Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 24th May 2019
Geto Kogen Now!
Tuesday 19th February 2019, 7:40am
No fresh snow to report this morning.
A fine day yesterday with things warming up a bit.
Just cloudy with not much of a wind and a bit of a non-descript kind of start to the day here. And currently that seems to be what to expect tomorrow as well with some forecasts showing the chance of light rain/snow.
Official snow depths:
* Top: 410cm * Base: 290cm
Planned operating lifts - subject to change due to weather:
* Number 1 Gondola * Number 1 pair lift * Number 2 pair lift * Quad
- The Number 2 Gondola is usually rested on normal weekdays
Courses & Tree Runs - subject to change due to weather:
* All of the main official courses are available * All tree runs open
After a rather mild day yesterday, today will be... similarly mild, but with the added threat of a bit of rain this afternoon (and tomorrow too) with a light southerly wind. We can just hope that doesn't happen or it's not much. Hopefully tomorrow it might be cold enough for snow up on the top areas of the mountain.
There's no fresh snow to report this morning.
Tuesday 19th February 2019
Fresh snowfall reported by the ski resort (since yesterday 3pm):
All lifts apart from the following planned to be operating:
- Yunomine pair - Mizunashi triple - Challenge pair - Utopia pair - Kandahar pair (open for general public on 1st Mar 2019)
All courses open apart from the following planned to be open:
- Grand Prix - Kandahar (open for general public on 1st Mar 2019)
Lift operation times until end of March:
Nagasaka Gondola - until 4:00pm (time of last one down) Hikage Gondola - until 4:20pm (time of last one down) Yamabiko Number 2 Four - until 4:10pm Skyline connecting pair - until 4:30pm Base lifts - until 5:00pm Yu Road - until 5:10pm Read more ...
Tuesday 19th February 2019, 8:04am
Lots of cloud
Morning from Zao.
Catching up on the last few days. Some sunshine yesterday amongst the cloud making for some fine views from the mountain.
It is cloudy this morning and this week we are expecting some warmer conditions after some really cold.
There is a chance of some light rain later on today with these warmer conditions but hopefully that won't last long.
There's not much snow on the horizon either though unfortunately.
Operation info from official sources:
- All lifts operating apart from Karamatsu and Yokokura Number 2. - All main courses open
In the Uwanodai area: Daily until 3rd March 2019 Friday 8th March until Sunday 10th March 2019 Saturday 16th March 2019
In the Yokokura area: Every Friday, Saturday and Sunday between until 10th March 2019
Night time 'light up' sightseeing ropeway is planned for the upcoming dates:
February 2019: every day apart from every Tuesday March 2019: 1st-3rd Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Tuesday 19th February 2019, 8:20am
Morning from Appi.
No fresh snow to report this morning and some fairly crusty conditions expected today. Hopefully even though temps are on the mild side we might be on the receiving end of some fresh snow tonight and perhaps tomorrow in the daytime. After that there's not much snow on the weekly forecast with more of a chance of clearer skies. It should be getting a bit colder again though which is good news.
Planned lift operations & course areas (subject to change due to weather conditions):
- Appi Gondola - Central Quad lift - Central Number 2 - Central Number 3A - Central Number 5 - Sailer quad - Vista quad - Nishimori
* All 5 tree run areas should be open as normal when the lift operations allow - register to use them at Plaza 1st Floor
Official groomed snow depth (as reported by resort):
Yesterday was a real treat with plenty of fresh snow and very few people on the resort. While there is no new snow to report this morning the weather is going to be great with largely clear conditions and a nice view of the Daisetsuan Range across the valley. Despite it being a very cold start, -15c, the high will rocket up to +2c. The sun should be around for the rest of the week, but there is not much in the way of snow on the forecast and temperatures will be above zero through until Friday.
Open lifts: Prince Romance chair Downhill Romance #2 chair Downhill Romance #3 chair Furano Ropeway
Kitanomine quad chair Kitanomine #2 chair Kitanomine Gondola Link chair Read more ...
