Ten days ago, we declared Rusutsu the clear winner for early season conditions, and posed the question: will the resort hit five metres by the New Year? Now, with 36cm in the last 24 hours according to local reporter Rusutsu 20-20, that question has been answered, with the snowfall total for the season currently sitting at a tantalising 520cm.

It marks a fantastic three-year run for Rusutsu, improving on last year’s tally from the same date by just under a metre, and falling short of the epic 2020/21 season by just 1cm. During the famously dry winter of 2019/20, the resort had only recorded 219cm at this point in the season.

Of course, Rusutsu is not the only place benefiting from recent snowfalls, with resorts across the country now getting their usual hammering. Niseko has now reached 364cm of accumulation after another 18cm in the last 24 hours, and Hakuba has had some epic conditions of late, with a Christmas Eve report that referred to “tree branches are looking strained under the weight of snow, and the snow making machines are looking a bit embarrassed at us not needing them right now.”

Madarao and Nozawa Onsen, who were struggling early in the season, have woken up to fresh snow this morning and, following healthy snowfalls on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, are now starting to find their groove. Nozawa has all its lower slopes open, while Madarao now has seven of its nine lifts open and has today opened its No.3A lift to the top of the skiable area.

Of course, conditions and snowfall tallies vary according to whom you ask and where you look, so we encourage everyone to take these numbers with a grain of salt and simply take solace in the return of another great winter in Japan.

For those who are interested in keeping on top of conditions, we highly recommend browsing Snow Japan’s daily reports, which cover ten resorts across the country and include historical records from years prior.


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