Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 6th May 2019

Niseko Now!

Thursday 12th January 2017, 8:10am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 12cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Niseko.

There is more snow to report today - 12cm of fresh snow on the ground at base this morning. It's also continuing to be very cold indeed, with my thermometer here currently saying -12C. Light snow is continuing to fall (though just a short while ago I also see a little patch of blue sky over to the east - it's been covered again by cloud now though). It should generally be snowing through the day.

As yesterday, it looks like the top lifts are going to be affected this morning due to windy conditions though they are expected to ease off later on.

Weather conditions are forecast to be generally calmer tomorrow, so if we get more snow before then the conditions should be very fine tomorrow.

The weather was making the top headlines on the national news here in Japan last night. It looks like a lot of Japan is at last getting the decent snowfall that it has been waiting for which is great to see. Loads of snow for all of the mountains please.

Take care out there.


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base: -12℃, 15cm snowfall and snowdrift development. Moiwa850m: -14℃, W15m/s, cornices and snowdrifts developing. Annupuri1150m: -24, WNW30m/s, large cornices and snowdrifts (up to 150cm) developing. Hirafu1250m: -19℃, cornices and snowdrifts developing. Kamui cape lighthouse: WSW19m/s, 997hPa, 3.1m waves.

The tight isobars have brought the storm. Snowdrifts are developing drastically and cornices around 800m elevation have grown big rapidly. The newly formed wind-drifts on top of Jan 9th layer have reached up to 80cm and growing in east-facing slopes. The overall avalanche risk is extreme today. All gates above 800m will be closed. Similar hazard level applies to surrounding mountains. Today is not the right day for touring. The hazard level will stay high for a while after the wind calms down in the afternoon.

This information is issued in hopes to prevent accidents. Avalanches are natural occurrences and only become an accident only if a person is involved in it. Never underestimate the risk you’re taking. Being prudent and making conservative decisions are key to avoid accidents. The conditions will turn better soon. We strongly hope there will be no accidents during this storm. It’s cold out there, beware of frostbite.


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

Niseko Grand Hirafu
The top Ace Number 4, King Number 3 and King Number 4 lifts will be on hold due to wind conditions.

Niseko HANAZONO Resort
Not confirmed.

Niseko Village
The Gondola and top Wonderland Chair lift will be on hold due to wind conditions.

Niseko Annupuri
The Gondola and top Jumbo Number 4 lifts will be on hold due to wind conditions.


Official resort snow depths as of Thursday 12th January 2017:

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Hanazono
Top - 260cm
Base - 110cm

Niseko Village
Top - 180cm
Base - 110cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 185cm
Base - 115cm


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.   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Thursday 12th January 2017, 8:20am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 13cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Zao.

It's a suitably cold and snowy January morning here and I have 13cm of fresh snow to report on the ground. It's all adding up and I see that the official snow depth for Chuo and Paradise have at last risen to 1m!

The forecast still tells us to expect a lot more snow over the next four days so we can hope to see those numbers rise more.

As long as wind doesn't affect things, conditions should be good for the weekend. Do get suitably kitted up though as it very likely won't be the friendliest of weather conditions. If you prefer clearer skies and some sunshine, that is probably going to happen early next week.

After a busy New Year and long weekend, things have quietened down considerably this week.


The following lifts are not operating:
Karamatsu pair
Paradise Number 3 pair
Yokokura Number 2 pair


Official snow depths:
Chuo - 100cm
Utopia - 95cm
Uwanodai - 60cm
Paradise - 100cm


Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time Zao Ropeway operations - upcoming dates

January 2017: 14th, 15th, 21st, 22nd, 27th-31st
February 2017: 1st-28th
March 2017: 1st-5th

Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm.
Ropeway return charges are 2,600 yen for adults and 1,300 yen for children.
In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Thursday 12th January 2017, 8:31am
Weather conditions: It's snowing
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: --
Hello from Shiga Kogen.

I was looking at the news yesterday and noticed that Niigata in particular was getting dumped on - Tsunan town always seems to make the news. Not that much up here with clearer skies in the day, though we do have a fresh overnight layer of snow all the same.

I see that this morning Kumanoyu are reporting 10-15cm of fresh snowfall, but I measure 5cm this morning. It would actually be nice of more of the individual areas posted information like that each morning. If that were the case I would of course pass it on to you in my report. (And if someone knows of a secret place where they are doing that, please do tell me about it as I haven't been able to find it!)

