Latest Update:  12th 2013

12th December 2014

This coming weekend we are looking forward to some heavy snow fall. Tsugaike kogen Ski Resort has already opened. Finaly Cortina and Norikura will open tomorrow. Definitely we will have great kick start of this winter season! Below photo is Tsugaike Kogen 8th Dec.

22nd March 2013 It has been a similar story this last week again with generally warm, spring conditions in the valley and on the slopes.  We did get some fresh snowfall Wednesday night into Thursday, bringing up to 10cm of snow in some places, but today it is another fine and sunny day and temperatures rising to over 10 degrees. 

It looks like the weekend should be generally fine as well, perhaps not as warm as today. 

15th March 2013 It's been another week of generally warm conditions since last weekend when we did indeed experience some rather strange weather on Sunday - thunder and lightning, rain and wind.  Not the best day to be out on the slopes and I think some people will have enjoyed some nice onsen. 

It's a beautiful day here in Otari today, with a high of around 9 degrees at base.  Tomorrow promises more of the same, hope you have a good weekend.

8th March 2013 Rain today I'm afraid as spring seems to take more of a hold on proceedings here in northern Nagano.  Tonight looks set to be really warm and will remain well above zero.  A chance of stronger winds tomorrow on the mountain but it should be generally fine weather.  Sunday is looking like it might bring some more extreme conditions with some forecasts even telling us to expect some thunderstorms.

1st March 2013 Things are gradually warming up as March arrives and the word 'spring' is being uttered more.  This morning it is cloudy and warm, and unfortunately rain is likely today.  Maybe some snowfall over the weekend and then a spring warming pattern is due next week.

22nd February 2013 Some regular snowfalls earlier in the week but a bit clearer yesterday and today.  Lots of snow is likely though overnight and into tomorrow along with strong winds that may very well affect the lift operations at resorts in the valley.  Snowfall is likely through the weekend, with conditions likely to clear up early in the week.

14th February 2013 Last weekend was indeed very busy with lots of people arriving in Otari to enjoy a break from work on the snow.  We have had some more consistent snowfall since my last report. A cloudy start to the day but we are probably due some more snow before the coming weekend.

8th February 2013 Some good snowfall yesterday around the village and on the mountains meaning some really good conditions on the slopes of the resorts around Otari.  Monday is a national holiday in Japan and so we are about to enter a three day weekend.  Traditionally this is one of the busiest weekends of the ski season and so you can expect places to be busy.  Hopefully enough good snow conditions for everyone to enjoy.  Have fun.

1st February 2013 It has been something of a 'dry' week in terms of snow since last weekend with not much to talk of apart from higher up in the mountains.  It is also unseasonably warm at the moment and looks like that will continue into tomorrow but hopefully we'll be back to cold by late Sunday.

25th January 2013 Heavy snow conditions in Otari this morning.  Up to half a meter of new snowfall since yesterday evening in some places, making for some very refreshed conditions!  Winds are with us as well, and with similar conditions likely over the weekend there is a good chance that ski lifts will be affected.  Somewhat calmer conditions are likely come Sunday.

18th January 2013 Some heavy snowfall since the last report in the region.  The resorts in Otari have been on the receiving end of regular large amounts of fresh snowfall.

Conditions on the slopes for the coming weekend should be excellent.

14th January 2013 Heavy snowfall in the Kanto region has really affected transportation today with people leaving the region after the long weekend (today is a national holiday in Japan).  While we are used to a lot of snow in Otari, people in Tokyo and surrounding areas are much less so.  Gambatte kudasai!

6th January 2013 Welcome to 2013 and Happy New Year from Otari.

We have had some good snowfalls since the new year, mostly up on the mountains rather than down in the valley.  On the mountains is where we need it though, so all is good.  Some very nice conditions for skiers and snowboarders.  We always want more snow though and it looks like it should be mid week when we get more.

28th December 2012 We had some great days this week so far with light, dry powder snow to be found out on the slopes around the village.  This weekend we are due some milder conditions but the snow is due to be back falling on us perhaps late in the weekend and into next week.  It looks like it will be a very happy New Year!

20th December 2012 Still not a whole lot of new snow this week to report, but things are looking good for heavy snowfall on Sunday and into early in the week.  It looks like it is going to be a very snowy and white Christmas.

14th December 2012 We did get some snowfall and more of the resort areas are now open, but we still need more for things to really get going.  There's still plenty to play in though a heavy snowfall does not seem likely next week.

7th December 2012 This coming weekend we are looking forward to some heavy snowfall in the region which should really kick start the winter season into gear.  Heavy snow and potentially strong winds are forecast for the north west region of Nagano Prefecture.  Wrap up well and be prepared if you intend to be here for the weekend!

30th November 2012 Not too much to report this week as we generally wait for the first deep snowfall of the winter season.  Things are looking promising for this time next week, so we will just have to see how that turns out...

