Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 30th May 2020

Geto Kogen Now!

Sunday 5th April 2020, 7:29am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Geto Kogen.

A fine day yesterday but we did get some rain in the evening.

And this morning... it is cloudy but we might get some more rain later - and snow tomorrow.

Conditions seem to be changing by the day, up and down! Some fresh snow would be great, obviously. Fingers crossed.


Official snow depths:

* Top: 285cm
* Base: 120cm

Planned operating lift information - subject to change:

* Number 1 Gondola
* Number 1 pair lift

Courses & Tree Runs:

* All of the main official course apart from A3 are available
* Check with the resort for tree run course status which varies

About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

Please read this message   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Sunday 5th April 2020, 7:42am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning.

5cm of snow being reported by the resort this morning on the top Yamabiko area -- and as you can see from the images below, there has been a slight dusting down close to the lower Hikage area, less so at Nagasaka.

Early morning visibility is limited up top but we are expecting some clearer skies later on with some sunshine due too.

And then, perhaps a bit more snow once again overnight tonight into early morning tomorrow.


Sunday 5th April 2020

Fresh snowfall recorded by resort since yesterday:

- Yamabiko (1615m): 5cm
- Uenotaira (1406m): 0cm
- Lower areas are not reporting any more

Official snow depth numbers (reported by resort):

- Yamabiko (1615m): 180cm
- Uenotaira (1406m): 90cm
- Lower areas are not reporting any more

The following lifts are operating:

- Nagasaka gondola [8:10am until 3:00pm; last one down 3:40pm]
- Yamabiko quad [8:30am until 3:20pm]
- Yamabiko Number 2 quad [8:25am until 3:30pm]
- Uenotaira quad [8:30am until 3:30pm]
- Paradise quad [8:30am until 3:20pm]

The following courses remain open:

- Yamabiko A
- Yamabiko B
- Yamabiko C
- Yamabiko D
- Yamabiko E
- Kogenashi A
- Kogenashi B
- Uenotaira
- Paradise
- Bunabayashi (to mid point)

- Ride the Gondola back down to base


About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

Please read this message
   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Sunday 5th April 2020, 7:47am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa.

Kagura are reporting 2cm of fresh snowfall this morning and a temperature of -5C up top. Photos from Kagura below. Always nice to see fresh snow.

Down here in town it is raining but the forecast is telling us that it should clear up and we might enjoy clearer skies from sometime later this morning.

Today is the last day of the season for Naeba. So from tomorrow, just GALA Yuzawa and Kagura remain open in the region.


Apologies: for some reason I had the closing date for the Tashiro Area of Kagura noted below as 4th May... the actual planned closing date is 6th May.

That has been fixed up.


Individual ski resort information: Sunday 5th April 2020
The below ski areas remain open. All information is checked and updated manually for each report. Subject to change.

GALA Yuzawa

- The Gondola, Barouche, Phaeton, Coach, Victoria and Tilbury lifts are operating
- All courses in the Central Area are open
- The Broadway, Super Broadway, Swan and Roman Holiday A courses and Snow Park are open in the Northern Area
- The Southern Area and downhill course are closed
- Official snow depth: 90cm
- Planned closing date: 6th May


- 20 lifts operating; 16 courses open
- Official snow depth: 170cm
- Planned closing dates: 6th May (Tashiro); 24th May (Mitsumata)


- 2 lifts operating; 4 courses open
- Prince Number 2 Gondola and Takenokodaira pair lift operating
- Official snow depth: 70cm
- Planned closing date: TODAY
- Details on Naeba Now report here


- All other ski resorts in the area are now closed for the season


Photos (below) from around 7:45am on Sunday 5th April 2020:

- Kagura
- Kagura
- Route 17/Yuzawa IC exit


About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

Please read this message   Read more ...

Aizu Bandai Now!

Sunday 5th April 2020, 8:24am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning.

Yesterday was mild and borderline warm.

But this morning it feels more like winter again --- and I even have a few cm of snow to report.

Today is the last day of the season for Minowa.

