Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 17th April 2020

Minakami Now!

Sunday 21st December 2014, 8:37am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 180cm
Light rain here this morning with the temperature being 6 degrees and poor visibility.

Temperatures expected to drop with snow beginning from this afternoon.


New snowfall:

Valley 0cm
Upper Mountains 0cm


Snow depths:

Valley 30cm
Upper Mountains 180cm


Resort status:

Tenjindaira - OPEN
Houdaigi - part OPEN
Norn Minakami - part OPEN
White Valley- OPEN
Minakami Kogen -OPEN
Okutone - OPEN

   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Sunday 21st December 2014, 8:40am
Weather conditions: Varied cloud
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: 70cm
Happy happy morning of snow after yesterdays fizzer. Yesterday afternoon became quite warm which reversed some of the snow base which we didn't need. Last night wasn't much better with rain and high wind. Word late last night was, because of this, Kitanomine was most likely not to be running today.
This morning has had a good run of light snow which will help the cause a tad. Snow is forcasted for the rest of the day but again will only be light.    Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Sunday 21st December 2014, 8:44am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 145cm
Unfortunately, it can't be great news every day.

Yesterday was mostly cloudy with the sun out from time to time and a bit of blue sky, but it didn't get quite as warm as we were expecting. A fair wind as well at times.

Later in the day it was raining and quite hard at times and it looks like it has been raining overnight as well... and continuing now though it is trying to snow with more like sleet at times. It's around +1C here at the moment and the forecast is confident that it will turn into snow. Snow is forecast for today and tomorrow, with tomorrow being slightly colder than today and looking the better bet for new cm.

The snow around my place has noticeably gone down in the last 24 hours. I'd say as much as 50cm or so. You'll notice that the snow depths at the resorts have mostly taken a hit as well. So the rain will have done no favours to the snow conditions out there for today, especially at lower town levels.

A good example of how quickly things can change and a reminder that we always want fresh snow!

Kagura are actually reporting 5cm of fresh snow this morning,so no doubt they will be the folks with the best conditions today.


Sobering news last night when it was reported on the local news that a snowboarder had died at the Muikamachi Hakkaisan resort in Minamiuonuma. It appears that he was had been out of bounds off the official courses and had suffocated after finding himself buried in a large amount of snow.

Take care out there.


Official snow depths:

GALA Yuzawa:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Joetsu Kokusai:
Kandatsu Kogen:
Maiko Snow Resort:
NASPA Ski Garden:
Yuzawa Kogen:
Yuzawa Nakazato:


Planned opening dates for resorts in Yuzawa Town and Minamiuonuma City (by date):

All resorts not noted here are now at least part open.

Tuesday 23rd December:

Thursday 25th December:

Saturday 27th December:
Ishiuchi Hanaoka

Late December
Mt Granview


Ski resorts in Yuzawa town
Ski resorts in Minamiuonuma City   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Sunday 21st December 2014, 9:01am
Weather conditions: Cloud, poor visibility
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: 90cm
Rain! Noooooo! We don't like rain, oh no.

Sadly in the afternoon yesterday we got served up with rain which continued to fall overnight as well. Not the best introduction to Niseko for the many people who are probably here for their first taste of the resort that's for sure.

Happily this morning temperatures have dropped somewhat and it has been snowing... quite heavily in fact as I write this.

As well as the snow though, some strong winds as well this morning.

Take into account the less than perfect conditions due to the rain; the wind; the limited visibility and only a limited number of lifts and courses open this morning; and it all adds up to not one of the best days. Time for a soak in the onsen perhaps.

The good news is that now it has turned into snow it should continue today and tomorrow as well. In fact, it's generally snowy conditions forecast through the coming week, so conditions should hopefully improve quite quickly.

From today I have changed things up a bit in the report, and will note any resort-specific news in the area below if there is any that I can find to share.


Resort specific news at time of writing - subject to change during the day

Niseko Grand Hirafu:
Just the low Holiday Number 1 lift and Ace Number 1 Pair lift moving at the moment due to weather conditions.

Niseko Hanazono:
Operation of all 3 lifts temporarily suspended.

Niseko Village:
The Niseko Gondola is not moving due to the winds. Community, Banzai and Morino Chair lifts open as normal.

Niseko Annupuri:
All lifts on hold as of 8:30am due to strong wind conditions. They will open if and when conditions improve.


Niseko Avalanche Report

Moiwa base: -4C, heavy snowfall from before 6am. Moiwa 600m: westerly gusts, poor visibility and snowdrifts starting to develop. Annupuri 1150m: -12C, W15-25m/s with snowfall. Icy and dodgy condition from 400m altitude on down. Coastal data: Benkei cape NW19m/s at 5:25am, Kamui cape WSW21m/s, 999hPa and 1.8m waves. Westerly 25m/s winds are forecasted at 1500m level at noon.

