Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 10th April 2020
Saturday 22nd February 2020, 7:56am
It is a nice Saturday morning here in Furano. Conditions above are partly cloudy and some snow is on the forecast for the afternoon. There is a light to moderate breeze at the base of the resort. It is -7c at the moment will warm up to around -1c by midday.
Monday 24th is a national holiday in Japan (to celebrate the Emperor's birthday) - a new national holiday for this year with the new Emperor - and so for many people it is the start of a long weekend.
There's no fresh snow to celebrate this morning and it's fairly mild and overcast to start the day.
It's going to get milder as well, along with the chance of some rain later on.
The report below made me chuckle a bit with the 'off-piste is tracked out and horrible' comment. (No messing about there!)
But: all being well, it will be snowing again overnight so hopefully we can enjoy some fresher conditions tomorrow.
But (2): It's going to be windy during the day today probably but stormy windy conditions are expected tomorrow, enough for us to expect likely lift disruption so do keep that in mind.
Actually, as this report goes up at 8:30am, all top lifts and the Hanazono lifts appear to be on hold according to the official site (though I can see the base Hanazono one moving on the webcam, not sure what's happening there)... I'd check with the resorts for the latest.
Niseko Avalanche Report
Moiwa Mountain Base320m -5°@4am, -2°@6am, no new snowfall. Moiwa 800m: SW 5m/s(wind meter failure), -7.0°, no new snow or snowdrift development. Annupuri 1000m: Snowpack 180cm, strong S wind, -6° no new snow. Yu no Sawa 1000m: WSW 237deg 7.8m/s, -8.1°. Niseko Village 900m: S 187deg 6.8m/s, -7.0°. Hirafu 1000m :S 189deg 11.8m/s, -8.4°. Hanazono 720m: SSW 206deg 9.4m/s, -5.1°. Coastal data: Benkei Cape: S 11m/s. Kamui Cape S 5m/s, 1024hPa, wave 0.7m.
A southerly wind has picked up bringing warm air into the area with the approach of a low pressure system. There is no new snow and above 1000m strong winds and bad visibility on the east side of the mountains. Expect gates 2,3 to be closed. Off-piste is tracked out and horrible and low light is making it hard to see the snow surface. Groomers are still OK though, best to stay close by and ride them today. Be careful crashing and falling down. This information is published to help minimize accidents in out of bounds areas. Helmets are strongly recommended. Next winter wearing a helmet and beacon will be compulsory to use the Niseko gates system. Have a good day.
Ski resort operation information: Saturday 22nd February 2020
Official snow depth (reported by resort): - Peak: 190cm - Base: 110cm
All lifts normally operating EXCEPT: - Country Road Chair (normally rested)
Lifts scheduled for late operations: - Annupuri Village Gondola until 8:00pm - Village Express until 8:00pm - Banzai Chair until 8:00pm Read more ...
Saturday 22nd February 2020, 8:34am
Generally cloudy but bright, some blue sky in places and to the north
Good morning from Yuzawa.
After a sunny and mild spring-like day yesterday, it is a very mild start to the day today and currently 7C. A high of around 12C is expected in town later on. And there is that chance of us catching some rain too.
Snow is due overnight and tomorrow, so hopefully things will look better soon.
Unfortunately GALA Yuzawa is closed for the day today due to some strong southerly winds that are forecast. It looks like Kagura and other ski resorts are opening as normal.
Right now it doesn't feel particularly windy down here in town.
Monday is a national holiday in Japan and so it's a long weekend. Normally we'd expect it to be a busy one. Weather forecasts and those other things at the top of the the news might affect people coming up for the weekend, so we'll just have to see...
The weather might not be very inspiring today, but I do have something that will be good news for some of you.
