Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 22nd May 2017

Zao Now!

Sunday 2nd April 2017, 7:56am
Weather conditions: Lots of cloud but some blue sky and a bit of sun due
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Zao.

More lifts are closed now, and a few more have their last day today, but it still feels cold and rather winter like.

---

Planned closing dates for lifts at Zao Onsen - subject to change due to snow conditions:

Operating until today:
- Nakamori Number 1 triple
- Onsen Number 1 pair
- Onsen Number 2 quad

Operating until Sunday 9th April:
- Mikaeri pair
- Shobunuma Number 2 pair (holidays only after 2nd April)

Operating until Sunday 16th April:
- Katakai triple (holidays only after 2nd April)
- Paradise pair AB (holidays only after 2nd April)

Operating until Sunday 7th May:
- Chuo Number 1 pair AB
- Chuo Number 2 pair AB (holidays only after 16th April)
- Utopia Number 2 pair

No fixed closing date:
- Yokokura Number 1 pair AB
- Kurohime Number 1 quad

Open all year (* for sightseeing):
- Sky Cable
- Chuo Ropeway
- Zao Ropeway

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Official snow depths (as published by the resort):
Summit - 155cm
Paradise - 240cm
Chuo - 240cm
Utopia - 200cm
Uwanodai - 130cm
Yokokura - 125cm

---

Lifts that are already closed for the season:
- Paradise Number 3 pair
- Diamond Number 1 pair
- Zao Kokutai pair
- Ryuzan pair
- Karamatsu pair
- Onsen Number 3 Parallel AB
- Onsen Number 4 quad
- Sunrise pair AB
- Nakamori Number 2 pair
- Diamond Number 2 pair
- Oomori quad
- Yokokura Number 2 pair
- Astraea Number 1 pair
- Astraea Number 2 pair
- Astraea Number 3 pair   Read more ...
 

Madarao Now!

Sunday 2nd April 2017, 8:01am
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
This is it folks --- the last day of the 2016/2017 season here in Madarao.

And what a beauty of a morning it is too. Check out the image below.

It is going to be a fun day and no doubt pretty sad come this evening too. In terms of snow, there could surely be another week or two of life in the season. But the resort plans this to be the last day, so that's it.

The official snow depth on this last day of the season is 250cm and the mountain really is in excellent shape when you consider it is early April.

I have had a really great season and from what I can tell when speaking to people on the lifts, so have a lot of visitors. And there have been more of them from overseas this season too - indeed this season there has been another large increase in people reading my reports. Thank you!

I'm going to enjoy a few lie-ins this coming week, and then perhaps get out to Nozawa and Shiga Kogen for a bit more skiing. as they are open into May.

So thank you very much for reading the Madarao Now reports on SnowJapan this year. I hope they have been a help.

---

Updated on 7th May:

A message from SnowJapan.com

This message is being posted on all the daily Now reports on SnowJapan.com at the end of the 2016-2017 season.

Firstly, thank you for using SnowJapan.com and reading our reports. We hope you have enjoyed them and found them to be a useful resource this season. The 2016-2017 season saw another significant increase in the number of people using our website ? our daily reports get a lot of traffic and the brand new ‘Snowfall Analysis’ pages appear to have been put to good use too.

Over the winter season a lot of people send us comments and questions. Unfortunately, it is impossible to answer them all so we are going to try to respond to some common questions and comments. (Some of the below comments are ‘reworkings’ of comments that we posted on the reports mid-season).

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

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

Our snow reports are not official ski resort reports.

Our reports are not funded or influenced by ski resorts - or indeed by anyone else. Which brings us on to this very important point…

The integrity of our reporting.

There’s nothing more important to us than this.

We advise the people who write our reports that it is fine to get really excited about excellent snow conditions. Luckily for us, there’s usually lots of those in Japan! But at the same time, it is essential to be 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.

We are not here to sell you anything.

One of the things that makes SnowJapan.com unique is the fact that we are not trying to convince you to visit any one region of Japan. We’re not asking you to book accommodation; or to join tours; or to take ski lessons. We’re not asking you to buy anything ? we don’t have anything to sell!

