Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 1st April 2018

Yuzawa Now!

Thursday 4th February 2016, 7:43am
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 125cm
Sunshine it is this morning!

It is a beautiful start to the day in the area with mostly clear blue skies and sunshine.

It was snowing lots of yesterday, but it was that kind again that doesn't deliver in terms of fresh cm - just light lazily falling snow for most of the time. But anyway those clouds have cleared now and it should be a very fine morning. While it's quite a chilly start, temperatures are going to be rising somewhat today with a high of up to around 5C due in town - that's getting a bit too high for our liking so hopefully it will quickly drop again.

Snow may well be falling by the end of the day though and into tomorrow with a good chance of Saturday seeing moderate to possibly heavy snowfall. That's what the forecast currently tells us anyway. We shall see!

I'm going to go and enjoy the fine weather today.


Resort official snow depths (Thursday 4th February 2016) and any specific news at time of writing:

Resorts in Yuzawa:

GALA Yuzawa

Ishiuchi Maruyama


Joetsu Kokusai

140cm (Mitsumata)
170cm (Tashiro)
200cm (Kagura)

Kandatsu Kogen

Maiko Snow Resort
170cm (upper)
70cm (lower)

Muikamachi Hakkaisan


NASPA Ski Garden

Yuzawa Kogen

Yuzawa Nakazato

Yuzawa Park


'Nighta' (floodlit night operations)

Details of the 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma.

Ishiuchi Maruyama
Open daily until 8:50pm (until 20th March).
The Chuo No 1 and Chuo No 2 lifts are open daily.
The Kanko No 1, Kanko No 2, Kanko No 3, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift, Hatsukaishi No 2 pair lifts are open on weekends and holidays.
The basic charge is 2000 yen but various tickets are available.

Open daily until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays (until 21st March).
The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.

Joetsu Kokusai
Open daily until 9pm (until 21st March).
The charge is 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.
On weekdays the area in front of the main hotel is open - a larger area (including Osawa and Atema) is open on weekends.

Kandatsu Kogen
Open from 6pm until 4am on Fridays, Saturdays and evenings before holidays through 26th March.
Open from 4:30pm until 11pm on weekdays until 24th March.
Various tickets are available starting at 2000 yen for adults, 1700 yen for seniors and 1000 yen for children.

Maiko Snow Resort
Open daily with the Maiko Center quad lift operating from 4pm until 8pm.
The charge is 500 yen for everyone.

Open daily until 27th March.
From 4pm until 8:30pm on weekdays and Sundays (2000 yen); until 9pm every Saturday and on 20th March (3000 yen).
'All Night' opening is planned for Saturday 26th March when Naeba will be open from 10pm until 5am.

NASPA Ski Garden
Extended opening until 6pm (Number 1 lift) on Saturdays until 27th February.
There is no special ticket available just for the extended time.

Yuzawa Nakazato
Open on Saturdays from 5pm until 8:30pm (until 12th March).
Tickets are 1500 yen for adults and 1000 yen for children and seniors.


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 ...

Madarao Now!

Thursday 4th February 2016, 7:43am
Weather conditions: Clear, sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 135cm
There's not much to say this morning other than there's stunning blue skies over us, the sun is out, the groomed courses are groomed, not many people around... just an excellent day to be putting on the gear and getting early morning lifts.

I think that is exactly what I will do!

We can also look forward to the snow that is forecast starting tomorrow and continuing through Saturday - the heaviest due around Saturday night.


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

All lifts plan to be open today

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

All lifts plan to be open today

Tree Run Courses at Madarao Kogen:

Open   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Thursday 4th February 2016, 7:53am
Weather conditions: Absolutely perfectly clear bluebird today.
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: 110cm
Good morning from Naeba everybody.

Sunshine is the word on the mountain today with not a cloud in the sky. Pistes should be relatively fresh today due to yesterday's small amount of snow that fell in the day. However not powder as it was the type of snow that doesn't really build up all that much.

Weather going on is still looking for snow every day with a larger amount of snow coming over Friday night to Sunday morning although it is no longer predicted to be a large dump.

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

Hakuba Now!

Thursday 4th February 2016, 8:05am
Weather conditions: Blue sky, cloud, sun
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 105cm
After a very fine day yesterday, it looks like we might get another fine day today. Or morning at least...

Yesterday cloud increased during the afternoon and by the end of the day visibility was actually limited in some places on mountain, but this morning we have a bit of a reset with blue sky again... though there is more cloud early on today than we started the day yesterday with. So it's currently a mix of blue sky and cloud and another cold early morning in Hakuba.

