Hello from Hakuba on this Monday morning; and what we very much hope will be the start of a big week.
First up - fresh snow on the ground. I measure 5cm. And here is what the resorts are reporting this morning:
Happo-one: up to 20cm Hakuba 47: 10cm Hakuba Goryu: 5-10cm Hakuba Cortina: 5-10cm
What's more, the forecast, particularly from late tomorrow through until the weekend, is looking very promising still.
For the moment this morning there's a lot of cloud around but actually some blue sky and sunshine in places as well. Quite varied conditions this morning depending on where you are. But it should be a fun morning. And today is of course the last day of the long weekend here in Japan. While it will probably still be busier than a normal Monday, things should start to get quieter come this afternoon as people start to make their way back home.
Soon there should be lots of fresh snow everywhere. :)
The resort specific information today is posted below the following message.
A message from SnowJapan to everyone reading the Now reports
Please do take a few moments to read this. Thank you.
This message is being posted on all the daily Now pages on SnowJapan today. It does not apply to any one report in particular - we just wanted everyone reading our reports to see it.
Firstly, a very Happy New Year to everyone. And thank you for using SnowJapan and reading our reports. We are always really excited to see how many people read them every day; it’s in the tens of thousands of people. We hope you like them, and are enjoying the new content we developed for this season.
We’re even more excited when it snows.
And we can hardly contain ourselves when it snows like crazy. That is what us long-term residents of Japan consider to be the norm here.
Continuing on from last season, the first part of this winter season in Japan has obviously not been classic in terms of snowfall – far from it in many regions - but we are still very hopeful that the Nihon-rashii (Japan-like) heavy and consistent snowfall will arrive.
When it happens, it really is truly something to be in awe of. With such a large number of people reading our website and daily reports - effectively using them as the main guide on how the Japan winter season is shaping up - we take that responsibility very seriously. The integrity of our reports is extremely important to us. We need them to always be up-front, truthful and not to shy away from the truth.
We advise the people who post the reports that it is fine to get really excited about excellent conditions, but at the same time it is essential to also report things that are less exciting. Like rain. Or a lack of snow. Or poor snow conditions.
Such reporting is not ‘being negative’. It’s reporting the truth even if none of us particularly like it. Whatever is happening, that is what should be in the reports.
One of the things that makes SnowJapan unique is the fact that we are not here to convince you to visit any one region of Japan. We’re not here to ask you to book accommodation, or to join tours, or to take ski lessons. We’re not asking you to buy anything either. Rather, we are here to provide independent and correct information from around Japan - free from the inevitable pressures of having to sell and market specific services.
Unfortunately, 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 not be known - they would prefer people to believe snow conditions are always close to what the marketing blurb says, whatever the actual reality is. At times, we have been asked by businesses to ‘avoid mentioning the rain’ and to ‘sugar-coat the conditions’, as well as receiving more forceful requests that border on demands.
(Important note: We’re not implying that most people are like that – far from it).
Surely anyone visiting a ski resort would much prefer an honest report over something that reads like a brochure? Even if it means talking about things that might not paint a perfect picture.
(Which would you prefer?)
Anyway, we just want to assure our readers that even with increasing pressure to sometimes do otherwise, we have no intention of changing the way we do things.
Just a few further related points while we are here.
Each regional report is written by a different person and so it is natural that each has its own personality or character. Some of the reports are longer than others; some are shorter; some are more humorous; some cover one ski resort; some cover a wider region.
Posting a report every single day - day in and day out, without a day off, for over five months - is a considerable commitment and a real responsibility. If a report appears later than usual, or a report is missed, or is shorter than usual, etc… we’re sorry, but sometimes it might happen. The people posting the reports are indeed real humans with their own lives, and sometimes circumstance might get in the way. (If a report is missed we’ll try to post a backdated report - when possible and especially when there was snowfall).
We’re not claiming that our reports are perfect, but we do what we can to try and provide the best reports that we can.
We are happy to pass on any comments to our reporters, but please understand that it is not possible for them to respond to specific questions and comments. We already ask enough of them every day. All (well, almost all, see below) feedback is welcome. It does not have to be positive. We have long been very aware that we will never be able to provide something that satisfies everyone, but we are always keen to hear on how people feel we can further improve things.
