Nozawa Snow Report 9 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 9 January 2017: Heavy snow predicted tonight.

The leftovers. Kelsey finds untracked powder two days ago. Now we wait…

Nozawa Snow Report 9 January 2017

Heavy snow is predicted for tonight.

Good morning and welcome to the Nozawa Snow Report 9 January 2017. Around 6pm last night we had a brief passing shower. However this quickly turned to snow even in the village. Quite surprising given the warm temperatures. Since last lifts yesterday we have had a total snowfall of 10cm at Yamabiko and 2cm down at village level.


Nozawa Snow Report 9 January 2017: Stats

Base at top: 145 cm
Temp at Top: -3 Degree
Base at Uenotaira station: 105 cm
New snow since close: 10 cm
Weather: Overcast

Nozawa Snow Report 9 January 2017

This was 9 January last year. Pretty similar but soon to change!

Nozawa Snow Report 9 January 2017: Overview

We expect temperatures to cool gradually through the day with the freezing level receding to around 800m above sea level. Heavy snow is predicted for tonight. Today the best turns will be had near the summit with the highest quality snow but will be masked by limited visibility. The mid station area will offer slightly slower snow with less crowds and improved visibility. This mid station area gains the highest recommendations for the today a will be a fun way to escape the long weekend crowds for all levels.

Yesterday was an unusual day in the a strong temperature inversion persisted well into the afternoon. At around lunchtime there were positive temperatures recorded at Yamabiko, while it was still well into the negatives in the valley. As such we had an upside down day with fast snow that was great for carving especially down low and softer more forgiving conditions near the top. Crowds were very high but this is to be expected considering the long weekend.

Nozawa Snow Report 9 January 2017: Forecast

Snow is in the forecast for the foreseeable future with no expected sunshine for the next week at least. Tomorrow we will experience snow showers that will increase in strength overnight. Consistent falls of snow will continue Wednesday, Thursday and Friday probably totalling 30cm or so for each respective 24 hour period. Following this heavier falls are currently modelled for over the weekend easing by early next week. This is one of the most impressive weekly forecasts I can remember.

7 Day Outlook for Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort, from Meteoblue

The Nozawa Onsen Snow Report is presented & supported by Nozawa Holidays and The Daily Flake

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Nozawa Snow Report 9 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 8 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 8 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 8 January 2017

The calm before the storm


Yesterday was a picturesque day on the mountain. Views off to the Sea of Japan, northern peaks piercing the clouds and even the Hakuba range was visible way off in the distance. Light winds and warm sunshine made for a pleasant days skiing and with the holiday crowds there was a very mellow atmosphere on the slopes. Last night the village was jam packed for the Niko Niko Matsuri, a gigantic contest of paper, scissors rock.

Nozawa Snow Report 8 January 2017: Stats

Base at top: 145 cm
Temp at Top: -5 Degree
Base at Uenotaira station: 100 cm
New snow since close: 0 cm
Weather: Clear

Nozawa Snow Report 8 January 2017

First light in Nozawa Onsen. Pic courtesy of Seiji Suzuki

Nozawa Snow Report 8 January 2017: Overview

Right now in the village its clear and calm. I can hear quite a few cars driving up to the parking area so its going to be a busy day on the slopes, as expected for the long weekend. Again groomers will be the pick for the day, smooth and fast early becoming icy up top and softer/slower down low later in the day. Expect high clouds to move over the resort later, but as we will be impacted by easterly weather I don’t think there will be much fog.

Nozawa Snow Report 8 January 2017

Have a look at this for a Nozawa Onsen weather forecast!

Nozawa Snow Report 8 January 2017: Forecast

The wait could be over very soon in here in Nozawa Onsen. After much flip flopping the predictions have come into line once more for the past 24 hours. And they are suggesting something big. From tomorrow afternoon until about the 16th or 17th we are expecting consistent moderate to heavy snow. This is the most impressive run of snow I can remember as far back as Dec/Jan 2014/15.