What we are here to do is provide independent and honest information from around Japan. Importantly, information that is free from the inevitable pressures of having to sell and market services.

Increasing pressure to add cheese or sugar

When snow conditions are less than perfect, some people do take issue with our position regarding reports. Sadly, it is a fact that there are some folk out there who would prefer that true conditions are not always known. They would prefer everyone believe that snow conditions are always close-on perfect, just like the brochures. We are sometimes asked by some businesses to avoid some less palatable truths and to sugar-coat the conditions.

That’s just not what we are about.

We make a point of avoiding cheesy marketing words, Overusing Adjectives In Capital Letters, and unrelenting ‘everything is perfect’ descriptions in our reports. Apart from often being exaggerations or worse, they’re often really cringeworthy.

You’ll 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 really worthy of excitement.

It seems that most people appreciate our 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 and operated a ski resort, we would make it a high priority to post updates as early as possible every morning. We would have our staff up early morning to report how much fresh snow had fallen at top and at base. We’d report snow depth from a few locations consistently every day. We’d also be sure to have multiple and meaningful webcams pointing out to locations around the resort.

But, we do not own or operate a ski resort.

Unfortunately, a fair number of Japanese ski resorts only post morning information after 8am - and sometimes later than that. If we posted our reports earlier than we currently do, we would often miss important information - for example, how much fresh snow ski resorts are reporting overnight; or news of any lift disruption at the start of the day.

Our reports are an ongoing and season-long commentary, rather than simply an early morning snapshot report for gnarly folk waiting for the first lift of the day. (People who are lucky enough to be at a ski resort and heading for first lifts can get a very good idea of weather conditions by looking outside of the window when they get up!)
We feel that our way makes for better all-round reports and a more complete overview of the season.

The people writing the reports.

Of course, there’s also the people who post the reports and their circumstances to consider. They probably need some coffee and toast - maybe even some natto - before spending time writing the reports. They may need to dig themselves out of their home when there’s huge amounts of snow. And they may need to see to other complexities that life throws at them.

Each Now daily report is written by a different person. Each are based in the area that is being covered and in many cases, they have been there for quite some time. We purposefully don’t say who they are, not least because some of them would 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 humans - they have their own lives and sometimes circumstance might get in the way.

Why do ‘official snow depth’ numbers often not correspond to how much snow is 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.

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.

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 worth noting that some Japanese ski resorts are 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 fell overnight.

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

So, the snow pack (official snow depth) often changes way more than ski resorts actually report.

And we have no control over that.

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, much more than others.

Within the text of our reports we try 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 in a morning).

But it would be impossible for us to report from ‘higher up’ every day, for several reasons. Issues include the ability to get up top every morning (lifts might be closed); 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 a ski resort.

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

”You under-report snow!”
”You over-report snow!”


No, we really don’t.

Our reporters report what they see with their own eyes and measure themselves.

Yes, there will be more (or less) snow falling in areas close-by. Someone visiting the same ski resort may experience something slightly different. And actually, both may well be correct. Microclimates and the like. That’s nature for you.

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 so unless things are indisputably excellent or indisputably rubbish, we feel it’s probably best to avoid going into that kind of detail every day.

“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 would certainly be open to considering adding new report sections to our website.

“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 reports for such details...

We recommend you don’t spent much time comparing the snowfall numbers between regions

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

If you must though, at least be sure to look beyond just the numbers. Some regions simply get less snow at base than other regions - but 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.

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 as 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 using this form

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Let’s SnowJapan!

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

We want nothing better than to be able to report consistent and large amounts of snowfall falling on the Japanese mountains with excellent conditions everywhere. Happily, the Japanese mountains usually enjoy consistently large amounts of snowfall and great conditions. Let’s hope that is what we get for next season.

If you use and enjoy SnowJapan.com, please do let your friends know about us. It all helps.

We appreciate the support.

Thank you.

---

Our daily report updates will be back in the autumn in the run-up to the 2017-2018 season.   Read more ...
 

Yuzawa Now!

