Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 19th November 2018

Geto Kogen Now!

Monday 5th March 2018, 7:03am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
It was... hot, yesterday. As a snow reporter, not my favourite adjective to describe a day. We saw tops of 11 degrees at the base with not much of a difference at the top. Mostly sunny throughout the day, and then unfortunately some showers overnight.

This morning, we’re headed for tops of 3C with a bit of rain and a bit of snow, depending on what part of the mountain you’re on. In the morning we should see some moderate rain regardless, but throughout the day light snow should start to fall, with about 20cm expected at the top.

Keep an eye out on the snow at the moment — with these hot/cold/rain/snow conditions we’ve been experiencing lately, its making it prime season for slides. Keep this in mind if you’re planning on finding that sick line that no one else has — it may be untouched for a reason.

Other than that, it’s good news that we’re going to see some snow. The bad news is that Spring is without a doubt around us now, with over 100ml of rain expected Thursday/Friday night. No snow in the near forecast that we can see, yet. More on the upcoming week below...

Tuesday: snow showers, moderate winds & tops of -6C
Wednesday: mostly sunny, calm skies & tops of -2C
Thursday: cloudy with heavy rain in the evening, light winds & tops of 6C
Friday: heavy rain, calm skies & tops of 7C


Official snow depths:

Top: 470cm
Base: 310cm

Night skiing operations have finished for the season.   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Monday 5th March 2018, 7:37am
Weather conditions: Cloud covered skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa.

As we expected, it was warm yesterday.

Really warm.

The local news reported it rose to just over 15C in Yuzawa and the national news was declaring that generally temperatures in Japan were more like late April through late May than early March.

It is going to be similarly warm today - though without the sun - but thankfully it should be starting to get colder from this afternoon. We might get rained on sometime this afternoon but snow is due tonight and overnight. So we can hope for some fresh snow on the ground by tomorrow morning and a generally much colder day tomorrow.

Until we get that fresh snow to reset, expect spring-like snow conditions; and better conditions higher up.


My snow measuring stick was moved during the day by someone/something (!) but it looks like 20+cm less than yesterday morning.


Images today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Ishiuchi Maruyama (looking north).


Updated: Monday 5th March February 2018

Ski resorts in Yuzawa:

Checked and updated every morning. Note that some ski resorts may not have updated their own info at the time this report is published.

GALA Yuzawa
- 310cm

- 170cm

- Kagura area: 350cm
- Mitsumata area: 250cm
- Tashiro area: 300cm

Kandatsu Kogen
- 230cm

- 250cm (base)

NASPA Ski Garden
- 210cm

Yuzawa Kogen
- Top: 270cm
- Base: 200cm

Yuzawa Park
- 175cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
- 160cm


Ski resorts in Minamiuonuma (just to the north of Yuzawa):

Ishiuchi Maruyama
- 220cm

Joetsu Kokusai
- 220cm

Maiko Snow Resort
- Top: 220cm
- Base: 120cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- Closed on Wednesdays until 14th March
- 320cm   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Monday 5th March 2018, 7:40am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Yesterday was a heat wave that turned the nice white snowpack around the village into slush and rivers of run off. In the evening temperatures dropped below freezing and everything became extremely icy. This morning it is -3c at the moment and it will get progressively colder during the day. There is no new snow to report. The slopes will be hard and icy on the lower part of the mountain at least. The wind is moderate and it is overcast with good visibility. Tuesday and Wednesday will stay cold, and then it will get warm on Thursday and heavy rain is expected.   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Monday 5th March 2018, 7:50am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --

Hmmm, I'd kind of like to keep it short today.

Warm and sunny spring like weather (and conditions) yesterday; and this morning it's warm... and wet. Unfortunately it's raining as I write this.

There is good news as well though. While it will be mild/warm today, it's set to get colder later on in the day and I am hoping and confidently positive that I might be reporting fresh snowfall in my next report tomorrow.

Come on!!


The Kandahar courses are open to the general public today.


Monday 5th March 2018

Fresh snowfall since yesterday (as reported by the resort):

- Yamabiko (1407m): 0cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 0cm
- Hikage (660m): 0cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 0cm
- Karasawa (563m): 0cm

Official snow depth numbers:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 300cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 230cm
- Hikage (660m): 165cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 160cm
- Karasawa (563m): 120cm

Lifts operations:

- All lifts should be open as planned this morning
- The Yunomine pair, Mizunashi triple, Challenge pair and Utopia pair lifts usually rested on weekdays.

