Update: The Tashiro Area of Kagura is closed due to strong winds up there. Kagura is open up to the Kagura Number 1 romance pair lift, they might get the quad going if conditions allow. GALA Yuzawa and other resorts appear to be open as normal.
After that rather prolonged spell of mild (with a bit of rain added into the mix last night), it is sure good to see some fresh snow this morning.
Maiko Snow Resort is reporting 5-10cm and Kagura are reporting 10cm. I have measured 8cm. So that gives you a good idea of what to expect. Not enough to give us a deep fresh cover yet, but an improvement and hopefully we will get some more today (though I'm not sure we should expect too much).
The forecasts are still looking good for the chance of some fairly regular snow over the coming week.
It's noticeably colder too and temps today should remain just under zero.
Monday is a national holiday in Japan so the upcoming weekend is a long 3-day one for many. It's a busy one traditionally so come on nature.. bit more fresh please!
Photos today from GALA Yuzawa, NASPA Ski Garden and Route 17/Yuzawa IC exit.
Updated: 8:30am, Friday 8th February 2019
** Official snow depths (where available) and resort specific information. Information is checked manually each morning but sometimes official information is updated later than the time of these reports.
Night time 'nighta' operations (listed in alphabetical order)
Below is information on night time floodlit skiing operations at ski resorts in the area. Subject to change due to weather and snow conditions.
Ishiuchi Maruyama Open daily until Saturday 16th March 2019 The Chuo Area is open daily for nighta The Hatsukaishi and Kanko Areas only open for nighta over New Year and nights before holidays 4:00pm until 8:30pm
Iwappara Open daily until Sunday 24th March 2019 Part of the mid and lower area of the resort 5:00pm until 8:00pm on weekdays; until 9:00pm on Saturdays
Joetsu Kokusai Open daily until Sunday 24th March 2019 Area in front of the base hotel, Osawa and lower Atema 5:00pm until 9:00pm
Kandatsu Kogen 'Hobo (Almost) All Night' every Friday, Saturday and night before holidays until 30th March 2019 6:00pm until 4:0am the next morning
Maiko Snow Resort Open daily 'one-coin nighta' (500 yen) until Saturday 16th March 2019 Maiko Center Quad lift in the Maiko Area 4:00pm until 8:00pm
Naeba Open daily until Sunday 24th March 2019 Number 3 and 4 high speed and Number 4 romance pair lifts 4:00pm until 8:30pm
NASPA Ski Garden NASPA extends opening for the Number 1 lift on the following dates: 19th, 26th January 2019 2nd, 9th, 10th, 16th, 23rd February 2019 Extended until 6:00pm
Yuzawa Nakazato Every Saturday until 9th March 2019 Sunday 10th February 2019 Number 2 romance pair lift 5:00pm until 8:30pm Read more ...
Friday 8th February 2019, 8:30am
After saying I wasn't feeling well yesterday, a few kind souls sent me messages via the SnowJapan folk... suggesting that I have some toast to feel better. And you know what, it worked wonders; I am feeling almost back to normal this morning. The magic of toast! (And, thank you - those messages made me chuckle and cheered me up).
OK back to the important stuff.. I have 19cm of fresh snowfall at base to report to you as of 8am and snow is continuing to fall this morning. Not absolutely massive amounts perhaps, but certainly good quality.
Also very noticeable this morning is how cold it is. Extremely cold. (Might be left-overs of my not genki condition, but it feels to me like it might be the coldest morning this season). Niseko Annupuri and Niseko Village are both reporting temperatures of -22C up top and it's a 'far-from-toasty' -15C down here.
Visibility is also rather limited.
Extra special care advised on a morning like this.
Wind is affecting some ski lifts at the start of the day: currently on hold are the top lifts at Hirafu, Gondola and top lift at Village, Gondola and top lift at Annupuri.
Continued snowfall is what the forecast is telling us to expect over the coming week.
Niseko Avalanche Report:
Mountain base 6am: -15℃, 10cm snowfall in 12h, light storm. Moiwa800m: -18.3℃, W10.1m/s, stormy and snowdrifts developing. Mikaeri junction: cornices and snowdrifts developing. Annupuri1120m snow depth 220cm. Hirafu peak: -20℃, stormy, snowdrifts developing. 165cm snow depth at Mizuno no sawa base, -19.75℃, 10cm snowfall in 12h, WNW13.2m/s at the entry knoll of the valley. Suttsu weather station: -12.0℃, NW9.9m/s, 58cm snow depth, Kutchan -13.8℃, NW8.9m/s, 179cm snow depth. Benkei cape: NNW18m/s, Kamui cape: NW14m/s, 1011hPa, 2.8m waves.
Winter pressure distribution with a strong cold airmass flowing resulted in a cold stormy morning above 800m elevation making cornices and snowdrifts develop considerably. Pressure test showed some weakness activities at Feb 8th hoar layer 20-40cm below the surface, most prominent in knoll terrains and surface slab slides are very likely to occur. The overall avalanche hazard level is HIGH. All gates opening are undetermined. Follow the ski patrol’s instructions. The snow in the tree runs is overhead conditions, however be sure to avoid dropping all the way down to the valley bottoms (avalanche paths).
