Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 10th May 2021

Yuzawa Now!

Monday 4th May 2015, 8:05am
Weather conditions: Quite a lot of cloud, but of blue sky left
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
After another day of sun yesterday, there's definitely more cloud around this morning. The sun was out earlier but it's behind some cloud now and it looks like there's more of it developing. It's still going to get very warm though with a high temperature of around 25 degrees expected later this afternoon.

Rain is still expected as well, but it will hopefully be tonight before that happens and it may well have cleared by the time the lifts start again tomorrow morning.

Tuesday and Wednesday should be sunny once again.

Three more days to go for GALA Yuzawa, Naeba and the Tashiro area of Kagura (including today).


Official snow depths:
** General opening plans - any unplanned closures will be mentioned in the above report **

GALA Yuzawa:
Official snow depth of 110cm.
Most of the Central Area and part of the North Area remain open. The South Area is now closed.
The downhill course is also now closed - get down back to base using the Gondola.

Official snow depth of 270cm.
All three main areas of Kagura remain pretty much fully open.

Official snow depth of 100cm.
Part of the upper area of Naeba will open from until 6th May.
All lower areas now closed.


Planned closing dates for resorts in the Yuzawa region
Information as currently available and of course subject to change depending on conditions. Resorts not mentioned below are now closed.

Open until Wednesday May 6th:

- Naeba
- GALA Yuzawa
- Kagura (Tashiro)

Open until Sunday May 31st:

- Kagura (Mitsumata)
   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Monday 4th May 2015, 8:30am
Weather conditions: Sunny, some cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 235cm
There are more blue skies over us this morning. A bit of cloud around but mostly clear and sunny and warm with those lovely blue skies.

We are actually expecting more cloud as the morning goes on and then some rain to be falling this afternoon. Spoilsport! Shouldn't last too long though and by tomorrow we should be back to sun for the last two days of the ski season.

Just 3 more days left including today.


The opposite of yesterday, todays question asks what I don't like most about Niseko.

That would probably be wind. There's too many days when the lifts are affected by wind conditions and it's all a bit wild - seemingly more so than most other resorts. If you are only here for a short time and you are unlucky to get a run of days when things aren't open... well, I can imagine that is going to be annoying!

I'm also really not keen on the way some folk come here - either to run a business in winter or as a visitor - and go about things as though they are entitled to do whatever they like and try to force change. There are definitely changes that could be made to improve things for sure. But a visitor trying to force things, and sometimes just going ahead and doing it if they are told that they can't (and causing problems) just is not the way to go about helping get that change in the long term. There seems to be more and more of that kind of thing. Obviously that's a 'people thing' rather than about Niseko itself. Probably one of those things that comes with popularity...

Growing pains! Still, there's much to love.


Planned resort operations for the rest of the season - weather conditions may mean changes on any given day, but these are the plans!

Niseko Grand Hirafu:
- Ace Quad Number 2 Center four - until May 6
- King Triple Lift Number 3 - until May 6
- King Number 4 - until May 6
- Hirafu Gondola - from May 2 until May 6
- Spring Park plans to be open until May 6

Lower areas closed - get back down using the Ace Number 2 Center four lift or the Hirafu Gondola.

Niseko Annupuri:
- Annupuri Gondola - until May 6
- Jumbo Number 1 quad - until May 6
- Jumbo Number 4 pair - until May 6

Niseko Village:
- Niseko Gondola - until May 6

Lower areas closed - get back down using the Gondola.
Connection with Niseko Grand Hirafu open.

Niseko Hanazono:
Niseko Hanazono is now closed for the season.


Official resort snow depths:

Grand Hirafu:
Top - 235cm
Base - 0cm

Niseko Annupuri:
Top - 225cm
Base - 20cm


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

Hakuba Now!

Monday 4th May 2015, 8:55am
Weather conditions: Generally cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
Things were pretty busy over the weekend as expected... let's see how the next three days go. Today through Wednesday are holidays in Japan as well and so I would expect quite a lot of people out there getting in their last turns of the season. Hakuba 47 had a bit of a problem with their Line C lift which caused a bit of disruption, but that seems to have all been sorted.

There'a a lot of cloud around this morning. What happened to those blue skies?! It actually makes a change from all the sun of late, but unfortunately the clouds are expected to bring with them rain sometime today.

Snow melt has been continuing apace as some open areas get narrower and bushes and stones and the like appear from under the snow - take care out there. Perhaps not the best time to be checking out new gear as there's a good chance of getting some scuffs.

Sunny clearer skies are forecast for tomorrow and Wednesday.

Wednesday is the last day of Golden Week and the last day of the season for Hakuba 47 and Tsugaike Kogen. Happo-one and Hakuba Goryu are still planning to part open through Sunday.

In the interest of having a fresh report for every single day of the season, I will continue to post daily Hakuba Now updates until that last day on Sunday.


From today until Wednesday, the 36th Salt Road Festival is happening in Otari-Hakuba-Omachi, starting today in Otari. Here's the official info on the 'Shio-no-michi' Salt Road:

The Salt Road was an ancient highway (Chikuni-kaido) that connected the castle city of Matsumoto with Itoigawa on the Japan Sea coast. Many kinds of goods were transported along this treacherous mountain route. In landlocked Nagano (then known as Shinshu), salt was the most-prized among these commodities. For this reason the route was named the ‘Salt Road’. On the stretch between Hakuba and Otari reminders of the past can still be seen standing roadside, including a number of stone Buddhist statues.

