Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 25th May 2018

Geto Kogen Now!

Tuesday 1st May 2018, 7:33am
Weather conditions: Blue skies, bit of cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Geto Kogen.

It was a warm and sunny day yesterday.

And today will be... warm and sunny! More t-shirt weather.

Just 6 days left now. There seems to be rain due tomorrow, Thursday and perhaps on Friday too. Hopefully beyond that we'll get nice clearer skies again for the last weekend of the season.

---

Official snow depths:

Top: 200cm
Base: 80cm

The Number 1 Gondola and Number 1 pair lift operating   Read more ...
 

Furano Now!

Tuesday 1st May 2018, 8:01am
Weather conditions: Misty
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
We are in the final week the season. The ski area will be open through until this Sunday 6th May. There is still plenty of snow around but it is wet and getting very sticky.

Today there is low cloud all around and it is very misty. The ground is wet all over the village with the early morning mist. It is warm at 10c right now, but it is going to go up to a sweltering 21c today. The best skiing will be early morning before things warm up too much.   Read more ...
 

Appi Kogen Now!

Tuesday 1st May 2018, 8:07am
Weather conditions: Fine, hazy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
The fine warm weather continues today, but from tomorrow rain clouds might be with us over a period of a few days and perhaps into the weekend.

Appi still has five lifts operating and four courses open and plans to be open until Sunday 6th May.

---

Planned lift operations daily until 6th May - subject to change:

- APPI Gondola
- Central number 1 lift
- Central number 2 lift
- Central number 3A lift
- Central number 4 lift

---

Golden Week

Golden Week is a period from the end of April through early May containing a number of national holidays. Those holidays are as follows:

- 29th April is 'Showa Day' (Showa-no-hi), the birthday of former Emperor Showa
- 3rd May is 'Constitution Day' (Kenpo-kinenbi)
- 4th May is 'Greenery Day' (Midori-no-hi)
- 5th May is 'Children's Day' (Kodomo-no-hi)

What this means for 2018 is that most people will enjoy two long weekends - 3 days this upcoming weekend and then 4 days off the weekend after:

Long Weekend #1: Saturday 28th April - Monday 30th April
Long Weekend #2: Thursday 3rd - Sunday 6th May   Read more ...
 

Yuzawa Now!

Tuesday 1st May 2018, 8:20am
Weather conditions: Fine, overcast feel
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning everyone.

So here we are... into May and now just the Kagura resort remains open with Naeba finishing up for the season yesterday afternoon.

The sun is out again. There's a hazy/overcast kind of feel, but it is very bright and it should be another fine and warm day.

There's a chance of some rain tomorrow and the day after.

---

Photos below from Kagura, Mitsumata and Tashiro.

---

Updated: Tuesday 1st May 2018, 8:15am

Planned resort operations - subject to change

Kagura
Tashiro Ropeway plans to be at least part open until Sunday 6th May
Mitsumata Ropeway and the main Kagura area plan to be at least part open until Sunday 27th May

All courses remain open except

- Tashiro Number 1 (upper part closed)
- Challenge
- Gondola East Course (Tashiro)
- Gezan course (back to Mitsumata car park)
- Family Course now can only be used as a connecting course back to Ropeway
- * You can also ride the Mitsumata Number 1 lift back down to the Ropeway

Official snow depths<

- Kagura area - 160cm
- Mitsumata area - 50cm
- Tashiro area - 90cm

---

Golden Week

Golden Week is a period from the end of April through early May containing a number of national holidays. Those holidays are as follows:

- 29th April is 'Showa Day' (Showa-no-hi), the birthday of former Emperor Showa
- 3rd May is 'Constitution Day' (Kenpo-kinenbi)
- 4th May is 'Greenery Day' (Midori-no-hi)
- 5th May is 'Children's Day' (Kodomo-no-hi)

What this means for 2018 is that most people will enjoy two long weekends...

Long Weekend #1: Saturday 28th April - Monday 30th April
Long Weekend #2: Thursday 3rd - Sunday 6th May   Read more ...
 

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Tuesday 1st May 2018, 8:33am
Weather conditions: Fine and hazy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Nozawa.

It's going to be another fine and warm day.

Today is not a national holiday but it (and tomorrow) is sandwiched between the two long weekends, so we are still in Golden Week. The resort has the Skyline pair and Uenotaira lifts running because of that.

From tomorrow there's a chance of some rain for over a period of a few days; hopefully not too much.

---

Tuesday 1st May 2018

Official snow depth numbers:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 50cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 30cm
- Base areas: 0cm

Planned lifts operations today:

- Nagasaka Gondola
- Yamabiko Four
- Yamabiko Number 2 Four
- Skyline connecting pair
- Uenotaira Four

Planned open courses today:

- Yamabiko courses (A-E)
- Kokenashi A
- Uenotaira
- Get the Gondola back down to base

General resort operations information until Sunday 6th May:

The Gondola will be open from 8:10am daily;
The Number 1 car park will be free daily;
There will be no village shuttle bus between until 27th April;
Nozawa Onsen plans to remain open until Sunday 6th May.

