Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 1st April 2018

Niseko Now!

Saturday 31st December 2011, 8:13am
Weather conditions: A bit windy at 15 m/s and the clouds are moving pretty quick over Niseko peak which is currently clear.
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Yesterday brought us snowfalls of around 15cm in some of the heavier hit areas. Most of Niseko saw around 10cm. Peak gates 2, 3, 6 should be open at 9:30 so head out on, it should be nice out there! If you can find any leeward slopes be aware of the present wind loading. The warm temperature layer that you can feel as a hard layer will act as a perfect slipping layer.

Moving to the brighter side of things, the trees in wind favored terrain will have a fairly good layer. Also the backside of Niseko will have been favored in last night's wind. So if you are going to get out to the peak, make sure you know how to get back! It's easy to get lost in all that snow, and before you know it you've already gone past the traverse.

Also tonight is New Year's Eve, so stay safe and have a great 2012. The town of Hirafu will have a lot going on tonight and you can expect to see quite a good amount of people out and about.

Current Official Snow Depths:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 290cm
Bottom - 150cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 260cm
Bottom - 170cm

Top - 265cm
Bottom - 170cm

Niseko Avalanche info reads:

Niseko base 6am: 0C, 5cm of crystal snow since dawn and 20cm total in the past 12hours. Coastal data: NW9m/s at Benkei cape, 2m waves and 1020hPa atmospheric pressure at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak wind: NE12m/s. A moderate 15m/s wind and snow is continuing above 800m altitude, making snowdrifts consisting of hail and crushed particle snow developing slowly in leeward slopes. Two notable layers of hail (12/30 layer) and warm temperature (12/31 layer) are present in the snowpack. Those layers could trigger a surface slab avalanche of up to 50cm thickness in open & steep leeward slopes with snowdrifts. Riding in terrains with knolls and cornices, such as found around coordinate H7 (north of Higashi-One) and CD4&5 (Moiwa area) is strongly discouraged. Peak gates 2, 3 and 6 are scheduled to open at 9:30am. Follow the ski patrol’s instructions. A fatal avalanche accident occurred in north F6 Backbowl area on January 1st 2011. Whether the snowfall amount is big or small, avalanches happen when the conditions are right. Beware of sudden weather changes. The snow in the trees is shallow but good, remain in control and be careful not to hit trees. Always remember that the area outside the gates is outside resort’s management and responsibilities.


Evening update:

Well today brought some on and off showers. I commend you if you hiked the peak and did the back bowls of Niseko. Simply stated, they were amazing. The snow was very surfy and smiles at an all-time high.

It got a bit warm today, which means you should keep in mind what the layer will become once it freezes again. The back bowls were pretty safe today. I ski cut quite a few slopes and there was minimal to no slabbing at all on the wind loaded sides. This is not to say there is no danger, however what the skiing showed was good today.

Please be safe as we welcome 2012. There have been several incidents around Niseko that have caused serious injury and we don't wish that upon anybody. It's New Years Eve, so embrace or move past 2011 and welcome in another year of awesome snow soon to come!   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Saturday 31st December 2011, 8:58am
Weather conditions: Sunny, blue skies with high clouds
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Good morning skiers and riders! This is the last report for 2011 and it is looking like a picture perfect day for sliding on the resorts. The sun is out, the air is cold and crisp and there is no wind at the moment. Some high clouds today are apparent over the 3 peaks of Hakuba, but on the hill the weather is fantastic. The winds have calmed down and today everywhere is open and ready to get tracked.

There is no new snow to report unfortunately, but conditions on the resort are still remaining good especially up high where there's more snow. The lower slopes still don't have the depth that we would all like to see yet and less than we had last year, but the upper areas of the mountains are comparable with last season at the end of December.

Expect smooth groomed conditions on the beginner runs, packed powder and crud on expert runs and some good mogul lines forming on the steeper terrain. It was quite busy on all the resorts yesterday - especially on the lower slopes due to some upper lifts not being open - but we can expect to find some longer lines for and in the restaurants out there today. Try to avoid the bottle-necks and lunch hour rushes to get the most out of your pass.

It looks like we are going to have sun and clouds until Sunday night, then some snowfall expected on Sunday evening. So might be some fresh powder for New Year evening.

All the best in 2012 everyone, powder dreams and face-shots galore!


Official snow depths and operations @ Saturday 31st December 2011 AM:

Hakuba Goryu:
All open!
Official snow depths:
Alps daira - 200cm;
Toomi - 90cm;
Iimori - 90cm.

Hakuba 47:
All open!
Official snow depth:
Upper - 196cm
Lower - 60cm

Ski lifts/courses:
All lifts apart from the top Grad Quad and Happo No1 pair are moving.
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira/Kurobishi - 110cm;
Sakka - 50cm;
Nakiyama - 60cm.

