioned earlier and it is coming down now. Visibility also reduced of course.

Tomorrow and Friday things look set to get a bit wilder. Snow and strong winds are likely and it's probably not going to be friendly. Though it might well start March off with a good delivery of snow.

Anyway, I will be here tomorrow morning with the latest.

Hope you have a good one.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -6℃, no snowfall. Moiwa800m: -7.8℃, WSW0.7m/s, 2cm snowfall from pre-dawn. Annupuri1150m: -11℃, SW5m/s, light snowfall. Hirafu1250m: -10℃, mild wind, light snowfall. Coastal data: Benkei cape E4m/s, Kamui cape NNW4m/s, 1022hPa, 0.6m waves.

The isobars are spread out and the weather is calm. No notable snowdrifts development are present and the general avalanche risk is relatively low. All gates are expected to open from the morning. Seek for patrol’s advice before stepping out of bounds. The snow is mostly tracked out. Beware of firm tracks. Look out for cracks and make sure to stay in controllable speed. Do not cross ropes and seek fresh tracks under the lift lines.

An artificial avalanche experiment by Nagoya University, National Snow & Ice Research Center, Norwegian, Austrian and Italian researcher team will be undertaken in Mikaeri Bowl at 10am today.

A large-scale avalanche is not expected to occur in today’s condition, however please stay away of the experiment zone. Thank you for your understanding.

The weather is not so bad, have a nice day.


Wednesday 28th February 2018

Resort specific information (operations subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts (apart from King Number 2) should be operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 520cm
- Base: 260cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts should be operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 420cm
- Base: 250cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts (apart from the Country Road Chair lift) should be operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 420cm
- Base: 280cm


Floodlit 'nighta' skiing:

Night skiing is planned for every evening at the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri areas. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO area. Ski lifts that are scheduled to be operating for nighta are noted below (subject to change):

* Niseko Grand Hirafu - Ace Family quad, Ace Number 2 quad, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 pair
* Niseko Annupuri - Jumbo Number 1 quad lift
* Niseko Village - Village Express, Upper Village Gondola, Community Chair
   Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Wednesday 28th February 2018, 8:38am
Weather conditions: Blue skies, sun, some cloud
New snowfall: 15cm
Snow depth: --
It's a beautiful bluebird blue sky morning here in Appi today.

The sun is out, some cloud but lots of blue sky.

And to add to that, there's 15cm of fresh snow to report. Low winds and some fine conditions should be easy to find this morning.

Stormy conditions look set to be with us in the coming days though with rain turning into snow forecast from tomorrow into Friday. Just how windy and stormy it becomes we'll have to see.

Like most (all?) of Japan, we are then expecting some particularly warm conditions around Sunday and maybe some more rain.


Planned lift operations (subject to change):

- APPI Gondola
- Central quad
- Central number 2 lift
- Central number 3 lift A
- Central number 5 lift
- Central number 6 lift
- Sailer quad
- Nishimori lift

Note: The Sailer Gondola, Central Number 4 lift and Vista quad are usually rested on normal weekdays


Official snow depth:

300cm   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Wednesday 28th February 2018, 8:43am
Weather conditions: Mixed - cloud, light rain, sun poking through
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --

A sunny day yesterday and a real feel of spring in the air. I was out on the slopes in the afternoon and the sun had softened up the snow.

This morning there's a mix of weather already. From light rain and wet roads, to a dusting of snow higher up and now even a bit of sunshine just to the north of Yuzawa.

Kagura resort is reporting up to 3cm of snow higher up and I note that Maiko Snow Resort are also mentioning a light dusting... though none to report from down in town.

It didn't get cold overnight and it is going to be warming up to around 8C later today with these mild conditions expected to continue tomorrow - bit colder again on Friday - and then warming up to Sunday.

Looks like strong winds are forecast for later in the day today and GALA Yuzawa are mentioning that, saying that there is a chance the wind might affect lift operations. Best to check with them if you are planning on being there.


The (66th) Yuzawa Snow Festival is this coming Saturday, 3rd March. Events are held by the Nunoba ski hill near Yuzawa Ropeway on the West side of Echigo Station and begin at 6pm. Expect snow related fun, torch-lit skiing, 'Miss Komako' and fireworks and more.


Images today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Yuzawa IC (Route 17).


