FURANO Ski Resort: YOUR GUIDE TO Japan's LIGHTEST AND DRIEST POWDER SNOW DESTINATION
Furano Ski Resort is nestled in the heart of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island. Surrounded by the breathtaking Daisetsuzan National Park, Furano is an enticing destination year-round. The resort has hosted the FIS Downhill World Cup 12 times, along with a variety of other national and international ski and snowboard events.
As part of the “Hokkaido Powder Belt,” Furano is also an excellent base for backcountry enthusiasts.
IN A NUTSHELL
Over 950 vertical metres of skiing terrain.
Host of the Ski and Snowboard World Cup 12 times, a record in Japan.
Season runs from the end of November to the beginning of May.
Offers over eight metres of even lighter and drier snow than Niseko.
Home to the 101-passenger Furano Ropeway, offering stunning views of the Daisetsu Mountain Range.
Boasts a variety of dining experiences, shopping options, night-life, and off-snow experiences.
The Two Distinct Zones of Furano
Furano Ski Resort comprises two main zones: the Kitanomine Zone, perfect for beginners with easier runs, and the Furano Zone, offering slightly more challenging trails. Together, they provide a seamless skiing experience with 28 diverse courses and 9 lifts, accommodating skiers and snowboarders of all levels. The longest run extends for four kilometers, offering an exhilarating ride for enthusiasts.
What to do in FURANO
Furano, a year-round destination, offers a plethora of activities for both winter and summer visitors. From thrilling snow sports to serene summer landscapes, there’s something for everyone.
- Skiing and Snowboarding: With over 28 courses and 9 lifts, Furano is a paradise for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. The resort is known for its quality snow and diverse terrain.
- Night Skiing: Experience the enchantment of skiing under the stars. Night skiing in Furano provides a different perspective of the snowy landscape, lit beautifully under the night sky.
- Snowmobiling: For those seeking an adrenaline rush, snowmobiling through the snowy fields offers an exciting way to explore the area’s natural beauty.
- Ice Fishing: Try your hand at ice fishing, a popular winter activity in the region. It’s a unique and peaceful way to enjoy the cold winter days.
- Hot Spring Baths (Onsens): After a day on the slopes, relax and rejuvenate in the natural hot springs. Furano’s onsens are a perfect way to unwind and experience a quintessential Japanese tradition.
- Lavender and Flower Viewing: Furano is famous for its beautiful lavender fields, which bloom vibrantly in summer. The flower farms offer a picturesque landscape, perfect for leisurely strolls and photography.
- Cycling and Mountain Biking: Explore Furano’s scenic beauty on two wheels. The area offers numerous cycling and mountain biking trails suitable for all skill levels.
- Hiking in Daisetsuzan National Park: Take advantage of the summer weather to hike in the nearby Daisetsuzan National Park. The park offers trails ranging from easy walks to challenging treks, all of which showcase Hokkaido’s stunning natural beauty.
- Hot Air Balloon Rides: For a unique perspective of Furano’s landscapes, a hot air balloon ride provides breathtaking views of the rolling hills and vibrant flower fields.
- Wine Tasting and Culinary Experiences: Visit local vineyards and savor the flavors of Furano. The region is known for its exquisite culinary delights, including fresh produce and fine wines.
Furano’s diverse range of activities ensures that visitors can enjoy a rich and varied experience regardless of the season. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural immersion, Furano Ski Resort and its surroundings offer an unforgettable experience for everyone.
LOOKING FOR A FURANO LIFT PASS?
Furano resort offer a wide range of lift pass options to suit your stay. Learn more about what’s on offer at the link below.
Planning Your FURANO Trip
The best time to visit Furano
Furano, with its distinct seasonal attractions, offers unique experiences throughout the year. The best time to visit largely depends on the activities you’re interested in.
PEAK SNOW CONDITIONS
Best Time: January to February
Activities: This period is ideal for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, as the snow is at its deepest and most powdery.
Other Attractions: Apart from skiing, winter is perfect for snowmobiling, ice fishing, and enjoying the hot springs.
Best Time: Early December and late March
Advantages: Fewer crowds, more relaxed atmosphere, and potentially lower accommodation rates.
Best Time: Late June to early August
Highlight: Lavender season in Furano is famous worldwide, with the fields in full bloom typically in July. This period is perfect for photographers and nature lovers.
Best Time: June to August
Activities: Ideal for hiking, cycling, and mountain biking. The weather is pleasant, and the landscapes are lush and green.
CULINARY EXPERIENCES AND FESTIVALS
Period: Throughout the summer
Experience: Summer is a great time to enjoy Furano’s fresh local produce, including melons and dairy products. Various local festivals also occur during this period, offering a glimpse into the region’s culture.
PACking for your trip to Furano
Preparing for a ski trip to Furano requires some consideration of what to pack, ensuring you stay warm and dry and enjoy your time on and off the mountain to the fullest. Here’s a quick guide:
- Winter Wear: Include thermal layers, waterproof ski jackets, snow pants, and warm socks. Avoid wearing cotton layers in the snow.