---

Golden Week

Golden Week is a period from the end of April through early May containing a number of national holidays. Those holidays are as follows:

- 29th April is 'Showa Day' (Showa-no-hi), the birthday of former Emperor Showa
- 3rd May is 'Constitution Day' (Kenpo-kinenbi)
- 4th May is 'Greenery Day' (Midori-no-hi)
- 5th May is 'Children's Day' (Kodomo-no-hi)

What this means for 2018 is that most people will enjoy two long weekends - 3 days this upcoming weekend and then 4 days off the weekend after:

Long Weekend #1: Saturday 28th April - Monday 30th April
Long Weekend #2: Thursday 3rd - Sunday 6th May   Read more ...
 

Niseko Now!

Tuesday 1st May 2018, 8:35am
Weather conditions: Fog, cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning.

It's foggy out there this morning! Spooky! (Away from the mountain things are a little clearer... perhaps things will get clearer).

You can't ski or board back down to base anymore at Niseko Grand Hirafu - use the Ace Number 2 Center Four or Gondola to get back down to base. Hirafu has now closed the area below the King Hooded Lift Number 3 lift.

At Niseko Annupuri, they said they had 10 courses open as of 27th April but haven't updated that info since. You can still ride back down to base there though I believe.

And over at Niseko Village, just the top Wonderland Course area is open.

---

6 days left of ski lift operations, including today.

---

Tuesday 1st May 2018

Resort specific information (operations subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Plans to be open daily until Sunday 6th May

Planned lift operations:

- Ace Number 2 Center Four
- King Number 3
- King Number 4
- Hirafu Gondola

Course info:

- Onsenzawa and Path to King Area closed
- Lower part of Super closed
- All of the Hanazono area is closed

Official snow depth:

- Top: 280cm
- Base: 15cm

---

Niseko Annupuri
Plans to be open daily until Sunday 6th May

Planned lift operations:

- Annupuri Gondola
- Jumbo Number 1
- Jumbo Number 4

Official snow depth:

- Top: 300cm
- Base: 25cm

---

Niseko Village
Plans to be open daily until Sunday 6th May

Planned lift operations:

- Niseko Gondola
- Wonderland Chair

Official snow depth:

- Top: 300cm
- Base: 20cm

---

About Golden Week

Golden Week is a period from the end of April through early May containing a number of national holidays. Those holidays are as follows:

- 29th April is 'Showa Day' (Showa-no-hi), the birthday of former Emperor Showa
- 3rd May is 'Constitution Day' (Kenpo-kinenbi)
- 4th May is 'Greenery Day' (Midori-no-hi)
- 5th May is 'Children's Day' (Kodomo-no-hi)

What this means for 2018 is that most people will enjoy two long weekends - 3 days this upcoming weekend and then 4 days off the weekend after:

Long Weekend #1: Saturday 28th April - Monday 30th April
Long Weekend #2: Thursday 3rd - Sunday 6th May   Read more ...
 

Hakuba Now!

Tuesday 1st May 2018, 8:39am
Weather conditions: Fine, hazy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Hakuba.

Lots of cloud around yesterday but it was bright and just a bit of wind - a fine day.

And today should be too with temps once again venturing into the low-mid 20's at base.

It's a fine morning with blue skies and with that hazy look going on as well looking towards the east.

Tomorrow and Thursday, we might get a bit of rain.

6 more days folks!

---

Planned ski resort operations on Tuesday 1st May 2018:

We are checking the below information every morning, but please note that resort operations are beyond our control and subject to change.

Hakuba Happo-one

Lift info:

- Gondola
- Alpen quad
- Usagidaira pair (* open only on weekends/holidays)
- Panorama pair
- Grat quad
- Kurobishi Number 3 pair
- Kurobishi Number 2 quad
- Kokusai Number 1 pair (* open only on weekends/holidays)
- Kokusai Number 3 pair

Course info:

- Usagidaira
- Kurobishi
- Panorama (part)

- You can no longer ride back down to base areas - all base areas now closed
- Take the Gondola back down to base

Official snow depth:

- Kurobishi: 100cm
- Usagidaira: 25cm
- Lower: -cm

-----

Hakuba Goryu

Lift info:

- Gondola
- Alps Number 1 pair
- Alps Number 3 pair
- Alps Number 2/4 pair

Courses that remain open:

- Panorama
- Grand Prix
- Technical
- Super

- Take the Gondola back down to base

Official snow depth:

- Top: 130cm
- Toomi: -cm
- Iimori: -cm

-----

Hakuba 47

Lift info:

- Gondola
- Pair Line A-B
- Quad Line C
- Pair Line E

Course info:

- R-3 and R-6 are closed
- Most of R-7 closed
- Part of R-1 closed

Official snow depth:

- Top: 100cm
- Base: 25cm

-----

Tsugaike Kogen

Lift info:

- Gondola
- Tsugaike Ropeway
- Tsuga Number 1 pair
- Tsuga Number 2 pair
- Han-no-ki high speed

Courses info:

- Only the top Tsuga-no-mori and Han-kou courses remain open
- You can no longer ride back down to base areas - all base areas now closed
- Take the Gondola back down to base
- The Tsugaike Ropeway plans to be open daily until 6th May
- The Ropeway is open only for hiking and climbing; a special form must be submitted

Official snow depth:

- Tsuga-no-mori: 135cm
- Han-no-ki: 130cm
- Lower areas: -cm

---

Golden Week

Golden Week is a period from the end of April through early May containing a number of national holidays. Those holidays are as follows:

- 29th April is 'Showa Day' (Showa-no-hi), the birthday of former Emperor Showa
- 3rd May is 'Constitution Day' (Kenpo-kinenbi)
- 4th May is 'Greenery Day' (Midori-no-hi)
- 5th May is 'Children's Day' (Kodomo-no-hi)

What this means for 2018 is that most people will enjoy two long weekends - 3 days this upcoming weekend and then 4 days off the weekend after:

Long Weekend #1: Saturday 28th April - Monday 30th April
Long Weekend #2: Thursday 3rd - Sunday 6th May   Read more ...
 

Shiga Kogen Now!

Tuesday 1st May 2018, 8:45am
Weather conditions: Fine, hazy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Shiga Kogen.

Here we are in May. And this morning, three ski resort areas remain part open - Okushiga Kogen, Kumanoyu and Yokoteyama.

The first two plan to be open until Sunday; Yokoteyama is being rather vague about when it might be open until. It's unclear - basically 'as long as possible' with no hints as to when that might be. I'll keep an eye on the info and try to post an update when things change.

It's fine weather this morning again and nice and cool with a fairly warm day forecast. There's bit of wind blowing in places too.

There might be some rain tomorrow and Thursday. There's even a bit of snow on some forecasts for Friday at high elevations which is almost funny at this stage of the year.

---

Planned ski resort lift operations in Shiga Kogen. Subject to change - please check with resorts:

Okushiga Kogen
Number 2 pair lift open daily until 6th May
Number 3 pair lift open daily until 6th May
Gondola open until 6th May

Kumanoyu
Number 2 pair B lift open daily until 13th May

Yokoteyama & Shibutoge
Number 2 Sky lift open for as long as possible
Number 3 Sky lift open for as long as possible
Shibutoge lift open for as long as possible   Read more ...
 

Zao Now!

Tuesday 1st May 2018, 9:05am
Weather conditions: Lots of cloud, thin cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Zao

The Utopia lift and course area was hoping to continue through until Sunday, but no go - it is now closed.

So that leaves us with just the Chuo area open for skiing and snowboarding. And as you can see from the webcam image below, the snow is fast melting away with patchy conditions especially on the lift side. Those conditions certainly aren't for everyone but if you need to get in that last ride of the season...!

With some rain due tomorrow and Thursday, it is far from guaranteed that Chuo will be able to remain open until Sunday as planned.

I'll check each morning and let you know when anything changes again.

---

Course areas open

- Chuo

Ski lifts that are still operating

- Chuo Number 1 pair: open daily until 6th May
- Chuo Number 2 pair: open 3rd-6th May

* The Ropeways operate throughout the year for sightseeing
* Earlier than planned closing might be possible - will depend on snow conditions

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 15cm
- Paradise area: 35cm
- Chuo area: 35cm
- Utopia area: 25cm
- Uwanodai area: 0cm
- Oomori area: 0cm

---

Zao Onsen forecast:

Zao Onsen 6-day snow and weather forecast   Read more ...
 

Naeba Now!

Tuesday 1st May 2018, 9:10am
Weather conditions: Fine
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba.

That's it folks.

The weather was fine over that first long weekend of Golden Week and as of 5pm yesterday, the 2017-2018 ski season at Naeba has now finished.

Nearby Kagura remains open and keep an eye on the Yuzawa Now report for updates while that resort remains open.

The Dragondola will be operating until 27th May for sightseeing. (Note: not for skiing or boarding!)

Thanks for reading.

---

End of season message from SnowJapan.com

This message is being posted on all the daily Now reports on SnowJapan.com at the end of the 2017-2018 season. You can access all of the archived daily reports from the 2017-2018 season as well as previous seasons using the links at the bottom of this page.

Thank you very much for using SnowJapan.com and reading our daily reports. We hope you have enjoyed them and found them to be a useful resource.

Once again, we are happy to report that the 2017-2018 season saw another healthy increase in the number of people using SnowJapan and of course the daily reports are a big part of the website. We needed to upgrade our server hardware in March to shiny new servers and now that we are settled in we should be all set for the next few years of further growth.

