Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 6th May 2019

Niseko Now!

Monday 12th January 2015, 8:34am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 20cm
Snow depth: 150cm
Light snow falling outside now and there's another 20cm of snow outside. The Avalanche Report below says 30cm in Hirafu at 1000m. So another fine delivery of snow.

It doesn't feel too windy to me here, but then again I'm right down in the village. Higher up obviously there's some wind action going on and it's affecting our fun potential this morning again unfortunately...

Yes, weather conditions this morning are preventing the top lifts at all of the four resort areas from opening, so if you want to get between places this morning it's shuttle bus time folks. Probably best just to stick to one area.

Snow and wind are expected pretty much for the day today but it should ease off by opening tomorrow. A break from the snow and some sunshine is a real possibility tomorrow and particularly Wednesday with temperatures getting a little milder as well. Might just be me but it doesn't feel quite as cold this morning - my thermometer says -2 now.

When I started putting this report together a bit earlier it was just snowing lightly. It's coming down a bit heavier just now.


I was talking with a friend yesterday about how long the season is here in Niseko, until early May. So there's just 112 or so more daily morning reports left to put together this season... that thought kept me awake a bit last night! I hope you'll all stay with me through until the end. Though please be warned that we don't get 20cm of fresh snow every day in April. Spring skiing does have it's appeal though, just a different kind.

For those interested in previous seasons, you can check out the Niseko Now archives going back quite a few years. Find them at the bottom of this (and every Niseko Now) page.


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

Niseko Grand Hirafu:
King Number 3, King Number 4, Ace Number 4 lifts not moving due to weather conditions.
'Early Morning' lift available daily until 1st February (for 500 yen, Ace Quad Number 2 lift from 8am until 8:20am).

Niseko Hanazono:
Top Hanazono Number 3 lift not moving due to weather conditions.

Niseko Village:
Niseko Gondola and top Wonderland Chair lift not moving due to weather conditions.
'Early Morning Gondola' available Saturdays and Sundays until February 8th (for 1300 yen, Gondola open from 7:30am until 8:30am).

Niseko Annupuri:
Annupuri Gondola running at slower speed right now and the top Jumbo Number 4 lift temporarily suspended.


Niseko Avalanche Report

Niseko base 6am: -3C, 20cm snowfall in 12 hours, no development of snowdrifts. Moiwa 800m: -5C, N15m/s, 20cm fresh snow and 50cm of snowdrifts. Annupuri 1150m: -6C, N13m/s, large development of snowdrifts. Hirafu 1000m: -5C, NE15m/s, 30cm snowfall with development of snowdrifts. Coastal data: Benkei cape ENE7m/s, Kamui cape SE3m/s, 1012hPa, 3.4m waves.

A small low-pressure system is passing and warm air is flowing in. The new snow is humid and snowdrifts have developed in various areas. A northerly wind is forecasted to pick up before noon and the avalanche risk will rise accordingly. Looking at the snowfall transition and other observations, potential trigger layer will be the low-pressure snowfall layer of Jan 11th. Gates 2 & 3 will be kept closed. 40cm surface slab avalanches are likely to occur in Osawa cornice slopes, Higashi-One area in the afternoon. Better not venture too far away from the resort today. It is strictly restricted to duck the ropes to access the out of bounds areas. One track under the rope will lead many others to do the same and raise the odds for accidents to happen. Please respect the Niseko Rules. Great snow can be found in the treeruns. The visibility will turn bad during the day, please beware of hitting trees. Have a safe day.


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

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 360cm
Base - 150cm

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 ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Monday 12th January 2015, 8:43am
Weather conditions: Cloud, poor visibility
New snowfall: 30cm
Snow depth: 230cm
An impressive refresh this morning with 30-45cm of new snowfall being reported by the resort across the mountain.

Snow falling and poor visibility isn't affecting the lifts on this last day of the long weekend though so for those wanting to seek out that fresh and brave the elements it's all there available for you. Just know where you're going, and remember not to do anything daft. Things can very easily go horribly wrong in this kind of condition.

They can also go fantastically right as well, and snow conditions (weather aside!) should be great this morning.

Back to a normal weekday tomorrow.

Of course, we are fast approaching the big event of the year here in Nozawa Onsen... yes, the Dosojin Fire Festival which will climax on Thursday evening. And as the forecast is now we're expecting some fine clear conditions on Thursday.

From tomorrow onwards actually. The snow clouds should pack up and leave by early tomorrow morning, leaving us to a few days of clearer and milder weather conditions.