Tsugaike Kogen:
Official snow depth:
Upper slopes - 180cm
Champion - 90cm

Hakuba Cortina:
Official snow depth:
All open!
Upper - 205cm
Lower - 130cm

Hakuba Norikura:
Official snow depth:

Hakuba Iwatake:
Official snow depth:
Upper - 90cm
Lower - 40cm

Hakuba Sanosaka:

Hakuba Minekata:
   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Saturday 31st December 2011, 9:52am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Snow falling again in Minakami today as the great winter weather continues. It's cold again with the temperatures dropping back into the minuses and a bit of a breeze just to keep things interesting. Along as you wrap up though the snow is first rate and begging to be enjoyed. Another few centimetres on top of yesterdays offering and all areas are open.

It has been an amazing start to the season and we can only hope that the New Year brings more of the same.
   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Saturday 31st December 2011, 10:00am
Weather conditions: Cloud, light snow
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It is just a cloudy start to the day this New Year's Eve morning in Yuzawa. Grey and cloudy with us having got a bit of new snow overnight. Kagura is reporting 20cm but nothing like that in town, just a thin new coating I would say on lower slopes around town. It looks like we are all open today all as planned around town as well with not much of a wind interferring with plans!

The local forecast for the day is cloud and light snow and tomorrow looks set to be a fine and sunny clear day with milder temperatures. Not that it is really cold today, currently hovering around 0 degrees.

So there we go, the end of 2011. It sure has been an eventful one, and I think everyone will be hoping that the main events of 2012 involve huge amounts of fresh snow falling on the mountains and a good long ski season!

It should be busy out there today and tomorrow and lift lines should be expected.

Have a fun and safe New Years Eve everyone.... and see you in 2012.

Official resort snow depths @ 31st December 11, AM:
Mt Naeba:
Kagura - Tashiro:
GALA Yuzawa:
Kandatsu Kogen:
NASPA Ski Garden:
Yuzawa Kogen:
Yuzawa Park:
Yuzawa Nakazato:
Ludens Yuzawa:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Centleisure Maiko:
Joetsu Kokusai:

I thought it would be interesting to see how the snow depths were looking at this time last year. A look back in the archives shows the following official snow depths at resorts in Yuzawa on 31st December 2010:

Naeba 55cm; Kagura 150cm; Tashiro 130cm; Gala Yuzawa 100cm; Yuzawa Kogen 60cm; Yuzawa Park 40cm; Kandatsu Kogen 70cm; Iwappara 50cm; NASPA Ski Garden 50cm

So as you can see we are doing really well compared with last year... NASPA Ski Garden had just 50cm this time last year - today they have 200cm. Kandatsu was on 70cm and today on 190cm. Let's hope the season continues like this and the new year brings with it more deep snow conditions.   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Saturday 31st December 2011, 10:22am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Today is the perfect day to be up on the mountain. Skies are overcast but the morning sun has been gathering strength behind all those clouds, warming everything to a balmy -2. Expect things to get just a bit warmer as the day wears on, with little to no precipitation in sight. With weather this warm, you might even think about leaving the heat-tech at home. However, the wind is whipping around at a brisk pace, so be sure to keep your face covered on those runs. Temperatures should return to seasonably cool realms overnight, so be sure to bundle up if you're out there after dark enjoying some night skiing.   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Saturday 31st December 2011, 10:28am
Weather conditions: Cloud, light snow
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Ho ho ho! Oh, we've already done Christmas haven't we... time for New Year! The slopes are starting to get busy here this morning on this New Years Eve last-day-of-the-year type day. After all, it should be one of the busiest weekends of the year, so if places aren't busy today and tomorrow then there's a problem. Right now as I write this things don't seem too bad. Happily the whole Mt Naeba today is unaffected by winds and so everywhere is open and operating so a big wide area to spread people about. There may well be bottlenecks though (Naeba gondolas and middle area of resort), so keep that in mind. Taking an early or late lunch is definitely advised on days like today as oftentimes the slopes are less busy during the 'official lunchhour' times. ;)

It's New Years Eve of course and so there are some events going on today. After night skiing tonight at 9am there'll be the traditional skiing-down-the-slopes-with-lighted-torches thing going on followed by some hopefully spectacular fireworks.

I almost forgot to mention the weather. It's a mix of light snow and just cloudy conditions this morning and likely to stay the same. We should see the sun tomorrow though before more snow moving in tomorrow night.

Another New Years tip for tomorrow. If you can haul yourself out of bed early, getting out there for first lifts is a good idea. While it will be busy during the day, there might be a few people nursing hangovers and making a late start....

Whethere you are here in Naeba or reading this from the other side of the world, whatever you are doing, I hope you have a good one. Stay safe and have fun.

See you next year, ie. tomorrow morning!

Resort Operations, 31st Dec (subject to change)

Official snow depths
240cm   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Saturday 31st December 2011, 10:45am
Weather conditions: Sunny; some clouds building over Mt. Myoko; snow likely
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It's a beautiful bluebird day in Myoko—at least the morning, because it looks like snow may be coming over the mountain again. Beautiful big flakes fell overnight as well—a light, sparkly covering on everything. The forecast is for more snow for at least the next few days, too; conditions are excellent (now, what do I say when everything is just right?).

