Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 30th May 2020

Yuzawa Now!

Sunday 7th December 2014, 8:22am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 80cm
Snow depth: 80cm
It has been a Snowtastic 24 hours here, a bit mad to be honest. We have been well and truly snowed on.

The best measure I can give is that I wiped 30cm off the top of my car at 5pm last night. And this morning there's 50cm on the top there. No kidding. So that's a confirmed 80cm of snow since yesterday. It's still snowing and forecast to until this evening, so that will only be added to.

We usually get some snow around now and it usually melts before the 'proper' snow arrives and sets in the for the season, but this feels 'proper'... it may well warm up a little in the coming week but I can't see this lot going.

That means of course that it's very probably a really great base for the resorts around town.

Locals seems to be in a bit of shock though. I think my Myoko friend mentioned it yesterday but as much preperation as people seem to do, there's always a bit of a mad dash panic when the first snow hits. And when it hits in this kind of style...!


OK so let's look at resort news.

This morning Kagura are curiously only reporting 50cm of fresh snow. Perhaps they don't want to frighten away people who don't like hearing about 'too much snow' (believe it or not, they exist!)

As you might expect with all the new snow they are opening up more.


-Main Course
-Technical Course
-Gondola Course
-Family Course
-Gondola Line

Lifts operating: Mitsumata Ropeway, Mitsumata Number 1 Quad, Mitsumata Number 3 Romance lift, Kagura Gondola, Kagura Number 1 Quad (every day), Kagura Number 1 Romance lift (holidays)


Tashiro Number 1 Course
Rakuraku Course
Tashiro Ladies Course (* but men allowed)
Shirakaba Course
Number 1 Quad connecting course
Skyline Course
Tashiro Aries Course

Lifts operating: Tashiro Ropeway, Tashiro Number 1 Romance lift, Tashiro Number 2 Romance lift, Tashiro Number 1 high speed, Tashiro Number 4 Romance lift (holidays)

So Kagura isn't connected up with Tashiro yet, but fairly big chunks of either side are now open.


No detailed news yet from Iwappara and Joetsu Kokusai (who yesterday were saying that they will be considering opening from Wednesday this coming week, but with the snow we have now...)


Resorts currently open:

Kagura (Mitsumata)
Kagura (Tashiro)


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

As soon as possible (not confirmed at time of writing):
Joetsu Kokusai

Saturday 13th December:
Maiko Snow Resort

Friday 19th December:
Ishiuchi Maruyama
Muikamachi Ski Resort
Yuzawa Nakazato
Yuzawa Kogen
Yuzawa Park

Saturday 20th December:
Chateau Shiozawa
GALA Yuzawa
Kandatsu Kogen
Ludens Yuzawa
Nakazato Snow Wood
Muimamachi Hakkaisan
NASPA Ski Garden
Yuzawa Kogen (Nunoba area)

Tuesday 23rd December:

Thursday 25th December:

Saturday 27th December:
Ishiuchi Hanaoka

Late December
Mt Granview


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

Myoko Now!

Sunday 7th December 2014, 8:24am
Weather conditions: It's pretty much white from top to bottom today.
New snowfall: 40cm
Snow depth: 60cm
The snow might have tapered off during the day yesterday, but it started up again sometime during the night. The boot test shows about 35-40cm this morning, and it's falling at a rate of 1-2 cm/hour. Which means, real snow.

And it is real snow, too, nit the heavy glop that usually falls early season. The shoveling isn't a pain, it's hard to make a great snowball. The kids may not be happy about that, but for snow control and skiing, that sounds a lot better!

I doubt that the ski areas would open early unless there is a lot more snow, but if there are any changes we'll let you know!

Official planned opening dates:

Akakura Onsen and Akakura Kanko: December 20
Ikenotaira: December 19
Suginohara: December 20
Seki Onsen: As soon as there's enough snow

   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Sunday 7th December 2014, 8:50am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy, blue sky
New snowfall: 40cm
Snow depth: 90cm
I'm happy to be able to report another big delivery of snow to report this morning. It has been snowing through the day yesterday and overnight as well, the result being 40cm or so of fresh snow down here in the village.

Conditions out on the slopes yesterday were really great and it will only be better tomorrow. Better visibility too, for the moment anyway, as right now there's lots of blue sky and sun to enjoy. Snow is forecast on and off for the day so it may well not last long.

Niseko Annupuri will be opening up in a short while at 9am this morning - they plan to have the Jumbo Number 1 lift running and the Paradise and Junior Courses should be open.

