Snow and weather reports posted on Thursday 5th December 2019

Yuzawa Now!

Wednesday 2nd December 2015, 8:05am
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
It is a beautiful morning in the region - as we were expecting.

A bit of frost around after a colder overnight, but the sun is out from early on with clear blue skies and temperatures expected to rise to as high as 14 degrees maybe in town this afternoon.

We will probably get rained on tomorrow in town where it will keep fairly mild though not as warm as today is going to be, but by evening in particular it should be snowing and then get colder for Friday when we might be graced with snowflakes falling down to town. Alas it doesn't look like it'll be long-lasting with more sun due on the other side.


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

Currently part open:
Kagura (Mitsumata) - the lower part of the main Kagura area (600m, real snow + artificial) is open and a 1100m run of Mitsumata is open (snow mats)

Saturday 5th December:
Joetsu Kokusai

Saturday 12th December:
Kaguta (Tashiro)
Maiko Snow Resort

Friday 18th December:
Ishiuchi Maruyama
Muikamachi Ski Resort
Yuzawa Nakazato
Yuzawa Park

Saturday 19th December:
GALA Yuzawa
Kandatsu Kogen
Ludens Yuzawa
Nakazato Snow Wood
Muimamachi Hakkaisan
NASPA Ski Garden
Yuzawa Kogen

Thursday 24th December:
Chateaux Shiozawa

Friday 25th December:

Saturday 26th December:
Ishiuchi Hanaoka
Mt Granview


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

Niseko Now!

Wednesday 2nd December 2015, 8:13am
Weather conditions: Lots of cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 40cm
Morning from the Niseko area on this second day of the season.

I went up there yesterday on the Center Course at Niseko Grand Hirafu, thought I needed to get in my first ski of the season. For research purposes of course! It was fun. Obviously there is not that much snow around yet with lots of things popping up from the ground but generally the snow cover was decent enough.

There has been a slight dusting of snow since yesterday, probably just a few mm worth. There is quite a lot of cloud around at the moment, more than there was when I got up earlier on. Forecast for the day is cloud with a high of about 3 degrees, with a chance of some sun as well into the mix. Sadly the mix does not include any snowfall.

The planned limited resort operations today look to be unchanged since yesterday.

Tomorrow will be warming up somewhat - double figure temps in Kutchan perhaps? - but temperatures are then due to take a drop later in the day. Rain is likely before turning into snowfall.

Snow over the weekend? That sounds good, we'll take that please.


Resort specific news as of 8:00am - subject to change during the day

Niseko Grand Hirafu:
Lifts planned to be running - Ace Number 2 Quad Center Four (transport), Ace Number 3

Niseko Village:
Lifts planned to be operating - Community Chair and Banzai Chair

Niseko Annupuri:
Lifts planned to be operating - Annupuri Gondola (transport) and Jumbo Number 3 lift

Niseko HANAZONO Resort:
The Hanazono area plans to open from Saturday 5th December


'Nighta' should be starting on Saturday 12th December 2015


Official resort snow depths:

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 110cm
Base - 40cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 50cm
Base - 20cm

Niseko Annupuri:
Top - -cm
Base - 20cm


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

Hakuba Now!

Wednesday 2nd December 2015, 8:20am
Weather conditions: Lovely and clear
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
It's a chilly frosty early morning here in Hakuba. Beautiful blue skies all round and temperatures are today set to quickly rise to about 10 degrees or even slightly higher here in the village. No fresh snow to report.

There's pretty much no snow down to be found down here now and the snowline is creeping back up the lower mountains, with no doubt more of that happening today.

Tomorrows forecast is for slightly colder conditions than today with rain that will hopefully quickly turn into snowfall and then snow falling on what looks set to be a nice and cold Friday, through into Saturday. Let's hope that is what happens.

As far as I can tell resort operations this morning will remain the same, only with Hakuba 47 once again planning to move the Line E lift.

It was on the news last night about how Japan is generally expecting a 'mild winter' this time round - danto 暖冬 - which is of course somewhat worrying for people like us hoping for huge amounts of snow! Not to worry for the moment though it is of course early days yet.

We'll be following the season day by day so stay with me and let's see how the season progresses.

(Apologies for my slightly muddled wording in the Hakuba 47 info bit below yesterday).


Resorts that are currently at least part open

Hakuba 47:
The base area of Hakuba 47 base is not yet open but the top area of Goryu/47 is open as well as the Hakuba 47 Line E lift. Get up there via the Hakuba Goryu gondola.
2500 yen for adults, 1350 yen for children.
Lifts operating:
Line E should be open today
Official snow depth
Upper: 45cm
Base: 0cm

Hakuba Goryu:
The upper area of Hakuba Goryu is open along with one of the Hakuba 47 lifts.
2500 yen for adults; 1350 yen for children
Lifts operating:
Telecabin Gondola (to get to the open area)
Alps Number 1 pair lift
Official snow depth
Alps: 55cm
Iimori: 0cm
Toomi: 0cm

Hakuba Happo-one:
The Panorama course of Happo-one is now open.
2600 yen for adults; 1600 yen for children
Lifts operating:
Adam Gondola (to get to the open area)
Kokusai Number 3 lift
Panorama pair lift
Official snow depth
Usagidaira: 40cm
Nakiyama: 0cm
Sakka: 0cm

Tsugaike Kogen:
Part of the upper area of Tsugaike Kogen are open.
3500 yen for adults; 2000 yen for children
Lifts operating:
Eve Gondola
Han-no-ki high speed pair lift
Official snow depth
Tsuga-no-mori: 52cm
Maruyama: 0cm

Other planned resort opening dates

12th December:
Hakuba Cortina:

18th December
Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:

Mid December until late March
Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Hakuba Sanosaka:   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Wednesday 2nd December 2015, 8:41am
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
Yesterday there was a lot of cloud around for the morning but it cleared up somewhat in the afternoon.

