Snow and weather reports posted on Tuesday 21st January 2020

Nozawa Onsen Now!

Sunday 7th January 2018, 7:37am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 11cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Nozawa.

Interesting that we have got a nice new layer of snow overnight with snow still falling now. The resort itself is reporting 10-20cm of snow across the mountain. The forecast is for this snow to ease off leaving us with a cloudy day, so perhaps we might still get some sun like I mentioned yesterday. Or maybe not!

So early morning it is light snow and limited visibility, due to get clearer.

Now let's take a look at the forecast. Rain in the village is looking possible (likely) later in the day as temperatures get rather mild - hopefully at the same time it will be snow up top - and Wednesday onwards there's some decent snow to look forward to.

All go this morning on this busy weekend, with all lifts operating and only the Challenge 39, Grand Prix and Kandahar course areas unavailable.


Sunday 7th January 2018

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

- Yamabiko (1407m): 20cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 10cm
- Hikage (660m): 10cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 10cm
- Karasawa (563m): 0cm

Official snow depth numbers:

- Yamabiko (1407m): 305cm
- Uenotaira (1230m): 235cm
- Hikage (660m): 180cm
- Nagasaka (615m): 170cm
- Karasawa (563m): 155cm

All lifts operating except the following:

- All lifts should be operating

All courses open except the following:

- Challenge 39
- Grand Prix
- Kandahar   Read more ...

Yuzawa Now!

Sunday 7th January 2018, 7:58am
Weather conditions: Snow clouds
New snowfall: 18cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Yuzawa and I have good news.

With snow falling later in the day yesterday, this morning I have a good 18cm of fresh snow to report from base town area and here is what the ski resorts are reporting themselves:

Kagura (main): 40cm
Kagura Mitsumata: 25cm
Kagura Tashiro: 30cm
Maiko: 20cm

More than I was expecting - always good - and a good reset for this Sunday morning.

It is still snowing now with some nice big flakes falling from the sky and currently just under 0C. The snowfall is not expected to last the morning and to be followed by a cloudy afternoon and a clear evening.

The forecasts are still showing tomorrow to be warmer with temperatures rising up to around 8C in town and rain later on in the day (sun to start off with?). It looks like rain might be with us on Tuesday as well, with that next snow now due around Wednesday. Fingers crossed that rain story is short!


Images today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Yuzawa IC exit.


Updated: Sunday 7th January 2018

** Official snow depths (where available) and resort specific information. Note that while we manually check this information each morning, sometimes official information is updated later than the time of these reports and so at times there may be an apparent delay.

Ski resorts in Yuzawa:

GALA Yuzawa
- 270cm

- 185cm

- Kagura area: 320cm
- Mitsumata area: 220cm
- Tashiro area: 270cm

Kandatsu Kogen
- 220cm

- 220cm (base)

NASPA Ski Garden
- 240cm

Yuzawa Kogen
- Top: 230cm
- Base: 170cm

Yuzawa Park
- 190cm

Yuzawa Nakazato
- 165cm


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

Ishiuchi Maruyama
- 240cm

Joetsu Kokusai
- 200cm

Maiko Snow Resort
- Top: 260cm
- Base: 170cm

Muikamachi Hakkaisan
- Closed on Wednesdays between 10th January and 14th March (!)
- 240cm   Read more ...

Minakami Now!

Sunday 7th January 2018, 8:02am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 5cm
Snow depth: --
The snow that came in heavily at first last night was soon accompanied by very strong winds ripping down the Tanigawa valley. Very hard to figure out how much snow has actually fallen as there were bare spots and 30cm deep drifts. I'll take the conservative line and call it 5cm but up top I expect they have had quite a lot in various spots.

Right now its moderately snowing, winds are quite strong still but nothing like last night, the forecast is for this to clear up and turn sunny by noon.