Operations at Niseko Village seem to be remain unchanged this morning, but more courses opening at Grand Hirafu with the lower part of Green Course, Alpen, Kokutai and the Detour for Beginners now officially open up. Over at Hanazono, Stairway to Heaven, Legend of Shinya and Crystal Garden have joined the party.

Wrap up well and enjoy!


Here's what's open this morning:

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Courses: Family Course, Alpen, Detour for Beginners, Green, Center, Kokutai
Lifts: Ace Family Lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Ace Number 3 lift

Niseko Hanazono
Courses: Stairway to Heaven, Silver Course, Yotei Sunset, Legend of Shinya, Crystal Garden
Lifts: All 3 quad lifts operating

Niseko Village
Courses: Final Fling, Shaky Knees, Next Stage, Banzai
Lifts: Community Chair, Banzai Chair

Niseko Annupuri
Courses: Paradise Course, Junior Course
Lifts: Jumbo Number 1 Quad


Official snow depth numbers at the time of writing:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 145cm
Base - 90cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 70cm
Base - 50cm

Top - 110cm
Base - 80cm   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Sunday 7th December 2014, 9:10am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 40cm
Snow depth: 50cm
Nozawa is open! Hurray! 2014-2015 Season In! Etc!

Here we are once again at the beginning of another season, one hopefully full of huge amounts of regular snow (30cm overnight, every night please) and stories that will be told for ages to come.

Fittingly, we have large amounts of snow to enjoy right from the word go. The resort is reporting 65cm of fresh snow on the Yamabiko top area of the resort and 75cm Uenotaira. That's since 3pm yesterday afternoon! There's been a lot down here in the village too.

Great start.

Can you tell I'm excited?

Let me calm down. OK so yes, Nozawa has opened up this morning and the first runs of the season are currently being had as I sit here writing this.

What's open? Basically, the top Yamabiko area of the resort.


Yamabiko A
Yamabiko B
Yamabiko C
Yamabiko D
Yamabiko E


Nagasaka Gondola
Yamabiko Four Lift
Yamabiko Number 2 Four Lift

Anyway, I'm off to go get re-acquainted with above said lifts and courses. Once I've moved some of that snow outside my place.

Let the season begin!

PS Looks like it might be sunny tomorrow. Not much snow after today until end of the week. More on that tomorrow.


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

Hakuba Now!

Sunday 7th December 2014, 9:20am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 45cm
There has been nother 5-10cm or so of fresh snow in the village and base areas this morning. More higher up - Happo-one telling us there was 15cm of fresh up on the Usagidaira area of the resort.

It was snowing good last night though it must have eased off overnight. Still, daily top-ups at are certainly a good thing.

It doesn't look like there's much change on the open lift/courses front this morning with operations pretty much as they were yesterday.

The forecast tells us that it might actually clear up a bit today and for the next significant snow to be arriving at the end of the coming week. Before then we might get a mix of sometime snow showers, sun and rain.


Happo has 4 lifts moving again morning, same as yesterday. The resort is reporting snow depth of 20cm at base and 95cm at Usagidaira, with another 15cm of fresh snow at Usagidaira.

Official Snow depths:
Base - 20cm
Usagidaira - 95cm

Open lifts:
-Kokusai Number 3
-Alpen Quad
-Kurobishi Number 2 Quad
-Adam Gondola and Kokusai Number 1 lifts open to take people up to the open area

Open courses:
-Kurobishi (part)
-Please note, can't yet ski back down to base.


Hakuba 47
Hakuba 47 is almost all open.

Official Snow depths:
Base - 45cm
Upper - 95cm

Open courses:
-Upper part of Route 1
-Route 2
-Route 3
-Route 5
-Route 6
-Route 8.
-The lower part of Route 1 and Route 7 are skiable 'at your own risk' which I think is the best way to translate 'jiko sekinin'.
-Route 4 is the only one closed as they deal with the snow, apparently.
-The Tree Riding Zone is not open yet.

Open lifts:
-Line A
-Line C
-Line E


Hakuba Goryu
The top area of Hakuba Goryu is open. Looks like they have opened the Super Course as well.

Official Snow depths:
Base - n/a
Alps Daira - 90cm

Open lifts:
-Alps Number 1 Pair lift
-Alps Number 3 Pair lift
-Gondola is open to take people up to the open area

Open courses:
-Alps Daira Panorama
-Alps Daira Grand Prix
-Super Course


Tsugaike Kogen
Part of the upper slopes of Tsugaike Kogen is open.