23rd November 2012 It doesn't seem that long ago when the National Park was in full colours and we were enjoying some amazing autumn scenery.  Well, we are into winter mode now and today marks the opening day for the Tsugaike Kogen ski and snowboard resort in Otari for the 2012/2013 winter season.  Just one run up top open from today as we haven't had much snowfall since my last report but always exciting to see the ski lifts moving...

16th November 2012 What a week it has been!  We were expecting some snowfall, but perhaps not quite as much as we got!  Reports of up to 1m of snowfall higher up on the mountains in the region, and also a fair few cm down in village areas as well yesterday.  That put the smiles on faces of lots of people looking forward to the snowy winter.  Some ski resorts nearby in Hakuba even plan to part open for the weekend.

It's not full on winter yet - remember we are still in November - but it's certainly an encouraging start!

9th November 2012 Temperatures continue to gradually drop in the region and we have seen further sprinklings of snow as well.  For those of us looking forward to more snow, keep an eye on the forecast for the middle of next week -- as it stands now it looks like there may be a decent snowfall on it's way.... certainly higher up on the mountains anyway.

3rd November 2012 It has been feeling like we can almost say that winter has arrived!  Snow under the feet on the mountain and some lovely snow scenery for a change... though we have yet to have snow down to village level of course. The National Park will be closed tomorrow as people in the region prepare for winter to start proper.  We'll no doubt have some ups and downs with temperatures in the coming weeks, but there will very probably be people skiing in the region by the end of the month. 

We'll keep you posted!

>> View video from 3rd November 2012 [Japanese Otari site]

26th October 2012 At the risk of repeating myself, this last week we have had some wonderful moments to enjoy the majesty of our surroundings.  As you can see from the photo and video below, we saw the first snowfall of the season high up on the mountains.  In the Tsugaike National Park, a few cm of snow was waiting for those going up on the Ropeway, making for an amazing contrast with the autumn colours that are now a bit lower down the mountainsides.

We may have rain on Sunday but next week the weather should once again be fine.  Be sure to check these lovely conditions out while you can.

>> View video from 24th October 2012 [Japanese Otari site]


19th October 2012 What a week!  When the weather has co-operated it has been prime autumn colours viewing time on the Otari mountains.  Be sure to check the video linked to below.  We are past the peak of the spectacular colours high up now actually, but lower down still some beautiful sights to see. 

>> View video from 14th October 2012 [Japanese Otari site]

12th October 2012 The last day of the three day weekend (Monday) was a perfect time to be in the region and the colours are at their peak in parts of the mountains now.  Once again I recommend you take a look at the video linked to below to see how colourful everything is at the moment.  Still lots more time to enjoy it as it comes down the mountain, with fine and clear weather mostly on the forecast into next week.

>> View video from 8th October 2012 [Japanese Otari site]

4th October 2012 Take a look at the image and video clip below - there are some spectacular colours now high up in the mountains.  Some lovely reds and yellows in particular.  They will slowly be making their way down the mountains in the coming weeks.  Lovely cool weather as well at the moment.

>> View video from 4th October 2012 [Japanese Otari site]

28th September 2012 Some beautiful weather since the last report and more colours appearing as well - yellows, browns, reds.  It's not full on autumn colours just yet but we are on our way and when the sun is out with blue skies we are treated to some spectacular views.

Evenings are getting real chilly at times as well now - there's no more of that summer heat left lingering now and even when it gets warm in a day it's definitely nowhere near as humid!  Very nice.

>> View video from 27th September 2012 [Japanese Otari site]

22nd September 2012 As you can see on the photo and video below, autumn colours are starting to appear.  More good news as well as temperatures have really dropped since the last report and there's almost a chill in the air at times.  In the coming weeks, more than at any other time of the year perhaps, it's almost worth going up the mountains a few times a week to see what is happening up there.  I hope you can get out there and enjoy it.

>> View video from 22nd September 2012 [Japanese Otari site]

14th September 2012 The colours are starting to change!  We're not there yet but the signs of autumn continue to appear.... evenings and early mornings are getting cooler, though it is still warming up during the day time.  Things should continue at the same pace over the coming week or so, with things continuing to get cooler in another week or so...

>> View video from 12th September 2012 [Japanese Otari site]

7th September 2012 Here we are already into September.  And we have noticed a drop in temperatures, at least in the evenings and mornings with some days being almost comfortably cool - even if it still gets hot during the daytime.

There is of course a lot to look forward to - the beautiful scenery of autumn and then of course all that snow for winter!  We are now entering one of the best periods of the year.

>> View video from 5th September 2012 [Japanese Otari site]

29th August 2012 Summer is still lingering on but signs of autumn continue with some autumn plants starting to appear.  We have had more fine weather in the mountains but temperatures down at village level remain 'summer'.  Hopefully soon it might start to cool down.  The forecast is for clear and sunny conditions through into next week.