To begin with there will be some rain today and early tomorrow from mid mountain and below, snow up high. From then on the heaviest falls of snow looks to be on Tuesday night and then every day from Thursday until Monday. Temperatures will be cold, coldest over the weekend. The perfect wind direction from the north west is checked, hovering at moderate levels for the duration. We will see how much eventuates but our expectations here in Nozawa Onsen are very high indeed.

7 Day Outlook for Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort, from Meteoblue

The Nozawa Onsen Snow Report is presented & supported by Nozawa Holidays and The Daily Flake

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Nozawa Snow Report 8 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 7 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 7 January 2017

Sunny skies above Nozawa Onsen

Nozawa Snow Report 7 January 2017: Stats

Base at top: 150 cm
Temp at Top: -8 Degree
Base at Uenotaira station: 100 cm
New snow since close: 0 cm
Weather: Clear

Nozawa Snow Report 7 January 2017

Pavel debuts his Powabungas in the trees yesterday. Even at 136mm underfoot he scored no shortage of face shots.

Nozawa Snow Report 7 January 2017: Overview

Today is the first day in a while without overnight snowfalls in Nozawa Onsen. We awoke to clear skies and no wind. A classic Japanese bluebird with ample viewing opportunities from the summit of Mt Kenashi. Groomed runs will be smooth and fast early perhaps becoming firmer in the high traffic areas latter in the day. It will be busy on the hill courtesy of another long weekend holiday. There will be a few stashes left early but if your reading this now its too late, the frothing Japanese powder hounds will have smashed it already.

Tonight in the village we have the Niko Niko Matsuri. For those who don’t know its basically a huge game of paper scissors rock that takes place between and crowd all at the same time. Its very fun so well worth checking out. There will also be some free sake, huge drums and even a few local guys dressed in very old school Japanese skiing gear. Starts 7pm in town.

Yesterday was a top day, dare I say the best day of the season? Thanks to less crowds, at least on par with the 50cm powder day a few weeks back. Deep but not bottomless powder, skiable in the trees only in very particular areas up high (such as Yamabiko). We still need more snow! At least another meter. Lets hope next week delivers.

Nozawa Snow Report 7 January 2017: Forecast

As it goes with very long range forecasts the predictions for next week have backed off a bit. The weather models are doing strange things with unusual small highs and lows crossing Honshu over the next week. Whether or not these eventuate, its making it very hard to make accurate predictions and as a result the forecasts are flip flopping all over the place. Overall, I think we will get snow next week, just on the lower end of the scale compared to a few days ago. At least fairly consistent snowfalls from the week ahead starting Monday night, perhaps totalling a 50-100cm over the weeklong period.

7 Day Outlook for Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort, from Meteoblue

The Nozawa Onsen Snow Report is presented & supported by Nozawa Holidays and The Daily Flake

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Nozawa Snow Report 7 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 6 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 6 January 2017

Steadily improving conditions; another 15cm falls overnight

Nozawa Snow Report 6 January 2017: Stats

Base at top: 150 cm
Temp at Top: -8 Degree
Base at Uenotaira station: 105 cm
New snow since close: 15 cm
Weather: Snow

Nozawa Snow Report 6 January 2017

Photographers favourite jacket. Nozawa Onsen yesterday lunchtime.

Nozawa Snow Report 6 January 2017: Overview

The season is continuing on its upward trend here in Nozawa Onsen. Since last lifts yesterday we have seen snowfalls continue providing an addition 15cm of fresh cover. Excellent riding is to be expected resort wide today with significantly less crowds than there has been (till tomorrows long weekend) and fresh powder in the vicinity of knee deep. It will be hard to pick a poor area to ski today. We expect occasional light flurries this morning, possible clearing to blue sky later this afternoon.

Yesterday was the second best day of the season. There was good coverage above mid station early, less down low. However with continued snowfalls throughout the day conditions became progressively better and by the end there was good coverage top to bottom. At times the lack of crowds and heavy snowfalls made it possible to find fresh tracks on piste, especially around lunchtime. The wind blasting over the upper resort made for many frozen faces and wind loaded slopes in certain areas. Caution should be high for avalanche activity.