Tomorrow is forecast to be cloudy with an umbrella sign for Minakami town in the evening. The next snow is pegged for Thursday which suits me just fine as the throttle cable on my blower needs some TLC and my back could use a couple days off too.


Ski resorts in Minakami:

Minakami Hodaigi
Minakami Kogen Fujiwara
Minakami Kogen Ski Resort
Norn Minakami
Okutone Snow Park
Tanigawadake Tenjindaira
Tanigawa Onsen White Valley


Resort Spotlights with more detail:

Norn Minakami
Okutone Snow Park


Please note that the snowfall numbers posted in this report will be observed from close to the base Tenjindaira Ropeway station - which is often much more than in the central town area of Minakami.    Read more ...

Myoko Now!

Sunday 7th January 2018, 8:08am
Weather conditions: Sun is trying to shine
New snowfall: 10cm
Snow depth: --
A little light snow for what should be a very busy day at the ski areas (second day of a three-day weekend).

Just a little fresh snow since last night - about 10cm - still a nice base outside the areas.

Tomorrow, who knows; it will get warmer, it’s supposed to rain heavily at night, maybe into Tuesday?


Akakura Kanko:
260 cm, -6°

Akakura Onsen:
300cm, -5°

Ikenotaira Onsen:
240cm, -4°

Myoko Suginohara:
210cm, -10° (top)

Seki Onsen:
290 cm, -4°

Myoko Ski Park:
250 cm, -1°

Kyukamura RunRun:
300 cm, -2°

Tangram Ski Circus:
200 cm, -5°

Madarao Kogen:
220 cm, -8°

Read more ...

Hakuba Now!

Sunday 7th January 2018, 8:17am
Weather conditions: Blue sky, some early morning cloud
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Hakuba.

Yesterday I spent a few hours over at 47. There was a lot of cloud around with some light snow falling. It wasn't as busy as I thought it might be - maybe I was just lucky with my timing.

It's a lovely morning here. Lots of blue sky, sunshine and with just some cloud hanging on. It is going to be a fine day weather wise. A cold start but it should rise up to around zero during the day.

Tomorrow is set to be warmer and I might well be reporting rain before the next snow which is currently due later in the day Tuesday.

Have a good Sunday.


And just for the record, this morning Hakuba Cortina are reporting 5cm of fresh snow and Happo-one reporting 2cm at the top Gondola station.

All lifts now operating over at Kashimayari.


Ski resort opening status on Sunday 7th January 2018:

Hakuba Happo-one

Operating lifts:
- All lifts are operating

Courses open:
- All course are now open

Official snow depth:
- Kurobishi: 275cm
- Usagidaira: 135cm
- Lower: 95cm


Hakuba Goryu

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating as planned

Courses open:
- All courses are open (Adventure opens after safety checks)

Official snow depth:
- Top: 290cm
- Toomi: 120cm
- Iimori: 65cm


Hakuba 47

Operating lifts:
- All lifts are operating (apart from Line D - which usually only operates when the Gondola is closed)

Courses open:
- All courses available
- The Tree Riding Zone is now open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 250cm
- Base: 95cm


Tsugaike Kogen

Operating lifts:
- All lifts apart from Kane-no-naru-oka Skyliner I operating

Courses open:
- All course areas are open

Official snow depth:
- Tsuga-no-mori: 250cm
- Han-no-ki: 250cm
- Maruyama: 110cm
- Shirakaba: 230cm
- Oya-no-hara: 130cm
- Kane-no-naru-oka: 125cm


Hakuba Cortina

Operating lifts:
- All lifts operating

Courses open:
- All courses open

Official snow depth:
- Top: 290cm
- Base: 170cm


Hakuba Iwatake Snow Field

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

Official snow depth:
- Top: 170cm
- Base: 90cm


Hakuba Norikura Onsen

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

Official snow depth:
- 210cm


Hakuba Valley Kashimayari

Operating lifts:
- All lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 140cm


Hakuba Sanosaka

Operating lifts:
- All three lifts are operating

Official snow depth:
- 110cm   Read more ...

