Furano

Furano

Overall Rating

Furano

Furano4/527
Furano4 out of 5 based on 27 reviews
  • Recommend
    85%
  • Would Revisit
    78%

Furano - Reviews

Furano - Reviews

Furano

31/05/2020

Andrew Henderson

Powder Enthusiast
Powder Enthusiast

Andrew Henderson

Powder Enthusiast
Powder Enthusiast
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    N/A
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Month Visited:
    February
  • Admin Rating
    4

Furano

31/05/2020
I had a few days at Furano in February 2020, after a last minute change in plan. A planned trip to Honshu was cancelled due to the poor snow the month I was there. My last trip to Furano was several years ago, before the gate system for side country was started. My trip also coincided with the first few coronavirus cases in Hokkaido, several of which were in the Furano area. The place wasn't deserted, but there was certainly plenty of side and slack country skiing for everyone.
It was interesting to see gate access at places where we had to surreptitiously slip under ropes a few years before. It had been a few days since the last snow when I arrived and it was too warm (this was the 19-20 season in a nutshell). The easy pickings were gone. But on the second day there was fresh snow and the temperatures dropped. I skied knee to mid thigh snow for 4 days in a row.
I suspect this would not be the experience most years. But this was probably some of the best skiing available in February 2020 Japan and I knew I was lucky.
I wouldn't be going through the gates without Avy gear and a buddy at Furano. The ski outs are pretty obvious, from the gate areas, and usually already skied by the time you need to know which way to go.
I know Furano isn't so quiet most years, but I suspect most of the crowds never go out the gates. That can only be a good thing.

No. 1 Base for a Japan Ski Trip

12/05/2020

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POWDERHOUNDS.COM

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  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    December
  • Admin Rating
    5

No. 1 Base for a Japan Ski Trip

12/05/2020
Deep up high at Furano
I'm under there somewhere!
Staying in town was a great experience
Furano sidecountry
If we had to choose only one place in Japan to park ourselves for a week-long ski trip, it would have to be Furano. The Furano Ski Resort itself has plenty to offer, but it’s the combination of all the great resort and backcountry skiing options nearby that makes it come up trumps. If you’re on a multi-resort tour or have your own wheels and route-finding nouse, Furano is the ideal base for chasing powder.

Whilst the New Furano Prince Hotel is touristy cheesy, and the Kitanomine village continues to be developed and westernised, the town of Furano continues to be delightfully daggy, just like you’d expect an authentic Japanese town to be. It’s refreshing that at many of the downtown restaurants, the staff barely speak a word of English. This nice balance of westernised versus Japanese and a real town is somewhat rare to find in Japanese ski destinations.

We visited in late December at a time that should have been ridiculously busy, but it wasn’t. Perhaps this was partly due to the snow which was uncharacteristically at low tide. When we arrived in Furano, the Kitanomine side of the ski area hadn’t even opened due to a lack of snow. We were supposed to go NAC cat skiing nearby but there wasn’t enough snow for that, and a day trip to Tomamu was spent dodging a lot of bamboo in the off-piste areas. We went to Asahidake with WhiteRoom Tours because they knew that the mountain isn’t covered in bamboo, and whilst there was a fair bit of shrubbery, the guides did a great job of finding some deep stashes of powder.

And then over a few days the snow base continued to grow and we finally got to see Furano in most of its glory, with some delightfully deep powder in the upper parts of the sidecountry. The exits were rather heinous due to open creeks, which was made worse by groups of Norwegians who kept pushing through on the exit trails, without any warning that they were approaching. It reminded us of the culture that we’ve seen creeping in at Kiroro too, where very un-Japanese politeness is evident on sidecountry egress points.

We stayed in two spots: the New Furano Hotel in Kitanomine which is definitely not new; and the Furano Natulux Hotel in town. This was the first time we had stayed in downtown Furano and we really enjoyed walking exploring the various eateries, something we’d previously done via taxi.

Kitanomine continues to develop and a large apartment block was being built opposite the gondola. This is purported to house a Rhythm shop in the future, which is somewhat symbolic of the growing popularity of Furano.

