Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 6th May 2019

Yuzawa Now!

Sunday 11th January 2015, 7:45am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 25cm
Snow depth: 270cm
The crazy snow situation continues into today.

25cm more snow here in town level since yesterdays report.

Maiko reporting 25+cm.
Kagura report 20cm and Naeba reporting 10-30cm.

I have explained this previously, but the reason we are mentioning those particular resorts with the new snowfall numbers here is because they are the only ones that are sharing such data - if there was data from other places, we'd mention it here. (And if anyone knows of any data that might be available and we are missing, do let us know and we'll be happy to mention it). If I ran a skijo, it's a number I'd get out there every morning

It's still snowing and that's what is forecast for the day today and quite possibly into tomorrow as well.

Tuesday onwards though it's looking like sunny skies will dominate for a few days.


It was in the local Japanese newspaper on Friday about how the numbers of skiers and snowboarders visiting the resorts in Niigata over New Year was down on last year. The reason given being the heavy snowfall putting lots of people off. Sounds odd doesn't it. (The one thing they also mentioned was the increase in number of foreigners on the slopes).

This long weekend I am sure that the resorts were really hoping for some nice sunny weather to get lots of people out, and so they'll have mixed feelings about this heavy snowfall again.... I have spoken to a few resort folk over the last few days and while they are happy that there's lots of snow, the general feeling now seems to be 'we have enough!' and just regular topups would be ideal.

So much snow creates a lot of work for locals as well and visitors can see people out and about with shovels and other tools of the trade to try and cope with the huge volumes of snow.

Below I have posted a few photos from yesterday. Lots more photos here.

I wonder how the rest of the season will work out. It sure will be interesting to find out!


Official snow depths:

GALA Yuzawa:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Joetsu Kokusai:
Kandatsu Kogen:
Maiko Snow Resort:
NASPA Ski Garden:
Yuzawa Kogen:
280cm (Kogen)
230cm (Nunoba)
Yuzawa Nakazato:


Nighta in the area

Nighta 'night skiing' - where some slopes are floodlit for skiing and snowboarding in the evening, is available at the following resorts in the area.

Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Every day until 21st March (until 8:50pm)
Every day until 22nd March (until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays, 9pm on Saturdays)
Joetsu Kokusai:
Every day until 22nd March (until 9pm)
Kandatsu Kogen:
From 23rd January, 'all night' on holidays (6pm or 10pm until 4am the next morning)
Maiko Snow Resort:
Every day until 14th March (until 8pm)
Every day until 29th March (until 9pm)
NASPA Ski Garden (skiers only):
Saturdays until 29th February (until 7pm)
Yuzawa Nakazato:
Saturdays from 10th January until 14th March (until 8:30pm)

Chateaux Shiozawa also have nighta but only on certain days - no fixed schedule available.
Resorts not mentioned above do not operate 'nighta' (or do not plan to have more this season).
Some resorts offer tickets that include nighta, others need a special lift ticket.


Ski and snowboard resorts in Yuzawa town
Ski and snowboard resorts in Minamiuonuma City   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Sunday 11th January 2015, 8:01am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 210cm
10-15cm of new snowfall over the last 24 hours here in Madarao and this morning we have cloud and blue skies over the mountain.

More snow is forecast for later on in the day though and overnight into tomorrow but after that from around Tuesday the forecast is for clear skies, sun and things getting a little milder. Doesn't look like it should warm up too much though.

All set to open as normal.

Remember tomorrow is a holiday so should be busier than a normal Monday. I usually Like Mondays, but perhaps less so tomorrow! But I'm sure it'll be a Happy Monday for lots. Have fun!


Lifts open:

Number 1 lift
Number 2 quad lift
Number 3A
Number 5
Super quad lift
Number 11 lift
Number 12 lift
Number 13 lift
Number 15 lift
Moving Walkway
Kids Park
Freeride Park
Tree Run Courses should be open today

Night skiing at Madarao is every Saturday until 21st March 2015... and next Sunday, January 11th (the day after is a holiday).


Madarao Kogen 6 day weather and snow forecast
Madarao Kogen main resort data   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Sunday 11th January 2015, 8:20am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: 200cm
Another cold morning (aren't they all here?!) and just cloudy right now. Snow is forecast for later on in particular though so I should have more than the dusting that we have this morning to report tomorrow.

