Snow and weather reports posted on Monday 18th January 2021

Niseko Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2012, 8:12am
Weather conditions: Cloudy and snowing lightly
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Niseko. It's a bit warmer but there are plenty of spots with good, fresh, deep snow around. Yesterday, we saw periods of heavy snow with some sun later on in the afternoon. The snow was a bit heavier than your normal light/dry Niseko powder, but it was still really fun to ski.

Rusutsu saw a bit more snow than Niseko which made it a little deeper over there.

As the avalanche report states, there is some avalanche danger out there. Mizu no sawa and yu no sawa are very rarely going to slide big enough to move anyone. However, with the combination of factors we have it apparently slid. These areas are off limits and probably not stabilized. Please keep in mind what the previous reports say about south facing slopes greater than 30-35 degrees if you are thinking of riding the areas. Backcountry travel is still a bit sketchy with the amount of wind loading we have had and should be judged on a case by case basis.

The local forecast is still a bit undetermined (for a change!). We are looking at some heavy snow (both in terms of density and rate) on Saturday. A system that seems to be lining itself up could just very well catapult us into April with fresh powder still. The season here in Hokkaido is definitely not over. The locals refuse to accept that it is "spring".

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 420cm
Bottom - 200cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 450cm
Bottom - 200cm

Top - 480cm
Bottom - 200cm

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -3C, no new snowfall in the past 12 hours. Coastal data: WNW8m/s at Benkei cape, 1.8m waves and 1005hPa at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak:SSE4m/s, -8.2C. Annupuri 1000m: 480cm snowdepth.
Snowfall transition: The strong winter weather pattern has passed and the snow and wind has started to calm down at night. The snowfall in the past 12 hours is small. Wind-exposed ridgeline is frozen or crusty and snowdrifts have developed in the leeward slopes. Warm air is forecasted to flow in later on.
Hazard evaluation: The developed snowdrifts in leeward slopes are now stabilizing and the general avalanche risk is lowering. The snow in the trees below 1000m is slightly heavy but in very good condition. However, avalanche risks persist in open slopes wind heavy load of snowdrifts and highly developed cornice areas: coordinate G7-9 Higashione area, E6 Backbowl area, F5 Osawa area and D5 Mikaeri bowl area. A skier who sneaked into Yu no sawa (strictly off-limits area) has been caught in an avalanche yesterday. This person should feel grateful for his luck to come out alive and should be ashamed of his ignorance.
Gates: Peak gates are scheduled to open sometime after 9:30. Please follow the ski patrol’s instructions. We strongly demand everyone to respect the Niseko Rules and avoid riding valley bottoms.
   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2012, 9:10am
Weather conditions: Sunny
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It is a perfectly clear day and the sun has been out since early morning. Temperatures are mild and look like they will rise above freezing on the lower part of the mountain during the morning. Extensive grooming has taken place overnight, but for the powder lovers there are still plenty of ungroomed areas offering great skiing. Snow is on the forecast for this afternoon and then further snow is predicted for Saturday and Sunday.

The Spies Course in Furano Zone will be closed on March 25 for ski competions.

March 25 is the final day of the season for the Kitanomine Zone. The proposed closing date for Furano Zone is May 6.   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2012, 11:04am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
A fine spring day in Minakami today. A mixture of clouds and blue sky with warmish temperatures and a light breeze. It is supposed to close in a bit later and the clouds are gathering. Still patches of fresh snow around from the last couple of days but getting a bit heavy.

The warm temperatures are supposed to continue for today and tomorrow with light showers expected. Should be light snow all the way until early next week if the forecast is correct.   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2012, 12:50pm
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It is a pretty quiet day in Nozawa with cloud coverage across the resort. It feels a bit cold without the sun but the thermometer says it is not too bad. Temperatures are set to drop throughout today.

Snow quality is good all over - perhaps slightly slushy at the very bottom of the resort. Without the sun the fresh from the previous day is not being greatly affected.

