Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 1st April 2018

Yuzawa Now!

Sunday 4th January 2015, 8:20am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy and overcast early on
New snowfall: 20cm
Snow depth: 215cm
Just a slight dusting of snow since yesterday evening as eventually the snow clouds cleared up - could actually see the shape of the mountains - though it was snowing pretty much for all of the day yesterday, heavily at times even in town.

While Kagura and other resorts say no new snow this morning that doesn't take into account what fell during the day, so I'm giving them the same 20cm (at least) that we had here on the report stats.

This morning is an overcast/cloudy start to the day - brighter towards the south of the Yuzawa area than out in the Minamiuonuma valley. It's not quite as cold this morning and later today and overnight we are told to expect a bit more light snow (starting off as rain at lower levels maybe).

There's hope that tomorrow might see sunshine and some blue skies. We're going through one of those periods when it seems that three different local forecasts will give you differing ideas as to what to expect, so looks like it's difficult to read.


Some sobering news yesterday on hearing that three snowboarders are missing after not reporting back in with friends and family the evening before. They had been up at Kagura and while search teams were out yesterday, conditions were not good for such a search. Apparently they will continue looking this morning so hopefully the missing people will be found. While details aren't known of what happened there, it reminds us how easy it is in blizzard conditions and with lots of fresh deep snow for things to happen whether it's just going the wrong way in poor visibility or something else.


Official snow depths:

GALA Yuzawa:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Joetsu Kokusai:
Kandatsu Kogen:
Maiko Snow Resort:
NASPA Ski Garden:
Yuzawa Kogen:
250cm (Kogen)
200cm (Nunoba)
Yuzawa Nakazato:


Nighta in the area

Nighta 'night skiing' - where some slopes are floodlit for skiing and snowboarding in the evening, is available at the following resorts in the area.

Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Every day until 21st March (until 8:50pm)
Every day until 22nd March (until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays, 9pm on Saturdays)
Joetsu Kokusai:
Every day until 22nd March (until 9pm)
Kandatsu Kogen:
From 23rd January, 'all night' on holidays (6pm or 10pm until 4am the next morning)
Maiko Snow Resort:
Every day until 14th March (until 8pm)
Every day until 29th March (until 9pm)
NASPA Ski Garden (skiers only):
11th January; Saturdays until 29th February (until 7pm)
Yuzawa Nakazato:
11th January; Saturdays from 10th January until 14th March (until 8:30pm)

Chateaux Shiozawa also have nighta but only on certain days - no fixed schedule available. Resorts not mentioned above do not operate 'nighta'. Some resorts offer tickets that include nighta, others need a special lift ticket.


Ski and snowboard resorts in Yuzawa town
Ski and snowboard resorts in Minamiuonuma City   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Sunday 4th January 2015, 8:20am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 240cm
No fresh snowfall to report this morning and we start the day again here quite bright and with a bit of sky on show behind the still-many clouds over the area. Which way will it go today I wonder?

Temperatures up a little this morning and it doesn't feel as cold, but still far from warm!

Clearer sunny skies with warmer temperatures still seems very probably for tomorrow.

Should be great conditions again on the slopes today.


Lifts open:

Number 1 lift
Number 2 quad lift
Number 3A
Number 5
Super quad lift
Number 11 lift
Number 12 lift
Number 13 lift
Number 15 lift
Moving Walkway
Kids Park
Freeride Park
Tree Run Courses should be open today

Night skiing at Madarao is every Saturday until 21st March 2015... and next Sunday, January 11th (the day after is a holiday).


Madarao Kogen 6 day weather and snow forecast
Madarao Kogen main resort data
   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Sunday 4th January 2015, 8:21am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 230cm
Shocking news this morning in that there's no new overnight snowfall to report. I think we'll manage for a few days with what we got!

So a cloudy start to the morning here in Nozawa Onsen and that's about it really. Cold temperatures still, doesn't feel as quite as cold this morning to me, but still keeping the snow in great shape.