We have a limited number of 1 day ski lift ticket vouchers to give away to SnowJapan readers:
Yuzawa Town: This voucher can be exchanged at any ski resort in Yuzawa town (valid until 31st March 2020) or Minamiuonuma City: This voucher can be exchanged at any ski resort in Minamiuonuma city (valid until 29th March 2020)
If you would like one of those please send us an email to email@example.com with 'Lift ticket' as the subject line and let us know which you would like (Yuzawa or Minamiuonuma). You could perhaps also let us know how we're doing; or how you're doing!
Please only request if you are pretty sure that you would be able to use the ticket if you win.
We will be able to send them out on Tuesday next week, so this offer is open until late Monday. We will contact winners (chosen at random) late Monday, asking for a postal address in Japan. (Sorry, we can't send them outside Japan).
The Audi FIX Alpen Ski World Cup 2020 event is being held at the Naeba resort today and tomorrow.
Hope it goes well and good luck to everyone taking part.
Individual ski resort information: Saturday 22nd February 2020 All information checked and updated manually for each report. Subject to change.
- The top area via Yuzawa Kogen Ropeway is fully open - The base areas are also open - The Ropeway connecting Yuzawa Kogen with the Southern Area of GALA Yuzawa is closed (GALA closed today) - Official snow depth: 120cm (Kogen); 30cm (base)
It's going to be mild again today, even more so than yesterday, with the chance of light rain sometime later this afternoon. We are expecting colder conditions tomorrow as well as some fresh snow so tomorrow should be more exciting.
The Nagasaka Gondola and top lifts are on hold at the start of this morning due to windy conditions on the upper mountain. That may well change if conditions allow.
For this long weekend (Monday is a national holiday), lifts plan to be open 30 minutes than usual through Monday.
Saturday 22nd February 2020
Fresh snowfall recorded by resort since yesterday morning:
All lifts normally operating apart from the following lifts:
- Top lifts on hold at the start of the day due to wind - Nagasaka Gondola, top Yamabiko, Uenotaira, Skyline pair, Mizunashi and Yunomine lifts on hold
All courses normally open apart from the following courses:
- Grand Prix - Jumping - Hachiman - Mukobayashi - Skyline (lower area)
Nighta until 8:00pm
- Nagasaka Four lift operates during nighta - Every Saturday until 28th March - 23rd February - 20th March - Subject to change Read more ...
Saturday 22nd February 2020, 8:53am
Cloud, blue sky
Morning from Madarao.
A bit windy this morning but lifts appear to be starting up as planned.
Cloudy to start the day though more blue sky to see now. We are forecast generally cloudy skies and a bit of rain later this afternoon but by the time I post my next report I should hopefully be able to talk about some fresh snow on the ground and snowy conditions are forecast for tomorrow. Sounds good.
Monday is a holiday in Japan (Emperor's Birthday), so for many people it's a long weekend. Fresh snow tomorrow would be most welcome.
Current operations: Saturday 22nd February 2020
- All lifts apart should be operating - Powder Wave and Crystal Bowl tree run courses closed - Other tree run courses open - Official snow depth: 100cm
Tangram Ski Circus:
- All lifts are operating - Most courses open - Official snow depth: 75cm Read more ...
Saturday 22nd February 2020, 9:25am
Good morning from Hakuba.
It was a beautiful spring-like day yesterday with blue skies, sunshine and incredible scenery.
This morning we have cloudy skies above us.
There might be rain later on, but by tomorrow morning I hope there will be some snow on the ground to report to you making for a nicer Sunday!
The information in this table is data reported by the ski resorts
New snowfall (lower)
New snowfall (upper)
TOTAL ACCUMULATION (UPPER)
IMPORTANT: See below for an explanation of the above data
Monday is a new national holiday in Japan.
Tomorrow is the Emperor's Birthday, and so because tomorrow is a Sunday that means that Monday is the national holiday. So it is a long 3-day weekend for many people.
The 'most courses open' / 'part open' notes for each ski resort (below) are what the resorts are saying.
They're kind of official info - just like the snow depth numbers.
