Snow Report 1 January 2013 - Japan


Happy New Year!

Its busy this time of year in the Japanese ski resorts and onsen towns. But you know this is just the start of winter ... and any good snow in early December is always a bonus. January is when things really get going!

There has been good snow in the last few weeks, particularly over the days we call Christmas. These dumps were followed by some magnificent, clear days during the 27th and 28th December.

Togakushi 29 December [Source: Togakushi website]
The last few days have been warm and rain has affected many areas with some loss of snow cover. But not to worry, snow is in the forecast this week and January is typically much colder.

In two weeks I will be in Japan! Let it snow!


There was heavy snow Christmas Eve and then 30cms fell on the 29th December around the ski resorts of Hakuba. Unfortunately the gains in the snow depth were lost as rain arrived on Sunday.
Happo One: 170/60cms

Togakushi 29 December [Source: Togakushi website]
The photos here are from Togakushi in Nagano Prefecture, a ski area that is a little off the radar for overseas visitors. What an amazing layer of cloud early in the morning!
Togakushi - 110cms


At Myokokogen a clear Christmas Day sat snugly between two good snowfalls. Rain and warm temperatures stripped away 40cms of snow, so no net gains over the last week.
Akakura Onsen ski area - 140cms

Nozawa Onsen has also lost a foot of snow since last week. Ups and downs! From here it should be all gains though!
Nozawa Onsen ski area - 180/50cms

Nozawa Onsen 28 December [Source: Nozawa Onsen FB page]
Around and about the Echigo-Yuzawa area of Niigata, including Kagura and Naeba, there was a little snow on the 29th December, then it turned warm on Sunday and rain fell here also. Snow depths are great for this time of the year though.
Naeba ski area - 140cms
Kagura ski area- 240cms


While the southern ski areas were celebrating Christmas snowfalls, Zao was awaiting patiently.

And so it turned to snow finally at Zao Onsen with a foot of fresh Christmas Day into Boxing Day.

Snow also fell yesterday at Zao and snow is forecast through until Thursday.
Zao Onsen - 100/50cms

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