WHILE Mother Nature did her best to pretend it was winter in Niseko, there was no denying this was just a super early snowfall.
Some stunning images snapped by Niseko Photography’s Yasuyuki Shimanuki show that despite the solid snow covering, it is still well and truly autumn.
Usually when we get the first big snowfall the leaves are well and truly gone from the trees, so it's a rare treat to witness such a profound seasonal contrast.
The forecast suggests it will be back to real autumn conditions for at least the next week, with no new snow likely to fall for the remainder of the forecast window.
Last year the first light flakes settled at village level on October 31, and we had a few days of solid falls at the start for November that gave us our first taste of winter.
It melted right back within a few days and we had only a few lights dustings until winter arrived with a bang, dumping 50cm at village level and up to a metre up high within the 72 hours before the lifts opened on November 21.
Still too hard to tell what the medium term snow forecast will bring, but the countdown is well and truly on.