It's a good chance to catch up with the traditional side of things. If you are in the area, your accommodation or the tourist offices will certainly have more information on how to take a look...


Official snow depth numbers and planned operations. Subject to change:

Hakuba Goryu:
Top of Hakuba Goryu plans to be at least part open until Sunday 10th May.
All lower areas arew now closed. Top Panorama, Grand Prix and Super courses remain open. Ride the Gondola back down.
The following lifts remain open:
- Hakuba Goryu Telecabin Gondola (until 10th May)
- Alps Number 1 pair lift (until 10th May)
- Alps Number 3 pair lift
- Alps Number 2/4 pair lift

** Official snow depth:
Alps Daira - 125cm


Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 plans to be at least part open until Wednesday 6th May.
Almost all areas remain open, though lower northern facing areas especially are very thin on snow.
The following lifts remain open:
- Gondola
- Pair lift Line AB
- Quad lift Line C
- High speed pair Line E

** Official snow depth:
Upper - 85cm
Lower - 10cm


Happo-one plans to be at least part open until Sunday 10th May.
The top area of the resort remains open - all lower areas now closed, so you need to take the Gondola back down.
The following lifts remain open:
- Adam Gondola
- Alpen quad
- Usagidaira pair
- Kurobishi Number 2 quad
- Kurobishi Number 3 pair
- Skyline Number 2 pair
- Grat quad
- Panorama pair
- Hakuba Kokusai Number 3 pair

The Kokusai Number 1 pair and Saka Kita One quad lifts are also scheduled to be operating from today until Wednesday 6th May. They are effectively acting as 'get you there' lifts to relieve some of the pressure from the Gondola.

** Official snow depth:
Usagidaira - 90cm


Tsugaike Kogen:
Tsugaike Kogen plans to be at least part open until Wednesday 6th May.
Top area open. Lower areas all closed.
The following lifts remain open:
- Eve Gondola
- Han-no-ki high speed pair
- Tsuga Number 2 pair
- Tsugaike Ropeway

** Official snow depth:
Tsuga-no-mori - 175cm


Other resorts in the area are now closed for the season.
   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Monday 4th May 2015, 9:02am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 40cm
Where's the sun gone?! Actually for a change it's behind a cloud this morning.

There's quite a lot of cloud gathering now, though rain is still forecast to be only falling later on today, possibly tonight. Still it should be another warm day here. Interestingly, sun is forecast for tomorrow but much cooler conditions.

Including today, there's just three more days left of the 2014-2015 season at Nozawa. Must say, this spring season seems to have been going on for a long time!

As you can see on the photo below, snow from the lower Hikage area is almost all melted away now, though the resort is still reporting 135cm of snow up on the top Yamabiko area.


Official snow depths:

Yamabiko - 135cm
Uenotaira - 40cm


Lifts operations

Operating daily until Wednesday 6th May:

* The times in brackets are the special early opening times until Wednesday 6th May:

- Nagasaka Gondola (*8:10am)
- Yamabiko Number 2 Four lift (*8:30am)
- Yamabiko Four lift (*8:25am)
- Uenotaira Four lift (*8:30am)
- Paradise Four lift (*8:30am)
- Skyline connecting pair lift


Courses that remain open

Yamabiko A
Yamabiko B
Yamabiko C
Yamabiko D
Yamabiko E


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

Minakami Now!

Monday 4th May 2015, 14:23pm
Weather conditions: Cloudy, fine
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
So here is my last report of the season.

The resort has announced that Wednesday 6th May will be the last day of the ski/board season at Tenjin. Snow has been melting fast over the last week or so with the warm weather. Why Wednesday? Well, it's the last day of the 'Golden Week' period in Japan and so a good time to finish up.

Tenjin is of course open through the year for sightseeing. And wonderful sights there are to be had as well from up there. Autumn in particular is pretty spectacular, though anytime during the hot Japanese summer is good.

For a recap on the season do take a look at the archives. They can all be found at the bottom of this page.

So that's it then. Thank you for reading these Minakami Now reports.

We hope to see you back here in late autumn when the 2015-2016 snow season is approaching.

Until then, have a great spring-summer-autumn and see you later in the year.
   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Shiga Kogen Now
10th May, 8:40
Yuzawa Now
10th May, 8:28
Furano Now
09th May, 16:56pm
Hakuba Now
09th May, 10:50am
Nozawa Onsen Now
09th May, 8:12am
Kiroro Now
06th May, 13:52pm
Niseko Now
05th May, 16:07pm
Myoko Now
05th May, 13:16pm
Madarao Now
05th May, 9:26am
Geto Kogen Now
05th May, 7:45
Zao Now
05th May, 7:41
Appi Kogen Now
05th May, 7:40
Aizu Bandai Now
19th Feb, 12:28
Minakami Now
13th Jan, 10:10am
Naeba Now
27th Nov, 11:21am