Niseko Now!

Sunday 7th January 2018, 8:20am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 28cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Niseko.

And I bring happy news this morning with some decent snowfall numbers after some good snowing through the day yesterday.

I am measuring 28cm here near Hirafu base and I noticed up to 40cm being reported by the Avalanche Report folks. That's a good new layer that will cover up those tracks, even if lots of it was during the day yesterday.

Today the forecast is for generally cloudy skies over the region as the early snow eases off and visibility improves (the report below is from earlier, hence the big difference there). Resorts are reporting some wind higher up. I see that the Hirafu Gondola is having some early morning issues and is going to be delayed so some folk are going to be annoyed that they chose that as their first lift. The Annupuri gondola is also operating at reduced speed at the start of the day, presumably due to wind.

It is a cold start to the day with tomorrow forecast to be milder - temperatures to rise a little above zero and either wet snow or rain possible. (Nooooo!)

Tuesday and Wednesday should see a return to quality snow conditions though. (Hurray!!)

I'm going to brave the crowds and have a few hours on the slopes myself this morning.

See you tomorrow!


Niseko Avalanche Report:

Niseko base 6.00am: -7°, 10cm new snow, minor snowdrift development. Moiwa 800m : -7°, 30cm new snow, snowdrift development. Annupuri 1150m: -9°, NW15m/s, 40cm new snow, snowdrift development. Hirafu 1250m: -13°, NW15m/s, 20cm new snow, snowdrift development. Coastal data: Benkei Cape:NW17m/s. Kamui Cape: NNE11m/s, 1012hPa, wave 1.3m.

Wind and snow from the northwest continues, lots of snow on the west side. Snow drift development has been inconsistent over the last 24 hours due to changes in wind and temperature, creating a weak layer. From observation and tests, drifts are fracturing at 50-100cm. Leeward slopes above 800m avalanche risk is moderately high. Kozan no Sawa sidewall around 1100m, expect fracture to easily occur from rider stimulation. Many accidents have occurred during blizzard conditions on leeward slopes where unstable slabs have formed. All gates are expected to be open. Please listen to the patrols advice. Do not duck ropes.

West side tracks are covered and slopes are reset. Snow in the trees is good but a bit deep. Do not stimulate knolls or cornices, this could trigger an avalanche. Do not wait in the valley bottoms, this is where an avalanche will run. Data from Moiwa's zero fighter is unavailable due to wind. It will take a while to get back online, we have had unexpected snowdrifts this winter.

Bad visibility and blizzard conditions continue. Be careful falling into cracks or crashing into object. Out the gates is not the ski resort anymore. Make safe desicions based on current conditions. Careless actions can cause accidents. Have a safe day.


Sunday 7th January 2018

Resort specific information (operations subject to change):

Niseko Grand Hirafu & Niseko HANAZONO Resort

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts are operating; Hirafu Gondola having some technical issues at the start of the day - delayed opening.
- 'Early Morning' services from 8:00am until 8:20am (Ace Number 2 Center Four quad lift). Until 28th January. 500 yen special ticket required.

Official snow depth:
- Top: 365cm
- Base: 175cm

Niseko Annupuri Kokusai

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts are operating; Gondola operating at reduced speed at the start of the day.
- 'First Run Early Morning' services from 7:20am until 8:20am (Annupuri Gondola). Until 8th January. 1,000 yen special ticket required.

Official snow depth:
- Top: 260cm
- Base: 150cm

Niseko Village

Lifts scheduled to be operating:
- All lifts except Country Road Chair are operating
- 'Early Gondola' service from 7:30am until 8:30am (Niseko Gondola). January 6th-8th, 13th-14th, 20th-21st, 27th-28th; February 3rd-4th. 1,400 yen special ticket required.

Official snow depth:
- Top: 260cm
- Base: 160cm


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 ...