Sunday 2nd April 2017, 8:20am
Weather conditions: Lots of blue sky and sun, some cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning everyone from Yuzawa.

Yesterday was a rather dull day - and actually fairly cold too, especially if you were sliding down the slopes at some speed. A few spots of rain again later in the day but as far as I saw not much at all and none at all in places.

Once again the high elevation Kagura are reporting 1cm of fresh snow.

This morning the sun is out and there's lots of blue skies above. There's a few clouds up there; and a bit of low cloud still hanging over the Minamiuonuma valley (see image below) just to the north of Yuzawa, but they will very probably be gone soon.

It's going to be a very fine day by the looks and a fitting end to the season for some ski resorts...

Today is the last day for a handful of ski resorts, all of which still have excellent cover and (of course, spring) conditions.

Please note that Maiko Snow Resort will be closed from tomorrow until Friday but the Gondola side will re-open again for next weekend.

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Official snow depth information as of Sunday 2nd April 2017

GALA Yuzawa
Central, North, downhill course and sledding area are all open
Official snow depth: 360cm

Ishiuchi Maruyama
Official snow depth: 230cm

Iwappara
Official snow depth: 120cm

Joetsu Kokusai
Official snow depth: 200cm

Kagura
Official snow depth: Kagura - 380cm; Mitsumata - 330cm; Tashiro - 350cm

Kandatsu Kogen
Official snow depth: 280cm

Maiko Snow Resort
Official snow depth: Upper - 275cm; Base - 80cm

Naeba
Official snow depth: 230cm

NASPA Ski Garden
Official snow depth: 185cm

Yuzawa Kogen
Official snow depth: Top - 230cm; Base - 130cm

Yuzawa Park
Official snow depth: 150cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
Official snow depth: 120cm

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Planned 'Nighta' operations (floodlit night skiing)

** Subject to change due to snow and weather conditions

Kandatsu Kogen
'Hobo All Night' ('Almost All Night' from 6pm-4am) is on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays until 1st April 2017. Spring nighta (6pm-10pm) on Saturdays and nighta before holidays from 7th April until 22nd April

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Planned season closing dates

** This information is subject to change due to snow and weather conditions. We will be checking and updating these dates as more information becomes available.

LAST DAY TODAY:
- Ipponsugi
- Ishiuchi Maruyama
- Itsukamachi
- Maiko Snow Resort - Maiko Area (* see below)
- Muica Snow Resort
- Yuzawa Kogen
- Yuzawa Nakazato
- Yuzawa Park

Sunday 9th April:
- Iwappara
- Joetsu Kokusai
- Maiko Snow Resort (* note: closed Monday 3rd April through Friday 7th April)
- NASPA Ski Garden

Sunday 7th May:
- GALA Yuzawa
- Kagura (Tashiro)
- Kandatsu Kogen
- Naeba (daily until 2nd April; weekends only 3rd-28th April; daily from 29th April)

Sunday 28th May:
- Kagura area (via Mitsumata)

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Now closed for the season:

- Chateau Shiozawa
- Ishiuchi Hanaoka
- Mt Granview
- Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- Hakkai Sanroku   Read more ...
 

Shiga Kogen Now!

Sunday 2nd April 2017, 8:34am
Weather conditions: Sunny, blue skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
The sun is out this morning.

It was actually really cold last night - certainly for the beginning of April! - but I think the sun should be warming things up pretty quickly during the day today.

Today is the last day for a number of areas of Shiga Kogen... I'll go through what remains open tomorrow morning.

Got to make the most of today!

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Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:

Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish.

Giant
220cm

Higashitateyama
260cm

Ichinose Family
260cm

Ichinose Diamond
260cm

Kumanoyu
340cm

Maruike
200cm

Okushiga Kogen
310cm

Sun Valley
200cm

Takamagahara Mammoth
260cm

Terakoya
260cm

Yakebitaiyama
280cm

Yokoteyama
310cm

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Spring season dates for Shiga Kogen resort areas:

Lift and resort closing dates - it's complicated!
Please note that from 8th May, joint Shiga Kogen lift tickets are not valid - individual tickets from the individual areas will be required.

