Well, folks, I think it is fair to say that Japan clicked into 'spring' early this year and this last week we have been enjoying lots of blue skies and sunshine over the region. It has been getting rather warm too. Warmer than we would like as the snow has been melting - getting to almost 20 degrees in some not too distant areas.
It's kind of hard to believe but some forecasts are saying we might get some snow tonight! Hmmmm.
Whatever happens on that score, more sun is forecast tomorrow and over the weekend.
Still. There's still a fair amount of snow around on the courses.
A number of the resort areas of Shiga Kogen close for the season at the end of Sunday.
Planned closing date information for the ski areas around Shiga Kogen. Note that all are subject to change.
Details of ski lift operations during the months of April and May will be posted by the end of March Read more ...
Thursday 29th March 2018, 10:10am
Fine, thin cloud, hazy
Good morning from Zao.
As with many other regions, the fine clearer skies and warm conditions continue here in Zao. There's some thin cloud around and it is looking hazy but the sun is out - though there's a chance of some rain before my next report tomorrow morning.
Some more lifts will be open until Sunday and once we get to next week there'll be less open. It's proving hard to find exact details but I'll try and get them to you by early next week.
Lifts and course info:
The following course areas have now closed for the season:
- Kotan - Diamond Valley - Ryuzan - Karamatsu - Sunrise (remains part open)
The following lifts have now closed for the season:
- Zao Paradise Number 3 pair - Diamond Number 1 pair - Diamond Number 2 pair - Onsen Number 3 Parallel AB - Onsen Number 4 quad - Zao Kokutai pair - Ryuzan pair - Karamatsu pair - Sunrise pair AB
Nothing much is changing out there (I did move my office, so things are changing personally, but I got the machines all set for an early report….then got uninspired by the warm weather before I suddenly realized I need to get this to you!). It’s warm, sunny, hazy, calm. Same as for several days. One of the mountain wetather sites shows the freezing level (that 0°C line) coming down today, with a chance of snow, but one really wonders. There’s still good snow out there to play on, and there are only a few days left at most of the resorts, so the season is still a go.
Lotte Arai Resort: 390cm, 14.3°; Exciter and Discovery courses permanently closed; Mamushigaeshi and Rindou Lower closed today; Myoko Long Run Upper partially open; Ohkenashi Bowl, FK, North Bowl, Funaishi-zawa, Happy Place and Benzaku-zawa open in the avalanche-controlled areas; closing May 6
With just 4 days to go, we are still enjoying the sunny conditions but things seem to be getting a bit hazier as we approach the middle of the day today.
We may get some spots of rain overnight tonight according to the forecasts (is that even snow possible at higher elevations, probably above Madarao?!). The chances are that we are going to see the season out here in Madarao with more of these sunny skies.
Official snow depth:
Number 1 lift Number 2 quad lift Super quad lift Number 11 lift Number 12 lift Number 13 lift Number 15 lift
Powder Wave I Powder Wave II River Line Free Ride Park Powder Theater Adventure Aisle Crystal Bowl Ninja Sawa Rabbit Kamoshika Bear
It's sort of more of the same but at the same time a bit different. Things are hazier today and the snow has noticeably got a bit... dirtier. It's that yellow sand coming in from the direction of China, apparently. Unfortunately, it's not a particularly good look.
But I suppose we can be thankful that we still have good snow cover... which we generally do with most of the resort remaining open.
Forecast shows some rain - perhaps even some snow up top?! - tonight and colder temperatures tomorrow, but a quick return to the clearer skies.
Thursday 29th March 2018
Fresh snowfall since yesterday (as reported by the resort):
I'm posting this at 12 noon and the thermometer is saying... 19C!
It is more cloudy today with a hazy feel to proceedings.
But what's that... snow at high elevations tonight (hard to imagine), with rain lower down? Who knows, with the somewhat unpredictable nature of parts of this season!
It has been fabulous weather to be out and about but this March must be the quickest that it has ever turned into proper spring for a while. Not the huge March Madness snowfall we were hoping for. We can't do anything about it of course but when we sit down and look at the numbers it will be interesting to see how they shape up.
Ski resort information on Thursday 29th March 2018 (at time of writing):
Hello and it is another warm and sunny day here - we seem to be getting a little hazy the last few days (sand coming from the west?) and that real full on spring feel in the air. People have been unwrapping the trees which have been enjoying getting some air and lots of buds appearing. I have a bunch of tulips appearing now that the snow has almost all gone from my garden area.
There might be a bit of rain before tomorrow morning but beyond that it's more sunshine and clearer conditions.
Updated: Thursday 29th March 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 - 210cm - Plans to be at least part open until Sunday 6th May
Iwappara - 85m - Plans to be at least part open until Sunday 8th April
Kagura - Kagura area: 270cm - Mitsumata area: 170cm - Tashiro area: 220cm - Tashiro Ropeway plans to be at least part open until Sunday 6th May - Mitsumata Ropeway and Kagura area plans to be at least part open until Sunday 27th May
Kandatsu Kogen - 165cm - Plans to be at least part open until Sunday 22nd April
Naeba - 160cm (base) - Plans to be at least part open until Sunday 6th May (weekdays only from 9th-27th April)
Good morning from Niseko. Actually, good afternoon.
I am naughty, but a few things prevented an early report today (and it's not as if there is much to tell you really at the moment - though I will of course endeavour to be with you every single day through until the lifts stop moving).
Blue skies again and sunshine. I feel it was hazier earlier on today, seems nice and a bit clearer now.
Highs of around 8C forecast today and a little cooler tomorrow, though still more sunshine.
Thursday 29th March 2018
Resort specific information (operations subject to change):