Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 6th May 2019

Naeba Now!

Tuesday 7th February 2017, 7:49am
Weather conditions: Heavy cloud and snow
New snowfall: 21cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba everybody!

Once again we have fresh snow on the ground and more falling even now! Conditions today are nice and powdery with some well-groomed slopes also.

Weather wise it is pretty thoroughly overcast with heavy snow flurries falling making today a day to wrap up warm and strap on your low light lens.

Looking on the weather is expected to remain snowy for the whole upcoming week.

Plucky!   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Tuesday 7th February 2017, 8:30am
Weather conditions: Cloud, blue sky
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning to you all.

The Avalanche report today is talking of fresh snow which is good to hear, but alas there's only a dusting at my measuring point at base this morning.

It's mixed weather conditions early this morning - doesn't seem to be able to decide on what to do. We've had light snow, some blue sky, bit of sunshine. It feels like the fairer clearer weather is going to win out, but don't dismiss the chance of some light snow later. Maybe.

Unfortunately there's a northerly wind this morning which is going to be affecting lifts. As of 8:30am, Annupuri is completely closed and other lifts affected. See below for my updates on each resort area.

The forecast doesn't show us much chance of much snow over the coming days I'm afraid, so we are very probably going to have to make do with what we got until the weekend. Got to make the most of it, so I'm going to get out and have a good four hours today I reckon. Perhaps see some of you on the lifts.


I forgot to mention this in my report yesterday, but this week of course is the week of the Sapporo Snow Festival.

The Festival runs from yesterday until Sunday 12th February and a lot of people visiting Niseko also try to fit in a visit to the festival. And it is often very well worth a visit too. Back in 1950 it all started off with local high students making snow statues in Odori Park. The Self Defence Forces joined in the fun from 1955 and started making large scale sculptures.

This year is the 68th Sapporo Snow Festival and the festival is said to attract over 2 million visitors! The main large-scale snow sculptures can still be found in Odori Park in central Sapporo. I hear that the Arc de Triomphe, Kofukuji Temple in Nara and ‘Final Fantasy’ feature amongst other interesting themes.

Recommended if you get the chance.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -6℃, 6cm snowfall and 20cm snowdrifts. Moiwa 800m: -8℃, 10cm snowfall, 30cm snow drifts. Annupuri 1150m: -11℃, N18m/s, no snowfall but development of snowdrifts. Hirafu 1250m: -13℃, N15m/s, snow falling and snowdrifts developing. Kamui cape lighthouse: SW2m/s, 1008hPa, 2.6m waves. Benkei cape ENE11m/s (NE15m/s at midnight).

Typical West high, East low winter pressure pattern and the isobars are relatively close to each others. A northerly 15m/s wind with snow has been blowing since late night and made cornices and snowdrifts develop in west facing aspects (leeward) above 800m elevation. The new slabs are yet to stabilize and are likely to slide at 30cm depth. The avalanche risk high in alpine area (above treeline) steep slopes. Predicted trigger layer is Feb 6th, which is a hoar layer due to thermal gradient.

20cm or less snow is unevenly covering the surface in the tree area. Not bottomless conditions, but good. Gates are planned to open s the chairlifts start. Please listen to the ski patrols advices before stepping out the gates. Wearing beacons and helmets is not mandatory, however very much recommended.

The wind direction seems to be a little off from regular years and snowdrifts develop in unexpected places. Think outside the box of past experiences and always make conservative decisions.


Resort specific opening news at time of writing (subject to change during the day):

Niseko Grand Hirafu
The top Ace Number 4 and King Number 4 lifts are on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds.

Niseko HANAZONO Resort
The top Hanazono Number 3 lift is on hold at the start of the day due to strong winds.

Niseko Village
The Niseko Village gondola and top Wonderland Chair lift are on hold at the start of the day.

Niseko Annupuri
Closed at the start of the day due to wind conditions.


Official resort snow depths as of Tuesday 7th February 2017:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 300cm
Base - 130cm

Niseko Village
Top - 280cm
Base - 140cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 305cm
Base - 150cm


Night skiing is planned until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village resort areas. There is no nighta in the Hanazono area.   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Tuesday 7th February 2017, 8:32am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 16cm
Snow depth: --
Updated at 9:00am

Morning from Yuzawa.

Yesterday remained 'wet' for longer than we would have hoped in town, but eventually it did turn into snow. Overnight we have had a fairly decent amount on the ground - our measuring point in Yuzawa shows 16cm and to the north near Ishiuchi about 12cm.

Kagura this morning are reporting 30cm of fresh snowfall and Maiko Snow Resort are reporting 40cm (presumably up top).

This morning snow clouds are with us and light snow has been falling but it's a bit on and off for the moment. Steady snowfall throughout the day is however forecast so that is what we should expect.