Sun Valley
Both Sun Valley lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 2nd April

Maruike
The Number 1 triple lift plans to be operating until Sunday 2nd April

Giant
The pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 2nd April

Higashitateyama
The Gondola plans to be operating until Sunday 2nd April

Bunadaira
The Hoppo quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 2nd April

Takamagahara Mammoth
The quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 7th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only from 10th April until 28th April).

Tannenomori Okojo
The quad lift plans to be operating daily until Sunday 2nd April and then on 8th/9th April and from 29th April until 7th May

Ichinose Family
The Ichinose quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 7th May
The Ichinose Number 2 pair B lift plans to be operating until Sunday 7th May

Terakoya
The Terakoya lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 7th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only from 3rd April until 28th April).

Ichinose Diamond
The Ichinose Diamond quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 7th May (* Saturdays and Sundays only from 10th April until 28th April)

Ichinose Yamanokami
Plans to be open until Sunday 2nd April

Yakebitaiyama
The Gondolas and Number 2 lift plan to be operating until Sunday 2nd April

Okushiga Kogen
The Okushiga Kogen Number 4 pair lift plans to be operating on 1st, 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd April and between 29th April and 7th May
The Okushiga Kogen Number 2, 3, and 6 pair lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 7th May
The Okushiga Kogen Gondola lift plans to be operating until Sunday 7th May

Kumanoyu
The Kumanoyu Number 1 pair lift plan to be operating until Sunday 7th May
The Kumanoyu Number 2 pair A and B lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 14th May
The Kumanoyu Number 3 quad lift plans to be operating until Sunday 2nd April; and then on 2nd, 8th, 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 23rd April and from 29th April until 7th May

Yokoteyama & Shibutoge
The Yokoteyama Number 1 Sky A and B lifts plan to be operating until Sunday 7th May
The Yokoteyama Number 2 and 3 Sky lifts plan to be operating until late May
The Yokoteyama Number 4 pair lift plans to be operating until Sunday 7th May (may be closed on certain days)
The Shibutoge lift plans to be operating until late May   Read more ...
 

Niseko Now!

Sunday 2nd April 2017, 8:44am
Weather conditions: Sun, blue sky, some cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from my Hirafu base.

I had a really fun day yesterday. The weather was great and the spring conditions were really good too. A different experience from mid-season, but not one to be scoffed at. Yesterday got it just right, for me anyway. Just remember to keep in mind that as things warm up the base pack characteristics change and present new dangers. Caution recommended (as if it isn't always!)

This morning the sun is out again and it looks like it will be another fine day.

Today is the last day of the snow season for the Niseko Village and Niseko HANAZONO Resort areas of the mountain. Kind of sad and still shocking at just how quickly a season goes by.

From tomorrow, we'll be left with Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Annupuri both remaining open. They both plan to remain open daily until 7th May. Depending on conditions and the weather of course, which courses remain open might change. For now, all courses appear to be open.

Note that while Niseko Village will be closed from tomorrow, it will be re-opening (to some extent) for the Golden Week period between 29th April and 7th April.

I will of course keep you updated on the details in my daily reports through until 7th May.

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

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Niseko HANAZONO Resort
Niseko Village
Niseko Annupuri
Resorts are opening as planned this morning.

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Official resort snow depths as of Sunday 2nd April 2017:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 330cm
Base - 125cm

Niseko Village
Top - 245cm
Base - 110cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 220cm
Base - 110cm

---

Planned closing dates
Niseko Grand Hirafu plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May.
Niseko HANAZONO Resort is open until today.
Niseko Village plans to re-open from 28th April until 7th May.
Niseko Annupuri plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May.

Night time floodlit operations have now finished for the season.   Read more ...
 

Hakuba Now!

Sunday 2nd April 2017, 8:44am
Weather conditions: Blue skies and sunshine
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

The clouds from yesterday have moved on and this morning it's one of those spectacular starts to the day with gorgeous blue skies as the backdrop to the mountains.

There'll be some fun and fast conditions early on, but the sun will surely loosen things up as the day progresses.

