Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 18th January 2021

Niseko Now!

Sunday 11th March 2012, 8:06am
Weather conditions: Clear, blue skies
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Good morning! It did get a bit cold so for those of you driving heads up on the roads. They were pretty icy last night. Yesterday we saw bluebird skies and moderate temps. It did get above freezing but not quite as warm as the day before.

The backcountry safety is the same as yesterday. Most of the cornices that are going to fall have fallen. Glide cracks may be a bit of an issue and just general spots of bad snow. The freeze-thaw cycle could have made for some icy spots. It should be partly cloudy today, so a chance to view Yotei and the surrounding Niseko area again. It seems people are pretty confident we will get some more snow. The locals have been saying don't let March catch you off guard.

It looks as though Wednesday is really up in the air but the day to look forward to. It has the potential to snow, but isn't looking like enough to cover up all the hard crust around. All we can do is enjoy the sunshine that we are having at the moment and make the best of now. Snow will come at least once more, just be ready for when it does. Don't put away those snowblowers too soon or you might be regretting it!

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 405cm
Bottom - 200cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 450cm
Bottom - 190cm

Top - 480cm
Bottom - 210cm

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -6C, no new snowfall. Coastal data: SE8m/s at Benkei cape, no waves and 1014hPa at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak: S8m/s, -12C. Annupuri 1000m: 480cm snowdepth.
Snowfall transition: Atmospheric pressure gradient is small; cold but calm weather continues. The snow surface above 800m is either crusty due to sun & wind effect or re-crystallized. New snow is non-existent. Notable hoar layers Mar 1st, 6th and 10th are present in the snowpack (thickness vary on the slope’s location). Thin surface snow avalanche is to be considered in south facing slopes as the temperature rises and sun affects slabs to form. The wind is forecasted to pick up this afternoon.
Hazard evaluation: General avalanche risk is low. Avoid riding in the valley bottoms in order to avoid being caught in the spring climax avalanche. The tracks will remain hard in the morning. Be careful not to fall or hit trees. Avalanches occur when the conditions allow and are not only subject to that day’s snowfall amount. And it only becomes an accident if someone is caught in it. Always be prudent in typical avalanche terrains; cornices, knolls and steep open slopes.
Gates: Peak gates will open at 9:30am. Pay attention to the ski patrol’s advices. Niseko respects the freedom of skiing out of bounds, however is also deeply concerned about the users safety and always hope no accidents would happen. Have a nice day.
   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Sunday 11th March 2012, 9:10am
Weather conditions: Sunny, blue skies
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Yesterday brought those fresh conditions especially in the morning and later on it had cleared up. This morning it's s different kind of start to the day with bright blue skies and the sun shining down. The snow has gone from the roads but I think some fresh snow will still be available out there - from having a look round yesterday, places didn't seem too busy for a Saturday as is often the case once we get into the month of March. So it should be a lovely day out on the slopes of Yuzawa.

It is still due to cloud over later on today and we are still expecting snow into tomorrow, so hopefully I will be reporting another new layer in my next report. In the meantime it will likely be a mild and sunny day today.


It is March 11th and that marks one whole year since the earthquake that affected eastern Tohoku so badly. Many people are of course still affected by the events of last year and our thoughts are with them today. I'm not sure how and if the resorts will mark this event, but no doubt there will be moments of silence and a time to reflect.

Official resort snow depths @ Sunday 11th March 12, PM:
Mt Naeba:
Kagura - Tashiro:
GALA Yuzawa:
Kandatsu Kogen:
NASPA Ski Garden:
Yuzawa Kogen:
Yuzawa Park:
Yuzawa Nakazato:
Ludens Yuzawa:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Centleisure Maiko:
Joetsu Kokusai:
210cm   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Sunday 11th March 2012, 9:17am
Weather conditions: Snow, cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Just a quick report this morning as I need to get off out to Niigata... unfortunately, as the sun is out and it's a clear blue sky day above Naeba and Kagura. Some white fluffy clouds hanging up there and casting big shadows on the slopes, but it's one of those feel-good days.

No new snow overnight as the skies dried up yesterday. We are due snow again tonight and tomorrow though so more fresh stuff to report tomorrow hopefully.

Resort Operations, 11th March (subject to change)
Official snow depths

   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Sunday 11th March 2012, 9:21am
Weather conditions: Sun, blue sky, some cloud in the region
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
There's some cloud in the region but above the mountain right now it is just clear blue skies and it looks like today should be a really fine one - at least to start off with. The forecast is telling us all to expect more snow later in the day, so there's not telling how long these clearer conditions will last. The perfect scenario would be until the lifts close and then a blizzard dumps 50cm on us overnight, but that just be a bit of wishful thinking. An nice new layer would be just fine to top up the much improved conditions that we enjoyed yesterday morning.

It's -1 at base and about -4 up on the mountain this morning but will likely warm up into the positives.

