Niseko has been thoroughly blanketed by a layer or three of thick, slushy snow! Weather experts have already marked 2016/17 an absolute monster of a snow season thanks to the projected effects of la niña – so if you’re an avid skier, snowboarder, or all around powderhound… it’s time to get excited!
Get here quick!
With the pre-season dump beginning at around 6am, many a local and traveller alike found themselves doing a double-take when gazing out of their bedroom windows early this morning; low visibility, high wind, and heavy snowfall leaving everything covered in white; while motor garages in local town Kutchan have been overrun by drivers frantically trying to secure appointments to fit their winter tyres.
While it may seem premature to start thinking about seasonal tyres in the latter half of October, early snow is no joke – The majority of car crashes and accidents in snowy Hokkaido take place right at the beginning of the winter season, where drivers can often be overconfident, unprepared, or ill-equipped to deal with the rapid change in conditions.
With temperatures looking to rise and fall over the next few days, it’s still hard to tell whether it’s time to make the big switch over to winter-mode, or if it’s just more savvy to avoid driving when the conditions are too harsh — but whichever road you take — be safe, people!