Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 17th April 2020

Yuzawa Now!

Friday 26th December 2014, 8:01am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 35cm
Snow depth: 190cm
Snow for most of the day yesterday along with a moderate wind, though it didn't actually end up with the amount of snow that you'd think.

It was really blowing around in the evening though, and the snow obviously set in good and proper overnight with a nice thick layer to report this morning.

The on-top-of-the-car number is 35-40cm.
Maiko Snow Resort report over 40cm.
Kagura report 50cm.
Naeba report 30-50cm.

Looking good!

Top conditions this morning wherever you go in the area, I'd say.


Quite strong winds are messing with operations at Kagura early in the morning though - the Tashiro area will be closed for the day and from the Mitsumata Station it's open up to the Kagura Number 1 Romance pair lift (possibly that the quad will open later depending on conditions).

Looks like the wind is affecting top areas of Naeba as well today.

A quick look round other resorts and they all seem to be planning to be open as normal.

It's snowing still this morning though a bit on and off over the last hour or so. Snow is forecast to be with us for the day today though so any breaks are probably just temporary. It should ease off by tomorrow morning though and we will probably get some sunny conditions over the weekend, especially on Sunday according to the local forecast.

There's some impressive walls of snow around town and on Route 17. The tallest I have seen are around the traffic lights near the base areas of Ishiuchi Maruyama.

Tomorrow sees the opening of the remaining two ski hills in the area.... Ishiuchi Hanaoka and the famous Mt Granview!


Official snow depths:

GALA Yuzawa:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Joetsu Kokusai:
Kandatsu Kogen:
Maiko Snow Resort:
NASPA Ski Garden:
Yuzawa Kogen:
210cm (Kogen)
160cm (Nunoba)
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.

Saturday 27th December:
Ishiuchi Hanaoka
Mt Granview


Nighta in the area

Nighta 'night skiing' - where some slopes are floodlit for skiing and snowboarding in the evening, is available at the following resorts in the area.

Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Every day until 21st March (until 8:50pm)
Every day until 22nd March (until 8pm on weekdays and Sundays, 9pm on Saturdays)
Joetsu Kokusai:
Every day until 22nd March (until 9pm)
Kandatsu Kogen:
From 23rd January, 'all night' on holidays (6pm or 10pm until 4am the next morning)
Maiko Snow Resort:
Every day until 14th March (until 8pm)
Every day until 29th March (until 9pm)
NASPA Ski Garden (skiers only):
27th December until 3rd January; 11th January; Saturdays until 29th February (until 7pm)
Yuzawa Nakazato:
27th December until 3rd January; 11th January; Saturdays from 10th January until 14th March (until 8:30pm)

Chateaux Shiozawa also have nighta but only on certain days - no fixed schedule available at the moment). Resorts not mentioned above do not operate 'nighta'. Some resorts offer tickets that include nighta, others need a seperate lift ticket.


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

Niseko Now!

Friday 26th December 2014, 8:23am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 45cm
Snow depth: 160cm
Huge amounts of fresh snowfall to report this morning as it keeps on coming down.

40-45cm outside my place, resorts on the mountain report that and more. 60cm on the upper areas of the mountain this morning? Very probably. Amazing.

When Niseko is firing on all cylinders like it is now, it's really impressive stuff. Being here for a long time doesn't damper that feeling at all.

Snow to ease off maybe later on in the day today or early tomorrow and there might even be some sunshine over the weekend. Still looks like it will warm up slightly through early in the week before more significant snow arrives. I think some people would enjoy a bit of a break from the full-on conditions and get the chance to see the beauty of the areas and not just of the snow on the slopes. Not for long though of course; we always want more snow round the corner.

King Number 4 lift and Dynamic Course opening at Niseko Grand Hirafu today meaning that all of the courses at that resort area are now open. Similarly, with the Panorama Course opening at Niseko Annupuri, all of the courses there are open too.

