Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 28th May 2018

Yuzawa Now!

Thursday 31st December 2015, 8:10am
Weather conditions: Mostly blue skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 60cm
It's the last day of the year and the day has started with lovely blue skies and sunshine over the region.

It might not last as snow is due to be falling sometime later on today and into tomorrow. With slightly milder temperatures today, it might start off as sleet (hopefully not rain)!

Come Saturday though and milder conditions are expected to be back for the first few days of the new year. The forecasts are making those slightly worrying 'warmer than average' comments again for Sunday and early week, so we'll have to keep an eye on that.

For now though a lovely morning to be outside.

All of the ski and snowboard resorts around town are now open with many of them close to or actually fully open. As I think I said yesterday mostly the courses still not open will be steeper slopes that need more snow depth.

Hope you can enjoy the day and evening, and see you in 2016!


Resort operations (Thursday 31st December 2015) - subject to change:

Resorts in Yuzawa:

GALA Yuzawa
The Central Area and most of the North Area are now open.
The downhill Falcon course is also now open.

Ipponsugi is now open.

All courses at Iwappara now open.

Joetsu Kokusai
Joetsu Kokusai is now mostly open.

Almost all of Kagura is open.
The only areas not open yet are the top pair lift (from 1st January) and the Mitsumata downhill course back to base.
The Dragondola connecting Tashiro with Naeba is now operating.

Kandatsu Kogen
Kandatsu Kogen is 90% open with all their planned lifts operating.

Ludens Yuzawa
Ludens Yuzawa is now open.

Large areas of Naeba are now open (the top runs and a few central areas aside).
The Dragondola connecting Naeba with Tashiro is now operating.

Nakazato Snow Wood
Nakazato Snow Wood is open.

NASPA Ski Garden
NASPA Ski Garden is now open with all lifts operating.

Yuzawa Kogen
Yuzawa Kogen and the Nunoba areas are now mostly open.

Yuzawa Nakazato
Yuzawa Nakazato is now mostly open.

Yuzawa Park
Yuzawa Park is part open.

Resorts in Minamiuonuma:

Chateau Shiozawa
Chateau Shiozawa is now open.

Hakkai Sanroku is now open.

Ishiuchi Maruyama
Ishiuchi Maruyama is now open.

Itsukamachi is now open.

Maiko Snow Resort
Almost all of Maiko Snow Resort is now open.

Mt Granview
Mt Granview is now open.

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
Most of Hakkai-san is now open.

Muikamachi Ski Resort
Muikamachi Ski Resort is now open.


List of ski resorts in Yuzawa town
List of ski resorts in Minamiuonuma City


Iwappara 6 day snow and weather forecast
NASPA Ski Garden 6 day snow and weather forecast
Kagura 6 day snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Thursday 31st December 2015, 8:35am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, blue sky
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: 120cm
Just a slight dusting of snow overnight, just about 1cm.

It's very calm this morning around the Bandai area. No wind, some blue sky... and not so cold early on.

Beautiful views of Mt Bandai from around the region, including from here of course.

Yesterday was busy with some fairly long waiting times at lifts at times (in particular 9-11am).

Forecast is looking positive for steady snowfall into the new year period and perhaps some stronger winds at times.

All the very best for New Years Eve. Have fun and take care.


Lifts operating:

Number 1 quad
Number 2 quad
Number 3 quad

Courses open:

(A-a) Rainbow 3500
(A-b) Rainbow 3500
(A-c) Rainbow 3500
(B-a) Mint
(B-c) Mint
(C) Center
(D-b) Lavender
(E) Melissa
(F) Basil


Snow and weather forecast:

6 day snow and weather forecast for Grandeco


Welcome to our new ‘Grandeco Now' reports, exclusive to SnowJapan.

As with all our Now daily reports, it extremely important to us that the information we publish is useful, honest and correct and we’ll be doing everything we can to bring you some good info from this region. Grandeco is located in Kita Shiobara village in the north western region of Fukushima Prefecture - we are very pleased to be able to begin reporting from this region of Japan. More information on Grandeco can be found here and a Resort Spotlight on SnowJapan here.   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Thursday 31st December 2015, 8:38am
Weather conditions: Cloudy and overcast
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: 115cm
Good morning from Niseko.

