Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 20th May 2019
Shiga Kogen Now!
Friday 6th May 2011, 8:19am
Sunny, blue sky
We have had some generally fine weather over Golden Week for the people turning up for their last slide down the slopes. Mild but not too hot. This morning we have lovely blue skies and the sun is out once again.... it will probably be the warmest day of the week rising into double digit temperatures perhaps at base areas. More sun forecast for over the weekend as well - just a chance of rain on Saturday night perhaps.
One thing worth pointing out again - just a few resort areas left open now in this last stretch. Okushiga Kogen and Kumanoyu are also skiers-only. That means that there's really not much on offer for snowboarders... only parts of Yokoteyama and Shibutoge in the south area of Shiga Kogen. Snowboarders are allowed on the beginner courses 1, 2 and lower intermediate course 4 at Yokoteyama, and all of the small Shibutoge area.
The Skylater moving walkway at Yokoteyama has opened for the spring/summer season allowing tourists (ie. non-skiers) to get to the lift that takes you up to the top of Yokoteyama.
Quick rundown of where we stand regarding resort operations:
Open until 8th May - Okushiga Kogen Open until 15th May - Kumanoyu Open until late May - Yokoteyama / Shibutoge
Official resort snow depths as of 6th May 2011 AM:
Okushiga Kogen: Gondola and No2 pair lifts open until 8th May. Please note - Okushiga Kogen is a skiers-only area.
Kumanoyu: No 1 pair lift and No 3 quad lift will be open until 8th May. No 2 pair lift will be open until 8th May and then may continue to be open depending on snow conditions at that time. They hope to be able to open until 15th May. No 4 pair lift – no specific opening times available. Please note - Kumanoyu is a skiers-only area.
Yokoteyama – Shibutoge: The resort plans to be open until the end of May. Yokoteyama No 1 Sky lift open until 8th May. Yokoteyama No 2, No 3 Sky lifts and the Shibutoge pair lift will all be open until conditions permit. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Friday 6th May 2011, 8:31am
Sunny and clear
The national holidays bit of Golden Week is now officially over with just one normal day before we head into another weekend. So perhaps for some people there's a bit more left of Golden Week.
The weather held up pretty good over the holidays. It didn't get too hot but stayed fairly warm and clear. This morning the sun is out and temperatures will probably rise to around 16 or 17 degrees in the village.
From today until Sunday, five lifts are planned to be operating - the Nagasaka Gondola, Yamabiko quad lift, Yamabiko No2 quad lift, Uenotaira quad lift and Paradise quad lift. That basically means that courses open are the top Yamabiko, Uenotaira.
Come Monday and we'll be down to the Gondola and top two Yamabiko lifts for the last part of the season.
Snow cover is holding up well on the top courses.... getting a bit dirty in places to the side especially but no snow cover problems. Snow has pretty much disappeared from the lower slopes though now.
Here's the list of open courses open at the moment:
Yamabiko A Yamabiko B Yamabiko C Yamabiko D Yamabiko E Kokenashi A Kokenashi B Uenotaira Paradise Yunomine B Bunabayashi Paradise connecting course Uenotaira Snow Park
Monday 9th May until Sunday 15th May: -Nagasaka Gondola -Yamabiko quad lift -Yamabiko No2 quad lift Read more ...
Friday 6th May 2011, 8:45am
It is a lovely morning in Zao with the sun out, blue skies and just a few white clouds in the sky. Nice and warm too. More fine weather on the forecast for tomorrow and Sunday.
Golden Week went well I would say. Quite a few people turning up and the courses seemed busy. With less lifts open and only upper slopes remaining open, there were queues at lifts at times as well. But there was a really great spring ski atmoshere with few people seemingly in a rush to get anywhere.
The ski resort will officially close at the end of the day this coming Sunday. High up though there's still a fair bit of snow and so probably enough for at least another week or so, so shame those lifts won't be moving. Actually the resort is saying that there may be changes depending on conditions, so we shall see. Personally I doubt they will extend again... but you never know!
The lower slopes are now pretty much totally snowless. Once those lifts close for the ski season it will be quickly into spring and summer season operations.
Official snow depths as of 6th May:
Utopia - 90cm Paradise - 90cm Chuo - 65cm
Until 8th May (8:30am - 5pm):
The following courses will be opened:
Chuo Paradise Utopia Ohira Paradise detour Zangezaka Juhyogen Renraku courses
The courses will be serviced by the following lifts:
Chuo Ropeway Sky Cable Zao Ropeway Chuo No1 Pair Paradise Pair Utopia No2 Pair
The above information is subject to change. Spring lift ticket rates will apply. Read more ...
Friday 6th May 2011, 14:54pm
Clear, a bit hazy
It snuck right up on me; my wife told me that her Akakan season lift pass (purchased, rather than gained due to employment as in my case) was over on the 5th. Then I walked up to the lift area to try and do some bushwacking/ski hiking, and all was quiet on the high wires. Kind of shocking not to see the familiar white little spherical units (the onigiri, the kids call them) rising up and down the slope.
Seki, however, will keep on going, even adding a special event on the 10th and 11th....So I'll sum up this pretty remarkable year later on.
Open Ski Resorts
Seki Onsen: Open until May 8, plus events on 10th and 11th.