Well, 2011 was a great year for snow, if not for Japan. It was a year when bonenkai—the year-end parties that literally mean "forgetting the year party"—really lived up to their name. The earthquake and tsunami that happened so close to here, but at the same time far away across several mountain ranges, really changed so much here. I hope the good snow that ends the year is a good sign for a more positive 2012. As much of a booster I am of Myoko, I'd still say come see us, but also go ski with our friends in Tohoku. Stay in the hotels, ride the lifts—have fun, and help the people of the region at the same time (completely painless philanthropy).

Current Official Snow Depths

Akakura Onsen:

Akakan (Akakura Kanko):


Myoko Suginohara:

Seki Onsen:

Myoko Ski Park:



170cm   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Saturday 31st December 2011, 10:59am
Weather conditions: Cloud, light snow, bursrts of sun in places
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It is snowing this morning in parts of Shiga Kogen - just cloudy in others and even the sun shining through in short bursts in other parts - and I don't have much in terms of cm to report. On a morning like this it is sometimes difficult to give an overview because of the varying conditions in different parts of the Shiga Kogen area. It looks like conditions are changing quite quickly as well

This being New Years Eve we can expect the resorts to be busy. Things weren't too bad actually in the areas I was yesterday and as of 10:30am lift lines seem to be generally moving quickly and smoothly. Gradually more people turning up though so just be prepared for busy slopes today and tomorrow in the area.

Where's the snow? I hear you ask! Well, it looks like we might get some decent snowfall tomorrow night into Monday, so look out for that. Temperatures are keeping very cold though and so the snow we have is keeping good and doing the job.

All the very best for the New Year!

Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort area:

- Sun Valley
- Maruike
- Takamagahara Mammoth
- Ichinose Family
- Ichinose Diamond
- Yakebitaiyama
- Kumanoyu

Official resort snow depths as of 31st December 2011 AM:

Sun Valley:
Ichinose Family:
Ichinose Diamond:
Okushiga Kogen:
75cm   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Saturday 31st December 2011, 11:44am
Weather conditions: Cloud, light snow at times
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Another 10cm of so of snow this morning and probably 15cm on the slopes since the last report in Zao. It has been a cloudy, cold morning with a current temperature of -6 degrees in the village. Visibility on the mountain is fair with the top areas surrounded with cloud. In places there are some sunny areas but they are quickly getting covered by the clouds again it seems. The forecast is for a day of cloud and possible light snow here and there - nothing major.

Tomorrow morning should start calm and we might see the sun for the New Year. Snow is forecast for tomorrow night and then light snow and perhaps windy conditions on January 2nd.

All open for the weekend and getting busy... good luck avoiding resort bottlenecks!

So just let for me to wish you all the best for New Years Eve and into the new year. It has sure been an eventful year for Tohoku. Here's to a happy and peaceful 2012.

Official snow depths (31st Dec 11)
Utopia - 135cm
Chuo - 110cm
Paradise - 125cm
Uwanodai - 90cm

Operating lifts (31st Dec '11)
All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) and all lifts operating.
All the runs at Zao are now open/accessible.   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Saturday 31st December 2011, 11:54am
Weather conditions: Blue skies, some cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
About 10cm or so new snow on the ground this morning with the resort reporting 10-20cm of new snow on the slopes of Madarao. The morning started a chilly -6 degrees with lots of blue sky all around. Wispy clouds have moved in as the morning progresses but it is still fine, sunny and bright. Lovely conditions for New Years Eve.

It's quite busy out there but nothing too bad - lift lines are not long at the moment, though it's getting on for lunchtime now so a good time to be out on the courses as people get their lunch.

1st January looks set to be a similar kind of day with sun and cloud on the forecast along with slightly milder conditions. We should be ending the day with some snowfall though into Tuesday.

See you in 2012!

Lifts currently operating:
All of Madarao is open, apart from Free Ride Park.
Connection with Tangram Ski Circus open.

Official snow depth:

   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Saturday 31st December 2011, 12:31pm
Weather conditions: Snow shine and light snow
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Already the last day of the year and it has been a terrific season so far. The JMA had been predicting below average snowfalls for December but Mother Nature has proved them wrong this year. We already have a 250cm base up top and had another 25cm’s or so of new snowfall overnight.

This time last year we had just 110cm base up top so more than double! As we slide into the New Year hopefully this will set us up for a great season ahead in Nozawa and some great snow all the way thru til the end, which is early May, so still over 4 fun months to go.

It has been snowing on and off since yesterday with a few heavy falls last night, which was probably most of the 25cm of fresh snow. This morning has seen some rays of sunshine mixed with light snow, which should make for great conditions on the slopes today.

Is looking pretty busy up there as expected with nice long lines to get on to the Gondola this morning which is encouraging to see. Probably not as busy as this time last year but still a good vibe around town. Will be a busy night up at the Shrine tonight too with people walking up to pray for a good year ahead it is always a special night for Nozawa. Then afterwards the Soba shops are pretty popular with everyone eating the long noodles for a long life. Life is good in Nozawa Onsen.

Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:


250 cm


Current Lift operations:
All but Kandaha

Current courses open:
All but Kandaha
   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