Madarao Now!

Sunday 7th January 2018, 8:40am
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 6cm
Snow depth: --
Morning from Madarao.

6cm of fresh snow on the ground to report this morning; the resort are reporting 10cm.

Generally cloudy start to the day after early snow has eased off and perhaps we might be able to enjoy some clearer skies.

Rain is expected later in the region tomorrow unfortunately and we might not escape it up here. It does certainly look like it's going to be warmer by a fair bit during the day tomorrow.

Don't worry though, temperatures should be back down come Tuesday with further snow due.


Official snow depth:

Operating lifts:

Unconfirmed at time of report but expect all to be open

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
Snow Mobile Land

Planned nighta operations this season:

7th January 2018
11th February 2018
Every Saturday between 4th January and 24th March 2018   Read more ...

Shiga Kogen Now!

Sunday 7th January 2018, 8:52am
Weather conditions: Snow
New snowfall: 8cm
Snow depth: --
Hello from Shiga Kogen.

It is snowing this morning, and I have measured 8cm to add to the reports. Actually snowing quite heavily right now in Maruike, though it is fine snow rather than big fluffy flakes. Looks a little windy as well for the moment.

Snow isn't expected to last long today though with clearer skies possible later on.

Still hoping we will avoid the rain that lower elevations seem destined to get tomorrow. Straight into snow should be good. But do expect milder than usual conditions tomorrow.

Second day of the busy long weekend. Have fun!


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



170cm   Read more ...

Geto Kogen Now!

Sunday 7th January 2018, 8:57am
Weather conditions: Partly cloudy...
New snowfall: 17cm
Snow depth: --
It was mainly cloudy yesterday with light snow consistently falling throughout the day and some light to moderate winds giving the air a chill. Tops were read at -6C but with the wind chill, it brought that down to -17C at times.

Since then, we’ve seen 17cm fall across the resort into this morning and we’re set to see a little more fall today with temperatures hovering around -3C at the resort base, and an indecisive cloud cover.

The extra top up is dry, with some windblown stashes to be found across the resort and in the trees — Beech, Rabbit, Summit and Stream are open to enjoy those powder pockets.

Winds are moderate this morning, but set to calm to a light breeze into the evening. Pack that face mask and rug up.


Zones open include Summit, Rabbit, Beech & Stream. At this stage Shooter will remain closed until the main gondola is open.

News on Main Gondola:

At this time unfortunately the Main Gondola (Gondola 1) is closed for repair. The resort is working on the repairs, but it will require the next few weeks until it is back in operation. They estimate late January, early February for it to be back in action.


Official snow depths:

Top: 330cm
Base: 250cm

Nighta skiing operations are planned at Geto Kogen on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 25th February 2018.   Read more ...

Grandeco Now!

Sunday 7th January 2018, 9:17am
Weather conditions: Fair
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Grandeco.

It was windy last night but things are calmer again this morning.

There was some new snowfall but not as much as we thought and strong winds were blowing it around.

If you want to enjoy the fresh snow, take the number 4 lift and go to Lavender A course for some ungroomed fun.

Maybe warmer conditions tomorrow with the chance of rain, but followed by snow from Tuesday onwards. That is what the forecasts say anyway...

Have a good Sunday.


Lifts operating:

- All lifts now operating

Courses open:

- All courses now open

Official snow depth:
- 190cm

- Grandeco snow and weather forecast   Read more ...

Appi Kogen Now!

Sunday 7th January 2018, 11:36am
Weather conditions: Mostly clear skies
New snowfall: 0cm
Snow depth: --
Hello from Appi,

As forecast the sun is out and should make todays activities fun. Not much in the way of snow predicted until Tuesday evening and into Wednesday but we should see a fair amount when it gets here.

Steady winds for most of the day which should gradually decrease. Temperatures unfortunately are going to increase tomorrow and Tuesday into the +3-5 zone. Not good news I’m afraid. Tuesday evening the temperatures will plummet again returning us to normal conditions.