Yesterday saw sun and fresh snow all over Nozawa. Still looking like we are going to get hit with snow from tomorrow and consistent falls right through the weekend.

Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:




Current Lift operations:
Whole resort is operational

Current courses open:
All open
   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2012, 16:45pm
Weather conditions: High overcast skies
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It wasn't a bad day in Myoko today; not exactly uplifitingly clear and sunny, but the rains (which are supposed to fall all through the day tomorrow) aren;t here yet. High clouds, fairly mild temperatures and not much else to say about a day like today! Hope you did get a little ski fixin today; tomorrow probably is going to be very spring-y. Those March showers bringing April... well, not flowers anyway. Actually, we're already thinking about the post-lift-accessed season, and the nice settled snow of April, May and even June (think corn!)

Current Official Snow Depths

Akakura Onsen:

Akakan (Akakura Kanko):


Myoko Suginohara:

Seki Onsen:

Myoko Ski Park:



260cm   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2012, 16:49pm
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
The day started off clear with calm conditions and just a think layer of new snow but gradually clouded over and winds started to increase. It looks like we are in for some mid-winter like conditions again in the next few days and possibly some decent snowfall especially from tomorrow night so the weekend should be good.

Will report the latest tomorrow morning.

Official snow depths (22nd March 12)
Utopia - 260cm
Chuo - 220cm
Paradise - 240cm
Uwanodai - 165cm

Operating lifts (22nd March 12)
All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating.
Most lifts operating.
All the runs at Zao scheduled to be open.   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2012, 16:52pm
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
There was no new snow to report overnight and it has indeed just been a warmer day today. Mostly cloudy with bits of brighter weather and the goods news is that we have avoided rainfall for now though we still may not be as lucky tomorrow. But even if we do it should be snowing by the end of tomorrow and hopefully over the weekend too.

Resort Operations, 22nd March (subject to change)
Normal operations.
Normal operations.
Official snow depths

   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2012, 17:26pm
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
We thought today would be milder and so it has been. It has just been a cloudy day really for the most part and while things started off cold, it's hovering around +1 degrees at the moment as we head into evening and things start to get dark. The roads are generally clear and dry.

Hopefully we will soon see them covered in snow again. Tomorrow is going to remain quite mild by the looks so it's fingers crossed that what falls from the skies is snow (and not 'the r word'), but it should be getting considerably colder Saturday into Sunday and it will surely be snow then. A good thick layer would be just the ticket.

A chance of stronger winds blowing about as well in the next few days.

Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort area:

- Ichinose Family

Official resort snow depths as of Thursday 22nd March 2012 AM:

Sun Valley:
Ichinose Family:
Ichinose Diamond:
Okushiga Kogen:
240cm   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2012, 17:31pm
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
[Please note that this report was written earlier this morning]

A cloudy start to the day here in Madarao and another contrast to what we saw yesterday. It is much milder as well and about +1 degrees at the moment with a high or around +6 degrees likely later on in the day.

It's going to keep mild tonight and tomorrow by the looks of things and borderine rain or snow tomorrow. Obviously, we want the latter. But looking good for snow clouds to be with us over the weekend so hopefully we'll get another topup out of that for the last week of operations for the season.

Today and tomorrow the Number 13 single lift will be closed for maintenance, but apart from that the resort seems set to be open as normal today.


Lifts currently operating:
All lifts and runs due to be open today
Official snow depth:
260cm   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2012, 17:54pm
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
[This report was posted earlier this morning and not appearing until late due to a technical issue - apologies for the delay]

It is a rather dull and cloudy start to the day today in Hakuba with very temperatures this morning. It has really jumped up after a fairly cold night overnight, but today temperatures look likely to rise to around 9 degrees in Hakuba.

It is also very windy in the town and on the mountain early on, and some of the lifts at resorts around the village are going to be affected by this. Right now it looks like Happo, the top lifts at Goryu and lifts at 47 are on standby waiting for the winds to calm down a bit.