The following courses either closed (or not fully available):

- Grand Prix
- Kamoshika   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Monday 5th March 2018, 7:51am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Zao.

After the warm and fine weather over the weekend, we're on to warm and cloudy this morning.

Bracing for the chance of rain but lower temperatures later on should also bring us the chance of fresh snow which would be most welcome... there's not a whole lot on the forecast beyond that into the end of the week.

Lots of quick changes in the weather just at the moment as it feels like spring starts to take some control.


Lifts and course info:

- All lifts open as planned
- All areas open as planned
- Note: the Karamatsu pair lift has now closed for the season

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 215cm
- Paradise area: 240cm
- Chuo area: 230cm
- Utopia area: 240cm
- Uwanodai area: 160cm
- Oomori area: 170cm


Zao Onsen forecast:

Zao Onsen 6-day snow and weather forecast

Floodlit night skiing is planned as follows:

In the Uwanodai area:
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only until Sunday 18th March 2018

In the Yokokura area:
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only until Sunday 11th March 2018

Night time 'light up' sightseeing ropeway is planned for the following dates:

Now finished for the season   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Monday 5th March 2018, 8:14am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

It was a extremely warm spring day yesterday making the snow conditions around base area like sorbet.

According to the forecast, this warm weather will continue for a week and so it's looking unlikely that we are going to see any fresh snowfall.

There is still some snow on the roads this morning in some areas, and snow tires are still necessarily.

As the snow gets harder, it is a good season for snowshoeing and it is now easier to get to the Mt. Nishidaiten peak than during mid-winter. Don’t forget to apply for the mountain report sheet and bringing GPS or map if and when you go up.


Lifts operating:

- All lifts operating

Courses open:

- All courses open

Official snow depth:
- 310cm

- Grandeco snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Monday 5th March 2018, 8:23am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
The heatwave continued throughout the day yesterday and snow conditions were actually pretty good on resort with a nice soft slush to push around.

This morning we were forecast to get quite a lot of rain but it hasn't eventuated thus far and has been pushed back to the afternoon. Hopefully we sidestep that and go straight to the good size snowfall expected this evening.

Not much else to report here besides a temperature inversion in effect with the same temp at the valley floor as what's been measured 700m higher on the mountain. For those looking to race some walls, the banked slalom course at Tenjin is still good to go, fresh from yesterday's racing.

Today at Okutone they will hold the Kamoshika race, another banked slalom event. Hearing the timing for Minakami Vibes is going to be April 14 and 15.


Ski resorts in Minakami:

Minakami Hodaigi
Minakami Kogen Fujiwara
Minakami Kogen Ski Resort
Norn Minakami
Okutone Snow Park
Tanigawadake Tenjindaira
Tanigawa Onsen White Valley


Resort Spotlights with more detail:

Norn Minakami
Okutone Snow Park


Please note that the snowfall numbers posted in this report will be observed from close to the base Tenjindaira Ropeway station - which is often much more than in the central town area of Minakami.    Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Monday 5th March 2018, 8:27am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning.

Yesterday wasn't very nice.

Rain is never welcome when the ski lifts are still moving.

Thankfully it is not raining this morning and it is colder.

Both of those are, of course, good things. But it is icy and slippery out there on the roads and pavements. I am going to have a large bruise on my bottom over the next week or so as a reminder. (Though don't worry, I won't show you!)

I was watching the national NHK news last night and they were showing some really toasty conditions in lots of areas of Japan yesterday: they reported that temperatures were what we expect from late April through until even early June in some regions of the country. So it was most certainly a very unseasonably warm weekend, with us returning to colder conditions from today... though there is a real feel of 'spring' being with us now.

There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of snow potential on the forecasts right now, maybe a bit tomorrow. So don't expect soft and fluffy snow conditions out there! Hopefully the groomers will be in nice condition this morning. Wax up and I imagine some good speed can be had there.

Today we should generally expect cloudy skies.


