Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Friday 5th January 2018

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 8:30am on Friday 5th January 2018
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
Base temp:

Top temp:
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
Very light snow as I write
wind condition
0 - W 3m/s (Hirafu)
visibility condition
Fair - limited
This report
Friday 5th January 2018, 8:30am
Thursday 4th January 2018, 8:52am 3cm
Wednesday 3rd January 2018, 8:30am 3cm
Tuesday 2nd January 2018, 8:31am 0cm
Monday 1st January 2018, 8:58am 0cm
Sunday 31st December 2017, 8:30am 0cm
Saturday 30th December 2017, 8:29am 22cm
Last 7 reports (total): 29cm
Last 14 reports (total): 126cm
Current month (January 2018) total: 7cm
2017/2018 season so far total: 601cm

Archive report: Posted at 8:30am on Friday 5th January 2018
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Hello and good morning from Niseko.

Just a dusting of snow this morning and very light snow is falling as I write this. It's not the kind of snowfall that is going to build up into numbers for my report though. The forecast for the day is generally cloudy with this light snow on and off.

All lifts around the resorts (apart from that lazy Country Road Chair at Niseko Village) are go this morning and peak gates should be opening.

I haven't been able to report much fresh snowfall over the last six reports (here at base of course; more higher up). I enjoyed some fine snow conditions yesterday, and had a good chat on the lifts with some folk who are visiting from Hawaii. They noted how the snow was so much better than what they get back home!

Being the mightily popular place that Niseko is with a lot of folk out there, we really need that regular fresh snowfall to fill in all the quickly made tracks. So I feel we could really do with some good old fresh dumpage to freshen things up mountain wide. I'm greedy like that. We can perhaps expect some light snow during the day today and tomorrow, but there's more snow potential lined up there on the forecasts from later on in the day on Monday through Wednesday.

And now, it's time for a message that is being posted on all of the daily reports this morning.


Your questions answered!
Why don’t your daily reports appear earlier?

* Please note: this is a re-worked and updated version of a message that was posted during last season.

To answer this question properly, it is important that everyone understands that SnowJapan is not a ski resort operator. Our daily reports are not official ski resort reports. We are an independent website. Our daily reports are not commissioned by anyone and no business influences the content of our reports. (In fact, some businesses do not like our reports - especially when it is raining, and we say so - but that’s a different story). Data within the report does not get updated automatically - we do a lot of manual checking ourselves every morning.

If we did own and operate 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... as I said, we do 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 (much) 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 as-detailed-as-possible reports.

If we posted our daily reports much earlier than we currently do (for example at 7am as someone suggested) 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.

Rather than simply being a very early morning report mainly for the benefit of people who are going to be queuing for the first ski lift of the day, we like to think of the SnowJapan daily reports more as a season-long ongoing commentary,

The reality is of course that people who are lucky enough to already be at a ski resort and preparing to hit 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 checking out official resort sites etc.

If we posted our daily reports mostly for the benefit of those first lift people - who very likely only account for a very small percentage of the total number of people reading the reports - they would not be as good or detailed as they are.

So, bottom line, we strongly feel that our way of doing things makes for better all-round reports.

One more very important thing.

There’s also the people who write the reports and their circumstances to consider. There is of course human effort involved in creating the reports. In particular the reports that cover wider areas - for example Niseko, Hakuba, Yuzawa - take quite a bit of time to put together every morning. Checking information, updating data, writing the report, checking…

The people who are doing this 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 need to see to any number of circumstances that life throws at them on any given morning.

So please keep all that in mind.

We aim to get the reports online as early as we can on every morning throughout the winter season. But there may be times when the perfect plan is not possible.


There are many people new to SnowJapan using the site again this season and we are experiencing some very heavy traffic. People from all over the world are using the site. That is of course a really great thing and we warmly welcome everyone who is new to SnowJapan; as well as old friends. Thanks for visiting!

We are aware that we do some things in our own unique way, and we kind of like that. You’ll probably get used to it if you stick around.

If you wish to send us any comments, you can do so here. But please be aware that we are not able to answer specific questions about ski resorts, travel, accommodation and the like. That would be a full time job in itself!

Thank you for reading and all the best for the New Year.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -4℃, light dust, clam. Moiwa800m: -6.8℃, W4.4m/s, light snow with moderate snowdrifts. Annupuri1150m: NW15m/s, 10cm snowfall and moderate snowdrifts. Hirafy1250m: -11℃, mild wind, 10cm snowfall. Coastal data: Benkei cape NW9m/s, Kamui cape WSW10m/s, 1014hPa.