The temperature dropped and a westerly storm started as the cold front passed around midnight. A 20-30m/s wind with heavy snowfall is blowing above 600m from 5am, snowdrifts will develop drastically and the avalanche hazard will rise accordingly. A track across the rope of closed gate 6, heading to Mikaeri area was found yesterday. Keep in mind that out of bounds access from ski resorts is still officially prohibited in Japan. Niseko’s gate system is quite unique and is actually still an experimental grey area. Respecting the Niseko Rules is the only way to protect the freedom to step out of bounds, as well as keeping the minimum safety of all guests. Many seem to understand the situation and remain patient until the gates open, but it is a shame to see that some still disregards a simple rule. "Freedom" is not easy to obtain and should not be misperceived.


Official snow depth numbers and any notes at time of writing:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 210cm
Base - 90cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 150cm
Base - 100cm

Niseko Annupuri:
Top - 135cm
Base - 110cm


Lifts open for night skiing (planned):

Niseko Grand Hirafu
Ace Family Pair lift, Ace Number 2 Center Four lift, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 Pair lift.
There is no night skiing at the Hanazono area.

Niseko Village
Community Chair and Banzai Chair

Niseko Annupuri
Jumbo Number 1 Quad


Niseko Grand Hirafu 6 day weather and snow forecast   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Sunday 21st December 2014, 9:02am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy, some blue sky, some sun
New snowfall: 2cm
Snow depth: 175cm
Morning from Hakuba.

Don't like using the word wet, but we have just a thin bit of wet snow on the ground this morning in places - though it's better than just rain I suppose. Did look like it was trying to snow last night but obviously didn't turn into much in the end.

Lots of 'gas' and cloud around this morning, but some blue sky as well. Bit of sun as well and mild conditions. We're forecast snow though and expecting potentially decent amounts of fresh snowfall over today and tomorrow. That would be good.

There has been a fairly strong wind early morning but it doesn't seem to be affecting resort openings at all.

New snow please!


Official snow depth numbers and operations as of 21st December 2014. Subject to change during the day:

Hakuba Goryu:
Reporting 15cm of new snowfall at Alps Daira.
All lifts operating except Alps Daira 2&4.
All courses open except Adventure Course.
Night skiing at Toomi - every day from tonight until 31st March.

- Alps Daira - 235cm
- Toomi - 175cm
- Iimori - 150cm


Hakuba 47:
Reporting 5cm of new snowfall yesterday afternoon by Line C; this morning 5cm of wet snow at base.
All courses open.
Tree Riding Zone not open yet.

- Upper - 190cm
- Lower - 110cm


Reporting 10cm of new snowfall.
Most courses at Happo-one are now open.
Happo Banks The Snow Park not yet open.
Snow Chao Kids Park is open but only able to operate the moving carpet, ski zone and sleigh zone.

- Usagidaira - 200cm
- Nakiyama - 100cm
- Sakka - 90cm


Hakuba Cortina:
Reporting 0cm of new snowfall.
Lifts 3, 5 and 7 not open - resort part open.
Night skiing every day until 31st March.

- Upper - 275cm
- Lower - 180cm


Tsugaike Kogen:
Most areas of Tsugaike Kogen are now open, most notably the Uma-no-se course not yet open.
Next night skiing is from 27th December through 1st January in both Kane-no-naru-oka and Karamatsu-Shirakaba areas.

- Tsuga-no-mori - 256cm
- Maruyama - 200cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka - 160cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Reporting 0-5cm of fresh snowfall.
Resort is part open

- Upper - 165cm
- Lower - 90cm


All areas now open.
Night skiing every day until 31st March.

- 120cm   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Sunday 21st December 2014, 9:40am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, fog higher up
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 160cm
It's just cloudy at the moment over Nozawa, with some fog covering higher areas of the mountain.

Better than the rain that we had later in the day yesterday, and quickly looking forward and trying not to dwell on that, we are hoping for snow to be falling today. Temperatures currently hovering around 0 degrees so slightly colder than yesterday but still could do with being colder which is where we should be heading. Today and tomorrow snow is forecast though not the strength of the winter patterns we saw last week.

Anyone get to janken with Nasuki yesterday? ;)


Courses open:

All courses now open except:

Hikage no kabe
Grand Prix course
Jumping Course
Challenge 39
Kandahara West
Kandahara East
Kamoshika Course


Lifts open (subject to weather conditions):

All lifts operating except:

Kandahar Pair
Shinyu Pair
Hikage Number 2 Pair A line


Official snow depths:

Yamabiko - 250cm
Uenotaira - 230cm
Hikage - 170cm
Nagasaka - 160cm
Karasawa - 150cm


Nozawa Onsen 6 day weather and snow forecast
Nozawa Onsen main resort data   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Sunday 21st December 2014, 9:44am
Weather conditions: Cloudy, with occasional fog
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 230cm
The Snow Japan weather forecast hits it! As predicted, an afternoon/evening of rain and wind yesterday, followed by colder temperatures and very light snow this morning. Doesn't look like there will be a major fall in the coming days. but snow will be falling. We're already far ahead of most years anyway!