Lifts currently operating:
All lifts and runs due to be open today
Official snow depth:
250cm   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Sunday 11th March 2012, 9:35am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Yesterday was a fun day out on the slopes with that new snow. Always good to get a wintery blast in March. This morning we have a cloudy start to the day - a few cm of snow since yesterday but it is not snowing now. Hardly any wind and a temperature of around -1 degrees.

More snowfall due tonight and into Monday. I'll let you know how that turns out tomorrow morning of course.


As you may well be aware, today is exactly one year on since the terrible events of 11th March 2011. It hardly seems like a year, but at the same time it seems like an age to lots of people. If you remember Zao closed for a number of weeks directly after the events on that day and while we sustained some damage it was nothing compared to people on the coastal areas of course. Zao was able to re-open for the final few weeks of the season. You can take a look at how things went in the Zao Now acrhives (links below).

There will be a lot of people remembering last year today, including lots of locals here in Zao.

Not ones to dwell though, there's a still a lot of this season left and to look forward to. I for one am determined to make the most of it.

Official snow depths (11th March 12)
Utopia - 245cm
Chuo - 210cm
Paradise - 245cm
Uwanodai - 170cm

Operating lifts (11th March 12)
All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating.
All the runs at Zao are open.   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Sunday 11th March 2012, 9:49am
Weather conditions: Clear
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Blue skies in Minakami this morning - a beautiful spring morning. No wind, warmish temperatures and good snow out on the hill. Perfect conditions for a cruisy Sunday morning. There is a possibility that it will cloud over and snow a little this afternoon so enjoy it while it's good.

Light snow forecast for the next few days but the temperatures should rise again by Friday and some more clear days to look forward to by next weekend.
   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Sunday 11th March 2012, 9:53am
Weather conditions: Sun, blue sky
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
There's not much to say this morning apart from the fact that we have blue skies above us. The snow did ease off yesterday though it remained a cloudy one. Different this morning as the sun shines down and we have clear skies. It wasn't as busy as a usual Saturday yesterday and today things seem to be moving smoothly out there as well, so should be a good day - still pockets of new snow to find. And there looks to be more on the way as well as by the end of the day it should be snowing and that may well continue all through tomorrow. It's going to get colder as well and we might see a welcome return to minus double digit temperatures. For today though still keeping relatively mild while just above keeping under zero.

Today it is one year since the earthquake and tsunami over in eastern Tohoku. We felt it here too and of course felt the one the day after in northern Nagano. Many people's thoughts will be with the many people who were affected so badly by what happened that day.

Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort area:

- Ichinose Family

Official resort snow depths as of Sunday 11th March 2012 AM:

Sun Valley:
Ichinose Family:
Ichinose Diamond:
Okushiga Kogen:
220cm   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Sunday 11th March 2012, 10:09am
Weather conditions: Cloud, clear in places
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
A colder morning here in Hakuba, though no new snow to report.

Yesterday the snowfall did ease off in the afternoon but lots of the ski resort runs remained shrouded in cloud until the end of the day, so generally poor visibility out there on upper slopes. Spotted quite a few people enjoying themselves at the festival over at Goryu last night, finishing off with some fireworks which are always fun.

This morning there is still a lot of cloud around but it is generally brighter than yesterday and even some blue sky to be seen behind the clouds in places. Visibility is certainly better than it was yesterday even up on the higher slopes of resorts around the village.

So a cold start down to around -3 degrees overnight and earlier on, with a high of around +3 likely during the day today. We might be seeing some sun today but the local forecast tells us to expect snow clouds to be moving back into the region later today and it should be a cold and snowy night tonight. Snow down to village and perhaps another decent new layer on the slopes too, with temperatures dropping down to more like winter levels for a few days.


Multiple small slabs were triggered by riders and released naturally in the back country and off piste at the resorts yesterday. 2 minor incidents and one more serious involvements were reported and This was to be expected with the new snow over riding the melt layer. The bond between the melt crust and the new snow was improving through the day yesterday. The bond at lower elevation has improved today with last nights cold temperatures freezing the past wet melt grains to the immediate over riding storm snow. These bonds may loosen today with intense solar radiation and warming. The snow on the shaded slopes that has remained cold yesterday and will remain cold today may still see natural releases of slab and loose avalanches. Last nights surface hoar will also no doubt be present on Northerly aspects as new snow starts to fall this afternoon. This will create another low density weak layer between yesterdays storm snow and today’s forecast new snow.

Watch out on wind loaded North and East aspects where wind deposited snow may still not have bonded well to the melt layer. This aspect may have seen near surface faceting due to last nights clear skies and radiated heat loss from the upper snow pack.


EXTRA CAUTION on Steep Solar radiated slopes and also take care on Wind loaded and shady slopes.

Please be careful out there as this are still in a precarious balance.

Please also remember the 3 backcountry riders who lost there lives last year on this day, March 11th. The day of the great Earthquake of Eastern Japan. Remember and respect a moment of silence at 2:46 pm.