There's no new snowfall to report, but we may get some light snow falling here later in the day. Then it's snowfall later on tomorrow and through Saturday. Heavy snow are words I like to see on the forecast and that's what it says for Saturday evening. So if the forecast pulls off (a big 'if' this season unfortunately!), Sunday should be the day of the weekend. Some local forecasts have tomorrow starting with clear sunny skies as well.

Lots of people are going to be in Hakuba to celebrate the Chinese New Year holidays making the next week or so particularly popular.

Let's hope we get some peak time quality snow conditions to help everyone celebrate!


6 day forecast for Happo-one:

6 day snow and weather forecast for Happo-one


Resort news as of 8:00am on Thursday 4th February 2016 (where available, all subject to change due to weather conditions)

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
All courses are open.
Part of the Tree Riding Zone are open.
There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba 47.
Official snow depth:
Upper: 190cm
Base: 70cm

Hakuba Goryu:
Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
All courses except Snow Diving are open.
The top Alps 2 and 4 lifts are rested on weekdays.
The Toomi area will be open until 8:30pm tonight for 'nighta'.
Official snow depth
Alps: 220cm
Toomi: 105cm
Iimori: 105cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
Happo-one is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
All open (apart from the Kurobishi Off Piste Area).
Happo Banks Snow Park is now open.
The lower Nakiyama area is open for 'nighta' every day until 9pm.
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira: 180cm
Nakiyama: 80cm
Sakka: 55cm

Hakuba Cortina:
Hakuba Cortina is again reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
All courses are open except Giant.
The Ikenota area will be open for 'nighta' until 8pm tonight.
Official snow depth:
Top: 185cm
Base: 120cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
All course areas open.
Nighta at Kane-no-naru-oka on Saturday 6th, 13th February; at Karamatsu/Shirakaba on 13th/20th February and 5th/12th/19th March.
Note that the top Tsugaike Ropeway only opens from spring.
Official snow depth:
Tsuga-no-mori: 214cm
Maruyama: 90cm
Kane-no-naru-oka: 70cm

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
All of Village Side is now open but parts of the Mountain Side not yet available (Sonezawa, View A, View B, North).
There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake.
Official snow depth:
Upper: 140cm
Lower: 70cm

Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
All courses except Snake are now open.
There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Iwatake.
Official snow depth:

Hakuba Sanosaka:
All of the courses are open.
There is no 'nighta' at Hakuba Sanosaka.
Official snow depth:
100cm   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Thursday 4th February 2016, 8:15am
Weather conditions: Clear blue skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 160cm
Blue bird this morning, no wind or clouds in sight and no fresh snow either. Still tons of fresh snow off-piste at Tenjindaira and expect there will be a procession to the peak today.

Next snow forecast for tomorrow morning and looks set to continue through Saturday night and looks like a decent amount.

Saturday morning has potential and Sunday is looking quite good.


All snow resorts in Minakami now all (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 ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Thursday 4th February 2016, 8:20am
Weather conditions: Fog, fine higher up
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: 80cm
There's a fog down here this morning. But I can see that up higher on the mountain it's clearer and I can see a mix of cloud and blue sky at the moment.

The early morning fog lower down will probably quickly disappear leaving us with a fine morning.

Yesterday at 3pm the resort was reporting 1-5cm of snowfall during the day bottom-top and this morning just another small dusting higher up. That's where the numbers below are coming from just in case you were wondering.

I'm liking the look of the forecast for Saturday. 'Heavy snow'. We'll have some (lots) of that please. We have of course seen that before but it hasn't quite happened in as dramatic a way as we would like so let's be cautiously optimistic! It should actually be snowing from tomorrow through into Sunday.

Here's to a snowy late week and weekend. For today though, enjoy some sunshine.


Official info at time of writing on Thursday 4th February 2016 (subject to change):

Official snow depths:

Yamabiko: 165cm
Uenotaira: 135cm
Hikage: 80cm
Nagasaka: 65cm
Karasawa: 55cm

New snowfall as reported by the resort since yesterday:

Yamabiko: 7cm
Uenotaira: 4cm
Hikage: 1cm
Nagasaka: 1cm
Karasawa: 1cm

All weekday lifts planned to be operating. Lifts rested are:

- Yunomine pair
- Mizunashi triple
- Challenge pair
- Utopia pair
- Kandahar pair
- Hikage Number 2 pair B line

The following courses are not currently open:

- Paradise connection
- Challenge 39
- Grand Prix
- Hachiman
- Mukoubayashi
- Kandahar West
- Kandahar East


Nozawa Onsen 6 day weather and snow forecast

Nozawa Onsen main resort data   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Thursday 4th February 2016, 8:30am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 9cm
Snow depth: 160cm
Hello and good morning again from Niseko.