Please keep in mind though that - as one clear example - Tsugaike Kogen are classifying themselves as 'all courses open', when one of the lower courses can be seen in the webcam image below (the 7th image)...
Individual ski resort information The below information is checked from official sources and manually adjusted each morning.
Operating lifts: - All lifts apart from the lifts noted below are normally operating: - Nakiyama Number 2 pair - Shirakaba Number 1 pair - Shirakaba Number 2 pair - Central pair - Sakka Number 2 pair - Sakka Number 3 triple
Courses open: - All courses apart from the following are at least part open: - Central - Olympic II - Kita-one - Kokusai - Nakiyama Wall/North - Shirakaba North - Sakka - Kurobishi off-piste - Nakiyama South and Shirakaba South base areas are open; others closed - You can also take the Gondola or other lifts back down to base
About the data in the above ‘snowfall as reported by ski resorts’ table * The table within the above report contains data that is published by individual ski resorts * The data shown is the amount of snowfall that the ski resorts are themselves reporting each 24 hour period on the upper areas of their mountain * The source ‘new snowfall’ data and ‘total accumulation’ data is not updated at the same time * The ‘new snowfall’ data is updated in the morning * The ‘accumulation’ data is apparently updated/refreshed at midnight * That means that there is a time lag between the two numbers being updated * We manually check and update the data just before we publish each Hakuba Now report - so the data in each Hakuba Now report table is what is available at that time * Any odd-looking numbers are due to the source data. We are not responsible for and have no control over the data. We are simply sharing the data with you * Just to be extra clear, unlike our own ‘observed snowfall’ data from base that we show at the top of each report, the data in the table is not an independent observation by SnowJapan * A more in-depth introduction and explanation can be found in this reportRead more ...
Saturday 22nd February 2020, 9:27am
Warm and windy to start the three-day weekend.
We are definitely in spring in February now; the snow is nice and rotten and breakable (don't venture beyond where the grooming cats go!). It's getting cloudier, too. Can rain be far behind? So far so good, so get out early and make some turns in soft snow and smile a bit.
The beer is cold and waiting for you (see, we can be positive). Never mind the disappearing snowpack (and it is going down, whatever the resort report...)
At present it is cloudy above the mountain with gentle winds. Snow and stronger winds are set to move in this afternoon, following a significantly warmer bluebird day yesterday.
Today all lifts are operating as normal.
APPI is open with the following lifts normally operating (subject to change):
- Appi Gondola - Central quad lift - Central Number 2 lift - Central Number 3A lift - Central Number 4 lift - Central Number 5 lift - Central Number 6 lift - Nishimori lift - Sailer quad lift - Vista quad lift
- Most normal courses at APPI are open - Dragon tail, Cruise 1, Cruise 2, Bravo, Attack tree run courses are normally open
Snowfall numbers The below numbers are reported by the resort
The big event is here - the Audi FIX Alpen Ski World Cup 2020 is being held here in Naeba today and tomorrow. A lot of people have been working hard to put it all together.
Tons of fresh snow would have been ideal, of course, but we'll have to make do with what we have. Happily, there are blue skies above and any rain might hold off until late today... and then there is a chance of snow overnight tonight.
It is a mild morning with a bit of wind but that shouldn't be affecting the event.
Let's hope it is a success and all the very best to everyone competing.
The resort remains open to the public of course, but restrictions apply. If you are here, there's plenty of info around to keep you heading in the right direction.
Planned course restrictions for the above event and others are as follows:
Daishamen: 18th-22nd February
Mens Riesen + Number 3 course: Until 22nd February
Mens Riesen Slalom 24th-28th February
Number 1 course: 24th February - 1st March
Number 2 course: 24th-25th February
Number 3 course: Until 1st March
Official snow depth:
Planned operating lifts:
- Prince Number 2 Gondola - Takenokodaira romance pair lift - Takenokoyama romance pair lift - Number 4 romance pair lift - Number 3 high speed lift - Number 5 high speed lift (open for nighta until 8:30pm) - Hiuchi Number 1 romance pair lift - Dragondola
Courses planned to be open:
- 19 of 22 courses are normally open - The Dragondola is operating to get over to the Tashiro Area of the Kagura resort Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Saturday 22nd February 2020, 10:02am
Hello from Shiga Kogen.