I'm a bit confused with some of the official snow depths at resorts going up this morning. Hmmm.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6.00am: -4°, no new snow. Moiwa 800m: 7.8°, W4.7m/s. Annupuri 1150m: -11°, W5m/s, trace new snow and snow drift development. Hirafu peak: -13°, light wind, trace new snow. Coastal data: Benkei Cape: NNW7m/s. Kamui Cape: NW7m/s, 1020hPa, wave 1.7m.

A weak winter style atmospheric pressure pattern is bring cold air into the region and the mountain has frozen up with no significant snowdrift development. However cornices above 1000m are easily collapsing. From observation the general avalanche risk is low. Peak gates are expected to be open once prepared. Please listen to the patrols advice before going through the gates.

Snow conditions below 900m are hazardous, yesterdays warm snowfall has frozen hard. Pay attention, if leaning forward it is easy go over. Conditions above 1000m are not as bad because the temperature remained below freezing, however cornice's can have a major collapse with slight stimulation. Keep well back from the cornice edge. From the snow transition, the risk off full depth avalanche in Kozan no Sawa and Osawa is high. If this happens around 1000m it is very dangerous because they can run as far as the Annupuri water station. Niseko's full depth spring avalanches are like ice falls in that they are difficult to predict. Avoiding riding in the valley bottoms, that is the path they will take.

The mountain is slowly changing to spring. There is always danger in the mountains but most accidents can be avoided by making cautious choices. Have a good day.


Monday 5th March 2018

Resort specific information (operations subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- Top Ace Number 4 and King Number 4 lifts looking at a delayed start

Official snow depth:
- Top: 520cm
- Base: 230cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- The Annupuri Gondola is looking at a delayed opening

Official snow depth:
- Top: 450cm
- Base: 240cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts should be operating as planned (Country Road Chair lift not operating)

Official snow depth:
- Top: 440cm
- Base: 280cm


Floodlit 'nighta' skiing:

Night skiing is planned for every evening at the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri areas. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO area. Ski lifts that are scheduled to be operating for nighta are noted below (subject to change):

* Niseko Grand Hirafu - Ace Family quad, Ace Number 2 quad, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 pair
* Niseko Annupuri - Jumbo Number 1 quad lift
* Niseko Village - Village Express, Upper Village Gondola, Community Chair   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Monday 5th March 2018, 8:31am
Weather conditions: Cloudy and...
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Oh dear.

It's raining.

Yesterday was too warm for early March, but I definitely prefer that to rain.

Bit of a southerly wind blowing this morning too. So it's not looking very appealing out there.

You want the good news! The good news is that by tonight it should be a fair bit colder and I am hoping to be able to report some fresh snow on the ground in my report tomorrow morning...


Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:

Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish and we check and update them each morning.



Ichinose Family

Ichinose Diamond




Okushiga Kogen

Sun Valley

Takamagahara Mammoth



220cm   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Monday 5th March 2018, 8:32am
Weather conditions: Cloudy and grey
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Madarao.

I will never shy away from mentioning rain (of course!) but it doesn't make me like doing it.

Yes, after that lovely (but very warm) day yesterday, it is raining and cloudy this morning. It's still keeping very mild but temps are hopefully going to drop quickly in the later half of the day.

And if all goes well, I will be reporting snowfall in my report tomorrow morning.


Operating lifts:

Number 1 lift
Number 2 quad lift
Number 3A lift
Super quad lift
Number 11 lift
Number 12 lift
Number 13 lift
Number 15 lift

Powder Wave I
Powder Wave II
River Line
Powder Theater
Free Ride Park
Adventure Aisle
Crystal Bowl

Kids Park

Planned nighta operations this season:

Every Saturday until 24th March 2018   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Monday 5th March 2018, 8:32am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Hakuba.

And it's not a particularly good one, sorry to report.

First of all yesterday. We were expecting it - it was warm. The sun was out and it was a lovely 'spring ski' kind of day. Poka-poka I believe is a good phrase to use.

This morning visibility is down, there's fog and cloud... and rain. It's a mild morning but without the sun it feels fairly chilly, sort of. Still the forecasts show similarly warm conditions during the day before they drop right down by tonight.

And very hopefully that will bring some fresh snow.

All fingers crossed please!