Fresh snow to report this morning since yesterday:

Yamabiko - 40cm
Uenotaira - 45cm
Hikage - 35cm
Nagasaka - 35cm
Karasawa - 30cm

Official snow depths:

Yamabiko - 360cm
Uenotaira - 300cm
Hikage - 230cm
Nagasaka - 225cm
Karasawa - 180cm


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 ...

Minakami Now!

Monday 12th January 2015, 8:59am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 335cm
Still snowing at Minakami with an extra 25cm of new snow on the ground from the last 12 hours. It is supposed to clear up this afternoon with the next storm forecast to start from Saturday.

Clear sunny days are expected for the next days.


New snowfall

Valley 10cm
Upper Mountains 25cm


Snow depths

Valley 90cm
Upper Mountains 335cm   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Monday 12th January 2015, 9:08am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 35cm
Snow depth: 160cm
Loads of snow. Oh yes.

It's a very good morning from here in Hakuba, with a good 35-40cm or so piled up outside my place this morning.

Resorts around the valley are reporting nice deep fresh layers of snow as well. I've added the numbers where available by the notes for each resort below. Special mention to that 60cm recorded by Hakuba Cortina. No doubt there's more than a few exicted folk experiencing that powder right now as I sit here typing this. I'd prefer to be sat here, of course! ;)

Happo-one clocking in 50cm at Usagidaira.
Kashiyamari reporting 50cm.
40cm at Goryu.

They're all good numbers this morning. Must admit, I wasn't expecting them but I'm certainly not complaining as we should be back to full on conditions this morning. Poor visibility in places as well.

Unfortunately stronger winds on mountain are affecting some lifts and I've also added that to the notes below. It goes without saying, that situation may (hopefully) change of course during the day.

Today is the last day of this long 3 day weekend in Japan course, with things settling back to normal once again from tomorrow.

There's a good chance of sunshine as well tomorrow with the clearer weather and milder temperatures forecast to continue through until the end of the week.


Official snow depth numbers and operations at time of writing on Monday 12th January 2015. Subject to change during the day:

Hakuba Goryu:
Reporting 40cm of new snowfall at Alps Daira and Toomi.
Alps Daira Number 1 lift affected by wind.
All courses open except Panorama Course and Adventure Course.

- Alps Daira - 305cm
- Toomi - 160cm
- Iimori - 150cm


Hakuba 47:
Reporting 15cm of snow yesterday on mountain, 20-30cm of fresh snowfall at base this morning, rumoured over 50cm on R4.
Looks like resort is all open.
Tree Riding Zone is open.

- Upper - 290cm
- Lower - 170cm


Reporting 50cm of fresh snowfall at Usagidaira, 30cm at Riesen.
Top lifts affected by conditions this morning - Grat Quad, Alpen Quad, Kuroboshi Number 3 Pair, Usagidaira, Kurobishi Number 2 Quad, Skyline Number 2 Pair.

- Usagidaira - 290cm
- Nakiyama - 160cm
- Sakka - 180cm


Hakuba Cortina:
Reporting 60cm of new snowfall this morning.
Most open, some areas confirming safety at time of writing report.

- Upper - 380cm
- Lower - 260cm


Tsugaike Kogen:
Forest course and Uma-no-se course closed due.
Please note that the top Tsugaike Ropeway only opens for spring season.

- Tsuga-no-mori - 355cm
- Maruyama - 200cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka - 195cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Reporting 35cm-50cm of fresh snowfall.
Most of the resort open, some courses closed.

- Upper - 270cm
- Lower - 160cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Reporting 30cm of fresh snowfall.
All courses open.

- 285cm


Reporting 50cm of fresh snowfall.
All areas now open.
Night skiing every day until 15th March.

- 210cm


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 ...

Yuzawa Now!

Monday 12th January 2015, 9:38am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 30cm
Snow depth: 260cm
A later report this morning... snow clearing was necessary.

It was snowing for most of the day yesterday, though weaker at times, but we were back to heavier snowfall in the evening and this morning there is another 30cm of fresh snow to report.

My observation - 30cm
Maiko Snow Resort - 20cm
Kagura - 30-40cm
Naeba - 30-50cm

Some resorts were really very busy yesterday. I tried to get to Maiko late morning but couldn't get there, the car park was full! There were actually cars waiting in line for people to leave before they could enter. Smaller resorts were getting some people due to that overflow.

Totally personal opninion here, but snow conditions were not quite as good as I was expecting - heavier than I was hoping for. Looks like lighter snow overnight though so I would imagine that conditions are very good this morning. I have no doubt that higher places are totally coming up with the goods though just now.

Well, when they'll open. Unfortunately Tashiro is closed today due to strong winds and it looks like early morning via Mitsumata it's open up until the Kagura Number 1 Romance pair lift. They seem to be saying that the quad may open depending on conditions.

