Niseko Now daily snow and weather - Monday 9th January 2017

Niseko Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Niseko region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 8:31am on Monday 9th January 2017
Current weather conditions
Observed fresh snowfall AT BASE
weather condition
Snow clouds are here
Base temp:

Top temp:
Precipitation Wind Visibility
precipitation condition
Light snow has started falling
wind condition
SW 5m/s - S 5m/s (Hirafu)
visibility condition
Limited to poor
This report
Monday 9th January 2017, 8:31am
Sunday 8th January 2017, 8:28am 0cm
Saturday 7th January 2017, 8:22am 0cm
Friday 6th January 2017, 8:13am 1cm
Thursday 5th January 2017, 8:33am 8cm
Wednesday 4th January 2017, 9:02am 0cm
Tuesday 3rd January 2017, 7:59am 0cm
Last 7 reports (total): 9cm
Last 14 reports (total): 36cm
Current month (January 2017) total: 9cm
2016/2017 season so far total: 302cm

Archive report: Posted at 8:31am on Monday 9th January 2017
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Good morning.

After what ended up being a beautiful day yesterday (lots of blue birds around), today should be the start of that fresh snowfall, right?

Well there's none just yet and it's a rather mild start to the morning with my thermometer reporting a temperature of just under +2C.

The more exciting news is that snow has started falling this morning and it should be the start of some decent snowfall due this week. It should also get start getting much colder too. Before that today there's a southerly wind to deal with and at the start of the day that seems to be causing issues with most of the top lifts. See the info posted below.

A snow storm with lots of snowfall this week sounds like just what we need. Take care out on the mountain.

And now before the rest of the information, over to my colleague with an important 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:

Contact form

Please note:

* 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:

About our daily reports

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.


Niseko Avalanche Report:
Niseko base 6am: -1, no snowfall. Moiwa850m:-5℃, no snowfall but light development of snowdrifts. Annupuri1150m:-6℃, light westerly wind, cloudy and low visibility. Hirafu1200m: -6℃, E10m/s, no snowfall. Kamui cape lighthouse: ENE6m/s, 1006hPa, 0.9m waves.

Warm air is flowing in as the next Low-pressure system approaches. Snow has started to fall, but not much can be expected with the current weather chart. The general avalanche risk is low. The visibility is bad above 1000m altitude and the opening of the gates is yet to be decided. Ask the patrollers’ advice at the gates. Most slopes are tracked out, and most tracks seem to be traverse lines. Riding across the slopes under cornices or steep slopes can be the direct cause of an avalanche. Riding the fall-line is a lot more fun and safe, but requires skills.

Do not seek fresh lines in the strictly off limits areas. Ducking ropes is prohibited in Niseko. Always use gates to step out of bounds.

Have a nice day.


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

Niseko Grand Hirafu
The top Ace Number 4 and King Number 4 lifts are on hold due to the weather conditions.

Niseko HANAZONO Resort
All lifts currently look set to be operating at the start of the day.

Niseko Village
The top Wonderland Chair lift is on hold due to the weather conditions.
(BTW, sorry for not mentioning the Early Morning Gondola also at Niseko Village this long weekend).

Niseko Annupuri
The top Jumbo Number 4 lift is on hold due to the weather conditions.


Official resort snow depths as of Monday 9th January 2017:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 230cm
Base - 80cm

Niseko Village
Top - 150cm
Base - 100cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 155cm
Base - 95cm


Night skiing is planned until Monday 20th March 2017 at the Niseko Annupuri, Niseko Grand Hirafu and Niseko Village resort areas. There is no nighta in the Hanazono area.

Archive report: Posted at 8:31am on Monday 9th January 2017
The latest Niseko Now report can be found here

Niseko Now ski lift operation notes:

Most top lifts on hold at the start of the day due to wind and visibility issues

Sunday 8th January 2017
This report
Monday 9th January 2017
Tuesday 10th January 2017
Photo 1
Photo 2
Photo 3
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Japan snowfall data
(updated daily during winter)
Nearby accommodation
Lessons in English
Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Recent Niseko Now reports
The data displayed is correct up to and including Monday 9th January 2017
This graph shows the amount of observed snowfall recorded at base in the 21 Niseko Now reports up until Monday 9th January 2017
(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 Monday 9th January 2017
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 Monday 9th January 2017
9th January 0cm 11cm 3cm
8th January 0cm 11cm 20cm
7th January 0cm 14cm 15cm
6th January 1cm 15cm 0cm
5th January 8cm 10cm 3cm
4th January 0cm 0cm 15cm
3rd January 0cm 5cm 10cm
Previous 7 days total 9cm 66cm 66cm
Previous 14 days total 36cm 167cm 171cm
November observed snowfall total 110cm 61cm 30cm
December observed snowfall total 181cm 244cm 519cm
January observed snowfall total 9cm 303cm 257cm
February observed snowfall total - 266cm 196cm
March observed snowfall total - 109cm 139cm
April observed snowfall total - 6cm 3cm
May observed snowfall total - 0cm 0cm
Season observed snowfall total 302cm 992cm 1144cm
Niseko Now observed snowfall data (at base): Monthly and annual accumulation
The data displayed is correct up to and including Monday 9th January 2017
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 - - - - - - - -
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 Monday 9th January 2017
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