It is very clear this morning with blue skies and the sun shining down on us early on. It's going to be relatively warm today.

Tomorrow is showing more promise though with temperatures dropping and while it might start off as rain, when things get going it should soon be snowing with Friday set to be cold and hopefully rather snowy. We shall see.

Resort areas that are currently open:

The Kumanoyu area has its Number 2 pair lifts operating and the 600m Number 2 beginner course open - natural snow aided by artificial snow machines.   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Wednesday 2nd December 2015, 8:43am
Weather conditions: Mostly clear and sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
It's kind of difficult not to love a morning like this - even though we really would much, much prefer heavy snowfall!

A chilly overnight and frosty start. The sun is out. There are blue skies all around. Just a bit of cloud here and there.

A thin covering of snow on the slopes just above 1000m though today in particular the local forecast is for rather warm conditions. It will likely warm up to 10-11C here in the village and base areas.

Tomorrow not quite as warm but some rain is due but with a drop in temps forecast for later in the day that should be turning into snowfall and we're hoping for it to be snowing and cold on Friday. Weekly forecast doesn't show the snow to be prolonged though with clearer skies once again due over the weekend.

The resort - and pretty much everyone here - remain on standby. Not much we can do other than wait.

Oh yes, and enjoy eating the local nozawa-na veggies and some local brews.


Official snow depths:

Yamabiko - 0cm
Uenotaira - 0cm
Hikage - 0cm
Nagasaka - 0cm
Karasawa - 0cm



Resort not open yet



Resort not open yet


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

Naeba Now!

Wednesday 2nd December 2015, 9:15am
Weather conditions: Fine conditions
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
Just a quick update with the latest.

A fine morning here as in many regions it seems and temperatures are set to rise, it's going to be quite warm today.

Kagura is currently part open with the lower part of the main course and a mix of natural snow and artificial. Part of the Mitsumata area also remains open with the artificial snow-mats.

Tomorrow should be colder and we are expecting rain and then snowfall going into Friday.

Keep an eye on the Yuzawa Now report for more news from Kagura - that report is now being updated on a daily basis. This Naeba Now report will go daily once Naeba opens... and of course the big data for Naeba opening is Saturday 12th December... 10 days away.


Planned resort opening dates:

Naeba: Saturday 12th December
Kagura (Tashiro Ropeway): Saturday 12th December

   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Wednesday 2nd December 2015, 10:18am
Weather conditions: Mostly clear and sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
A cold night and early morning but the sun is out and shining down on us from early on and it's set to warm up.

Tomorrow should be a bit colder and then followed by snow going into Friday. Lots of it please.

No word yet on opening - it's basically just going to be as soon as there is enough snow.


6 day Zao Onsen snow and weather forecast


Official snow depths (Wednesday 2nd December 15):

Utopia: -cm
Chuo: -cm
Paradise: -cm
Uwanodai: -cm   
Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Wednesday 2nd December 2015, 10:30am
Weather conditions: Clear, sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 0cm
The rafting and canyoning companies have shut their doors, leaves on trees have migrated all over the place and now the waiting game is well and truly on.

First snow at my elevation just below the base station at Tenjin was the night of November 25, but rain yesterday made sure that the dusting was dispatched rather quickly.

From the looks of the upper pistes, snow is there on what is likely a permanent basis but not enough to ride just yet.

No other resorts in Minakami will be open for some time but Tenjin is probably not far off. News from the ropeway is last lifts will be 4pm this year as opposed to 4:30pm last season.

Over and out from Minakami until there is something of note to report!   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Wednesday 2nd December 2015, 10:53am
Weather conditions: Even layer of very bright cloud. Might be burning off.
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: 60cm
Good morning from peaceful Furano

So yesterday I gave an afternoon update (I left the ski resort at midday sharp). Today my observations were made around 8am nearer the resort, and again, now, from Furano town.

It's still around -3C at the Sorachi River, so with our light cloud cover, it would be around -6 at the top of the resort. it's a a bit more than 1000 metres higher than the river.

We've had about 5 centimetres of snow fall on the mountain since my afternoon update yesterday. I now have a good connection on the grooming team who passed that on.

I have asked my groomer buddy to estimate the current base depth up there for us too, but until I hear back we will keep it at 60 centimetres. This is because even with new snowfall (25cm all up in about the last 30 hours) it will be compacting. When I skied yesterday there was light grass showing on one run but on the sides of the piste, the powder was knee deep.

It's bright here today but cloudy. I would not be surprised if it cleared and we got some sunshine but we shall see.

There is no wind, nor was there any this morning. Really still.

Photo 1 is the resort on the Kitanomine Village side, which should be open in 9 days. Exciting...

Photo 2 is the Kitanomine Zone of the resort, taken just on the Furano town side of the Sorachi River. The Furano Zone at the New Prince Hotel side is obscured by that natural looking (no runs cut) mountain to the left.   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Hakuba Now
05th Dec, 17:25pm
Furano Now
05th Dec, 9:50am
Naeba Now
05th Dec, 9:43
Zao Now
05th Dec, 9:34
Shiga Kogen Now
05th Dec, 9:05
Appi Kogen Now
05th Dec, 8:29
Nozawa Onsen Now
05th Dec, 8:23
Geto Kogen Now
05th Dec, 8:22
Aizu Bandai Now
05th Dec, 8:15
Yuzawa Now
05th Dec, 8:14
Niseko Now
05th Dec, 8:03am
Grandeco Now
04th Dec, 17:38am
Madarao Now
04th Dec, 9:09
Minakami Now
01st Dec, 13:47
Myoko Now
30th Nov, 11:01am