Snow and weather reports posted on Friday 17th April 2020

Madarao Now!

Wednesday 31st December 2014, 8:30am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy, some blue sky
New snowfall: 15cm
Snow depth: 190cm
Morning. So here we are already at the last day of the year.

Looks like it should be a fun one. Will surely get rather busy out there but Madarao Kogen is reporting 15-25cm of snow overnight and yes I can vouch for that though it's keeping fairly mild and there's some sky on show this morning with clearings in the cloud. Let's hope it stays clearer for the celebrations tonight - late nighta, sake, fireworks, etc - though snow might be falling by tonight with that decent snowfall still expected overnight.

So we should be fresh once again for New Years Day.

And I will let you know tomorrow morning. I'll try not to be too late! ;)

Have fun!


Lifts open:

Number 1 lift
Number 2 quad lift
Number 3A
Number 5
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 ...

Niseko Now!

Wednesday 31st December 2014, 8:34am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 40cm
Snow depth: 170cm
Hello and good morning from Niseko on this New Years Eve morning.

I was very much hoping that I wouldn't have to report 'no new snowfall' again today, and I am very happy that I don't have to.

Yes, Niseko bounces back in style as it so often does - I have the best part of 40cm of fresh snow to report this morning. No doubt many of the folk here in Niseko will already be out lining up for the lifts!

It's suitably cold and the snow is suitably light and fluffy. Oh yes. What better way to slide out the year! It should be a good day.

So that's it for 2015. We have easily 'beaten' the Kutchan snowfall number for December 2013 - currently 373cm for the month compared with 258cm last year - and that number is actually more than we have had for quite a few years in the month of December. With some more snowfall due today and overnight there'll be some added on to that as well.

Let us hope that the rest of the season continues in a similar way.

New Years Day is forecast to be cold and snowy.

Enjoy the last day of the season and if you are in Niseko the events going on here. I will see you on the other side.


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

Niseko Grand Hirafu:
Looks set to be open as planned, though King Number 3 lift running at reduced speed.

Niseko Hanazono:
Looks set to be open as planned, though top lift running at reduced speed.

Niseko Village:
Looks set to be open as planned.

Niseko Annupuri:
Looks set to be open as planned.


Niseko Avalanche Report

Moiwa base: -5C, 30cm of snowfall in 12 hours. Moiwa 800m: NW10m/s, -7C, 40cm of fresh. Annupuri 1150m: W8m/s, -7C, 40cm snowfall. Hirafu 1000m:W5m/s, -7C, 45cm snowfall. Coastal data: Benkei cape NW11m/s, Kamui cape NW8m/s, 1004hPa, 0.9m waves.

Thick snowclouds flowed in early morning and generated heavy snowfall. The wind is relatively calm and there are no notable developments of snowdrifts. A distinct layer (Dec 28th) is present in the snowpack, but looking at the snowfall transition and other observations, the avalanche risk remains low.
All gates except no.2, 3 and 9 will open today. Listen to the ski patrols’ advice before stepping out of the gates. Always use gates and never duck ropes.
Visibility is bad, the surface is hard to read and the powder is deep. Carelessly following other people’s tracks could end up in unexpected results. Better stay close to the courses. Beware of falling head first and getting suffocated. There never is 100% safety in the mountains. Always think safety first.


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

Grand Hirafu / Hanazono:
Top - 290cm
Base - 170cm

Niseko Village:
Top - 210cm
Base - 150cm

Niseko Annupuri:
Top - 200cm
Base - 150cm


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 ...

Yuzawa Now!

Wednesday 31st December 2014, 8:34am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy, bit of sun in Naeba area
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 150cm
Unfortunately it did rain yesterday and quite a bit at times as well. Sleet and snow at times and in higher elevations but a real wet feeling to the day. We were hoping for a layer of fresh snow to go on top of that this morning, but that hasn't really happened. Kagura were expecting 10-20cm, but got 5cm. Down herew at town levels it's more like a dusting, at best.

It's a generally cloudy start to the day, but looks like there's some blue sky over Naeba and Kagura areas and a bit of sun early on.

So as you know we have been eyeing up this heavy snow storm that has been forecast for, well, tonight and tomorrow really. Will it happen? Well, the forecasts are still pointing to that happening and for me to be able to start 2015 off with a nice report tomorrow morning of a thick new layer of snow. So fingers crossed that is what will happen.

Another relatively mild day forecast, another chance of rain in there, before getting into the snow later on tonight.