Lots of folk lined up for the opening of the lifts this morning eager to get out and enjoy the snow. Who would blame them! It has certainly been a very merry Christmas for people lucky to be here at the moment.


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

Niseko Grand Hirafu:
King Number 4 lift to start moving today. Dynamic course now open meaning that all of the courses at Hirafu are now open.

Niseko Hanazono:
All Niseko Hanazono lifts will be open as normal.

Niseko Village:
Top Wonderland Chair now open, resort open as planned.

Niseko Annupuri:
Panorama Course open from today - meaning that all of the courses at Annupuri are now open. All lifts open too.


Niseko Avalanche Report

Moiwa base: -8C, 40cm of overnight snowfall. Moiwa 600m: -10C, 50cm of light crystal snow on the course. Annupuri 1150m: -13C, 60cm of fresh. Hirafu 1000m: -10C, 60cm of fresh. Coastal data: Benkei cape NW19m/s, Kamui cape NNE11m/s, 1010hPa, 2.0m waves.

Heavy dump of light snow generated by a typical winter weather pattern. The atmospheric pressure gradient is shelving and the snowdrifts are yet to largely develop under 900m altitude, however drastic development of snowdrifts are forecasted as the storm picks up. High altitude open slopes should be avoided today. The avalanche hazard in Higashi-One (East ridge) and Osawa 1000m line remains high. The snow in the trees is good, but too deep. Better stay close to the courses today. Gates 5 & 6 are scheduled to open. An access route between Moiwa and Annupuri has been made yesterday, however this is a connecting route for rescue purposes and will not be groomed. This route will be inaccessible when gate 6 is closed as it is outside the resort boundary. Please follow the ski patrol’s instructions.

Please beware of overspeeding and loosing control on the courses. Snowcats have been having difficulties grooming due to the heavy amount of snowfall. Have a safe day.


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

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 300cm
Base - 160cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 190cm
Base - 130cm

Niseko Annupuri:
Top - 165cm
Base - 130cm


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 ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Friday 26th December 2014, 8:34am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 60cm
Snow depth: 215cm
Hello from Nozawa and it's one of those exciting mornings when I get to report silly amounts of new snowfall.

So it was snowing yesterday and there was 10-20cm reported over the mountain by the resort (that's the numbers in the brackets below in the 'fresh snow' bit). This morning they report 60cm of fresh on Yamabiko, 70cm on Uenotaira, 45cm on Hikage and Nagasaka and 40cm on Karasawa. Doing a bit of sums, I make that a haul of 90cm on Uenotaira since yesterday.


I can confirm there has been definitely over 50cm here at base, and I have the prospect of going to have to go out and shovel it around after I post this report. Oh the troubles of living in Nozawa!

Buy yes, forget trying to get exact the numbers are just... big. There's a ton of snow out there again and it will be deep this morning.

Visibility is limited on the upper mountain areas in particular. Goes without saying that while it's totally expected to be stoked by the powder out there, don't get over-excited. Take care. Safety!

What's more, things aren't busy yet. Well they sure didn't seem to be yesterday and this morning seems about the same from what I can see. I expect things to start getting busy from tomorrow and as we approach the New Year holidays.

The sun might join us tomorrow as well with a run of clearer days lined up, and a bit milder too.

December 2014 is treating us well. Let's hope the other months of the season deliver as well.


Fresh snow this morning:

Yamabiko - 60cm (+10cm)
Uenotaira - 70cm (+20cm)
Hikage - 45cm (+20cm)
Nagasaka - 45cm (+20cm)
Karasawa - 40cm (+15cm)

Official snow depths:

Yamabiko - 310cm
Uenotaira - 265cm
Hikage - 220cm
Nagasaka - 215cm
Karasawa - 180cm


Courses open:

All courses are 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:

Hikage Number 2 Pair A line


Night skiing at Nozawa until 8pm on the following dates:

Every Saturday until 28th March
27th December until 4th January


Second part of the prize draw running on SnowJapan, with Nozawa tickets to win.

Information and entry here

Good luck!