Early report today as I am off on my way to Yamagata city this morning. Lots of people coming up the other way by the looks of things.


Official snow depths (Sunday 11th January 15):

Utopia: 190cm
Chuo: 200cm
Paradise: 190cm
Uwanodai: 140cm

Zao Onsen is fully open (though note that the Karamatsu pair lift is closed on weekdays).
Weather conditions may affect lifts.


Night skiing operations at Zao this season

Uwanodai area:
Daily until 22nd March

Yokokura area:
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from until 15th March

Open times from 5pm until 9pm.


Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time ropeway operations

January 2015: 10th-12th, 17th-18th, 24th-31st
February 2015: Every day 1st-28th

Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm.
In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled.   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Sunday 11th January 2015, 8:36am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog
New snowfall: 6cm
Snow depth: 165cm
Good morning and hello from Niseko.

Guess what? It's snowing! Only light snow now as I look outside the window here, but it was coming down pretty hard just a short while ago. Whatever, I have another 6-7cm of fresh to report. Around -3 degrees, cloudy and foggy outside so generally quite poor visibility this morning I would say on mountain. Make sure you know where you're going.

Yesterday was busy out there, and no doubt today will be too, but I imagine the conditions made up for any of that. As I have said before, there's a good reason why Niseko is so wildly popular.

Snowfall expected to continue today and tomorrow, easing up by Tuesday when we might get some sun and blue skies.


This may well have happened before today as I have only just noticed it and I haven't been up to that area for a few days, but anyway it looks like Niseko Grand Hirafu have now found the staff to get the Ace Number 4 lift chugging along which is good to see. If you remember about a week ago it was being reported that due to staff issues they weren't operating. Or something. It was always a bit hazy that. But the important thing is that it's moving now. Perhaps with robot staff!


For those of you who love snow and not just that which is exclusively Niseko-related, do check out the pretty wild photos that one of the SnowJapan guys took yesterday in their area of Niigata Prefecture. Those guys sure do get a lot of snow. In fact, if you look at the Yuzawa Now daily report, you'll notice that they have actually logged up more observed snow than I have here for Niseko with a whopping 819cm!

Anyway it's definitely worth a look:

Wild Niigata snow photos


Resort specific news at time of writing - subject to change during the day

Niseko Grand Hirafu:
Looks set to be open as planned this morning.
'Early Morning' lift available daily until 1st February (for 500 yen, Ace Quad Number 2 lift from 8am until 8:20am).

Niseko Hanazono:
Looks set to be open as planned this morning.

Niseko Village:
Looks set to be open as planned this morning.
'Early Morning Gondola' available today, tomorrow and on Saturdays and Sundays until February 8th (for 1300 yen, Gondola open from 7:30am until 8:30am).

Niseko Annupuri:
Looks set to be open as planned.
'Annupuri First Run' available today and tomorrow (for 1000 yen, Gondola open from 7:20-8:20am).


Niseko Avalanche Report

Niseko base 6am: -6C, 10cm of crystal snow in 12 hours. Moiwa 800m: NW12m/s, -8C, 15cm of new snow and development of snowdrifts in Anbetsu area. Annupuri 1150m: NW10m/s, -10C, snowdrifts and crusty surfaces. Hirafu ridge 1250m: W15m/w, -12C, strong gusts from the Backbowl with development of snowdrifts. Coastal data: Benkei cape NW13m/s, Kamui cape NW8m/s, 1005hPa, 2.0m waves.

A moderate north-westerly wind with snowfall is persisting. The main snowclouds are currently drifting away from Niseko area, however snowfall is forecasted to pick up during the day. The cornices above 800m altitude are unstable and likely to collapse anytime. Sunlight is weak, making it hard to see the surface. The deeper snowpack is stable and peak gates are scheduled to open. Many cases of intruders to Haru no Taki is being reported. Please remember that the freedom to ride out of bounds in Niseko is being protected in exchange of having those strictly off-limits areas closed-off. Better acknowledge that entering these strictly off-limits zones is not only neglecting the Rules, but also having a misconception of the true meaning of Freedom. Whether the conditions were safe or not, these actions are simply jeopardizing the freedom of the people that are true to the Rules. Infringers will loose their right to use the resort facilities. The Niseko Village’s Mizuno no sawa educational program has started. Follow the ski patrol’s instructions and ride safe.


