Snow and weather reports posted on Wednesday 20th January 2021

Niseko Now!

Tuesday 27th March 2012, 7:26am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Another morning with some new snow to report. Still winter is with us as we hold onto it with a tight grip. Another 10cm overnight will make for some great conditions out there today.

Yesterday we saw it all weather wise. We saw times of heavy snow and times of sun.

It would be a great day to get out into the backcountry, but definitely approach most slopes with caution. It will take a bit for the new snow to completely settle on steeper slopes. So a heads up out there will make for a fun day. As it warms up, it could prove to be another degree of danger.

The forecast is looking warm. We may even see some rain. Hopefully that is not the case, but we will have to wait and see. It's still uncertain at the moment (isn't it always!)


An update on the snowfall in Kutchan for the month of March. So far, the number is standing at 72cm. That is compared with 201cm in March last season and 214cm in the March of the 09/10 season... and just 38cm in the 08/09 season. So not a huge amount by any means, but not the worst. We have a few more days to try and bring that up a bit more. As always, please remember this is snowfall recorded in the town of Kutchan - and not on the mountains themselves which will always be on the receiving end of (sometimes considerably) more. Information provided just for fun and comparisons.


Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 425cm
Bottom - 200cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 450cm
Bottom - 200cm

Top - 480cm
Bottom - 200cm

Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6am: -4C, 15cm of broken particle snow in the last 12 hours. Coastal data: NW7m/s at Benkei cape, 1.2m waves and 1012hPa at Kamui cape. Annupuri peak: NW17.4m/s, -12C. Annupuri 1000m: 480cm snowdepth.
Snowfall transition: A northwesterly wind and snow is continuing after the low-pressure system passed and has made snowdrifts to develop up to 50cm in leeward slopes and is still developing on top of March 25th layer in 1000m coordinate E6 Backbowl sidewalls’ and G7 Higashione cornice face’s steep slopes.
Hazard evaluation: The snow under treeline is good and avalanche risk is low, however 50cm surface slab slides are likely to occur in above mentioned slopes.
Avalanches happen in slopes with heavy snowdrift loads. Caution in required in leeward steep slopes, knolls and cornice slopes during and just after snowstorms. Avalanche occurring does not depend on the season, they happen when the conditions are right and can crack in a wide area instantly. Whether it’s a big or small slide, it is always powerful enough to cause serious consequences.
Gates: Peak gates are scheduled to open at 9:30am. Please follow the ski patrol’s instructions when stepping out of the gates. Stay away from gullies and valley bottoms to avoid accidents. Always remember that outside the gates is not the within the resort anymore. Have a nice day. Moiwa Gate 6 has been removed as the lift operations terminated.   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Tuesday 27th March 2012, 7:51am
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Well yesterday was a very fine one for anyone out on the slopes with some nice new snowfall to enjoy. It didn't feel like late March, that's for sure.... more like mid-season. Snowfall continued in the morning and eased off later in the day but we probably got the best part of 20cm in town areas and there will have been more on the slopes of course.

Another bit of a coating this morning to enjoy and it's going to be a great day out there - the sun is out and we have blue skies early on. It is going to be clear and sunny today with temperatures rising to around +6 degrees later on this afternoon. Fine weather on the cards for the rest of the week really and look to Friday and Saturday for some really warm days - we might even see temperatures in the double digits. We might also see more snow after that as temps drop for the weekend again. Anyway that's a fair while off so we'll just have to see.

For now, a very fine day to be out on the mountains today.

Official resort snow depths @ Tuesday 27th 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:
200cm   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Tuesday 27th March 2012, 8:16am
Weather conditions: Sun, clear
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
It's all change again today.

Yesterday was plenty winter-like and some really great conditions out on the slopes - I don't get out enough in a season but had a fine morning yesterday.

This morning it is much milder, the sun is out and it's going to be a fine and clear day. It's another of those not-a-cloud-in-the-sky kind of mornings. There's still a bit of a frosted look on trees and some white on the roads but I would guess that fairly soon today that might change as the sun does it's work.

