Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 16th November 2018

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Friday 9th February 2018, 7:07am
Weather conditions: Mostly clear over Nozawa
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Nozawa.

I'm off to Tokyo this morning and so an early report; but I wish I was staying here...!

A bit of snow on the ground with some snowfall overnight and the resort reporting up to 5cm.

Looks like it's going to be another really nice start to the day and sun is forecast for today and tomorrow.

Tomorrow still going to get rather mild (temps up to around 6 or 7C during the day) but we should be back to snow by - and during - Sunday. Watch out for the chance of rain before the snow comes though, particularly at lower elevations.


Friday 10th February 2018

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

- Yamabiko (1407m): 5cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 5cm
- Hikage (660m): -cm
- Nagasaka (615m): -cm
- Karasawa (563m): -cm

Official snow depth numbers:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 325m
- Uenotaira (1230m): 275cm
- Hikage (660m): 205cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 200cm
- Karasawa (563m): 170cm

Lifts operations:

- All scheduled lifts appear to be operating as normal.
- 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
- Kandahar East   Read more ...

Geto Kogen Now!

Friday 9th February 2018, 7:31am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 17cm
Snow depth: --
A bit of snowfall here and there throughout the day yesterday, but notable mentions going to the wind that picked up into the afternoon and could be heard into the night. This morning, its calmed down and left us with a nice little 15cm of fresh snow to get stuck into.

We’re in for tops of -3C today with some more snow to fall lightly throughout the day with light to moderate winds, calming into the afternoon. The 2nd Gondola is currently closed, but will be open for the weekend starting tomorrow as is customary for the resort at this time of the season.

Looks like the lack of precipitation forecast for Saturday has swiftly changed its mind — with tops hovering above zero we now have chance for some snow showers here and there, so that may come as rain. Guess we’ll just have to cross our fingers and hope it misses us, but regardless we’ve got some nice looking numbers worth of snow on its way Sunday into Monday — hopefully about 30cm.

Saturday: possible rain/snow showers, light to mod winds, tops of 1C
Sunday: light to heavy snow, moderate winds, tops of -5C
Monday: moderate snow, moderate winds, tops of -10C


Official snow depths:

Top: 440cm
Base: 300cm

Night skiing operations are scheduled at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018

The Number 2 Gondola is now open on weekends and national holidays   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Friday 9th February 2018, 7:50am
Weather conditions: Clear
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
No snow was forecast for last night but we got some at the base of Mt Tanigawa anyway.

Minakami town actually saw heavier snow than us for a change. Up top it looks like we will be in for another reset.

It's been a lower snow year than average for us but in terms of being able to get out and ride good snow on a daily basis, it's been perfect.

Clear weather forecast for today and that's what I'm seeing this morning. Looks like things will be a bit warmer tomorrow and we are expecting a multi-day snowstorm to kick off tomorrow night.

The photo below is of my last lap yesterday and was taken on a North facing slope in the backcountry.


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 ...

Yuzawa Now!

Friday 9th February 2018, 8:03am
Weather conditions: Sunny, clear skies
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa.

It is yet another fine morning here with - once again - clear skies and sunshine from early on.

With some snow falling later on yesterday (again!), Kagura is reporting 5-10cm of fresh snow overnight and Maiko Snow Resort are reporting 5cm. I can record 3cm.

It's pretty cold, but due to warm up and temperatures into low positive numbers during the day in town.

Tomorrow is currently forecast to start off with sunshine again and but it seems things are really going to be warming up, perhaps even approaching double digit temperatures in the afternoon. Thankfully though, by Sunday the snow should be falling once again - though there is a good chance that later in the day rain falls before it gets colder and turns into snow. From Sunday things should be starting to get colder once again, though not as cold as it has generally been the last week.

Going to be interesting to see how things shape up over the next few days.

Sunday is National Foundation Day in Japan and because of that Monday is a national holiday, so it is a 3 day long weekend for many people and one of the most popular weekends of the season. Expect places to be busy; early starts recommended.


Images today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Maiko Snow Resort.


