Nozawa Onsen Now daily snow and weather - Friday 14th January 2011

Nozawa Onsen Now (Archive Report)

Independent and trustworthy daily snow and weather reports from Nozawa Onsen region, Japan
ARCHIVE REPORT: Posted at 10:37am on Friday 14th January 2011
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Light from the West 15 km/h
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Friday 14th January 2011, 10:37am
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Archive report: Posted at 10:37am on Friday 14th January 2011
The latest Nozawa Onsen Now report can be found here

If you are coming on a ski trip to Nozawa I don't think you could have hoped for much better conditions than we are experiencing at the moment. On top of yesterdays awesome powder day today we have a magnificent sun filled start to the day.

There are blue skies across the resort this morning and some fresh stashes to be had as it snowed for quite a while after the lifts closed yesterday.

The official report is showing no new snow but there has definitely been a decent fall since this time yesterday.

Fire Festival preparations are continuing - the Festival is tomorrow. So all happening in Nozawa - stay safe, enjoy the great conditions and the festive weekend.

Once again below is some info on the Festival for reference....

Courses open:

All except the following
Uenotaira Half Pipe
Karasawa Wave Park

Lifts operating:
All lifts are open


Here's a bit more info on the 'Dosojin Matsuri' (Fire Festival) in Nozawa Onsen.

"This festival is one of the three most famous fire festivals in Japan. It is held on January 15th every year to pray for a plentiful harvest, health and good fortune in the coming year. The festival dates back to 1863 and though the location has changed, the festivities remain the same. During this festival the twenty-five and forty-two year old men from the village play a very important role. An old belief in Japan dictates that, for men, these years are unlucky ages. The twenty-five and the forty-two year old men in their unlucky ages construct the shaden (shrine) from beech wood that reaches a height of 18 meters. Every year it takes 100 villagers to build the shrine. The trees are cut down in October and brought down from the mountain, through the village, on January 13th. After the shaden has been constructed, the priest from Kosuge shrine performs a ceremony to endow it with a God. Along with the shaden there are an average of five tôrô (dedicatory lantern poles) erected every year. These poles are made by a family in the village to celebrate the birth of the first son. The tôrô are offered to the Gods in a prayer for health and good fortune. The festivities begin with the lighting of the fire by the twenty-five and fourty-two year old men. A small group of men carry a torch, which is lit by striking two stones together, from the Kôno residence to the festival grounds. The torch is used to start a bonfire from which the handmade torches, used to attack the shrine, are lit. The festival centers around the shaden, where the fourty-two year olds sit on top and the twenty-five year olds stand guard at the base. Those who are 41 and 43 years old stand around the perimeter to protect the spectators. Torch bearing villagers of all ages attempt to break through the guards and light the shaden on fire. A dangerous and lively battle ensues. The defenders try to put out the fire by striking it with pine branches. The attack lasts for about one hour, after which the 42 year olds call an end to the ceremony and the shaden together with the tôrô are set on fire in an offering to the Gods. The entire festival can take up to four hours from the beginning to the end, but the main attraction is the battle between the guards and the torch bearing villagers."

Archive report: Posted at 10:37am on Friday 14th January 2011
The latest Nozawa Onsen Now report can be found here

Nozawa Onsen Now ski lift operation notes:

Lifts operating: \r\n\r\nAll except the following\r\nHave closed a few for the quiet week days but can still access all runs\r\nKandahar which is generally reserved for Race Days but does open to the public occasionally so look out for it.

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