Tuesday 19th February 2019, 8:26am
Good morning from Yuzawa.
Yesterday the clouds started clearing later in the morning and through the afternoon and it rather mild. According to the news last night it was 6C in Yuzawa yesterday, it kind of felt warmer than that. We are expecting the same if not a bit higher today and unfortunately we are told to expect rain later on and into tomorrow with mild conditions continuing overnight. Let's hope the forecast is correct with the chance of snow later tomorrow night as warmth and rain isn't going to be kind to snow conditions.
Wind also looks like it is going to enter the mix today too. The Tashiro area is going to be closed for the day today due to strong winds. Kagura is open up to the Kagura Number 5 pair lift. And it looks like the GALA Yuzawa resort plans to close at 3:30pm today due to forecast strong winds there this evening.
For now though it doesn't feel windy down here in town.
I'd say today morning is going to be the best choice.
Photos today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Maiko Snow Resort.
Updated: 8:30am, Tuesday 19th February 2019
** Official snow depths (where available) and resort specific information. Information is checked manually each morning but sometimes official information is updated later than the time of these reports.
Night time 'nighta' operations (listed in alphabetical order)
Below is information on night time floodlit skiing operations at ski resorts in the area. Subject to change due to weather and snow conditions.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Open daily until Saturday 16th March 2019 The Chuo Area is open daily for nighta The Hatsukaishi and Kanko Areas only open for nighta over New Year and nights before holidays 4:00pm until 8:30pm
Iwappara Open daily until Sunday 24th March 2019 Part of the mid and lower area of the resort 5:00pm until 8:00pm on weekdays; until 9:00pm on Saturdays
Joetsu Kokusai Open daily until Sunday 24th March 2019 Area in front of the base hotel, Osawa and lower Atema 5:00pm until 9:00pm
Kandatsu Kogen 'Hobo (Almost) All Night' every Friday, Saturday and night before holidays until 30th March 2019 6:00pm until 4:0am the next morning
Maiko Snow Resort Open daily 'one-coin nighta' (500 yen) until Saturday 16th March 2019 Maiko Center Quad lift in the Maiko Area 4:00pm until 8:00pm
Naeba Open daily until Sunday 24th March 2019 Number 3 and 4 high speed and Number 4 romance pair lifts 4:00pm until 8:30pm
NASPA Ski Garden NASPA extends opening for the Number 1 lift on the following dates: 19th, 26th January 2019 2nd, 9th, 10th, 16th, 23rd February 2019 Extended until 6:00pm
Yuzawa Nakazato Every Saturday until 9th March 2019 Sunday 10th February 2019 Number 2 romance pair lift 5:00pm until 8:30pm Read more ...
Tuesday 19th February 2019, 8:27am
Good morning all.
We enjoyed some lovely blue skies through the daytime yesterday with just a bit of white cloud in places at times and just a light wind. It was a very fine day to be out and about.
There is no fresh snowfall to report again this morning and we are starting the day with cloudy skies. Possibly a bit of snow on the mountain tonight.
Japan appears to be going through a mild/warm period this week (temps in the mid 20s down in Okinawa! Yikes!) and it's going to be relatively mild here too with temperatures at base due to be in low positive numbers. There's not a whole lot of decent snowfall potential on the weekly forecast at the moment with a much higher chance of clearer skies. Let's hope we can get back to some winter next month to finish the month off.
I'm not sure what is going on with the base Ace Family quad lift at Niseko Grand Hirafu this morning - it seems to be on-hold ('operation temporarily suspended' according to the official website) as I post this report. I just tried to call the resort but didn't get an answer.
'Again the numbers of foreigners disregarding Niseko Rules is increasing...'
