Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 1st April 2018

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Friday 9th December 2016, 7:48am
Weather conditions: Blue sky and cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning, and say hello to the first day of the 16-17 season at Nozawa Onsen.

The recent snowfall has been enough for the resort to offer a limited opening from this morning. Basically it's the Yamabiko D course and the Uenotaira course that will be open with the necessary lifts operating, details posted below.

Yesterday the clouds cleared up and this morning the sun is out to welcome in the season, with some cloud around up there.

While it will be milder today (up to around 6C here in the village later on?), it's due to get colder and hopefully by the end of today snow will be falling again... and snow is forecast over the weekend as well.

So it's a limited start but good signs of more snow on the way.

Now, where's all my gear...!

Lifts that are planned to be operating:
Nagasaka Gondola (8:30am-3:30pm)
Yamabiko Number 2 Four Lift (8:55am-3:40pm)
Uenotaira Four Lift (9:00am-3:40pm)

Courses that are planned to be open
Yamabiko D course (1,250m in length)
Uenotaira course (2,000m in length)

Official snow depths
Yamabiko: 345cm
Uenotaira: 35cm
Hikage: 10cm
Nagasaka: 10cm
Karasawa: 5cm

Fresh snow reported by resort since yesterday
Yamabiko: 0cm
Uenotaira: 0cm
Hikage: 0cm
Nagasaka: 0cm
Karasawa: 0cm   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Friday 9th December 2016, 8:00am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Hello and good morning from Hakuba.

Lovely day yesterday and it was great to get those first turns in for the season. May there be many more!

Today, Hakuba Goryu joins the party with Hakuba 47 deciding to wait until tomorrow to open.

I have added the resort-specific info below and will do my best to try and keep on top of it all every morning in this rush-to-open early part of the season.

This morning there is a lot more cloud around and light snow falling in places, it's just above zero now. It's going to warm up a bit later on in the day, but things should be back to snow later on and there's a good chance of snow tonight and over the weekend as well. All good and I'll update you on the latest tomorrow morning.


Resort news as of 8:00am on Friday 9th December 2016:

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

Hakuba Goryu:
Hakuba Goryu is open from this morning.
Lift & course info:
The Gondola open from 8:15am until 4:00pm and the Alps Number 1 lift open from 8:30am.
The upper Panorama course is open.
Official snow depth
Alps: 50cm
Toomi: -cm
Iimori: -cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
Hakuba Happo-one is currently part open.
Lift & course info:
The Adam Gondola, Kokusai Number 3 pair lift and Panorama pair lifts are operating.
The Panorama course is open.
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira: 60cm
Nakiyama: -cm
Sakka: -cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
Tsugaike Kogen is currently part open.
Lift info:
The Eve Gondola and the top Han-no-ki lift are operating.
Part of the Upper Han-no-ki course is open.
Official snow depth:
Han-no-ki: 68cm
Maruyama: -cm
Kane-no-naru-oka: -cm


Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 originally said it might open from this morning, but it's going to be tomorrow (Saturday).

Hakuba Cortina:
Hakuba Cortina plans to open from Saturday 10th December.

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field plans to open from Friday 16th December.

Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Hakuba Norikura Onsen plans to open from Saturday 17th December.

Hakuba Sanosaka:
Hakuba Sanosaka plans to open from Saturday 17th December.

Kashimayari plans to open on Saturday 10th and Sunday 11th December ('pre-open') before the official opening on Saturday 17th December.

Please note that Yanaba ski hill will not be opening for the 2016-2017 season   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Friday 9th December 2016, 8:33am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
Hello again and I have another 10cm of fresh snowfall to report to you this morning outside my place here in Hirafu.

It's gradually adding up and I noticed that I have now observed just under 150cm of snowfall here since that first snow of the season.

It's not quite as cold this morning and the snow isn't quite as dry and fluffy (not the stuff I had in my hand a short while ago anyway), but it should still be a fun morning out there.

The forecast is still looking good too with snow lined up most days over the coming week.

It does feel like the season has got started now with everything falling into place, even though what is open in terms of lifts and courses remains limited. With the snow due over the coming days though, I expect that to change quite quickly.

