Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 25th May 2020
Wednesday 20th November 2019, 8:01am
With just a few days to go to opening the situation just keeps getting better. The 40cm of new snow last week has just had a boost with another 20cm overnight. It was pretty windy until about half an hour ago but is much calmer now. Current weather is a thin layer of cloud with the bright sun beaming through and a rather chilly -3c in the village.
It's cold and there is more snow. And a fair good amount of snow too here at base - I am measuring 18cm of it, there's more and less in surrounding areas.
(I'll conveniently sort-of ignore pesky winds).
It looks like after today we might have clearer weather conditions as the weekend approaches (and warmer again over the weekend), but I am pretty confident we'll be able to enjoy the goods to some extent this coming Saturday. I have no kind of details to share yet from the ski resorts themselves on the subject - no doubt Friday will be the day of such 'news'.
I just want to point out that this very early season snow is light good quality stuff too.
Exciting times indeed. I can't wait to get back out there.
I posted this yesterday, but as the audience is not all present and at their seats for the season, I'll post again today for those just joining us today. :)
On 7th December, a new 'Mountain Center Annex' facility is planned to open by the base of Niseko Grand Hirafu. The resort says:
"Our aim is that visitors will easily be able to enjoy Niseko’s quality of snow while also experiencing a winter resort that is even more satisfying than before. The new Mountain Center Annex is situated in the perfect location, both adjacent to the HIRAFU Gondola Sanroku Station and right in front of the beginner-friendly Holiday Pair Lift, allowing for direct access to the slopes. The Mountain Center Annex features a public area, snow school reception desk, changing rooms and locker rooms on the first floor, with a large-scale ski and snowboard rental shop, boasting a floor area of 802 sqm, on the second floor."
So now you know!
Over at Niseko Hanazono, the new 'Hanazono EDGE' ski center will also be opening. And then early next year the Park Hyatt Niseko HANAZONO.
Loads of investment over the last however many years, mostly down at base (rather than things like lifts... but that is perhaps another talking point!)
The area sure looks rather different than it did ten and twenty years ago. As I munch on some morning toast, I often wonder how things will shape up ten and twenty years into the future...
Night time operations will be available at the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri resorts. That is planned daily between Wednesday 11th December 2019 and Sunday 22nd March 2020.
Lift ticket prices depend on the period - Early, Regular or Spring Season:
Early Season = Saturday 23rd November 2019 until Tuesday 10th December 2019 Regular Season = Wednesday 11th December 2019 until Sunday 22nd March 2020 Spring Season = Monday 23rd March 2020 until Wednesday 6th May 2020
You can find updated lift ticket prices on the ski resort pages within SnowJapan (links above). Read more ...
Wednesday 20th November 2019, 8:08am
Raining in town
Morning from Yuzawa.
Some heavy (cold) rain this morning in town but there's snow to be seen on the mountains - images below from Kagura, Yuzawa Kogen and by the Yuzawa IC exit of the Kanetsu Expressway.
I think the Yuzawa Kogen webcam might have had a heavy session last night as it looks a bit wonky, but you can clearly see a nice layer of snow up there! There's snow down to lower than Mitsumata and in the short periods of time when clouds allow, snow can be closer to town than it has been yet this season.
Not a whole lot of snow on the forecast for the week though. I'll update this report with news as I have it.
A bit more news from Kagura. Until last season, during periods when only the main Kagura Area of the resort was open, you had to ski/board down a snow mat area or do some walking on the way over to the Gondola. But this season the resort is going to be operqating the Mitsumata Number 2 pair lift - meaning you can ride the lift down there, eliminating the need to walk down there.
Planned opening dates - subject to change of course depending on weather/snow conditions.
Snow sighted! On the upper slopes - not down to village - but always good to see all the same. See the images below from Tsugaike Kogen and Happo-one.
Right now there are breaks in the cloud and the sun is even trying to shine through.
We are forecast clearer skies tomorrow and on and off into the weekend along with some warmer temperatures, so an opening of ski lifts this weekend is not going to be happening.
Hakuba Happo-one, Hakuba 47, Hakuba Goryu and Tsugaike Kogen will all open for the season as soon as they can after the weekend. Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Wednesday 20th November 2019, 8:41am
Good morning from Nozawa.
It is pretty cold this morning and raining down in the village, and there has been some snow falling on the mountain - areas above 1000m and perhaps a bit lower than that have a covering of white as you can see on the below images.
Unfortunately, we're not expecting that to continue for much beyond this morning with clearer skies due tomorrow along with warmer conditions over the weekend.
So an opening on Saturday seems... highly unlikely!
Webcam still images below from 8:30am on 20th November 2019:
- Yamabiko top (1615m) - Uenotaira (1407m) - Paradise (1230m)
Nozawa Onsen will open as soon as is possible - when there is enough snow to do so! Read more ...
Wednesday 20th November 2019, 9:00am
Snow clouds over Naeba
Hello and good morning from Naeba.
It may well be raining down in the central area of Yuzawa town, but down here in Naeba it is snowing and I have the first 3cm of the season to report from base. Those mounds of man-made snow are now surrounded and topped off by some of the real stuff. There's not quite enough to give the lower slopes a complete white cover but things are definitely looking winter-like this morning.
It is allowed to get really excited about the snow this morning but the forecast isn't showing much more of it through into early next week and a bit of a warmer weekend. (Sorry, just being real!)
Madarao - Saturday 14th December 2019 Tangram Ski Circus - Saturday 21st 2019 Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Wednesday 20th November 2019, 9:39am
We had some warmer temperatures the other day but this morning it feels like mid winter here in Shiga Kogen.
And importantly, some snow on the ground. Not a huge amount, but a white covering and some snow making machines hard at work to support it.
Kumanoyu to part open from Saturday? We shall see, I will let you know.
Official opening stuff:
'Pre-open' - 23rd November, depending on snow Opening ceremony - 7th December at Ichinose Diamond
The section of road connecting the southern area of Shiga Kogen (from Yokoteyama onwards) with Gunma Prefecture is now closed for the season. It will be closed until 24th April 2020. Read more ...
Wednesday 20th November 2019, 9:56am
A very good morning to you from Zao.
And this morning we celebrate the first snow on the ground down here in the village areas. I have just been out and measured 3cm.
I wonder how much there is up on the top of the mountain.
It feels cold out.
Conditions look set to calm down from tomorrow and then warm up somewhat over the coming weekend so this snow will very likely be disappearing and there won't be any ski lifts able to move this weekend.