The walls of snow just keep getting higher in Nozawa
Think it is time for the snow dance to take a break or the unbelievable will soon become the unlivable!
Has been snowing heavily again overnight in Nozawa Onsen and since the lifts closed yesterday we have had another 50cm. That makes it about 200cm in just 2 days I think, but starting to lose count! Hard to believe and even harder to shovel!
The base up top is now over 4 meters so we are in record territory. I am still not sure it is a great thing for skiers and boarders or not but for us that live here it is a big challenge to clear the roads and prevent windows and roofs from getting snowed under.
On the slopes there are still a few big grins coming down for those in the know on where to go to handle all this snow. A few of the guys were looping 39 degrees yesterday and had some stories and footage of neck deep powder runs. But be careful as if get stuck in the deep stuff it is a lot of hard work to dig yourself out so best to stay on piste for now.
The groomers also are flowing better today with the team from the resort getting in and doing some serious grooming thru until the early hours of this morning. Lucky too as we have a fairly decent weekend crowd making the adventurous trip into town. More than I had expected, with all the news thought a few may be put off but seems everyone is interested to see how this much snow actually looks!
Anyone coming up please take care on the roads. Have seen a few accidents over the last few days. The trains and buses are running but have been experiencing some delays. Stay safe and feel free to jump on the end of a shovel and lend a hand!
A Fish Board or Fat skis are the best option at the moment
One of the houses down the road going under again
It is phenomenal! The snow just keeps coming in Nozawa Onsen. There is so much the call of ‘too much snow’ is being heard on the lifts and in the bars. Nozawa even made the NHK national news today as being one of the snowiest places in Japan!
We had 1 meter of snow yesterday in total, 65cm at night then another 35cm during the day. The heavens finally stopped thumping us late in the afternoon just in time for a BBQ!
There has been at least another 30cm plus of snow fall since 2 am this morning probably more and there are still huge flakes flowing from the sky now as I type.
Yesterday was an epic day on the mountain, just had to find somewhere steep enough to get you sliding. If you did but the rewards were insane with chest deep runs in places. In many spots including the trees at Yamabiko it was just too deep anyone venturing in got stuck and took up to 2 hours to dig themselves out and back on the safety of a groomer.
Today even the groomers are like powder runs and some of the flatter ones it is hard to get the speed to cruise thru the ever-building powder! More heavy snow forecast thru to tonight so it is going to be a wild ride. Hang on and good luck!
Going for a record snowfall in Nozawa
Snow path in Nozawa Onsen
We are getting absolutely buried in new snow in Nozawa Onsen today. Official reports are showing up to 65cm up top we are struggling to shovel 70cm in the driveway just to get all the eager powder hounds out the front door and up the slopes!
It started on my way to the onsen last night around midnight and by the time I had come out there was 10cm on the ground. I gathered a further 5cm on my head on the way home! It just continued dumping all night and is still heavy now with no sign of stopping! Nice light fluffy snow with first tracks almost every run. The groomers are back out on the slopes this morning to try and make some groomed runs for the non initiated!
Anyway better go and get in some valuable research up the mountain for you all! Stay safe and have an awesome day it is going to be deep powder. May need more than the snorkel, maybe pack a periscope today!
Nozawa Onsen shop
Nozawa Onsen Powder snow
A blizzard in Nozawa just hit us and the whole place has turned white. Up top is a bit of a white out and lots of guys came back down early. The good news is we have had over 10cm of fresh snow in about 2 hours and it is starting to ease!
It started this morning like it finished yesterday nice and sunny but some dark clouds rolled in and it quickly changed. Yesterday was an amazing day on the mountain with 30cm of fresh and beautiful sunshine. Some of the season long gang were claiming it as the best day of the season. But I have heard that mentioned a few times before!
The best may be ahead of us with a few heavy dumps and lots of snowman marks on the radar. So dig out the powder straps and hang on for a great ride.
Snow on trees in Nozawa Onsen
Ploughing the Nozawa fields with Gab from Switzerland
There were no friends around the breakfast table this morning. With the fresh delivery of a magic foot of light fluffy snow overnight everyone was scrambling over the scrambled eggs to get out the door and up the mountain.
The dump we had been expecting tonight came early to everyone’s delight and it snowed heavily most of the night with 30cm been recorded when we woke up this morning. Still snowing lightly now with the sun trying to break thru the clouds but meeting a fair bit of resistance.
Will be an amazing day on the mountain today and all the gang that have been waiting for the powder will be breathing a sigh of relief after a bit of a dry patch. A film crew has been in town to make the new Nozawa promo flick so good timing. They were getting deep into the culture last night at the Karaoke bar and some of the moves were definitely worthy of a spot in the final cut!
The outlook is for the snow to continue fairly gradually, the peak being another decent dump tomorrow night. Once again the happiness is big in Nozawa Onsen
Nozawa looking good under 30cm of fresh snow this morning
The local Komoshika out in the pow
Snowing lightly in the village all morning not much collecting down here but a few centimeters has gathered up top. The forecast is for it to get lighter throughout the day and then sunshine for tomorrow before the winter onslaught tomorrow night.
