It is an annual ritual for Mt. Annupuri to be blessed by a Shinto priest before the resort officially opens for the season, and over the weekend this ceremony was performed in front of the Grand Hirafu Welcome Centre with over a hundred spectators present. The Shinto priest asked the gods to grand a safe and prosperous season for all visitors to the mountain throughout the winter of 2011-12. Important members of the community were also present to pray for safety and good fortune in our upcoming winter season.
The only chairlift that was able to open on Saturday was the Ace Family Pair lift due to unfavorable weather conditions. Luckily by Sunday the mountain was able to open all lifts in the Annupuri area, and the Ace quad centre four lift and the Ace pair lift in the Hirafu area. These lifts are open again today, and are scheduled to stay open from now on for the rest of the season.
The weather has warmed up today and some snow has melted, but the long-term forecast says the snow will return on Wednesday and is predicted to continue all through the week until Sunday.