Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 17th April 2020

Furano Now!

Tuesday 1st January 2013, 9:23am
Weather conditions: -
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 120cm
Happy New Year from Furano! If you didn't get too festive last night you are probably already on the lifts making first tracks for 2013 in the new snow that fell yesterday and overnight. Conditions have turned cold again and the snow quality is good although there will be a wind effect evident in the snow. The icy layer that was evident yesterday will be starting to disappear and we will soon be back to a powder base. Winds were moderate early this morning but have quitened down since then and all lifts are currently in operation. If you do have a sleep in to welcome in the new year you can make up for it by trying night skiing on either side of the mountain up until 8:30pm.   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Tuesday 1st January 2013, 9:33am
Weather conditions: Sunny
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Good morning 2013! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

The sun is out early on this morning and we have blue skies along with cold temperatures to start the year off in Minakami. Right now it is -3 C with a forecast high of zero. The snow is still hard as a result of the rain from 2 days ago, so be careful out there.

The forecast has snow starting from tomorrow night continuing until Friday, we should receive around 30cm of fresh snow.   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Tuesday 1st January 2013, 10:11am
Weather conditions: Cloud cover
New snowfall: 20cm
Snow depth: 300cm
A very happy new year to everyone reading Niseko Now and SnowJapan. Welcome to 2013. In the coming weeks there are going to be some major changes to the main SnowJapan site, including this here report page.

We have about 20cm of new snow to welcome in the new year. A colder morning than yesterday, around -7C now, but less of the wild weather conditions that we were experiencing yesterday. There's still some wind around on the mountain though affecting the lifts again this morning and top lifts once again are not moving as I write the report this morning.

Due to the weather conditions the fireworks planned at Hirafu were cancelled unfortunately, but it didn't seem to bother lots of the party people out last night. I suspect there are more than a few cloudy heads out there this morning.

Talking of cloudy, that's really what the weather is doing at the moment. Light snow falling on the mountain with decent visibility for the most part, and at the same time some sun shining through the clouds in the village and even some patches of blue sky to be seen. Snow is on the forecast for the day, but it does seem to be more chance of heavier snow falling later tomorrow into Thursday. Less wind allowing the mountain to fully open would be very welcome. We'll just have to see.

Have a fun day!

Lifts Operating (at time of writing)

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Ace Family Pair
Ace Number 1
Ace Number 2 Quad (Center Four)
Ace Number 3
Hirafu Gondola
Holiday Number 1 Pair
Swinging Monkey

Niseko Annupuri
Jumbo Number 1 Quad
Jumbo Number 2 Pair

Niseko Village
Community Chair
Banzai Chair
Morino Chair

Niseko Hanazono
Hanazono Number 1 Quad (reduced speed)
Hanazono Number 2 Quad (reduced speed)

Official Resort Snow Depths

Grand Hirafu & Niseko Hanazono
Top - 300cm
Bottom - 130cm

Niseko Annupuri
Top - 235cm
Bottom - 190cm

Niseko Village
Top - 280cm
Bottom - 170cm

Avalanche Information:

Niseko base 6am: -10C, 25cm of light broken crystal snowfall with notable snowdrift development. Coatal data: WNW21m/s, 3.3m waves, 1006hPa. Moiwa peak: NW18m/s, -16C, bad visibility and considerable snowdrift development. Predicted wind at 1000m at noon: WNW20m/s.

The development of cornice and snowdrift in leeward slopes above 800m is considerable and the avalanche risk is extreme today. The newly formed slabs are very unstable and the weak bonding within and between the slabs could trigger a slide of up to 80-120cm thickness.

Gates 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 will be closed. Gate 3 is not ready yet and hiking to the peak from the ski resort is restricted.

Many of the accidents occur in slopes with heavy snowdrift load and during storms. The snowpack in Niseko, influenced by the climate of the Sea of Japan, starts to stabilize when the wind calms down below 10m/s. However the time to stabilize differ from various factors such as temperature and/or snow types. Avalanche risk remains high for a while after the storm ends.

The snow in the trees is in good shape. Adjust the riding according to the weather; no need to push it too far. Stay out of strictly off-limits areas. Don't duck ropes.

Happy New Year 2013.   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Tuesday 1st January 2013, 10:56am
Weather conditions: Cloud cover/overcast
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: 225cm
Happy New Year from Hakuba.

