To monitor the snow-cover distribution in relation to meteorological conditions on high mountainous areas in Japan, NIED constructed a snow-observation network which it has operated for approximately 10 years. The network consists of seven pairs of stations, each comprising a mountainous site and a low-lying flatland site, from Hokkaido district in the north to San-in in the southwest. Data obtained include snow depth, snow weight, air temperature and global solar radiation. This study presents recent fluctuation of snow cover on mountainous areas for several recent winters in Japan. Most winters were warmer than average, but winter 1995/96 was normal, and maximum snow depths were recorded in high-elevation areas. Seventy-seven avalanche accidents occurred in winter 1995/96. The relationship between meteorological and snow conditions in mountainous areas and flatland areas was analyzed.