Every winter lots of people send us comments and questions and unfortunately it just isn’t possible for us to answer them all individually. So, we would like to take this opportunity to answer some of those questions as well as making some other important points about SnowJapan and what we are. (And what we aren’t!)

SnowJapan.com is not a ski resort. Or a travel agency. Or a hotel. Or a ski school.

SnowJapan.com is an independent website that publishes independent information about winter sports in Japan.

Our snow reports are not official ski resort reports.

Our daily reports are not funded by or influenced by ski resorts.

In fact, they are not funded by or influenced by anyone.

Which brings us on to this very important point...

The integrity of our reporting.

This remains the most important thing to us.

We advise the people who write our reports that it is fine to get excited about excellent snow conditions. (Luckily for us, there’s usually lot of great snow conditions in Japan!) But at the same time, it is essential that our reports are clear and honest about things when they are less exciting - like when it is raining, or when there is a lack of fresh snow. Such reporting is not ‘being negative’. It’s reporting the truth, even if none of us particularly like it.

SnowJapan is not here to sell you anything.

There are a number of things that make SnowJapan.com unique.
We are not trying to convince you to visit any one region of Japan.
We are not asking you to book accommodation.
We are not asking you to join tours.
We are not asking you to book ski lessons.
We are not asking you to buy anything - we don’t have anything to sell!

What we are here to do is provide totally independent and honest information from around Japan. Our information is free from the inevitable pressures of having to sell and market products or services.

There is increasing pressure to hype things up.

When snow conditions are less than perfect, some people take issue with our position regarding reports. Unfortunately, it is a fact that there are some folk out there who would prefer that true conditions are sometimes hidden. They would prefer everyone believe that snow conditions are always close-on perfect… just like in a cheesy sales brochure.

At times we are asked by some businesses to avoid some less palatable truths and to sugar-coat conditions. Some of them even get angry with us when we refuse to do so. We enjoy keeping well out of ‘politics’, but in our position we inevitably hear of various things going on - from behind-the-scenes rivalries to unethical business practices. It really makes us wonder how some people can sleep soundly at night...

But we really like sleeping soundly at night and waking with a clear conscience.

(Very important note: of course, there are lots of really good folk too!)

We make a point of avoiding cheesy marketing words, avoiding The Overuse Of Adjectives In Capital Letters, and unrelenting ‘everything is amazing!!!!’ descriptions in our reports. We find that kind of ‘reporting’ to be really cringe worthy and at best misleading.

You will be able to tell when our reporters are genuinely excited by conditions. And because it is genuine, you’ll know that the conditions at that time are worthy of real excitement.

We believe that most people reading the reports appreciate this honest approach. To those people - don’t worry, we won’t be changing it!

"Why don’t the SnowJapan.com daily reports appear earlier each morning?"

If we owned or operated a ski resort, we would make it a high priority to post snow reports as early as possible each morning. We would report how much new snow has fallen on the upper slopes and base, weather conditions, lift operations and snow depth. We would also have multiple and meaningful webcams pointing out to locations around the resort. And we’d make sure that those webcams were backed up with adequate bandwidth to keep them working properly. We think it is probably reasonable to think that ski resorts might ideally be doing the above things for their customers.

But, of course, SnowJapan does not own or operate a ski resort.

The fact is, a fair number of Japanese ski resorts only post their morning information updates after 8am - and in some cases, it is actually later than that.

Our daily reports are generally a mix of observed snowfall data, observed weather conditions, personal comments about what is going on - as well as information/data that has been manually checked from official ski resort sources. This is all in the interest of creating interesting and reports that are as detailed as possible.

If we posted our daily reports much earlier than we currently do (for example at 7am or before), reports would be missing what we consider to be important information. For example, we would often not be able to include things like how much fresh snow the ski resorts are reporting, or news of any ski lift disruption at the start of the day. Things like that.

People who are lucky enough to already be at a ski resort and preparing to ride the first lifts of the day can get a good idea of weather conditions by taking a look outside the window when they get up, asking accommodation staff and/or perhaps checking out official resort sites etc. If we posted our daily reports mostly for the benefit of those first lift people - who probably only account for a very small percentage of the total number of people reading our reports - they would not be as good or detailed as they are.

We feel that our way makes for better all-round reports and a more complete overview of the season.

Remember: real people are writing the reports!

There is a lot of time and effort involved in creating the reports every morning. The reports that cover wider areas in particular - for example Niseko, Hakuba, Yuzawa - take quite a bit of time to put together every morning. Lots of information needs to be checked, data needs to be updated, the report needs to be written and then checked...

The people who are posting the reports are not ski resort employees doing this as part of their job. They probably need some coffee before posting. (Toast in some cases). They may need to dig themselves out of their home if it is snowing heavily. And they may also need to see to any number of circumstances and random complexities that life throws at them on any given morning.

So please keep all that in mind.

Each Now daily report is written by a different person. Each are based in the area that is being covered. In most cases, they have been there for quite some time. We purposefully don’t say who they are, not least because some of them would very much prefer to remain anonymous.

