Snow and weather reports posted on Thursday 14th December 2017
Wednesday 6th December 2017, 7:21am
Fog and snow
26cm of nice fresh out there this morning!
It's also a lot lighter than last month's pretty wet first falls... very encouraging.
We're getting very close now; that freezing line (the altitude where it's 0°C) will be mostly staying below 1000 meters, and there's a chance for some heavy snow toward the end of the week, so Akakura Onsen might just make its planned Saturday opening. If not, it's not far off.
And you have to remember, too, that we often wonder weather or not we'll have a white Christmas (sometimes right up to about the 23rd-24th) and then it turns around right away.
Looks like more people are finding out about the reports... we'll do our best to bring good early morning info every day. Gambarimasu!
Yesterday was a day of sun at times and cloud at others; and it was relatively mild.
This morning there's a bit of wind around again and it is noticeably colder too. Light snow is falling and there is just a little fresh snow on the ground around base.
The forecast tells us to expect conditions to clear up during the day with a chance of some clearer skies later.
Expect some hard conditions early on with the cold, and there's a chance that the Gondola might be affected by wind. Let's hope not.
Snow is forecast for tomorrow. Bring it on!
Official snow depths:
Top: 110cm Base: 30cm
Number 1 Gondola (9:00am - 4:00pm)
Courses & Tree Runs:
All courses are open! Tree Run Areas are closed.
The Number 2 pair lift, Number 2 Gondola and Quad lift plan to open for the season from Saturday 16th December.
Nighta skiing operations are planned at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 22nd December 2017 until 25th February 2018.
Welcome to our new Geto Kogen Now daily reports section
Geto Kogen is a ski and snowboard resort in Iwate Prefecture in the northern Tohoku region of Honshu, the main island of Japan. It’s known for heavy snowfalls, quality snow and tree run courses. Hopefully we will be able to bring you some good snowy reports through this season.
For more information on Geto Kogen please check out these pages on SnowJapan:
As with all our daily ‘Now’ reports, the bottom line is that they are independent and honest – they are published by us, not by the resort. The new snowfall number is being measured at the base area of the resort.
This is a brand new section involves people new to the process and so it may take a short while for us all to get used to it all. So please bear with us as we get into the gear! Read more ...
Wednesday 6th December 2017, 7:30am
Good morning from Yuzawa.
And we have some fresh snow. Not a huge amount - just a few cm on the ground around town - but things are looking white once again.
Yesterday, after I posted my report Kagura were reporting 3cm of fresh snow up there... and this morning they are reporting another 10cm of fresh at Kagura and 5cm at Mitsumata.
Temperatures aren't likely to rise much about 2C today so it should be keeping cold.
We're probably going to get some sunshine during the day tomorrow and slightly warmer conditions, with a return to snow on Friday. Early next week is also looking positive for some decent snowfall... let's hope it happens.
From Saturday, Naeba, the Tashiro area of Kagura, Iwappara and Joetsu Kokusai are planning to open. The first two are pretty much definitely going to happen; the latter two will depend on snowfall. With very little snow on those slopes just at the moment, we'll need some decent snow for them to get going. It's not impossible, but I wouldn't bet on it!
Keep your eye on the 6-day forecast pages for the resorts --- you can find them in the right hand side column of this report page.
Currently planned opening at Kagura (subject to change):
- Kagura Ropeway - Mitsumata Number 1 quad - Mitsumata Number 3 romance lift - Kagura Gondola - Kagura Number 1 quad - Kagura Number 4 romance lift - Kagura Number 1 romance lift (* operating only on weekends) - Kagura Number 3 romance lift (* operating at busy times)
- Almost all of the runs at Kagura and Mitsumata are open; park items by the Kagura Number 1 romance lift.
- Yamabiko (1407m): 65cm - Uenotaira (1230m): 35cm - Hikage (660m): 10cm - Nagasaka (615m): 10cm - Karasawa (563m): 5cm (there really is about that now!) ;) Read more ...
Wednesday 6th December 2017, 7:58am
There has been another good amount of snow overnight, this time amounting to 9cm. It is a nice morning with some cloud and sun in the mix and no wind. Later in the day light snow is expected, but this shouldn't affect visibility. Temperatures will remain around the level that they are now throughout the day. Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Wednesday 6th December 2017, 8:22am
PLEASE NOTE: We are currently - and unavoidably - unable to post our regular reports at the moment. In the meantime we will be doing our best to cover and bring you news from Appi Kogen. Hopefully we will be able to get back to normal reporting back soon. Thank you for your understanding.
Morning from Appi Kogen.
It's cold this morning. And there's another 4cm this morning as it gradually builds up.
From today the upper part of the Sailer Long Run and Sekirei courses should be opening.
I just looked at the forecast and it shows lots of regular snowfall into next week.
Planned lift operations for Wednesday 6th December 2017 (subject to change):
- APPI Gondola - Central quad - Central number 2 lift - Central number 3 lift A - Central number 4 lift
I went outside earlier on to measure the snow for the morning... and very quickly came back in! Very cold. Good job I had already had my toast.
I couldn't help smile though when I measured 17cm of fresh snowfall. Thank you very much, Nature.