Yesterday it was snowing through the day on the mountains and Hakuba has dry, light snow covering the trails at present. It is snowing this morning as well with about 2-3 cm of fresh snow around the village.

Not the brightest and clearest of days with overcast skies and mist hugging the valley... visibility is poor. Current temperatures between around -3C degrees in the village and of course colder out on the mountains. There's not much of a wind at present.

Snow is forecast to be falling all day today and through into the following few days as well, so we can't expect to see much or even any of the sun this week. I'm sure people won't complain about fresh snowfall though!

The Happo-one Sakka Kitaone Quad was temporarily suspended earlier but all seems to be moving as normal now. Also at Happo-one, until Thursday, the Gondola and Nakiyama No3 lifts at Happo-one are opening early at 7:30am, with the Riesen Quad and Alpen quad lifts opening from 7:45am.


Official snow depths and operations @ Tuesday 1st January 2013 AM:
Please note that resort lift operations are subject to change at any time.

Hakuba Goryu:
3-5cm on lower slopes and up to 15cm of new snow on upper slopes reported from Hakuba Goryu.
Official snow depths:
Alps daira - 225cm;
Toomi - 115cm;
Iimori - 85cm

Hakuba 47:
20cm of new snow reported on upper slopes by Hakuba 47 this morning.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 175cm
Lower - 70cm

Official snow depth:
Usagidaira - 170cm
Nakiyama/Shirakaba - 60cm
Sakka - 60cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
Official snow depth:
Upper slopes - 230cm
Lower slopes - 60cm

Hakuba Cortina:
5-10cm new snow to report from Hakuba Cortina.
Official snow depth:
Upper slopes - 210cm
Lower slopes - 140cm

Hakuba Iwatake:
Official snow depth:
Upper slopes - 110cm
Lower slopes - 60cm

Hakuba Sanosaka:
All lifts operating.
Official snow depth:

Hakuba Minekata:
50cm   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Tuesday 1st January 2013, 11:02am
Weather conditions: Sunny, some cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 140cm
Happy New Year from Naeba.

It's a lovely morning, though I would have preferred to be reporting huge amounts of fresh snowfall... seems that regions much further to the north of us here are getting the snow overnight. Here, we got none. Doh. Well, maybe a dusting but as good as none.

But the good is that it's a lovely clear New Year morning - just some pretty fluffy white clouds up there - with just a slight breeze and everywhere is open.

Snow later on tomorrow into Thursday? Hopefully. I'll bring you an update tomorrow morning.

Official resort snow depth:
Naeba - 140cm
Kagura - 270cm   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Tuesday 1st January 2013, 11:59am
Weather conditions: Cloud, sun
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 115cm
Good morning from Yuzawa.

There's some cloud up there in places but lots of blue sky as well and the sun is shining through and casting shadows this morning - it's a fine, calm start to the day and currently around 0C. I was hoping to be reporting snow but we haven't had any snowfall since yesterday. When will the snow arrive? Perhaps some later on, as it is actually snowing more northerly parts of Niigata this morning.

Decent snowfall looks most likely though later tomorrow and going into Thursday. Hopefully that forecast will turn out to be correct.

If you take a look back at the archives for January 2012 (links below) you'll see how the official snow depth numbers of resorts around town are in some cases considerably less this year... not so much higher areas. Fingers crossed that January will bring with it those crazy snowstorms that deposit huge amounts of snow over a few days. There's not a shortage problem, but we always want regular topups.

Official resort snow depths @ Tuesday 1st January 2013, AM:
Kandatsu Kogen:
NASPA Ski Garden:
Gala Yuzawa:
Yuzawa Kogen:
Yuzawa Nakazato:
Yuzawa Park:
Maiko Snow Resort:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Joetsu Kokusai:
150cm   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Tuesday 1st January 2013, 12:04pm
Weather conditions: Very light snow; increasing snow on the hill
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 135cm
Happy New (calendar) Year, and continuation of the ski season! Things really get going from now on.

Slow start to the ski day for most people, including your writer (daughter has on the endless humor/music/nostalgia TV shows that are a staple on Jan. 1, and which will suck you in if you're not careful). The big snow that has been predicted, but it's not here yet--only some light flakes falling, and that's about it. NHK television is saying that the next two days on particular look like heavy snow--and the whole prefecture has just released a heavy snow warning. Sounds good to me....

