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Warm winter bad news for Japan's ski resorts

15 Comments
By Kazuhiro Nogi

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15 Comments
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This has nothing to do with climate change.

Naah...neither do the record fires in Australia, California, Europe..nor record typhoons / hurricanes travelling further than ever or the other extreme swings of weather around the globe. Its gotta be something else....maybe its Donny.

20 ( +23 / -3 )

Naah...neither do the record fires in Australia, California, Europe..nor record typhoons / hurricanes travelling further than ever or the other extreme swings of weather around the globe. Its gotta be something else....maybe its Donny.

you forgot the record melt underway in the arctic, its the first time in recorded history that ships will be able to navigate through the arctic during the summer months, nah nothing to do with climate change

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Yep, lots and lots of westerlies this time bringing warm and wet from China. Not the classic winter pattern which is a high above Siberia spinning clockwise and a low above Hokkaido spinning anticlockwise, combining to pull lots of cold air across the Japan Sea for huge lake-effect snow. Many central Japan resorts are yet to have a "ma-fuyubi", a day when it stays sub-zero all day. You can compare recent temps against averages on this (Japanese) map.

https://www.data.jma.go.jp/obd/stats/data/mdrr/tenkou/indexTenkouTem10dhi.html

It's a personal gripe, but stuff that comes out of a snow machine is not "artificial powder". It will be closer to shaved ice. Lots of people marketing skiing in Japan keep shouting "Powder!" because it has been an easy sell to Australians. I don't think Asians, the real long-term growth market for skiing in Japan, are that bothered about deep snow. What they want are better facilities, not the tired ones in many Japanese ski resorts.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I'm can't believe just how mild this winter has been.

This time last year I made a day trip up to Yamadera and struggled to reach the observation deck due to the amount of snow that was in the area. But this year there is barely even a light dusting of snow in the area....

8 ( +8 / -0 )

marcelitoToday  09:12 am JST

This has nothing to do with climate change.

Naah...neither do the record fires in Australia, California, Europe..nor record typhoons / hurricanes travelling further than ever or the other extreme swings of weather around the globe. Its gotta be something else....maybe its Donny

Actually, Donny knows the answer. He is just waiting for us mere mortals to also find the truth so he can explain it to us in language we can understand.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Yep! Climate change is real! However, instead of complaining about and pondering what was, they need to be considering how to diversify their business to survive as the effects of climate change become more frequent and more severe.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

I'm can't believe just how mild this winter has been.

same here.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Come to Iwate. We're getting better snow than even Hokkaido. Again, as the article says not as previous years but still. I've been riding powder all season. You'll need to work to find those japow secret stash (skins/Splitboard/ski) and hike a bit but well worth it.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Won't be long before snow in Japan is just memory. The people in the industry should get out now.

Err, I don't think it's quite as bad as that. However, it's kind of ironic that the Japanese government has just identified ski resorts as a way to expand inbound tourism and is looking at providing funding for updating what are pretty old ski lifts and other facilities. This is at least 20 years after things starting happening in Niseko and 15 years after Hakuba in Nagano followed suit. In investment, there is the concept of a "contrarian indicator", which usually means ordinary people buying a niche investment such as tech stocks, precious metals, crypocurrency etc. as bandwagon jumpers. This usually indicates that a market is overheated and is about to fail. It would be typical for the Japanese government to start supporting skiing just as the great snow machine above the Japan Sea stops working.

Most of the marketing of skiing in Japan has been based on heavy snowfall. It's not based on modern facilities or skier needs like halal or gluten free or babysitting or 30cm sized rental boots or activities for non-skiing family members. It should be remembered that skiers buy into Japanese culture much less than people here to look at temples. Some of them won't want lots of Japanese food like the culture vultures. If poor snowfall like this year is going to be the new norm, skiing in Japan becomes a much harder sell.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This has nothing to do with climate change.

Deniers have a peverse kind of Tourette's, they just put their fingers in their ears and blurt this kind of thing out whenever someone mentions the weather.

It certainly is a warm winter so far, but so was 2014 and then we had 8 feet of snow in a week in mid February.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@kohaku, very well said. Much of Japan's ski infrasturcture is very much Showa jidai (i.e. 80's). Chillly, basic rooms, rubbish food, glacial ski lifts etc. I think the influx of Aussie & Asian tourists is changing the makeup of a lot of resorts, but I think a lot of the smaller places outside of Hakuba, Nisseko etc will soon go under; Japan has a LOT of ski hills!

I heard that any ski resort that closes must return the mountain to its original, natural condition, which places a big cost on closures. Do you know anything about this?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

....that said I do love some of the smaller ski resorts in Gifu, Nagano & Gunma. You can get a combined room & lift ken for less than 10,000 yen, breakfast, lunch, dinner & onsen included. Absolute bargain. In Austria you'd pay double and then some.

Won't be long before snow in Japan is just memory.

Not in our lifetime hopefully

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Won't be long before snow in Japan is just memory. The people in the industry should get out now.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The unseasonably warm weather has already caused headaches in Sapporo, where organizers of the city's famed snow festival have had to hire a record number of trucks to bring in snow from the suburbs and surrounding towns to build their signature sculptures.

Just how is this “eco”? Could it be that all this Thunberg is just leftist virtue signaling?

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

This has nothing to do with climate change.

-21 ( +6 / -27 )

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