Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 30th May 2020

Niseko Now!

Monday 5th December 2016, 8:28am
Weather conditions: Foggy, cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Hello from a mild and foggy Niseko. Poor visibility here this morning, down to village level.

There is no new snowfall to report.

It is an obvious thing to say of course, but we are very much in need of fresh snowfall. The courses that are open really need it with the mild weather over the last few days (and of course the courses not yet open also really need it!)

It seems that lower courses that had been open on the Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono side of the mountain are now having to close due to the snow conditions (Setsuzoku, Stairway to Heaven, Crystal Garden, Renraku).

The exciting news is that the forecast is looking very good starting from tonight and then basically through into at least next weekend. Lots of snowfall lined up in the coming week, so we all just hope that it happens like that. Might get stormy at times.

I look forward to bringing you heroic stories of required snow shovelling (something those of us who live here need to do before we can strap the skis or boards on!)


It is very early season yet but I have already received a 'complaint' from someone new to my reports, apparently over my 'lack of excitement'.

Well, I'm really not here to hype up my reports and give you some kind of distorted dream-like account of what is happening here. I'm here to provide reports on what the weather is doing, how much snow is falling and generally any related news I can.

And I do get very excited - when things call for genuine excitement. I may also have a little light-hearted moan or two if that's what conditions call for.

Bottom line, I love Niseko (and Japan in general) and I just want to share what is happening here with people visiting in an honest way. There's plenty marketing-speak brochures out there if you want to read one of them.

Anyway, I very much hope to be excited a lot this season. I'll try to keep it under control though! ;)


What is planned to be open today?

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono

Lifts planned to be operating:

- Ace Family Pair
- Ace Number 2 Center Four
- Ace Number 3 pair
- Hirafu Gondola
- King Number 3 triple
- Swinging Monkey
- Hanazono 1 quad
- Hanazono 2 quad
- Hanazono 3 quad

Courses planned to be open:

- Beginners access course
- Shirakaba course
- Center course
- Jumbo course
- Parallel course
- Silver Dream
- Yotei Sunset

Niseko Annupuri

Lifts planned to be operating:

- Jumbo Number 3 pair
- Annupuri Gondola

Courses planned to be operating:

- Utopia

Niseko Village

Lifts planned to be operating:

- Community Chair
- Upper Village Gondola
- Village Express (used as a connection)


Official resort snow depths as of Monday 5th December 2016:

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Top - 95cm
Base - 35cm

Niseko Village
Top - 30cm
Base - 10cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 55cm
Base - 30cm


Planned season dates for the four main Niseko United ski resorts:

Niseko Grand Hirafu: until Sunday 7th May 2017
Niseko Annupuri: until Sunday 7th May 2017
Niseko Hanazono: until Sunday 2nd April 2017
Niseko Village: until Sunday 2nd April 2017

Night skiing is planned from Saturday 10th December until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Annupuri, Grand Hirafu and Village resort areas.   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Monday 5th December 2016, 8:48am
Weather conditions: Blue skies, some cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Hello and good morning from Hakuba.

As expected it was fine weather over the weekend. It was a beautiful and clear day on Saturday and after some blue skies at the start of the day yesterday lots of cloud moved in during the day.

This morning there's a bit of early morning low cloud remaining in places and a bank of white cloud around the mountain peaks, but there's lots of blue sky and sunshine.

Conditions remain mild and today it will probably warm up to about 12C in the village.

We want snow (of course!) and it looks like tomorrow should bring some. Yes, it's going to get colder and it should be snowing down to the village though it may start as rain.

Over the coming week there looks to be a good chance of some decent snow at higher elevations even if it might be raining at base.

Keep an eye on the forecasts, let's see how the coming week shapes up.


Here are the planned season opening dates for the ski and snowboard resorts in the Hakuba region. There are all subject to change depending on what happens weather-wise:

Hakuba Happo-one: as soon as there is enough snow
Hakuba 47: as soon as there is enough snow
Hakuba Goryu: as soon as there is enough snow
Tsugaike Kogen: as soon as there is enough snow
Hakuba Cortina: from 10th December
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: from 16th December
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: from mid December
Hakuba Sanosaka: from mid December

Reports will be posted daily once the lifts get moving.   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Monday 5th December 2016, 8:49am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
There is a lot of cloud above Yuzawa this morning.

Right now nothing is falling from those skies but some forecasts have some rain due today. Let's hope it holds off. Just to the north of central Yuzawa the sun is peeking through the clouds in Minamiuonuma and there's even a bit of blue sky starting to appear.

It is remaining mild - currently 9C in town as we approach 9am - and so there's little hope of snow at the moment.

Things still look better from tomorrow though with colder conditions and snow due at town level and of course more at higher elevations. After that for the rest of the week it's a mix up of rain/snow low/high with a lot of course depending on how cold it can remain.

