Zao Now daily snow and weather - latest report

Zao Now

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Zao Onsen region, Japan
LATEST REPORT: Posted at 7:41am on Wednesday 5th May 2021
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
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Top temp:
Precipitation Wind Visibility
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This report
Wednesday 5th May 2021, 7:41am
Sunday 2nd May 2021, 10:30am 0cm
Friday 30th April 2021, 11:15am 0cm
Sunday 25th April 2021, 9:00am 0cm
Saturday 24th April 2021, 7:40am 0cm
Sunday 18th April 2021, 9:30am 0cm
Saturday 17th April 2021, 8:39am 0cm
Last 7 reports (total): 0cm
Last 14 reports (total): 0cm
Current month (May 2021) total: 0cm
2020/2021 season so far total: 389cm

Good morning from Zao.

We (along with everywhere else) had a good start to the season following last year's late start.

Unfortunately, (or maybe it's just me), the good stuff seemed to end far too quickly - end of February - although it was still possible to ride into May (today, with just part of Chuo open).

It was good to see so many locals this year but it is not clear if this was the result of the pandemic and working from home, reduced business hours/being open to the public.

And now here's a message from SnowJapan...


End of season general message from SnowJapan
This message is being posted on all of the Now daily reports

First of all, we hope that you and yours are keeping well.

What another strange season 2020-2021 has been.

In terms of snow and conditions, the story of the season can be found in the respective reports. Each region had its own story, of course, but it was certainly great to be able to get back to reporting some heavy snowfall this time round. Spring did once again seem to arrive earlier than we would like, but those fortunate enough to be able to enjoy the snow were able to experience some very fine conditions.


Ski areas around Japan made various efforts to deal with the covid-19 situation and while there were some changes to operations here and there, most were able to open for the season. Some ski areas and regions have been affected more than others, but it’s probably safe to say that is has been a challenging period for pretty much everyone involved. In particular, destinations that have enjoyed a lot of foreign visitors in recent years have probably felt a big shock.

Perhaps inevitably, there has been a generally more subdued atmosphere and feel to the season.


We made a few decisions before the winter started.

Unfortunately, it was getting obvious that international travel restrictions would be preventing people from entering Japan over the 2020-2021 season. And it was clearly going to be a great disappointment to many.

Even so, we wanted to keep SnowJapan updated as close to normal as possible. We asked our reporters to mention ‘the news’ when it seemed appropriate, but not to dwell on it too much. After all, people are not coming to SnowJapan to read about covid every day. We hope we got that difficult balance right.

Daily reports and updates are an important part of the site. They are popular with people while they are visiting Japan, but people also read our archive reports to see how previous seasons turned out and to make comparisons. Indeed, this last season we have noticed that a lot of you have been following from overseas – even if you weren’t able to come and enjoy the snow in person.

We would like to say a big public thank you to the reporters who did another fine job covering the 2020-2021 winter season on SnowJapan, in some challenging circumstances. Thanks to those efforts, we have another full season of data to add to our records.

Hopefully that information will continue to be of value to people making plans for a future visit to Japan.


The world knows much more about covid-19 in May 2021 than it did in April 2020, but in some ways we end this season with some of the same questions we were asking last year…

Everyone wants to know what the situation will be in six months’ time. There’s definitely brighter wider news and reasons to be positive, but big questions remain on how ‘open’ Japan might be for overseas visitors by the time the snow starts falling again.

No-one knows, of course.

Like last year, all we can do is try to keep a positive mindset and hope that progress will be made, and that overseas friends will be able to visit once again.

Looking Ahead

Whatever happens regarding the international travel situation, SnowJapan plans to be here reporting the 2021-2022 winter season.

2020-2021 might now be over, but as usual we are busy working on various stuff for the future. We’ll let you know what we’re up to later in the year.

In the meantime, if you are interested in old ski areas from the past around Japan, the SnowJapanHistory ( website will continue to be updated regularly. Over there you can find details on over 160 ski areas, including at least one that closed back in the 1960s (!)

Anyway, that’s it for now. Thanks for reading and your support. If you want to get in touch, as always you can contact us using this form.

Wherever you are in the world, stay safe… and we’ll see you later in the year.

(Hopefully with good news!)

Zao Now ski lift operation notes:

The 2020-2021 winter season ends today - Wednesday 5th May

Sunday 2nd May 2021
Photo 1
Nearby ski resorts
Official snow depth and weekly forecasts
(updated Wednesday 5th May 2021)
Daily snow reports
Other SnowJapan 'Now' reports and latest observed snowfall
Shiga Kogen Now 0cm
Friday 14th May 2021, 8:50am
Yuzawa Now 0cm
Friday 14th May 2021, 8:29am
Furano Now 0cm
Sunday 9th May 2021, 11:08am
Hakuba Now 0cm
Sunday 9th May 2021, 9:23am
Nozawa Onsen Now 0cm
Sunday 9th May 2021, 8:01am
Kiroro Now 0cm
Thursday 6th May 2021, 9:32am
Niseko Now 0cm
Wednesday 5th May 2021, 8:45am
Myoko Now 0cm
Sunday 2nd May 2021, 8:18am
Madarao Now 0cm
Sunday 4th April 2021, 9:04am
Geto Kogen Now 0cm
Wednesday 5th May 2021, 7:45am
Appi Kogen Now 0cm
Wednesday 5th May 2021, 7:40am
Aizu Bandai Now 0cm
Thursday 26th November 2020, 11:22am
Minakami Now 0cm
Wednesday 16th December 2020, 10:07am
Naeba Now 0cm
Friday 27th November 2020, 7:58am
Japan snowfall data
(updated daily during winter)
Zao Now observed snowfall data (at base): Recent Zao Now reports
The data displayed is correct up to and including Wednesday 5th May 2021
This graph shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the 21 Zao Now reports up until Wednesday 5th May 2021
(View more analysis here)
Zao Now observed snowfall data (at base): Recent season comparisons
The data displayed is correct up to and including Wednesday 5th May 2021
This table shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the Zao Now reports during same period over the last three seasons
(View more analysis here)
*as of Wednesday 5th May 2021
5th May 0cm - -
2nd May 0cm - -
30th April 0cm - 0cm
25th April 0cm - -
24th April 0cm - 0cm
18th April 0cm - -
17th April 0cm 8cm 0cm
Previous 7 days total 0cm 17cm 0cm
Previous 14 days total 0cm 38cm 72cm
November observed snowfall total - 8cm 7cm
December observed snowfall total 142cm 51cm 218cm
January observed snowfall total 146cm 88cm 145cm
February observed snowfall total 90cm 123cm 91cm
March observed snowfall total 11cm 64cm 66cm
April observed snowfall total 0cm 17cm 72cm
May observed snowfall total 0cm - 0cm
Season observed snowfall total 389cm 351cm 599cm
Zao Now observed snowfall data (at base): Monthly and annual accumulation
The data displayed is correct up to and including Wednesday 5th May 2021
This table shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the Zao Now reports for each month and total season accumulation
(View more analysis here)
  October November December January February March April May
2020/2021 season - - 142cm
2019/2020 season - 8cm
2018/2019 season - 7cm
2017/2018 season - 66cm
2016/2017 season - 11cm
2015/2016 season - 22cm
2014/2015 season - 20cm
2013/2014 season - 12cm
2012/2013 season - 3cm
  October November December January February March April May
Zao Now reports before Wednesday 5th May 2021
Zao Now reports from the same period last season
Zao Now archived reporting
View previous reports posted to Zao Now by clicking on the month