After an excellent day on the slopes yesterday, do I have news of our 'daily refresh'? Yes I do!

This morning I measure 9cm of fresh snowfall and it's still snowing. I have just wiped the area to reset it and start recording new snow for my report tomorrow. And there's going to be some to report as well - the snow clouds are going to remain over Niseko (or at least be very close by) through until the end of the weekend. Forecasts seem to show a break in the snow on Monday and some sunshine (Happy Chinese New Year!) but then more snow after that from Tuesday.

We are certainly enjoying conditions at the moment, that's for sure.


I have heard a few conversations over the last week or so from people who have decided at the last minute to come up to Hokkaido (and specifically Niseko or Furano) after originally booking places down in some popular resort areas on Honshu. It seems that they didn't like hearing about the relative lack of snow down there and at the same time hearing about the regular snowfall up here, and it's hard to argue with that.

I must admit though it does seem a pretty stark contrast this season. As I have said before in these reports - and as the statistics show - such a big contrast isn't 'the norm' and I'm sure that lots of SnowJapan readers are interested in the bigger picture rather than just snapshots. It is interesting to read through the reports from, say, last season and look at some of the statistics here. I find it really interesting anyway.

Whatever, it is certainly going to be interesting to see how the rest of the season shapes up, both up here in Niseko and in other regions.


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

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Niseko HANAZONO Resort
Niseko Village
Niseko Annupuri
All resorts appear to be opening as planned this morning.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -5℃, 10cm snowfall. Moiwa800m: -8℃, mild wind, 10cm snow. Mikaeri 740m: -7.3℃, calm, 15cm crystal snow. Annupuri 1150m: -9℃, W5m/s, 15cm snowfall, excellent groomer conditions. Hirafu 1150m: W10m/s, 15cm snowfall, no notable development of snowdrifts. Sea of Japan Benkei cape:W11m/s at 5am, Kamui cape: SW11m/s, 1016hPa, 1.1m waves.

A small low-pressure system is present in western Sea of Japan, however the pressure gradient is small and the mountain is in a calm condition this morning. Light snowfall overnight without notable development of snowdrifts. The general avalanche risk is low. All gates are scheduled to open from the morning. Get information from the ski patrol and be well prepared before going out of the gates. Always be ready for sudden weather changes, especially in higher elevation. The snow condition is ever changing.
Paying attention to the weather transition is key to evaluate the hazards. Accidents mostly occur during stormy weather. Stay humble, hone your senses and always be prudent. The Niseko community respects the freedom to ride, but is also deeply concerned about all user’s safety. The snow is in good condition. Be careful not to hit trees and not to fall in cracks.


Official resort snow depths as of Thursday 4th February 2016:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 350cm
Base - 160cm

Niseko Village
Top - 290cm
Base - 170cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 300cm
Base - 170cm


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 ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Thursday 4th February 2016, 8:32am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 105cm
Good morning from Appi.

No snow accumulation yesterday but the official snow depth has finally made it past the meter mark and is now 105cm.

It's partly cloudy outside right now but you can expect the clouds to roll in this afternoon and bring a little more snow. Temperatures today at the base averaging -6 and fairly light easterly winds should provide an nice day on the slopes.

The next few days are similar in outlook with the occasional snow shower but the temperatures should fall somewhat into the weekend. Let's just wait and see as usual.

No new open runs to report but the ones that are currently open are in good shape.

Enjoy your Thursday on the mountain.


Currently planned operating lifts:

- Appi Gondola
- Sailer Gondola
- Central Number 1 quad
- Number 2 lift A
- Number 3 lift B
- Number 3 lift C
- Number 4 lift
- Sailer quad
- Vista quad
- Nishimori lift   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Thursday 4th February 2016, 8:40am
Weather conditions: Clear blue skies and sunshine
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 80cm
It is a very cold morning here in Shiga Kogen.

A beauty of a morning too with clear blue skies and sunshine.

The sun will probably warm things up at least a little during the day but then some forecasts are telling us to expect some snow later on. Snow later tomorrow as well and for the day on Saturday - possibly quite heavy at times - so I should have some new cm to report to you over the next few days.