It’s always very nice to hear from people who are reading the reports and just want to say hi and pass on some friendly comments as well.
So, anyway, here is the form if you would like to contact us:
* We’re not going to enter into discussions with people contesting the accuracy of how much snow we report has fallen. Stuff like “It was 23cm, not 18cm!!!!!!”. If you feel something in our reports is wildly off the mark, please do let us know and we will certainly look into it. But hopefully that won’t happen because we do keep an eye on the numbers and we also trust our reporters, their consistency and their integrity in reporting.
* If you are feeling the urge to send us an aggressive or demanding email, before doing so please remember… our service is a free service – and one that a lot of people put a lot of effort into every day throughout the year. As a rule, we generally ignore anything aggressive or demanding anyway.
And if you haven’t already read it, here is our main ‘About the daily Now reports on SnowJapan’ information page, so please do take a look:
I’d like to end this post by perhaps stating the obvious in that of course we absolutely love snow and Japan. It’s why SnowJapan was created in the first place back in 1999 and remains the same now. And it is why a few of us literally put our lives into constantly improving it and moving forward.
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.
But we’ll only report it when it happens!
Here’s to a fine rest of the season.
Thank you for reading.
Resort news as of 8:50am on Monday 9th January 2017:
All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions.
Hakuba 47: Hakuba 47 is reporting 10cm of fresh snowfall on the upper slopes. The top connection with Hakuba Goryu is open. Operating lifts and course info: - All lifts are operating. - All courses now open apart from Route 7. - The Tree Riding Zones are not yet open. Official snow depth Upper: 130cm Base: 30cm
Hakuba Goryu: Hakuba Goryu is reporting 5-10cm of fresh snowfall. The top connection with Hakuba 47 is open. Operating lifts and course info: - All lifts apart from the Cosmo quad lift are operating. The following courses are open: - Grand Prix - Panorama - Super - Champion Dynamic - Woody - Toomi - Soft Cream - Merry Land - Powder Snow Official snow depth Alps: 135cm Toomi: 35cm Iimori: 25cm
Hakuba Happo-one: Hakuba Happo-one is reporting up to 20cm of fresh snowfall on the slopes. You can ski or board back down to base via the Riesen Slalom and Nakiyama South course. Downloading via Gondola or lift required in the other areas. Operating lifts and course info: - Most lifts are now operating with just a number of base area lifts still to get moving. The following courses are open: - Kurobishi - Usagidaira - Skyline - Riesen (part) - Panorama - Nakiyama South (part) - Kita-one 3 Official snow depth: Usagidaira: 90cm Kurobishi: 130cm Lower: 30cm
Tsugaike Kogen: Tsugaike Kogen is mostly open. Operating lifts and course info: - Most lifts are now operating. The following courses are open: - Kane-no-naru-oka areas are part open. - All other course areas are available. Official snow depth: Tsuga-no-mori: 120cm Han-no-ki: 120cm Maruyama: 45cm Oya-no-hara: 25cm Kane-no-naru-oka: 25cm
Hakuba Cortina: Hakuba Cortina is now mostly open. The resort is reporting 5-10cm of fresh snowfall. Operating lifts and course info: - Number 6 and 7 lifts are not operating yet. - Itadaira One and Warabidaira courses closed. - Connection to Hakuba Norikura from top area only. Official snow depth: Top: 128cm Base: 75cm
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field: Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field is part open. Operating lifts and course info: - Gondola - Paradise triple - 3-sen North lift - 4-sen East lift - 5-sen South lift The following courses are at least part open: - East - North - South (part) - Gezan (part) - Sunny Valley (part) - Paradise (part) - by1 Official snow depth: Top: 70cm Base: 40cm
Hakuba Norikura Onsen: Hakuba Norikura Onsen is mostly open. Lift info: - All but one lift are now operating with most courses planned to be open. Official snow depth: Top: 80cm
Kashimayari: Kashimayari is part open with all but one lift operating today. Official snow depth: Top: 35cm
EARLY SEASON & NEW YEARS MESSAGES We feel for everyone who wanted to be able to visit Japan this winter but are unable to. Please read this message about this season and some coronavirus stuff. Stay safe everyone, wherever you are.