We should see mild conditions over the next few days, and in particularly on Thursday and Friday. The fantastic news is that beyond that into next weekend we may well get to see more decent snowfall. That would be just the ticket.

In the meantime, nice conditions remain out there and a wonderful day to be outdoors sliding down the slopes.

Nighta operations this evening planned at the following resort area:

- Ichinose Family

Official resort snow depths as of Tuesday 27th March 2012 AM:

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

Madarao Now!

Tuesday 27th March 2012, 8:20am
Weather conditions: Clear skies, sun
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Fine conditions yesterday in terms of snow, and this morning the clouds have totally cleared up and we have bright blue skies and the sun shining down on Madarao. Stunner of a morning it is. A fairly cold start with temps around -4 reported by the resort and more like just under 0 in the base area though with the sun out I would expect it to warm up a bit today. Indeed, we have warmer conditions forecast for this week.

We may well see the season out in real style as well as we have snow forecast for the weekend!


Lifts currently operating:
Super Quad
No 2 Quad
No 1 lift
Official snow depth:
240cm   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Tuesday 27th March 2012, 8:33am
Weather conditions: Sun, clear skies
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Is it really the end of March? Yesterday, I had to pinch myself. More snow came and it was nice and light. It felt like we were back in mid-season and there were some great snow conditions out there at both Naeba and Kagura, the pick surely being Kagura. Very nice. We even got to see some sun in the afternoon for a while. Let's remember the goodies that March can still bring us. More for April please!

Well this morning the sun is out in style and there are no clouds to be seen. Beautiful blue skies. Some lovely snow conditions remaining to be found. Just a light wind, a bit stronger in places higher up.

Get out there if you possibly can!

Things are due to warm up as the week moves on but then get cold again for the weekend ---- and if we are to believe the forecast we might see another generous dumping of snow at the weekend. Oh yes, please.

Resort Operations, 27th March (subject to change)
Should be open as normal. Splash Bowl and Mens Slalom now closed. Some courses affected by visibility.
Open as normal.
Official snow depths

   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Tuesday 27th March 2012, 8:40am
Weather conditions: Bluebird
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
You would have been forgiven for thinking that it was January, not nearly April, last night. It was nice and cold, with flakes of snow gently drifting down and a few stars peeking out (I'm feeling a bit poetic, actually, about this). We probably got only 5cm or so, but once again it has made everything perfectly white. Add on clear blue skies, and, well, you get the idea. I pity the people who must be in an office today.

So with the trees all white, it's even more a shame that the ski areas are only running some of their lifts. I'm told it's because people in the big cities stop thinking about skiing once things get warm locally and stop heading out, but on a year like this it just doesn't make sense.... Sorry for the rant, but you look at the window and see those mountains, and wonder why the slopes aren't just packed with people.

Akakura Onsen: most lifts are running; night skiing has ended
Akakan: Sky Cable Gondola and No. 3 lifts are running
Ikenotaira: Shirakaba Capsule, Ikenotaira Quad and AB Dai 1 lifts
Suginohara: Closed until the weekend, then the season is over. With 260cm still on the ground....
Seki Onsen: You can't stop with 580cm of snow on the ground
Myoko Ski Park: Open
Kyukamura: Open
Tangram No. 3 and No. 5 lifts open until April 1
Madarao: Open

Current Official Snow Depths

Akakura Onsen:

Akakan (Akakura Kanko):


Myoko Suginohara:

Seki Onsen:

Myoko Ski Park:



240cm   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Tuesday 27th March 2012, 8:52am
Weather conditions: Clear, blue skies
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
What can I say? :)

Yesterday was one of those very special days in late season when we get a lot of new snow and snow conditions are set back to peak season. I have even heard some people say it was one of the best days of the season. Whether it was that good or not, I'll leave it up to the discussions but it sure was an excellent day on the slopes of Hakuba and Otari. Those lucky enough to have timed their trips for a day yesterday - and indeed today - will be leaving with big smiles and some very fine memories.

There was so much (somewhat unexpected) heavy snowfall that things like Hakuba 47's park being closed happened.

So lots of fresh snow to play in and it was great light snow too.