Updated: Friday 9th 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
- 320cm

- 205cm

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

Kandatsu Kogen
- 245cm

- 240cm (base)

NASPA Ski Garden
- 245cm

Yuzawa Kogen
- Top: 280cm
- Base: 230cm

Yuzawa Park
- 200cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
- 180cm


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

Ishiuchi Maruyama
- 240cm

Joetsu Kokusai
- 250cm

Maiko Snow Resort
- Top: 260cm
- Base: 180cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- Closed on Wednesdays until 14th March
- 340cm   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Friday 9th February 2018, 8:08am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 13cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

13cm of new snow has fallen since my last report, but it has stopped falling this morning.

Snow conditions are going to be very good today - very light and fine snow covering the mountain. Nice.

It is so dry that it's difficult to make snowballs. Enjoy the powder snow.

Monday is a national holiday in Japan and so the upcoming long weekend is usually one of the busiest of the season.


Lifts operating:

- All lifts operating

Courses open:

- All courses open

Official snow depth:
- 310cm

- Grandeco snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Friday 9th February 2018, 8:30am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 11cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Niseko.

This morning I have measured 11cm of fresh snowfall to report to you, and some delicious looking flakes of snow are falling outside of my window as I type this out. With 20cm being reported higher up, it should be a decent refresh out there this morning.

It's not going to be as cold today and warmer still tomorrow when temperatures during the day are likely to warm up into positive number territory. Hopefully come Sunday we'll be back into minus numbers and we'll be getting back into quality dry snowfall.

Sunday 11th February is 'National Foundation Day' in Japan. Apparently...

'National Foundation Day (建国記念の日 Kenkoku Kinen no Hi) is celebrated annually on February 11, celebrating the foundation of Japan and the accession of its first emperor, Emperor Jimmu on 11 February 660 BC'

So now you know. Due to it being on a Sunday, Monday is a national holiday in Japan meaning that many workers have a long weekend to look forward to.

And of course, the Chinese New Year is also very nearly with us and so there will be many visitors coming to celebrate their holidays in Niseko. As you do.

So it is going to be a very busy few weeks.

Thankfully, the forecast is currently showing regular snowfall well into next week. (A dry patch would... not be good). Keep it coming!


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -8℃, 5cm snowfall and snowdrifts development. Moiwa800m: -9℃, NW8.5m/s, large development of cornices and snowdrifts. Annupuri1150m: -14℃, strong NW wind, developing cornices and snowdrifts. 330cm snowpack at 1000m. Hirafu 1250m: -11℃, light wind at night, 20cm snowfall. Coastal data: Benkei cape NW13m/s, Kamui cape WSW12m/s, 1018hPa, 1.9m waves.

50cm cornice development in the past 12hours has been observed around 800m. The wind has been blowing around 12m/s (with gusts), the snowdrifts under 1000m elevation is stabilizing. The leeward slopes above 1000m, such as Backbowl’s western slopes, are still unstable; 50cm thick (Feb 8th snowdrifts) and/or 80cm thick (Feb 5th low pressure snowfall) are to be expected. Beware.

All gates are expected to open. Do not unnecessarily stimulate cornices and knolls. Be conscious of glide avalanches from opening cracks.

The treeruns has a good amount of wind-affected dense snow and is great for riding. Always use gates to go out of bounds. There is always a certain amount of risk in the winter mountains. Always be prudent. Beware of sudden weather change.


Friday 9th February 2018

Resort specific information (operations subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts (apart from King Number 2) should be operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 430cm
- Base: 210cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts should be operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 360cm
- Base: 230cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts (apart from the Country Road Chair lift) should be operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 360cm
- Base: 230cm


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 ...

Hakuba Now!

Friday 9th February 2018, 8:33am
Weather conditions: Beautiful blue skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

It's one of those stunners that I love. How can anyone not love a morning like this...

The sun is out and the skies are blue.

It's very cold at the start of the day and the snow should be really good. Yes, life is good and I for one feel like I want to celebrate it.

There's no fresh snow to report this morning to report on the ground (47 did report 5cm during the day yesterday so there was some refresh during the day), but never mind!

