Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 1st April 2018

Niseko Now!

Monday 31st March 2014, 8:20am
Weather conditions: Cloud, some blue sky
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 130cm
The weekend is over and we're back to a Monday morning as things get quieter still here in Niseko.

Yesterday we had a mixed bag of conditions - bit of rain, a bit of snow even.

There's lots of cloud this morning, but some blue sky as well and the sun out at times. Windy conditions are preventing those top lifts from opening as planned again unfortunately.

The Niseko Hanazono Resort and Niseko Village area plan to be open until Sunday April 6th, with the other areas soldiering on until Golden Week in early May (last date of the season planned for Tuesday May 6th).

Will it be snowing for that last weekend for those two resorts? If some forecasts are correct, it may well be! Keeping an eye on that particular forecast...


As noted below, today's Avalanche Report is the last one of the current season and as always many thanks to the Niseko Avalanche Institute.

We will continue to keep these Niseko Now reports updated though until the end of the season in May.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Avalanches occurrence have causes, and some avalanches can be predicted by observations and weather datas, however the most unpredictable things are human actions. Chances of accidents to happen will rise as the more people go to potentially hazardous terrain, no matter how much caution is being called. Most of winter avalanche accidents occur during and just after storms. Niseko has been using a gate system, setting opening/closing criteria to prevent accidents.

Although the Rules has become common-sense and the accidents in Niseko diminished, the number of accidents in the surrounding area have increased. Even with 500 people in the out of bounds area, accidents hardly happens in Niseko, however accidents have kept happening in other areas such as Iwaonupuri and Mt Yotei.
Spring has come and snow started to melt, but still many people enjoy the snow. Spring avalanches also has causes. Overloaded snowpack and temperature rise are some if it that can leaf full-depth slides. the reason why there are not many accidents is that there are simple not many people riding. Stay away from the bottom of large valleys such as the Backbowl, Osawa, Mikaerisawa and Higashi-one, and stay away from other steep slopes. Spring slides are extremely destructive to the point of changing the terrain on its path. Always be prudent and vigilant, accidents can be avoided if you do.
this season's avalanche info ends today.

Enjoy the spring mountain.


Official snow depth numbers at time of writing:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 340cm
Base - 130cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 340cm
Base - 130cm

Top - 335cm
Base - 140cm
   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Monday 31st March 2014, 8:31am
Weather conditions: Cloud, some blue sky
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 140cm
Very heavy rain yesterday evening and the rain along with some crazy sounding wind actually woke me up a few times overnight. No snow to show for it at all higher up (Kagura not reporting any snow anyway) and blustery winds are preventing most of Kagura from opening this morning -- just the Mitsumata area open. GALA Yuzawa is open as planned though this morning.

The rain has stopped though and we actually have some blue sky opening up above the town now and as I write this the sun is shining through the window. Clouds are moving fast though, so that might not last long.

Sunny conditions due tomorrow.

The link up between Yuzawa Kogen - GALA Yuzawa - Ishiuchi Maruyama ended for the season yesterday.


Here's the latest on when Yuzawa skijo intend to be open until:

Until 31st March:
Yuzawa Kogen
Ludens Yuzawa

Until 1st April:
Yuzawa Park

Until 6th April:
Yuzawa Nakazato
Nakazato Snow Wood
NASPA Ski Garden

Until 6th May:
Naeba (weekends only from 7th April)
GALA Yuzawa
Kagura (Tashiro)

Until 25th May:
Kagura (Mitsumata)


Here's the latest on when Minamiuonuma skijo intend to be open until:

Until 31st March:
Chateaux Shiozawa

Until 6th April:
Ishiuchi Maruyama
Maiko Snow Resort - but open again on 12th/13th April
Joetsu Kokusai


Already closed:

Muikamachi Hakkai-san
Ishiuchi Hanaoka
Mt Granview
Muikamachi Ski Resort


Official resort snow depths @ Sunday 30th March 2014, AM:
Kagura (Tashiro):
Kagura (Mitsumata):
NASPA Ski Garden:
Gala Yuzawa:
Yuzawa Kogen:
Yuzawa Nakazato:
Yuzawa Park:
Maiko Snow Resort:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Joetsu Kokusai:
160cm   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Monday 31st March 2014, 8:59am
Weather conditions: Blue sky
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 160cm
It doesn't seem that long ago when I was starting up these reports for the season... but here I am wrapping them up on the last day of the season.

The sun is out this morning, there's still great snow cover, all courses are open and it should be a good last day. (The only thing that might spoil things is the fairly strong wind at times...)

I think most people would agree that it has been something of an odd season - not only here but in many surrounding areas as well. It somehow didn't seem to be as consistent as we are used to - though it's worth reminding ourselves of very high standards that we often expect and often get here!

There were many fine powder days though and I have some very fine memories of hitting the powder in those tree runs. It's always sad to think how long it will be before I can do that again.

