Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 25th May 2020

Furano Now!

Wednesday 20th November 2019, 8:01am
Weather conditions: Thin cloud
New snowfall: 20cm
Snow depth: --
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.

Photos below.   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Wednesday 20th November 2019, 8:08am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds remain over region
New snowfall: 18cm
Snow depth: --
Hello and it is another very good morning.

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...


Planned season dates:

Niseko Annupuri

Saturday 23rd November 2019 until Wednesday 6th May 2020

Niseko Grand Hirafu

Saturday 23rd November 2019 until Wednesday 6th May 2020

Niseko Village

Sunday 1st December 2019 until Wednesday 6th May 2020

Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Saturday 7th December 2019 until early April 2020


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 ...

Yuzawa Now!

Wednesday 20th November 2019, 8:08am
Weather conditions: Raining in town
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
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.

Saturday 23rd November 2019
- Kagura (via Mitsumata)

Saturday 7th December 2019
- Joetsu Kokusai
- Naeba

Friday 13th December 2019
- Maiko Snow Resort

Saturday 14th December 2019
- GALA Yuzawa
- Kagura (via Tashiro)
- Kandatsu Snow Resort
- Ishiuchi Maruyama
- Yuzawa Kogen
- Yuzawa Nakazato

Friday 20th December 2019
- Muica Snow Resort
- Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- NASPA Ski Garden
- Yuzawa Park

Saturday 21st December 2019
- Hakkai Sanroku
- Ipponsugi
- Iwappara
- Nakazato Snow Wood

Wednesday 25th December 2019
- Itsukamachi

Thursday 26th December 2019
- Chateau Shiozawa

Saturday 28th December 2019
- Ishiuchi Hanaoka
- Mt Granview   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Wednesday 20th November 2019, 8:30am
Weather conditions: Lots of cloud, bit of sun in places
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning all.

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
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
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 ...

Naeba Now!

Wednesday 20th November 2019, 9:00am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds over Naeba
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: --
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!)

But hopefully there is a chance that Kagura will be able to open this coming Saturday - keep an eye on Yuzawa Now for daily updates there - and Naeba is heading for an opening on 7th December.

Fingers crossed!

Naeba 6-day forecast   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Wednesday 20th November 2019, 9:15am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 4cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning.

Wednesday 20th November --- mark it down!

The first snowfall of the season here in Madarao with a thin layer of snow covering the mountain and down to base (though not down to the valleys below).

Don't get overly excited just yet though as from tomorrow there will probably be sunshine and warmer conditions over the weekend.

Oh heck, let's get excited anyway! :)



6 day snow and weather forecast for Madarao


Planned opening dates:

Madarao - Saturday 14th December 2019
Tangram Ski Circus - Saturday 21st 2019   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Wednesday 20th November 2019, 9:39am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: --
We had some warmer temperatures the other day but this morning it feels like mid winter here in Shiga Kogen.

Very cold.


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 ...

Zao Now!

Wednesday 20th November 2019, 9:56am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: --
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.

The resort is on stand-by, waiting for snow.

Zao Onsen 6-day forecast, updated multiple times daily   Read more ...

Geto Kogen Now!

Wednesday 20th November 2019, 17:08pm
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 53cm
Snow depth: --
Quick report.

Tons of fresh snow.

Apologies for the brief report, things aren't totally in place yet but...

'Pre-open' happening.... tomorrow!

Yes, Geto is opening tomorrow.

I will be back with you with more details then. And hopefully reports will be able to get into gear fairly quickly.   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Shiga Kogen Now
25th May, 9:32
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
Zao 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