Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 26th May 2019

Yuzawa Now!

Sunday 3rd January 2016, 8:26am
Weather conditions: Mostly clear blue skies and sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 55cm
Morning from Yuzawa.

Sometimes when the forecast is for cloud all day, it turns out to be a beautiful clear day. This morning is starting off with some lovely almost clear skies over the region and the sun is out bright and early. Looks like there's quite a lot of cloud hanging around to the north of here - similar to how things were for lots of yesterday really - and it may well cloud over later on in the day, but for the moment it's a sunny start.

And as expected it's not particularly cold either, to say the least. Temperatures did not drop below zero overnight in town and right now it's about 4C. A high of about 8 or 9 degrees is expected later on today... and tomorrow. That is not good as of course with such warmth there's going to be snow melt and we don't have enough to allow that!

Last night on the news they were talking about how this winter has been warmer than usual so far (generally for Japan) and mentioning how in some areas of the country today temperatures are going to be more like what we expect in late March rather than in early January.

Scary stuff!

They did also mention though how it should be getting colder again around mid-week with snow now expected here around Thursday. Unfortunately before then we might not escape a bit of rain later in the day tomorrow.

So we will have to play in the snow that we currently have for the moment. As has been the case these last few days, all resorts in the region are now open with most course areas also open now. There are some exceptions, those mostly being steeper slopes that need deeper snow conditions to open.

Today should be rather busy again at the popular resorts but it is the last day of the New Year holidays for lots of people and so this afternoon in particular we should see crowds getting less.

And then tomorrow may be somewhat like a normal Monday.

Have a fun day and see you tomorrow.


Resort operations (Sunday 3rd January 2016) - subject to change:

Now that everywhere is open, from Monday we'll be bringing you official snow depths at resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma.

Resorts in Yuzawa:

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

Ipponsugi is now open.

Iwappara is mostly open.

Joetsu Kokusai
Joetsu Kokusai is mostly open.

Kagura is open and the top pair lift is also now open (from 1st January).
The Dragondola connecting Tashiro with Naeba is now operating.

Kandatsu Kogen
Kandatsu Kogen is mostly open.

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 open.

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

Yuzawa Nakazato
Yuzawa Nakazato is now mostly open.

Yuzawa Park
Yuzawa Park is now 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
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 ...

Niseko Now!

Sunday 3rd January 2016, 8:42am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: 100cm
Hello and good morning from Hirafu.

Sorry, I don't have that 20cm to report to you, as it's another modest delivery of 5cm this morning since my last report.

Still, 5cm is better than 0cm. And Hokkaido regions do seem to be doing considerably better than many regions of Honshu this winter so far. It doesn't make me happy to hear of other regions struggling with snow - we all know what it's like and the more snow the better in all Japan if you ask me. Here's hoping that we all get our fair share for the remainder of the (long) season!

Anyway back to the details. Yesterday felt a bit odd in some ways. At times it was snowing quite heavily though it remained relatively mild and so the snow falling was not top quality and somewhat wetter than we are used to.

There are no major wind issues this morning affecting lifts with them all moving as planned early on.

It's currently cloudy and overcast with the earlier snow now eased off, and it might just end up being a generally cloudy day and not too cold again. Having said that, it should stay just below zero through the day.

We are expecting the snow to return overnight tonight and the forecast still has snow at times every day through until at least the end of the week.


Resort specific news/notes at time of writing (subject to change during the day):

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Resort appears to be open as normal at time of writing.

Niseko HANAZONO Resort
Resort appears to be open as normal at time of writing.

Niseko Village
Resort appears to be open as normal at time of writing.

Niseko Annupuri
Resort appears to be open as normal at time of writing.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -3℃, no snowfall and calm. Moiwa 800m: -5℃, W8m/s, no snowfall and light development of wind snowdrifts. 1000m: W10m/s, Annupuri 1150m: W12m/s. Coastal data: Benkei cape NW12m/s, Kamui cape W11m/s, 1012hPa, 2.2m waves.

Although no snow-clouds can be observed over the Sea of Japan, a moderate westerly wind is persisting in higher elevation. New snowfall is almost non-existent, but the wind has moderately reset the slopes around 800m. Sasa-bamboo and bushes are still thick below 500m, making route finding difficult. Gates 4, 5, 6 and 10 will open. Gate 11, Mizuno no sawa, is scheduled to open tomorrow. Please follow the patrol’s instructions.