Chance of some light snow tonight overnight into tomorrow but we're expecting to get to see the sun and hopefully some blue skies tomorrow. Temperatures might even nudge up into positive numbers as well tomorrow. Not too much please!

Tuesday - chance of rain in the village before turning into snow.


Big 'Nasuki' news!

The Nozawa mascot character 'Nasuki', who looks suspiciously like a big friendly smiley green vegetable with arms and feet), is out on the slopes every Saturday and Sunday - specifically in the Hikage Kids Park area. If you see Nasuki, you're instructed to shout out 'Nasuki' in a loud voice and you might get a big wave back. Big kids also hopefully welcome! Just to be sure that you get the correct big friendly smiley green vegetable with arms and feet, I have added a photo below.

Nozawana is in fact a famous green vegetable from the area, popular in pickles and other dishes. In fact, this is what Wikipedia says about it:

Nozawana (野沢菜) is a Japanese leaf vegetable, often pickled. It is of the same species as the common turnip and one of a Japanese variety of mustard leaf. Its leaves are approximately 60–90cm long. Sometime between 1751 and 1764 it was taken by a master of a Buddhist temple who lived in Nozawa from the Kyoto mountains to the Nozawa-onsen village. It was cultivated around that area, and thus named Nozawana: na means vegetable in Japanese.

So there you go! :)


Fresh snow to report this morning since yesterday:

Yamabiko - 0cm
Uenotaira - 0cm
Hikage - 0cm
Nagasaka - 0cm
Karasawa - 0cm

Official snow depths:

Yamabiko - 345cm
Uenotaira - 295cm
Hikage - 230cm
Nagasaka - 220cm
Karasawa - 200cm


Courses open:

All courses are now open except:

Grand Prix course
Jumping Course
Challenge 39
Kandahara West


Lifts open (subject to weather conditions):

All lifts operating


Night skiing at Nozawa until 8pm on the following dates:

Every Saturday until 28th March
27th December until 4th January


Nozawa Onsen 6 day weather and snow forecast
Nozawa Onsen main resort data   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Sunday 4th January 2015, 8:46am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 15cm
Snow depth: 170cm
15-20cm of beautiful light new snow this morning outside my place and about that being reported by the resorts as well so another very nice new layer of fresh to play in. Oh we are spoilt!

It's still snowing now but expected to stop today perhaps sometime this morning.

Sunshine and blue skies are forecast for tomorrow so charge up those cameras for a chance of scenery pics.

It won't last long though as we should be back to snow on Tuesday.


The 'Early Morning' lift operations will begin at Niseko Grand Hirafu from Saturday 10th January, through to Sunday 1st February. It's basically 20 minutes of extra lift ticket time from 8am. The Ace Quad Lift Number 2 operates and the courses open are Super, Furiko, Green, Alpen and Sennoki. If you want that extra 20 minutes and think it's worth the 500 yen that it costs for a special ticket, then head over to the lift ticket counter at .Base from 7:45am on the days it's open.


Resort specific news at time of writing - subject to change during the day

Niseko Grand Hirafu:
Looks set to be open as planned.

Niseko Hanazono:
Top King Nunber 4 lift delayed slightly due to having to move snow. Not the worst problem to have!

Niseko Village:
Looks set to be open as planned.

Niseko Annupuri:
Looks set to be open as planned. 'Annupuri First Run' is available until today and then also on the 11th and 12th January. For 1000 yen, you can get to ride the Gondola from 7:20-8:20am.


Niseko Avalanche Report

Niseko base: -6C, 15cm of snowfall in 12 hours, no snowdrifts. Moiwa 800m: westerly 8m/s, -9C, 20cm of snowfall and snowdrifts development up to 100cm. Annupuri 1150m: westerly breeze, -10C, 20cm snowfall with snowdrifts development. Hirafu 1000m: -8C, 20cm snowfall with snowdrifts development. Coastal data: Benkei cape NW14m/s, Kamui cape WSW9m/s, 1010hPa, 1.7m waves.

