Snow and weather reports posted on Wednesday 26th April 2017
Thursday 6th April 2017, 8:09am
Sunny, thin cloud
Yesterday there were some pretty strong winds in the afternoon when I ventured up on to the slopes at Niseko Grand Hirafu.
It was warm yesterday and this morning it is starting off warmer still. It's +6C now. The local forecast calls for a high temperature of 14C in Kutchan town today... and for rain by the end of today and overnight though for the moment the sun is out and it's a mix of light blue and hazy kind of thin cloud up there.
An early start is most surely recommended.
It doesn't feel windy down here now but the resorts are reporting westerly and south-westerly winds of 10-11m/s, so best to keep an eye on that too.
Tomorrow should see temperatures dropping somewhat.
It seems the Hirafu webcams aren't being updated at the moment. Unless the same folk are walking past the camera at the time I save the images each morning! So that is why we are showing some different images on the report at the moment.
Individual resort information: Thursday 6th April 2017:
Below info subject to change during the day due to snow and weather conditions
Niseko Grand Hirafu Niseko Grand Hirafu plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May. All course areas remain open.
Official snow depth: Top - 300cm Base - 100cm
Operating lifts: Ace Family (8:30am until 4:30pm) - until 16th April Ace Number 2 Center Four (8:30am until 4:30pm) Holiday Number 1 pair (8:30am until 3:00pm) - until 9th April King Number 3 (8:40am until 4:30pm) King Number 4 (8:50am until 4:30pm) Gondola (8:30am until 4:30pm - on weekends and national holidays only)
The Spring Park should be open from 10am until 3:30pm
Niseko Annupuri Niseko Annupuri plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May.
Official snow depth: Top - 215cm Base - 90cm
Operating lifts: Annupuri Gondola Jumbo Number 1 Jumbo Number 4
Niseko HANAZONO Resort has closed for the season. Niseko Village is currently closed but plans to part re-open from 28th April until 7th May. Night time floodlit operations have finished for the season. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Thursday 6th April 2017, 8:14am
Clear and sunny blue skies
It's another clear and sunny morning here in Nozawa.
And warm too with some serious snow melt going on around base and surely higher up too though Yamabiko is still on an impressive 3.8m.
Things should cool down a bit tomorrow and it looks like there's going to be some rain by tonight and perhaps into tomorrow.
Quite a few people suffering from hay fever as well at the moment, so that is one of the reasons why you'll see so many people masking up.
Anyway, a fine spring morning again. Very much spring conditions and lots of spring fun to be had.
Still over 4 weeks left to go!
Thursday 6th April 2017
Below is official info that the resort is publishing at the time of the report.
Lifts that are operating today: - Nagasaka Gondola - Yamabiko Four - Yamabiko Number 2 Four - Uenotaira Four - Paradise Four
Courses that are open today: - Yamabiko B - Yamabiko C - Yamabiko D - Yamabiko E - Kokenashi - Uenotaira - Paradise - Bunabayashi - Yunomine B - Rinkan - Utopia Course - Utopia Course 2 - Challenge
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)
Planned lift operations for the rest of the season:
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) Read more ...
Thursday 6th April 2017, 8:27am
Some thin cloud but clear and sunny
Good morning from Yuzawa.
The last of the snow in my garden melted away yesterday in the warm conditions (it lasted a month longer than last season). A lovely warm day - up to almost 18C! - and today is starting off in a similar fashion. It is going to be warm again, though more cloud is expected later on and some rain overnight and into tomorrow.. tomorrow should be not quite as warm.
GALA Yuzawa is going to be closed for the day today due to strong southerly winds forecast. It looks like other resorts that plan to be open should be opening as normal.
Remember, the Naeba and Maiko Snow Resort ski resorts will be re-opening again for the coming weekend.
Official snow depth information (and available info) as of Thursday 6th April 2017
GALA Yuzawa GALA Yuzawa is closed today due to strong forecast winds. Official snow depth: 360cm
Iwappara 3 courses are Iwappara remain open. Official snow depth: 90cm
Joetsu Kokusai 9 courses at Joetsu Kokusai remain open - the area in front of the main hotel and the Panorama Zone. Official snow depth: 200cm
Kagura Almost all of Kagura courses remain open. Closed courses according to official website - Gondola East Course at Tashiro and the downhill course back to Mitsumata car park. Official snow depth: Kagura - 360cm; Mitsumata - 310cm; Tashiro - 330cm
Kandatsu Kogen All courses at Kandatsu Kogen remain open. Spring nighta (6pm-10pm) on Saturdays and nights before holidays from 7th April until 22nd April. Official snow depth: 270cm
NASPA Ski Garden All courses are NASPA Ski Garden remain open. Official snow depth: 170cm
Planned season closing dates
** This information is subject to change due to snow and weather conditions.
Sunday 9th April: - Iwappara - Joetsu Kokusai - Maiko Snow Resort (** note: only open on Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th - closed Monday through Friday) - NASPA Ski Garden
Sunday 7th May: - GALA Yuzawa - Kagura (Tashiro) - Kandatsu Kogen - Naeba (** note: weekends only 3rd-28th April; daily from 29th April)
Sunday 28th May: - Kagura area (via Mitsumata)
Other ski and snowboard resorts in the Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma area are now closed for the season. Read more ...
Thursday 6th April 2017, 8:44am
Lots of cloud, some blue sky
Good morning from Hakuba.
The sun was out and blue skies yesterday morning, with things clouding over somewhat by the middle of the afternoon.
This morning there's quite a lot of cloud around and just a bit of blue sky. It's going to be another very warm day today.
A lot of melt going on now at high speed and you might notice that from the bottom photo below comparing it over the last few days.
Still a lot of snow up there on the slopes there so no problems with having that spring fun in the snow.