It is natural that each report will have its own personality and character. Some of the reports are longer than others; some are shorter; some are more humorous; some cover one ski resort; some cover a much wider region.

Posting a report every single day for over five months is a considerable commitment and a real responsibility. And remember, the people posting the reports are real people who have their own lives and sometimes circumstance might get in the way.

Why do ‘official snow depth’ numbers often not correspond with how much snow is being reported as falling?

In our Now daily reports, the ‘official snow depth’ data is information that the ski resorts themselves publish. We gather that information from official sources to be shown on our reports.

Different ski resorts in Japan report their ‘official snow depth’ number from different places. For some ski resorts, it is being measured at the top of the mountain. For some ski resorts, it is being measured at the base area. For other ski resorts, it is being measured at other locations. There are no consistent rules regarding where resorts take their snow depth measurements. And what they report is of course totally out of our control.

What about daily fresh snowfall? Well, many ski resorts in Japan do not actually publish a ‘new snowfall’ number on a consistent daily basis from the same spot each day. It would be great if they did. And even when they do publish such a number, the ‘official snow depth’ number often doesn’t often rise by a corresponding amount.

There’s a few reasons for that:

Snow is always melting and compacting; groomers, skiers and snowboarders compact it; prevailing weather conditions and temperatures have an impact on how that is happening; wind blows snow around. Nature happens.

It is also worth noting that some Japanese ski resorts seem wary of reporting huge amounts of snowfall. This may be hard for some of you to believe, but ‘too much snow’ all at once is thought to scare away the Japanese customers. Some Japanese ski resorts would prefer not to add 50cm in one day - even if that much snow actually fell overnight.

Some ski resorts may also just not update their snow depth number regularly - simple as that!

So in reality, the snow pack (the ‘official snow depth’) often changes way more than ski resorts actually publish.

About the SnowJapan ‘observed snowfall’ data.

The ‘observed snowfall’ that we publish on each of our reports is the amount of snowfall that our reporters see with their own eyes every day. It is taken from base area levels.

Why base areas? The reason for that is because it is the only place where a reliable measurement can be taken on a consistent basis every day throughout the season.

Does more snow fall at higher elevations on mountain than at base? In most cases, absolutely. And in some regions/resorts, there’s much more snow up there than at base. That’s one reason why you need to read the report and not just look at that number.

Within the text of our reports we do our best to report any fresh snowfall data that the ski resorts themselves are reporting from the mountain each morning. (Another reason why we want to wait for that information before posting reports in a morning).

It would be impossible for us to report our own observations from ‘higher up’ every day, for several reasons. Issues include the ability to get up top every morning (lifts might be closed some days); where exactly to take measurements from; how we would go about measuring ‘fresh snowfall’ over the period of 24 hours at a location. Remember, we’re not operating the ski resorts.

So, the only place that we can reliably and consistently report from every single morning is base.

"You under-report snow!", "You over-report snow!", etc

Our reporters simply report what they see.

If you are at a ski resort covered by our reports, there may be some occasions when you might disagree with the snowfall number that is shown in our reports. More (or less) snow may fall in places that are close-by to where our measurements are being taken. Microclimates and the like. That’s nature for you.

All we can say is that our reporters report what they see with their own eyes and measure themselves. Our measurements are coming to you from the same spot every day, generally very close to ski resort base lifts. And they are being reported by the same trusted individual who is not inclined to exaggerate.

"Why don’t you report more about actual quality of the snow?"

Different people have greatly different expectations and different points of reference when it comes to snow conditions. Including the individuals who post our reports.

So, unless things are indisputably excellent or indisputably rubbish, we feel that it is best for us to avoid concentrating on that kind of subjective personal opinion in our reports.

"Why is there more snow being reported on the ‘A Now’ report than ‘B Now’ report?"

That will be because more snow is being observed at base in ‘A’ than in ‘B’. It’s as simple as that.

Snowfall at higher elevations may well be a different matter - so please read the individual reports for details.

Also, very importantly...

We highly recommend that you don’t spent much time comparing the snowfall numbers between our different Now reports

We totally understand the temptation to directly compare the snowfall numbers for the different areas in our reporting, but we recommend that you don’t do it.

If you must though, be sure to look beyond just the headline numbers.

Some regions simply get less snow at base areas than other regions.

Base snowfall is far from being the full story.

If you are contemplating visiting one of the regions covered by our reports, we highly recommend that you spend time looking beyond just the headlines and read the full reports - including our archive reporting from previous seasons. Only that way will you get a true and detailed picture of what is happening and get an idea of how the snow falls in each of the regions and what to expect on-mountain.

Why don’t you publish a Now report for (insert name of resort)?"

If we could find somebody who we trust 100% to be able to publish honest, unbiased, consistent and informative reports every day throughout the winter season, we are certainly be open to considering adding new report sections to our website.

And finally...

We do not claim that our reports are perfect or that they should be viewed as ‘definitive’. You can however use them with confidence that they are an honest account of the snow season in the areas covered.