The above is from the Avalanche Report today (in full below). Hearing this kind of thing makes me feel rather sad and disappointed (as well as a few other things). If you visit this place, please respect the people and the rules. Don't potentially spoil things for everyone. That's just good manners and common sense, right?
Someone yesterday seemed to approve of my earlier report. I wasn't as keen - mainly because I didn't have much information to put in it at that time of the morning. In response to comments about the timing of my (and other) reports on this site, let me copy/paste a message that was put online last season by the SnowJapan folk. It is not Niseko-specific as such, but everything in there still applies the same now as it did last year and so I think it will be of interest to some of you who are new this season...
Why don’t your daily reports appear earlier?
To answer this question properly, it is important that everyone understands that SnowJapan is not a ski resort operator. Our daily reports are not official ski resort reports. We are an independent website. Our daily reports are not commissioned by anyone and no business influences the content of our reports. (In fact, some businesses do not like our reports - especially when it is raining, and we say so - but that’s a different story). Data within the report does not get updated automatically - we do a lot of manual checking ourselves every morning.
If we did own and operate a ski resort, we would make it a high priority to post snow reports as early as possible each morning. We would report how much new snow has fallen on the upper slopes and base, weather conditions, lift operations and snow depth. We would also have multiple and meaningful webcams pointing out to locations around the resort. And we’d make sure that those webcams were backed up with adequate bandwidth to keep them working properly. We think it is probably reasonable to think that ski resorts might ideally be doing the above things for their customers.
But... as I said, we do not own or operate a ski resort.
The fact is, a fair number of Japanese ski resorts only post their morning information updates after 8am - and in some cases, it is actually (much) later than that.
Our daily reports are generally a mix of observed snowfall data, observed weather conditions, personal comments about what is going on - as well as information/data that has been manually checked from official ski resort sources. This is all in the interest of creating interesting and as-detailed-as-possible reports.
If we posted our daily reports much earlier than we currently do (for example at 7am as someone suggested) reports would be missing what we consider to be important information. For example, we would often not be able to include things like how much fresh snow the ski resorts are reporting, or news of any ski lift disruption at the start of the day. Things like that.
Rather than simply being a very early morning report mainly for the benefit of people who are going to be queuing for the first ski lift of the day, we like to think of the SnowJapan daily reports more as a season-long ongoing commentary.
The reality is of course that people who are lucky enough to already be at a ski resort and preparing to hit the first lifts of the day can probably get a good idea of weather conditions by taking a look outside the window when they get up, asking accommodation staff and/or checking out official resort sites etc.
If we posted our daily reports mostly for the benefit of those first lift people - who very likely only account for a very small percentage of the total number of people reading the reports - they would not be as good or detailed as they are.
So, bottom line, we strongly feel that our way of doing things makes for better all-round reports.
One more very important thing.
There’s also the people who write the reports and their circumstances to consider. There is of course human effort involved in creating the reports. In particular the reports that cover wider areas - for example Niseko, Hakuba, Yuzawa - take quite a bit of time to put together every morning. Checking information, updating data, gathering thoughts, writing the report, checking, etc.
The people who are doing this are not ski resort employees doing this as part of their job.
They probably need some coffee before posting. (Toast in some cases).
They may need to dig themselves out of their home if it is snowing heavily.
And they may need to see to any number of circumstances and random things that life might throw at them on any given morning.
So please keep all that in mind.
We aim to get the reports online as early as we can on every morning throughout the winter season. But there may be times when the perfect plan is not possible.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Mountain Base 6.00am: -4°, no new snow. Moiwa 800m: -4.3°, NNW1.76m/s, minor cornice and snowdrift development. Mikaeri Weather Station: no data. Annupuri 1120m: snow depth 250cm, 1100m: -6.7°, WNW9.46m/s. Hirafu 1000m: -5.8°, SE7.70m/s, Mountain Peak: strong winds, -7°. Village: Mizuno no Sawa: no new snow, mountain base: snow depth 162cm, Knoll:-6.91°, WSW5.2m/s. Kutchan Weather Station: -11.3°, NW1.0m/s, snow depth 171cm. Cape Benkei: light winds, Cape Kamui: SSW14m/s, pressure 1021hPa, wave 1.4m.