Nozawa Snow Report 6 January 2017: Forecast

Likewise, we are still more than on track for the week of the season (so far) next week. Yesterday a surprise downgrade of the forecast left many keen weather watchers disappointed however the weather models have come into line with an overall upgrade late yesterday. Worst case scenario next week we will have a run of decent snow for four or five days not unlike what we have had the past two. The best case scenario is something we all come to Japan for; bottomless pow and snowfalls measured in the meters. The overall prognosis will become much more certain within two days. Watch this space.

7 Day Outlook for Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort, from Meteoblue

The Nozawa Onsen Snow Report is presented & supported by Nozawa Holidays and The Daily Flake

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Nozawa Snow Report 6 January 2017

The Nozawa Onsen Snow Report is presented & supported by Nozawa Holidays and The Daily Flake Nozawa Snow Report 5 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 5 January 2017

Bringing out the heavy machinery this morning


Nozawa Snow Report 5 January 2017

Snow flurries continue

Snow flurries have continued on and off here tonight in Nozawa Onsen. Its hard to measure the amounts fallen with a strong wind blowing across the mountain, as of 8:40am the resort still hasn’t published their updates but I’d estimate 5-10cm overnight up top.

Nozawa Snow Report 5 January 2017

Looking a little more wintery this morning in Nozawa Onsen (Photo: Seiji Suzuki)

Nozawa Snow Report 5 January 2017: Stats

Base at top: 140 cm
Temp at Top: -7 degrees
Base at Uenotaira station: 100 cm
New snow since close: 5-10 cm
Weather: Snow

Nozawa Snow Report 5 January 2017: Overview

With the strong winds certain lifts including the gondola may be placed on wind hold today and expect extremely cold conditions up on Yamabiko (windchill -20). There will be plenty of windblown fresh powder on offer for those who brave the cold. UPDATE: The snow is coming down with increasing amounts here in the village. Going to be a good day up there.

Yesterday was an average day on the mountain until just after lunch when it vastly improved. The morning we saw some moderate wet snowfalls up high and rain down in the village. An extremely thick fog soaked the upper mountain making for hazardous conditions considering the chopped up and occasionally icy snowpack. Around lunchtime the temperatures took a definite chill and it started snowing heavily across the mountain top to bottom. Taking many by surprise the heavy falls provide fresh tracks in certain areas during the afternoon much to the delight of those who persisted from the morning.


Nozawa Snow Report 5 January 2017: Forecast

The forecast ahead continues to look very good. Going off the current runs a meter over next week would be a conservative estimate. In fact, for the period 10-17th I wouldn’t be surprised of snowfall totals in the region of two meters. A sustained frigid winter setup of consistent snowfalls are predicted over this time period. As these dates draw closer excitement is steadily increasing in accordance with confidence of these figures. In the meantime, after the current snowfall activity we expect a clearing trend to result in mostly sunny conditions over this weekend.

7 Day Outlook for Nozawa Onsen Ski Resort, from Meteoblue

The Nozawa Onsen Snow Report is presented & supported by Nozawa Holidays and The Daily Flake

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Nozawa Snow Report 5 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 4 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 4 January 2017: Stats

Base at top: 135 cm
Temp at Top: -5 Degree
Base at Uenotaira station: 100 cm
New snow since close: 5 cm
Weather: Partly cloudy

Nozawa Snow Report 4 January 2017

Tree in fog, Yamabiko.

Nozawa Snow Report 4 January 2017: Overview

Good morning from Nozawa Onsen where we have a day pretty similar to yesterday. A light dusting of 5cm up top and no recorded snowfalls in the village. Again today the groomed runs will be the pick. Yamabiko early and around lunchtime with Skyline and Challenge for a more leg burning pursuit. The park will also be worth a hit. The pistes will be firm early, softening with exposure to sun.

Yesterday was a good day on piste. The crowds were slightly less than previous days with the groomed runs not being too icy, nor too slushy. A lot of people are waiting with baited breath for the next dump, hopefully to start skiing in the trees. Another meter or so is needed off piste.