By the end of lifts yesterday it ended up being just cloudy - with a bit more snow reported at some resorts up top overnight - but this morning the clouds have moved and it is clear, bright, blue and sunny out there. Just some small wispy clouds on the tops of some of the mountains. Not much of a wind at all, a temperature of -2 degrees in village but that will likely rise to around +5 degrees later in the day. Maybe a bit of snow tomorrow and then warmer temperatures late in the week. But... get this... snow may well be with us next weekend once again and potentially more decent snowfall. We'll just have to see about that but for now there are some fine, fine conditions to enjoy.



Avalanche danger is moderate around tree line and considerable on alpine level. Its is beautiful calm day and I think most of the area is stable enough, but like I said, be careful with those wind slabs on north side. Plus, because of this radiation, snow stability will change quickly and dramatically in some spots. Look where you take turns, and think what's the exposure related to sun light from this morning.


Official snow depths and operations @ Tuesday 27th March 2012 AM:

Hakuba Goryu:
Goryu reporting another 10cm of new snowfall on the upper slopes and just a dusting down below. All lifts apart from No2 and No4 pairs operating.
Official snow depths:
Alps daira - 285cm;
Toomi - 150cm;
Iimori - 120cm

Hakuba 47:
47 reporting 2cm of new snowfall on upper slopes this morning. All lifts apart from Line D operating.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 280cm
Lower - 165cm

All lifts apart from Usagidaira pair, Happo No1, Nakiyama No2, Central Pair, Shirakaba No1 and No2 and Sakka No3 open. All course areas still accessible.
Official snow depth:
Usagidaira - 260cm;
Sakka - 90cm;
Nakiyama - 90cm.

Tsugaike Kogen:
Official snow depth:
Upper slopes - 320cm
Champion - 240cm

Hakuba Cortina:
All planned lifts and courses part open. No2 and No4 lifts remain operating and some courses open.
Official snow depth:
Upper - 380cm
Lower - 250cm

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 - 220cm
Lower - 95cm

Hakuba Sanosaka:

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

Minakami Now!

Tuesday 27th March 2012, 9:00am
Weather conditions: Clear
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Stunning spring day in Minakami this morning - a few wispy clouds around but mainly clear blue skies as far as the eye can see. It is still pretty cold out there though and there is a strong wind around which could cause some disruptions today. The low temperatures have kept the snow in great condition though it will soften up a bit later.

The forecast was spot on for today and if it is to be believed tomorrow will be overcast again with the possibility of some light snow. Thursday will be another clear day with the temperature getting into double digits for Thursday/Friday. It will drop again for the weekend with the possibility of some more light snow though there could be some strong winds around throughout the week.   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Tuesday 27th March 2012, 9:09am
Weather conditions: Cloud, light snow up top
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Since yesterday we have seen more snowfall and I would say up to 15cm or so in places. It has eased off this morning and it is generally cloudy with a few breaks in those clouds over the village, but I hear still snowing and poorer visibility up at the top of the resort. Right now I can just about see the top through the clouds up there.

A number of lifts will be having their last runs this coming weekend at Zao and I will post that information later on today or tomorrow morning.

Official snow depths (27th March 12)
Utopia - 260cm
Chuo - 220cm
Paradise - 240cm
Uwanodai - 165cm

Operating lifts (27th March 12)
All Ropeways (Skycable, Zao Chuo Ropeway, Zao Ropeway) operating.
Most lifts remain operating.
All the runs at Zao scheduled to be open.


Here is the latest information on planned lift operations at Zao this spring season - of course, subject to change:

Uwanodai Area
Ski Cable - open all year but closed from 7th May for maintenance
Onsen No1 pair lift - until 8th April
Onsen No2 quad lift - until 8th April
Onsen No4 quad lift - until 1st April
Kokutai pair lift - now finished for season
Ryuzan pair - now finished for season
Karamatsu pair - now finished for season
Sunrise pair lift - until 1st April
Zao Ropeway - open all year (but closed for maintenance 9th-25th April except Saturdays and Sundays)
Nakamori No1 triple lift - until 1st April
Nakamori No2 pair lift - until 1st April

