What a start to the season we had. Over 3 meters of Niseko’s finest snow fell in December bringing a definite White Christmas vibe. Everyone lucky enough to be there during the Christmas and New Year period had some of the best days all season.
New Year’s Eve is always a special time to be in Niseko to experience not only some of the best snow in the world but also the unique Japanese culture. From traditional Taiko drums performances, torchlight skiing on the main slopes at Hirafu to midnight fireworks and New Year Sake barrel opening, it truly is a wonderful start to the New Year with friends and family.
This season January or ‘Japanuary’ as we like to call it, had the snow taps running as the first 10 days of the month saw over another meter of snowfall. It then seemed that the snow gods had forgotten us for a week or so as the snow appeared to have stopped and we were just left enjoying blue bird days.
Towards the end of the month when we saw tracks filled and fresh lines possible again, however it was rather short lived as from mid February the snow taps were completely turned off and we saw little to no snow for the remainder of the season.
According to locals this was an average season however with over 13 meters of world class JPOW being measured at the top of Mt Niseko-Annupuri and with a little under 10 meters towards the base at Hirafu Village level, we think it was still a pretty good ‘average’ season.
Statistics from the Niseko United website confirm that while it was an ‘average’ season it was the third snowiest of the past six seasons. Additionally, comparing Niseko to some of the top ski resorts in the world it is easy to see that even an ‘average’ snowfall season in Niseko sits above world famous resorts such as Aspen and Whistler.
2018-19 World Wide Snowfall Stats
Niseko = 1,310cm
Aspen / Snowmass = 1,005cm
Whistler = 947cm
Breckenridge = 897cm
Park City = 833cm
Vail = 713cm
Big White = 581cm
Key Stone = 444cm
Courchevel Tourisme = 254cm
St. Moritz – Corviglia = 249cm