JAPAN SNOW WRAP – Niseko Breaks 8m Mark

January 3rd, 2013

Another gratuitous pow shot from Niseko, 2 January Image:: Niseko Photography

Japan Snow Wrap

The land of the ‘Long Deep Snow Fall’ more than deserves its on snow wrap… With a plethora of resorts large and small all over Japan this wrap could grow very long very quickly so here are a selection of the better known resorts, and their conditions are indicative of what can be found everywhere.

Niseko has maintained its reputation as the snowiest place on earth, the official word is that as of yesterday morning, when Niseko had received another 30 cms of new snow, the total for winter 2012/2013 has cracked 8m! When quizzed about the conditions over the next week SkiJapan.com’s snow reporter Rod White said, “The further outlook is encouraging with steady snow in the forecast for most of the week ahead and nice cold air from the WNW keeping the crystals dry.”

Yesterday at Hakuba Cortina, the best place for steep trees in the valley Image:: Hakuba Cortina

Meanwhile Hakuba has been experiencing some milder then average temperatures across the lower slopes, although the snow has still been falling up high. The local resorts around Hakuba have seen 20-30 cm of new snow over the past 24 hours, snow quality is a little lower then the colder drier conditions hitting the north island though this is fairly typical of this time of year. The mix of mild temperatures, rain and wet snow are creating dangerous avalanche conditions so be sure to check the avalanche bulletins before heading out.

The Hirafu backcountry is deep, really deep Image::Niseko Photography

Here is a synthesis of conditions across the majors…



Recent snow: 20-30 cm of fresh snow has brought the season total to 805 cm!

Coming snow: The 7-Day total is currently sitting at 97 cm, most of this will fall over Sat/Sun although there is about an average of 10-15 / Day.

Conditions generally: Incredible, get out there!


Status: Open

Recent snow: 7-10 cm of new snow overnight, plenty of snow over the last week with the consistent falls setting up powder day after powder day.

Coming snow: More snow developing tonight, temperatures may warm up a little though and we could see some rain.

Conditions generally: Very good, deep pow in the trees.


Status: Open

Recent snow: 25 cm of new snow was most welcome after a fairly quiet start to the week.

Coming snow: Cold temps and consistent snow through this week as the freezer door remains open!

Conditions generally: Incredible, so much snow! Although poor visibility is a problem right now.

Go Cat Skiing with Niseko Photography, as you can see you will not regret it! Image:: Niseko Photography



Status: Open

Recent snow: 10 – 30 cm of new snow depending where you are, snow reports indicate the most has fallen at Cortina.

Coming snow: 15-20 cm of new snow over the next three days, before temps warm up slightly by the weekend. Another storm is expected come Monday.

Conditions generally: Amazing, caution needed in the backcountry after things warmed up a little last week. Check the Avalanche danger first.

The snow monkeys are one of the big drawcards of the Hakuba valley, looks like onsen time right now Image:: Bears Den Mountain Lodge

Shiga Kogen

Status: Open

Recent snow: 10 cm of new snow last night, after a fairly slow start the base is now around 1 m.

Coming snow: More snow is expected tonight and tomorrow, temps will rise and rain is a possibility over the weekend.

Conditions generally: Average


Christmas day in a snowy Hakuba Image:: Bears Den Mountain Lodge


Status: Open

Recent snow: An impressive 40 cm of new snow since yesterday.

Coming snow: Currently DUMPING in Nozawa, get out and enjoy it before some dreaded rain by the weekend.

Conditions generally: Perfect in Nozawa today.


Status: Open (just)

Recent snow: Stoked to see 30 cm has fallen at Zao since last night. Strong winds and poor visibility today though.

Coming snow: More snow tonight and tomorrow, watch out as things warm up by Saturday.

Conditions generally: Improving.

Hakuba forecasts,
snow reports and
live snow cams.

Niseko forecasts,
snow reports and
live snow cams.