Today was my first day back in Japan for the season, and the first day back on the snow for the season. To say that this is a poor season is a pretty generous sugar coating of the situation. We are now in Mid Jan and the ski resorts of Nagano, famous for their tree skiing with deep powder are limtied to groomer-only days. These are sad times, but I am sure if Rupert Murdoch was interested in Japan ski resorts he would find a way to try and convince us this is not at all related to any human impact on the climate (sorry, still a bit fresh from the Australia bushfires).
We spent the morning getting a few laps in at Togari Onsen, our home base for this season. To be fair, there was actually a lot of fun to be had and the conditions on piste in the upper mountain were pretty good. Nice cord on piste, and some leftovers on the side from the 10-15cm the region recieved 2 days ago.
The forecast is not great, but also not terrible in context of this season. We should see a few small snowfalls over the next few days, followed by a temperature spike and rain event and then more snow. Unfortunately, to get more snow from this storm we will have to endure more rain.
Expect to see some updates from some higher evelevation resorts like Shiga or Kagura next week when that rolls in.
On a side note, we also paid a visit to Madarao this afternoon to visit some friends. The situation is not looking much better up there, with little to no snowbanks around the village. The good news is the Sympathique hotel has had a lick of paint over the summer, so the drive in from Iiyama looks a lot nicer, despite the lack of snow to hide all the sins on some of the other buildings.