Yesterday I said that the rest of this week we should see lots of sunshine. Current forecasts are disagreeing a bit on that front with some saying more a mix of cloud and even a bit of rain. No, please just no!

I think most people now would like a bit of a break from the snow and a few days of fine and clear skies with some sunshine.


One of the photos posted below today is of the snow just outside our office. That fine looking measuring stick is 3m long and that area is usually totally flat. So as you can see a solid 3m wall of snow.


Official snow depths:

GALA Yuzawa:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Joetsu Kokusai:
Kandatsu Kogen:
Maiko Snow Resort:
NASPA Ski Garden:
Yuzawa Kogen:
290cm (Kogen)
240cm (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 ...

Furano Now!

Monday 12th January 2015, 9:49am
Weather conditions: Cloud cover/overcast
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: 160cm
Today's overcast skies are producing some flat light conditions on the resort, but we are hoping these will improve during the morning. There hasn't been much in the way of snow with around 2cm of accumulation on the slopes, and nothing significant on the forecast for the next few days. It looks like we are in for some good weather from tomorrow through until Friday with some sunshine and only light winds.    Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Monday 12th January 2015, 10:01am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog, poor visibility
New snowfall: 25cm
Snow depth: 155cm
A good layer of new snow overnight and it's really coming down now. Heavy snow, a bit of a wind, poor visibility. Full on winter here this morning.

The people still here for the last day of their long weekend may not be so happy at braving blizzard conditions, but a lot will keep us good for a while.

After today it's all change again with lots of clear fine weather conditions on the forecast.


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 ...

Zao Now!

Monday 12th January 2015, 10:04am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy - clearing maybe?
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 200cm
Light snow easing off this morning and fairly decent visibility now. Is that the sun I can just about make out behind some clouds there? And even a bit of blue sky? I think it might be!

We're heading into a break from snow and a spell of more settled and clearer weather conditions from tomorrow and that will likely stretch to the end of the week.

Personally I'm looking forward to hopefully a few days of sun. Just as long as it doesn't warm up too much - and forecasts tell us it shouldn't - conditions should keep and it should be a great week to be in Zao.

Oh yes, 10cm more fresh since yesterday.


Official snow depths (Monday 12th 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: 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 ...

Madarao Now!

Monday 12th January 2015, 10:26am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, signs of clearing up a bit
New snowfall: 40cm
Snow depth: 220cm
Here I am with a later report this morning. 40cm of fresh snowfall does that. For those of us 'living' here, it needs to be moved, shovelled and all sorts of other things. We need to do that before we can ride it. Hard up aren't we? ;)

So yes. Loads of snow overnight.

Conditions should be excellent on the slopes this morning and it might even be clearing a bit.

Whatever eventually happens today, clearer skies are forecast for tomorrow and generally for the rest of the week as well. Won't be as cold, but shouldn't warm up too much either.

Sounds good to me!

On Saturday 17th, it's time for the Powder Wave Session at Madarao Kogen where you can see some top riders (what the resort says and I have no reason to doubt it!) perform for our entertainment. Powder Wave course will be closed from Tuesday 13th so that they can prepare for the event.


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.

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

Myoko Now!

Monday 12th January 2015, 12:47pm
Weather conditions: A little brighter from time to time, but no sun (and then it gets dark and snowy which we actually prefer)
New snowfall: 60cm
Snow depth: 308cm
Sorry, readers, I had a report up - I thought - earlier this morning, but I may have slipped on the submission button. Ah, technology! Never fails to... well, you know.


There is a lot more snow here than there was yesterday. It's hard to tell how much is the real total lately, with a little bit of wind and great big snow walls to kind of confuse things, but at time of snowthrowing early today it was about 60cm. Nice, snow, too, after some heavier/wetter fall over the past few days.

Other than that, things are just going smoothly along in Myoko, my hometown: the snow is falling steadily, the lifts are running smoothly; the mighty snowthrower, a regular part of these reports (and also a regular delayer of them) is just growling along; and all the lifts have been going like clockwork. Not much else to report today!


Akakura Kanko:
350cm, -6°

Akakura Onsen:
280cm, -2°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
270cm, -1°

Myoko Suginohara:
270cm, -10°

Seki Onsen:
450cm, -5°

Myoko Ski Park:
310cm, -3°

Kyukamura RunRun:
330cm, -3°

Tangram Ski Circus:
220cm, -3°

Madarao Kogen:
220m, -7°


Planned night skiing in the Myoko area:

Akakura Onsen - until 10pm every day until 22nd March
Tangram Ski Circus - until 8pm on Saturdays until 28th March
Madarao Kogen until - 9pm on Saturdays until 21st March   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