Yesterday was as fine as I thought it would be. I think the people who were here experiencing it will have been satisfied. Beautiful conditions both in terms of weather and snow, with hardly any wind around either. Very nice.

It's a different start to the day this morning. Though it was clearer when I first got up, it's a much cloudier and overcast feel right now with light snow on and off expected this morning.

Oh yes, did I mention the 5cm or so that we have got overnight? Only 5cm! We want 20cm each day, where do I complain! Still, it's a quality 5cm and there is more on the way - the forecast for the next week is still looking good for regular snowfall topups and continued cold conditions. The wind might even behave. So it should be a good week.

Top Ace 4 at Hirafu is open this morning and as you can see in the Avalanche Report below some gates too. I think that from tomorrow I'll be able to start the new year not listing up the lifts that are moving, as we are pretty much there now.

New Years Eve already. I hope that you have fun tonight - remember to take care (see yesterdays report).

And I'll see you in the New Year. Forgive me if my report is slightly later than usual tomorrow morning.


Something I said in my report yesterday seems to have prompted quite a few people to send me messages. I really wasn't angling for that - honest! :)

But it is always great to hear feedback and comments about these reports... if we don't hear comments it's sometimes difficult to know what people are thinking. But anyway, a big sincere thank you to people who have sent on their thoughts. It makes it all even more worthwhile. And if you do want to contact me, or indeed SnowJapan in general, you can do so using the contact form. There's a link in the bottom menu area. Please note we cannot answer specific questions.

Some people in their comments asked how they can help. The best thing you can do is simply tell others about SnowJapan and the reports so that more people are aware of them. All support is most greatly appreciated.

Arigato gozaimasu. Thank you.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -6℃, 5cm of crystal snow in 12 hours, calm. Moiwa 800m: light breeze, -10℃, 10cm snowfall without snowdrift development. Annupuri 1000m: -10℃, calm. 1150m: W15m/s, moderate wind with snowdrift and light sprinkles. Coastal data: Benkei cape NW12m/s, Kamui cape WSW13m/s, 1012hPa, 1.0m waves.

Gates 4 (Fujiwara), 5 (Hanazono), 6 (Moiwa) and 10 (Ambetsu) are scheduled to open today. The lower sections are still bushy, better not venture too far. Follow the ski patrol’s instructions. There’s been tracks in yet to be open Annupuri Osawa area yesterday. Violators will be refused to further use ski resort facilities.

The Niseko Rules has been established in order to prevent accidents in the out of bounds area, however has also largely contributed in the Niseko snow-tourism’s promotion. We strongly demand all accommodations, guides and all snow related business in Niseko to acknowledge the Niseko Rules properly.
The overall avalanche risk is relatively low today except in south-facing steep slopes, however strictly off-limits areas are closed at anytime, don’t duck ropes.


Planned resort operations (subject to change due to weather conditions during the day)

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Lifts planned to be running:
- All lifts except Ace Number 4 and King Number 2
- Night lifts: Ace Family Pair, Ace Number 2 Quad, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1
Courses planned to be open:
- All open apart from Onsenzawa

Niseko HANAZONO Resort
Lifts planned to be running:
- All lifts
- No night skiing in the Hanazono area
Courses planned to be open:
- All courses

Niseko Village
Lifts planned to be operating:
- All lifts planned to be operating (apart from Country Road Chair)
- Night lifts: Community Chair, Banzai Chair
Courses planned to be open:
- All courses

Niseko Annupuri
Lifts planned to be operating:
- All lifts planned to be operating
- Night lift: Jumbo Number 1 quad
Courses planned to be open:
- 11 out of the 13 courses are now open
- Champion
- Utopia
- Shirakaba
- Paradise
- Junior
- Family
- Dynamic
- Silver
- Merchen
- S-Ji
- Challenge


Official resort snow depths as of Thursday 31st December 2015:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 260cm
Base - 115cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 185cm
Base - 100cm

Niseko Annupuri:
Top - 120cm
Base - 100cm


Niseko Grand Hirafu 6 day weather and snow forecast   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Thursday 31st December 2015, 8:45am
Weather conditions: Blue skies and cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 55cm
Hello and there's no new snowfall to report on this New Years Eve morning from Nozawa.