Do not cut across cornices and knolls, that’s the easiest way to trigger a slide. Avalanches in Niseko mainly occur as a slab (snowdrifts) that drastically grew during a storm collapses. Beware of your route, better avoid open steep slopes. Have you switched your beacon ON? It is not mandatory to wear one, but it could save yours or your buddy’s life. Beware of frostbites.
We would like to apologize for some inappropriate expressions used in yesterday’s report.
Have a great day.
Ski resort operation information: Friday 8th February 2019 Subject to change due to weather conditions
Ski lifts operating: - Top two lifts on hold at the start of the day - The Ace Family quad (until 8:30pm), Ace Center 4 quad (8:20pm), Hirafu Gondola (until 8:10pm) and Holiday Number 1 pair (until 8:30pm) lifts are normally open during the evening
Official snow depth (reported by resort): - Peak: 300cm - Base: 160cm
Ski lifts operating: - Gondola and top lift on hold at the start of the day - The Upper Village Gondola, Village Express and Banzai Chair lifts are normally open until 8:00pm during the evening
Night time operations are available in the Niseko Grand Hirafu, Niseko Village and Niseko Annupuri resort areas. There is no nighta at the Niseko HANAZONO resort area. Read more ...
Friday 8th February 2019, 8:40am
Good morning from Madarao.
Back to snow and cold.
The resort is reporting 10cm of fresh and I have measured 9cm myself. And it is snowing still and fingers crossed we'll get more today.
It feels much colder this morning too.
Planned operations for Friday 8th February 2019
Official snow depth at Madarao:
All lifts apart from Number 5 plan to be open All 31 courses should be open including tree run courses
Nighta operations at Madarao: - Every Saturday until 23rd March 2019 - 10th February 2019
Tangram Ski Circus info:
All lifts operating All course areas open
Nighta operations at Tangram: - Every Saturday until 23rd March 2019 - 10th February 2019 Read more ...
Nozawa Onsen Now!
Friday 8th February 2019, 8:42am
Snow is back
Ahhh, fresh snow. We all love it, don't we. And we always want more. With the warmer conditions over the last week and some wet as well we have been looking forward to seeing some more fresh on the ground, and this morning we have some. Just 2-5cm as being reported by the resort so far and I can report a similar number and it is snowing right now.
I am happy to also report colder conditions too.
So it feels like we are back to winter. Let's hope it will stay that way and the fairly regular snow on the forecast in the week ahead delivers.
It's another long weekend here in Japan because Monday is a national holiday. Expect Nozawa to be busy!
Friday 8th February 2019
Fresh snowfall reported by the ski resort (since yesterday morning):
All lifts apart from the following planned to be operating:
- Yunomine pair - Mizunashi triple - Challenge pair - Utopia pair - Kandahar pair (open for general public on 12th Feb and 1st Mar 2019)
All courses open apart from the following planned to be open:
- Grand Prix - Kandahar (open for general public on 12th Feb and 1st Mar 2019)
Lift operation times until end of March:
Nagasaka Gondola - until 4:00pm (time of last one down) Hikage Gondola - until 4:20pm (time of last one down) Yamabiko Number 2 Four - until 4:10pm Skyline connecting pair - until 4:30pm Base lifts - until 5:00pm Yu Road - until 5:10pm Read more ...
Friday 8th February 2019, 8:44am
Morning from Naeba.
A bit of fresh snow this morning and most definitely colder conditions. Good to see that and hopefully we will be seeing more snow during the day.
It's a bit windy too with the top lift on hold and the Tashiro area of Kagura closed because of the wind.
We have a busy weekend coming up with Monday being a national holiday.
More snow less wind please!
Official snow depth:
Planned night-time operations:
- Daily until Sunday 24th March 2019 - 4:00pm until 8:30pm - Courses open: Number 5 - Lifts operating: Number 5 high speed lift Read more ...
Friday 8th February 2019, 8:45am
Cloudy (some breaks in the cloud in places)
Morning from Hakuba.
Fine in the morning with clouds in the afternoon is how things ended up yesterday. Hakuba 47 were reporting 'mizore' (sleet), I experienced something a bit wetter than that.
But this morning it is noticeably colder and there is some fresh snow to report. Here is what the ski resorts are reporting:
Lots of cloud still and snow falling in places, though there's actually some small bits of blue sky showing through in places - so it's a case of varying current conditions depending on where you are in the valley.
Some forecasts look good for tomorrow night, others seem less excited about the chance of snow. As we can't do much about it, let's just enjoy what we have and see what happens (as they say).
Long weekend ahead, as Monday is 'National Foundation Day' and a national holiday. It's usually one of the most popular and busy weekends of the winter season.
Webcam image this morning from Happo-one, Hakuba 47 and Hakuba Iwatake.
Ski resort information on Friday 8th February 2019: The below info is checked manually each morning and believed to be correct at time of report. All ski resorts in the area are currently open. Any further resort specific notes made below.