The warm up will continue now and no doubt the snow will quickly start disappearing from the mountain. It's shocking how fast it does start to go once we get into April!

Of course Madarao is a fine place to be when there's no snow around as well - beautiful all year round and nice and cool in those hot summer months. There's usually a number of events going on as well which are worth looking up. (Get to the Madarao website via the links on Madarao Kogen resort page that is linked to from here).

Anyway, thank you for reading the Madarao Now reports this year, and I hope to see you in the run up to next season!   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Monday 31st March 2014, 9:01am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog higher
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 120cm
Morning from Nozawa and welcome to the start of the last bit of the season.

What does that mean? Basically lower charges (as I mentioned a few days ago), fewer lifts operating and some courses closed off.

First up here's the lifts that have stopped running for the season:

Hikage Gondola
Challenge pair lift
Utopia pair lift
Kandahar pair lift
Nagasaka quad
Nagasaka triple
Nagasaka gondola connecting
Karasawa pair

Weekends will likely see more lifts moving, but for today it's weekday operations again and what I will do from now on is mention what lifts and courses plan to be open in the information below on each report.

We'll be continuing to update Nozawa Now right through until the end of the season in early May.

I almost forgot to mention the weather and the new snow! After that rain stuff yesterday, and quite a chilly night, this morning there is reportedly up to 8cm of fresh snow on the top Yamabiko course areas. Yey. Looks a bit foggy up there still though I expect it to clear up today.


Monday 31st March 2014:

Official snow depths:
Yamabiko - 305cm
Uenotaira - 230cm
Hikage - 120cm
Nagasaka - 120cm

Planned operating lifts for today (weekday operations):
Nagasaka Gondola
Yamabiko Four
Yamabiko Number 2 Four
Uenotaira Four
Yu Road
Hikage Triple

Planned courses to be open:
Yamabiko A
Yamabiko C
Yamabiko D
Yamabiko E
Utopia 2
Hikage no kabe
Nagasaka connecting   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Monday 31st March 2014, 9:01am
Weather conditions: Sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 85cm
Ah another Monday morning. Glad to get rid of that rainy day yesterday and welcome the sun this morning. A sprinkling of snow being reported higher up at Happo-one (2cm) but apart from Tsugaike Kogen's upper snow depth taking a big jump up to 300cm (surely some kind of mistake), nothing else to report. Let's just be happy that the rain has eased off.

So yes it's nice and sunny this morning and actually it was quite cold early on. While snow conditions may not be brilliant, it should be a fine day to be out on the mountain. Good spring ski weather conditions. Put on some sun screen and remember the sunglasses.

Seemas that strong winds on the mountain are preventing the Grad quad at the top of Happo from moving early morning.

Looking forward at the forecast, it's looking quite interesting. If we skip over the rain that seems likely around Thursday/Friday, there's currently snow linued up after that. A bit too early to get too excited about that, but it will be interesting to see how that develops. One final blast of winter anyone?!

Last day of the season today for the Hakuba Sanosaka and Hakuba Norikura Onsen resorts.


Official snow depth numbers and operations (as of 31st March 2014):

Hakuba Goryu:
Plans to be open until early May.
Upper - 225cm
Toomi - 85cm
Iimori - 50cm

Hakuba 47:
Plans to be open until early May.
Upper - 170cm
Lower - 35cm

Plans to be open until early May.
Usagidaira - 170cm
Nakiyama - 30cm
Sakka - 35cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
Plans to be open until early May.
Tsuganomori - 300cm
Maruyama - 50cm
Kanenonaruoka - 80cm

Hakuba Cortina:
Plans to be open until 6th April.
Upper - 250cm
Lower - 140cm


Hakuba Iwatake and Hakuba Minekata are already closed.

   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Monday 31st March 2014, 9:31am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 210cm
Strong winds this morning preventing lots of lifts to open so it's really limited out there early on.

Should clear up tomorrow and be sunny for a few days.

I'm just looking ahead at the forecast... snow next weekend?!


Operating ski lifts at Zao (* subject to change):

Until 6th April:
Onsen Number 1 Pair
Onsen Number 1 Quad
Nakamoro Number 1 Triple
Mikaeri Pair

Sometime in April:
Yokokura Number 1 Pair
Kurohime Number 1 Quad

Until 6th May:
Ropeways and Gondolas (open through the year)
Chuo Number 1 Pair AB
Chuo Number 2 Pair AB (every day until 14th April, then holidays)
Katakai Triple (every day until 14th April, then holidays)
Paradise Pair AB
Utopia Number 2 Pair


Official snow depths (29th March 14):
Utopia: 240cm
Chuo: 210cm
Paradise: 230cm
Uwanodai: 130cm   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Monday 31st March 2014, 9:40am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: 150cm
We got rained on yesterday, but... it turned into snow for a while and there's just a thin layer to show for it and snow on the roads. It is still snowing lightly too, but feels like it is going to ease off and indeed the forecast has us down for some sunny conditions later today and tomorrow too.