A strong wind is blowing above 1000m causing snowdrift development from the wind blown snow on leeward slopes. Be careful walking on cornices. From observation and data the avalanche risk is low. Please listen to the patrols advice and be prepared before going out of bounds. Radiant cooling overnight will form a 19th Feb frost layer in the snow pack. Take note and be aware for the future snowfall.
Again the numbers of foreigners disregarding Niseko Rules is increasing. Yesterday 10 Norwegians and Germans had their passes confiscated after they entered Haru no Taki. Ignoring Niseko Rules selfishly when it suits you is no good. Niseko Rules apply equally to everyone, regardless of nationality, experience or knowledge. If you break the rules you will be banned from the resorts. Never enter strictly off limits area Haru no Taki. Please cooperate to help stop accidents in Niseko.
Ski resort operation information: Tuesday 19th February 2019 Subject to change due to weather conditions
Ski lifts operating: - All lifts should be opening as planned apart from Ace Family Quad (Ace Number 1 pair and King Number 2 quad lifts rested) - The Ace Family quad (until 8:30pm), Ace Center 4 quad (8:20pm), Hirafu Gondola (until 8:10pm) and Holiday Number 1 pair (until 8:30pm) lifts are normally open during the evening
Official snow depth (reported by resort): - Peak: 330cm - Base: 180cm
Ski lifts operating: - All lifts should be opening as planned (Country Road lift rested) - The Upper Village Gondola, Village Express and Banzai Chair lifts are normally open until 8:00pm during the evening
Night time operations are available in the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri resort areas. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO resort area. Read more ...
Aizu Bandai Now!
Tuesday 19th February 2019, 8:32am
It is a bit warm this morning with temperatures higher than normal - and that seems to be the case with many regions of Japan at the moment.
There was no fresh snowfall last night. Snow conditions won't be perfect but still soft and not icy.
According to the forecast, unfortunately it seems it will warm up this afternoon into low positive numbers and there is a high chance of rainfall overnight. Booooo!
Snow please, not rain. Fingers crossed.
The photos for today are from Alts Bandai (the first two) and Nekoma.
Nekoma - lift 4/5, course 11/11 open *Closed on Wednesday and Thursday 1/16-2/28 Grandeco - lift 5/5 include one gondola, course 13/13 open Urabandai - lift 0/3, course 0/3 open *Closed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Minowa - lift 2/3, course 10/11 open Numajiri - lift 4/4, course 11/11 open Alts Bandai - lift 8/8 include one gondola, course 25/25 open Inawashiro - lift 7/8, course 18/18 open Inawashiro resort - lift 3/4 include one gondola, course 7/9 open Listel - lift 2/2, course 5/7 open Family Bandai Bandai - lift 0/2, course 0/7 open *Only open on Saturday, Sunday and national holidays. Read more ...
Tuesday 19th February 2019, 8:37am
Good morning from Hakuba.
It was a beauty of a day yesterday all the way through. Warmer than we'd like, but there you go...
And as we have been expecting, it was mild overnight and the day starts off at 0C; no fresh snow to report from around the ski resorts.
Today a high of around +5C or possibly a little higher is expected and rain looks likely. Possibly snow at higher elevations. Let's see.
Snow should be keeping in decent conditions at higher elevations, so I'm going to go and head up there to check them out this morning before it gets warmer.
Ski resort information on Tuesday 19th February 2019: The below info is checked manually each morning and believed to be correct at time of report. All ski resorts in the area are currently open. Any further resort specific notes made below.