Right now the mountains are slowly disappearing in white--hopefully not fog--enven while it's still sunny to the east.

Operations and official snow depths

Akakura Kanko (Akakan)
135cm, -4C

Akakura Onsen
140cm, -4C

110cm, -3C

120cm, -6C

Seki Onsen
200cm, -3C

190cm, -1C

Myoko Ski Park
125cm, -2C

130cm, -5C

120cm, -5C    Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Tuesday 1st January 2013, 12:14pm
Weather conditions: Mixed
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 180cm
We would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year from Nozawa Onsen. Hope that the powder is deep and you have good times ahead wherever you are. Thanks to everyone who has been up to visit Nozawa or going to be making the journey.

It's not a bad looking first day of the year here with fairly clear skies. Could see the moon still shining bright at about 6am this morning. Last night was lots of fun in town and lots of people came out to celebrate and bring in the new year.

Yesterday on the slopes was somewhat icy in places so we are really ready for a new fresh layer of snow now. No new snow to report this morning. Temperatures have dropped and it is pretty cold here this morning. Snow is due a bit later on and we should be experiencing colder and snowy conditions over the next few days.

I think a few New Year wishes went out, so we should be receiving soon...

Lifts operating:
All lifts operating.

Courses open:
All courses open except:
Mizunashi A

Official snow depths





Official new snowfall
0cm (Yamabiko)
0cm (Uenotaira)
0cm (Karasawa)   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Tuesday 1st January 2013, 12:36pm
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 120cm
Good morning from Madarao and welcome to 2013.

After the celebrations of last night, the sun was out earlier this morning with a lot of blue skies over Madarao, but it has since clouded over and we may get snow soon. Hopefully.

No new snow since yesterday though. It's keeping quite cold though and -3C at the moment. Snow, please!

Lifts planned to be operating:
Number 1
Number 2
Number 3
Super quad
Number 5
Number 11
Number 12
Number 15
Kids Park
FreeRide Park   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Tuesday 1st January 2013, 13:46pm
Weather conditions: Cloud, blue sky
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: 100cm
Happy New Year.

Not the chart-busting numbers I was hoping for this morning and nothing more than a thin new layer of snow really to report this morning. Some cloud around but generally bright and even sunny conditions this morning. Happily it is remaining quite cold.

Light snow possible today later on and snow is lined up on that forecast for the following few days as well. Might have stronger winds as well tomorrow so possible stormy conditions with temperatures also set to plummet.

Sounds good to me. (Well, apart from the wind!)

Nighta operations planned for tonight at the following resort areas:
Ichinose Family
Ichinose Diamond

Official resort snow depths as of Tuesday 1st January 2013 AM:

Sun Valley:
Ichinose Family:
Ichinose Diamond:
Okushiga Kogen:
120cm   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Tuesday 1st January 2013, 14:23pm
Weather conditions: Cloud, sun at times
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 100cm
Happy New Year! And a happy new year it is as well with 10+cm of fresh snow this morning in Zao. A cold feeling -4 earlier on and -2 at the moment, with a temperature of -11C up on the top of the mountain, it is cloudy at the moment with the sun coming through the clouds at times and shining down on the lower slopes of Zao now. It might be temporary though as snow is forecast for the afternoon and evening.

The snow clouds will be over Zao for the next few days and we are expecting very strong winds tomorrow in particular. Going to get colder too. Remember the layers if you plan on being in Zao over the next few days.

Official snow depths

Chuo Area



50cm   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Zao Now
15th Sep, 13:18am
Shiga Kogen Now
30th May, 10:10
Geto Kogen Now
06th May, 15:13pm
Appi Kogen Now
23rd Apr, 17:30
Furano Now
22nd Apr, 10:12am
Madarao Now
20th Apr, 9:52am
Nozawa Onsen Now
20th Apr, 9:51am
Niseko Now
20th Apr, 9:50am
Naeba Now
20th Apr, 9:49am
Myoko Now
20th Apr, 9:48am
Minakami Now
20th Apr, 9:47am
Hakuba Now
20th Apr, 9:40am
Aizu Bandai Now
20th Apr, 9:38am
Yuzawa Now
20th Apr, 9:37am
Grandeco Now
06th Dec, 14:16am