It looks like Kagura is again being affected by wind conditions - the Tashiro area and the Number 4 and 5 lifts at Kagura will be closed. At the start of the day Kagura will be open from the Mitsumata Ropeway to the Kagura Number 1 lift, subject to change.

GALA Yuzawa is open though it looks like the South Area will not be available today and the Gondola may need to run at slower speeds depending on the wind.

Other resorts around the area appear to be opening as planned at the start of the day.

Keep an eye out though - as of 9am it has suddenly got rather wild out there with snow and stronger wind... more lifts may be affected

The forecast still looks positive for regular snowfall this week as well - perhaps with a break in the daytime tomorrow and Friday.


A chance to win a lift ticket voucher that is valid at any one of the resorts in the Yuzawa region!


Official snow depth information as of Tuesday 7th February 2017

GALA Yuzawa
Official snow depth: 320cm

Ishiuchi Maruyama
Official snow depth: 240cm

Official snow depth: 175cm

Joetsu Kokusai
Official snow depth: 250cm

Official snow depth:
Kagura - 330cm
Mitsumata - 280cm
Tashiro - 300cm

Kandatsu Kogen
Official snow depth: 260cm

Maiko Snow Resort
Official snow depth:
Upper - 275cm
Base - 140cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
Official snow depth: 330cm

Official snow depth: 260cm

NASPA Ski Garden
Official snow depth: 230cm

Yuzawa Kogen
Official snow depth:
Top - 300cm
Base - 210cm

Yuzawa Park
Official snow depth: 160cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
Official snow depth: 190cm


'Nighta' (floodlit night operations)

Below are details of the planned 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma this season.
This information is subject to change due to snow and weather conditions.
*** Please note that this section will not be updated every day.

Ishiuchi Maruyama
Daily until 19th March 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 8:50pm.
The Chuo Number 1, Chuo Number 2 and Kanko Number 3 Express lifts are open daily.
The Kanko Number 1 Express lift, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift and Hatsukaishi Number 2 pair lifts are also open on weekends and holidays.

Daily until 20th March 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays.
The Main course, Grand course and West courses are open during nighta.

Joetsu Kokusai
Daily until 20th March 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm.
The area in front of the main base hotel is open for nighta.

Kandatsu Kogen
'Hobo All Night' ('Almost All Night') is on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays until 1st April 2017.
The nighta opening times on those days is from 6pm until 4am the following morning.

Maiko Snow Resort
Daily until 19th March 2017.
Nighta is from 4pm until 8pm.
The Maiko center quad lift on the Maiko Side of the resort operates for nighta.

Daily until 26th March 2017.
Nighta is from 4pm until 8:30pm.

NASPA Ski Garden
'Thanks' (extended) opening on Saturdays in January and February.
On those days the Number 1 lift is open until 6pm.

Yuzawa Nakazato
Every Saturday until 11th March 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 8:30pm.
The Number 2 pair lift operates during nighta.
   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Tuesday 7th February 2017, 8:46am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 14cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Hakuba and after a day of snow yesterday it continues to snow this morning. Yey!

Headlines from the ski resorts - this is how much snow they are reporting.

Hakuba 47: 20-30cm overnight (10cm in the day yesterday)
Hakuba Goryu: 5-20cm
Hakuba Happo-one: 20cm
Hakuba Cortina: 15-20cm

And I am reporting 14cm.

A bit heavy (snow condition) yesterday - at least where I was (47), but looks the drier variety this morning. So snow conditions should be good.

Strong winds are affecting higher areas of resorts at the start of this morning (Goryu, 47, Happo and Tsugaike currently affected by the looks) and we'll need to keep an eye on that situation. Hopefully they'll be able to get moving.

We might get some sunshine tomorrow before a return to snow Thursday onwards. As the forecast is right now, snow is expected over the weekend so plan for that.


Resort news as of 8:45am on Tuesday 7th February 2017:

All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions.

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba Goryu is reporting 20-30cm of fresh snowfall overnight and 10cm during the day yesterday.
Top area opening delayed.
Official snow depth
Upper: 265cm
Base: 130cm

Hakuba Goryu:
Hakuba Goryu is reporting 5-20cm of fresh snowfall.
Top area lifts opening delayed.
Official snow depth
Alps: 320cm
Toomi: 150cm
Iimori: 130cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 20cm of fresh snowfall (at top of Riesen quad).
Some top area lifts opening delayed.
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira: 215cm
Kurobishi: 230cm
Lower: 145cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
Resort appears to be mostly open as planned, some top lifts affected by weather at the start of the day.
Official snow depth:
Tsuga-no-mori: 340cm
Han-no-ki: 330cm
Maruyama: 180cm
Oya-no-hara: 165cm
Kane-no-naru-oka: 140cm

Hakuba Cortina:
The resort is reporting 15-20cm of fresh snowfall.
Official snow depth:
Top: 340cm
Base: 220cm