Akakura Kanko:
230cm, -2/-6°
All lifts operating

Akakura Onsen:
150cm, 0°
Yodel No. 1 Triple, Kumado No. 1 Quad, Kumado No. 4 Triple, Kumado No. 2, Ginrei No. 3 Pair, Ginrei No. 5 Pair

Ikenotaira Onsen:
200cm, -2°
Shirakaba Capsule, Ikenotaira Quad, AB No. 1, AB No. 2, Karamatsu Pair

Myoko Suginohara:
190cm, -5/-8°
Gondola, No. 1 Romance, No. 2 high-speed

Seki Onsen:
230cm, -1°

Myoko Ski Park:
170cm, 0°

Kyukamura Myoko:
Runrun Pair Lift

No. 1 Pair, No. 3 Quad, No. 5 Quad, No. 6 Quad

120cm, -2°
No. 1, No. 2 Quad, Super Quad, No. 11, No. 12, No. 15

   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Sunday 21st December 2014, 9:52am
Weather conditions: Cloudy conditions in the area
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 120cm
Rain came and did it's thing last night unfortunately, and looking at the positives from that the groomers will be nice and fast this morning. How dare rain come and dampen the excitement of all that snow!

Anyway, it's not raining now and just cloudy in the region. Keeping quite mild but we're expecting snow clouds to be here soon with snow forecast for today and tomorrow.

So I hope to bring news of a new layer of snow in my report tomorrow.


Lifts open:

Number 1 lift
Number 2 quad lift
Super quad lift
Number 11 lift
Number 12 lift
Number 15 lift
Moving Walkway

Tree runs - expected to open... but early morning reports has them closed:


Madarao Kogen 6 day weather and snow forecast
Madarao Kogen main resort data   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Sunday 21st December 2014, 10:17am
Weather conditions: Cloud and fog
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: 160cm
1cm of snow to report this morning from Zao, which is nice to report as it rained here last night.

Quite strong winds are persisting this morning though here in the village it feels fairly mild. It may well be different up on the slopes where visibility also seems very limited in places.

Snowfall expected through into tomorrow, with moderate to strong winds also a feature to expect.

I have added the 'Light Up' dates for the 2014/2015 season below and will keep those on the report each day until that is finished. On those operating days, the Zao Ropeway operates in the evening and the . Subject to weather conditions. Your ski lift ticket isn't valid for this and while it's not cheap to go up there I think it's definitely worth taking a look once on a night when the weather conditions are clear.


Official snow depths (21st December 14):

Utopia: 160cm
Chuo: 160cm
Paradise: 150cm
Uwanodai: 125cm


Night skiing operations at Zao this season

Uwanodai area:
From today until 22nd March

Yokokura area:
From Friday 26th December until 4th January;
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from Friday 9th January until 15th March

Open times from 5pm until 9pm.


Juhyo 'Ice Monsters' Light Up night time ropeway operations

December 2014: 27th-31st
January 2015: 1st-4th, 10th-12th, 17th-18th, 24th-31st
February 2015: 1st-28th

Operating from 5pm until 9pm; last ropeway up at 7:50pm.
Ropeway return charges are 2600 yen for adults and 1300 yen for children.
In the event of poor weather conditions, operations are sometimes cancelled.   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Sunday 21st December 2014, 10:20am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog, gas
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: 60cm
Strong winds during the day yesterday affecting some lifts.

No snow earlier - just cloud and gas - but it has started snowing again now (actually quite heavily in the last few minutes) and fingers crossed we're on for a few days of snowfall that will bring new cm to the area.

Poor visibility in places this morning.

Yesterday was the first evening of the season when the floodlights were on and some lifts moving. Good to see nighta back!


Resort areas status with official snow depths:

Okushiga Kogen:
Most open, more open from today (note: skiers only resort area)

Most open

Ichinose Family
Most open

Ichinose Yamanokami:

Ichinose Diamond:
Part open

Takamagahara Mammoth:




Most open

Happo Bundaraia:

Sun Valley:



Open (note: skiers only resort area)

Most open.
Shibutoge area not yet open.


Planned night floodlit skiing at Shiga Kogen resort areas this season:

Sun Valley:
December 29th-30th; January 1st-2nd, 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd to March 21st

December 29th-31st; January 1st-3rd, 10th, 11th

Takamagahara Mammoth:
December 20th-22nd, 27th-31st; January 1st-3rd

Ichinose Family:
Every day until March 29th

Ichinose Diamond:
December 27th-31st; January 1st-3rd, 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until March 28th

December 27th-31st; January 1st-3rd, 11th; Every Saturday from January 3rd until February 21st

December 20th-23rd, 27th-31st; January 1st-3rd; Every Saturday from January 3rd until March 28th   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