Welcome to 2017 from Nozawa Onsen

by Mark on January 1, 2017

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

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


Base at top: 140 cm

Temp at Top: -5 Degree

Base at Uenotaira station: 105 cm

New snow since close: 2 cm

Weather: Overcast

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.

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.

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