More sun is currently forecast for Sunday.


Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Thursday 4th February 2016):

Sun Valley
Nighta on Saturdays until 19th March (7pm-9pm)






Takamagahara Mammoth


Tannenomori Okojo

Ichinose Family
Nighta daily until 27th March (6:30pm-9pm)


Ichinose Diamond
Nighta on Saturdays until 26th March (6:30pm-9pm)

Ichinose Yamanokami

Nighta on Saturdays until 12th March (6pm-8pm)

Okushiga Kogen

Nighta on Saturdays until 26th March (6:30pm-9pm)
Also on 12th February and 20th March

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 ...

Grandeco Now!

Thursday 4th February 2016, 8:55am
Weather conditions: Cloud, blue sky
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 240cm
Grandeco has had just a slight dusting of snow overnight.

It is a very cold morning as well with temperatures down to -10 degrees up at the top of the resort and not much 'warmer' down here at base either!

There is wind, the snow condition on the courses is nice and light powder snow.

Some people climbed up to Mt. Nishidaiten yesterday - they said it is not so hard to hike up and the run from the peak was excellent powder snow.

Please bring compass or GPS when you hike and be sure to fill in the mountain climbing registration at the ski center information counter.

According to the forecast, snow will start falling from Friday, and it should be a snowy weekend.


Lifts operating:

All lifts operating

Courses open:

All courses open


Snow and weather forecast:

6 day snow and weather forecast for Grandeco
   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Thursday 4th February 2016, 9:09am
Weather conditions: Fine, cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 200cm
Morning from Myoko where the sun is out and it looks like it's going to be a fine - and milder - day. Quite a lot of (thin) cloud around but the morning particularly should be fine.

It might be a cold start but temperatures today may rise to around +4 degrees in the town area which is getting a little too high so we'll look forward to that dropping quickly again.

The forecast is still good for snow tomorrow and more so on Saturday with heavy snow still promised. If what the forecast says will happen actually does happen, expect heavy snow on Saturday afternoon and night before perhaps clearing up Sunday morning - leaving us with an excellent Sunday.


Akakura Kanko:
-6° / 200cm

Akakura Onsen:
-8° / 155cm

Ikenotaira Onsen:
-10° / 150cm

Myoko Suginohara:
-10° (top)/ 120cm

Seki Onsen:
-3° / 270cm

Myoko Ski Park:
-3° / 145cm

Kyukamura RunRun:
-5° / 170cm

Tangram Ski Circus:
-8° / 145cm

Madarao Kogen:
-7° / 135cm    Read more ...

Furano Now!

Thursday 4th February 2016, 9:40am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy
New snowfall: 7cm
Snow depth: 305cm
It is a milder day with -8c recorded in the village earlier this morning, but it has already warmed up substatially and I have just had a look at my outside thermometer which is reading -2c. The snow just seems to keep coming on a daily basis and this morning there is another 7cm to report. There is no snow falling at the moment but we can expect some light snow again from the afternoon.

Temperatures should be back to colder norms from tomorrow, and tomorrow morning looks like some moderate winds will hit the resort, reducing a little on Saturday, and then Sunday could be quite gusty.

There are ski competitions on Kitanomine at the moment and the following courses are closed:

Giant until 6/Feb
Azelia 3-6/Feb
Junior 3-6/Feb
   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Thursday 4th February 2016, 10:45am
Weather conditions: Cloud, some blue sky and a bit of sun
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 160cm
Morning from Zao.

A cold morning again but no snowfall to report. Lots of cloud around but also some blue sky and maybe some sun from time to time today.

There's a chance that snow will fall overnight tonight and light snow over the next few days as well, but it does not look like we can expect anything major in terms of fresh snow. Temperatures should remain below zero though even if a little higher than normal today - back to lower temperatures over the weekend.


Someone has been asking about the ice monsters this season as I have not been mentioning them - apologies for that.

As you might expect with the 'less snow than usual' season we have been having, they are... smaller-thinner than usual. They still look pretty impressive - just not how they should be looking peak season, with lots of them still clearly being trees covered with lots of snow, rather than 'monsters'! I suppose little children won't be as scared of them! ;)


Information as of Thursday 4th February 2016 (subject to change)

All planned lifts are operating this morning.
The Karamatsu lift is rested on weekdays.

Official snow depths:

Utopia: 125cm
Chuo: 160cm
Paradise: 140cm
Uwanodai: 110cm


6 day Zao Onsen snow and weather forecast
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