Official snow depth numbers and any notes at time of writing:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 345cm
Base - 165cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 250cm
Base - 160cm

Niseko Annupuri:
Top - 230cm
Base - 180cm


Lifts open for night skiing (planned):

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift
(There is no night skiing at the Hanazono area)

Niseko Village
Community Chair and Banzai Chair

Niseko Annupuri
Jumbo Number 1 Quad


You can win a professional Full Day Private Tour for up to 3 people on SnowJapan in a special Prize Draw:
Full details here


Niseko Grand Hirafu 6 day weather and snow forecast   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Sunday 11th January 2015, 8:45am
Weather conditions: Dark skys
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: 160cm
Fairly light night regarding snow. Best to get up there early today as most of the snow that we will get today will come this morning but it will flurry throughout the day.
Compared to yesterday there is more cloud cover today but temps are still fairly mild. In fact this January has been a little warmer then in the past from memory.

   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Sunday 11th January 2015, 8:53am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 310cm
More snow! There has been snow falling intermittently for the past 3 days but gusty winds have often accompanied them transporting exposed snow to leeward slopes.

The total snow fall for the past 3 days is around 50cm with varying depths depending on terrain exposure.

The snow is expecting to continue through to Monday with winds calming tomorrow. Tuesday onwards sees a patch of sun with the next storm cycle moving in next Saturday.


Valley 10cm
Upper Mountains 40cm


Snow depths

Valley 80cm
Upper Mountains 310cm   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Sunday 11th January 2015, 9:02am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, bit of fog
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: 190cm
It's a busy peak season Sunday of course and lots of people around here in Nozawa.

Just a bit of snow really since yesterday with the numbers reported by the resort yesterday afternoon and this morning added below.

It's a cloudy start to the day here but snow is expected later on and the potential for a fair bit as well overnight. So I look forward to being able to report that tomorrow.

It would be good if we were on receiving end of a good chunk of fresh snow because after tomorrow we are expecting a run of sunny days and it might get a bit milder. Hopefully not too much.


Special long weekend early lift opening times (today and tomorrow):

Base lifts at the resorts will start from 8am
Both gondolas will start from 8:10am


Fresh snow to report this morning since yesterday morning:

Yamabiko - 10cm
Uenotaira - 14cm
Hikage - 5cm
Nagasaka - 10cm
Karasawa - 5cm

Official snow depths:

Yamabiko - 325cm
Uenotaira - 275cm
Hikage - 190cm
Nagasaka - 190cm
Karasawa - 165cm


Courses open:

All courses are open except:

Grand Prix course
Jumping Course
Challenge 39
Kandahar West


Lifts open (subject to weather conditions):

All lifts operating


Night skiing at Nozawa until 8pm on the following dates:

Every Saturday until 28th March


Nozawa Onsen 6 day weather and snow forecast
Nozawa Onsen main resort data   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Sunday 11th January 2015, 9:03am
Weather conditions: Cloud cover
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: 155cm
Hello on this middle day of the long weekend here in Japan.

And there's fresh snow in Hakuba.

Yesterday rather strong winds prevailed and there was no new cm of snow during the day. Lots of cloud, some snow falling, some blue sky at time and in places. A whole big mixed bag of weather conditions.

As I said though, new cm snow of overnight on the mountains with around 10cm being reported mostly - Hakuba Goryu posting the larged number with 25cm of fresh up on Alps Daira apparently. Sounds good to me. Just a bit down here at base and at village level.

Limited visibility on the upper slopes this morning - snow is falling and it looks pretty fog taking a look at the cams. I'll be up there soon to take a good look myself. Moderate to heavy snow is forecast for today so fingers crossed I'll be bringing in some more decent numbers in the report tomorrow.

From tomorrow less snow is likely with clear weather lined up for Tuesday through Friday. Lots of sun icons on the weather forecasts.


Official snow depth numbers and operations at time of writing on Sunday 11th January 2015. Subject to change during the day:

Hakuba Goryu:
Reporting 25cm of new snowfall at Alps Daira, 10cm on lower areas.
All lifts moving. All courses open except Adventure Course.

- Alps Daira - 280cm
- Toomi - 155cm
- Iimori - 150cm


Hakuba 47:
Reporting 15-20cm of fresh snowfall.
Tree Riding Zone is back open. Yey!