From tomorrow Grandeco will be closed but will re-open on 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th April when they plan to have their Gondola and Number 3 quad lift operating.

That means that tomorrow only Nekoma plans to be open.


Grandeco Snow Resort:
- 4 (of 5) lifts operating
- 10 (of 13) courses open
- Official snow depth: 150cm
- After today, only open on 11th, 12th, 18th and 19th April
- Closed on other days

Hoshino Resort Urabandai Nekoma:
- 5 (of 6) lifts operating
- 13 (of 15) courses open
- The walk course connecting Nekoma with the top of Alts Bandai is open today
- Official snow depth: 120cm (top)
- Plans to be open until 6th May

- C lift operating
- Official snow depth: 70cm
- Today is the last day of the season for Minowa


Photos today:

- Grandeco
- Minowa
- Nekoma


About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

Please read this message   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Sunday 5th April 2020, 8:29am
Weather conditions: Lots of cloud, some blue sky over to the east
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Niseko.

It was a warm day yesterday and quite windy too.

There is a lot of cloud around this morning, with some blue sky on show looking out towards Mt Yotei.

I wonder if we might get a sprinkling (or more) of snow into tomorrow morning, as some forecasts show.


Niseko Grand Hirafu are particularly good at updating their 'available course' information each day. So I have added a note to the Hirafu info below noting which courses are closed/open. I will check that information and update as necessary each morning.

Niseko Annupuri have a few of the lower course closed - Marchen, Challenge and Fukayuki Rinkan - but you can still ski back down to base over there.

As for Niseko Village - I really cannot find much specific information, which I do find rather curious). And I have not been over there for a while myself. But anyway, it seems like their top Wonderland quad is operating and that you need to get the Gondola back down from up there.


Planned ski resort operation information: Sunday 5th April 2020
Subject to change and weather conditions

Niseko Grand Hirafu

- The King-Ace connecting course, Onsenzawa and Miharashi courses are now closed
- Other courses remain open

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 280cm
- Base: 40cm

The following lifts are scheduled to be operating:
- Ace Family quad
- Ace Number 2 quad (Center four)
- Hirafu Gondola
- Holiday Number 1 pair
- King Number 3 quad
- King Number 4


Niseko Annupuri

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 160cm
- Base: 50cm

The following lifts are scheduled to be operating:
- Annupuri Gondola
- Dream Number 1 quad
- Jumbo Number 1 quad
- Jumbo Number 4 pair


Niseko Village

Official snow depth (reported by resort):
- Peak: 170cm
- Base: 50cm

The following lifts are scheduled to be operating:
- Niseko Gondola
- Wonderland Chair


- The Niseko HANAZONO area is now closed for the season.
- Night time floodlit operations have closed for the season.


About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

Please read this message   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Sunday 5th April 2020, 8:44am
Weather conditions: Cloudy but quite bright feels like it is going to clear
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

I bring you news of fresh snow this morning.

This morning both Hakuba Goryu and Hakuba Happo-one are reporting 5cm of snow on their upper areas.

Hakuba 47 are also actually mentioning 3-5cm of fresh snow on their upper area, but for whatever reason that number has not appeared on the official data - and so that is why it is not in my table below:

The information in this table is data reported by the ski resortsNew snowfall (lower)New snowfall (upper)TOTAL ACCUMULATION (UPPER)
Hakuba 470cm0cm551cm
Hakuba Cortina [CLOSED]--573cm [at closing]
Hakuba Goryu0cm3cm610cm
Hakuba Happo-one0cm5cm822cm

IMPORTANT: See below for an explanation of the above data

Lower trees on some mountain sides have a bit of a frosted snow dusted look this morning but there's no cm of snow to report from base.

We can perhaps expect some sunshine today - and then maybe a bit more snow overnight.


Today is the last day of the season for the lower Toomi area of Hakuba Goryu and also for the Kashimayari ski area.


Individual ski resort information
The below information is checked from official sources and manually adjusted each morning.

