Snow and weather reports posted on Wednesday 19th February 2020

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Wednesday 31st January 2018, 7:44am
Weather conditions: Excellent
New snowfall: 22cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning all.

It's a beautiful morning here in Nozawa. Some cloud to be seen but not over our mountain; a bit of low cloud hanging around lower areas, but that will surely disappear quickly.

Local forecast shows possibly snow tonight again but will probably be cloudy/clear during the daytime tomorrow too.

With the snow we got mostly in the morning yesterday as well, it should be a quality time out there. And that is where I am headed right now. I have someone to meet up there you see... don't have much choice. ;)

Wrap up well - it's still cold - and enjoy!


Wednesday 31st January 2018

Fresh snowfall since yesterday (as reported by the resort):

- Yamabiko (1407m): 22cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 13cm
- Hikage (660m): 25cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 25cm
- Karasawa (563m): 15cm

Official snow depth numbers:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 330cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 280cm
- Hikage (660m): 230cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 220cm
- Karasawa (563m): 190cm

Lifts operations:

- All scheduled lifts appear to be operating as normal.
- The Yunomine pair, Mizunashi triple, Challenge pair and Utopia pair lifts usually rested on weekdays.

The following courses either closed (or not fully available):

- Grand Prix
- Kandahar   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Wednesday 31st January 2018, 7:54am
Weather conditions: Clear and sunny over Yuzawa
New snowfall: 15cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning.

So we got more snow yesterday morning and it gradually eased off during the day. By evening there were clearer skies, and this morning we have beautiful clear skies over Yuzawa. It looks like there's some wind out there, but not enough to affect resort operations and otherwise it should be an excellent morning. (While the forecast on our site is spot on, some local forecasts have 'cloud' for this morning and then snow again by late afternoon; though they are certainly wrong with the former part of that! The clouds seem to be lingering over the northern part of Minamiuonuma, but leaving our region out for now).

Maiko Snow Resort aren't reporting any fresh snow, but that's 'from last night'... we got snow during the day which is what I am recording below. I don't have any early numbers from Kagura or Ishiuchi Maruyama either this morning.

We are expecting possibly clearer and calmer weather conditions tomorrow and Friday too, with snow likely to return from the weekend.

The last week has seen a very large amount of snow arrive which has really built up the base. What would be great now is regular topups with some days like today dotted in between!


Images today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Maiko Snow Resort.


Updated: Wednesday 31st January 2018, 8am

Ski resorts in Yuzawa:

GALA Yuzawa
- 330cm

- 235cm

- Kagura area: 350cm
- Mitsumata area: 250cm
- Tashiro area: 300cm

Kandatsu Kogen
- 255cm

- 240cm (base)

NASPA Ski Garden
- 260cm

Yuzawa Kogen
- Top: 280cm
- Base: 230cm

Yuzawa Park
- 190cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
- 200cm


Ski resorts in Minamiuonuma (just to the north of Yuzawa):

Ishiuchi Maruyama
- 320cm

Joetsu Kokusai
- 310cm

Maiko Snow Resort
- Top: 270cm
- Base: 190cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- Closed on Wednesdays until 14th March
- 340cm   Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Wednesday 31st January 2018, 8:06am
Weather conditions: Generally cloudy at the moment
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

There was some fresh snow falling on upper slopes yesterday morning (47 reporting 5cm) and not much of a wind, and by early afternoon the sun was starting to appear at times from the clouds. It remained cloudy but we enjoyed some blue sky and sunshine during the afternoon.

Temperatures are keeping cold so the snow is keeping really good.

This morning there is light snow falling on upper elevations, but no fresh snow to report and generally cloudy conditions. Cloudy with light snow at times seems to be what we can expect today, with perhaps clearer skies due tomorrow and Friday.

Looking forward towards the weekend - it's looking promising for decent snowfall.


Ski resort information on Wednesday 31st January 2018 (at time of writing):

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- Lifts appear to be operating as normal

Courses open:
- All courses should be open as normal

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 370cm
- Usagidaira: 200cm
- Lower: 145cm


Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- Lifts appear to be operating as normal
- The top Alps Number 2/4 pair lifts will be open weekends until 4th Feb; then daily from 10th Feb until 18th March

Courses open:
- All courses should be open as normal

Official snow depth:
- Top: 370cm
- Toomi: 130cm
- Iimori: 95cm


Hakuba 47

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned
- Line D usually operates only when the Gondola is not operating

Courses open:
- All main courses available

Official snow depth:
- Top: 300cm
- Base: 120cm


Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- Most lifts apart are operating as scheduled

Courses open:
- All course areas are open apart from parts Kane-no-naru-oka Number 2

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori: 300cm
- Han-no-ki: 300cm
- Maruyama: 130cm
- Shirakaba: 280cm
- Champion: 155cm
- Oya-no-hara: 170cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: 160cm


Hakuba Cortina

Operating lifts:
- All lifts are operating this morning

Courses open:
- All courses apart from Itadaira Ridge should be open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 337cm
- Base: 210cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

Operating lifts:
- Most lifts are operating with most courses open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 220cm
- Base: 130cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Alps Number 1 and 7 are operating.