After that amazing first chunk of December, it's got to be said that it has been something of a disappointing end. Still, loads of snow still around we just need the fresh layers. And it does look like the new year should start off in a good place.

So, until tomorrow then. Enjoy your New Years Eve wherever you may be. See you in 2015.


Official snow depths:

GALA Yuzawa:
Ishiuchi Maruyama:
Joetsu Kokusai:
Kandatsu Kogen:
Maiko Snow Resort:
NASPA Ski Garden:
Yuzawa Kogen:
230cm (Kogen)
180cm (Nunoba)
Yuzawa Nakazato:


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 ...

Hakuba Now!

Wednesday 31st December 2014, 9:01am
Weather conditions: Cloud, poor visibility
New snowfall: 20cm
Snow depth: 180cm
Some varying reports on snowfall this morning from around the valley and it looks like Hakuba 47 are reporting the most. Lots of snow higher up it would seem.

Differing numbers aside, let's just go with.... lots. Poor visibility out. Safety first.

A heavier kind of snow yesterday, but lighter snow has fallen overnight so it should make for very good conditions this morning. It was only snowing lightly as well when I got up this morning but coming down with purpose once again now. Good to fill in the tracks, not so good if you want the views as well. One local forecast says it should be sunny this afternoon. Doesn't feel like it will as things are now, but you never know.

Heavy snow is forecast for tonight into tomorrow. It should be getting much colder as well... those who have arrived in Hakuba might be tricked into thinking that it doesn't get that cold with the curiously and relatively mild conditions at the moment even with the snow coming down. It's set to drop tonight into tomorrow quite considerably.

Looks like it's going to be a very snowy New Year and a fine way to see out the old and in with the new. Start how we mean to carry on, I say!

I hope that you enjoy your last day of 2014.

I have 'duties' tonight (honest!) which means that my report tomorrow may well be late, for which I apologise in advance.


Remember, I'm updating the info below every day as much as possible so keep your eye on those bits for resort-specific info!


Official snow depth numbers and operations as of 31st December 2014. Subject to change during the day:

Hakuba Goryu:
Reporting 40cm of new snowfall at Alps Daira and 20cm at Toomi.
All lifts operating. All courses open except Adventure Course.
Night skiing at Toomi every day until 31st March.
Early morning skiing from 6:30am until 4th January (and then on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays).

- Alps Daira - 290cm
- Toomi - 180cm
- Iimori - 160cm


Hakuba 47:
Reported 50cm of 'heavy' snow during the day yesterday by Line C. This morning reporting 5-10cm of fresh wet snow on lower slopes and up to 35cm of fresh powder snow on upper areas. Summary: Lots.
All courses open.
Tree Riding Zone open.

- Upper - 280cm
- Lower - 150cm


Reporting 20cm of fresh snowfall at Riesen, 10+cm at base.
Countdown Event from 10pm tonight at Nakiyama, including free night skiing from 10pm (don't ride drunk!) and then all sorts of events until we clock into 2015.
Night skiing at Nakiyama every day until mid March.
Happo Banks The Snow Park yet to open.

- Usagidaira - 270cm
- Nakiyama - 140cm
- Sakka - 120cm


Hakuba Cortina:
Reporting 30-40cm of new snowfall since yesterday.
Night skiing every day until 31st March.

- Upper - 310cm
- Lower - 210cm


Tsugaike Kogen:
Next night skiing through 1st January in both Kane-no-naru-oka and Karamatsu-Shirakaba areas; after that mostly Saturdays.

- Tsuga-no-mori - 309cm
- Maruyama - 160cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka - 185cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field:
Reporting 10-20cm of fresh snowfall.
Most of Iwatake is now open.

- Upper - 230cm
- Lower - 130cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen:
Reporting 20cm of fresh snowfall.
Resort is mostly open.

- 230cm


All areas now open.
Fireworks from 9pm tonight.
Night skiing every day until 15th March.

- 190cm   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Wednesday 31st December 2014, 9:15am
Weather conditions: The sun is peeking out from time to time from the east/southeast; dark over the mountains (a good sign)
New snowfall: 20cm
Snow depth: 260cm
Some really nice snow through the day yesterday — a little wet down low, drier and nice higher up.

Not a huge accumulation so far - maybe 20cm of fresh - but it looks like some heavy snow is moving in, from tonight into tomorrow.