>> View video from 29th August 2012 [Japanese Otari site]

17th August 2012 There are signs of autumn in the Park - it doesn't seem that long ago when we were talking about snow melting from the mountains, but now it is once again only a matter of months before the first of fresh sprinklings are with us.  Before that though, the lovely autumn months.... a favorite time of the year for many as it brings the spectacular autumn colors as well as more comfortable temperatures before winter arrives....

>> View video from 16th August 2012 [Japanese Otari site]

11th August 2012 There has been more good weather in the region with a nice breeze up in the mountains when I was up there a few days ago.

>> View video from 10th August 2012 [Japanese Otari site]

4th August 2012 We have enjoyed some very fine weather in the last week or two.  Hot still in the village in the daytime as you might expect, more pleasant as you get higher up.  But some lovely clear skies and fantastic views of the mountains on offer.

Early week we might see some rain but generally next week seems set to see lots of sun and blue sky as well in the region.

>> View video from 4th August 2012 [Japanese Otari site]

27th July 2012 It has been a hot week in Japan and northern Nagano doesn't escape.  Of course, getting up into the mountain certainly helps and there has been a relief in breezes blowing about up in the Park.

We might have some rain on Sunday but after that it should be clear and mostly sunny with some cloud in the coming week.  We can expect temperatures up around 30 though at village level.... all the more reason to get up in the mountains!

>> View video from 27th July 2012 [Japanese Otari site]


20th July 2012 More of the summer flowers and plants making an appearance in the last week or so as we have enjoyed some fine conditions with a nice some blue skies between the clouds and a relatively cool breeze every now and again.

We might have some rain tomorrow from from Sunday it looks like we should be having lots of clearer conditions in the coming week.

>> View video from 17th July [Japanese Otari site]

13th July 2012

The proper summer season is nearly upon us!  It looks like we can expect some very hot and humid conditions at village level this coming weekend (hitting as high as 30 degrees perhaps) and while it will still be warm, a trip up to the natural park will be a welcome escape from the heat for many people. 

The forecast for the coming week is generally one of sunny and hot conditions as we make our way out of the rainy season period.

>> View video from 11th July  [Japanese Otari site]

6th July 2012

As you can see from the photos over the last few weeks, life has been springing up quickly in the Park.  The seasons are changing fast as we approach the peak of summer.  It shouldn't be long before the last of the snow will have disappeared...

>> View video from 5th July  [Japanese Otari site]

28 June 2012 There is still some snow around here and there at the moment, even in this late part of June.  We are well into rainy season, but haven't really seem much of the rain so far.  We have had a fair bit of cloud though but a good share of finer conditions as well.

>> View video from 27th June  [Japanese Otari site]

22nd June 2012 There is still snow up there on the mountains in Otari but it is now gradually melting away... and making way for more and more plants and flowers to come to life.

We are now officially into "rainy season", but the week ahead looks generally clear and sunny with not much rain on the forecast.  Rainy season means it can come quickly though so that is of course subject to change at short notice!

>> View video from 21st June  [Japanese Otari site]

15th June 2012 We are enjoying some lovely weather at the moment with nice blue skies and just some cloud hanging around.  And nice and cool as well.

>> View video from 21st June  [Japanese Otari site]

4th June 2012 The Park is now officially open, having opened on Friday 1st June.  As you can see from the video on the page linked to below, there is still quite a lot of snow up there!

>> View video from 1st June  [Japanese Otari site]

We should be enjoying some fine and clear conditions this week in the Otari area.  Down in the village area we can expect temperatures to rise somewhat, but it should be staying nice and cool up in the mountains!

25th May 2012 Good morning from Otari.  It is a rather grey and cloudy morning here and it might rain later on, but the weather over the weekend should be much improved and we should get to see lots of the sun into next week as well.  Another week before the Park is due to be officially opened for the summer season.

20th May 2012

It has been a few weeks now since the ski resorts in the region closed.  The snow has quickly further retreated up the mountainsides, though still a lot on those big mountains- as you can see in the below image (at the time of posting) which is a webcam from the Tsugaike Natural Park. 

The Park plans to be open from Friday 1st June until Sunday 4th November.

It has been a mix of cloud and fine weather over the last week or so and looks like for the most part we should enjoy some good weather conditions in the coming week.

10th May 2012

That's it!  The 2011/2012 ski and snowboard season is now over in Otari village.  We hope that you managed to visit and enjoy your time here.  The 2012/2013 ski season should begin in the last month or so of the year.

In the meantime, summer and autumn brings with it many attractions to enjoy in the region. 


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For daily updates of snow and weather conditions in the region, check out the Hakuba Now! reports on the SnowJapan website and Yahoo Weather.