The forecast is for continued snowfall with particularly heavy snow (though I certainly hope of the light variety!) over the weekend.

Anyway, a few more days of snow to look forward to. Nothing like a fresh later of snow. :)

It's really cold at the moment and with gusty winds likely at times and continued snow falling... come prepared for such conditions.


Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:

Most of ski lifts and courses in Shiga Kogen are now open.
Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish.



Ichinose Family

Ichinose Diamond




Okushiga Kogen

Sun Valley

Takamagahara Mammoth



70cm   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Thursday 12th January 2017, 8:46am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds over Hakuba
New snowfall: 12cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

And it is another good one with fresh decent amounts of snow being reported on the mountain and a new layer on the ground here at base too.

Before I continue I just want to mention the rather rude mail that was sent in regarding snowfall numbers posted on my report. We've been over this before but I'd like to respond to it once again today.

Every morning I check what each of the ski resorts are reporting in terms of fresh snowfall and I add that information to the report. I update the resort-specific information in the report (below) and I also very often make clear mention of the reported snowfall in the text bit of my report as well. Just like I did yesterday, and just like I will do now:

Hakuba Goryu: 15cm-30cm
Hakuba 47: 30cm
Hakuba Happo-one: 30cm
Hakuba Cortina: 5-10cm (base); 15-20cm (top)

That's pretty clear, isn't it?

But it is not what I personally observe. It is the information that ski resorts publish.

I wish that it was snowing more here in the village than it has been (my measurement is 12cm today), but sadly I really cannot do anything about that. Nature is in control of that.

But the base area is where I am based. It is where I can observe snowfall from with my own eyes each morning. It is what I can consistently report every day. It is the place where I have done that same thing over the years... and from exactly the same place. (Making comparisons valid, if you find that kind of thing interesting).

And sorry, I don't live at the top of the mountain. (By the way: Which mountain? There's a few of them. Where exactly on the mountain? etc)

Comments and feedback are welcome but, please, read what is written in the reports before snapping at me. And ultimately if you don't like them for whatever reason, just don't read them.

Sorry, I think I need to get some fresh air and go strap on the skis! Cold and limited visibility in places aside, the snow conditions should be great this morning. (And there's still lots more on the forecast).



Resort news as of 8:45am on Thursday 12th January 2017:

All information as available and subject to change during the day due to weather and snow conditions.

Hakuba 47:
Hakuba 47 is reporting 15cm of fresh snowfall on the upper slopes.
The top connection with Hakuba Goryu is open.
Operating lifts and course info:
- All planned lifts are operating (Line D usually only operates when the gondola is not operating).
- All courses now open -- Route 7 is open from today.
- The Tree Riding Zones are not yet open.
Official snow depth
Upper: 160cm
Base: 50cm

Hakuba Goryu:
Hakuba Goryu is reporting 15cm-30cm of fresh snowfall (lower > upper areas).
The top connection with Hakuba 47 is open.
Operating lifts and course info:
- All lifts apart from the Alps 2/4 and Cosmo quad lift are operating.
The following courses are open:
- Grand Prix
- Panorama
- Super
- Champion Dynamic
- Woody
- Toomi
- Soft Cream
- Merry Land
- Powder Snow
Official snow depth
Alps: 165cm
Toomi: 60cm
Iimori: 40cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
Hakuba Happo-one is again reporting up to 30cm of fresh snowfall on the slopes.
You can ski or board back down to base via the Riesen Slalom and Nakiyama South course. Downloading via Gondola or lift required in the other areas.
Operating lifts and course info:
- Most lifts are now operating with just a number of base area lifts still to get moving.
The following courses are open:
- Kurobishi
- Usagidaira
- Skyline
- Riesen
- Panorama
- Nakiyama South
- Kita-one 3
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira: 150cm
Kurobishi: 175cm
Lower: 40cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
Tsugaike Kogen is mostly open.
Operating lifts and course info:
- Most lifts are now operating.
The following courses are open:
- Kane-no-naru-oka areas are part open.
- All other course areas are available.
Official snow depth:
Tsuga-no-mori: 160cm
Han-no-ki: 120cm
Maruyama: 55cm
Oya-no-hara: 45cm
Kane-no-naru-oka: 35cm

Hakuba Cortina:
Hakuba Cortina is now mostly open.
The resort is reporting 5-10cm of fresh snowfall at base and 15-20cm at top.
Operating lifts and course info:
- Number 6 lift is not operating yet.
- Part of Warabidaira course closed; otherwise open.
- Connection to Hakuba Norikura from top area only.
Official snow depth:
Top: 160cm
Base: 95cm

Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field is part open.
Operating lifts and course info:
- Gondola
- Paradise triple
- 3-sen North lift
- 4-sen East lift
- 5-sen South lift
The following courses are at least part open:
- East
- North
- South (part)
- Gezan (part)
- Sunny Valley (part)
- Paradise (part)
- by1
Official snow depth:
Top: 70cm
Base: 40cm

Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Hakuba Norikura Onsen is mostly open.
Lift info:
- All but one lift are now operating with most courses planned to be open.
Official snow depth:
Top: 90cm

Kashimayari is part open with all but two lifts operating this morning.
Official snow depth:
Top: 40cm

Hakuba Sanosaka:
Hakuba Sanosaka is part open.
Official snow depth:
Top: 50cm


Please note that Yanaba ski hill will not be opening for the 2016-2017 season   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Thursday 12th January 2017, 8:47am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: --
Fresh snowfall reported by the resort since yesterday:

- Yamabiko: 5cm
- Uenotaira: 5cm
- Hikage: 0cm
- Nagasaka: 7cm
- Karasawa: 0cm   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Thursday 12th January 2017, 9:07am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: --
Morning all and just 5cm to report to you this morning - the resort themselves are reporting 5-10cm of fresh snow on the courses. It seems to be one of those mornings when there's more snow down in the Yuzawa town area than up here in Naeba.

But anyway yes a fresh layer and more is still forecast to be on the way. Looking good for steady snow through until early Saturday, with heavy snow likely over the weekend. So it should be piling up. And should be a good weekend but be aware of those likely weather conditions.

All courses open apart from Splash Bowl.   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Thursday 12th January 2017, 9:07am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 14cm
Snow depth: --
The snow has been falling through the night here at Grandeco with fresh snow coming in at 10+ new cm. Looks like it will keep coming down all day so be sure to bring goggles.

Conditions today, again, are groomed and packed powder through out the resort. The courses at Grandeco are now 80% operational, with just over 4000 meters of ski-able terrain.

If we continue with the forecasted snow as scheduled Grandeco will be opening the #4 Lift by this weekend, which would potentially give us 100% skiable terrain.

Lift lines should not be a problem and you will have plenty of space on the trails as its mid week.

For people wanting to climb Mt. Nishidaiten, please be sure to fill in the mountain climbing sheet located by the ticket counter. Take the gondola and the Number 3 lift to hike up. It will take one and half hours from the top of the lift to Mt. Nishidaiten peak by foot. Snowshoes are highly recommended.


Lifts operating:

- Gondola
- Number 1 quad lift
- Number 2 quad lift
- Number 3 quad lift

Courses open:

[A-a] Rainbow 3500
[A-b] Rainbow 3500
[A-c] Rainbow 3500
[B-a] Mint A
[B-c] Mint C
[C] Center
[D-b] Lavender B
[F] Basil

Official snow depth:

Road Condition to Grandeco:
Inawashiro through Goshikinuma: plowed/icey
Goshikinuma through Grandeco: plowed/icey
Snow tires are necessary and be sure to take your time when driving.   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Thursday 12th January 2017, 9:12am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 19cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Yuzawa.

And what a good one it is as well.

Ah yes, this feels much more like it!

Some good snowfall since yesterday and at times big thick flakes coming down from the sky. Fantastic to see. And it still looks like there's a lot more on the way as well. Steady snowfall is forecast right through into next week. And Saturday and Sunday are still forecast to bring us 'heavy snow' (along with potentially strong winds). So it looks like it might well be a stormy weekend - be prepared!

Anyway, here is what resorts are reporting today in terms of fresh snowfall:

Kagura: 20cm
Mitsumata: 25cm
Tashiro: 10cm
Maiko Snow Resort: 15-20cm

There's close to 20cm of fresh snow on the ground at my measuring point as well. Great to see my garden covered as well... it's gone from a very thin layer to over half a metre in the last two days and I am really hoping to see a lot more pile up before this snow storm is over.

GALA Yuzawa is now reporting over 2m of snow depth.

Oh yes by the way from this coming Saturday the link between GALA Yuzawa, Ishiuchi Maruyama and Yuzawa Kogen (and the lift ticket that covers all three of those resorts) will be opening up.