We might not be able to avoid rain tomorrow at village level unfortunately, but it may well be falling as snow higher up on the hills. Actually, from tomorrow through the weekend we might be in for a decent amount of snowfall on the slopes if we are lucky so I hope to be able to bring news of that as it happens. Temperatures are set to drop considerably once again around Sunday.

Yesterday out on the slopes there was some nice the snow dry and powder snow covering some icy-ness under, though snow conditions on lower slopes was more icy and hard. Good practice for the old legs!


Official snow depths and operations @ Thursday 22nd March 2012 AM:

Hakuba Goryu:
No new snowfall at Goryu this morning. All lifts (apart from Alps daily No2 and No4) and runs scheduled to be open today.
Official snow depths:
Alps daira - 235cm;
Toomi - 135cm;
Iimori - 105cm

Hakuba 47:
No new snowfall at 47 this morning. All courses open, all lifts except Line D operating. Strong winds likely to affect lifts today.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 226cm
Lower - 155cm

Ski lifts/courses:
Winds likely to affect resort operations today.
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira - 200cm;
Sakka - 70cm;
Nakiyama - 70cm.

Tsugaike Kogen:
Official snow depth:
Upper slopes - 275cm
Champion - 190cm

Hakuba Cortina:
No new fresh snowfall at Cortina this morning. All planned lifts and most courses open. No5 and No7 lifts now closed.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 335cm
Lower - 215cm

Hakuba Norikura:
Official snow depth:

Hakuba Iwatake:
Village Side (lower slopes) plan to be open until 1st April (upper slopes open well beyond that date).
Official snow depth:
Upper - 160cm
Lower - 60cm

Hakuba Sanosaka:

Hakuba Minekata:
Now closed for the season   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Thursday 22nd March 2012, 21:31pm
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
This must be the latest a report has been posted until now - sorry about that! A few technical things going on that prevented an earlier posting.

Resort news - nighta at Ishiuchi Maruyama has now finished for the season and so has the "Three Mountain" connection between Yuzawa Kogen, Gala Yuzawa and Ishiuchi Maruyama.

Anyway, today we had warm temperatures - up to around 9 degrees - and just a cloudy day for the most part really. Strongish winds earlier on in the morning but it was much calmer as evening approached. Tomorrow will likely be similar though perhaps not quite as warm. What does look very probable though is rain. Places higher up like Kagura and the top of Naeba might get spared the rain and see snow, but lower down it looks inevitable. As the weekend moves on hopefully it will be snowy.

Centleisure Maiko resort just to the north of Yuzawa in Minamiuonuma have announced that they will be extending their season a bit. They were planning to be open until 1st April but will now be opening on the following weekend (7th/8th April) as well. From the 2nd to the 6th there will be closed. There's still a lot of snow up there, so perhaps expected.

Anyway, I'll be posting an update tomorrow morning with the latest.

Official resort snow depths @ Thursday 22nd March 12, AM:
Mt Naeba:
Kagura - Tashiro:
GALA Yuzawa:
Kandatsu Kogen:
NASPA Ski Garden:
Yuzawa Kogen:
Yuzawa Park:
Yuzawa Nakazato:
Ludens Yuzawa:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Centleisure Maiko:
Joetsu Kokusai:
220cm   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Appi Kogen Now
18th Jan, 10:43
Zao Now
18th Jan, 10:30
Hakuba Now
18th Jan, 10:10
Furano Now
18th Jan, 9:43
Kiroro Now
18th Jan, 9:31
Myoko Now
18th Jan, 9:29am
Madarao Now
18th Jan, 9:28am
Shiga Kogen Now
18th Jan, 9:05
Yuzawa Now
18th Jan, 8:59am
Niseko Now
18th Jan, 8:33
Nozawa Onsen Now
18th Jan, 7:54
Geto Kogen Now
18th Jan, 7:44
Minakami Now
13th Jan, 10:10am
Naeba Now
27th Nov, 11:21am
Aizu Bandai Now
26th Nov, 11:22