Powderhounds get ready - we should be in for a cracker of a season in 19/20! The first snowfall has already hit Hokkaido, Japan's northernmost prefecture and home to Niseko's famous Japow. Dusting the top of Yotei-zan on September 19, the first snowfall came as a surprise to locals and pretty much everyone else in other regions of Japan, who were experiencing a heatwave at the time.
Niseko wasn't the only region of Hokkaido experiencing a surprisingly early visit from the snow gods, Daisetsuzan National Park was also hit with temperatures below zero and 5cm of snow overnight. High elevation areas seemed to be covered in a thin, yet undeniable sheet of powder and hinted at perhaps another Winter of extremely cold temperatures and incredible snow in the mountainous areas that cover the prefecture.
※黒岳ロープウェイは強風観測中のため、始発より運休しております。（午前08:00現在）ご来場のお客様は最新の運行状況をお確かめください。 pic.twitter.com/3d1Z9r3KP4— 大雪山層雲峡黒岳ロープウェイ (@rinyu_kurodake) September 18, 2019
For now, evidence of snow is gone from Mt Yotei, but temperatures have dropped again with no signs of heating up, and hints of sleet fell in the village over the weekend. While some may be in denial about Winter arriving so soon, we here in Niseko are ready to welcome it with open arms and are hoping for a good base in time for November 23rd, when the first lifts open.
While we wait for more more snow, we can watch as the beauty of Autumn falls over Hokkaido, which is one of the rare places in Japan to experience all 4 seasons.