Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 18th February 2019
Saturday 9th January 2016, 8:22am
There is another 15cm of fresh snow here in Madarao and things are starting to look much improved.
With snow continuing to fall today and more forecast later tomorrow and into Monday, it's feeling exciting for this long weekend we are just starting. With more snow hopefully it will not be long before the Tree Run courses will be able to open (they currently remain closed).
Should be good this morning though.
It's the Fire Festival at Madarao Kogen tonight, starting at 8:30pm with sweet sake and tangerines (!) along with other things going on. Fireworks at 9pm followed by torch-lit skiers putting on a display down the slopes. The second photo today will give you an idea.
Another 10+ cm on the upper slopes of Nozawa Onsen this morning and 7cm outside where I am here at base in the village, as the snow gradually builds up. I'm looking forward to the prospect of reporting numbers like 30cm and 40cm - usually something of the norm here in Nozawa - but all fresh snowfall is welcome. Conditions especially higher up should be nice this morning.
Most of the lifts are operating now for the weekend with just the Kandahar and Karasawa pair not moving and a few more courses opening up - later on course details as below. Unfortunately Skyline isn't open at the start of the weekend.
There will be a lot of people around this weekend, it being a long weekend and then the famous Nozawa Fire Festival coming up on the 15th. That is always a lot of fun, more on that early in the week.
For now though snow continues to fall from the skies and more is forecast over the next few days. We might have a break later today but it will be back by Sunday night and then through the day on Monday looks especially promising for potentially Nozawa-like amounts of snow.
Bring it on, I say. As no doubt everyone else is saying too!
A competition is being held on the Yunomine A course from today through Monday meaning that course will be closed to the public during that period.
Official info at time of writing on Saturday 9th January 2016 (subject to change):
Good morning from Niseko and the start of the long weekend as Monday being a holiday in Japan (Coming of Age Day).
As far as I can tell this morning Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri resort areas all went ahead with their planned early morning services and they will also be happening tomorrow and Monday - more details on those can be found below.
So yes, I have more fresh snow to report this morning as it continues to pile up. My ruler tell me it's another 11cm, so the last five days it has been around 10cm-15cm of fresh per day. (Here at base of course. No doubt more up there on the mountain). If you take a look at the graph near the bottom of the page as well (during today), you will see just how consistent the last few weeks has been. Very nice.
There still doesn't look like there will be much of a break in the snowfall in the coming week as it is still forecast to be falling from the skies at a consistent pace. Soon we will no doubt be hearing some folk yearning for clear sunny weather rather than snow. Actually I wouldn't mind that myself - as long as we get the snow overnight before it of course.
It is snowing still as I write the report this morning and should continue be for most of the day with some forecasts predicting the snow easing off this afternoon but back later tonight.
There's not much else to report really - all is good. Very good, in fact.
I hope that you have a very enjoyable weekend.
Remember if you want to enter the 'private tour for three' contest on SnowJapan, you have just a few days left to do that.
Niseko base 6am: -6℃, 10cm of new snow, no development of snowdrifts. Moiwa 800m: -8℃, light westerly breeze, 15cm of new snow with snowdrift development. Mikaeri anemometer: -10.8℃, W1.8m/s. Annupuri 1150m: -9℃, W15m/s, snowdrifts developing. Hirafu 1000m: -10℃, mild westerly wind, 10cm new snow with overnight snowdrift development. Coastal data: Benkei cape NW18m/s, Kamui cape WSW12m/s, 1009hPa, 2.6m waves.
The winter pressure distribution continues with moderate snow and wind above 800m, stronger wind in higher elevation. The new snowdrifts are forming soft slabs, the general avalanche risk is moderate in most areas. Peak gates are scheduled to open. Listen to the ski patrol’s instructions before stepping out of the gates. Intermittent stronger snowfall and wind are predicted as the isobars moves on. Beware of hypothermia and frostbites. The hazard evaluation is relatively low at this stage but the conditions may change quickly. Always remain prudent and humble in the mountains. The snow is in a fantastic condition.