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 5:00pm until 9:00pm in the Nakiyama base area (Nakiyama Number 2 pair lift) Adults - 2,000 yen; children - 1,200 yen
Hakuba Goryu Daily from 6:00pm 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 - 2,000 yen; children - 1,000 yen
Hakuba Cortina Daily from 5:00pm until 8:00pm (until 9:00pm on Saturdays and certain holidays) Adults - 1,500 yen; children - 1,000 yen
Tsugaike Kogen Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6:00pm until 9:00pm on 9th, 10th, 16th February; 2nd March Adults - 2,200 yen; children - 1,700 yen Read more ...
Tuesday 19th February 2019, 8:40am
Back to grey and cloudy skies this morning and as expected it's mild. And, we're probably going to get rained on. Don't worry, if we do get that I will lodge a formal complaint! ;)
We're going to have to deal with these milder and possibly at times wet conditions for a few days and hopefully see a return to something more like winter sooner than later. (Obviously).
In the meantime, today the morning should be the best pick.
Planned operations for Tuesday 19th February 2019
Official snow depth at Madarao:
All lifts apart from Number 5 plan to be open All 31 courses should be open including tree run courses
Nighta operations at Madarao: - Every Saturday until 23rd March 2019
Tangram Ski Circus info:
All lifts operating All course areas open
Nighta operations at Tangram: - Every Saturday until 23rd March 2019 Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Tuesday 19th February 2019, 8:44am
After the clearer skies of the daytime yesterday, there's lots of cloud around this morning.
And yes, it's relatively warm - for us that means that it's just under zero at the moment and hopefully it won't rise too much into + numbers later. Rain is forecast for lower regions later in the day - can we escape that with some snow...? I'll let you know tomorrow.
Shiga Kogen resort info: Monday 18th February 2019
The below information is manually checked for each report. Official snow depth numbers are as reported by the ski resorts themselves.
Planned night time operations at the Shiga Kogen ski areas are as follows. Please note that separate lift tickets are required.
Ichinose Diamond Every Saturday until 23rd March 2019 Quad lift 6:30pm until 9:00pm
Ichinose Family Daily until 23rd March 2019 (except Mondays and Tuesdays) Number 2 pair B lift 6:30pm until 9:00pm
Kumanoyu Every Saturday until 30th March 2019 20th March 2019 Number 1 pair lift 6:30pm until 9:00pm
Sun Valley Every Saturday until 2nd March 2019 Number 1 quad lift 7:00pm until 9:00pm
Yakebitaiyama Every Saturday until 2nd March 2019 Number 3 high speed lift 6:00pm until 8:00pm Read more ...
Tuesday 19th February 2019, 9:36am
Mostly cloudy skies
Morning from Naeba.
A fine and mild day yesterday and today promises to be more cloudy but similarly (relatively) warm - with temps in low positive numbers.
We are hoping that we will be able to avoid rain later on, but we might not be so lucky. Going to have to sit tight during this warmer spell and look towards next week for a hopeful return to colder conditions.
It sounds like it might be windy up top and the Tashiro Area of Kagura (and connecting Dragondola lift) is closed for the day. Naeba itself seems to be open ok.
Official snow depth:
All lifts plan to be operating apart from the following (some lifts rested on weekdays):
- Prince Number 1 Gondola - Number 8 high speed lift - Daishamen romance pair lift
All courses now open apart from the following:
- Splash Bowl
Planned night-time operations:
- Daily until Sunday 24th March 2019 - 4:00pm until 8:30pm - Lifts operating: Number 5 high speed lift Read more ...
Tuesday 19th February 2019, 9:37am
The change is a'coming.
Yesterday's blue skies have been replaced with gray, and the top of Mt. Myoko is already obscured by either clouds or the first touch of the precipitation (and it might not be snow down low) coming in later today. Things are definitely warmer than yesterday, too.
Off the piste it's already pretty crunchy and nasty; things were getting tracked out anyway, so we are in need of a good solid reset. As I often write, though, when the snow is bad outside, you can always tighten up those turns on the piste! Do a little resort cruising....