Do not enter strictly off-limits areas (Haru no taki & Yu no sawa) to seek fresh tracks or duck any ropes to step out of bounds. The freedom to ride the out of bounds area in Niseko can only be maintained by having everyone respect the Rules.

There’s been many reports of inbounds collision injuries. Always keep an eye around you and ride within your limits. Your safety is our number one concern. Have a nice day.


Official resort snow depths as of Sunday 3rd January 2016:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 240cm
Base - 100cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 185cm
Base - 100cm

Niseko Annupuri:
Top - 130cm
Base - 100cm


Lifts planned to be open for night skiing:

Niseko Grand Hirafu:
Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift
(There is no night skiing at the Hanazono area)

Niseko Village:
Community Chair and Banzai Chair

Niseko Annupuri:
Jumbo Number 1 Quad


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

Myoko Now!

Sunday 3rd January 2016, 8:49am
Weather conditions: Clear. Absolutely clear. Sun, sun go away....
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 90cm
The sun is out. This is not good.

Looks like two days of warm, sunny weather, followed by what is most likely rain at the base... hopefully snow up higher.

I hate writing this kind of thing every day (and I like doing these reports usually), but there's just no good news for you yet.

Backcountry is impossible, and the snow levels are going down now.

Everybody, start doing your best snow dances, liberally sprinkle saké across the hills (fine to ingest a bit, too), and let's hope for better.


Akakura Kanko:
All lifts running
2° / 90cm

Akakura Onsen:
All runs open
-2° / 90cm

Ikenotaira Onsen:
All main lifts running
-4° / 60cm

Myoko Suginohara:
Main lifts running
-2° (top)/ 50cm

Seki Onsen:
-3° / 130cm (no new report)

Myoko Ski Park:
4° / 75cm

Kyukamura RunRun:
1° / 110cm

Tangram Ski Circus:
Partially open
-1° / 75cm (no new report)

Madarao Kogen:
Main lifts open
-2° / 80cm
   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Sunday 3rd January 2016, 8:55am
Weather conditions: Blue skies, just some cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 40cm
Morning from Hakuba.

Yesterday wind was preventing some areas to be open and this morning I'm afraid it's still a factor.

At the time of writing, Happo-one is closed due to the wind and one of the top lifts at Tsugaike Kogen affected. For the moment it seems that other resorts that plan to be open are up and running. One way or another, nature isn't being too kind to us this season so far...

This morning apart from that wind on mountain, there's lots of blue sky above Hakuba. There's still a fair bit of cloud here and there, but generally it is fine and sunny.

Conditions out there will probably be a bit icy early on, but as it is expected to warm up this afternoon they should quickly soften up.

Speaking of warming up, down here in the village the forecast is for a high temperature of +9C degrees this afternoon and indeed tomorrow as well. Obviously that is way too high (and we demand temperatures to drop!) Tuesday looks to be the time we can expect colder conditions and fingers crossed it will be snowing as well then. After that there's some snow on and off forecast for later in the week especially higher up so let's keep an expectant eye on that forecast and hope for the best.

Today is the last day of the New Year holidays for lots of folk and so while it will probably be busy again this morning (especially with Happo-one closed), many people will probably start making their way back this afternoon leaving the slopes a bit quieter.

Sounds like it is windy up there this morning. Do take care. And try to make the most of what we have!


6 day forecast for Happo-one:

6 day snow and weather forecast for Happo-one


Resort news as of 8:50am on Sunday 3rd January 2015 (all subject to change due to weather conditions)

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
All courses apart from Route 7 officially open.
Tree Riding Zone not yet open for the season.
Official snow depth
Upper: 110cm
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 planned to be open.
The upper-lower connecting Champion Dynamic and Woody courses are unfortunately closed again due to the snow conditions.
New Year nighta on Toomi until tonight.
Planned lifts:
Telecabin Gondola
Alps Number 1 pair lift - on hold
Alps Number 2/4 pair lift - on hold
Alps Number 3 pair lift - on hold
Toomi Sky Four lift
Toomi Number 1 pair lift
Toomi Number 2 pair lift
Milky Four lift
Official snow depth
Alps: 125cm
Toomi: 40cm
Iimori: 35cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
Usagidaira, Kurobishi, Panorama, Skyline, Kita One and Riesen Slalom areas are planned to be open with lower course areas still closed.
However, this morning strong winds mean that all lifts at Happo-one are on hold at the time of writing.
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: 80cm
Nakiyama: 30cm
Sakka: 30cm