Niseko Grand Hirafu 'Early Morning' Dates: Until Sunday 31st January 2016 Time: 8:00am until 8:20am Cost: 500 yen Details: Ace Number 2 Quad lift with the Super, Furiko, Green, Alpen and Sen-no-ki courses open
Niseko Annupuri 'First Run' Dates: Sunday 10th, Monday 11th January 2016 Time: 7:20am until 8:20am Cost: 1,000 yen Details: Gondola operation
Niseko Village 'Early Morning Gondola' Dates: Sunday 10th, Monday 11th January 2016 Time: 7:30am until 8:30am Cost: 1,300 yen Details: Gondola operation
It's important to note that these early morning lift operations require special tickets, which basically means that you have to pay extra for them. Season tickets and normal day passes cannot be used. In the case of bad weather conditions they may be cancelled.
Official resort snow depths as of Saturday 9th January 2016:
Good morning from Grandeco where there's some very nice powder on offer this morning.
Around 9cm recorded here at base with more the higher up you go of course.
The snow stopped falling this morning and actually now as this is being written some blue sky is appearing.
It's a very beautiful morning and suitably cold; I want to be out there right now!
The forecast remains good for steady and regular snowfall until around Tuesday and then more later in the week. I wouldn't expect a total clear up today with more snow later on more likely. We're still relatively low on snow of course so the more the better.
The advanced course 'Melissa' will open again from today.
Gondola Number 1 quad Number 2 quad Number 3 quad
(A-a) Rainbow 3500 (A-b) Rainbow 3500 (A-c) Rainbow 3500 (B-a) Mint (B-c) Mint (C) Center (D-b) Lavender (E) Melissa (F) Basil
The Snow Park (Decodaira E Park) is open on Lavender B course with 5 meters kicker, 5 meters tabletop and other box items.
Today is the beginning of the long weekend here in Japan with Monday being a national holiday.
How better to start it with more fresh snowfall?
We have had another 11cm of fresh snow at base (with the resort reporting 5-10cm) and it is snowing light-moderately now with overcast skies. There's no wind at base and so very nice conditions to be out there.
The forecast still has regular and consistent snowfall lined up for each day over the coming week so the excellent conditions should be continuing.
Today is the first 'All Night' of the year with the resort open through the night from 8pm until 5am tomorrow morning for those of you wanting some overnight riding action. The Kitanomine Number 1 high speed lift will be operating with the open courses being the Junior, Family and Azelia. Next up for some 'All Night' fun is Saturday 30th January.
The Premium Zone is also open again today from 10:30-14:00. Read more ...
Saturday 9th January 2016, 9:04am
I bring good news this morning - up to 30cm of fresh being reported on upper slopes.
Now that's more like it! :)
Just a modest 5cm or so here in the village but higher up on the mountain more snow is being reported by the resorts:
Hakuba 47: 15-20cm at base, 30cm up top Hakuba Goryu: 10cm at base, 30cm up top Happo-one: 20cm Hakuba Cortina: 15cm Hakuba Iwatake: 5-10cm
Now those numbers are something more like, and sure to have put smiles on faces. We want and need more of course and we should be getting more during the day today and then tomorrow and Monday as well. Head high folks!
We had light snow but no real accumulation during the day yesterday - even higher up - but if obviously upped a gear overnight with the decent haul reported.
Conditions should be refreshingly fresh up there this morning and just in time for the long weekend as well.
As I reported yesterday evening, Happo-one have got their top Grat quad and course open from this morning and there's more of Goryu, Cortina and Tsugaike Kogen open as well. As always, I have added details below.
Right now we have a mix of weather conditions going on. Low visibility higher up and somewhat clearer lower down. It even looks quite bright down here in places. Might we get to see some sunshine later on this afternoon? Even if we do, it should be snowing again by the end of the day.
Take care out there and have a very good Saturday.