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Official snow depth:
Top: 180cm
Base: 110cm

Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Official snow depth:
Top: 190cm

Official snow depth:
Top: 200cm

Hakuba Sanosaka:
Official snow depth:
Top: 130cm


Planned nighta operations - be sure to check with resorts for latest:

Hakuba Goryu:
Planned to be open daily from 6pm until 9:30pm

Tsugaike Kogen:
Planned at the Kane-no-naru-oka area on February 11th (6pm until 8:50pm)
Planned at the Katamatsu-Shirakaba area February 11th, 18th; March 4th, 11th, 18th, 19th (6pm until 9pm)

Hakuba Cortina:
Planned to be open daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays)

Hakuba Happo-one:
Planned to be open daily until 9pm on the Nakiyama area.

Planned to be open daily.

There is no night skiing at the other resorts in the area.   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Tuesday 7th February 2017, 9:06am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 15cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from a snowy Grandeco.

15cm of fresh snow has fallen up until this morning and it is still falling. More! More!

It should be snowing until tonight and more fresh snow tomorrow morning.

Wind may be quite strong this morning, and may affect the Number 4 lift if it gets too windy.

Visibility is poor due to the snowfall, so be extra careful out there. Snow condition are nice light and powder though so it should be fun.


Snow Park Information:

Waves, bank, 7m kicker, 8m kicker

6m straight wide box, 6m straight box, wave, volcano, drum can, 6m straight box, 8m straight rail, 6m arch box, 3m table top, 5m table top and bank


Lifts operating:

Lifts Operating:

- Gondola
- Number 1 quad lift
- Number 2 quad lift
- Number 3 quad lift
- Number 4 quad lift

Courses open:

All courses now open

Official snow depth:

Road Condition to Grandeco:
Inawashiro through Goshikinuma: snow
Goshukinuma through Grandeco: snow   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Tuesday 7th February 2017, 9:07am
Weather conditions: Fine light snow and windy
New snowfall: 25cm
Snow depth: --
On and off snowy and windy conditions since yesterday, and at the moment the wind is still blowing around the fine snow that is falling making for rather wild conditions outside.

It's making it hard to put a number on the snowfall again this morning, but after checking my various measuring points and speaking with a few friends I'm going with 25cm. (Just to give you an idea of how the numbers can vary, the official site is reporting 35cm while Kumanoyu are reporting 5-10cm! Hmmmm.)

Whatever, there's a nice fresh blanket of snow out there once again and with more on the way too... there's not much in terms of clear weather conditions shown on the weekly forecast though wind will perhaps be less of an issue from tomorrow.

Anyway, things continue to go well for us here in Shiga Kogen. If you are planning on being here come prepared for snowy conditions - and good snow on the slopes!


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

Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish.



Ichinose Family

Ichinose Diamond




Okushiga Kogen

Sun Valley

Takamagahara Mammoth



290cm   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Tuesday 7th February 2017, 9:13am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
There has been a very light dusting of fresh snow overnight that doesn't even measure 1cm. However, light snow is likely to fall during the day so there should at least be a freshen up on the upper mountain by the end of the day. Visibility conditions are clear with a bit of blue sky mixed in with a broken up thin layer of cloud. There is a rather fresh feel when walking around the village right now due to moderate winds coming and going, so expect at least the same up on the mountain. The wind is forecast to drop by Thursday.   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Tuesday 7th February 2017, 9:18am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 16cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Nozawa and just look at that - just under another 40cm of snow being reported by the resort since yesterday on the top Yamabiko area of the resort.

Very nice.

A fair bit less lower down the mountain as it took a while to get going yesterday... but still about 16cm on the ground.

It has been snowing this morning but just as I write this report it has eased off and there's even a few breaks in the clouds above the village. Still, snow is forecast for the day and all the signs are that we should expect more. Maybe less so tomorrow with even the chance of some clearing skies, but back to snow Thursday and through the weekend.

The regular top-ups look set to continue. And long may they do so!


Tuesday 7th February 2017

Fresh snow reported by resort since yesterday morning:
- Yamabiko: 38cm
- Uenotaira: 18cm
- Hikage: 13cm
- Nagasaka: 13cm
- Karasawa: 13cm

Official snow depths:
- Yamabiko: 350cm
- Uenotaira: 245cm
- Hikage: 190cm
- Nagasaka: 180cm
- Karasawa: 140cm

Lifts operations:
- All lifts apart from the following lifts are operating
- Yunomine pair
- Mizunashi pair
- Challenge pair
- Utopia pair
- Kandahar pair

Most courses at Nozawa Onsen are open. Courses not open are:
- Kandahar West
- Kandahar East
- Grand Prix   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Tuesday 7th February 2017, 9:21am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds, bit of...sun?!
New snowfall: 18cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Madarao, and there is a nice fresh layer of snow on the ground this morning.