Ski resort information on Monday 5th March 2018 (at time of writing):

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- All lifts now appear to be operating

Courses open:
- All areas open

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 410cm
- Usagidaira: 235cm
- Lower: 105cm


Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- All lifts should be operation as normal today
- The top Alps Number 2/4 pair lifts are scheduled to be open daily until 18th March

Courses open:
- All courses apart from Adventure should be open as normal

Official snow depth:
- Top: 380cm
- Toomi: 140cm
- Iimori: 98cm


Hakuba 47

Operating lifts:
- All lifts should be operation as normal today
- Line D usually operates only when the Gondola is not operating

Courses open:
- All main courses should be available

Official snow depth:
- Top: 330cm
- Base: 140cm


Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts should be operating as normal

Courses open:
- All course areas are open

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori: 340cm
- Han-no-ki: 330cm
- Maruyama: 120cm
- Shirakaba: 270cm
- Champion: 150cm
- Oya-no-hara: 145cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: 140cm


Hakuba Cortina

Operating lifts:
- Number 4 and 5 lifts on hold at start of the day due to windy conditions

Courses open:
- Only some courses open - check with resort if you are going

Official snow depth:
- Top: 325cm
- Base: 190cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

Operating lifts:
- Lifts should be opening as planned

Official snow depth:
- Top: 200cm
- Base: 120cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Number 1 and 7 should be operating, though other possible delays

Official snow depth:
- 155cm


Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from 8 and 10 should be operating

Official snow depth:
- 210cm


Hakuba Sanosaka

Operating lifts:
- All three lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 140cm


Night time skiing (nighta) at resorts in the region - weather & conditions permitting
The below 'nighta' information will not be updated every day - please check with resorts if you plan to go!

Hakuba Happo-one
Daily from 5pm until 9pm in the Nakiyama 2 area
Adults - 2,000 yen; children - 1,200 yen

Hakuba Goryu
Daily from 6pm until 9:30pm in the Toomi area until 31st March
The Sky Four quad operates daily; the Number 2 pair mostly on Saturdays and holidays
Adults - 1,900 yen; children - 850 yen

Hakuba Cortina
Daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays)
Adults - 1,500 yen; children - 1,000 yen

Tsugaike Kogen
Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6pm until 9pm on 10th March
Adults - 2,200 yen; children - 1,700 yen

There are no other nighta operations at other ski resorts in the region   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Monday 5th March 2018, 10:14am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, rain in places
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
After the sun and soft snow yesterday (and it was very much spring out there), the winds came up overnight, the temperatures have gone way up, there are branches all over on the ground, rain earlier and the snowpack going down. With the wind still blowing at times, keep an eye open for lift closures, especially the gondolas.

Akakura Kanko:
290 cm, 8°

Akakura Onsen:
345cm, 2°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
240cm, 5°

Myoko Suginohara:
200cm, 3°; No. 3 lift closed due to avalanche danger

Seki Onsen:
430 cm, 0°

Myoko Ski Park:
260 cm, 9°

Kyukamura RunRun:
270 cm, 6°

Tangram Ski Circus:
200 cm, 5°

Madarao Kogen:
210 cm, 9°

Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Monday 5th March 2018, 11:01am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba! It's a damp start to the day here in the Mikuni valley, with an air temperature of 3°C and overcast skies. There is some light rain falling currently, which we can expect to become heavy rainfall this afternoon. The wind is nothing to note at the base, however there are some stronger gusts at the summit, resulting in the gondola running at a slow speed. Overnight tonight, the precipitation should turn to snow as the air temperature drops just below 0°C at the base. The pistes are slow and slushy today.

Looking forwards, temperatures will remain below 0°C tomorrow, meaning any fresh snow which does accumulate should stay in good condition. There will be snow showers throughout tomorrow. On Wednesday we can expect a drier day, with some sunshine with clouds. From Thursday through to the weekend we can expect persistent and sometimes heavy precipitation. This will fall most likely as rain at the base, but will hopefully be snow at higher elevations. Air temperatures at the base throughout this period will be around 5°C.    Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Niseko Now
19th Nov, 13:33pm
Myoko Now
19th Nov, 12:56pm
Shiga Kogen Now
19th Nov, 9:24
Yuzawa Now
16th Nov, 12:39pm
Hakuba Now
16th Nov, 10:48
Madarao Now
16th Nov, 10:21
Nozawa Onsen Now
13th Nov, 9:34
Zao Now
07th Nov, 7:27
Grandeco Now
19th Oct, 14:51am
Furano Now
06th May, 9:04am
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