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
Number 6 pair lift
Official snow depth
Top: 100cm
Base: 60cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
Large sections of Tsugaike Kogen are now at least part open.
Planned lifts:
Most lifts now operating at Tsugaike Kogen.
The top Tsuga Number 1 pair lift is on hold early on due to strong winds.
Official snow depth
Tsuga-no-mori: 125cm
Kane-no-naru-oka: 30cm

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Limited areas of the Mountain Side (North and East courses) are currently open.
Planned lifts:
Noah Gondola
3Sen North
4Sen Line East
5Sen South
Line Lift
Official snow depth
Upper: 70cm
Lower: 20cm

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

Planned lifts:
Kashimayari is part open.

Hakuba Sanosaka:
Part open with the Number 1 triple lift and Number 5 pair lifts operating   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Sunday 3rd January 2016, 9:05am
Weather conditions: Lots of blue sky and sun
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 50cm
Good morning from Nozawa on this fine spring morning. Oh wait, it's early January?! ...kind of feeling.

As the forecasts told us, it's a mild start to the day and the sun is shining with lots of blue sky above us. A feel good day at most times, but as has been said quite a bit so far already this season we just need cold blizzard conditions rather than more sun and warmth.

It's going to warm up to maybe 7C today and possibly a bit higher still during the day tomorrow.

Clouds are expected tomorrow and they might bring with them a bit of rain later on in the day before hopefully turning into snow on Tuesday. It should at least be snowing on upper areas of the mountain anyway. There is more lined up for later in the week as well along with colder conditions so there's some hope there.

For the moment, try to forget it's early January and think of it as spring. It makes it easier!

Last day of the New Year holidays for most people today, back to fun Mondays from tomorrow!


Official info at time of writing on Sunday 3rd January 2016 (subject to change):

Official snow depths:

Yamabiko: 90cm
Uenotaira: 80cm
Hikage: 50cm
Nagasaka: 35cm
Karasawa: 35cm

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

All courses planned to be open except:

- Lower part of Skyline
- Paradise connection
- Schneider
- Challenge 39
- Hikage no kabe
- Kurokura
- Grand Prix
- Jumping
- Hachiman
- Mukoubayashi
- Kandahar West
- Kandahar East
- Usagi
- Karasawa
- Karasaw connection


Nozawa Onsen 6 day weather and snow forecast

Nozawa Onsen main resort data   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Sunday 3rd January 2016, 9:10am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 110cm
Morning from Grandeco.

It's a bit wet this morning and feels more like spring...

Unfortunately we had rainfall and sleet yesterday evening and through the night. Amazingly, there was 10cm of snow at the top of the resort, though nothing new at base. Conditions are quite wet and soft this morning.

This morning it is sleet and wet snow conditions at base and occasionally snow higher up.

There is usually never any positive number temperatures in the Ura Bandai area in January, and the four lakes in the area usually freeze over in Winter but it has not happened (yet) this year. There's no snow on the roads this morning.

It's not the most exciting of conditions reports, I am afraid.

Rainbow 3500, Mint B-a, Mint B-c, Center, Lavender D-b, Basil are open - other advance courses are still closed, with the resort hoping to open them after next big snow fall.

When will that be? Well once we pass these few days of warmer conditions, there is a good chance of snow around Tuesday and then later in the week as well. So it should be with us. Let's hope lots of it.


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
(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 ...

Madarao Now!

Sunday 3rd January 2016, 9:23am
Weather conditions: Blue skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 80cm
I know it's not exactly what you want to hear, but it's a lovely mild sunny morning here in Madarao.

For those of you who may want more fresh snow to slide on, after the relative warmth of today and tomorrow (high of about 7C?), from Tuesday it is forecast to start getting colder again. It may be borderline rain at first but let's hope snow by the end of that day. There's something brewing towards the end of the week as well which looks promising.

In the meantime, almost spring-like feel to things this morning which is not something that I expect to be saying during the New Year holidays.

From tomorrow most people are starting to get back to their normal routines after the New Year, so things should be quieter and it's usually a very good time of the year to be here.


Madarao Kogen 6 day snow and weather forecast


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

Number 1
Number 2 quad
Number 3
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 5 lifts operating   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Sunday 3rd January 2016, 9:41am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 70cm
Snow/sleet/rain at times yesterday, it was borderline stuff, and this morning it's just cloudy though looks like limited visibility on the mountain.

