Updated: Nov 23, 2022
To snow or not to snow, that is the question.
We get this question a lot, and the easiest way to answer it is with data. So we compiled data from Japan Meteorological Agency (credits: jma.go.jp) for the last 39 years for your detail (indeed) reference.
Let's check out the snow history of Nozawa Onsen.
So far the best year known was back in 1986 in Nozawa Onsen, with a record total snowfall of 2,113 cm. The lowest, in contrary, is much closer to date, in 2016. The lowest record was 553 cm, but it was still a lot.
Just to give you a general idea, As a comparison, in 2016 Perisher and Charlotte Pass (Australia) got about 371 cm (146 inches) and 335 cm (132 inches) of total snowfall respectively (credits: onthesnow.com). Obviously how these data are calculated may vary, but you get the idea.
There is one problem, however, we refer to seasons when it comes to chasing powder. But don't worry, we have got that covered too!
Alright, we divided the snowfall data into early, mid and late parts of each month of the season, so you can refer to it when deciding what time to visit (yeah!). These detailed datum are only available from around 10 years ago, but it already allows us to gauge on the snow history of Nozawa Onsen.
Was 2019-20 The Worst Season Ever?
A lot of people say that 2019-20 was the worst season ever, but actually it wasn't (if you take away the COVID-19 factor). You can see that even without the late March data which wasn't available at the time of this post, the total snowfall already is more than the 2015-16 season. Whilst this season had a slow start, it caught up fast in February.
What To Expect in 2020-21?
From historic data, we can optimistically expect a better season. There have not been consecutive years of late kick-start of seasons, so we may assume that the season will begin mid or even early December.
See below for the detail numbers which consist the chart. The arrows in the table below represent the degree of percentage change from the year before, so you can see the trends.
Conclusion? Nozawa is pretty snowy! So come visit if you haven't already and check out the expansive range of information about Nozawa on our site.
Leave a comment below if you have any questions. We will see you next season!