As mentioned at the bottom of my reports, floodlit night skiing ('nighta') is planned to start from tomorrow. Nighta is available at the Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village resort areas - none over at Hanazono. No specific nighta news yet regarding operations from tomorrow, but hopefully I will have more information in my report in the morning.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -2℃, 10cm snowfall in 12 hours, light snow and calm.

Coastal data: Kamui cape ENE7m/s, 1011hPa, 1.0m waves.

Wind and snow are forecasted to pick up above 800m as the next low-pressure system approaches and passes. The snowpack is still very shallow and the out of bounds areas are not suitable for riding yet. The groomers are in better condition, but today’s light is weak and undulations are hard to see. Beware of over speeding.

Looking at the snowfall transition and other data, the general avalanche risk is low today, however cornices formed at steep slopes and under chairlifts could fall anytime, better beware.

Observatory equipment for Nagoya University Snow & Ice Research Center will be installed at Mikaeri area in Moiwa today.

The 20th Niseko Avalanche Meeting will be held at Niseko Chomin Center today at 6pm. Everyone is welcome.

Have a nice day.


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

All four resort areas appear to be able to open as planned at the start of the day.

Niseko Grand Hirafu

Lifts planned to be operating:

- Ace Family pair
- Ace Number 2 Center Four
- Ace Number 3 pair
- Hirafu Gondola
- King Number 3 quad
- Swinging Monkey

Courses planned to be open:

- Family course
- Alpen course (experts only)
- Green
- Beginners access course
- Shirakaba course
- Center course
- Boyo (lower part only)
- Kokutai (experts only)
- Holiday
- Jumbo course
- Parallel course

Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts planned to be operating:

- Hanazono 1 quad
- Hanazono 2 quad
- Hanazono 3 quad

Courses planned to be open:

- Silver Dream (experts only)
- Stairway to Heaven (experts only)
- Setsuzoku
- Crystal Garden
- Renraku
- Yotei Sunset (experts only)

Niseko Village

Lifts planned to be operating:

- Community Chair
- Upper Village Gondola
- Village Express

Niseko Annupuri

Lifts planned to be operating:

- Jumbo Number 1 pair
- Jumbo Number 3 pair
- Annupuri Gondola

Courses planned to be operating:

- Utopia
- Shirakaba
- Paradise
- Junior

You can now ski down to base at Niseko Annupuri.


Official resort snow depths as of Friday 9th December 2016:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 155cm
Base - 55cm

Niseko Village
Top - 50cm
Base - 40cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 60cm
Base - 40cm


Night skiing is planned from Saturday 10th December 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!

Friday 9th December 2016, 8:35am
Weather conditions: Lots of blue sky, some cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
We start the day in Yuzawa again with lots of beautiful blue sky and some cloud, with the sun shining down on us.

It is a fine and fairly mild start to the day, and things are set to warm up to around 8 degrees by early afternoon. It should be getting colder again tonight though and snow should be falling overnight and also over the weekend.

We're coming to that stage now where we need to get into the serious business of lots of snow falling - enough of the uncertain early season faffing about! - and hopefully this weekend will deliver something.

As reported yesterday, Kagura is planning on being 'fully open' from tomorrow - that includes all three Mitsumata, Tashiro and Kagura areas - and Naeba is planning on being part open from tomorrow as well.

Maiko Snow Resort have announced that they will need to delay their opening and so they join Iwappara and Joetsu Kokusai. These resorts are now on stand-by and will open as soon as there is enough snow.

Soon please!


What is planned to be open today at Kagura:

Open courses are:

- Kagura main course
- Technical course
- Giant course
- Gondola course
- Panorama course
- Family course (Mitsumata)
- Taikai (Mitsumata)

Operating lifts are:

- Mitsumata Ropeway
- Mitsumata Number 1 quad
- Mitsumata Number 2 romance pair
- Kagura Gondola
- Kagura Number 1 quad lift
- Kagura Number 4 romance pair


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
Maiko Snow Resort

Saturday 10th December:
Kagura (Tashiro)

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 ...

Grandeco Now!