We put a lot of time and effort into putting the reports together every day and feel a real responsibility to get things right. While we are aware that we will never be able to provide reports that satisfy everyone, we are always keen to hear on how people feel we can further improve things. And of course, feedback does not always need to be positive!

Having said that, it’s always very nice to hear from friendly folk who just want to say hello and pass on some friendly comments as well.

If you want to contact us, please do so using the form here:

** Contact SnowJapan.com

(Sorry, but we are not able to answer individual questions about ski resorts etc)

---

The people behind this website love snow and Japan. That is why SnowJapan.com was created back in 1999. And it is why we continue to put our lives into developing and improving the website every year.

Keep an eye out for further improvements to the site over the coming months.

If you use and enjoy SnowJapan.com, please do let your friends know about us - it all helps. And if you know of an accommodation or business that might be interested in having a presence on our website, do let them know about us too.

We appreciate the support!

Thank you and enjoy the coming months, wherever you are in the world.

---

Our daily reporting will be back in the autumn in the run-up to the 2018-2019 season.   Read more ...
 

Minakami Now!

Tuesday 1st May 2018, 9:25am
Weather conditions: Fine and warm
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Minakami.

Fine weather again on this first day of May.

And all of the ski lifts at resorts in Minakami are now closed for the season.

It has been an interesting one for sure with this long run of spring since early March firmly in our recent memory. The Tenjindaira resort have said that they only needed to close on 9 days due to strong blizzard conditions - and that is much less than last season (though not stating that particular number).

Anyway, Minakami is of course a very popular place to be when there's no snow with all sorts of outdoor activities on offer. As well as the beautiful surroundings of course. Well worth a visit at any time of the year.

Thanks for reading and see you next season!

---

End of season message from SnowJapan.com

This message is being posted on all the daily Now reports on SnowJapan.com at the end of the 2017-2018 season. You can access all of the archived daily reports from the 2017-2018 season as well as previous seasons using the links at the bottom of this page.

Thank you very much for using SnowJapan.com and reading our daily reports. We hope you have enjoyed them and found them to be a useful resource.

Once again, we are happy to report that the 2017-2018 season saw another healthy increase in the number of people using SnowJapan and of course the daily reports are a big part of the website. We needed to upgrade our server hardware in March to shiny new servers and now that we are settled in we should be all set for the next few years of further growth.

Every winter lots of people send us comments and questions and unfortunately it just isn’t possible for us to answer them all individually. So, we would like to take this opportunity to answer some of those questions as well as making some other important points about SnowJapan and what we are. (And what we aren’t!)

SnowJapan.com is not a ski resort. Or a travel agency. Or a hotel. Or a ski school.

SnowJapan.com is an independent website that publishes independent information about winter sports in Japan.

Our snow reports are not official ski resort reports.

Our daily reports are not funded by or influenced by ski resorts.

In fact, they are not funded by or influenced by anyone.

Which brings us on to this very important point...

The integrity of our reporting.

This remains the most important thing to us.

We advise the people who write our reports that it is fine to get excited about excellent snow conditions. (Luckily for us, there’s usually lot of great snow conditions in Japan!) But at the same time, it is essential that our reports are clear and honest about things when they are less exciting - like when it is raining, or when there is a lack of fresh snow. Such reporting is not ‘being negative’. It’s reporting the truth, even if none of us particularly like it.

SnowJapan is not here to sell you anything.

There are a number of things that make SnowJapan.com unique.
We are not trying to convince you to visit any one region of Japan.
We are not asking you to book accommodation.
We are not asking you to join tours.
We are not asking you to book ski lessons.
We are not asking you to buy anything - we don’t have anything to sell!

What we are here to do is provide totally independent and honest information from around Japan. Our information is free from the inevitable pressures of having to sell and market products or services.

There is increasing pressure to hype things up.

When snow conditions are less than perfect, some people take issue with our position regarding reports. Unfortunately, it is a fact that there are some folk out there who would prefer that true conditions are sometimes hidden. They would prefer everyone believe that snow conditions are always close-on perfect… just like in a cheesy sales brochure.

At times we are asked by some businesses to avoid some less palatable truths and to sugar-coat conditions. Some of them even get angry with us when we refuse to do so. We enjoy keeping well out of ‘politics’, but in our position we inevitably hear of various things going on - from behind-the-scenes rivalries to unethical business practices. It really makes us wonder how some people can sleep soundly at night...

But we really like sleeping soundly at night and waking with a clear conscience.

(Very important note: of course, there are lots of really good folk too!)

We make a point of avoiding cheesy marketing words, avoiding The Overuse Of Adjectives In Capital Letters, and unrelenting ‘everything is amazing!!!!’ descriptions in our reports. We find that kind of ‘reporting’ to be really cringe worthy and at best misleading.

You will be able to tell when our reporters are genuinely excited by conditions. And because it is genuine, you’ll know that the conditions at that time are worthy of real excitement.