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- Grat quad
- Alpen quad
- Usagidaira pair
- Happo Riesen quad
- Nakiyama 3
- ADAM Gondola
- Panorama pair
- Kokusai 3 pair
- Kurobishi 2 quad
- Skyline Number 2 pair

Courses open:
- Generally the upper areas of the resort remain open

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 155cm
- Usagidaira: 125cm
- Nakiyama: 40cm

Hakuba 47

All lifts apart from the lifts noted below are normally operating:
- Pair Line D (usually only operates when Gondola not operating)

Courses open:
- All main courses now open
- Restrictions on the winding lower course: beginners should take the gondola down
- Tree Riding Zones will be open until 5th April

Official snow depth:
- Top: 170cm
- Base: 40cm

Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- Gondola, top Alps Number 1 and 3 pair lifts and Toomi quad lift operating
- The Toomi area will be open until tomorrow (Sunday)
- Other lifts are now closed

Courses open:
- All of the upper area (apart from Champion Expert) and the main Toomi run are open
- The lower Iimori area is now closed

Official snow depth:
- Alps: 180cm
- Toomi: 45cm
- Iimori: -cm

Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- Gondola
- Han-no-ki pair
- Tsuga Number 2 pair
- Tsugaike Ropeway
- Other lifts closed

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori (upper): 195cm
- Han-no-ki: 170cm
- The top Tsuga-no-mori and Han-kou areas remain open

Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Official snow depth & info:
- Top: 80cm
- Today is the last day of the season for Kashimayari


About the coronavirus situation and our daily reports:

Please read this message


Photos today (below):

- Hakuba Happo-one [Usagidaira]
- Hakuba Happo-one [Usagidaira]
- Hakuba 47
- Tsugaike Kogen [upper Tsuganomori area]
- Tsugaike Kogen [lower Kane-no-naru-oka area]
- Hakuba Iwatake
- Looking towards Hakuba Iwatake and Hakuba Happo-one


About the data in the above ‘snowfall as reported by ski resorts’ table
* The table within the above report contains data that is published by individual ski resorts
* The data shown is the amount of snowfall that the ski resorts are themselves reporting each 24 hour period on the upper areas of their mountain
* The source ‘new snowfall’ data and ‘total accumulation’ data is not updated at the same time
* The ‘new snowfall’ data is updated in the morning
* The ‘accumulation’ data is apparently updated/refreshed at midnight
* That means that there is a time lag between the two numbers being updated
* We manually check and update the data just before we publish each Hakuba Now report - so the data in each Hakuba Now report table is what is available at that time
* Any odd-looking numbers are due to the source data. We are not responsible for and have no control over the data. We are simply sharing the data with you
* Just to be extra clear, unlike our own ‘observed snowfall’ data from base that we show at the top of each report, the data in the table is not an independent observation by SnowJapan
* A more in-depth introduction and explanation can be found in this report   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Sunday 5th April 2020, 9:01am
Weather conditions: Cloud, but expected to clear up
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
General message from SnowJapan (added 20th April 2020):

--- Read message here


Original report:

Good morning from Naeba.

So here we are. It is Sunday 5th April 2020 and the last day of the 2019-2020 season at Naeba.

We are ending the season with the Prince Number 2 Gondola and upper Takenokodaira pair lift operating this morning. You can still slide back down to base on a narrow course back, or choose to get the gondola back down.


What a season is has been. No-one could claim that it has been a classic, but it certainly has been memorable/eventful/challenging. Naeba has done well dealing with less snow than usual and then with the troubling coronavirus situation. There was also the World Cup event in the middle of it all - the first day happened but they had to cancel the second day due to weather conditions.

So a big thank you to all of the staff and everyone involved in keeping things going through it all. They all deserve a period of rest and recharge.

We might not have enjoyed the amount of snow that we usually expect, but that doesn't mean there hasn't been some great days. There has. And I personally am going to try and remember those.

If you came to Naeba I hope that you were able to come when conditions were good and enjoyed your time here.

Let us hope that for the 2020-2021 season we can get back to something more like 'normal'.

Thank you for reading. Take care. And bai-bai.


PS: The Dragondola plans to be operating for the spring sightseeing season from 25th April until 31st May.