Just under 20cm according to my measurements and the resort is reporting 20cm so you get the idea.

Snow clouds still above but curiously a slight bit of sunshine trying to peeking through the clouds just now. Probably temporary as snow is forecast for the day today with the chance of clearer skies tomorrow. Beyond tomorrow still regular snow on the forecast through until at least the end of the weekend.

Should be good on the slopes this morning.


Operating status for the day at Madarao Kogen (at time of report):

- 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
- Moving walkway
- Kids Park
- Free Ride Park

- Powder Wave I
- Powder Wave II
- River Line
- Powder Theater
- Adventure Aisle
- Crystal Bowl
- Ninja
- Sawa
- Rabbit
- Kamoshika
- Bear

- Nighta at Madarao Kogen is every Saturday until 25th March (and also 8th January and 19th March)

Official snow depth:

- 280cm   Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Tuesday 7th February 2017, 10:05am
Weather conditions: Cloudy skies with snow showers
New snowfall: 15cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Appi,

Another cloudy day today with a temperature of -2 right now. The snow is still falling and we’re expecting another 15cm or so today on top of yesterdays amount. Steady temperatures of -5 and a little chillier at the summit. The winds should die down by Thursday although we are expecting significantly more snow that day too.

The snow was on the wet side yesterday unlike the squeaky dry powder we usually have making things a little difficult at times. All in all it should be another good snow week here and make the weekend very enjoyable.


Planned operating lifts at time of report (subject to change due to weather conditions):

Appi Gondola
Central quad
Central number 2
Central number 3a
Central number 4
Central number 5
Central number 6
Sailer Gondola
Sailer quad
Vista quad


Official snow depth:

195cm   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Tuesday 7th February 2017, 10:15am
Weather conditions: Snow, fog
New snowfall: 11cm
Snow depth: --
Strong blowy winds this morning with snow falling and cold temperatures.

It looks like it will be that for the day, though the wind doesn't seem to be affecting any of the lifts at least as of 10am. Tomorrow should be calmer though regular snowfall is on the weekly forecast.

There's not many people around at the moment weekdays, especially on days like this - excellent if you can get here and fine with the weather conditions.


All lifts apart from the following appear to be operating today:

Paradise Number 3 pair
Karamatsu pair

All courses apart from Kotan are open.


Official snow depths (as published by the resort itself):
Summit - 125cm
Paradise - 210cm
Chuo - 210cm
Utopia - 155cm
Uwanodai - 120cm
Yokokura - 130cm


Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time Zao Ropeway operations

Every day until 5th March 2017.
Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm.
Ropeway return charges are 2,600 yen for adults and 1,300 yen for children.
In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled.
   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Tuesday 7th February 2017, 12:20pm
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 50cm
Snow depth: --
It has been snowing like crazy here at the base of Tenjindaira and the whole village and all resorts are getting it. The snow feels light and fluffy but it has significant moisture content, makes an easy snowball when you squeeze it together.

Looks like the same instability issues are going to persist today but no way to test it as Tenjin is closed. The wind last night was extremely strong to the point where parts of my car park were scoured down to ice and other parts saw drifts of over a meter.

Anyway, onto the good news, Hodaigi is going off and they opened their top lifts at about 11am. A deep day, excellent snow and not crowded at all over there. Okutone has tracks about 20cm deep that I could see and is also looking in excellent shape though visibility is going to be an issue regardless of where you are.

Tomorrow we have light snow forecast and Thursday morning is supposed to be clear. Will believe it when I see it as we are in the midst of a blizzard.


Fresh snowfall:

50cm Tenjin
30cm Hodaigi
20cm Okutone

Temps at 8am

Official snow depth:

350cm Tenjin
200cm Hodaigi
210cm Okutone


Resorts in Minakami (forecasts available from each page):

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


Please note that the fresh snowfall number being reported on this report is taken from the ‘base area’ of Tenjindaira - which is just by the top station of the Ropeway at that resort. Other snowfall numbers and commentary will be mentioned within each report when available.   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Nozawa Onsen Now
12th Oct, 11:47
Yuzawa Now
07th Oct, 16:14am
Aizu Bandai Now
03rd Oct, 9:26
Hakuba Now
30th Sep, 16:20
Niseko Now
30th Sep, 14:01pm
Shiga Kogen Now
30th Sep, 13:56am
Myoko Now
30th Sep, 8:24am
Naeba Now
07th Jun, 10:08am
Furano Now
08th May, 8:47am
Minakami Now
06th May, 8:16
Madarao Now
06th May, 8:13am
Zao Now
06th May, 7:59
Appi Kogen Now
06th May, 7:59am
Geto Kogen Now
06th May, 7:12
Grandeco Now
02nd Feb, 12:34am