Updated: Wednesday 28th February 2018

Ski resorts in Yuzawa:

Checked and updated every morning. Note that some ski resorts may not have updated their own info at the time this report is published.

GALA Yuzawa
- 340cm

- 195cm

- Kagura area: 370cm
- Mitsumata area: 270cm
- Tashiro area: 320cm

Kandatsu Kogen
- 255cm

- 250cm (base)

NASPA Ski Garden
- 245cm

Yuzawa Kogen
- Top: 310cm
- Base: 230cm

Yuzawa Park
- 195cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
- 185cm


Ski resorts in Minamiuonuma (just to the north of Yuzawa):

Ishiuchi Maruyama
- 260cm

Joetsu Kokusai
- 250cm

Maiko Snow Resort
- Top: 260cm
- Base: 150cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- Closed on Wednesdays until 14th March
- 370cm   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Wednesday 28th February 2018, 8:44am
Weather conditions: Cloud, sun
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Nozawa.

It's a mix of cloud and sunshine this morning here with the forecasts saying that the sun should win out. It's going to be another mild day after a mild overnight and more of the same tomorrow too with some rain/snow mixed in overnight.

The forecast for the weekend is looking interesting/alarming. Is it really going to warm up to +16C in the village on Sunday?! The Yahoo forecast has it warming up to 19C! Yikes, surely not. The good news is that it looks like once we pass that, we should be back to snow early next week. Phew!

Anyway, let's take it one day at a time and enjoy things while we can.

See you in March.


Wednesday 28th February 2018

Fresh snowfall since yesterday (as reported by the resort):

- Yamabiko (1407m): 0cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 0cm
- Hikage (660m): 0cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 0cm
- Karasawa (563m): 0cm

Official snow depth numbers:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 330cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 270cm
- Hikage (660m): 180cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 175cm
- Karasawa (563m): 140cm

Lifts operations:

- All scheduled lifts appear to be operating as normal.
- The Yunomine pair, Mizunashi triple, Challenge pair and Utopia pair lifts usually rested on weekdays.

The following courses either closed (or not fully available):

- Grand Prix
- Kandahar   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Wednesday 28th February 2018, 9:05am
Weather conditions: Cloud, gas, some blue sky
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

A few things going on this morning. There's a lot of cloud/gas around but some blue sky in places too. It was noticeably warmer last night - not really that cold at all - and today is going to be mild again, especially if the sun breaks through.

A 'Spring storm' is on the way, looking like starting from tonight. What this actually deals us - rain, sleet, snow, strong winds? - we'll have to see. Colder conditions expected on Friday, but a real warm up due again over the weekend and especially on Sunday when temperatures may rise well into double digits. Hopefully things will settle down beyond that and we can get some more winter before spring takes a strong hold on proceedings. March has the ability to surprise and delight - some of that please!

Anyway, get ready for the ride over the next few days!


Ski resort information on Wednesday 28th February 2018 (at time of writing):

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- Lifts should be operating as normal

Courses open:
- All courses should be open as normal
- Happo Banks will be closed until tomorrow for maintenance/renewal

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 400cm
- Usagidaira: 235cm
- Lower: 115cm


Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- Lifts should be operating as normal
- The top Alps Number 2/4 pair lifts are scheduled to be open daily until 18th March

Courses open:
- All courses should be open as normal apart from Adventure course

Official snow depth:
- Top: 390cm
- Toomi: 150cm
- Iimori: 95cm


Hakuba 47

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned
- Line D usually operates only when the Gondola is not operating

Courses open:
- All main courses available

Official snow depth:
- Top: 350cm
- Base: 155cm


Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- Lifts should be opening as normal

Courses open:
- All course areas are open

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori: 320cm
- Han-no-ki: 315cm
- Maruyama: 120cm
- Shirakaba: 260cm
- Champion: 150cm
- Oya-no-hara: 145cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: 155cm


Hakuba Cortina

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart should be operating

Courses open:
- Mt Hieda 2 and 3, Giant and Itadaira Ridge status 'Hold'

Official snow depth:
- Top: 350cm
- Base: 205cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

Operating lifts:
- Lifts should be opening as planned

Official snow depth:
- Top: 210cm
- Base: 130cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts (apart from Number 1 & 7) should be operating as planned

Official snow depth:
- 185cm


Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Number 8 should be operating

Official snow depth:
- 230cm


Hakuba Sanosaka

Operating lifts:
- All three lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 145cm


Night time skiing (nighta) at resorts in the region - weather & conditions permitting
The below 'nighta' information will not be updated every day - please check with resorts if you plan to go!