Yesterday was warm, probably about 5 degrees for most of the day down in the village. Felt like a spring day for the first time in a while. The snow was also a bit slushy and spring like on the lower slopes, still some nice snow to be had up top though. The warmer temps did have a positive impact on snow clearing though and most places in town are now ready for the next big hit, which is still scheduled to begin tomorrow night.
Have seen a few Kamoshika or Serow around the resort and right down to Karasawa over the past week. These majestic beasts are beautiful to see and look like a cross between a deer and a mountain goat. We don’t see a lot of wild life around here but from time to time we see, tanuki which is like a badger, foxes and even a rare bear. Good to see they are enjoying the snow too!
Clearing the deck before the next big dump in Nozawa
Heard the snow sliding off my roof at about midnight last night but it sounded pretty heavy. Even copped a bit of the four-letter word that we don’t like to hear, rain last night down in the village. It quickly changed to sleet and up top we got about 10cm of fresh snow.
Today is a bit of a mixed bag of weather too with some snow, sun and everything in between! The sun is trying to make an appearance at the moment but is still a little shy. On the mountain this morning conditions were pretty good and some fresh pockets could be found in places. Some of the guys headed under the chairs at Yamabiko and reported nice snow on the faces down in to the natural half pipe.
The lift line was a bit of a bottleneck at the bottom of Yamabiko A which tends to happen on the weekends but the rest of the lifts were not bad at all for a Sunday morning. The groomers were quite soft under foot with that bit of a dusting.
The next big dump is still looming from Tuesday on and looks like it should get heavy later in the week. Everyone is working hard to clear the decks in preparation for what is on the way.
Snow coming up on the menu for Nozawa Onsen
Air Time by Matthew Coombe
Temps a little warmer in Nozawa the last few days and no major snowfalls have developed as yet. Yesterday just as I finished writing the report the snow stopped and didn’t get much overnight. Light snow this morning and should get a bit more tonight.
Tomorrow is looking fairly clear then a bit of snow expected Sunday night when the freezing level is set to drop down to below sea level. The snow show should kick in from Tuesday night with some serious snow expected after that.
Just in time for the Chinese New Year with quite a few guests from overseas expected to roll into town from today
The good luck has already started for one young couple that got engaged on the top of Yamabiko yesterday. We have had quite a few proposals in Nozawa over the years not sure if it is the mountains, the flowing water or the flowing sake but something sets the scene perfectly. We wish the happy couple all the best.
Today there was another light dusting up top and condition on piste were good, off piste too. Just the sides were getting a bit crusty. The guys are still finding lots of fun spots all over the mountain! It has just started to snow pretty big flakes out the window now.
Gong Xi Fa Cai! Happy Chinese New Year from all in Nozawa Onsen
No not Tokyo but snowing here too
The scene has changed today in Nozawa with the snow returning. Has been pretty light through out today with occasional big flakes floating down. On the slopes about 5cm has collected and it is a bit of dust on crust but should soften up as the day goes on and more snow joins the party.
Yesterday was nice on the slopes with almost no wind and that looks set to continue for a little while.
Just talked to a friend in Tokyo and he said it was even snowing in Tokyo today. Not collecting on the ground but some good fall, something that does not happen very often these days so great to see.
The outlook is for snow to continue here for quite a while in Nozawa Onsen getting heavy on Saturday night then pretty consistent all the way thru next week. So the powder times look set to return.
People travel from far and wide to check out Nozawa Onsen. Have had a bunch of guys all the way from Finland in town for the past week that is about as far as you can get and from all reports they have had a ball.
Sun has been a while nice to see you
Base up top: 280 cm Temperature; -4 Degrees
Base at bottom; 200 cm
New Snow: 0 cm
Another sunny day in the slopes here in Nozawa similar mould to yesterday with very light winds and nice conditions on the slopes.
As usual after a few days without any fresh snow the powder hounds are getting a bit of an itch, but there are still some nice spots if you search around. On piste was a bit hard early but has softened up now for a beautiful day.
The expected snowfall just keeps creeping forward and looks like may start with a little tonight then the snow man mark is appearing pretty consistently into the near future. Not a major dump but hopefully some nice little top ups.
The University contests are on in town at the moment and they are taking to the ski jump too just above Arena. Pretty spectacular to watch as they get some serious air!
Had our annual Sake Tasting night last night at Villa Nozawa. Over 60 people sat in for some very good sake and information. Tanaka san the President of Mizuo Sake a locally produced sake was on hand to serve up the precious white liquid. His family has been brewing Sake in Iiyama since 1873 and uses Nozawa Onsen spring water blended with Iiyama and Kijimadaira rice to make some of my favourite sake in all of Japan.
Sake tasting night always popular