Snow and weather reports posted on Sunday 30th May 2021
Friday 16th November 2018, 9:32am
Blue skies and sunny
Good morning from Yuzawa.
It is a beauty of a morning too. There are mostly clear blue skies (some thin clouds staring to appear) and the sun is out. A high of around 15C is expected in town today.
Since that first report of the season two weeks ago, temperatures have generally remained rather mild. Very comfortable actually. And not just in this region, but in Japan generally. We have enjoyed some beautiful autumn colours this season but it would be nice to see more signs of winter coming at this stage.
Kagura is hoping to be able to open for the season next Friday, on the 23rd of November. There have been some light dustings of snow up there and snow making machines are at times trying to pump out some snow to get things going but generally the mountains are still bare. The forecast seems to show some potential for snow higher up early next week, but it does not look like it would be enough to kick things off. But you never know and things can change quickly, so we'll just have to wait and see how things develop over the next week.
Below are the planned opening dates at ski resorts in Yuzawa and Minamiuonuma. They are all (of course) subject to change depending on weather and snow. As you can see, most of them plan to be opening around the middle of December so we have a full month left before then. It is still very early...
Friday 23rd November 2018 - Kagura (via Mitsumata Ropeway)
Sunday 23rd December 2018 - Hakkai Sanroku - Itsukamachi
Friday 28th December 2018 - Ishiuchi Hanaoka
Saturday 29th November 2018 - Mt Granview
It looks like the small Ludens Yuzawa ski hill will not be operating for the 2018-2019 season. The official reason is 'maintenance' and it is unclear if and when it will re-open.
In a coming report we will bring you details of the exciting new developments over at the Ishiuchi Maruyama resort. We took a close-up look at the new Gondola and 6 seater lifts last week and it looks like they are going to be unveiling some impressive new facilities when they open next month.
I spent a fair bit of time in Toyko over the summer months... my oh my, it was hot. It always is very hot in summer of course, but it was particularly hot this year. I was jealous of people up here in Madarao where life is much more comfortable.
Autumn has been lovely too. Beautiful colours and comfortable temperatures - though it has been unseasonably mild for November so far.
So here we are in the middle of November. It is now one month before both Madarao and Tangram Ski Circus plan to open... the planned opening date is Saturday 15th December 2018. Right now the mountain is bare but by then there is often a nice base to get things going nicely from the first day of the season.
Nearby Nozawa Onsen and parts of Shiga Kogen plan be open as soon after 23rd November as is possible, so if the snow comes and you want to slide before coming up to Madarao...
I'll post some more reports here before the season starts with snow news. And then of course go to daily once the resorts open.
I was just looking back at the reports from the middle of November last year - as you can also do using the links below - and was fondly remembering how full-on and quickly the season got started last year from November. It was very exciting indeed. And it was always going to be a big ask for the same to happen every year.
So here we are. 16th November 2018. Hopefully we will see some of that early season goodness coming pretty soon, but we're not there yet. Alas, the news at the moment all seems to be about unseasonable warmth rather than light fluffy powder.
For you fact-fans, I thought I'd give you some interesting info I have found. The below is the date when 'on average' various areas of Hokkaido experience their first snowfall ('hatsuyuki')... and how the situation is shaping up this time round:
Wakkanai: 22nd October >> this year = 14th November Asahikawa: 23rd October >> this year = 14th November Abashiri: 31st October >> this year = 14th November Sapporo: 28th October >> this year = not yet Muroran: 1st November >> this year = not yet Hakodate: 3rd November >> this year = not yet Obihiro: 7th November >> this year = not yet Kushiro: 10th November >> this year = not yet
And here is the latest date on record when the first snowfall was recorded in those areas:
Wakkanai:14th November 2018 (this year) Asahikawa: 18th November 2012 Abashiri: 18th November 2012 Sapporo: 20th November 1890 (!) Muroran: 23rd November 1975 Hakodate: on 27th November 1911 Obihiro: 24th November 1892 Kushiro: 9th December 1928
So basically if it doesn't snow in Sapporo before Tuesday, we'll be breaking that latest first snowfall record that has stood since 1890. Yikes!
I am course not trying to scare you, just tell you things as they are (which is of course how I always go about things). It is early and things often change quickly, and the forecasts do seem to be showing snowfall here in Niseko over the coming days. Just how much and down to base? Well, I will be back with you early next week with another update.
The official planned opening dates of the ski resorts are as follows:
- Niseko Grand Hirafu: Friday 23rd November 2018 - Niseko Annupuri: Friday 23rd November 2018 - Niseko Village: Saturday 1st December 2018 - Niseko Hanazono: Saturday 1st December 2018 Read more ...
Friday 16th November 2018, 10:48am
Fine, increasingly cloudy
Good morning from Hakuba.
I don't have much to report really - or nothing in terms of exciting snow news anyway. But anyway I thought I would add a new report now that we are in the middle of November and just one week or so from when the first ski lifts of the season hope to be moving. 47, Goryu, Happo and Tsugaike will all pretty much open as soon as they can come 23rd November. Whether there will be any lift action on that date is a big question mark as things are right now with no snow to be seen on the ski slopes.
Things have been on the milder side of things this month so far, hopefully next week will see a dip and some snow appearing.
Below are the planned opening dates for the resorts around the Hakuba region.