Snow and weather reports posted on Wednesday 5th May 2021

Niseko Now!

Tuesday 1st May 2012, 9:02am
Weather conditions: Clear skies
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
More blue skies over Niseko this morning and a really warm one this morning - I mean, warmer than it has been for sure. A 'thermometer at around 18 degrees at 9am' kind of warm! A moderate wind is forecast for most of the day.

This morning at Grand Hirafu they are saying that due to snow melt there are having to do some work moving snow around the lift so that they can open up - should be moving soon I would guess. The Triple lift seems to be moving slow this morning as well.

The Grand Hirafu gondola is taking another rest for today and tomorrow but should be open Thursday to Sunday for the second half of Golden Week and the last four days of the season.

Tomorrow we should have more sunny conditions but it's not looking like it will last to the end of the week with a good chance of rain Thursday and Friday as the forecast stands.


Current lift operations (1st May 2012 @ 9am):

Grand Hirafu:
Ace Quad Lift No2
King Hooded Triple Lift #3
The Hirafu Gondola open from 3rd May until 6th May.

Annupuri Gondola
Jumbo No1 quad
Jumbo No4 pair

Niseko Village:
Wonderland lift


Grand Hirafu, Annupuri and Niseko Village plan to be open until 6th May.
The Hanazono area is now closed.


Official snow depths:

Grand Hirafu:
Top - 250cm
Bottom - 20cm

Top - 190cm
Bottom - 50cm   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Tuesday 1st May 2012, 9:22am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba - for those of you in Japan, how was your first part of Golden Week? Things really warmed up here. It was borderline hot on Sunday with temperatures in the late 20's. Why does it have to heat up so suddenly?

Yesterday it cooled down somewhat and was more overcast and gry, and it won't be as hot today either with a high likely to be around 21C. The forecast for the day today seemed to have been sunny, but right now there's a lot of cloud about the village and around the mountains. Perhaps it will clear up later on... looks like we are due for some rain to be falling tomorrow.

The snow has quickly been melting away in the heat. It has been disappearing from a fair few areas on lower slopes now and the remaining snow looking rather 'dirty' in places now. That's what a lack of fresh does, but we can't really complain as we are of course now into May!

From today, you can't ski down to the base of Hakuba 47 resort any more - no snow means that lower slope is closed now and you need to get the gondola back down the mountain at the end of the day. So the lower part of Route 1 and Route 7 are now closed.

Over at Tsugaike Kogen, it's only the top area now and you can no longer ski down to the gondola base.

Official snow depths and operations @ Tuesday 1st May 2012 AM:

Hakuba Goryu:
Gondola and Alps daira No 1-4 lifts are all operating. The Toomi lifts are now closed but you can still ski down the course to the Gondola.
Official snow depths:
Alps daira - 145cm;
Toomi - 35cm

Hakuba 47:
Top areas open - you need to get the Gondola back down to base - lower Route 1 and Route 7 now closed. All lifts apart from Line D operating.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 85cm
Lower - 15m

Top areas open (lower slopes now all closed) - you need to get the Gondola back down to base.
Lifts normally operating daily until 6th May are:
Grat quad
Alpen quad
Panorama pair
Skyline No2 pair
Kurobishi No2 quad
Kokusai No3 pair
Usagidaira pair
Kurobishi No3
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira - 110cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
Top area only. Planned lifts operating are Ropeway, Gondola, Tsuga No2 pair lift and the Hannoki pair.
Official snow depth:
Upper slopes - 180cm


Planned ski resort closings in Hakuba and Otari, all subject to change:

Hakuba Goryu:
Upper area plans to be open until 6th May.

Hakuba 47:
47 plans to be open until 6th May.

Upper slopes plan to be open until 6th May.

Tsugaike Kogen:
Plans to be open until Golden Week

The Hakuba Cortina, Norikura, Iwatake, Sanosaka and Minekata resorts are all now closed for the season.   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Tuesday 1st May 2012, 10:11am
Weather conditions: Sunny, clear
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It was a generally fine and busy weekend in Nozawa as temperatures rose, especially on Sunday when it actually felt hot in the village. Yesterday was more overcast and not quite as warm and today is a little cooler as well. We will probably see it warm up to around 20 degrees though in the afternoon.

The snow has quickly been continuing to melt away and there's one a few patches of snow left on the lower slope areas now. A few courses have closed (including Schneider) as the cover dictates what can open now. There's still a bit area from top to close on bottom of the left hand side of the resort skiable.

Rain is forecast for tomorrow and maybe the day after as well. As the forecast currently stands, the coming last weekend of the season looks set to be sunny and fine.

Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:




Normal spring lift operations (scheduled):
Nagasaka Gondola
Yamabiko Four
Yamabiko Four No2
Skyline Link
Uenotaira Four
Paradise Four


Normal courses open (scheduled):
Yamabiko A
Yamabiko B
Yamabiko C
Yamabiko D
Yamabiko E
Utopia A course

The above are subject to change.   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Tuesday 1st May 2012, 10:18am
Weather conditions: Sun, some cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Golden Week often brings with it a sudden rise in temperatures, and this year has been no different with an almost hot weekend here in Yuzawa. Fine and sunny weather over the weekend, with more hazy conditions yesterday, brought a lot of people out.