You know what... with most ski resorts now either fully open or close to being fully open - and with the snow falling and lots more snow on the way over the coming few days - I think we are in the position now to not have to update the lift information for each ski resort in the reports. Apart from a few lifts and courses, most ski resorts in Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma are now able to operate as planned and we'll only be getting closer to 100% in the next few days.

I'm so happy to - at last - be able to say that! But things are looking good. Here's to heavy snowfall over the next few days.

By the way I will of course continue to update the official snow depth data (take it for what it is please) and any resort specific news, as well as how much snow resorts are reporting each day.



Official snow depth information as of Thursday 12th January 2017

GALA Yuzawa
Official snow depth: 210cm

Ishiuchi Maruyama
Official snow depth: 150cm

Official snow depth: 80cm

Joetsu Kokusai
Official snow depth: 90cm

Official snow depth:
Kagura - 210cm
Mitsumata - 180cm
Tashiro - 160cm

Kandatsu Kogen
Official snow depth: 160cm

Maiko Snow Resort
Official snow depth:
Upper - 175cm
Base - 50cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
Official snow depth: 180cm

Official snow depth: 130cm

NASPA Ski Garden
Official snow depth: 115cm

Yuzawa Kogen
Official snow depth:
Top - 150cm
Base - 80cm

Yuzawa Park
Official snow depth: 80cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
Official snow depth: 75cm


'Nighta' (floodlit night operations)

Below are details of the planned 'nighta' operations at ski and snowboards resorts around Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma this season.
This information is subject to change due to snow and weather conditions.
*** Please note that this section will not be updated every day.

Ishiuchi Maruyama
Daily until 19th March 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 8:50pm.
The Chuo Number 1, Chuo Number 2 and Kanko Number 3 Express lifts are open daily.
The Kanko Number 1 Express lift, Hatsukaishi Entrance lift and Hatsukaishi Number 2 pair lifts are also open on weekends and holidays.

Daily until 20th March 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm on Saturdays and until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays.
The Main course, Grand course and West courses are open during nighta.

Joetsu Kokusai
Daily until 20th March 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 9pm.
The area in front of the main base hotel is open for nighta.

Kandatsu Kogen
'Hobo All Night' ('Almost All Night') is on Fridays, Saturdays and nights before holidays between 29th December 2016 and 1st April 2017.
The nighta opening times on those days is from 6pm until 4am the following morning.

Maiko Snow Resort
Daily until 19th March 2017.
Nighta is from 4pm until 8pm.
The Maiko center quad lift on the Maiko Side of the resort operates for nighta.

Daily until 26th March 2017.
Nighta is from 4pm until 8:30pm.
Part of the lower area of the resort is usually open for nighta.

NASPA Ski Garden
'Thanks' (extended) opening on Saturdays in January and February and also from 30th December until 8th January 2017.
On those days the Number 1 lift is open until 6pm.

Yuzawa Nakazato
Every Saturday from 7th January until 11th March 2017, 8th January 2017.
Nighta is from 5pm until 8:30pm.
The Number 2 pair lift operates during nighta.   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Thursday 12th January 2017, 9:15am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: --
Hi from Madarao.

I must admit I was expecting more, but just another 5cm of snow to report this morning. And this morning the snow clouds are still with us. And still the forecast is promising big things for the weekend as well as steady snowfall up until then too.

If you are planning a weekend trip to the region, do keep an eye on the forecast and come prepared for some mid-winter and possibly stormy windy conditions.

The Kamoshika run is back open by the looks. Must.. check..!

Conditions are very nice. With more nice-ness lined up.


Operating status for the day at Madarao Kogen (at time of report):

- Number 1 lift
- Number 2 quad lift
- Number 3A lift
- Super quad lift
- Number 11 lift
- Number 12 lift
- Number 13 lift
- Number 15 lift
- Moving walkway
- Kids Park
- Freeride Park

- Powder Theater
- Adventure Aisle
- Crystal Bowl
- Ninja
- Rabbit
- Kamoshika
- Bear

- Nighta at Madarao Kogen is every Saturday until 25th March (and also 8th January and 19th March)

Official snow depth:

- 140cm   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Thursday 12th January 2017, 9:58am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
New snowfall: 9cm
Snow depth: --
It is another great powder morning with a further 9cm having fallen overnight. Once again this snow is quite a bit heavier than the usual Furano powder, and because of that it will be ideal for filling i tracked out areas. From tomorrow the snow has disappeared off the forecast for a few days.