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

Myoko Now!

Friday 26th December 2014, 8:35am
Weather conditions: Looks like it will get sunny tomorrow, but remaining Myoko-typical cloudy for now
New snowfall: 50cm
Snow depth: 260cm
More snow!

Looks like 50cm of fresh or so at the base. Good light stuff from yesterday, too.

The winds seem to be blasting in off the ocean, although it's not that windy in Myoko. Some gusting at times.

A great Christmas present—get out and enjoy!


Akakura Kanko:
260cm, -6°
All lifts operating

Akakura Onsen:
236cm, 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, -3°
Shirakaba Capsule, Ikenotaira Quad, AB No. 1, AB No. 2, Karamatsu Pair

Myoko Suginohara:
210cm, -9°
Gondola, No. 1 Romance, No. 2 high-speed

Seki Onsen:
250cm, -5°

Myoko Ski Park:
275cm, -1°

Kyukamura Myoko:
220cm, 0°
Runrun Pair Lift

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

180cm, -1°
No. 1, No. 2 Quad, Super Quad, No. 11, No. 12, No. 15   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Friday 26th December 2014, 9:10am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: 180cm
The snow clouds remain over Hakuba this morning.

It's a cold start to the day with light snow lazily falling from the skies as I sit here writing this report. A thin layer of snow at base with ski-jo generally reporting around 10cm of fresh on the slopes this morning.

Hakuba Cortina coming up with the most goods and apparently 25cm on the upper areas over there.

We are expecting milder weather patterns to move in by tomorrow and perhaps even the weekend will see sunny conditions in the region. Bring a camera!

The 'Nighta' situation

This information is mentioned in the area below for each of the resorts but I thought I would mention the options available for 'night skiing'. Great fun when the conditions are right - a bit like an ice-skating rink when they're not. Time it well though and it can be fantastic.

Hakuba Goryu and Hakuba Cortina are open for floodlit nighta every day until 31st March.

The night skiing at Happo-one will begin from tomorrow and then be open every day until the middle of March.

Nighta at Kashiyamari is every day until 15th March (*sorry, I had that down as until 31st March in the report until today - my mistake).

At Tsugaike Kogen there is night skiing from tomorrow until 1st January and then mainly on Saturdays.

There is no nighta at the Hakuba 47, Hakuba Norikura Onsen and Hakuba Iwatake resort areas.


Official snow depth numbers and operations as of 26th December 2014. Subject to change during the day:

Hakuba Goryu:
Reporting 20cm of new snowfall at Alps Daira, 5cm on Toomi.
All lifts operating except Alps Daira 2&4 and Toomi Number 2 Pair lift.
All courses open except Adventure Course.
Night skiing at Toomi every day until 31st March.

- Alps Daira - 275cm
- Toomi - 180cm
- Iimori - 150cm


Hakuba 47:
Reporting 5cm of fresh this morning.
All courses open.
Tree Riding Zone not open yet.

- Upper - 250cm
- Lower - 135cm


Reporting 10cm of fresh snow this morning.
Kokusai Number 1 Pair lift still out of action due to damage to the snow nets - they hope to have it fixed up before the end of the year.
Almost all areas of Happo-one are now open. The top Grad Quad lift is now open.
Nakiyama night skiing will start from tomorrow (27th December) from 5pm until 9pm.
Happo Banks The Snow Park yet to open.

- Usagidaira - 240cm
- Nakiyama - 120cm
- Sakka - 120cm


Hakuba Cortina:
Reporting 25cm of new snowfall on upper areas and 15cm on lower areas.
Resort now mostly open.
Night skiing every day until 31st March.

- Upper - 320cm
- Lower - 210cm


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; after that mostly Saturdays.

- Tsuga-no-mori - 275cm
- Maruyama - 145cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka - 180cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Reporting 10cm of fresh snowfall.
Resort is mostly open, still a number of runs yet to open though.

- Upper - 210cm
- Lower - 120cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Resort is mostly open.