It is the last day of the season (for Hakuba Cortina, Norikura, Kashimayari) but it still somehow looks and feels like it shouldn't be happening just yet. From what I can see, we still have very good snow cover down to lower slopes - and certainly absolutely no issues in higher areas and some healthy looking snow depths.

There should be no problem this year with the four resorts that plan to remain open until 7th May.

---

Resort news as of 8:40am on Sunday 2nd April 2017:

All information as available and subject to change.

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall.
Official snow depth:
Upper: 295cm
Base: 115cm
---
Hakuba 47 plans to be open until Sunday 7th May.

Hakuba Goryu:
Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall on upper areas.
The Iimori area of the resort is now closed. The Toomi and the upper areas remain open.
Official snow depth:
Alps: 280cm
Toomi: 110cm
---
Hakuba Goryu plans to be open until Sunday 7th May.

Hakuba Happo-one:
Hakuba Happo-one is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall (Riesen quad top).
Last day of the season for a few lifts and the Happo Banks area today.
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira: 215cm
Kurobishi: 290cm
Lower: 80cm
---
Hakuba Happo-one plans to be open until Sunday 7th May.
Planned closing dates for lifts are as follows:
Open until Sunday 2nd April
Kokusai Number 1 pair lift
Kita-one Number 3 pair lift
---
Open until Sunday 9th April
Nakiyama Number 3 triple lift
Happo Riesen quad
---
Open until Sunday 7th May
Gondola
Alpen quad lift
Grat quad lift
Usagidaira pair lift
Panorama pair lift
Hakuba Kokusai Number 3 pair lift
Kurobishi Number 2 quad lift
Kurobishi Number 3 pair lift
Skyline Number 2 pair lift

Tsugaike Kogen:
Uma-no-se and Champion areas closed; Maruyama area partially closed.
Official snow depth:
Tsuga-no-mori: 340m
Han-no-ki: 335cm
Oya-no-hara: 120cm
Kane-no-naru-oka: 115cm
---
Tsugaike Kogen plans to be open until Sunday 7th May.
Planned closing dates for lifts are as follows:
Open until Sunday 2nd April
Han-no-ki Number 3 quad lift
Tsugaike Chuo triple chair lift
Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner II
Kane-no-naru-oka Romance lift
---
Open until Sunday 9th April
Shirakaba quad
---
Open until Sunday 7th May
Tsugaike Ropeway
Gondola
Tsuga Number 2 pair lift
Han-no-ki high speed pair lift

Hakuba Cortina:
Hakuba Cortina is reporting 1cm of fresh snowfall.
Part open until Sunday 2nd April.
Official snow depth:
Top: 340cm
Base: 200cm

Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Part open until Sunday 2nd April.
Official snow depth:
Top: 100cm

Kashimayari:
Part open until Sunday 2nd April.
Official snow depth:
Top: 105cm   Read more ...
 

Grandeco Now!

Sunday 2nd April 2017, 8:57am
Weather conditions: Fair
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

It is a beautiful Sunday morning with blue skies and a bit of cloud.

Temperatures are keeping pretty cold and the snow condition is a little hard but not icy yet. The ski courses look nicely groomed, the weather is good, it will be a good day for skiing!

It is also getting easier and easier to climb up to Mt. Nishidaiten because of the snow condition.

Even in good visibility day like today, do not follow other people's tracks when you hike up. Bring your GPS and maps to check directions. Also remember to take food, water and extra warm clothing.

Some ski resorts in Bandai area will close from tomorrow. Please see the information below.

Ski ground information:
Grandeco - open until 7 May
Nekoma - open until 7 May
Minowa - open until 5 May

Inawashiro central will close from tomorrow.
Inawashiro resort will close from tomorrow.
Listel Ski Fantasia will close from tomorrow.

Numajiri: already closed
Inawashiro Minero: already closed
Urabandai: already closed
Alts Bandai: already closed

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Snow Park Information:

[Dekodaira E park]
9m kicker, 5m table top 2 way and 10m kicker.

[Deokoboko park]
6m wide box, 6m down box, wave, 5m table top/hip/drum can, 6m straight box, 6m straight rail, mini ramp, volcano, volcano, 3m kicker, 5m kicker, 6m down big can.