Chuo and Paradise Area
Chuo No1 pair lift - until 6th May (but only Sat/Sun from 9th April until 27th April)
Chuo No2 pair lift - until 6th May
Katakai triple lift - until 6th May (but only Sat/Sun from 9th April until 27th April)
Mikaeri pair lift - until 1st April
Diamond No1 pair lift - until 1st April
Diamond No2 pair lift - until 1st April
Paradise No1 pair lift - until 6th May (but only Sat/Sun from 9th April until 27th April)
Paradise No3 pair lift - now finished for season
Shobunuma No2 pair lift - until 8th April

Yokokura and Utopia area
Zao Ropeway - open all year (closed for maintenance 7th-18th May)
Yokokura No1 pair lift - until 8th April
Yokokura No2 pair lift - now closed for season
Astraea No1 pair lift - until 1st April
Astraea No2 pair lift - until 1st April
Astraea No3 pair lift - until 8th April
Utopia No1 pair lift - now closed for season
Utopia No2 pair lift - dependent on snow but latest until 6th May

Omori and Kurohime Area
Omori quad - until 1st April
Kurohime No1 quad - dependent on snow
Kurohime No2 quad - now closed for season   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Tuesday 27th March 2012, 9:35am
Weather conditions: Sunny
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
Winter continues here in Furano and we have recieved another 5cm of light dry powder overnight. The quality of the late season skiing is just unbelievable, and with the snow as good as it is today, and the sun and blue sky, the clever people will be out there enjoying themselves. It looks like it could be a very good weekend with snow on the radar from Friday through Sunday.

The proposed closing date for Furano Zone is May 6.
   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Tuesday 27th March 2012, 10:51am
Weather conditions: Blue bird
New snowfall: --
Snow depth: --
What a day yesterday in Nozawa Onsen. You could see many smiling faces all over the ski resort with knee deep powder even on some of the groomers. A heavy fall of snow in the morning gave way to a cloudless blue sky in the afternoon. Fantastic views from Yamabiko and Uenotaira. On top the temperatures remained cold through out the day and guaranteed wonderful snow conditions.

Today blue sky as far as you can see in Nozawa. As temperatures are on the rise down in the village, still in the minus further up. Great conditions on and off the slopes. Sun bathing is definitely on the lunch menu here in Nozawa today. Make the most out of it and do not forget your sun cream.

Still looks that we get some fresh snow in tomorrow before the temperatures are on the rise again Thursday, Friday. But the snow won't be far away with heavy snow fall on the forecast Saturday night.


From Monday next week, a number of lifts and lower courses will be closed for the season - yes, even with all the snow! - but upper slopes will be going strong until May 6th (and there's always the chance they might move that to later with all the snow). So, Sunday will be the last of the "whole mountain open" days this season. Still loads of riding to do though.

The following lifts will have their last day of the season this comiong Sunday (unless otherwise noted):

Higake Gondola
Paradise Four (but re-opening for wekeends and Golden Week)
Shinyu pair
Kandahar pair
Higake triple (open until 2nd)
Higake No2 pair AB
Nagasaka triple
Nagasaka four
Nagasaka gondola connecting pair
Karasawa pair
Mizunashi triple
Utopia pair
Challenge pair
Yunomine pair
'Yu' road (open until 2nd)

Subject to change!

Current Official Snow Depths Numbers:




Current Lift operations:
Whole resort is operational

Current courses open:
All open   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Appi Kogen Now
20th Jan, 15:31
Zao Now
20th Jan, 10:30
Shiga Kogen Now
20th Jan, 9:30
Kiroro Now
20th Jan, 9:12
Yuzawa Now
20th Jan, 9:11am
Hakuba Now
20th Jan, 9:01
Nozawa Onsen Now
20th Jan, 8:51am
Madarao Now
20th Jan, 8:41
Myoko Now
20th Jan, 8:41am
Niseko Now
20th Jan, 8:35
Geto Kogen Now
20th Jan, 7:51
Furano Now
20th Jan, 7:22
Minakami Now
13th Jan, 10:10am
Naeba Now
27th Nov, 11:21am
Aizu Bandai Now
26th Nov, 11:22