Snow and weather reports posted on Saturday 18th January 2020

Furano Now!

Friday 12th January 2018, 7:29am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: --
It is another cold start to the day, much like yesterday. It is partly cloudy but we should see the sun through the day, but probably not the pure blue skies like yesterday. There is no noticeable wind around the village and just a light dusting of snow sitting a top of cars. The slopes will again be firm and fast but the ungroomed areas still have nice powder in them.   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Friday 12th January 2018, 7:29am
Weather conditions: Partly Cloudy
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba. It appears a little overcast this morning but as the sun rises up above the adjacent mountains the ski area is being lit up by it's orange glow, suggesting the dark skies are less cloudy than they initially appear. It's very crisp this morning, particularly compared to what we have experienced in the past few days, with the temperature at 7am reading as -11°C. This will have ensured the pistes remained frozen overnight, perhaps offering some fun morning corduroy for those who are ready to ski first thing. The forecast still implies we should expect snow and cloud throughout today, however, this is reliant on moisture-bearing clouds making it over Mt Naeba to Mikuni valley, which has failed to happen throughout this current patch of unsettled weather. In addition to this, the wind remains below 15kmph, meaning there is even less chance of anything of any size blowing into the valley.

Looking forwards, we should expect temperatures to continue to remain well below 0°C until after the weekend, which will be accompanied by possibly patchy cloud and precipitation. Temperatures rise dramatically early next week, with the wind picking up possibly on Wednesday, with this bringing some light snow. Currently, it looks as though Wednesday is the day to keep our eyes on!   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Friday 12th January 2018, 8:24am
Weather conditions: Fair blue skies
New snowfall: 32cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

Blue skies all round this morning.

Snow has fallen for three nights through last night and finally stopped falling this morning - and it a beautiful sunny day. Perfect.

Another 32cm of new snow has recorded.

Not only on the slopes but there is also a lot of snow on the roads which now have tall snow walls, drive safely please.

All courses and lifts are open today. The wind is gentle but very cold. Keep warm and protect your eyes.


Lifts operating:

- All lifts operating

Courses open:

- All courses open

Official snow depth:
- 240cm

- Grandeco snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Friday 12th January 2018, 8:29am
Weather conditions: Cloud and...
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa.

Heavy snow, traffic congestion, road accidents, roads closed, 50cm of snowfall... that was the news from many areas of Niigata Prefecture yesterday. Lots of snow falling in places where it doesn't usually fall.

Here in Yuzawa, after that early snowfall when the original report was being written it cleared and... didn't snow (until later on again, and just very lightly at that). The sun came out even. As mentioned in the report yesterday, the snow clouds were busy tracking to the north of our region and delivering the snow to northern regions of Niigata - including Niigata city itself. The problem is that they don't want the snow. And we do want it!

I'm happy to report that has started snowing here this morning. As of 9am Kagura were reporting 0-1cm of fresh snow and there's just a dusting down here; with a few cm on the ground just to the north in Minamiuonuma.

This snowfall doesn't seem set to last though with sun even on some forecasts (which generally seem a bit confused with the confusing weather of the last few days).

We could do with that 50cm that areas to the north has gotten to refresh our lovely slopes. We don't have a lack of snow; just need fresh snow. Normal weather patterns please! It seems we are going to have to wait for that though. Chance of more snow later tomorrow?


Images today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Ishiuchi Maruyama.


Updated: Thursday 11th January 2018

** Official snow depths (where available) and resort specific information. Note that while we manually check this information each morning, sometimes official information is updated later than the time of these reports and so at times there may be an apparent delay.

Ski resorts in Yuzawa:

GALA Yuzawa
- 230cm

- 145cm

- Kagura area: 320cm
- Mitsumata area: 220cm
- Tashiro area: 270cm

Kandatsu Kogen
- 195cm

- 210cm (base)

NASPA Ski Garden
- 170cm

Yuzawa Kogen
- Top: 220cm
- Base: 160cm

Yuzawa Park
- 150cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
- 150cm


Ski resorts in Minamiuonuma (just to the north of Yuzawa):

Ishiuchi Maruyama
- 180cm

Joetsu Kokusai
- 190cm

Maiko Snow Resort
- Top: 200cm
- Base: 100cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- Closed on Wednesdays between 10th January and 14th March (!)
- 240cm   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Friday 12th January 2018, 8:30am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 9cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning.

I enjoyed a really fun day yesterday, especially in the morning with the blue skies and sunshine. Got to cover all four of the ski areas; didn't want to finish.

It sounded a little windy overnight but by now the wind has calmed and I have another 9cm of fresh snow to report from here near Hirafu base.

There are regular snow showers still there on the forecast into early next week so hopefully we'll be getting regular top-ups to fill in the tracks.