Don't know if it will be the "historic" snowfall that the media was predicting earlier in the week (and historic here could be scary big snow), but looks like a good serving in time for your New Year's enjoyment.

It's also a little bit warmer today, although that also looks likely to change soon!


Akakura Kanko:
260cm, -2°

Akakura Onsen:
190cm, 0°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
210cm, 0°

Myoko Suginohara:
200cm, -5°

Seki Onsen:
300cm, -3°

Myoko Ski Park:
225cm, 0°

Kyukamura Myoko:
280cm, 1°

180cm, -2°

190cm, -1°
   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Wednesday 31st December 2014, 9:20am
Weather conditions: Clear
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 210cm
It's a warm and clear morning here in Minakami.

From tonight the forecast predicts heavy snowfall which may last until the start of the weekend. The freshen up will be most welcome.

Come prepared!


New snowfall

Valley 0cm
Upper Mountains 0cm


Snow depth

Valley 5cm
Upper Mountains 210cm   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Wednesday 31st December 2014, 9:21am
Weather conditions: Foggy
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 100cm
It will be an amazing powder morning with 10cm of pow layering the town and plenty more up on the mountain. There is no wind and it is still snowing moderately. Visibility is a bit limited with early morning fog surrounding the mountain, but this may lift as the morning progresses.   Read more ...

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Wednesday 31st December 2014, 9:33am
Weather conditions: Cloud, fog
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: 175cm
Can hardly see anything out of the window here this morning, there's a thick fog out there.

After a wet day yesterday the resort is actually reporting fresh snow high up with up to 20cm on the upper slopes apparently. The place to be for sure.

We are still expecting heavy snow tonight and for the snowy skies to continue through all of tomorrow. It should be noticeably colder as well.

I haven't been myself to look, but according to the resort this morning the Kamoshika Course is now open.

Nighta open until 11:30pm this evening to be followed by sake, hot wine until midnight and then fireworks ---- weather conditions permitting I suppose. Would be nice if they could go ahead with plans.

Whatever, enjoy New Years Eve and I'll be back in 2015.


Lift operations for the New Year. On the following days, lifts are scheduled to open 30 minutes earlier than usual with the lower lifts starting at 8am and the Gondolas starting up at 8:10am:

Wednesday 31st December
Friday 2nd December
Saturday 3rd December


Fresh snow to report this morning since yesterday afternoon:

Yamabiko - 10cm
Uenotaira - 20cm

Official snow depths:

Yamabiko - 285cm
Uenotaira - 260cm
Hikage - 180cm
Nagasaka - 175cm
Karasawa - 160cm


Courses open:

All courses are now open except:

Grand Prix course
Jumping Course
Challenge 39
Kandahara West


Lifts open (subject to weather conditions):

All lifts operating


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

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


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

Zao Now!

Wednesday 31st December 2014, 9:45am
Weather conditions: Cloud
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: 180cm
It's another day when visibility is poor, though we do have another 10+cm of snow on the ground. Kind of heavy wet snow rather than light and fluffy but with lots of areas suffering from rain yesterday it's preferred!

Snow is expected to continue today through tomorrow and wind will probably not be too far away in the coming few days.

It's remaining quite mild today but for the first day of the new year the temps are set to plummet for at least a few days.

Until tomorrow!


Official snow depths (31st December 14):

Utopia: 170cm
Chuo: 180cm
Paradise: 160cm
Uwanodai: 135cm

Zao Onsen is fully open.


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 ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Wednesday 31st December 2014, 10:30am
Weather conditions: Mostly cloudy but actually clearing up
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: 120cm
A dusting of new snow is about all we had this morning but it was snowing early on but... it's actually quite nice now, here in Maruike anyway. Clouds cleared a bit and some sky to see, the sun even peeking through as well.

Calm before the storm perhaps as we are still being told to expect heavy snow tonight over a wide region along with a return to some extremely cold temperatures and a real mid-winter feel.

There should be lots of fresh for the new year.

If you plan to be here, be sure to come prepared for the conditions extra layers at hand.

See you next year!


Resort areas status with official snow depths:

Okushiga Kogen:
Open (note: skiers only resort area)

Open apart from Expert Course

Ichinose Family
Most open

Ichinose Yamanokami:

Ichinose Diamond:

Takamagahara Mammoth:




Most open

Happo Bundaraia:

Sun Valley:



Open (note: skiers only resort area)

Yokoteyama & Shibutoge:
Open except for Jumbo Course.


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