A moderate NW wind is prevailing in higher elevation under a typical winter pressure distribution. A fair amount of new snow, 20cm, has deposited in leeward valleys and trees. No notable weakness has been observed in the snowpack. The overall avalanche risk is relatively low. Peak gates will open from the morning. Be prepared for backcountry touring and ask information from the ski patrol before stepping out of the gates. Ducking ropes is severely punished in Niseko.

Wearing helmets and avalanche beacons are not mandatory, however is strongly recommended. It may save not only your life but others too. There are many hazards present in winter mountains. Never over-estimate your equipment or skills, always be humble, precautious and make conservative decisions in the mountains. Do not traverse across knolls and under cornices. It is common sense to avoid those terrains in order to avoid triggering avalanches. One slide could bury a lot of people skiing below.

The anemometer (aka the zero fighter) near gate 10 at Moiwa is almost making a belly landing with the increasing snowpack. Please don’t mess around with it as it’s recording precious and necessary data. The wind has stayed relatively light this season, resulting in an unusual development of snowdrifts. The avalanche forecast in Niseko is based on studying the snowfall transition as well as snowdrifts developments.

New snow is a bit shallow, but good quality. Beware of sudden weather changes and low visibility. Have a great day.


Friday 5th January 2018

Resort specific information (operations subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 320cm
- Base: 140cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 250cm
- Base: 140cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts except Country Road Chair are operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 250cm
- Base: 160cm


Floodlit 'nighta' skiing:

Night skiing is planned for every evening at the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri areas. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO area. Ski lifts that are scheduled to be operating for nighta are noted below (subject to change):

* Niseko Grand Hirafu - Ace Family quad, Ace Number 2 quad, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 pair
* Niseko Annupuri - Jumbo Number 1 quad lift
* Niseko Village - Village Express, Upper Village Gondola, Community Chair, Banzai Chair

Archive report: Posted at 8:30am on Friday 5th January 2018
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

All Niseko resorts are open

Thursday 4th January 2018
This report
Friday 5th January 2018
Saturday 6th January 2018
Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
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Japan snowfall data
(updated daily during winter)
Nearby accommodation
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Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Recent Niseko Now reports
The data displayed is correct up to and including Friday 5th January 2018
This graph shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the 21 Niseko Now reports up until Friday 5th January 2018
(View the latest Niseko Now report here :: View more analysis here)
Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Recent season comparisons
The data displayed is correct up to and including Friday 5th January 2018
This table shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the Niseko Now reports during same period over the last three seasons
(View the latest Niseko Now report here :: View more analysis here)
*as of Friday 5th January 2018
5th January 1cm 8cm 10cm
4th January 3cm 0cm 0cm
3rd January 3cm 0cm 5cm
2nd January 0cm 0cm 7cm
1st January 0cm 0cm 1cm
31st December 0cm 5cm 5cm
30th December 22cm 14cm 23cm
Previous 7 days total 29cm 27cm 51cm
Previous 14 days total 126cm 51cm 147cm
November observed snowfall total 188cm 110cm 61cm
December observed snowfall total 406cm 181cm 244cm
January observed snowfall total 7cm 152cm 303cm
February observed snowfall total - 160cm 266cm
March observed snowfall total - 83cm 109cm
April observed snowfall total - 0cm 6cm
May observed snowfall total - 0cm 0cm
Season observed snowfall total 601cm 688cm 992cm
Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Monthly and annual accumulation
The data displayed is correct up to and including Friday 5th January 2018
This table shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the Niseko Now reports for each month and total season accumulation
(View the latest Niseko Now report here :: View more analysis here)
  October November December January February March April May
2021/2022 season - - - - - - - -
2020/2021 season - - - - - - - -
2019/2020 season - - - - - - - -
2018/2019 season - - - - - - - -
2017/2018 season - 188cm
- - - -
2016/2017 season 2cm
2015/2016 season 3cm
2014/2015 season 0cm
2013/2014 season 0cm
2012/2013 season 0cm
  October November December January February March April May
Niseko Now reports before Friday 5th January 2018
Niseko Now reports from the same period last season
Niseko Now archived reporting
View previous reports posted to Niseko Now by clicking on the month