It might be a cold start but it's going to be much milder during the day - and warmer still tomorrow as the temperatures rise into positive numbers. The threat of rain sometime later tomorrow is still there, but it should be short lived and turn into snow fairly quickly (and hopefully); and there's some decent snowfall due Sunday through into next week.

Worth noting: Monday is a national holiday, due to Sunday being National Foundation Day in Japan. So it's a 3 day weekend for many and traditionally one of the busiest weekends of the season.

If you are heading to Hakuba, I recommend early starts!


Ski resort information on Friday 9th February 2018 (at time of writing):

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- Lifts should be operating as normal

Courses open:
- All courses should be open as normal
- Happo Banks is now open

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 395cm
- Usagidaira: 225cm
- Lower: 140cm


Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- Lifts appear to be operating as normal
- The top Alps Number 2/4 pair lifts will be open daily from 10th Feb until 18th March

Courses open:
- All courses should be open as normal

Official snow depth:
- Top: 380cm
- Toomi: 135cm
- Iimori: 107cm


Hakuba 47

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned
- Line D usually operates only when the Gondola is not operating

Courses open:
- All main courses available

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


Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- Should be open as normal apart from Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner I
- Han-no-ki Number 3 quad down for maintenance at the start of the day

Courses open:
- All course areas are open

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori: 315cm
- Han-no-ki: 310cm
- Maruyama: 130cm
- Shirakaba: 260cm
- Champion: 160cm
- Oya-no-hara: 145cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: 165cm


Hakuba Cortina

Operating lifts:
- All lifts are operating this morning

Courses open:
- All courses open (some restrictions on Itadaira Ridge)

Official snow depth:
- Top: 339cm
- Base: 208cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

Operating lifts:
- Most lifts are operating with most courses open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 220cm
- Base: 130cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Alps Number 7 should be operating as planned

Official snow depth:
- 260cm


Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Number 10 should be operating

Official snow depth:
- 190cm


Hakuba Sanosaka

Operating lifts:
- All three lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 150cm


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
Kane-no-naru-oka area from 6pm until 8:50pm on 3rd, 10th, 11th February
Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6pm until 9pm on 10th, 11th, 17th February; 3rd, 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 ...

Naeba Now!

Friday 9th February 2018, 8:36am
Weather conditions: Bluebird
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba! It's another beautiful, sunny morning here, with a chilly air temperature of -10°C, but I can already assure you it feels much warmer than this in the sunshine. The forecast suggests we should expect it to stay clear throughout today, and air temperatures in the valley should push up all the way to 0°C. The groomed pistes are in fantastic condition due to the recent snow fall and the additional top up of 1cm received last night. There will be little wind today.

Looking forwards, we can expect the skies to remain clear until tomorrow afternoon, when the next block of cool, moist air will push in from the north west. This will bring snow, with the heaviest currently predicted to fall on Saturday night. There is a suggestion that this storm will start with some rain in the valley. however with the overall temperature of this system being well below 0°C, I suspect this will fall as sleet in the worst case. The wind will pick up somewhat with the movement of this cool air, however current wind speeds are not predicted to be as strong as the previous couple of storms we have experienced. The snow is predicted to persist until Wednesday.

Hareta!   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Friday 9th February 2018, 8:40am
Weather conditions: Sunny, blue skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Madarao.

I almost feel like I could copy and paste the reports at the moment.

More blue skies over Madarao this morning! It's going to be a sunny day and sun tomorrow as well.

Back to snow by Sunday though we need to not be surprised if there's some rain before the snow as tomorrow is going to be much milder than it has been. Still, once it starts snowing again it should be with us for a few days.

In the meantime, don't forget the sunscreen.


Official snow depth:

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
Free Ride Park
Powder Theater
Adventure Aisle
Crystal Bowl

Kids Park

Planned nighta operations this season:

Every Saturday until 24th March 2018
11th February 2018
   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Friday 9th February 2018, 8:44am
Weather conditions: Sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from a sunny (again) Shiga Kogen.

Tomorrow morning should be too, and not be quite as cold, with snow due by the end of the day still there on the forecasts.

Beautiful conditions this morning though.

Monday is a holiday in Japan and the upcoming weekend is traditionally one of the peak weekends of the winter season.