We believe that most people reading the reports appreciate this honest approach. To those people - don’t worry, we won’t be changing it!

"Why don’t the SnowJapan.com daily reports appear earlier each morning?"

If we owned or operated a ski resort, we would make it a high priority to post snow reports as early as possible each morning. We would report how much new snow has fallen on the upper slopes and base, weather conditions, lift operations and snow depth. We would also have multiple and meaningful webcams pointing out to locations around the resort. And we’d make sure that those webcams were backed up with adequate bandwidth to keep them working properly. We think it is probably reasonable to think that ski resorts might ideally be doing the above things for their customers.

But, of course, SnowJapan does not own or operate a ski resort.

The fact is, a fair number of Japanese ski resorts only post their morning information updates after 8am - and in some cases, it is actually later than that.

Our daily reports are generally a mix of observed snowfall data, observed weather conditions, personal comments about what is going on - as well as information/data that has been manually checked from official ski resort sources. This is all in the interest of creating interesting and reports that are as detailed as possible.

If we posted our daily reports much earlier than we currently do (for example at 7am or before), reports would be missing what we consider to be important information. For example, we would often not be able to include things like how much fresh snow the ski resorts are reporting, or news of any ski lift disruption at the start of the day. Things like that.

People who are lucky enough to already be at a ski resort and preparing to ride the first lifts of the day can get a good idea of weather conditions by taking a look outside the window when they get up, asking accommodation staff and/or perhaps checking out official resort sites etc. If we posted our daily reports mostly for the benefit of those first lift people - who probably only account for a very small percentage of the total number of people reading our reports - they would not be as good or detailed as they are.

We feel that our way makes for better all-round reports and a more complete overview of the season.

Remember: real people are writing the reports!

There is a lot of time and effort involved in creating the reports every morning. The reports that cover wider areas in particular - for example Niseko, Hakuba, Yuzawa - take quite a bit of time to put together every morning. Lots of information needs to be checked, data needs to be updated, the report needs to be written and then checked...

The people who are posting the reports are not ski resort employees doing this as part of their job. They probably need some coffee before posting. (Toast in some cases). They may need to dig themselves out of their home if it is snowing heavily. And they may also need to see to any number of circumstances and random complexities that life throws at them on any given morning.

So please keep all that in mind.

Each Now daily report is written by a different person. Each are based in the area that is being covered. In most cases, they have been there for quite some time. We purposefully don’t say who they are, not least because some of them would very much prefer to remain anonymous.

It is natural that each report will have its own personality and character. Some of the reports are longer than others; some are shorter; some are more humorous; some cover one ski resort; some cover a much wider region.

Posting a report every single day for over five months is a considerable commitment and a real responsibility. And remember, the people posting the reports are real people who have their own lives and sometimes circumstance might get in the way.

Why do ‘official snow depth’ numbers often not correspond with how much snow is being reported as falling?

In our Now daily reports, the ‘official snow depth’ data is information that the ski resorts themselves publish. We gather that information from official sources to be shown on our reports.

Different ski resorts in Japan report their ‘official snow depth’ number from different places. For some ski resorts, it is being measured at the top of the mountain. For some ski resorts, it is being measured at the base area. For other ski resorts, it is being measured at other locations. There are no consistent rules regarding where resorts take their snow depth measurements. And what they report is of course totally out of our control.

What about daily fresh snowfall? Well, many ski resorts in Japan do not actually publish a ‘new snowfall’ number on a consistent daily basis from the same spot each day. It would be great if they did. And even when they do publish such a number, the ‘official snow depth’ number often doesn’t often rise by a corresponding amount.

There’s a few reasons for that:

Snow is always melting and compacting; groomers, skiers and snowboarders compact it; prevailing weather conditions and temperatures have an impact on how that is happening; wind blows snow around. Nature happens.

It is also worth noting that some Japanese ski resorts seem wary of reporting huge amounts of snowfall. This may be hard for some of you to believe, but ‘too much snow’ all at once is thought to scare away the Japanese customers. Some Japanese ski resorts would prefer not to add 50cm in one day - even if that much snow actually fell overnight.

Some ski resorts may also just not update their snow depth number regularly - simple as that!

So in reality, the snow pack (the ‘official snow depth’) often changes way more than ski resorts actually publish.

About the SnowJapan ‘observed snowfall’ data.

The ‘observed snowfall’ that we publish on each of our reports is the amount of snowfall that our reporters see with their own eyes every day. It is taken from base area levels.

Why base areas? The reason for that is because it is the only place where a reliable measurement can be taken on a consistent basis every day throughout the season.

Does more snow fall at higher elevations on mountain than at base? In most cases, absolutely. And in some regions/resorts, there’s much more snow up there than at base. That’s one reason why you need to read the report and not just look at that number.

Within the text of our reports we do our best to report any fresh snowfall data that the ski resorts themselves are reporting from the mountain each morning. (Another reason why we want to wait for that information before posting reports in a morning).