It is fairly windy around the village right now so expect it to be chilly out on the mountain with the winds combined with -14c temperatures. Weather wise apart from the wind it is nice with a lot of cloud, but huge clear patches of blue between the clouds letting in the nice morning sun.

With the daylight hours getting longer the lift closing times have been extended 10 minutes. See below for times.

Tonight the night skiing is extended until 9pm on both sides of the mountain, so if you are feeling like having the day off, you will be able to go out at night and make up for it.

Also tonight there is a special night skiing promotion - if you do not already have you lift ticket you can purchase a night ticket valid from 4:30pm-9pm for the bargain price of 500 yen.
   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Thursday 12th January 2017, 10:08am
Weather conditions: Snowing
New snowfall: 13cm
Snow depth: --
A slightly late report today, as I finally got a good night's sleep (the early season is tough; we wake up when we hear the snowplows moving, knowing we have to get out and do our own place, or for me, places! very shortly). I could do this because the snow tapered off last night, and I found only 13cm of new on the ground this morning.

But having said that, the snow is back on again right now, and coming down pretty steadily. Even getting that lovely rumble as snow sluffs off the roof. Ah, real winter in Myoko!

Looks like lots of good snow ahead, so this is a bit of a lull before the storm, it seems. Could be some pretty high winds, too, the forecasts say, but it's calm, snowy and a great day to be out skiing in Myoko!


Akakura Kanko:
145cm, -5°

Akakura Onsen:
190cm, -4°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
110cm, -4°

Myoko Suginohara:
115cm, -8° (top)

Seki Onsen:
200cm, -5°

Myoko Ski Park:
150cm, -1°

Kyukamura RunRun:
160cm, -1°

Tangram Ski Circus:
135cm, -3°

Madarao Kogen:
140m, -5°

   Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Thursday 12th January 2017, 10:16am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 45cm
Snow depth: --
Appi Days !!! Sorry for the blatant enthusiasm of this mornings report.

All our dreams have come true here with another conservative 45cm of snow yesterday and perhaps another 40+ today. Good times this week here at our little mountain.

By Friday we should have over 100cm of fresh powder dumped over the last 5 days. Exciting and so very welcome.

Heavy snowfall all day today again and temperatures around -5 at the base. The wind will pick up slightly possibility making conditions on the hill somewhat restricted so check with the resort for the latest on lifts.

Yesterday was a wonderful powdery day but the winds didn't help any and the visibility at times was close to zero.

By the weekend the weather should clear, most of the mountain will be open (maybe) and the season will really kick off.


Currently planned operating lifts (subject to change due to weather conditions):

** Weather conditions currently preventing all but the Central quad and Central Number 2 lifts from operating **

Central quad
Central number 1
Central number 2
Central number 3a
Central number 4
Central number 5
Sailer quad


Official snow depth:

70cm   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Thursday 12th January 2017, 10:16am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Insanely good day at Tenjindaira yesterday. Knee deep fresh to kick things off and then it snowed all day. The snow was moderate to heavy, filling in tracks on piste and various parts of the backcountry were a meter deep. The ridges were insane as winds were minimal. Light, fluffy quality powder. Skies cleared last night before the snow kicked off again here today.

They are calling last night's snowfall 15cm but a report on actual riding conditions to come tomorrow. The cat track is being opened early these days and snow is coming in moderate to heavy at the base right now.

Other Minakami resorts aren't reporting anything like the same sort of snowfalls though will get a report from Hodaigi today. Forecast wise, looks like everywhere gets pounded with fresh this weekend, a 3m base on the way perhaps? Stay safe!


New snowfall:

15cm Tenjin
0cm Hodaigi
0cm Okutone

Official snow depths:

200cm Tenjin
120cm Hodaigi
60cm Okutone


Resorts in Minakami (forecasts available from each page):

Minakami Hodaigi
Minakami Kogen Ski Resort
Minakami Kogen Fujiwara
Norn Minakami
Okutone Snow Park
Tanigawa Tenjindaira
Tanigawa Onsen White Valley   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Nozawa Onsen Now
12th Oct, 11:47
Yuzawa Now
07th Oct, 16:14am
Aizu Bandai Now
03rd Oct, 9:26
Hakuba Now
30th Sep, 16:20
Niseko Now
30th Sep, 14:01pm
Shiga Kogen Now
30th Sep, 13:56am
Myoko Now
30th Sep, 8:24am
Naeba Now
07th Jun, 10:08am
Furano Now
08th May, 8:47am
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