Official snow depths and operations @ Sunday 11th March 2012 AM:

Hakuba Goryu:
No new snowfall overnight at Goryu. All lifts and courses open.
Official snow depths:
Alps daira - 255cm;
Toomi - 135cm;
Iimori - 95cm

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 is reporting 2cm of fresh snowfall overnight up top. All courses open, all lifts except Line D operating.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 237cm
Lower - 135cm

Ski lifts/courses:
All lifts apart operating. Today is the last day of the season for the Central Pair and Happo No1 pair lifts, though that does not affect any of the runs which remain open.
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira - 180cm;
Sakka - 80cm;
Nakiyama - 70cm.

Tsugaike Kogen:
Official snow depth:
Upper slopes - 250cm
Champion - 180cm

Hakuba Cortina:
Cortina is reporting 10-15cm of fresh snowfall this morning. All lifts moving - a few courses closed early on but hopefully will open later.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 315cm
Lower - 190cm

Hakuba Norikura:
Official snow depth:

Hakuba Iwatake:
Village Side (lower slopes) plan to be open until 1st April (upper slopes open well beyond that date).
Official snow depth:
Upper - 180cm
Lower - 70cm

Hakuba Sanosaka:

Hakuba Minekata:
60cm   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Sunday 11th March 2012, 15:09pm
Weather conditions: Sunny
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Wow, what a perfect day in Nozawa. Great conditions for the annual Downhill and GS races today.
It was an early start for the competitors getting on the gondola at about 7:30 this morning. Greeted by very suitable race conditions with clear skies and an icy track. The speeds were fast and so were the skintight suits! Lots of fun and smiles from all those involved. Eventual winner of the downhill was home town favourite Katzuyuki Kono, he is more at home on skis than he is walking! Gab Sutter from Switzerland also put in a great showing and grabbed 2nd in the Giant Slalom.

On the slopes for everyone else it was a beautiful day with clear skies and the snow condition was sublime. Started to get a little slushy towards the bottom later but still nice.

If the forecast comes through we are in for some serious snow fall over the next few days, so happy days in Nozawa Onsen at the moment.

Hard to believe it has been a whole year since the devastating quake and tsunami off the coast of Tohoku. It was a crazy and sad time with so many people losing their lives and homes. Here in northern Nagano as well with the events of the following day.

The recovery effort was nothing short of inspirational. The way the people of the affected area and all of Japan came together was amazing. The situation has improved but is far from over, our thoughts are with those still rebuilding. Stay strong Japan.

Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:




Current Lift operations:
All open

Current courses open:
All open
   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Sunday 11th March 2012, 17:33pm
Weather conditions: Sunny/Party Cloudy
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Temperatures peaked at the freezing mark today, but those of you out on the piste probably noticed there's plenty of melting and refreezing going on, especially on the lower, shadier runs on the Kitanomine Side. The parts of courses exposed to the sun are on the whole soft and entirely skiable, but the shady side of the runs on the bottom half of the mountain are subject to a lot of refreezing, making them a bit brittle in places. The good news is, there's plenty of excellent quality snow to be had, if you know where to look for it. The top half of the resort is in good condition and is still thoroughly enjoyable.

It should be another seasonably cool night tonight, clear and cold with lows around -10, so expect more of the same tomorrow. It looks like there will be several chances for snow next week, the perfect thing to spruce up those runs.

During March there are race competitions being held on Furano Resort. The following courses are closed for the competitions:

Spies Course, closed March 5-11 & 25
Ropeway Course, closed March 5-11
   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Sunday 11th March 2012, 18:22pm
Weather conditions: Snow, after sun through the day
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It's been a very interesting day, starting with bue skies in the morning, some fog/clouds later, back to sunny skies with a few puffs of low cloud, and now (about 6pm) some snow - even heavy for a moment there.

A really good day today skiing, though; some lovely fresh snow (OK, sticky down low, but still fun) in the back country, and who can complain when it's sunny?

Tomorrow could mean a little more fresh snow, and with colder temperatures, we might even have a little more powder.

Current Official Snow Depths

Akakura Onsen:

Akakan (Akakura Kanko):


Myoko Suginohara:

Seki Onsen:

Myoko Ski Park:



250cm   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Appi Kogen Now
18th Jan, 10:43
Zao Now
18th Jan, 10:30
Hakuba Now
18th Jan, 10:10
Furano Now
18th Jan, 9:43
Kiroro Now
18th Jan, 9:31
Myoko Now
18th Jan, 9:29am
Madarao Now
18th Jan, 9:28am
Shiga Kogen Now
18th Jan, 9:05
Yuzawa Now
18th Jan, 8:59am
Niseko Now
18th Jan, 8:33
Nozawa Onsen Now
18th Jan, 7:54
Geto Kogen Now
18th Jan, 7:44
Minakami Now
13th Jan, 10:10am
Naeba Now
27th Nov, 11:21am
Aizu Bandai Now
26th Nov, 11:22