- Upper - 250cm
- Lower - 155cm


Reporting 10cm of fresh snowfall on mountain, just a dusting at base.
Gondola and Nakiyama lifts open from 7:30am for the long weekend.

- Usagidaira - 260cm
- Nakiyama - 130cm
- Sakka - 120cm


Hakuba Cortina:
Reporting 10cm of new snowfall this morning.
All open!

- Upper - 340cm
- Lower - 215cm


Tsugaike Kogen:
All open. Please note that the top Tsugaike Ropeway only opens for spring season.

- Tsuga-no-mori - 300cm
- Maruyama - 190cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka - 195cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Reporting 0-5cm of fresh snowfall.
Most of the resort open, some courses in Mountain Side being checked this morning.

- Upper - 230cm
- Lower - 110cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Reporting 10cm of fresh snowfall.
All courses open.

- 275cm


All areas now open.
Night skiing every day until 15th March.

- 190cm


Night skiing at resorts in the Hakuba area:

Hakuba Goryu:
Toomi area every day until 31st March. 6pm until 9:30pm.
Hakuba Happo-one:
Nakiyama area every day until mid March. 5pm until 9pm.
Hakuba Cortina:
Every day until 31st March. 5pm until 8pm.
Tsugaike Kogen:
Kane-no-naru-oka on Saturdays in January (and 11th); February 7th, 14th. 6pm until 8:50pm.
Karamatsu-Shirakaba on Saturdays in January 10th (and 11th); February 7th, 14th, 28th; Saturdays in March. 6pm until 9pm.
Every day until 15th March. 4:30pm until 9:30pm.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Sunday 11th January 2015, 9:32am
Weather conditions: Cloud, blue sky
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: 145cm
I was out walking around earlier on it was really cold.

Lots of cloud around, but since then more blue sky has shown up and a bit of sun here and there - it feels like it might clear up, though the forecast says different with snow due later today and into tomorrow.

Monday to Friday mostly is forecast good weather conditions... good as in sun, clearer skies and calm, along with milder temperatures. Nothing to get alarmed about though as it should remain in zero numbers through the week.


Resort areas status with official snow depths:

Okushiga Kogen:
Open (note: skiers only resort area)


Ichinose Family

Ichinose Yamanokami:

Ichinose Diamond:

Takamagahara Mammoth:




Most open

Happo Bundaraia:

Sun Valley:



Open (note: skiers only resort area)

Yokoteyama & Shibutoge:
Open except for Jumbo Course.


Planned night floodlit skiing at Shiga Kogen resort areas this season:

Sun Valley:
January 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd to March 21st

January 10th, 11th

Ichinose Family:
Every day until March 29th

Ichinose Diamond:
January 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until March 28th

January 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until February 21st

Every Saturday until March 28th   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Sunday 11th January 2015, 17:25pm
Weather conditions: Clouds across the sky (if you could see that far)
New snowfall: 30cm
Snow depth: 300cm
Not all that much snow by morning today, but from a few hours ago it has been really coming down.

It looks like a really good accumulation by morning, with snow on the forecast for some time to come, maybe a break and some sun around Wednesday.

Just what we like to hear....


Akakura Kanko:
300cm, -5°

Akakura Onsen:
220cm, -2°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
260cm, -2°

Myoko Suginohara:
210cm, -8°

Seki Onsen:
430cm, -3°

Myoko Ski Park:
265cm, 0°

Kyukamura Myoko:
310cm, -2°

190cm, -3°

210cm, -5°   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Aizu Bandai Now
05th Sep, 13:14
Yuzawa Now
14th Jun, 10:19am
Naeba Now
07th Jun, 10:08am
Shiga Kogen Now
27th May, 9:56am
Furano Now
08th May, 8:47am
Niseko Now
07th May, 19:19pm
Myoko Now
06th May, 9:33am
Hakuba Now
06th May, 9:09
Nozawa Onsen Now
06th May, 8:46
Minakami Now
06th May, 8:16
Madarao Now
06th May, 8:13am
Zao Now
06th May, 7:59
Appi Kogen Now
06th May, 7:59am
Geto Kogen Now
06th May, 7:12
Grandeco Now
02nd Feb, 12:34am