Nozawa Snow Report 4 January 2017: Forecast

Looks like we receive that next dump tonight with moderate snowfalls forecast. Probably around 15-20cm will fall tonight, continuing at a similar rate of precipitation into tomorrow and tomorrow night. So hopefully we will receive half the amount needed to ski off piste in the next 3 days. Further ahead there is something much more impressive on the horizon. An extremely strong winter setup is still predicted from Monday next week onwards. Confidence on this is higher than normal with successive model runs and a variety of weather model services predicting this outcome. Its possible a meter plus will fall from this. Finally a weather setup of true wintertime Japan, something that has been missing for the past two years.

The Nozawa Onsen Snow Report is presented & supported by Nozawa Holidays and The Daily Flake

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Nozawa Snow Report 4 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 3 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 3 January 2017

Surprise snowfalls to the village

Nozawa Snow Report 3 January 2017: Stats

Base at top: 130 cm
Temp at Top: -4 Degree
Base at Uenotaira station: 100 cm
New snow since close: 10 cm
Weather: Snow

Nozawa Snow Report 3 January 2017

Miniture Yamabiko yesterday.

Nozawa Snow Report 3 January 2017: Overview

Great news this morning out of Nozawa Onsen. The forecast was pretty borderline for rain in the village today however it has swung in our favour with snow falling right to the resort base. There are currently big flakes falling out the window with fresh coverage on the rooftops. Towards the summit 10cm has fallen overnight keeping the base level with yesterday. At -4c the resort is reporting powder up top, but expect it to be heavier powder as the temperature is three degrees above the average morning.

Yesterday we had another day for the groomers. The morning started with passing cloud and was really quite icy across the lower mountain with Yamabiko offering decent but crowded turns. During the afternoon conditions softened with sunshine making an appearance vastly improving the on piste snow. The terrain park was the place to be with soft and forgiving turns, as was some of the steeper lower pistes. Off piste is still not possible, more snow is needed here to push down the many bushes.

Nozawa Snow Report 3 January 2017: Forecast

Luckily we have a lot of snow in the forecast along with some variable prefrontal warm temperatures. It will be a little warmer tomorrow morning, we will probably get some rain in the village, snow up top. However by the afternoon it will snow in the village again, hopefully repairing any damage that occurs. Thursday will be even colder still with moderate snow showers persisting.

In the long range we have an extremely strong, cold and snowy period starting from Tuesday next week predicted. Its a positive note here the many weather prediction services are coming into line with a similar forecast. A brisk arctic NW wind will deliver strong snowfalls to Honshu from Tuesday 10th till either the 13th or the 17th. The caveat with this is that we also have a potential pineapple express inbound beforehand. Lets hope this slides further south as previously predicted.

The Nozawa Onsen Snow Report is presented & supported by Nozawa Holidays and The Daily Flake

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Nozawa Snow Report 3 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 2 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 2 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 2 January 2017: Stats

Base at top: 130 cm
Temp at Top: -4 Degree
Base at Uenotaira station: 95 cm
New snow since close: 0 cm
Weather: Partly cloudy

Nozawa Snow Report 2 January 2017

Ski touring near Nozawa Onsen

Nozawa Snow Report 2 January 2017: Overview

We are looking at a pretty similar day to yesterday here in Nozawa Onsen. Its currently partly cloudy above the mountain with good visibility up high. The temperatures will be positive below mid mountain, negative towards the top. Again today the groomed runs will be the pick, smooth and fast early becoming choppy as the afternoon wares on. Its a little quieter on the mountain now the Japanese New Years holidays are drawing to a close and there is no new snow to report.

Yesterday was a fairly good day to be skiing or boarding. As the clouds circulated around Yamabiko there were some great views. The snow remained good up top, light and dry. Towards the mid elevations and high traffic it became a little icy, grading to slushy on the lower slopes. The mid station areas were again a great place to escape the crowds.

Nozawa Snow Report 2 January 2017: Forecast

Looking into the future we have some interesting developments ahead. From tomorrow for the next two days we should see snowfalls across the top three quarters on Nozawa Onsen. The temperature is a little warm for snow to the village until Wednesday afternoon when the snow line will drop to 300m. Snow will continue until Friday. The daily totals aren’t extreme, probably topping up the mountain with 10cm or so each night but its better than nothing. In the distant future an extremely cold and snowy system is possible around the 10th. However this is subject to big changes, long range forecasts are never exactly accurate.