It's the last day of the season for a number of resort areas and lifts today as noted below.

Shiga Kogen Now will continue to get updated until the end of the season, hopefully with at least a few reports each week.


Until 31st March

Until 31st March

Until 31st March

Until 31st March

Sun Valley:
Number 2 lift - closed
Number 3 lift - until 31st March
Number 1 lift - until 6th April

Number 8 quad lift - until 3rd April and then 5th, 6th, 12th, 13th April; 26th April until 6th May

Until 6th April

Happo Bunadaira:
Bunadaira quad - until 31st March
Happo quad - until 6th April

Ichinose Diamond:
Diamond triple lift - until 4th April
Diamond quad lift - until 6th April; then on weekends and 26th April until 6th May.
Connecting - until 31st March

Ichinose Family:
Ichinose Number 2 Pair A - until 31st March
Ichinose Number 3 quad - until 31st March
Ichinose Number 2 Pair B - until 6th May
Ichinose quad - until 6th May

Ichinose Yamanokami:
Until 6th April and then weekends and 26th April until 6th May

Quad lift - until 31st March and then weekends and 26th April until 6th May
Pair lift - until 31st March and then weekends and 26th April until 6th May

Number 3 pair lift - until 31st March
Quad lift - until 6th April and then weekends and 26th April until 6th May
Triple lift - until 6th April and then weekdays until 25th April; and then 3rd-6th May

Until 31st March

Okushiga Kogen:
Number 6 pair lift - until 30th March
Number 1 pair lift - until 6th April
Number 4 pair lift - until 6th April and then 12th, 13th, 19th, 20th April and 26th April until 6th May
Number 2 and 3 pair lifts - until 6th May
Gondola - until 6th May

Yakebitaiyama, Yokoteyama and Kumanoyu are yet to announce details.
Yokoteyama is usually able to remain open until late May.
   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Monday 31st March 2014, 9:52am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: 170cm
With temperatures fluctuating over the last few days between warm and freezing, snow conditions on the mountain have been varying between icy and soft spring.

Today there has been a fresh dusting of new snow, but nothing to get too excited about.

Temperatures are cold so the slopes will be firm and frosty but may soften up if temperatures lift during the day.

Heavy cloud is enveloping the mountain down to base, so expect compromised visibility at times.


Operating lifts:

Furano Ropeway 9:00am-4:00pm
Furano Downhill Swift Lift #1 CLOSED
Downhill Romance #2 chair 9:00am-4:00pm
Downhill Romance #3 chair 9:00am-4:00pm
Prince Romance 9:00am- 4:00pm

Kitanomine Zone is now closed for the season including the Link Lift and Link Course.   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Monday 31st March 2014, 13:09pm
Weather conditions: Sunny blue skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 240cm
The official spring post-season has arrived with blue skies and high winds. Yesterday we had rain and high winds, so it's a nice change.

It looks like a great day to be out on the snow, in fact, and too bad that some of the resorts are now closed for the season.

It's been a strange one, to be honest. It looked like we'd lose most of our snow a couple of times throughout the season, with warm weather, wind and rain, but then the snow always seemed to come back. There was good powder out there, for sure; it just never seemed very 'Myoko-y' (meaning days of snow falling so heavy you can't see).

Lots more international visitors this season, and they seemed to come from all over. Lots of Europeans - which surprised the locals - lots of Australians, of course, and no real troubles at all. Many people told me that they came here because they really wanted to visit Japan and enjoy the culture, not just ski (but they did want good deep snow, of course). Maybe that's why people were pretty respectful, friendly and nice. So a lot of change for us here, but not unpleasant change.

We also had a lot more people getting into trouble by skiing where they shouldn't, and it wasn't all the imports doing it, either. Plenty of Japanese riding off course and into the wrong places. I hope more people learn that sidecountry really is backcountry, in that you can get killed in an avalanche just off the lifts as easily as way out in the hills. Trees are just as hard, too.

Anyway, a kind of strange season, but a good one, and it's not completely over yet (see below).

We'll keep the page updated every now and again for the rest of the season


Official info:

Akakura Kanko:
Spring operations: The Myoko Kogen Sky Cable gondola and hotel No. 3 lift will stay open until May 6, or whenever the snow runs out. You can still ski all the way to the bottom. Spring rates from March 24 are adults ¥2,500, junior high students and seniors ¥2,000, kids ¥1,500.

Akakura Onsen:

Planning to stay open until Sunday, April 6; three lifts running.

Myoko Suginohara:

Seki Onsen:
Says it hopes to stay open until mid-May - at least for Golden Week, snow allowing.

Myoko Ski Park:
Open until Sunday, April 6.

Myoko Kyukamura Runrun

All lifts running. Last day today.

Tangram Ski Circus
Running the No. 3 lift only until April 6.   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