Today and tomorrow are 'normal days' sandwiched in between the two long weekends that make up Golden Week this year, but unfortunately today wind is affecting operations -- this morning only the Mitsumata Ropeway to Kagura No1 quad lift area is open, with Naeba closed for the day.

Lifts that were supposed to be open today and tomorrow are as follows:

Mitsumata Ropeway
Mitsumata No1 quad
Mitsumata No2 pair
Kagura Gondola
Kagura No1 quad
Kagura No4 pair
Kagura No5 pair
Tashiro Ropeway
Tashiro No1 pair
Tashiro No2 pair
Tashiro No1 quad
Tashiro No6 pair
Tashiro No8 pair

Hopefully they will be able to open as planned tomorrow.

Looks like the next few days might bring some rain falling in the region and perhaps not as warm.


Daily updates - including news from Naeba and Kagura - on our Yuzawa Now report page:
Yuzawa Now - updated daily until late May


Resort Operations, 27th April (subject to change)
Naeba re-opens for Golden Week (April 28th - May 6th) - No2 Gondola and Takenokodaira pair lift.
Pretty much all of Kagura should be open for the weekend.
Official snow depths
320cm   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Tuesday 1st May 2012, 10:54am
Weather conditions: Sun, some cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
The warm weather conditions have helped melt away snow quite quickly over the last week, especially since the weekend when it really warmed up. So much so that you can no longer ski down to (any of) the base area(s) at Zao - just upper areas remain open. The snow at base now is almost non-existant!

This morning it is about 15C here in the village, nice sunny weather with some white fluffy clouds here and there, along with a moderate wind.

Tomorrow the forecast is for cloud/sun and then rain is likely on Thursday. In fact we might see some showers for a few of the last days of the season. I'll update the report with the latest on Friday.

The lift status information below has been checked and updated. After today, there's just 5 days left!


Official snow depths (1st May 12)
Utopia - 75cm
Chuo - 75cm
Paradise - 75cm
Uwanodai - 0cm

Operating lifts (1st May 12)
Limited lifts now open, upper slopes only skiable - see below.


Current planned lift operations at Zao, as of 1st May - subject to change:

Uwanodai Area
Sky Cable (open all year, but closed from 7th May for maintenance)

Chuo and Paradise Area
Zao Chuo Ropeway (open all year)
Chuo No1 pair lift (until 6th May)
Chuo No2 pair lift (until 6th May)
Katakai triple lift (open from 3rd-6th May)
Paradise No1 pair lift (until 6th May)

Yokokura and Utopia area
Zao Ropeway (open all year, closed for maintenance 7th-18th May)
Utopia No2 pair lift (open until 6th May)

All other lifts now closed.   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Tuesday 1st May 2012, 11:11am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It started off warm and fine this morning but the clouds have come over and with a bit of a breeze around it is feeling chiller than it has been for a while. Still a nice temperature out but have become accustomed to the warmer temps of late. Soft spring snow up at the top and still two lifts open for skiers/boarders.

The clouds are supposed to stay for the rest of the day and then it looks as if we are due rain from tonight onwards. The forecast has rain of varying intensity all the way through to the weekend.

   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Tuesday 1st May 2012, 11:20am
Weather conditions: Cloud, clear patches
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
After what ended up being a very warm first part of Golden Week, this morning we have more cloud over the area - some blue skies but a lot more fast moving cloud as well. It's not as warm either, though still very mild and there is quite a strong wind as well which has been affecting lifts that were hoping to be open. At the time of writing Okushiga Kogen, Ichinose Diamond and Terakoya seem to be closed and a few other lifts that should be moving this morning are on standby due to the strong winds.

Today and tomorrow are not national holidays here, but Thursday until Sunday is the second part of Golden Week and many people will be treated to a 4-day weekend. Currently it seems we are going to get rained on a bit tomorrow and quite possibly Thursday as well. Hopefully things might clear up for the weekend, though there are chances of showers on Sunday too. Forecasts can change though, of course.


Official resort snow depths as of Tuesday 1st May 2012 AM:

Ichinose Family:
Okushiga Kogen:


Planned lift operations, subject to change:

Open 28th April - 6th May

Open 28th April - 6th May

Quad open until 6th May

Open 28th April until 6th May

Ichinose Family:
Quad & No2 pair until 6th May

Ichinose Diamond:
Quad and moving walkway until 6th May

Gondola and No2 high quad lift until 6th May

Okushiga Kogen:
Gondola, No2, No3 and No4 lifts until 6th May

No1 and No3 quad pair until 6th May
No2 pair until 13th May

No1 Sky, No2, No3 Sky, Shibutoga lifts plan to be open until late May   Read more ...

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20th Sep, 15:04am
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19th Feb, 12:28