Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 25th May 2020
Wednesday 3rd December 2014, 8:20am
Clear blue skies and sunny as I post this
Yesterday rather than those clouds moving in and bringing us snow (or rain), rather it cleared up and by evening there wasn't much cloud in the sky at all. I was out riding my bike in Ishiuchi area last night - clear skies, but very cold. I don't think there'll be much bike riding from now on.
So much for the forecast of snow.
Looking at the news though, further north in Niigata they got some pretty rough weather with strong winds and rain and some snow as well. The clouds took the northern route and gave us a miss.
It looks like the same might be the case today.
Snow on the forecasts? Yes! Clear blue skies above us? Yes!
So yes it is lovely and clear and sunny this morning over the region. Looks like the clouds are still doing that northern route thing and just missing off this chunk of Niigata.
As you might expect from all the above, no new snow to report - just a bit of frost on the ground as it is keeping cold.
Given the rather wrong nature of the forecasts yesterday and today, I'm somewhat reluctant to mention them, but they still claim snow for us on and off (and sometimes very much on) through until Sunday.
Best thing just to see what I can report each morning for the moment I think.
Even having said all of that though, Kagura intend to get back to 1500m of course open from tomorrow. Seems that they had not actually been using the snow making machines for 2 weeks, but were able to as the temperatures dropped the night before last. Seems that yesterday that gave the open run a freshness that had been lacking. So with the help of that man-made snow from tomorrow they'll have the 1500m long course open and the Number 1 Quad lift as well. We are of course hoping that a delivery of real snow will help them along there.
I have updated the official resort opening date list below with the resorts in neighbouring Minamiuonuma. A handful of those are right next to Yuzawa and just 10 minutes away from Echigo Yuzawa Station, so as close to the centre of Yuzawa as some of the skijo actually in Yuzawa. Of course, you can check them all out on SnowJapan in the main Snow Resorts section of the site. Here's lists of the resorts in both Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma:
Kagura: A 600m run at the main Kagura area is open, access via Mitsumata Ropeway. From tomorrow, Thursday 4th, they will have 1500m open. A shuttle bus takes people from the top of the Ropeway to the base of the Kagura Gondola, which then takes them up to the base of the main Kagura area. The Kagura Number 1 Romance pair lift is operating to service the open course.
Planned opening dates for resorts in Yuzawa Town and Minamiuonuma City (by date):
Mostly cloudy, some blue sky (hopefully short lived)
Morning from Hirafu, and not as much snowfall as I would like to report. (Though coming to think of it, is there ever as much as we want?!)
I'm going to log just over 5cm or so here in the base area.
It was snowing nicely earlier on but as I write this now there's actually a bit of blue sky on show in places and the sun has been shining through as well. The forecast is for continued snowfall though so hopefully that is just a short-lived thing. Peak season we might be all for a bit of sun but what we need right now is large amounts of snow to get things going... obviously!
As of last night Hirafu were reporting 25cm on upper slopes and 10cm on lower slopes of the resort.
The forecasts are giving us snowy days through into next week, though it doesn't look like it's massive dumpage. I hope I am wrong and by writing that I am provoking the dudes in charge of snowfall to show me I'm wrong. ;)
So anyway Niseko Village now joins Grand Hirafu and Annupuri on the 'will open as soon as there's enough snow' list. Hanazono of course has always been aiming for opening on Saturday 6th December. That might have been the most realistic of the lot this time round and prove very good timing.
Planned opening dates for the different resort areas on the mountain:
Niseko Grand Hirafu - will open as soon as there's enough snow Niseko Annupuri Kokusai - will open as soon as there's enough snow Niseko Village - will open as soon as there's enough snow Niseko Hanazono - Saturday 6th December Read more ...
Wednesday 3rd December 2014, 9:00am
Not that much going on down at village level for the most part, coming down nicely at one point yesterday evening, but better news higher up on the mountains. Yesterday Happo was reporting 20+cm of nice quality dry fresh snowfall up around Kurobishi and Usagidaira. There's snow down by the side of roads in the village this morning as well, I would say around 5cm or so in places. Light snow in the village; heavy snow in the mountains is what Happo guys have been saying.
Nice. But we want more!
Resorts around the village are of course largely on stand-by and you can be sure that as soon as there's enough snow they'll be getting lifts moving. Who will be first?!
With snow on the forecast right through from today until Sunday - and looking like it might be decent snowfall too at times - I think we might be seeing the first action pretty soon.
Things might move fast over the next few days, but I will do my best and keep on top of the situation for you! Gambarimasu.
Just to update you on that bug I mentioned in the report yesterday - it has been fixed and previous reports that showed the incorrect number should now be displaying as they should. Sorry about that again and thanks to people for pointing it out.
Planned opening dates :
Hakuba 47 - as soon as there's enough snow Hakuba Goryu - as soon as there's enough snow Happo-one - as soon as there's enough snow Tsugaike Kogen - as soon as there's enough snow Kashimayari Sports Village - early December Hakuba Sanosaka - mid December Hakuba Norikura Onsen - mid December Hakuba Cortina - Saturday 13th December Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field - Friday 19th December Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Wednesday 3rd December 2014, 9:01am
Partly cloudy, partly blue sky
Looking at the news last night you might be reading this hoping to read of Nozawa villagers being snowed into their village and digging out the ski lifts.
Didn't quite work like that and we have actually enjoyed (wrong word perhaps!) fine weather since yesterday. Quite a bit of cloud around this morning but blue sky as well and just a frosting rather than a covering of new snow. Below you can see the top runs of the resort in the photos.
It seems that the clouds and wintery conditions were all just doing their thing to the north of our area and might well do that for at least part of today as well.
I have just been looking at a few forecasts and they are giving mixed messages - from the chance of a bit of rain to heavy snow over the next few days. I think they're guessing! Friday/Saturday the best bet for decent snow?
We all know how quickly things can change with an impressive dump of snow... not to worry!
Daily reports from now on, so I'll update you again tomorrow with what is actually happening.
Nozawa Onsen now hopes to open on Saturday 6th December if there's enough snow Read more ...
Wednesday 3rd December 2014, 9:21am
I bring good snowy but also windy news!
Loads of snow in Zao at the moment with this impressive winter storm really delivering. I'm not kidding there must have been 80cm of snow since my report yesterday.
I am hearing rumours of the ski lifts might get to be moving today - if they can get round the strong winds as well - but haven't had any confirmation yet and the official website is now showing any changes.
Whether things can get started today or not, once the storm settles we will surely have enough for a nearly full opening.
I'll update you tomorrow morning.
Official snow depths (3rd December 14): Utopia: -cm Chuo: 50cm Paradise: -cm Uwanodai: -cm Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Wednesday 3rd December 2014, 9:28am
Some cloud, blue sky
It's a very cold and frosty morning in Shiga Kogen (-7 degrees) but none of the snow that has been reported in other areas.
Right now the sun is shining down on the slopes actually!
It is still very limited operations at the moment as we wait for decent snow to arrive:
Takamagahara The lower run is open, with the Number 2 triple lift moving
Ichinose Family The Number 2 Pair A line is moving and there's a 380m long and 30m wide course open
Kumanoyu Number 2 Pair A and B lifts are servicing a 600m long and 40-50m wide course.