Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 11th April 2021
Tuesday 3rd May 2016, 7:28am
Bright and sunny, some very thin cloud, hazy
It has been very windy down here in town since soon after my morning report, and it's still really blowing about now.
More importantly there's more news from Kagura:
From tomorrow, and as probably expected, the Tashiro area will be closed for the season. In addition, the only course that will remain open at Kagura will be the main Kagura course. Note that this course is not suitable for beginners. The snow mat (plastic) course at Mitsumata will be open but as a connecting course to Kagura - those who do not wish to use the snow mats will be able to ride the Mitsumata Number 1 quad lift back down to the Ropeway top station.
For the record, Kagura are still keeping their Kagura will be 'open until 29th May' (予定 planned) message up there...
ORIGINAL MORNING REPORT
Morning from Yuzawa, and it's a fairly simple report this morning... all of Kagura is closed.
Not 'closed for the season', but just for today due to strong winds forecast for the day.
It doesn't feel particularly windy down here in town just now, but quite strong winds are indeed forecast. Right now it's sunny and bright with some very thin cloud around.
Heavy rain might be falling overnight once again tonight. Things should begin to clear up from tomorrow morning and then sun is forecast for Thursday.
There's probably a chance that the Tashiro area of Kagura may not be able to re-open tomorrow - that's not any official news, just a guess and also what a lot of people are thinking... will report as early as possible tomorrow morning with news.
Resorts that remain open in Yuzawa on Tuesday 3rd May 2016:
This information remains here today just for information purposes - please note updated report at the top of this page.
*** All closed today due to winds. Below is the open info as yesterday.
The Tashiro Ropeway / Tashiro area plans to be part open until 8th May. The Kagura area (via Mitsumata Ropeway) plans to be part open until 29th May. Snow is fast disappearing and there is a good chance that those dates will not be possible.
The following courses at Kagura remain at least part open:
- Kagura main course - Mogul Bahn (until early May) - Tashiro Ladies (part) - Tashiro-ko Course - Family Course at Mitsumata (open just to connect to the Gondola - snow mats, no natural snow) - Kagura Park
All other resorts in Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma are now closed for the season.
And the big news is that today is going to be the last day of the season for Hakuba Happo-one, Hakuba 47 and Hakuba Goryu... essentially meaning that today is the last day of the official ski season here in Hakuba (though people will still be hiking up to snow beyond tomorrow).
Information on what is open has been updated below.
A fine morning for it anyway with blue skies and sunshine with a warm 23 degrees forecast for later this afternoon, though perhaps some stronger winds as well. Rain is also due late today and into tomorrow.
Tomorrow I will post a wrap-up of the season, so please come back for that.
Resort news as of 8:00am on Tuesday 3rd May 2016 (subject to change due to snow and weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba Goryu: Goryu gondola and Alps Number 1 lift (and Panorama Course) at Goryu, and Line E (and Route 8) of Hakuba 47 remain open. Access via Hakuba Goryu only, Hakuba 47 base is closed. Last day of the season today.
Hakuba Happo-one: Just a small part of Panorama area now remains skiable. Last day of the season today. (The Happo Alpen Line and the Usao Park play-in-the-snow area will remain open until 8th May).
Tsugaike Kogen: Tsugaike Kogen ski and snowboard courses are now all closed. (The Tsugaike Panorama Way - Gondola and top Ropeway - remain open until 8th May).
An early report this morning - Sapporo awaits - but it's fairly easy today as we have mostly clear blue skies and sunshine.
It should be a fine day warming up to close on 20C degrees later on, but by the end of the day rain is expected to be falling. And unfortunately, it looks like it's going to be raining - at least on and off, and heavily at times - through until the official end of the season on Thursday.
There's also the chance that winds may also messing with lift operations tomorrow and Thursday, so keep that in mind.
Personally, I'd be aiming to get out today for my last ski or snowboard... even if lifts are able to move, conditions might not be particularly nice out there.
Today, tomorrow and Thursday are national holidays here in Japan.
Thursday is the last planned day of the season for the remaining ski lifts here in Niseko.
Just look how quickly the last of the snow melts away from lower slopes! (by comparing the images in the last week or so of reports).
Resort specific lift opening news at time of posting:
Resort operations - subject to change due to snow and weather conditions
Niseko Grand Hirafu resort area lift operations: Ace Number 2 Center Four Quad (* this lift now used to get to and from the open courses - you can no longer ride back to base) Ace Number 3 Pair Ace Number 4 Pair
The resort is 'upgrading' the King Number 3 triple lift in time for next season. As part of that work the Hirafu Gondola, King Number 3 and 4 lifts have all now closed for this season. Niseko Grand Hirafu plans to remain open until Thursday 5th May.
Courses open - Large, Center, Shirakaba (Spring Park)
Niseko Annupuri plans to be open until Thursday 5th May with the Gondola, Jumbo 1 and Jumbo 4 lifts operating.
Niseko Village plans to be open for Golden Week until Thursday 5th May. The Gondola can be used as a way of getting to Niseko Grand Hirafu and for sightseeing. None of the courses at Niseko Village are open.
Thought it would be sunny; wind and clouds for now
Time to close out the season.... which sort of petered out there at the end without me actually knowing when our last operating resort (Seki Onsen) finally gave up.
Akakan and Seki had planned to keep going until May 5, but there was no possible way to do that (as that snow disappeared about two weeks ago). I sat at home watching the slopes above the ski areas literally turn from white to brown over less than a week, thanks to some strong, warm winds - which continues to blow, for that matter!
How to sum up this season?
Look to the next, is the conclusion, I think!
We just went through an El Niño of the kind we haven’t seen for a long time - not in my 20 years in Myoko, anyway. The fear is that this is the trend for the future (we’ll ignore all the politics and such behind that, though), but on that point, who knows? Some say the changes in climate could bring rougher weather, and even maybe more snow.
It’s going to be better next year; that’s my only prediction.
But that also means I need to overhaul that regular visitor to these reports, my mighty snowthrower. I think I refilled the tank twice this season, and the disuse means both that the battery died (it was getting old anyway), and there’s lots of rust to take on over the summer. Hopefully he’ll be out there more daily, and showing up in these reports, more often in 2016-2017.
See you in a few months!
PS Forgot: the Myoko Sky Cable gondola at Akakan is running this week! And it starts up again in July. Have to check on the Suginohara gondola, which did run last summer/autumn. Read more ...