- 230cm


All areas now open.
Night skiing every day until 15th March.

- 160cm   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Friday 26th December 2014, 9:10am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: 90cm
Looks like a cracker today with plenty of sunshine against blue sky with some clouds here and there. Dont be fooled by the sunshine though, as the temperatures are really cold with -14c recorded at the top of the resort this morning. The recent snow falls combined with more terrain opening up means that the resort is kicking off into full winter mode, and the skiing on the fresh light powder quickly reminds us as to what the Furano experience is all about. There are still quite a few slopes with stones getting churned up, but other than that conditions are great. Family and Junior courses in Kitanomine opened yesterday and were immediately enjoyed by the beginner and intermediate crowds. Today's news is that the Furano Zone Downhill Romance #3 chair will open at 10am giving advanced skiers access to the steeper terrain on Panorama Course.   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Friday 26th December 2014, 9:14am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 50cm
Snow depth: 190cm
You want half a metre of fresh snow? You got it!

Madarao reporting 40-50cm of fresh on the mountain this morning. I reckon it might even be more with what fell yesterday, but whichever way you look at it it's just lots of fresh powder to play in.

Good and cold as well this morning so get wrapped up and face mask time to make the most of it all.

Not much more to say really. Conditions should be top notch.

Weekend ahead and sun is forecast for tomorrow and Sunday, with it set to be not quite as cold.

Couldn't ask for more really. Enjoy!


Lifts open:

Number 1 lift
Number 2 quad lift
Super quad lift
Number 11 lift
Number 12 lift
Number 13 lift
Number 15 lift
Moving Walkway
Kids Park
Freeride Park

Tree Run Courses should be open today

Night skiing at Madarao from 27th December until 3rd January; 11th January; every Saturday until 21st March 2015


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

Zao Now!

Friday 26th December 2014, 9:42am
Weather conditions: Cloud, poor visibility
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 180cm
More snow.

Around another 10cm of fresh as winds howl and it continues to fall. Doesn't seem to be affecting lifts though but visibility is poor (very poor) out on the mountain this morning.

The webcam isn't really showing much many days is it really?!

It will be good to have one of those rare blue sky days soon. Perhaps tomorrow, with a high chance of clear skies on Sunday.

It should be a good weekend.


Official snow depths (26th December 14):

Utopia: 170cm
Chuo: 180cm
Paradise: 170cm
Uwanodai: 135cm


Night skiing operations at Zao this season

Uwanodai area:
Daily 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 ...

Minakami Now!

Friday 26th December 2014, 9:51am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 30cm
Snow depth: 240cm
The snow continues to fall in Minakami with a total new snow depth of 30 cm at the valley level and 50 cm in the upper mountains. The forecast predicts moderate snow and strong wind through the end of the day.

For the weekend we can expect clear sunny days.

Tenjindaira is closed today due to the wind. Other ski fields are operating normally for the moment.


New snowfall

Valley 30cm
Upper Mountains 50cm


Snow depth

Valley 50cm
Upper Mountains 240cm   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Friday 26th December 2014, 9:57am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 112cm
Snow continues to fall over Shiga Kogen and another 10-15cm on the slopes.

It's very cold this morning with a northerly moderate wind blowing.

Clearer skies and slightly milder conditions expected for the weekend. The sun might even make an appearance.

Conditions should be great for the weekend though.


Bit of a change - from today we are changing the "snow depth" number that is recorded in the report to be the one reported by Kumanoyu resort area - reason being that they seem to be the most active in updating the number each day. Previously it was taken from Maruike. The "new snowfall" will remain the generally observed number.


Resort areas status with official snow depths:

Okushiga Kogen:
Almost all open (note: skiers only resort area)

Almost all open

Ichinose Family
Most open

Ichinose Yamanokami:

Ichinose Diamond:

Takamagahara Mammoth:




Most open

Happo Bundaraia:

Sun Valley:



Open (note: skiers only resort area)

Most open.
Shibutoge now 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 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 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