Official Snow depths:
Base - n/a
Upper - 133cm

Open lifts:
-Han-no-ki High Speed Pair
-Gondola is open to take people up to the open area

Open courses:
-Upper part of Han-no-ki


Other planned opening dates:

Hakuba Sanosaka - mid December
Hakuba Norikura Onsen - mid December
Kashimayari Sports Village - Saturday 13th December
Hakuba Cortina - Saturday 13th December
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field - Friday 19th December   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Sunday 7th December 2014, 9:25am
Weather conditions: Sun was out earlier but now that the snow has taken over its quite overcast
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: 5cm

Yep, congratulations resort guys - they worked some magic with the machines and the bottom lift is now open for winter fun.

Just a bit more of a sprinkling overnight but it is now falling steadily giving us great confidance going into the week that more lifts will open soon.

Weather has changed a bit too now that snow is here and its gone from being bitter cold to quite nice out there. Maybe its just great feeling the snow on the face again.    Read more ...

Zao Now!

Sunday 7th December 2014, 9:55am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 15cm
Snow depth: 90cm
Another 15cm of new snowfall here in Zao this morning and a temperature of -5 degrees.

Yesterday was that official ceremony - photos below - held in the snow. Lots of happy faces though with this fine start to the season here.

As far as I can tell this morning the areas of the resort open are the same as yesterday... they're taking it gradually and calmly (not like those of us aching to get out on the whole mountain!)

Cloudy with light snow as I write this, poor visibility on the mountain.

Forecast? Not a whole lot of snow actually from tomorrow and there looks like a good chance of things warming up slightly.


Official snow depths (7th December 14):

Utopia: 140cm
Chuo: 90cm
Paradise: 110cm
Uwanodai: 80cm


Operating lifts at time of writing:

Onsen Number 1 pair lift
Mikaeri pair lift
Chuo pair lift
Paradise pair lift
Yokokura Number 1 pair lift
Utopia Number 2 pair lift
All Ropeways/gondolas   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Sunday 7th December 2014, 10:01am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 20cm
Snow depth: 40cm
20cm of new fresh snow overnight here in Shiga Kogen.

Yakebitaiyama are part open from this morning and planned to have the Number 2 Gondola and Number 4 Romance lift operating, though it seems that early on the Gondola is having some electrical problems (doh!) - hopefully they'll get that sorted quickly.

Yokoteyama is also part open from this morning. They have the Yokoteyama First Sky B Line and Yokoteyama Second Sky lifts operating, with lower parts of the resort open.

Kumanoyu have laso opened up a bit more terrain and now have the Fourth Pair lift operating. Was just up there a bit earlier and quite a few people around including my first look at large groups of what I presume was a school trip... they're in early!

Snow clouds due to ease off today and tomorrow we might see sunny conditions in the region. Next snowfall after this looking due towards next weekend.


What's open

The lower run is open, with the Number 2 triple lift moving.

Ichinose Family
The Number 2 Pair A and B line is moving.

Number 2 Pair A and B lifts and Fourth Pair lift operating.

Number 2 Gondola and Yakebitaiyama Number 4 Romance lift - South course and part of Panorama Course open.

Yokoteyama First Sky B Line and Yokoteyama Second Sky lifts open.
Yokoteyama First Gelende and part of Yokoteyama Second Gelende open.
   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Sunday 7th December 2014, 10:51am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 40cm
Snow depth: 70cm
Last report I said it was a snowy Madarao Kogen.

Well, it's a much snowier Madarao this morning, the resort posting a photo of outside the base center and reporting 70cm of snow, over half of that since yesterday afternoon.

Oh yes, things are progressing well. This will form a good base which hopefully will stick around and be built on gradually in the run up to opening a week on Friday.

Forecast for the coming week is less snowy. Maybe sunny even. The next cold and snowy front is due next weekend.


Madarao Kogen plans to open on Friday 19th December


Madarao Kogen 6 day weather and snow forecast
Madarao Kogen main resort data   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Sunday 7th December 2014, 14:44pm
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 40cm
Snow depth: 80cm
30cm of fresh snow overnight at the valley level with up to 70cm of fresh in the upper mountains. It finally and suddenly feels like winter has started.

Tenjindaira have actually opened their main pair lift today so the season has officially started.

The remainder of the week sees moderately low temps with a small rise on Thursday Friday that may see some rain at the valley level but Tenjin should remain with snow.

Saturday onwards sees the next storm cycle coming through with at least 4 days of snow forecast.

Planned opening dates:

Tenjindaira - Opened today
Houdaigi - December 13th
Norn Minakami - December 18th
White Valley- December 19th
Minakami Kogen - December 20th
Okutone - December 20th

   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