NISEKO is under a half a metre of snow thanks to the first major storm of the season, with the resorts almost certain to open within the next few days.
About 50cm has fallen at village level over the past 24 hours and weather agencies are predicting moderate to heavy snow for the remainder of the forecast period.
There is reportedly waist-deep powder up high so there is a very good chance at least the top half of the mountain will be open for some riding this weekend.
Hirafu and Niseko Village are yet to make the call but if the snow keeps up like this there could potentially be 100-150cm up high by Saturday, the official opening date if there is enough snow.
Mad keen local ski instructor Mike Richards once again made a pre-season hike to the 1000m and has no doubt almost the whole mountain is ready to open, with half a metre minimum top to bottom.
"Up the top it was mid-thigh deep," he said.
"The top section was not so good because it was too flat and it was so light I was just sinking.
"But the middle section where it gets a bit steep – the Kokutai Course – that was great, chest and face shots, there was snow flying everywhere!"
Keep an eye on what the snow is doing at our new Niseko Snow Report and Forecast page – all your Niseko weather information in one place.