Official snow depth:
- 270cm


Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Number 8 and 10 are operating

Official snow depth:
- 170cm


Hakuba Sanosaka

Operating lifts:
- All three lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 150cm


Night time skiing (nighta) at resorts in the region - weather & conditions permitting
The below 'nighta' information will not be updated every day - please check with resorts if you plan to go!

Hakuba Happo-one
Daily from 5pm until 9pm in the Nakiyama 2 area
Adults - 2,000 yen; children - 1,200 yen

Hakuba Goryu
Daily from 6pm until 9:30pm in the Toomi area until 31st March
The Sky Four quad operates daily; the Number 2 pair mostly on Saturdays and holidays
Adults - 1,900 yen; children - 850 yen

Hakuba Cortina
Daily from 5pm until 8pm (until 9pm on Saturdays)
Adults - 1,500 yen; children - 1,000 yen

Tsugaike Kogen
Kane-no-naru-oka area from 6pm until 8:50pm on 3rd, 10th, 11th February
Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6pm until 9pm on 10th, 11th, 17th February; 3rd, 10th March
Adults - 2,200 yen; children - 1,700 yen

There are no other nighta operations at other ski resorts in the region   Read more ...

Furano Now!

Wednesday 31st January 2018, 8:11am
Weather conditions: Bluebird/clear
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
At -14c in the village it is a true winter morning that leaves a cold dry sting on your face. It is going to warm up substantially as the day rolls on though, so going out a bit later in the morning will make a difference if you don't like the cold. The sky is nice and clear affording views right over the town through to the smoking volcano of Mt Tokachi. There is no new snow to report and the slope conditions will be firmly groomed powder while off piste areas will be similar to yesterday. Tomorrow this weather will continue - very cold and clear.   Read more ...

Madarao Now!

Wednesday 31st January 2018, 8:12am
Weather conditions: Blue skies, sun, bit of cloud
New snowfall: 6cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Madarao.

No snow overnight but some from yesterday since my report...

Unfortunately I have to miss out on some mountain fun this morning. And I'm not happy about it. The sun is out - there's a bit of cloud but mostly it's blue skies, cold and really inviting snow conditions. I really, really wish I could be out there today. I'm guessing some of you are thinking the same reading this from somewhere other than Madarao.

Don't worry, hopefully there will be lots more days like this in the season - two full months left.

See you in February.


Official snow depth:

Operating lifts:

Number 1 lift
Number 2 quad lift
Number 3A lift
Super quad lift
Number 11 lift
Number 12 lift
Number 13 lift
Number 15 lift

Powder Wave I
Powder Wave II
River Line
Free Ride Park
Powder Theater
Adventure Aisle
Crystal Bowl

Kids Park

Planned nighta operations this season:

Every Saturday until 24th March 2018
11th February 2018   Read more ...

Geto Kogen Now!

Wednesday 31st January 2018, 8:14am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 25cm
Snow depth: --
Good Morning!

We saw mainly clouds and fog yesterday, but with some snow falling throughout the day. Overnight tonight 20cm has been recorded with more on the mountain most likely. Heading for tops of -4C with some light winds and light snow here and there.

Remember to make sure to follow the safety rules — wearing a helmet when you’re in the trees is a must, and you might find ski patrol waiting for you at the end if you don’t.

Thursday: light snow, little winds, tops of -4C
Friday: clear and sunny, little to no winds, tops of -3C
Saturday: moderate snow, little to no winds, tops of -1C


Official snow depths:

Top: 460cm
Base: 310cm

Night skiing operations are scheduled at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018.

The Number 1 Gondola is out of action at the moment - hopefully back online early February.   Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Wednesday 31st January 2018, 8:21am
Weather conditions: Sunny
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
No new snow last night; beautiful sunny day today.

Like we always say, pounding snow is more what we like, but it is nice to see the world out there.

Not much to add this morning, because I need to get out there (oh, except that we really did get 54cm of snow at base, less up high. It's scientific).

Pretty stable conditions in the backcountry as well; some sluffing on steep slopes, but this should be settling down with the sun today.