It's a mix of blue sky and cloudy early on, but it's a good cold start to the day. Hopefully it will keep cold and then we'll get some snow later on, perhaps as early as early afternoon. Then snow is forecast through the night and into tomorrow morning.

Most lifts at Nozawa are now springing into action - today, just the Kandahar and Nagasaka Four lifts are resting. That's all good to hear.

File the next bit under 'don't want to hear', but it seems that once we get into January, there's going to be a period of milder conditions from Sunday. Unfortunately it might bring with it rain in the village though even if that happens fingers crossed it'll be snow up top. We could do without rain though of course.

Anyway, a decent refresh tonight please - though perhaps ease off for when New Year Eve festivities are planned. No nighta on the Nagasaka area due to the snow conditions, but the festivities there are still scheduled to take place (Number 1 Car Park B Block) from 11pm. There should be a few fun things going on including a fireworks display. (Actual car parking ok in the Number 1 Car Park A Block).

Once that has finished, back to heavy snow please!

Thanks for reading the reports this year so far. I'm hoping there'll be lots of good snowy news January-March and beyond.


Please note that on Thursday 31st December, Saturday 2nd January and Sunday 3rd January, the lifts and gondolas at Nozawa Onsen will all be starting their day 30 minutes earlier than usual.


Official info at time of writing on Thursday 31st December 2015 (subject to change):

Official snow depths:

Yamabiko: 90cm
Uenotaira: 90cm
Hikage: 55cm
Nagasaka: 45cm
Karasawa: 30cm

New snowfall as reported by the resort since yesterday:

Yamabiko: 0cm
Uenotaira: 0cm
Hikage: 0cm
Nagasaka: 0cm
Karasawa: 0cm

All lifts now planned to be operating except:

- Kandahar pair
- Nagasaka Four

Courses planned to be open:

- Yamabiko A course
- Yamabiko B course
- Yamabiko C course
- Yamabiko D course
- Yamabiko E course
- Paradise
- Kokenashi
- Uenotaira
- Bunabayashi
- Mizunashi A
- Mizunashi B
- Yunomine A
- Yunomine B
- Rinkan
- Challenge
- Hikage
- Ushikubi
- Isemiya
- Kitsune
- Nagasaka connection


Nozawa Onsen 6 day weather and snow forecast

Nozawa Onsen main resort data   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Thursday 31st December 2015, 8:56am
Weather conditions: Mostly blue skies, bit of cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 40cm
Good morning from Hakuba on this New Years Eve.

There's no new snow to report to you this morning though I hear earlier on it was snowing very lightly higher up. Lots of blue skies around now though with just a few small clouds lingering. A fine morning weather wise, and happily keeping cold.

The forecasts do have us down for snow today, so it could cloud over again any time and hopefully we will be getting snowed on later.

There will be lots of New Years Eve celebrations going on tonight so while we don't want the weather to hinder those, we of course all want snow to fall. Come New Year, we're going to be back to 'warmer than normal' conditions it looks like which is not what we want to be hearing. Definitely a lot of that this season so far.

But back to today and this lovely morning. Lots of people around, hopefully the resorts are coping keeping them happy!

I hope everyone can enjoy tonight - whether you are reading this from Hakuba or from the other side of the world. All the best, and I'll be back with you tomorrow morning.


6 day forecast for Happo-one:

6 day snow and weather forecast for Happo-one


Resort news as of 8:50am on Thursday 31st December (all subject to change due to weather conditions)

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
All courses apart from Route 7 are now open.
Lower Route 1 not recommended for beginners as there's not the best snow conditions.
Tree Riding Zone not yet open for the season.
Planned lifts:
Line AB
Line C
Line E
Official snow depth
Upper: 90cm
Base: 10cm