- Accessories: Don’t forget gloves, a beanie, and sunglasses or goggles.
- Apres Essentials: Pack comfortable après boots and casual wear for relaxation after skiing.
- Ski/Board Gear: Don’t forget your planks!
Leave those oversized bags at home and enjoy travelling light: Rhythm Japan offers a comprehensive range of rental options for ski equipment. Additionally, our store provides all the necessary winter wear, including jackets, après boots, beanies, and more, ensuring you’re well-equipped for the slopes without the hassle of packing everything.
HOW TO GET TO Furano
The closest major airport to Furano is New Chitose Airport near Sapporo. From New Chitose Airport, you have several options which depend on your preferences, budget, and the type of traveller you are.
Ideal for those seeking, privacy, comfort and convenience. Suitable for families, groups, or those with lots of luggage. The journey can take about 2.5 to 3 hours.
Economical and reliable. Various companies operate bus services from the airport to Furano. This is a cost-effective and comfortable option, suitable for solo travellers, couples, or small groups not wanting to drive. The travel time is approximately 3 hours.
Renting a car allows for a more adventurous trip, with the freedom to explore the region at your own pace. Drivers should be comfortable driving in winter conditions. The drive takes about 2.5 hours and offers scenic views.
Travel Route: From New Chitose Airport, take a train to Sapporo Station, and then transfer to a train bound for Furano.Train travel is ideal for those who enjoy scenic routes and a more relaxed journey. It’s also a good option for eco-conscious travellers.
Travel Time: The entire journey can take around 3 to 4 hours.
furano RESORT ACCOMMODATION
While Furano also provides luxury options, it maintains a more balanced mix of traditional Japanese and modern accommodations than Niseko. Compared to Niseko and Hakuba, Furano’s atmosphere is also generally quieter and more laid-back, appealing to those who prefer a more authentic Japanese experience along with their ski holiday.
Traditional vs. Modern Accommodations
Traditional Accommodations: For those interested in a more authentic Japanese experience, Furano has a selection of traditional ryokans and inns. These establishments often feature tatami floors, futon beds, and communal onsens, offering a glimpse into Japanese culture and hospitality.
Modern and Luxury Accommodations: In contrast, there are also modern hotels and resorts that provide luxury amenities, western-style rooms, and additional facilities like spas, fitness centers, and fine dining options.
Ski-In Ski-Out Convenience
Ski-in ski-out accommodations are a highlight of Furano, offering the ultimate convenience for ski enthusiasts. These facilities, located right on the slopes, allow guests to start their ski adventures right from their doorstep. This feature is especially appealing for those who want to maximize their time on the slopes.
Proximity to Slopes and Restaurants
For visitors looking to stay close to both the slopes and the local dining scene, the areas around the Kitanomine and Furano zones are ideal. Here, you can find a mix of accommodations that offer easy access to both skiing and a variety of restaurants, ranging from traditional Japanese eateries to international cuisine.
On-Site Onsen Facilities
Many accommodations in Furano, particularly the traditional inns and some modern hotels, offer on-site onsen facilities. These hot spring baths are a staple of Japanese culture and provide a relaxing way to end a day of skiing or hiking.
Check out our list of reputable travel partners here to organise accommodation in Furano which meets your particular needs.
FURANO RESORT TIPS FOR FIRST TIME VISITORS
1. Embrace the Powder Snow
Furano is renowned for its high-quality powder snow. If you’re visiting in winter, be sure to enjoy skiing or snowboarding.
2. Dress Appropriately
The winter temperatures can be very cold. Dress in layers and ensure you have waterproof and insulated ski wear.
3. Try Night Skiing
Experience the unique thrill of night skiing, a popular activity in Furano during the winter months.
4. Enjoy the Onsens
After a day in the cold, relax in a traditional Japanese onsen. It’s a quintessential experience in Furano.
5. Explore Local Cuisine
Furano offers delicious local dishes like soup curry and fresh seafood. Don’t miss out on these culinary delights.
6. Book Accommodations Early
Especially during the ski season, accommodations can fill up quickly. Book well in advance to secure your preferred lodging.
7. Be Prepared for Transportation
Plan your travel to Furano in advance, considering options like buses, trains, or car rentals based on your comfort and group size.
8. Check Out Winter Festivals
Winter in Furano is not just about skiing; local festivals can be a fun way to experience Japanese culture.
9. Visit in Summer for Flower Viewing
Consider a summer visit too, when Furano’s famous lavender and flower fields are in full bloom, offering a different but equally stunning experience.
10. Summer Outdoor Activities
In summer, explore outdoor activities like hiking, cycling, and hot air balloon rides to see Furano’s picturesque landscapes.
Furano Ski Resort offers an unparalleled year-round experience with its exceptional powder snow, diverse terrain, and rich cultural experiences. From beginners to experts, there’s something for everyone. Gear up, plan your trip, and prepare for an unforgettable adventure in the heart of Japan’s powder belt.