---

Lifts operating:

Lifts Operating:

- Gondola
- Number 1 quad lift
- Number 2 quad lift
- Number 3 quad lift
- Number 4 quad lift

Courses open:

All courses now open - though part of the Lavender 28 Course is not available as the resort prepares for mogul competitions at the weekend

Official snow depth:
320cm

Road Condition to Grandeco:
Inawashiro through Goshikinuma: dry
Goshukinuma through Grandeco: dry   Read more ...
 

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Sunday 2nd April 2017, 9:12am
Weather conditions: Sunny blue skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Nozawa.

The sun is out.

There's blue skies all around.

It's a beautiful morning.

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From tomorrow, it's 'Spring Operations' at Nozawa Onsen. That means a few changes in lift ticket prices, what's open and when it's open. This year with loads of snow still around there's going to be absolutely no problems whatsoever with the resort remaining open until 7th May.

Here's the plans:

Spring lift ticket prices:

1 day lift ticket - 3700 yen (adult), 1700 yen (child), 2900 yen (senior)
Half day lift ticket - 2700 yen (adult), 1200 yen (child), 2400 yen (senior)

Lift operations:

Nagasaka Gondola - 8:10am until 3:30pm
Yamabiko Number 2 Four lift - 8:25am until 3:15pm
Yamabiko Four lift - 8:30am until 3:40pm
Uenotaira Four lift - 8:30am until 3:40pm (* only Saturdays, Sundays and Golden Week from 10th April)
Paradise Four lift - 8:25am until 3:50pm (* only Saturdays, Sundays and Golden Week from 10th April)
Skyline Pair lift - 8:25am until 4:00pm (* only Saturdays, Sundays and Golden Week from 10th April)

** Yu Road and Hikage triple lift will be open on 3rd April.

Open courses from 3rd April - 9th April

Yamabiko A
Yamabiko B
Yamabiko C
Yamabiko D
Yamabiko E
Uenotaira
Paradise

Courses open from next weekend will presumably be announced nearer the time.

Car parks:

Number 1, 2 and 3 free of charge daily

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Nozawa Onsen plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May.

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Sunday 2nd April 2017

Fresh snow reported by resort since yesterday morning:
- Yamabiko: 0cm
- Uenotaira: 0cm
- Hikage: 0cm
- Nagasaka: 0cm
- Karasawa: 0cm

Official snow depths:
- Yamabiko: 400cm
- Uenotaira: 300cm
- Hikage: 140cm
- Nagasaka: 130cm
- Karasawa: 80cm

Lifts operations:
- All lifts operating

Courses not open today are:
- Grand Prix
- Hachiman
- Kandahar East
- Kamoshika
- Tanuki   Read more ...
 

Naeba Now!

Sunday 2nd April 2017, 9:58am
Weather conditions: Fantastic clear blue skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba for the last time this season everybody.

As predicted today is an absolute corker of a day. Perfect blue skies and relatively cold temperatures have combined to give us a perfect day to just get out there and enjoy the mountain.

Conditions will get a little slushy later on but it is not going to be the slush fest that is more standard for a closing day.

Many thanks for all of you loyal readers who stayed with us through the season. There will be no more Naeba Now daily reports from here on in this season.

As it currently stands Naeba is planning to operate on weekends only, and then daily through Golden Week from 29th April until Sunday 7th May. This is obviously subject to change relatively fast however as we come into the progressively warmer temperatures of spring. Keep an eye on the Yuzawa Now report page for any more Naeba news (see below).

For this report though, see you all next season!

Spicy!

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The Yuzawa Now - updates daily until the end of Golden Week.

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Updated on 7th May:

A message from SnowJapan.com

This message is being posted on all the daily Now reports on SnowJapan.com at the end of the 2016-2017 season.

Firstly, thank you for using SnowJapan.com and reading our reports. We hope you have enjoyed them and found them to be a useful resource this season. The 2016-2017 season saw another significant increase in the number of people using our website ? our daily reports get a lot of traffic and the brand new ‘Snowfall Analysis’ pages appear to have been put to good use too.