Hakuba Goryu:
Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of new snowfall.
Upper areas, the main Toomi course and the Soft Cream course in the Iimori area are open.
Nighta on Toomi 31st December - 3rd January.
Planned lifts:
Telecabin Gondola
Alps Number 1 pair lift
Alps Number 2/4 pair lift
Alps Number 3 pair lift
Toomi Sky Four lift
Milky Four lift
Official snow depth
Alps: 120cm
Toomi: 40cm
Iimori: 25cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
Usagidaira, Kurobishi, Panorama, Skyline and Kita One areas are open - lower course areas are still closed.
Planned lifts:
Adam Gondola
Alpen quad lift
Usagidaira pair lift
Happo Riesen quad
Nakiyama Number 3 triple
Kurobishi Number 2 quad lift
Kurobishi Number 3 pair lift
Skyline Number 2 pair lift
Kokusai Number 1 lift
Kokusai Number 3 lift
Panorama pair lift
Kita One quad lift
Kita One Number 3 pair lift
Official snow depth
Usagidaira: 70cm
Nakiyama: 10cm
Sakka: 10cm

Hakuba Cortina:
Hakuba Cortina reporting 0cm of fresh snow.
Courses open - Ikenota, Ikenota Forest (upper), Mt Hieda Forest, Mt Hieda 1 (lower), Itadaira, Itadaira Forest, Ipponmatsu.
Planned lifts:
Number 1 pair lift
Number 2 quad lift
Number 4 pair lift
Number 5 pair lift
Official snow depth
Top: 75cm
Base: 40cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
Large sections of Tsugaike Kogen are now at least part open.
Planned lifts:
Most lifts now operating at Tsugaike Kogen
Official snow depth
Tsuga-no-mori: 122cm
Kane-no-naru-oka: 30cm

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
The North, East and part of South runs are open.
Planned lifts:
Noah Gondola
3Sen North
4Sen Line East
5Sen South
Line Lift
Official snow depth
Upper: 50cm
Lower: 10cm

Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Most of the lifts are operating and 7 courses are now open.

Planned lifts:
Number 1 quad lift
Number 2 pair lift
Number 7 pair lift

Hakuba Sanosaka:
Part open with the Number 1 triple lift operating   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Thursday 31st December 2015, 9:25am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 70cm
Cloudy skies with light snow this morning.

Tomorrow should be a cold start to the New Year and hopefully snow clouds will still be lingering, though we're not expecting much. As with other regions the start of the new year looks like it's going to be a bit warmer than usual which of course is not what we all want to hear. Next snow in the new year looks to be coming around Tuesday...

In the meantime, thanks for reading the reports this year. I am very much hoping that it's going to be a smoother and snowier January.

Enjoy New Years Eve.


Information as of Thursday 31st December 2015 (subject to change)

Official snow depths:

Utopia: 60cm
Chuo: 70cm
Paradise: 50cm
Uwanodai: 25cm


6 day Zao Onsen snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Thursday 31st December 2015, 9:36am
Weather conditions: Lovely morning
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 70cm
It has turned into a beautiful morning.

There's new snow to report. Blue skies and sun to report.

I wish it were snowing, but if we can't have more snow just now this will do for this morning. And I certainly would not call it 'best condition' as I am hearing from elsewhere - if what we have now really is is 'best conditions', what do you call it when we have relentlesss snow over a period of a week and truly deep conditions?

After some more snow that is expected tonight we can expect clearer skies again and (alas) a trend towards milder conditions. This is not just here but in the wider area (and lots of Japan in general?)

Anyway, torchlit skiing and firewords should end the day today as we proceed into January.

Here's to us delving deep into the goods that we know winter can provide - we have honestly only seen a hint of them so far this season...

See you on the other side.


Madarao Kogen 6 day snow and weather forecast


Madarao Kogen lifts operating (planned at time of writing):

Number 1
Number 2 quad
Number 3 A
Number 5
Super quad lift
Number 11 lift
Number 12 lift
Number 15 lift
Moving walkway

Tangram Ski Circus lifts operating (planned at time of writing):

All lifts operating   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Thursday 31st December 2015, 9:44am
Weather conditions: Really sunny, nice (and a little bit scary—need snow!)
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 190cm
Another really sunny day to end up 2015. Yes, we enjoy a sunny day. In Spring. Right now we need that pounding, day-in day-out snow that Myoko can produce.

It's interesting that the snow is heavier here on the Onsen/Akakan/Seki side, and a lot lower at neighboring Ikenotaira and Suginohara. I did a quick inspection over at Ikenotaira, and it's definitely true (but the skiing was good, too, just a bit more grass and rocks that I'd like).