It's snowing as this post goes live and visibility is currently looking somewhat limited on the slopes. Not quite as cold as yesterday was but still need those layers.

Take care!


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -5℃, 10cm snowfall and snowdrifts development. Moiwa 800m: 3am NW15.5m/s, 6am NE5m/s, -7.8℃. Annupuri 1150m: -7℃, NE10m/s, 15cm snowfall with snowdrifts. Hirafu 1250m: -9℃, snowdrifts developed pre-dawn, 10cm snowfall. Coastal data: Benkei cape NE10m/s, Kamui cape E5m/s, 1010hPa, 1.8m waves.

A small low-pressure system passed overnight, generating NE gusts and making snowdrifts develop. Newly formed cornices above 800m elevation cracked at 60cm thickness during this morning’s pressure test. The wind settled down around 5am and the snowpack is starting to stabilize, however avalanche risk will remain considerable in leeward slopes above 1000m with heavy snowdrift deposit throughout the morning.

All gates are scheduled to open; however the snow condition is different from yesterday’s. Avoid knolls and cornices and use caution. Do not traverse across steep slopes and stay away from valley bottoms.

This information is issued for protecting all resort users’ safety and freedom to ride of out bounds.

Wearing helmets and avalanche beacons is not mandatory, but strongly recommended.

The slopes have been reset and are in good shape.

Please respect the Niseko Rules.


Friday 12th January 2018

Resort specific information (operations subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts are generally operating
- 'Early Morning' services from 8:00am until 8:20am (Ace Number 2 Center Four quad lift). Until 28th January. 500 yen special ticket required.

Official snow depth:
- Top: 360cm
- Base: 155cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts are generally operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 270cm
- Base: 160cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts except Country Road Chair are generally operating
- 'Early Gondola' service from 7:30am until 8:30am (Niseko Gondola). January 13th-14th, 20th-21st, 27th-28th; February 3rd-4th. 1,400 yen special ticket required.

Official snow depth:
- Top: 260cm
- Base: 160cm


Floodlit 'nighta' skiing:

Night skiing is planned for every evening at the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri areas. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO area. Ski lifts that are scheduled to be operating for nighta are noted below (subject to change):

* Niseko Grand Hirafu - Ace Family quad, Ace Number 2 quad, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 pair
* Niseko Annupuri - Jumbo Number 1 quad lift
* Niseko Village - Village Express, Upper Village Gondola, Community Chair, Banzai Chair   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Friday 12th January 2018, 8:35am
Weather conditions: Cloudy with snow
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
The snow is falling again, but it seems like (for once) Myoko isn’t getting the heaviest of it. Yesterday, too, people from other parts of Niigata were getting lots of fresh, where we had sun in midday. Heavy snow warnings are out for the prefecture, but we’re not seeing much. Yet (and we hope it hits, frankly). And it’s cold out there; lows overnight of -8° or lower.

There was good snow high on the hill; about 40cm on top a thin crust from the rain. The crust was pretty rough and crumbly, so hopefully it will just get pressed and warmed into nothingness down in the snow.


Akakura Kanko:
240 cm, -8°

Akakura Onsen:
270cm, -8°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
225cm, -4°

Myoko Suginohara:
190cm, -6° (yesterday’s report)

Seki Onsen:
290 cm, -5°

Myoko Ski Park:
190 cm, -3°

Kyukamura RunRun:
240 cm, -1° (yesterday’s report)

Tangram Ski Circus:
190 cm, -3°

Madarao Kogen:
180 cm, -8°

Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Friday 12th January 2018, 8:46am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, (bit of sun breaking through)
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

Fresh snowfall reported by the ski resorts this morning:

Hakuba Happo-one: 8cm
Hakuba 47: 5cm
Hakuba Cortina: 1cm

Not as much to report this morning - more that I am measuring actually... with conditions keeping very cold it should be great out there this morning again.

Earlier on snow was falling but now it is generally cloudy but I can see some snow actually breaking through in places (see Iwatake webcam image below). Might we see clearer conditions later on? Though the forecasts I like have snow through today and tomorrow.

With clearer weather beyond that, I'd prefer more fresh myself. Bring it on.


Yesterday, later in the day I added 'nighta' night skiing operations information to the report. I will keep that information on the report every day now - see below.