Hakuba Happo-one
Daily from 5pm until 9pm in the Nakiyama 2 area
Adults - 2,000 yen; children - 1,200 yen

Hakuba Goryu
Daily from 6pm until 9:30pm in the Toomi area until 31st March
The Sky Four quad operates daily; the Number 2 pair mostly on Saturdays and holidays
Adults - 1,900 yen; children - 850 yen

Hakuba Cortina
Daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays)
Adults - 1,500 yen; children - 1,000 yen

Tsugaike Kogen
Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6pm until 9pm on 17th February; 3rd, 10th March
Adults - 2,200 yen; children - 1,700 yen

There are no other nighta operations at other ski resorts in the region   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Wednesday 28th February 2018, 9:06am
Weather conditions: Blue sky, sun, some cloud
New snowfall: 13cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Zao.

After the fine blue skies of yesterday (they got blue-er during the day!), this morning there is over 10cm of fresh snow on the ground.

And what's more, we have fine weather again this morning making it a fine time to enjoy the fresh.

The forecast for the next few days looks ominous... warmer conditions and heavy rain (to snow) and strong winds are likely.

Night time light up operations run through until Sunday. The Juhyo are looking good - though they may not once the upcoming storm bullies them!


Lifts and course info:

- All lifts appear to be opening as scheduled
- Note: the Karamatsu pair lift usually only operates on weekends
- All areas open

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 220cm
- Paradise area: 240cm
- Chuo area: 240cm
- Utopia area: 260cm
- Uwanodai area: 165cm
- Oomori area: 175cm


Zao Onsen forecast:

Zao Onsen 6-day snow and weather forecast

Floodlit night skiing is planned as follows:

In the Uwanodai area:
Daily until Sunday 4th March 2018
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 9th March until Sunday 18th March 2018

In the Yokokura area:
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only until Sunday 18th February 2018
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 2nd March until Sunday 11th March 2018

Night time 'light up' sightseeing ropeway is planned for the following dates:

February 2018: every day
March 2018: 1st-4th   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Wednesday 28th February 2018, 9:12am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy some sun shining through
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Hello and good morning from Madarao.

As I write this, the sun is shining through the clouds and casting some big shadows on the slopes of the resort.

Mild conditions continuing now with rain expected tonight, a little colder come Friday and then a warm up again for the weekend - particularly on Sunday. The forecast for Sunday looks a bit nutty right now. 14 degrees and heavy rain. Please no!! Beyond that though early next week shows some fresh snow so hopefully we might get enough there to cover up the damage done.


Official snow depth:

Operating lifts:

Number 1 lift
Number 2 quad lift
Number 3A lift
Super quad lift
Number 11 lift
Number 12 lift
Number 13 lift
Number 15 lift

Powder Wave I
Powder Wave II
River Line
Powder Theater
Free Ride Park
Adventure Aisle
Crystal Bowl

Kids Park

Planned nighta operations this season:

Every Saturday until 24th March 2018   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Wednesday 28th February 2018, 9:48am
Weather conditions: Fine > overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Shiga Kogen.

The sun is out again. Or it was. Things seem to be getting more 'overcast' as we approach 10am.

We are still expecting snow (sleet? maybe even rain?) into tomorrow along with perhaps strong winds - and milder conditions. I'll fill you in on that tomorrow.

The thing that stands out on the forecast at the moment is what is in store for Sunday and beyond. Warmth and rain - even up here - but that should be followed by a dip in temperatures again and fresh snow. So while Sunday might be a bit of a nightmare, fingers crossed what follows it will go to make up and give us a reset.

Currently Saturday looks likely we'll see more sunshine.

The seasons are changing. I can feel it!


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

Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish and we check and update them each morning.



Ichinose Family

Ichinose Diamond




Okushiga Kogen

Sun Valley

Takamagahara Mammoth



270cm   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Grandeco Now
19th Oct, 14:51am
Niseko Now
19th Oct, 14:00pm
Myoko Now
06th Oct, 15:27am
Yuzawa Now
10th Sep, 17:36am
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
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