Why does Japan get so much snow? It is a combination of the cold weather coming down from Siberia and the “lake effect”, which is the moisture being picked up from the Japan Sea. Once a system reaches the coastline it suddenly hits the Japanese Alps with mountains of 3000 meters and the result is huge amounts of snowfall. Hakuba is positioned perfectly to take advantage of this phenomenon. It is always an argument in waiting to talk about average snowfalls at ski resorts around the world as the measuring sites may not be a true indication of whats happening on the top of the mountain but you can safely say a bad year in Hakuba will be about 8 meters and a good year will be 14. Somewhere in between would be the average which is more than most other resorts in the world.
I had a stand at the Skimetro show in London a few years ago and the most common response when talking to people about skiing in Japan was, “is there snow there”. Japan has been a hidden gem for so many years but with film, internet and social media ect. the word is finally getting out.