THE first snow has fallen in Japan in the lead up to winter 2009/10, on the 1984m peak of Mt Kurodake,the Kyodo News Agency has reported.
Last year’s first snow fall was on Mt Asahidake – Hokkaido’s highest peak – on September 24 so this year’s snow is a full two weeks earlier.
On Wednesday afternoon the cable car operator at Mt Kurodake confirmed it had snowed on the mountain’s peak.
The manager of the Kurodake mountain hut said it had been raining heavily before noon but later turned to snow.
The snow settled on the ground at the peak before melting a short while later. The temperature at the peak was about 1C.
The weather across Hokkaido turned distinctly colder this week, and Wednesday was the coldest day so far.
With the change in weather Niseko locals have been checking for snow on the peak of Mt Yotei, which at 1898m is the highest peak in the area.
Yotei-zan’s first dusting of snow also came on September 24 last year, but as yet, it hasn’t appeared to get any snow so far.
Niseko ski resorts generally open between November 20 and December 1, depending on the amount of snow that has fallen.