It would be impossible for us to report our own observations from ‘higher up’ every day, for several reasons. Issues include the ability to get up top every morning (lifts might be closed some days); where exactly to take measurements from; how we would go about measuring ‘fresh snowfall’ over the period of 24 hours at a location. Remember, we’re not operating the ski resorts.

So, the only place that we can reliably and consistently report from every single morning is base.

"You under-report snow!", "You over-report snow!", etc

Our reporters simply report what they see.

If you are at a ski resort covered by our reports, there may be some occasions when you might disagree with the snowfall number that is shown in our reports. More (or less) snow may fall in places that are close-by to where our measurements are being taken. Microclimates and the like. That’s nature for you.

All we can say is that our reporters report what they see with their own eyes and measure themselves. Our measurements are coming to you from the same spot every day, generally very close to ski resort base lifts. And they are being reported by the same trusted individual who is not inclined to exaggerate.

"Why don’t you report more about actual quality of the snow?"

Different people have greatly different expectations and different points of reference when it comes to snow conditions. Including the individuals who post our reports.

So, unless things are indisputably excellent or indisputably rubbish, we feel that it is best for us to avoid concentrating on that kind of subjective personal opinion in our reports.

"Why is there more snow being reported on the ‘A Now’ report than ‘B Now’ report?"

That will be because more snow is being observed at base in ‘A’ than in ‘B’. It’s as simple as that.

Snowfall at higher elevations may well be a different matter - so please read the individual reports for details.

Also, very importantly...

We highly recommend that you don’t spent much time comparing the snowfall numbers between our different Now reports

We totally understand the temptation to directly compare the snowfall numbers for the different areas in our reporting, but we recommend that you don’t do it.

If you must though, be sure to look beyond just the headline numbers.

Some regions simply get less snow at base areas than other regions.

Base snowfall is far from being the full story.

If you are contemplating visiting one of the regions covered by our reports, we highly recommend that you spend time looking beyond just the headlines and read the full reports - including our archive reporting from previous seasons. Only that way will you get a true and detailed picture of what is happening and get an idea of how the snow falls in each of the regions and what to expect on-mountain.

Why don’t you publish a Now report for (insert name of resort)?"

If we could find somebody who we trust 100% to be able to publish honest, unbiased, consistent and informative reports every day throughout the winter season, we are certainly be open to considering adding new report sections to our website.

And finally...

We do not claim that our reports are perfect or that they should be viewed as ‘definitive’. You can however use them with confidence that they are an honest account of the snow season in the areas covered.

We put a lot of time and effort into putting the reports together every day and feel a real responsibility to get things right. While we are aware that we will never be able to provide reports that satisfy everyone, we are always keen to hear on how people feel we can further improve things. And of course, feedback does not always need to be positive!

Having said that, it’s always very nice to hear from friendly folk who just want to say hello and pass on some friendly comments as well.

If you want to contact us, please do so using the form here:

** Contact SnowJapan.com

(Sorry, but we are not able to answer individual questions about ski resorts etc)

---

The people behind this website love snow and Japan. That is why SnowJapan.com was created back in 1999. And it is why we continue to put our lives into developing and improving the website every year.

Keep an eye out for further improvements to the site over the coming months.

If you use and enjoy SnowJapan.com, please do let your friends know about us - it all helps. And if you know of an accommodation or business that might be interested in having a presence on our website, do let them know about us too.

We appreciate the support!

Thank you and enjoy the coming months, wherever you are in the world.

---

Our daily reporting will be back in the autumn in the run-up to the 2018-2019 season.
   Read more ...
 

Myoko Now!

Tuesday 1st May 2018, 12:19pm
Weather conditions: Sunny, but with thin high clouds
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Your Golden Week report, and we’re down to just one open resort. Seki Onsen did not make it, unfortunately (driving by yesterday, I could see that the lift from the base would deposit any riders on the grass...).

The weirdest thing of all in this very interesting snow season is that we might actually have snow at 1500 meters here on Thursday night/Friday morning. Rain most of the week, too.

Looks nice for the weekend, though... time for one last slide up above the green?

---

Akakura Kanko:
-

Akakura Onsen:
-

Ikenotaira Onsen:
-

Myoko Suginohara:
-

Seki Onsen:
-

Myoko Ski Park:
-

Kyukamura RunRun:
-

Lotte Arai Resort:
128cm, 20.8C; Zendana and Arai Gondola lifts running; Be Free and Encore courses open; Funaishi-zawa, Happy Place and Benzaku-zawa open in the avalanche-controlled areas open; closing May 6

Tangram Ski Circus:
-

Madarao Kogen:
-

Kurohime Kogen Snow Park:
-

   Read more ...
 

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Yuzawa Now
25th May, 8:40
Niseko Now
06th May, 9:21am
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
Grandeco Now
06th May, 8:29am
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
Madarao Now
05th May, 19:10pm

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002