Located in the geographic center of Japan’s most northern islands, Hokkaido, Furano ski resort provides the perfect basecamp to experience a variety of skiing experiences, including uber deep powder that Japan is known for. The Furano ski resort features two base villages, nine lifts, 23 runs and 3,100 vertical feet of terrain. Furano isn’t overly developed, but offers the right amount of amenities and services, including two full-service hotels and English-speaking snowsports instructors. The nearby town of Furano is rather authentic, and offers more than 100 affordable restaurants. You can enjoy a feast of the senses to the tune of $7 to $20 USD.
The Hokkaido Powder Belt
Staying in Furano makes it easy to experience the controlled inbounds terrain of the Furano ski resort or nearby Tomamu or Kamui, where guests can ski for a day with the purchase of a five to seven day lift ticket at Furano. Additionally, adventurous powderhounds can enjoy incredible access to lift-served backcountry skiing at Ashahikawa (an active volcano) or Kurodake. Guests can opt for a guided or unguided experience, but we highly recommend going with a guide in uncontrolled terrain.
Furano ski resort terrain
Furano ski resort offers a great collection of long, groomed runs for beginners through advanced skiers or riders. From the top of the resort, guests are treated to panoramic views of Mt. Tokachi and downtown Furano. Lift lines are essentially non-existent at Furano, and the resort boasts the second fastest tram in Japan, so you can ski until your legs give out.
There’s also plenty of non-groomed runs, with pitches more than 30 degrees. Off-piste or sidecountry skiing is also plentiful, however, the ski resort does not encourage people leaving the boundary. If you do you must do so via specific points and provide ski patrol with an intention note.
For those who just can’t get enough time on the slopes, night skiing is available until 7:30 p.m., and is included in the price of a multi-day lift ticket.
Furano receives about 30 feet of snow per season on average, which is less than some of the coastal Hokkaido ski resorts, such as Niseko and Rusutsu. Still, snow storms regularly drop anywhere from knee to chest-deep powder. The quality of snow is what sets Furano apart, as the resort’s central location ensures powder is light and fluffy.
The Furano weather is generally more pleasant than the coastal resorts, and there are more bluebird days.
A Furano ski vacation isn’t just about the resort. Guests can enjoy a host of activities, including backcountry ski tours, volcanic hot springs trips, snowmobiling, ice hole fishing, hot air balloon rides, snowshoeing, tubing and unique Japanese experiences, like a traditional tea ceremony or cultural performances.
At the new Furano Prince Hotel, the Snow Night Fantasy, is not to be missed. Featuring an illuminated winter forest, snow carvings and statues, and a snow dome ice bar, the Snow Night Fantasy will tickle the imagination and wonder of the young and young at heart.
In addition to an awesome dining scene, the town of Furano provides its own set of experiences, attractions and activities, including a winery, cheese factory, micro brewery, art galleries and a zoo. Additionally, nearby cities like Sapporo, Osaka and Asahikawa provide unmatched cultural, shopping and cuisine experiences.