The isobars are spacing out and snowclouds are fading. Peak gates 2 & 3 are scheduled to open today. Heavy snowdrifts have developed in leeward slopes above 800m in the last 24 hours. The newly formed snowdrifts are still very unstable and avalanche risk is high, especially around 1000m areas in the Backbowl, Osawa and Higashi-One. These steep faces should be left untouched today. Better not underestimate the hazards of out of bounds (backcountry) riding, the consequences can be more severe than you think. Ask the ski patrol’s advice before stepping out and always think safety first. Do not cross boundary ropes, always use the access gates. The snow in the trees has been reset and is in splendid condition.

Have you switched your beacon on? Carrying avalanche gear may not be mandatory, but is strongly recommended to do so.
Have a great day.


Official snow depth numbers and any notes at time of writing:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 320cm
Base - 170cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 220cm
Base - 150cm

Niseko Annupuri:
Top - 220cm
Base - 160cm


Lifts open for night skiing (planned):

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 ...

Furano Now!

Sunday 4th January 2015, 9:02am
Weather conditions: Cloud with sun coming through
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 120cm
Nice weather day similar to yesterday expected. Another little top up over night to kick the morning along but we again won't have a great deal of snowfall through today.
With conditions a bit light at the top of the Kitanomine zone the Gondola may be closed.
For those seeking a challenging course like the premium zone, you should head to Challenge c course from the Link Lift
   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Sunday 4th January 2015, 9:12am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 160cm
I don't have any fresh snowfall to report from Hakuba this morning and it's definitely not as windy this morning and feels slightly warmer. Still cold though!

Having said that about the no fresh snow, after a cloudy start earlier it is snowing lightly in some areas now and we are forecast snow for part of the day and overnight. Probably nothing major, but we may at least get tracks filled out.

The sun is due out tomorrow and it will warm things up a bit - for a change the temperature will be rising to over zero and maybe even reaching around +4 degrees.

Last day of the New Year holidays for most people today and those who haven't already headed back home probably will be today, those living in Japan anyway. So I don't expect it to be as busy today, especially this afternoon.

Back to a 'normal' weekday tomorrow. With the clear weather forecast though it should be a very happy monday.


Official snow depth numbers and operations at time of writing on Sunday 4th January 2015. Subject to change during the day:

Hakuba Goryu:
Reporting 0cm of new snowfall.
All courses open except Adventure Course.
Night skiing at Toomi every day until 31st March.
Early morning skiing from 6:30am until 4th January (and then on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays).

- Alps Daira - 280cm
- Toomi - 160cm
- Iimori - 170cm


Hakuba 47:
Reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
All courses open and lifts operating as normal.
Tree Riding Zone open.

- Upper - 270cm
- Lower - 160cm


Reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
Night skiing at Nakiyama every day until mid March.

- Usagidaira - 280cm
- Nakiyama - 150cm
- Sakka - 130cm


Hakuba Cortina:
Reporting 0cm of new snowfall since yesterday.
Most of the resort is open. Mt Hieda Ridge, Mt Hiede 2 and 3, Itadaira Ridge closed.
Night skiing every day until 31st March.

- Upper - 335cm
- Lower - 270cm


Tsugaike Kogen:
Night skiing until 8:50pm in Kane-no-naru-oka on January 10th, 11th, 17th, 24th, 31st; February 7th, 14th.
Night skiing until 9pm in Karamatsu-Shirakaba on January 10th, 11th, 24th, 31st; February 7th, 14th, 28th; March 7th, 14th, 20th, 21st.

- Tsuga-no-mori - 310cm
- Maruyama - 195cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka - 195cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
Most of Iwatake is open - View A and B courses not available.