Maybe some rain overnight tonight but sun is forecast for tomorrow.
Apologies: I left some fresh snow info in resort-specific section of my report yesterday which might have been confusing, as there was none - my mistake, and it has been fixed up. Sorry about that!
Resort news as of 8:40am on Thursday 6th April 2017:
All information as available and subject to change.
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall in places. All of Hakuba 47 remains open. Official snow depth: Upper: 290cm Base: 110cm --- Hakuba 47 plans to be open until Sunday 7th May.
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 0cm of fresh snowfall. The Iimori area of the resort is now closed. The Toomi and the upper areas remain open. Official snow depth: Alps: 270cm 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). Some base course areas are now closed but the resort remains mostly open. Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 185cm Kurobishi: 275cm Nakiyama: 55cm --- Hakuba Happo-one plans to be open until Sunday 7th May. --- Planned closing dates for lifts are as follows: 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, Champion and Kane-no-naru-oka areas are closed; Maruyama area is partially closed. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 330m Han-no-ki: 325cm Oya-no-hara: 100cm --- Tsugaike Kogen plans to be open until Sunday 7th May. --- Planned closing dates for lifts are as follows: 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
All other ski and snowboard resorts in the area are now closed for the season. Read more ...
Thursday 6th April 2017, 8:55am
Clear, sunny, warm
Just back from a week's holiday and have returned to real Spring in the mountains. At noon yesterday it hit 17C down in the village and heard stories from mountaineers of massive avalanches rolling down the backside of Mount Tanigawa.
Today sees more of the same with bright blue skies and warm temps early on.
Hodaigi is still running three lifts which include the 1km long beginner piste and the quad chair to the top of the resort however they will close for the season on Monday, as Okutone also plan to do (after extending their season until Sunday 9th).
That will leave Tenjin as the only show in town. The base up top is still 4.6m and this weekend will see the resort host the Minakami Vibes festival with work nearly complete on their goal of producing "The biggest bowl in the World". They may not attain this lofty ambition but it does appear as though it will be the biggest bowl ever for Tenjin and we have had big ones in the past.
Once the event is through the bowl usually stays well maintained for about a week but they will go into park production mode from Monday. This ought to keep things interesting as the melt gradually progresses.
On the forecast is big rain tonight and from tomorrow it looks like a roll of the dice. The mountain forecast is for light rain or rain showers over the weekend but the town forecast looks far better so who knows which weather pattern will prevail. The weekend forecast though has improved from yesterday when all out rain was on the menu.
Temps at 8am
Official snow depth:
460cm Tenjin 170cm Hodaigi 110cm Okutone
*** Please note that the fresh snowfall number being reported on this report is taken from the ‘base area’ of Tenjindaira - which is just by the top station of the Ropeway at that resort. Other snowfall numbers and commentary will be mentioned within each report when available. Read more ...
Thursday 6th April 2017, 9:01am
Fair clear blue skies
Good morning from Grandeco.
It is the second day of the clear blue skies in the area but it will likely change into rain from tomorrow...
It is a good day to enjoy the warm South wind out there, with some people now wearing t shirts and sunglasses.
Don't worry, there is still 3 meters of snow out there on the courses...
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.
- Gondola - Number 1 quad lift - Number 2 quad lift - Number 3 quad lift - ** Number 4 quad lift is now closed
90% courses remain open Lavender A and Mint B are closed
Official snow depth: 300cm
Road Condition to Grandeco: Inawashiro through Goshikinuma: dry Goshukinuma through Grandeco: dry Read more ...
Thursday 6th April 2017, 9:16am
Good morning from Zao.
It was warm out there yesterday with temperatures rising above 10C in the morning and temperatures in positive numbers up on the summit too.
It's 13C here at base as of 9am this morning so warmer still.
Sunny weather but some cloud up there.
It feels like the chance of fresh snow this season is rapidly dwindling and there is some rain on the forecast over the coming days.
Next update after the weekend, so do keep an eye on the forecast in the meantime.
Zao Onsen plans to be open daily until Sunday 7th May.
Updates to this report a few times a week until then!
Official snow depths (as published by the resort): Summit - 150cm Paradise - 240cm Chuo - 240cm Utopia - 190cm Uwanodai - 130cm Yokokura - 110cm
Planned closing dates for lifts at Zao Onsen - subject to change due to snow conditions:
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
Thought I should make a quick update, partly because the wind is blowing pretty hard, which is bringing the snowpack down fast, and might also shut down the gondola.
Also becasue I have an update on lifts at Akakura Kanko. I had Champion No. 3 listing as running, but a closer look at the inside page on their website says that's only from the 8th, and that No. 5 will only be on weekends. Sorry if that caused any, as they say, inconvenience!
*** Note: the 15cm in todays report is snow fallen since my last report ***
Hello from Appi,
Well it’s a typical warm Spring day here at Appi. It’s warm and the snow is indeed melting at a fairly rapid rate. I’ll be updating this report with weekly updates now as the season slowly comes to an end here. Over the last week or so we’ve actually had around 15cm of snow but lets face it with the warm weather now gracing our mountain it’s not going to be around for long. Tonight we can expect some rain to dampen spirits even more.
The Gondola as well as 4 other lifts are in operation still with plenty of snow/slush to keep you busy throughout the day at least. The rest of the week brings warmer temperatures that will melt what we have left but we may, just may, have enough snow left for a few last runs during Golden week next month. That would certainly be a nice ending to the season this year.
All in all it’s been fun up here with plenty of snow falling throughout the season.
Stay tuned for an update next week on the snow levels.
Planned operating lifts at time of report (subject to change due to weather conditions):
Appi Gondola Central quad Central number 2 Central number 3B Central number 4
Official snow depth:
Appi plans to be opening until Sunday 7th May this season Read more ...