Akakura Kanko:
300 cm, -7°

Akakura Onsen:
370cm, -10°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
260cm, -7°

Myoko Suginohara:
225cm, -12° (yesterday’s report)

Seki Onsen:
400 cm, -5°

Myoko Ski Park:
300 cm, 5°

Kyukamura RunRun:
350 cm, -2°

Tangram Ski Circus:
230 cm, -5°

Madarao Kogen:
230 cm, -8°

Read more ...

Zao Now!

Wednesday 31st January 2018, 8:21am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 1cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Zao.

Just a dusting of snow to report this morning, I can just about justify 1cm for the report.

And it is just cloudy at the moment. Perhaps some fresh snow today with clearer skies forecast tomorrow and Friday.

If you plan to be here for the weekend though, come prepared for potentially good snowfall Friday night into Saturday.

You might have seen on the news about the volcano alert level at the nearby crater being raised yesterday. Hmmm. No other information for you on that, other than... life goes on as normal and there has been no 'events' to relay. Zao Onsen village is about 5km away from the area concerned and the tourism office has issued an announcement that we are 'unaffected'. We live with these things here in Japan!


Lifts and course info:

- All lifts appear to be opening as scheduled
- Note: the Karamatsu pair lift usually only operates on weekends
- All areas open

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 170cm
- Paradise area: 200cm
- Chuo area: 200cm
- Utopia area: 220cm
- Uwanodai area: 120cm
- Oomori area: 145cm


Zao Onsen forecast:

Zao Onsen 6-day snow and weather forecast

Floodlit night skiing is planned as follows:

In the Uwanodai area:
Daily until Sunday 4th March 2018
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 9th March until Sunday 18th March 2018

In the Yokokura area:
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only until Sunday 18th February 2018
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 2nd March until Sunday 11th March 2018

Night time 'light up' sightseeing ropeway is planned for the following dates:

January 2018: 27th-31st
February 2018: every day
March 2018: 1st-4th   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Wednesday 31st January 2018, 8:30am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 8cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

8cm of new snow to report this morning.

Temperatures are remaining low and cold, snow conditions are powder, weather is good, few skiers because of weekday. No acceptabler reason to stay indoors this morning!

The gondola is open from 8:30-16:00 today; it will be open from 8:00 on weekends.


Lifts operating:

- All lifts operating

Courses open:

- All courses open

Official snow depth:
- 290cm

- Grandeco snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Wednesday 31st January 2018, 8:31am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds, oh yes
New snowfall: 45cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Niseko.

And... whoah!

It was snowing through the day yesterday and rather heavily at times too. Oh yes, and overnight too. And it is still snowing now.

I am measuring 45cm (and counting) of fresh snowfall here at base this morning since my last report, and you will notice that the Avalanche Report below is reporting a whopping 60cm. There may well even be more out there. And what's more, it's excellent quality snow too.

We do often get lots of snow here in Niseko, of course, but it is rare that I get to post numbers like that.

Visibility is limited but that shouldn't stop you. There appears to be a moderate westerly wind in upper areas, but as of 8:30am all top lifts look set to be opening as planned.

Just be sure to be extra careful whilst enjoying these deep conditions.

What an excellent way to end the month January... this 'last bit' is definitely making up for the 'earlier bit'! Actually, I had almost forgotten about that; but the super computer is currently crunching the numbers and I plan to post my monthly review in the Niseko Now report on Friday.

I hope you can get to enjoy these super conditions.

Onwards into February!


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko 5am: -11℃, 50cm snowfall, calm. Moiwa800m: -13℃, light wind, 60cm snowfall. Annupuri1100m: -16℃, SW9.1m/s, 1150m NW15m/s. Hirafu1200m: -13℃, light wind, 60cm snowfall. Coastal data: Benkei cape: WNW16m/s, Kamui cape WSW14m/s, 1014hPa, 1.7m waves.

Deepest condition of the season. Over 50cm snowfall from base to peak in the last 12 hours and still growing. A moderate westerly wind is blowing in western areas above 1100m elevation, making cornices and snowdrifts grow. The avalanche risk is high in open steep slopes and under cornices above 1100m. Upper elevation gates (G1 to 4) will be closed for the day.

The snow below 1000m is good but almost too deep. Better not venture too far from the groomers today. Rescue will take time & effort. Snowboarders are recommended to carry poles and snowshoes and skiers should put a leash or a colored string in order to prevent loosing their skis. Cracks are also hidden under the new snow and visibility is bad, be mindful of where you drop in.

The new snowpack has not formed notable slabs in areas lower than 1000m and in the trees, and the avalanche risk is relatively low in there. However, it is strongly recommended to avoid cornices and snowdrifts and ride one by one. Avalanches run through the bottom of the valleys, better not stay in potential paths. Cornices above have grown large and very unstable, falling cornices can easily trigger a large slide. Stay away from them.