SnowJapan will add a further general message to this report sometime in the coming weeks.   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Sunday 5th April 2020, 9:17am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: --
Snow is falling in Myoko. A fittingly odd end to a really perplexing season.

I'm calling this the last day of the 2019-2020, super-low-snow then hit us with a pandemic season. Lotte Arai says it's staying open until May 6, Seki Onsen in unclear about current conditions and plans from now on (but nothing new there), but everyone else is closing today.

The worst snow in anyone's memory. This is how this year will be remembered. We all hope it's a fluke, but lots of locals also privately worry if this is the trend of things to come. Not to be negative, dear readers, but we do think about it. Probably should, too! We might have a crazy heavy year next season; they say that can be one of the results of climate change, too. We hope for more, of course!

Myoko is a place defined by the snow. It's still a great place in the non-snow times, but.... just seems sad without the huge snow walls and the daily struggle to clear out the massive falls just so we can get out of the driveway.

It wasn't terrible on the resorts. There was good snow on many days. There were a lot of "interesting" terrain features that normally would be buried under deeper snow, but can't complain about that.

The backcountry was pretty bad, with the brush, trees and vines never really covered over enough to allow for good turns. In fact, it was better mid-mountain (where there are more buna, or beech trees, than up high where it's more open. It was nice that we had almost no avalanche risk through the whole season. There simply wasn't enough snow most of the time, and very small cornices above so less risk of them coming down in spring. As long as we don't get complacent. Saying that, too, there are still WAY too many people heading offpiste with no gear whatsoever. It doesn't matter if the avalanche is 10 meters off the runs or a kilometer away: if you don't have the gear or don't know how to use it, you or your friends are in serious trouble. And it has happened.

Myoko really became an "international" resort this year, and I choose that word carefully. I know there are changes that lots of longtime visitors aren't happy about, and I think we'll see a few years of things being in flux as people see yen signs in their eyes, but not the difficulty of running a business here (either because of the heavy snow, or the lack of it this year - who knows how that will affect next year?).

But the mountain is still beautiful, and the local folks still surprise with their kindness and humor, even after close to 30 years here...

And, of course, now we're all hunkered down, masked up, staying two meters apart, not drinking nearly enough saké (and the corona virus hates alcohol, right? We have a duty to disinfect here).

So let's hope for a whole new season next year!

And hope you'll be back here, too, reading these daily rantings and reportings on the Myoko snow. See you somewhere around November 2020 (and I'll add any notes on the remaining resorts, if info does get out).


Akakura Kanko:
110cm, -2°
Sky Cable gondola and Hotel No. 3 lift. Last day today.

Akakura Onsen:
100cm, -1°
Ginrei area closed; Yodel 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 lifts; Kumado No. 4. Last day today.

Ikenotaira Onsen:

Myoko Suginohara:

Seki Onsen:
180cm, -2°
Finally a change in the snowpack (although I doubt that number); no closing info....

Myoko Ski Park:
Apparently open, but no info. If it is, today's the last day.

Kyukamura RunRun:
Apparently closed

Tangram Ski Circus:

Madarao Kogen:

Lotte Arai Resort
257cm, 3.3°
Sanroku No. 1 and 2 closed
Says will remain open until May 6

Kurohime Kogen Snow Park
Closed    Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Shiga Kogen Now
30th May, 10:10
Geto Kogen Now
06th May, 15:13pm
Appi Kogen Now
23rd Apr, 17:30
Furano Now
22nd Apr, 10:12am
Madarao Now
20th Apr, 9:52am
Zao Now
20th Apr, 9:52am
Nozawa Onsen Now
20th Apr, 9:51am
Niseko Now
20th Apr, 9:50am
Naeba Now
20th Apr, 9:49am
Myoko Now
20th Apr, 9:48am
Minakami Now
20th Apr, 9:47am
Hakuba Now
20th Apr, 9:40am
Aizu Bandai Now
20th Apr, 9:38am
Yuzawa Now
20th Apr, 9:37am
Grandeco Now
06th Dec, 14:16am