Over the winter season a lot of people send us comments and questions. Unfortunately, it is impossible to answer them all so we are going to try to respond to some common questions and comments. (Some of the below comments are ‘reworkings’ of comments that we posted on the reports mid-season).

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

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

Our snow reports are not official ski resort reports.

Our reports are not funded or influenced by ski resorts - or indeed by anyone else. Which brings us on to this very important point…

The integrity of our reporting.

There’s nothing more important to us than this.

We advise the people who write our reports that it is fine to get really excited about excellent snow conditions. Luckily for us, there’s usually lots of those in Japan! But at the same time, it is essential to be 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.

We are not here to sell you anything.

One of the things that makes SnowJapan.com unique is the fact that we are not trying to convince you to visit any one region of Japan. We’re not asking you to book accommodation; or to join tours; or to take ski lessons. We’re not asking you to buy anything ? we don’t have anything to sell!

What we are here to do is provide independent and honest information from around Japan. Importantly, information that is free from the inevitable pressures of having to sell and market services.

Increasing pressure to add cheese or sugar

When snow conditions are less than perfect, some people do take issue with our position regarding reports. Sadly, it is a fact that there are some folk out there who would prefer that true conditions are not always known. They would prefer everyone believe that snow conditions are always close-on perfect, just like the brochures. We are sometimes asked by some businesses to avoid some less palatable truths and to sugar-coat the conditions.

That’s just not what we are about.

We make a point of avoiding cheesy marketing words, Overusing Adjectives In Capital Letters, and unrelenting ‘everything is perfect’ descriptions in our reports. Apart from often being exaggerations or worse, they’re often really cringeworthy.

You’ll 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 really worthy of excitement.

It seems that most people appreciate our 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 and operated a ski resort, we would make it a high priority to post updates as early as possible every morning. We would have our staff up early morning to report how much fresh snow had fallen at top and at base. We’d report snow depth from a few locations consistently every day. We’d also be sure to have multiple and meaningful webcams pointing out to locations around the resort.

But, we do not own or operate a ski resort.

Unfortunately, a fair number of Japanese ski resorts only post morning information after 8am - and sometimes later than that. If we posted our reports earlier than we currently do, we would often miss important information - for example, how much fresh snow ski resorts are reporting overnight; or news of any lift disruption at the start of the day.

Our reports are an ongoing and season-long commentary, rather than simply an early morning snapshot report for gnarly folk waiting for the first lift of the day. (People who are lucky enough to be at a ski resort and heading for first lifts can get a very good idea of weather conditions by looking outside of the window when they get up!)
We feel that our way makes for better all-round reports and a more complete overview of the season.

The people writing the reports.

Of course, there’s also the people who post the reports and their circumstances to consider. They probably need some coffee and toast - maybe even some natto - before spending time writing the reports. They may need to dig themselves out of their home when there’s huge amounts of snow. And they may need to see to other complexities that life throws at them.

Each Now daily report is written by a different person. Each are based in the area that is being covered and in many cases, they have been there for quite some time. We purposefully don’t say who they are, not least because some of them would 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 humans - they have their own lives and sometimes circumstance might get in the way.

Why do ‘official snow depth’ numbers often not correspond to how much snow is 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.

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.

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 worth noting that some Japanese ski resorts are 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 fell overnight.

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

So, the snow pack (official snow depth) often changes way more than ski resorts actually report.

And we have no control over that.

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, much more than others.

Within the text of our reports we try 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 in a morning).

But it would be impossible for us to report from ‘higher up’ every day, for several reasons. Issues include the ability to get up top every morning (lifts might be closed); 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 a ski resort.

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

”You under-report snow!”
”You over-report snow!”


No, we really don’t.

Our reporters report what they see with their own eyes and measure themselves.

Yes, there will be more (or less) snow falling in areas close-by. Someone visiting the same ski resort may experience something slightly different. And actually, both may well be correct. Microclimates and the like. That’s nature for you.

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 so unless things are indisputably excellent or indisputably rubbish, we feel it’s probably best to avoid going into that kind of detail every day.