All runs are open and they are in fine shape so get them while you can before Appi gets cheap again and closes them for the weekday crowds.


Planned lift operations on Sunday 7th January 2018 (subject to change):

- APPI Gondola
- Central quad
- Central number 1 lift
- Central number 2 lift
- Central number 3 lift A ** wind affected at time of report
- Central number 4 lift ** wind affected at time of report
- Central number 5 lift
- Central number 6 lift
- Sailer Gondola
- Sailer quad
- Vista quad
- Nishimori lift

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


Official snow depth:

190cm   Read more ...

Naeba Now!

Sunday 7th January 2018, 11:48am
Weather conditions: Overcast
New snowfall: 16cm
Snow depth: --
Good morning from Naeba! It's a cloudy overcast start to the day today, with this high cloud expected to hang around for a little while yet. Due to the high cloud, it's a day for the low light lenses to come out of their box. The temperature is below 0°C, but due to the cloud cover it feels a little milder than it might with clear skies. There is very little wind to concern us today.

The Roxy Park is getting into the swing of things in Naeba, with a number of small kickers and boxes out under High Speed 5, but there are plenty more features still waiting to be dug out from under the old Pair lift there.

Looking forwards, sadly the rain that has been forecast for Monday evening hasn't disappeared off the radar yet. At the base, temperatures are expected to rise well above 0°C later on Monday and through Monday night, providing the opportunity for rain to fall all the way up to the top of the mountain at 1789m. This should, however, turn to snow into Tuesday and could persist right through the week. A reasonably-sized storm system is being predicted, so another good dump of powder might be on the cards this week. One positive to note is that this coming storm system is expected to be far less windy than both "Storm Dougle" and "Storm Claudia".

Yowai hikari!   Read more ...

Zao Now!

Sunday 7th January 2018, 13:54pm
Weather conditions: Cloudy
New snowfall: 3cm
Snow depth: --
(Apologies for the late report today - it was originally written at 8am)

Good morning from Zao.

Yesterday was busy, busy out there and we can expect more of that today on this long January weekend.

A bit more snow to report and everywhere expected to be open today to satisfy the crowds.

As with other regions of Japan, it seems tomorrow is going to be unseasonably mild and might well bring with it... rain. But beyond that - and hopefully quickly - snow is due on Tuesday and Wednesday. We'll have to see how that turns out.

Tomorrow is the last day of the long weekend of course, so expect things to quieten down a bit from the afternoon.


Lifts and courses:

- All lifts operating

Official snow depths:

- Summit area: 120cm
- Paradise area: 140cm
- Chuo area: 140cm
- Utopia area: 150cm
- Uwanodai area: 85cm
- Oomori area: 90cm


Zao Onsen forecast:

Zao Onsen 6-day snow and weather forecast

Floodlit night skiing for the 2017-2018 season 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:
Daily until Monday 8th January 2018
Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays only from Friday 12th January 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: 7th, 13th-14th, 20th-21st, 27th-31st
February 2018: every day
March 2018: 1st-4th

   Read more ...

SnowJapan Daily 'Now' reports

Aizu Bandai Now
21st Jan, 10:32
Yuzawa Now
21st Jan, 9:40am
Hakuba Now
21st Jan, 9:35
Nozawa Onsen Now
21st Jan, 9:34am
Myoko Now
21st Jan, 9:34am
Shiga Kogen Now
21st Jan, 9:22
Madarao Now
21st Jan, 9:06
Naeba Now
21st Jan, 9:01
Niseko Now
21st Jan, 8:39
Zao Now
21st Jan, 8:13
Appi Kogen Now
21st Jan, 8:12
Furano Now
21st Jan, 8:10
Geto Kogen Now
21st Jan, 8:07
Minakami Now
20th Jan, 15:30
Grandeco Now
06th Dec, 14:16am