Very unstable slabs are present in slopes above steep area of Haru No Taki strictly off-limits area. The fatal accident in 1998 has occurred in similar conditions. Please respect the rules and stay away from off-limits zones. Have a nice day.


Wednesday 31st January 2018

Resort specific information (operations subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts (apart from King Number 2) should be operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 475cm
- Base: 240cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts should be operating

Official snow depth:
- Top: 340cm
- Base: 220cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts apart from the Country Road Chair lift should be operating
- 'Early Gondola' service from 7:30am until 8:30am (Niseko Gondola) - on February 3rd-4th. 1,400 yen special ticket required.

Official snow depth:
- Top: 340cm
- Base: 210cm


Floodlit 'nighta' skiing:

Night skiing is planned for every evening at the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri areas. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO area. Ski lifts that are scheduled to be operating for nighta are noted below (subject to change):

* Niseko Grand Hirafu - Ace Family quad, Ace Number 2 quad, Hirafu Gondola, Holiday Number 1 pair
* Niseko Annupuri - Jumbo Number 1 quad lift
* Niseko Village - Village Express, Upper Village Gondola, Community Chair, Banzai Chair   Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Wednesday 31st January 2018, 9:17am
Weather conditions: Sunny, thin cloud
New snowfall: 6cm
Snow depth: --
A cool, crisp morning, clear skies and minimal wind should make for a great day of riding.

We've had a 6cm layer of fresh snow overnight, and the sun looks to be out all day. This should soften up the pistes towards the afternoon.


Planned lift operations (subject to change):

- APPI Gondola
- Central quad
- Central number 2 lift
- Central number 3 lift A
- Central number 5 lift
- Central number 6 lift
- Sailer quad
- Nishimori lift

Note: The Sailer Gondola, Central Number 4 lift and Vista quad are usually rested on normal weekdays


Official snow depth:

220cm   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Wednesday 31st January 2018, 11:02am
Weather conditions: Clear blue skies
New snowfall: 13cm
Snow depth: --
It was a very cold start to the day and has been a cold morning in Shiga Kogen.

The sun is out.

Blue skies.


The forecast is looking pretty tasty too as we approach February with regular snow there on the forecast starting tomorrow. Looks like early morning Saturday riders should be in for a treat.

So tomorrow it's Friday. Some lifts here in Shiga Kogen operate through until mid or late May in a normal year. That means we have over three months left.



The snow I am reporting today arrived mostly yesterday morning after my report.


Official snow depths numbers reported by different areas of Shiga Kogen:

Please note that these numbers are the official numbers that ski resorts publish and we check and update them each morning.



Ichinose Family

Ichinose Diamond




Okushiga Kogen

Sun Valley

Takamagahara Mammoth



250cm   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Wednesday 31st January 2018, 11:27am
Weather conditions: Blue Skies with Some Cloud
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba! It's a warmer start than it was yesterday, with the air temperature reading -4°C. There is little wind and the skies are mostly clear. Visibility is good and the pistes are well-groomed. The pistes which aren't groomed are still in fabulous condition, if a little tracked out. But worry not - another good dump of snow is forecast on the horizon for the next couple of days. For the remainder of today, we should expect the skies to remain clear until nightfall, when a small accumulation of snow is likely occur.

Looking forwards, we can expect light snow throughout tomorrow, yet clearing overnight on Thursday night. Temperatures are likely to stay around 0°C, with overnight lows no lower than -7°C. Friday is when the real action kicks off again, with moderate to heavy snowfall predicted to begin Friday afternoon and persist through until at least Monday morning. The wind will pick up somewhat to bring this moist block of air in, but forecast are predicting that this won't be as much of a problem as it was during "Storm Finn". Temperatures are expected to drop to below -5°C consistently for the latter part of the coming storm cycle.

Hareta!   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Furano Now
19th Feb, 6:44
Zao Now
18th Feb, 9:20
Aizu Bandai Now
18th Feb, 9:16
Madarao Now
18th Feb, 9:11
Hakuba Now
18th Feb, 9:02
Myoko Now
18th Feb, 9:01am
Naeba Now
18th Feb, 8:52
Shiga Kogen Now
18th Feb, 8:42
Yuzawa Now
18th Feb, 8:33
Niseko Now
18th Feb, 8:30am
Appi Kogen Now
18th Feb, 8:22
Minakami Now
18th Feb, 8:02
Nozawa Onsen Now
18th Feb, 7:53
Geto Kogen Now
18th Feb, 7:44
Grandeco Now
06th Dec, 14:16am