Up at Kagura it looks like the Panorama course is closed now so we're back to the main course, Technical Course, Giant Course and Gondola Course.

Snow please!

The list of resorts and planned opening dates has been updated below. Links to information on each of the resorts in the area can be found on the right hand side of the page. The official snow depth data is scheduled to begin in a week or two once the season gets going.


What is planned to be open today at Kagura:

Open courses are:

- Kagura main course
- Technical course
- Giant course
- Gondola course

Operating lifts are:

- Mitsumata Ropeway
- Mitsumata Number 1 quad
- Mitsumata Number 2 romance pair
- Kagura Gondola
- Kagura Number 1 quad lift


Ski resorts currently open:
Kagura - open courses as noted above, access via Mitsumata Ropeway

Planned opening dates for resorts in Yuzawa Town and Minamiuonuma City (by date):

As soon as there is enough snow:
Joetsu Kokusai

Saturday 10th December:
Kagura (Tashiro)
Maiko Snow Resort

Friday 16th December:
Muica Snow Resort
Yuzawa Park

Saturday 17th December:
GALA Yuzawa
Kandatsu Kogen
Ludens Yuzawa
Muikamachi Hakkaisan
Nakazato Snow Wood
Yuzawa Kogen
Yuzawa Nakazato

Wednesday 21st December:
Ishiuchi Maruyama

Thursday 22nd December:
NASPA Ski Garden

Friday 23rd December:
Chateaux Shiozawa

Saturday 24th December:
Hakkai Sanroku
Mt Granview

Wednesday 28thy December:
Ishiuchi Hanaoka


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

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Monday 5th December 2016, 8:53am
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Cracking weather at the moment in Nozawa - just not the kind of cracking weather that we want!

The sun is out and there are clear blue skies all around and it is indeed a beautiful morning.

And we had fine weather over the weekend as well... Saturday was similar to this with more cloud yesterday.

So the mild conditions are continuing and while there's still snow on those upper slopes of the resort, it's looking rather thin on the ground.

Not to fear, snowfall looks like it's on the way, starting from tomorrow. It might start a bit wet tomorrow, but hopefully it will be snowing down to village level during the day tomorrow with things getting much colder. Further snow beyond tomorrow on higher elevations at least makes the forecast look fairly promising. We'll just have to see how it actually happens.

I'll report any snowfall!


Nozawa Onsen will open as soon as there is enough snow.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Monday 5th December 2016, 8:56am
Weather conditions: Fine weather, some cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Mild conditions in the region at the moment.

After a run of those kind of conditions we're all anxious to see when the snow is going to come. Tomorrow should see snow clouds back over the region along with a decent drop in temperatures as well and some clear skies on Wednesday aside, the forecast is positive (for snow) on and off through into the weekend.

Four resort areas of Shiga Kogen remain part open this morning, details below. Hopefully I'll be adding to that soon.


Areas of Shiga Kogen currently open:

Ichinose Family
The Number 2 pair A lift is operating with the lower main course area open.

The Number 2 pair lift is operating with a 600m long run open.

Takamagahara Mammoth
The Number 2 triple lift is operating with the lower part of the slopes open.

The Number 4 pair lift is operating with the 960m South Course open.
   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Monday 5th December 2016, 9:07am
Weather conditions: Fine and sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
On Friday last week staff at the resort gathered and there was a safety-first kind of meeting-ceremony for the season as well as training going on. One of the signs that the start of the season is close-by.

Lots of fine weather at the moment though with some lovely blue skies on Friday and Saturday along with mild temperatures. The mountain is once again looking more green and brown than white as well.

Next blast of winter? Probably tomorrow and there's sign of further snow over the coming days into the weekend as well.

Less than 2 weeks now before Madarao Kogen hopes to open. We're into the serious period of needing to get that base sorted!


The official opening date for Madarao Kogen this season is Saturday 17th December.
   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Monday 5th December 2016, 9:16am
Weather conditions: Foggy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
The skiable terrain is quite extensive now for this time of year with the opening of Panorama Course at the top of the resort, and then the whole of Sailer Course back to the base of the ropeway. It was noticable at the weekend that the number of skiers suddenly increased with the opening of those courses. While there is plenty of snow around the most dominating factor of the last couple of days was the warm temperatures which brought spring snow conditions right to the top of the mountain. It felt more like skiing in late March than early December. The warm temperatures have really knocked back the snow around the village areas and roads are still a stream of water. The melt has been so significant that the tar seal of the roads is visible. Unfortunately the lower slopes of Kitanomine are patches of white and brown, so significantly more snow will be required before that side of the resort can open.

Today it is raining moderately with +3c at base and +1c at the top of the resort. The rain is forcast to continue today but we should see snow start falling tomorrow for a few days in a row. Cloud is rolling down the mountain so it is very foggy right now and with the warmth and rain it feels humid.

   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