Ski resort information on Friday 12th January 2018 (at time of writing):

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned

Courses open:
- All course are now open

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 380cm
- Usagidaira: 205cm
- Lower: 105cm


Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned (Alps Number 2 and 4 lifts usually operate on weekends only)

Courses open:
- All courses are open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 305cm
- Toomi: 120cm
- Iimori: 70cm


Hakuba 47

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned (Line D usually operates only when the Gondola is closed)

Courses open:
- All courses available

Official snow depth:
- Top: 295cm
- Base: 105cm


Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- Most lifts are operating as planned

Courses open:
- All course areas are open apart from some parts of Sawa-one and Kane-no-naru-oka Number 2

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori: 280cm
- Han-no-ki: 270cm
- Maruyama: 110cm
- Shirakaba: 240cm
- Champion: 140cm
- Oya-no-hara: 130cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: 130cm


Hakuba Cortina

Operating lifts:
- All lifts are operating

Courses open:
- All courses should be opening

Official snow depth:
- Top: 270cm
- Base: 180cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

Operating lifts:
- Most lifts are operating with most courses open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 170cm
- Base: 80cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Alps Number 1 and 7 are operating

Official snow depth:
- 210cm


Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Number 8 and 10 are operating

Official snow depth:
- 145cm


Hakuba Sanosaka

Operating lifts:
- All three lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 110cm


Night time skiing (nighta) at resorts in the region - weather & conditions permitting
The below 'nighta' information will not be updated every day - please check with resorts if you plan to go!

Hakuba Happo-one
Daily from 5pm until 9pm in the Nakiyama 2 area
Adults - 2,000 yen; children - 1,200 yen

Hakuba Goryu
Daily from 6pm until 9:30pm in the Toomi area until 31st March
The Sky Four quad operates daily; the Number 2 pair mostly on Saturdays and holidays)
Adults - 1,900 yen; children - 850 yen

Hakuba Cortina
Daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays)
Adults - 1,500 yen; children - 1,000 yen

Tsugaike Kogen
Kane-no-naru-oka area from 6pm until 8:50pm on 3rd, 10th, 11th February
Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6pm until 9pm on 13th, 20th, 27th January; 10th, 11th, 17th February; 3rd, 10th March
Adults - 2,200 yen; children - 1,700 yen

There are no other nighta operations at other ski resorts in the region   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Friday 12th January 2018, 8:54am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Madarao.

The kind of strange weather continues as the heavy snow that some areas not to far off gives our region a miss.

It is cold this morning and snow is actually falling now but I'm not sure how much we can expect. I think we're just going to have to sit back and see what Nature delivers; hoping that the clouds come back to where they should be!

Hopefully more cm to report over the next two reports.


Official snow depth:

Operating lifts:

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

Powder Wave II
Free Ride Park
Powder Theater
Adventure Aisle

Kids Park
Snow Mobile Land

Planned nighta operations this season:

11th February 2018
Every Saturday between 4th January and 24th March 2018   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Friday 12th January 2018, 8:58am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Nozawa.

I'm still a bit confused with what the weather is delivering at the moment. Not more than 30 minutes up the road and they were getting some proper snowfall yesterday, while we were getting some sun in the afternoon. The resort yesterday did update their reporting saying there was 8-10cm up top (and by 12 noon it appears they added 6-7cm), though I wasn't out on the slopes myself to go check that out. They are not reporting any more snow this morning, though it is snowing. As you can see on the image below there's a dusting of snow on the top of Nasuki's head (and he/she looks happy). I'm going to award the report 1cm as encouragement.

All curious stuff.

Snow is on the forecast for today and later tomorrow. Come on!!


Friday 12th January 2018

Fresh snowfall since yesterday (as reported by the resort):

- Yamabiko (1407m): -cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): -cm
- Hikage (660m): -cm
- Nagasaka (615m): -cm
- Karasawa (563m): -cm

Official snow depth numbers:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 245cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 180cm
- Hikage (660m): 140cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 135cm
- Karasawa (563m): 110cm

Lifts operations:

- All scheduled lifts should be open as normal

All courses open except the following:

- Challenge 39
- Grand Prix
- Mukobayashi
- Kandahar   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Friday 12th January 2018, 9:06am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Shiga Kogen.

Just a little snow to report this morning with fine light snow falling at the moment. I think I can justify 1cm for the report though this isn't the kind of snow that is going to be building up big time. That can change of course and snow is on the forecasts for today and later tomorrow as well. Beyond that we are expecting sun on Sunday (as you do), with further snow lined up by mid-week.

It's cold this morning. Wrap up and enjoy.


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

Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish and we check and update them each morning.



Ichinose Family

Ichinose Diamond




Okushiga Kogen

Sun Valley

Takamagahara Mammoth



170cm   Read more ...

Geto Kogen Now!

Friday 12th January 2018, 9:15am
Weather conditions: Mostly sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good Morning!

After yesterday’s snow no-show (tongue twister, I know) we saw beautiful sunny skies with some impeccable riding conditions out there. Dry snow, even though touched by the wind was forgiving, with some fresh pockets to be found. It seems the predicted snow until Saturday has been postponed, instead we’re going to be seeing partly cloudy conditions today again with great visibility and tops of -5C at the base.