Resort news as of 8:50am on Saturday 9th January 2015 (all subject to change due to weather conditions)
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 10-15cm at base and 30cm up top. All courses apart from Route 7 officially open. Tree Riding Zone not yet open for the season. Official snow depth Upper: 125cm Base: 15cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 10cm at base and 30cm up top. Panorama, Grand Prix, Super Course, Champion Dynamic and Woody Courses in upper area; the main Toomi course and the Soft Cream course in the Iimori area are planned to be open today. Planned lifts: Telecabin Gondola Alps Number 1 pair lift Alps Number 2/4 pair lift Alps Number 3 pair lift Toomi Sky Four lift Toomi Number 1 pair lift Toomi Number 2 pair lift Milky Four lift Official snow depth Alps: 125cm Toomi: 40cm Iimori: 30cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 20cm of new snowfall this morning. The Grat quad starts moving from today along with the Riesen Grat course. Usagidaira, Kurobishi, Panorama, Skyline, Kita One and Riesen Slalom areas are planned to be open, lower course areas still closed. Take one of the Gondola, Kokusai Number 1 pair, Sakka Kita-one quad or Nakiyama Number 3 triple lifts to get back down to base. Planned lifts: Adam Gondola Grat quad lift Alpen quad lift Usagidaira pair lift Happo Riesen quad Nakiyama Number 3 triple Kurobishi Number 2 quad lift Kurobishi Number 3 pair lift Skyline Number 2 pair lift Kokusai Number 1 lift Kokusai Number 3 lift Panorama pair lift Kita One quad lift Kita One Number 3 pair lift Official snow depth Usagidaira: 90cm Nakiyama: 30cm Sakka: 15cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina reporting 15cm of fresh snow and have their Number 1, 5 and 6 lifts moving once again. More courses at Cortina are now open! The courses that remain closed are: Mt Hieda Ridge, Mt Hieda 2 and 3, Itadaria Ridge and Giant. Planned lifts: All lifts apart from Number 7 pair lift now operating Official snow depth Top: 115cm Base: 70cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Most areas of Tsugaike Kogen are now at least part open. Planned lifts: Most lifts at Tsugaike Kogen are now operating. Official snow depth Tsuga-no-mori: 138cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 30cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Very limited area of the Mountain Side (North and East courses) is currently open. Planned lifts: Noah Gondola 3Sen Line North 4Sen Line East Line Lift Official snow depth Upper: 60cm Lower: 10cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Official snow depth 40cm 3 lifts are operating and 3 courses are now open at Hakuba Norikura Onsen.
Yesterday brought a sprinkling of snow throughout the day but in typical Appi fashion the wind picked up in the early afternoon taking the wind-chill on the mountain into the -20 degree range. Multiple layers are a must.
Overnight brought a wonderful surprise of 8 cm of accumulation and although there are still only 10 runs open the overnight snow should make these runs a little more fun today. The newly open Sailer run is in very good shape and I’ll be out there today before the crowds swarm the mountain.
This morning has started with bright sunny skies but anticipate the clouds rolling in throughout the day bringing with it a 'forecast' 1-3 cm of snow.
We’re hoping tonight brings much more so that we can get all the runs open, finally.
I’m sure this weekend is going to be a busy one because of the national holiday on Monday so you better get on the mountain early if you don’t want to spend the day avoiding the deluge of people that are going to descend on the still limited open runs today.
Just in case you missed it yesterday:
Today (Friday) added a total of 100cm of 'observed snowfall' to the reports, on top of the actual 1cm reported since yesterday.
This is the amount that we have conservatively estimated to have fallen at base since the beginning of the season, up until our reports started. Adding this observed snowfall will give us a complete picture of how much snow has fallen during the full season.
Unfortunately, it will all be logged for the month of January when most of it fell before January. The reason for this is because the reports only started in January and we are unable to backdate to December. This is of course not ideal, but we thought that the 'total amount' would be more interesting and valuable data come the end of the season.
We'll be sure to remind everyone about this particular issue later in the season as well.
Currently planned operating lifts:
- Appi Gondola - Central Number 1 quad - Number 1 lift A - Number 2 lift A - Number 2 lift B - Number 3 lift B - Number 4 lift - Sailer quad
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Appi Kogen resort is located in Hachimantai in the north western area of Iwate Prefecture in the Tohoku region. We are very pleased to be able to start our daily reporting from this region of Japan. More information on Appi Kogen can be found here.
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Snow is here again this morning to the tune of 20cm at the base of Tenjin, likely at least 30cm up top. After yesterday's clear weather during the day it is good to see. Down in the town it is right on zero degrees and a little colder up the mountain. The snow is forecast to clear sometime this morning with nothing new expected till Sunday night. Seeing some colder temperatures on the forecast and more snow ahead so fingers crossed. The Tajirisawa lift was closed at Tenjin yesterday due to a mechanical issue but its expected to be running again today. Hearing the plan is to open the main Toge faces today which will be sweet if it happens.
Had a group over at Hodaigi yesterday and saw the videos from a ski lesson. Hodaigi have done an excellent job and the beginner pistes look great. The top lifts don't have enough snow to operate but if you're beginners looking for the perfect learning piste, Hodaigi have it ready to go. Not sure how crowds will be this weekend but through the week its not been crowded at all.