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



250cm   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Friday 9th February 2018, 8:55am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
The much needed replenishment of snow started late yesterday and continues as of now. There is a total of 10cm of fresh in the village and I would expect up to double that on the upper slopes. Needless to say it will be a great powder morning. There is only a slight breeze, but the cloud is low today and rolling right down the face of the resort. Hopefully this will lift later, but for now visibility will be varied and a bit limited at elevation. Have a great day!   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Friday 9th February 2018, 9:15am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Zao.

Lots of cloud around this morning with limited visibility in places on the mountain.

Perhaps some sun tomorrow along with warmer conditions, getting back to colder conditions from around Sunday along with fresh snowfall.

It's a 3 day weekend coming up as Monday is a national holiday (the holiday for National Foundation Day, which is actually on Sunday) - it is usually one of the most popular weekends of the season, so expect quite a few other fellow skiers and snowboarders!


Lifts and course info:

- All lifts appear to be opening as scheduled
- Note: the Karamatsu pair lift usually only operates on weekends
- All areas open

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 170cm
- Paradise area: 200cm
- Chuo area: 200cm
- Utopia area: 200cm
- Uwanodai area: 135cm
- Oomori area: 140cm


Zao Onsen forecast:

Zao Onsen 6-day snow and weather forecast

Floodlit night skiing is planned as follows:

In the Uwanodai area:
Daily until Sunday 4th March 2018
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 9th March until Sunday 18th March 2018

In the Yokokura area:
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only until Sunday 18th February 2018
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 2nd March until Sunday 11th March 2018

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

February 2018: every day
March 2018: 1st-4th   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Friday 9th February 2018, 9:42am
Weather conditions: Bluebird
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Cold, blue skies, still fresh snow... It’s a beautiful day in Myoko.

I may have to rethink Niigata Prefecture’s forecasts; they had 20cm up to 10 am this morning, where in fact we got just a dusting of snow since last night. I think they may have it closer along the coast, where once again reports have snow falling.

We’re good for the moment but it’s going to get warmer tomorrow, with (aaah) a chance of rain in the afternoon.

Should get cold again quickly after that, so we hope for a reset of snow.

Today, at least, should be great on the courses, or up in the hills where shaded areas should stay good (excellent yesterday all the way down to base level).


Akakura Kanko:
330 cm, -6°

Akakura Onsen:
380cm, -9°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
265cm, -10°

Myoko Suginohara:
220cm, -15°

Seki Onsen:
430 cm, -8°

Myoko Ski Park:
290 cm, -4°

Kyukamura RunRun:
330 cm, -4°

Tangram Ski Circus:
230 cm, -9°

Madarao Kogen:
240 cm, -7°

Kurohime Kogen Ski Park:
190cm, -12°

   Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Friday 9th February 2018, 10:32am
Weather conditions: Cloudy skies
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: --
Hello from Appi,

A relatively cold night last night became a chilly more morning with cloudy skies. We did see a few cm of snow last night but nothing serious.

Cloudy skies will prevail most of the day today with a westerly wind. We may see a cm or two of snow today but it’s the rest of the week that I’m excited about! It should all start on Saturday evening and continue until at least Thursday probably longer. A forecast of 10-20cm every day which should put a smile on everyone's face.

Temperatures may hit zero tomorrow but bounce right back down firmly into the minus territory by Sunday.

Enjoy the slopes and stay warm.


Planned lift operations (subject to change):

- APPI Gondola
- Central quad
- Central number 2 lift
- Central number 3 lift A
- Central number 5 lift
- Central number 6 lift
- Sailer quad
- Nishimori lift

Note: The Sailer Gondola, Central Number 4 lift and Vista quad are usually rested on normal weekdays


Official snow depth:

250cm   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Yuzawa Now
16th Nov, 12:39pm
Niseko Now
16th Nov, 12:13pm
Hakuba Now
16th Nov, 10:48
Madarao Now
16th Nov, 10:21
Shiga Kogen Now
15th Nov, 9:32
Nozawa Onsen Now
13th Nov, 9:34
Zao Now
07th Nov, 7:27
Grandeco Now
19th Oct, 14:51am
Myoko Now
06th Oct, 15:27am
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