No new snow in the past 24 hours, but with the light winds yesterday the fresh snow should still be forgiving and easy to slash. Picks for the day would be the tree runs in the Rabbit zone, provided you’ve got a helmet! Otherwise, the groomers are slick today to get some carves in.

Temperatures should cool into this evening further, with a chance of some light snow into tomorrow morning.

Saturday: possible snow showers, light winds, tops of -4C
Sunday: possible morning snow shower, winds easing, tops of -5C
Monday: clear skies, winds increasing, tops of 0C


Zones open include Summit, Rabbit, Beech & Stream. At this stage Shooter will remain closed until the main gondola is open.

News on Main Gondola:

At this time unfortunately the Main Gondola (Gondola 1) is closed for repair. The resort is working on the repairs, but it will require the next few weeks until it is back in operation. They estimate late January, early February for it to be back in action.


Official snow depths:

Top: 325cm
Base: 245cm

Nighta skiing operations are planned at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018.
   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Friday 12th January 2018, 9:38am
Weather conditions: Fine
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Zao.

Not much snow to report since yesterday. The clouds have (for the most part) cleared and we are being treated to some lovely sunny weather this morning in Zao.

Beautiful scenery to enjoy today - not something we have been able to see too much of recently so far.

There's not much snow on the forecast until Tuesday now so we might be able to get more of that sunshine. Let's enjoy it while we can.

All course areas open; all lifts apart from the Karamatsu pair moving.


Lifts and course info:

- All lifts operating at time of report apart from Karamatsu pair (closed on weekdays)
- All areas open

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 135cm
- Paradise area: 150cm
- Chuo area: 150cm
- Utopia area: 165cm
- Uwanodai area: 90cm
- Oomori area: 90cm


Zao Onsen forecast:

Zao Onsen 6-day snow and weather forecast

Floodlit night skiing for the 2017-2018 season is planned as follows:

In the Uwanodai area:
Daily until Sunday 4th March 2018
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 9th March until Sunday 18th March 2018.

In the Yokokura area:
Daily until today
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 12th January until Sunday 18th February 2018.
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 2nd March until Sunday 11th March 2018.

Night time 'light up' sightseeing ropeway is planned for the following dates:

January 2018: 13th-14th, 20th-21st, 27th-31st
February 2018: every day
March 2018: 1st-4th
   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Friday 12th January 2018, 10:38am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
It was bone chillingly cold out there this morning after a clear night sky. Down in the village I clocked the temp at -11C at 7am.

Snow wise they have reported a light dusting at Tenjin but I got nothing in my car park. Such a love hate relationship, after a week or so of massive dumps the snow clearing starts to wear thin but it's better than fair weather. Moderate cloud cover with blue behind it here today.

Today's photo is of yesterday's hike to the peak of Mt Tanigawa.


Ski resorts in Minakami:

Minakami Hodaigi
Minakami Kogen Fujiwara
Minakami Kogen Ski Resort
Norn Minakami
Okutone Snow Park
Tanigawadake Tenjindaira
Tanigawa Onsen White Valley


Resort Spotlights with more detail:

Norn Minakami
Okutone Snow Park


Please note that the snowfall numbers posted in this report will be observed from close to the base Tenjindaira Ropeway station - which is often much more than in the central town area of Minakami.    Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Friday 12th January 2018, 11:25am
Weather conditions: Clear skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Hello from Appi,

Clear blue skies today and quite chilly here. No real snowfall to speak of unfortunately and not much in the forecast either until Wednesday. Sunny skies through the weekend and relatively stable temperatures around -6 at the base.

The second Gondola and vista quad are not in operation again. Most for the runs are in decent shape although with relatively light snowfall you can expect them to be icy in patches.

Don’t forget the sunscreen.


Planned lift operations on Monday 8th January 2018 (subject to change):

- APPI Gondola
- Central quad
- Central number 2 lift
- Central number 3 lift A
- Central number 5 lift
- Central number 6 lift
- Sailer quad
- Nishimori lift

Note: The Sailer Gondola, Central Number 4 lift and Vista quad are usually rested on normal weekdays


Official snow depth:

190cm   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Minakami Now
18th Jan, 11:17am
Shiga Kogen Now
18th Jan, 9:18
Aizu Bandai Now
18th Jan, 9:14
Zao Now
18th Jan, 9:04
Hakuba Now
18th Jan, 8:55
Naeba Now
18th Jan, 8:41
Yuzawa Now
18th Jan, 8:26
Myoko Now
18th Jan, 8:26am
Niseko Now
18th Jan, 8:24
Appi Kogen Now
18th Jan, 8:04
Furano Now
18th Jan, 8:03
Madarao Now
18th Jan, 8:02
Nozawa Onsen Now
18th Jan, 7:57
Geto Kogen Now
18th Jan, 7:45
Grandeco Now
06th Dec, 14:16am