Friday 9th December 2016, 8:37am
Weather conditions: Blue sky, some cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning.

Grandeco will be opening for the season from tomorrow at 8:30am.

The opening course will be 2000m long Center course and the Number 1 quad lift will begin operations from 8:30am.

Snowfall in the Urabandai area is still not enough and so it's a very limited start, but of course good to see the season opening.

Probably best not use new ski or snowboard gear in this early season as there's rocks and things sticking up out of the snow still.

Snow is forecast for over the weekend and so hopefully the resort will soon be able to open up more...
   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Friday 9th December 2016, 9:04am
Weather conditions: Fine, partly cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
It was cold up top yesterday, my first real blast of winter... it felt good though!

This morning it is much milder and there's lots of blue sky with just a few clouds hanging around. A nice calm morning.

With snow due over the weekend and possibly stormy conditions, perhaps it is the calm before the storm. Let's hope so.


What is currently open at Zao Onsen?

- Chuo Number 1 pair lift
   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Friday 9th December 2016, 9:04am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy, sunny
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
The skies cleared up yesterday after the snowy start and this morning we are enjoying fine sunny weather (after a more cloudy start).

The news today is that Yokoteyama has part opened and Kumanoyu and Yakebitaiyama have both opened up a bit more course area.

Slowly more is opening but we could do with a really 'heavy' snow even to kick things off in style. Could this weekend provide that? It's looking quite promising with snow forecast from tonight in this northern region of Shiga Kogen and through the weekend.

Fingers crossed!


Areas of Shiga Kogen currently open:

Ichinose Family
The Number 2 pair A lift is operating with the lower main course area (400m) open.

The Number 2 lifts are operating with a 1300m long run open.

Takamagahara Mammoth
The Number 2 triple lift and Number 3 pair lift are operating with the lower part of the slopes open.

The Number 2 high speed lift and Number 4 pair lifts are operating with the South Course and Karamatsu Course open.

The Number 1 Sky B and Number 2 Sky pair lifts are operating.   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Friday 9th December 2016, 9:12am
Weather conditions: Foggy
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: --
The rain that was previously on the forecast for today seems to have vanished and instead some light snow is precidcted which will likely be right as there are snow flurries coming down at the moment and temperatures are cold at village level, currently at -5c.

There has been a light dusting of snow overnight and this light snowfall should continue over the weekend. While there is no significant snow event forecast over the next few days, constant cold temperatures and a light refresh each day will keep the slopes in good condition. There is cloud around the top of the resort and the upper half of the mountain is foggy, with better visibility on the lower part.   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Friday 9th December 2016, 10:50am
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Greetings from Minakami!

The 2016-17 Minakami snow season is imminent but still not underway.

Up around the Tenjin/Tanigawa area there is quite a lot of snow on the ground and with the Ropeway running, there have been some locals out to hike cheeky lines. Other resorts are a ways off. On a 'normal year' the significant dumps usually begin around December 20th so fingers crossed. We are actually hoping for some snowfall this weekend.

Take a look back at previous seasons below or on the new Snowfall Analysis page. And be sure to also check out the new resort introductions on the pages listed below.

In the meantime, a photo below of Ichinokura taken yesterday afternoon. It's slightly higher than the base of the Tenjindaira Ski Resort.

Planned opening dates of ski resorts in Minakami

As soon as there is enough snow:
Minakami Hodaigi
Minakami Kogen Fujiwara
Okutone Snow Park
Tanigawa Tenjindaira

Saturday 17th December:
Norn Minakami

Thursday 22nd December:
Tanigawa Onsen White Valley

Friday 23rd December:
Minakami Kogen Ski Resort
Oh-ana   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Madarao Now
16th Jul, 11:46pm
Grandeco Now
16th Jul, 11:27am
Niseko Now
16th Jul, 11:26am
Yuzawa Now
29th Jun, 17:50am
Furano Now
06th May, 9:04am
Hakuba Now
06th May, 9:02
Nozawa Onsen Now
06th May, 8:41
Shiga Kogen Now
06th May, 8:35
Myoko Now
06th May, 8:35am
Zao Now
06th May, 8:30am
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