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 5:00pm until 9:00pm in the Nakiyama base area (Nakiyama Number 2 pair lift) Adults - 2,000 yen; children - 1,200 yen
Hakuba Goryu Daily from 6:00pm 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 - 2,000 yen; children - 1,000 yen
Hakuba Cortina Daily from 5:00pm until 8:00pm (until 9:00pm on Saturdays and certain holidays) Adults - 1,500 yen; children - 1,000 yen
Tsugaike Kogen Karamatsu Shirakaba area from 6:00pm until 9:00pm on 9th, 10th, 16th February; 2nd March Adults - 2,200 yen; children - 1,700 yen Read more ...
Shiga Kogen Now!
Friday 8th February 2019, 8:58am
Morning from Shiga Kogen.
It feels more like winter this morning, I am happy to be able to report.
Temperatures are much lower, it is noticeably much colder and there's some fresh snow. Not large amounts - both Yakebitaiyama and Kumanoyu are reporting 5cm. Hopefully more over the weekend for the many visitors to enjoy.
Earlier snowfall has eased off now and it's actually fairly bright here in the Maruike area. Come back snow, we want more of you!
Shiga Kogen resort info: Friday 8th February 2019
The below information is manually checked for each report. Official snow depth numbers are as reported by the ski resorts themselves.
Planned night time operations at the Shiga Kogen ski areas are as follows. Please note that separate lift tickets are required.
Ichinose Diamond Every Saturday until 23rd March 2019 10th February 2019 Quad lift 6:30pm until 9:00pm
Ichinose Family Daily until 23rd March 2019 (except Mondays and Tuesdays) Number 2 pair B lift 6:30pm until 9:00pm
Kumanoyu Every Saturday until 30th March 2019 10th February 2019 20th March 2019 Number 1 pair lift 6:30pm until 9:00pm
Sun Valley Every Saturday until 2nd March 2019 10th February 2019 Number 1 quad lift 7:00pm until 9:00pm
Yakebitaiyama Every Saturday until 2nd March 2019 10th February 2019 Number 3 high speed lift 6:00pm until 8:00pm Read more ...
Aizu Bandai Now!
Friday 8th February 2019, 9:16am
The rain changed into snow last night and snows is still falling this morning. There's not a massive amount -- just 2cm of fresh snow measured at the base area of Grandeco this morning but there should be more at higher areas on the mountain.
It is a chilly morning so snow conditions improving.
The new snow has covered the slopes but it's not a thick layer so remaining a bit hard and icy under the fresh snow. Need to keep that in mind.
It will be softer in the afternoon if the snow continues falling.
The forecast say cloudy this evening.
It's a three day holiday start from tomorrow and all the ski hills should be busy with weekend visitors. An early start is recommended.
The photos for today are from Nekoma (first two) and Grandeco.
Nekoma - lift 4/5, course 0/11 open *Closed on Wednesday and Thursday 1/16-2/28 Grandeco - lift 5/5 include one gondola, course 13/13 open Urabandai - lift 3/3, course 3/3 open *Closed on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Minowa - lift 3/3, course 10/11 open Numajiri - lift 4/4, course 10/11 open Alts Bandai - lift 7/8 include one gondola, course 15/25 open Inawashiro - lift 7/8, course 18/18 open Inawashiro resort - lift 3/4 include one gondola, course 8/9 open Listel - lift 2/2, course 5/7 open Family Bandai Bandai - lift 0/2, course 0/7 open *Only open on Saturday, Sunday and national holidays. Read more ...
Appi Kogen Now!
Friday 8th February 2019, 10:17am
Hello from Appi,
It’s still snowing here this morning with a considerable amount deposited last night. Gusty conditions here until this evening then tapering off through the weekend.
Rather cold temperatures today with a wind chill on the mountain reaching -30 in places. We may see a few cm of snow over the weekend with sunny skies heading our way on Sunday.
Great conditions out there to be had for those braving the winds and temperatures.
Planned lift operations & course areas (subject to change due to weather conditions):
- Appi Gondola - Central Quad lift - Central Number 1 - Central Number 2 - Central Number 3A - Central Number 5 - Sailer quad - Vista quad - Nishimori
* Bravo, Cruise 1, Cruise 2 and Dragon Tail tree runs should be open as normal when the lift operations allow - register to use them at Plaza 1st Floor
Official groomed snow depth (as reported by resort):
Sorry to be a bit late (snow to throw, computers to strangle).
The snow is back, and it's coming down hard. The sun was/is out at Suginohara, it seems, but it's remained overcast with solid snowfall all morning at the base of Akakan.
Pretty strong winds through the night and into the day, and there are some strong gusts with swirling snow from time to time. About 25 cm of fresh at 9am, and it's continuing to come down steadily. There is a wet layer underneath the new snow that is a bit of a concern; it's still wet and apparently bonding well with the new snow, at least at base level. Could be a more dangerous situation higher up where the wet may be ice, and a lot of snow on top could mean easy sliding of the new. Good time to take it a little easy in the backcountry!