“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 would certainly be open to considering adding new report sections to our website.

“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 reports for such details...

We recommend you don’t spent much time comparing the snowfall numbers between regions

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

If you must though, at least be sure to look beyond just the numbers. Some regions simply get less snow at base than other regions - but 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.

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 as 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 using this form

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Let’s SnowJapan!

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

We want nothing better than to be able to report consistent and large amounts of snowfall falling on the Japanese mountains with excellent conditions everywhere. Happily, the Japanese mountains usually enjoy consistently large amounts of snowfall and great conditions. Let’s hope that is what we get for next season.

If you use and enjoy SnowJapan.com, please do let your friends know about us. It all helps.

We appreciate the support.

Thank you.

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Our daily report updates will be back in the autumn in the run-up to the 2017-2018 season.

   Read more ...
 

Kiroro Now!

Sunday 2nd April 2017, 10:48am
Weather conditions: Overcast, low wind, warm temperatures.
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Kiroro!

We have another day of lovely weather. Mild temperatures, sunshine and low winds should continue through to this afternoon when cloud cover will increase. There is a possibilty for the cloud to bring a small amount of rain tomorrow morning, however the precipitation estimates havent been accurate lately so I would check again in the morning for up to date reports.

No new snow in the last 24hours, and our snow depth remains at 400cm for the top and 230cm at the base. It's currently 5degrees and we expect a maximum of 7. Winds are SW 9km.

Please note that Centre A course is closed today for private use.

Low season operations are under way with the finish of night skiing last night, and the Family and Centre lifts closing at 4.30pm today. See below hours in place from tomorrow 3rd April.

Yoichi 1: 9:00 - 15:30 (weekday) and 16:00 (weekend, opens at 8.30am on weekend)
Asari 1: 9:00 - 15:00 (weekday) and 16:00 (weekend)
Asari 2: 9:15 - 15:00 (weekday) and 16:00 (weekend)
Family: 9:00 - 15:00 (weekday) and 16:00 (weekend)
Centre: 9:00 - 15:00 (weekday) and 16:00 (weekend)
Gondola: 9:00 - 15:30 (weekend)

Enjoy the spring riding!   Read more ...
 

Myoko Now!

Sunday 2nd April 2017, 11:56am
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
I think nature pulled off a good April Fool joke last night. After a pretty mild day, we woke up to a thin coating of snow at base level, and a band of white trees from about 1500 meters to 1800 meters. Winter just doesn't want to go away...

Other than that, it's a very nice to enjoy what will be the last day at Ikenotaira, Myoko Ski Park, Tangram and Madarao.

Beautiful blue skies, fresh white snow.... the temperatures were a lot colder early this morning (around -1, -2°), but I've added the mid-day figures here.

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Akakura Kanko:
Planned closing date: Sunday 7 May
365cm, 3°

Akakura Onsen:
Planned closing date: Sunday 9 April
340cm, 3°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
Planned closing date: Sunday 2 April
190cm, 3°

Myoko Suginohara:
Closed

Seki Onsen:
Planned closing date: Sunday 7 May
500cm, 0°

Myoko Ski Park:
Planned closing date: Sunday 2 April
270cm, 3°

Kyukamura RunRun:
Closed

Tangram Ski Circus:
Planned closing date: Sunday 2 April
180cm, 0°

Madarao Kogen:
Planned closing date: Sunday 2 April
250cm, 0°


   Read more ...
 

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Yuzawa Now
22nd May, 11:10
Appi Kogen Now
18th May, 8:33
Shiga Kogen Now
17th May, 9:51
Hakuba Now
09th May, 17:55pm
Grandeco Now
07th May, 19:56pm
Myoko Now
07th May, 19:56pm
Zao Now
07th May, 19:55pm
Naeba Now
07th May, 19:55pm
Madarao Now
07th May, 19:54pm
Nozawa Onsen Now
07th May, 19:53pm
Niseko Now
07th May, 19:51pm
Furano Now
06th May, 9:13
Minakami Now
01st May, 15:08
Kiroro Now
01st May, 9:18am

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