It doesn't feel too windy right now but stronger winds are forecast for today. Naughty southerly ones too.
A mixed bag early morning with varying levels of clearer conditions and sunshine and cloud.
It will be a relatively mild day and colder tomorrow. Chances of some fresh snow.
Mid week is looking fairly promising too for more snowfall. That would be good.
All areas and connections at Shiga Kogen are now open (with just a few minor exceptions).
Photos: Kumanoyu, Takamagahara Mammoth and Hasuike Junction
Shiga Kogen resort info: Saturday 22nd February 2020
The below information is manually checked. Official snow depth numbers are as reported by the ski resorts themselves.
Originally planned night time operations at the Shiga Kogen ski areas are as follows; subject to change, so please check with the resorts. Note that separate lift tickets are required.
Ichinose Diamond 22nd-23rd February 2020 20th-21st March 2020 Quad lift 6:30pm until 9:00pm
Ichinose Family Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays until 21st March 2020 Number 2 pair B lift 6:30pm until 9:00pm
Kumanoyu Every Saturday until 28th March 2020 23rd February 2020 20th March 2020 Number 1 pair lift 6:30pm until 9:00pm
Takamagahara Mammoth Saturdays until 21st March 2020 23rd February 2020 20th March 2020 Number 2 triple lift 6:30pm until 8:30pm
Sun Valley 22nd-23rd February 2020 Number 1 quad lift 7:00pm until 8:30pm
Yakebitaiyama Every Saturday until 29th February 2020 23rd February 2020 Number 3 high speed lift 6:00pm until 8:00pm
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. Approach Shiga Kogen using Route 292 from the west (Nagano/Nakano/Yamanouchi) Read more ...
Aizu Bandai Now!
Saturday 22nd February 2020, 10:06am
Cloud, some blue sky
A cloudy morning but some blue sky too - and mild conditions as expected.
Things should be changing from tonight though and we can hope for some snow tomorrow.
In the meantime, there's some big news to report to you this morning...
Alts Bandai --- Nekoma walk route open from today
Readers of this report last year might remember the experimental opening of a 'walk course' that connects the top area of the Alts Bandai and Nekoma resorts, which are located on the south and north sides of the mountain.
Well, they are opening it up again from today.
This official walking course is about 800m long and takes about 15 minutes, give or take.
See the image below. Alts is on the left side of the line, Nekoma is on the right. The walking route is shown in orange.
The route is scheduled to be open every day when Nekoma is operating (so it will not be available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays until 3rds March), and might also close due to bad weather conditions.
Planned opening times are 10:00am until 3:00pm.
Make sure you have a valid ticket:
If you have an Alts Bandai 1 day or afternoon ticket, you can use the course and lifts over on the Nekoma side during the opening times.
If you have a Nekoma 1 day (+ Alts) ticket, you can use the course and lifts over at Alts Bandai during the opening times.
I recommend checking with the resorts if you want to check it out.
Lots of cloud early on this morning but there are signs that it might be clearing a little and we might get some sunshine. Might end up being another fine day.
It's the weekend and so the Karamatsu pair is spinning.
And to celebrate, the forecast is looking quite promising actually... in terms of snow over the coming week. We may have some strong winds affecting operations tomorrow, but snow at the same time. And more snow due mid week too.
Today would probably the better pick over tomorrow.
It is also a long weekend because Monday is a national holiday. This is a new national holiday for this year as it is to celebrate the birthday of the new Emperor.
All lifts are now normally operating apart from the following:
- Zao Paradise Number 3 pair - Diamond Number 1 pair - Astraea Number 3 pair - Yokokura Number 2 pair
- All courses are now mostly open; some restricted areas