So yes, the good news from Niseko continues, with that new 17cm bringing my observations for December up to 73cm. And it's good quality snow too.
And of course please remember that is at base. (I do not live at the top of the mountain). So you can expect a fair bit more than that on the slopes.
It's fair to say that conditions today should be excellent. It's not snowing just now and there is even a little blue sky to see in places. It's generally just cloudy though with a chance of more snow during the day. I am going to now go and check them for myself.
As I prepare to post the report it looks like the Annupuri Gondola is on hold as well as the Ace Number 3 lift at Hirafu. Not sure why, and hopefully just temporary.
The mountain is not yet fully open just yet - I'm keeping my accusatory eye particularly on you, top lifts at Hirafu, Village and Annupuri; and gates of course - but with continued fresh snow coming in and more on the forecast I don't think we should be far off.
The official list of runs at Hirafu shows that only Large, Konayuki, Miharashi, Dynamic course areas still need to open. Really good show for early December.
Hurray, all round!
Niseko Avalanche Report:
The next avalanche report will be issued when gates are ready to be opened.
Wednesday 6th December 2017
What's planned to be open today in Niseko (subject to change):
Floodlit 'nighta' skiing schedule: Saturday 9th December 2017 until Sunday 18th March 2018 Read more ...
Wednesday 6th December 2017, 8:42am
Mostly cloudy, bit of sun, changeable
Good morning from Hakuba.
Excellent news to report this morning with decent snowfall down to the village.
Hakuba 47 is reporting 20cm of fresh snow up top and at base too; and if you look at the official snow depths this morning (below) they have all had a decent 'up'.
I can also report 21cm of snow measured myself that I can add to the report.
It was snowing really quite heavily just a bit earlier on, but has eased off since then and I can actually see some sun coming through the remaining clouds. Snow is on the forecast for the day though so maybe that will be short lived and won't be the start of a clear up.
Sun does look likely tomorrow to be followed by more snow Friday and then late weekend into next week. Actually the forecast is looking very exciting indeed and I encourage you to keep an eye on them. See the top tab or the links on the right hand side column of this page.
Looking good. Conditions on the mountain should be great this morning. I'm just unhappy that I can't make it out myself. Hope you can!
Ski resort opening status on Wednesday 6th December 2017:
Light snow is falling as I write this and there's another 2cm on the ground at base to report. It is a cold -3C here at the moment and -11C up on the top area of the resort.
Not enough snow to change resort opening status so we wait for more snow to come. Perhaps around Friday and then the most promising cold front looks due to hit us around Monday. That could be a big one.
Operating lifts: - Chuo Number 1 pair lift - Zao Ropeway - Zao Chuo Ropeway - Sky Cable
Floodlit night skiing for the 2017-2018 season is planned as follows:
In the Uwanodai area: Daily from Saturday 23rd December 2017 until Sunday 4th March 2018 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 9th March until Sunday 18th March 2018.
In the Yokokura area: Daily from Saturday 23rd December 2017 until Monday 8th January 2018 Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 12th January until Sunday 18th February 2018. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 2nd March until Sunday 11th March 2018.
Night time 'light up' sightseeing ropeway is planned for the following dates:
December 2017: 23rd-24th, 29th-31st January 2018: 1st-7th, 13th-14th, 20th-21st, 27th-31st February 2018: every day March 2018: 1st-4th Read more ...
Wednesday 6th December 2017, 8:53am
Fair blue skies
Good morning from Grandeco - beautiful blue skies in the region this morning.]
Happily, there was 5cm of fresh snowfall by the ski hill base area this morning as well, likely more on the mountains. So conditions should be nice this morning.
No clouds in the sky, the scene is just a beautiful contrast of blue and white.
It may be cold but strong sunrays this morning so don’t forget to protect you eyes.
According to the forecast, the next snowfall is due Friday.
- Gondola - Number 1 lift - Number 2 lift
- Center - Basil - Rainbow 3500 - Lavender B - Mint C beside Number 2 lift - Hotel connecting route
Minowa and Nekoma are also open. Ura Bandai will open from 15th December. Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Wednesday 6th December 2017, 8:56am
Cloudy, bit of sun
Morning from Shiga Kogen.
And it's a good one with a haul of around 14cm of fresh snowfall I am measuring on the ground since last night.
As we approach 9am, I'm reminded of yesterday morning. There's a bit of sunshine here in Maruike, visibility is good... and very light snow is falling lazily from the skies. Varied conditions early on then, depending on which part of Shiga Kogen you find yourself in.
We may have more today but clearer conditions are forecast for tomorrow before snow clouds making a welcome return on Friday. Monday looks very promising too with that lovely phrase 'heavy snow' on the forecast.
We can perhaps expect some more course areas to open up this weekend, and the Okushiga Kogen resort is scheduled to be open from Saturday.
Currently the following areas of Shiga Kogen are part open:
More snowfall so another update as we get closer to the opening date - a week on Saturday.
It's funny... it always seems 'too late' somehow, but then it all seems to make more sense with the unpredictability of late November and early December and as we approach the date. If we get the snowfall that is on the forecast - some on Friday and then again next week - things should be approaching just right as that opening date approaches. And the resort can hopefully get off to a kicking start!