The Nozawa Onsen Snow Report is presented & supported by Nozawa Holidays and The Daily Flake

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Nozawa Snow Report 2 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 1 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 1 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 1 January 2017: Stats

Base at top: 140 cm
Temp at Top: -5 Degree
Base at Uenotaira station: 105 cm
New snow since close: 2 cm
Weather: Overcast

Nozawa Snow Report 1 January 2017

Moody weather over Mt Hiuchi, across the valley from Nozawa.

Nozawa Snow Report 1 January 2017: Overview

Hard to believe its 2017. Here in Nozawa Onsen the festivities were really ramped up last night; alcohol and positive vibes were flowing freely. Night skiing under the stars with sake makes for a dangerous combination! When it came to the stroke of midnight most people headed up to the Nagasaka slope to enjoy the fireworks display. However I walked down to the temple area to enjoy a serene atmosphere so far removed from the hustle and bustle elsewhere. A huge gong was rung 108 times to dispel all bad luck and with each stroke the iconic sound reverberated through the forest.

This is the first New Years day I can remember that hasn’t been an epic powder day, thankfully for some with sore heads. There was still a dusting of fresh snow up top to wipe the slate clean for 2017 and no new snow was recorded at the lower elevations. Currently its mostly cloudy however the sun is popping out every now and again. Its quite foggy up top so be prepared and take it easy. The groomers will be the pick today with top to bottom coverage across the entire resort.

Nozawa Snow Report 1 January 2017: Forecast

To the all important forecast, the freezing level is sitting at about 1000m for the next two days. Tomorrow afternoon light showers are predicted for the lower elevations and snow up high. On Tuesday we will see the snow levels gradually drop towards the resort base becoming colder by Wednesday. The temperatures never get super cold but I’m confident we will see snow to the village level (just). Regardless, Im quietly optimistic that there will be some strong totals come the end of the week. The overall setup isn’t ideal, but the wind is.

The Nozawa Onsen Snow Report is presented & supported by Nozawa Holidays and The Daily Flake

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Nozawa Snow Report 1 January 2017

Nozawa Snow Report 31 December 2016

Scenes in the village yesterday

Nozawa Snow Report 31 December 2016: Stats

Base at top: 150 cm
Temp at Top: -5 Degree
Base at Uenotaira station: 100 cm
New snow since close: 5 cm
Weather: Partly cloudy

Nozawa Snow Report 31 December 2016: Overview

Welcome to the last day of 2016 in Nozawa Onsen. Its a fine day around here with a blue sky above and high clouds spread across the sky. From last lifts yesterday we had a dusting of 5cm fall up top which should have freshened up the cover; although a first lifts ascent is required to beat the Japanese holiday crowds.

There is a lot happening around Nozawa Onsen today and tonight for New Years celebrations. Night skiing is on until 1130pm including complimentary sake and mulled wine, offered near the bottom of the Nagasaka slope after which a midnight fireworks display will be set off for everyone to enjoy. Down at the temple area of the village (near the cooking onsen) the temple bell will be rung 108 times to rid all bad luck from the area. New Years is a popular time in Japan and the restaurants will be busy with locals and foreigners. Many head to the Soba shops to eat the long noodles that are thought to bring a long life.

Although very busy, yesterday was a great day. First lifts kicked off a little early at 810am, fooling a few, myself included. But for the first half of the morning there were plenty of deep fresh tracks to be had, especially on the lower mountain. After that everything became quite chopped up by the holiday crowds, especially since the treed areas are not quite ready yet with hidden logs and branches ready to snag unsuspecting riders.

Nozawa Snow Report 31 December 2016: Forecast

Looking ahead towards 2017 there is some snow on the horizon from the 3rd-5th. Nothing substantial is predicted, a bit of a downgrade from yesterday. Weeks like this can swing either way, sometimes producing heaps of snow, other times just isolated snow showers. Time will tell…

The Nozawa Onsen Snow Report is presented & supported by Nozawa Holidays and The Daily Flake

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Nozawa Snow Report 29 December 2016