- Upper - 250cm
- Lower - 160cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Resort is mostly open.

- 260cm


All areas now open.
Night skiing every day until 15th March.

- 210cm   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Sunday 4th January 2015, 9:34am
Weather conditions: Fog, cloud
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: 200cm
A calm morning here - in the village at least - but still can't see any of the mountain with a thick fog and cloud preventing us seeing much of anything at all really.

A few more cm of snow on the ground.

When might we get to see the mountain then? Tomorrow is still looking like a good candidate for clear blue skies and the sun shining down.

The people going back at the end of their New Year holidays today might look on annoyed at that! For those staying though, tomorrow looks like it should be a real treat.


Official snow depths (4th January 15):

Utopia: 170cm
Chuo: 200cm
Paradise: 170cm
Uwanodai: 135cm

Zao Onsen is fully open.


Night skiing operations at Zao this season

Uwanodai area:
Daily until 22nd March

Yokokura area:
From Friday 26th December until 4th January;
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Friday 9th January until 15th March

Open times from 5pm until 9pm.


Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time ropeway operations

January 2015: 1st-4th, 10th-12th, 17th-18th, 24th-31st
February 2015: 1st-28th

Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm.
In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Sunday 4th January 2015, 9:40am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, some sky, changeable conditions
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 145cm
No fresh snowfall this morning, but definitely less wind and it feels like it might be clearing up today. Lots of cloud around but breaks in those clouds and the sun coming out from time to time in places.

Weather conditions are forecast to clear up with tomorrow looking all set to be a sunny day and a rare break from the really very cold conditions we have had lately. It still will be under freezing, but only a bit!

Less people expected on the slopes today with the end of the holidays now and we're back to a normal weekday from tomorrow. Usually things are rather quiet just after the new year.


Resort areas status with official snow depths:

Okushiga Kogen:
Open (note: skiers only resort area)

Open apart from Expert Course

Ichinose Family
Open apart from Perfecter Course

Ichinose Yamanokami:

Ichinose Diamond:

Takamagahara Mammoth:




Most open

Happo Bundaraia:

Sun Valley:



Open (note: skiers only resort area)

Yokoteyama & Shibutoge:
Open except for Jumbo Course.


Planned night floodlit skiing at Shiga Kogen resort areas this season:

Sun Valley:
January 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd to March 21st

January 10th, 11th

Ichinose Family:
Every day until March 29th

Ichinose Diamond:
January 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until March 28th

January 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until February 21st

Every Saturday until March 28th   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Sunday 4th January 2015, 13:48pm
Weather conditions: Cloudy/sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 260cm
A warmer day today with temps peaking at around 6 deg C at the valley making for some good settling in the snow pack. Some slightly heavier snow on sun effected slopes but Northern aspects still remain reasonably light.

The clouds have now rolled in and we are now expecting some more light snow tonight with a predominantly cloudy cool day tomorrow. There is still some rain forecast for Tuesday but it should be limited to the valley.


New snowfall

Valley 0cm
Upper Mountains 0cm


Snow depths

Valley 50cm
Upper Mountains 260cm   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Sunday 4th January 2015, 23:13pm
Weather conditions: Some sun from time to time; snow did fall, but without measurable accumulation
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 290cm
A really late report for Jan 4 (but no real fresh snow during the day, as we end the New Year's week).

A cold start to the day, although it got warmer through the day. Lots of snow forecasted for the coming days, although the freeze line will be moving up the mountain over the next few days; there is a chance of rain around Tuesday (yuk, but it will pass).


Akakura Kanko:
290cm, -3°

Akakura Onsen:
246cm, -3°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
260cm, -3°

Myoko Suginohara:
230cm, -5°

Seki Onsen:
400cm, -0.5° (

Myoko Ski Park:
285cm, -2°

Kyukamura Myoko:
360cm, -1°

210cm, -5°

-240cm, -4°   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