As with many regions of Japan today, it's unseasonably mild. In that respect I suppose we can be happy that it isn't raining for the moment... though it may be later. Very hopefully turning into snow but the temperatures are set to be mild at least until the end of tomorrow.

Back to something more like cold from Tuesday. And a decent chance of snowfall as well.


Information as of Sunday 3rd January 2016 (subject to change)

Most of the lifts at Zao Onsen are now operating.
Most areas of Zao Onsen are now (at least part) open.
The areas that remain closed are Ryuzan, Omori and Kotan.

Official snow depths:

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


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

Shiga Kogen Now!

Sunday 3rd January 2016, 9:59am
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 40cm
It is a beautiful morning in Shiga Kogen. Lovely. Blue skies. It almost feels like a lovely spring morning.

But here was are on 3rd January talking about spring. Actually it was on the national news last night about how some areas of Japan today (not here, hopefully!) will be experiencing late March/early April like temperatures. Yikes.

Tomorrow is also expected to be relatively mild here.

I do have good news though and promise of snow.

From Tuesday, we're expecting a drop in temperatures and they should continue through until at least the weekend. Something more like what we expect for this time of the year. Most importantly, snow is forecast for Tuesday and then in greater quantities on Thursday and Friday. Could it be the dump we are all waiting for? That would be good.

I will of course keep you informed.

For now though we're still running on low. Be creative and find your fun! ;)


Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Sunday 3rd January 2016):

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 ...

Minakami Now!

Sunday 3rd January 2016, 10:18am
Weather conditions: Clear blue skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 90cm
All lifts are running at Tenjin though the Gelende to the base is still not and four lifts are running at Hodaigi.

Spring weather here again just now and a repeat of yesterday by the looks of it with temps forecast at double digits in town. +2C reported on Tenjindaira at 8am, little to no wind and the base up top is shrinking albeit slowly.

The high temps of late are set to drop below zero on Tuesday (on the mountain) and snow is forecast for Tuesday night. Fingers crossed for some cold Winter weather though the rays are pretty nice too.


All snow resorts in Minakami are now at least part open:

Minakami Kogen Fujiwara
Minakami Hodaigi
Minakami Kogen Ski Resort
Norn Minakami
Okutone Snow Park
Tanigawadake Tenjindaira
White Valley


Weather forecast:

Tanigawa Tenjindaira 6 day snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Sunday 3rd January 2016, 13:56pm
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 80cm
Some lucky folk getting up on the mountain early today with the First Tracks programme. They might not have been treated to lots of fresh deep snow but they were certainly treated to some fine weather conditions.

Almost too fine really as it has been an almost spring-like day today. After a chilly start it warmed up and... well yes, it's just unseasonably warm. We are expecting more of that tomorrow as well though later in the day it might rain or hopefully snow. Tuesday looks set to be colder and bring with it some snowfall.

The end of the coming week is looking promising for fresh snowfall. Thursday onwards on the latest forecast has good potential - keen an eye on that.

Today is the last day of the New Year holidays for many and with many making their way back home, it has not been as busy today.


Naeba has announced that the planned "all night" on 9th January won't be taking place as planned.


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

Furano Now!

Sunday 3rd January 2016, 15:19pm
Weather conditions: Snowclouds all day.
New snowfall: 16cm
Snow depth: 220cm
There's lots of snow but it's heavy down low...

Basically today it seems first timers are loving it and return or local skiers are finding it heavy or slow snow today.

It was unusually warm last night, dropping today a bit but still only -3.

It is snowing moderately now, has been snowing or flurries all day.

The resort today is reporting 10-15cm of fresh today.   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Yuzawa Now
14th Jun, 10:19am
Naeba Now
07th Jun, 10:08am
Aizu Bandai Now
31st May, 13:35
Shiga Kogen Now
27th May, 9:56am
Furano Now
08th May, 8:47am
Niseko Now
07th May, 19:19pm
Myoko Now
06th May, 9:33am
Hakuba Now
06th May, 9:09
Nozawa Onsen Now
06th May, 8:46
Minakami Now
06th May, 8:16
Madarao Now
06th May, 8:13am
Zao Now
06th May, 7:59
Appi Kogen Now
06th May, 7:59am
Geto Kogen Now
06th May, 7:12
Grandeco Now
02nd Feb, 12:34am