There is more fresh snow to report this morning though it was actually raining as the day ended yesterday - it was one of those 'not again!' kind of feelings...
But happily it turned into snow overnight and there's about 4-6cm of fresh on the ground around town areas early on.
Regarding resorts that report fresh snowfall in a morning - Kagura are reporting 15-20cm of fresh snowfall, Naeba reporting 10cm (our reporter recording 7cm at base), and Maiko Snow Resort just to the north of Yuzawa town area reporting 5-15cm.
It all helps and I see that Maiko are now mostly open with the snow of the last few days. Expect other resorts to be 'as open as possible' given their conditions and this fresh snow will certainly have helped.
The snowfall still somehow feels 'weak' though, especially compared to what we are used to in this region. Perhaps we might get some of that Yuzawa-like kind of snowfall later tomorrow and through Monday into Tuesday. By that I mean blizzard like conditions and the snow quickly piling up. The forecast is still looking good for snow over that period.
For today though expect the snow to ease off and leave us with just cloudy skies and maybe even clearing skies. It should keep quite cold though which is good, currently at 9am it is +1C.
Some forecasts tell us to expect some clearer skies at the start of the day tomorrow with others saying snow clouds, though they all agree that it should be snowing later on in the day.
Today is the start of the long 'Coming of Age Day' weekend in Japan with Monday being a national holiday, so popular places especially should be very busy this weekend.
Here's to more snowfall over the coming days.
Resort official snow depths (Saturday 9th January 2016) and any specific news:
All resorts in the area are now generally open for the season, though please note that some areas and courses are not yet open. Generally steeper slopes that need more snow are still closed. The snow over the last few days has helped and we hope for more over the next few days.
Hello from Zao on this Saturday morning, the first of the three days in this long weekend.
It is snowing outside and I have 6cm to add to the tally this morning. Not a huge amount but as I'm writing this report it is coming down good so I'm hoping for bigger numbers soon. The forecast does look like we are set for consistent snowfall now over the coming week with tomorrow night looking particularly good for heavier snowfall. Might be some stronger winds as well.
Consistent snowfall is something that we (and many areas of Japan, at least on Honshu) have been uncharacteristically missing this season and so it will be great if we can get a good healthy run of snowy days under the belt with the snow depths out there seeing consistent increases too.
Looking at the official resort information it would seem that today Ryuzan, Nakamori and Kotan are open - I imagine the resort really really wanted those to be joining in the fun for the weekend. So it is just the Omori area that remains closed this morning. Other areas are all at least part open.
With this being a long weekend there should be lots of people around. Hope you enjoy it and take care out there!
Information as of Saturday 9th January 2016 (subject to change)
All lifts at Zao Onsen are now operating except for the Omori quad. All areas of Zao Onsen apart from Omori are now at least part open, but snow is still thin on the ground and patchy in some lower areas of the resort.
That most welcome, wonderful, beautiful snow tapered off yesterday, but then started up again during the night.
The result was another 10-20 cm on the ground this morning. Yeah! It's looking more and more like the Myoko we know and love - although do note that it is still really low out in the backcountry! Watch for them bushes and grape vines, OK?
Still snowing, albeit lightly, and it looks likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Didn't think I'd be able to write that this year....
'10-30cm' of fresh snow sound good? That is what I am hearing from around the areas this morning on mountain though it was 8cm outside my place where I take my measurements. I might have to get out and try to find that 30cm to see if it is real!
It's good quality light snow too so conditions should be pretty good out there this morning.
18 of the 19 ski areas of Shiga Kogen are now at least part open with just the small Kidoike area not open.
Large parts of the resorts are now open as well, with mainly steeper slopes that remain closed.
- the Higashitateyama Rinkan course is open - the Terakoya quad and top of Higashitateyama access from Takamagahara is available - Hasuike to Giant via the left side of Lake Hotel open - Giant to Hasuike via under-road tunnel is available
So things are shaping up, even if they should have been shaping up sometime in December!
We are expecting clearer skies later on and maybe tomorrow morning but more snow is due later on Sunday and through the day on Monday; hopefully through into Monday as well.
Things are feeling better now! Here's to consistent snowfall this coming week.
Official snow depths at Shiga Kogen resort areas (Saturday 9th January 2016):
As if often the case, not many updates here even with some fresh snow... you'd think they might be eager to raise the numbers somewhat!