The forecast says we should get a little more snow today, and we need it. As I mentioned yesterday, it's going to get windy and warm over the coming days and especially on the 2nd. It's looking a little better than a few days ago—when reports had the freezing line moving up to 2000 meters and 80km/hr winds at night high up! But in a lot of ways we haven't really settled into the winter yet.

After yesterday's check, there's one more advisory to be made: wait to go backcountry. Your writer enjoyed crashing through vines and jumping over small trees at a tremendously slow speed, but I doubt anyone else would. It's literally unskiable in many places, almost impossible to get turns in and very likely to misdirect you to the wrong place. And the snow hasn't settled, so trees pop up and holes suddenly emerge. Work on your technique on the slopes, keep looking longingly at the peaks, and the right time will come.


Akakura Kanko:
All lifts running
-3° / 190cm

Akakura Onsen:
All runs open
-4° / 85cm

Ikenotaira Onsen:
Quad lift, Shirakaba Capsule, Karamatsu Pair, Alpen Blick Nos. 1 and 2
-5° / 60cm

Myoko Suginohara:
Main lifts running
-8° / 50cm

Seki Onsen:
-5° / 120cm

Myoko Ski Park:
-1° / 85cm

Kyukamura RunRun:
1° / 100cm

Tangram Ski Circus:
Partially open
-4° / 75cm

Madarao Kogen:
Main lifts open
-4° / 70cm
   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Thursday 31st December 2015, 9:47am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy, sun, blue sky
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 80cm
A fine and sunny morning in Naeba, though we are expecting clouds to move back in this afternoon - and snow by tonight and into tomorrow morning. For the moment the resort is open as it has been this morning - we need another decent snowfall or two to open up the remaining areas.

The forecast? After the snow tonight things are going to clear up somewhat and we will have a period of slightly warmer conditions - hopefully not by too much.

It is New Years Eve today of course and a lot of people around. There's going to be some festivities tonight! Take care and have fun out there.

Naeba 6-day snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Thursday 31st December 2015, 11:00am
Weather conditions: Mostly clear and sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 40cm
Good morning from Shiga Kogen.

It's 31st December already, I can't quite believe it. December has been an odd one this year and a very slow start to the season - not just here in Shiga Kogen but in many areas of Japan it seems. Last season was generally heavy snow; this season... how will it turn out? We'll just have to sit tight and see. Here's to January bringing with it much more snow than December!

OK on to this morning. The sun is out, blue skies all around and the sun is shining down on us. No fresh snow to report and generally similar resort operations as yesterday I believe. The only thing I can notice is that while the Higashitateyama 'egg' gondola is moving, the Higashitateyama courses themselves are not.

Next progress will surely be made once we have another decent delivery of fresh. We are hoping for snow later today and overnight into tomorrow, but after that there's not much on the radar into early next week. Areas lower down in the valley are probably going to see warmer conditions in the coming week though up here we should be spared of too much of a warmup.

Have a great New Years Eve!


Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Thursday 31st December):

Sun Valley






Takamagahara Mammoth


Tannenomori Okojo

Ichinose Family


Ichinose Diamond

Ichinose Yamanokami


Okushiga Kogen


Yokoteyama & Shibutoge


6 day snow and weather forecasts:

Ichinose Family 6-day snow and weather forecast
Okushiga Kogen 6-day snow and weather forecast
Yokoteyama 6-day snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Thursday 31st December 2015, 15:48pm
Weather conditions: There was blue around the edges for a while today, but mostly cloudy and now snowing.
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: 200cm
Good day but everyone is pleased it's snowing.

Very popular today and good skiing to be had but snow started falling around 2pm and the fresh will make tomorrow nice. Let's wait and see how much.

No wind today, -8 in town, -11 on resort.

Have a great New Year's Eve - Furano is traditional so most restaurants are closed today and tomorrow.

The New Furano Prince Hotel has fireworks at midnight, three restaurants and a top floor bar that will have a pretty awesome view tonight. Just sort your transport home before you bundle the fam over there.   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Yuzawa Now
10th Sep, 17:36am
Niseko Now
27th Aug, 14:26am
Grandeco Now
24th Aug, 11:16am
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
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