See the Furano overview for our thoughts on the pros and cons of Furano and also see the Japan ski resort ratings regarding how we compare it to other ski areas.

recommend

John French
24/01/2020
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    4

recommend

John French
24/01/2020
Views in review were accurate. A good choice for late January. Lift queues minimal and mainly for lift pass and at w/e. Snow was less than locals expected but still good supply of 5 cm per day when cloudy. The snow fell as light powder and kept areas in great condition - compared to other ski regions. Japan was experiencing lower than average snowfall for this year. Two blue sky days thrown in made good photos. Mainly stuck to the pisted areas and these were ok for 6 days skiing . Also did day trip by car to Asahidake which was well worthwhile if you are looking for off piste experience.
Nightlife in resort not evident which suited our more senior group. Local eateries were of various styles but Japanese feel was evident and of reasonable value. Transfer by car from Sapporo ( Chitose ) airport straightforward route - some snow so suggest 4 wd option.
Would return in the future and add a couple more resort trips to add variety. If the descriptions fit your needs 100% recommend.

Best family resort

Sean
01/07/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Month Visited:
    December
  • Admin Rating
    2

Best family resort

Sean
01/07/2019
Far from the Niseko crowds , we’ve been to Furano 2 years in a row during the X-Mas & NY holidays, never failed to dump and best part of it there were literally no crowds at all days. Head up to the peaks and you’ll be skiing alone in awesome powder.

Great affordable food can be found in town but public transportation is not the best, they do have a bus service but not the most timely so having a rental car would be your best bet. Kids under 12 ski free here as well so that worked really well for us.

Fun for everyone

Matthew
24/06/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    12-17
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    1

Fun for everyone

Matthew
24/06/2019
Been to Furano 4 times, going again cause it's amazing. Amazing time to ski with friends from all ages and of all skill level, would certainly recommend to all families looking to see some snow and learn to ski/ looking for a new location.

Cute restaurants, small mountain

Caroline Guenther
07/02/2019
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    4

Cute restaurants, small mountain

Caroline Guenther
07/02/2019
Furano was ok. I wasn't that impressed with the resort, I did a halfday guided sidecountry with NAC where they gave me a snowboarder guide. I guess this was helpful to know my way around the resort and we skied powder but honestly the tree runs are super tight and narrow and its not my favorite kind of skiing and my knees were getting tired by this point on day 7 of skiing. Trees there were much tighter than niseko in my opinion. Too bad they have those glide cracks in the bowls otherwise that would be good skiing.

Snow wasn't as good in Furano as niseko but I'm sure that can change day by day and was still powder! I used whiteroom guides to do a day in Asahidache which was the deepest powder day of the trip. Furano is a good base for doing a day trip there.

I stayed in a small B&B that I could walk to the lifts from. The restaurants in the town were great and authentically Japanese. It is less crowded than Niseko but I was surprised there was gondola lines on the powder day. Niseko did have big lines as well but I guess I had more patience for lines with their terrain.

Furano

cagnion
17/02/2018
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    February

Furano

cagnion
17/02/2018
Not to be missed spot !

FURANO OFF-PISTE SKIING NOW PERMITTED!

SP
24/11/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    N/A
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    2

FURANO OFF-PISTE SKIING NOW PERMITTED!

SP
24/11/2016
Furano's new 2015-16 Off-piste Gate Policy now permits access to some of the most enjoyable easy-to-reach drop points in Central Hokkaido via total five drop points split between both mountains. Riders and skiers need to sign a form at one of the ski patrol offices at the base of either Furano or Kitanomine zone.

Furano

20/11/2016

Andrew Henderson

Powder Enthusiast
Powder Enthusiast

Andrew Henderson

Powder Enthusiast
Powder Enthusiast
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    N/A
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    3

Furano

20/11/2016
There is a lot of skiing to be done at this field. The piste is pretty large and the acreage of corduroy in the morning is very impressive. There is a lot of vertical as well, and fast lifts.

The off piste is the go though. There is a lot of stuff to ski here, and some fantastic runs. It is easy to ski out of bounds, without too much interference. Just don't be too obvious, and you won't get hassled by the patrol. Skiing out in front of a patroller, or down the lift line, on a busy day, is asking to have your ticket taken.

Furano is not a "cute" Japanese ski town, but it has some good accommodation near the mountain, and a lot of infrastructure.

Best Mountain Ever

Andres Green
28/09/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    January
  • Admin Rating
    1

Best Mountain Ever

Andres Green
28/09/2016
Loved this place, so much snow, and still a very local mountain, so theres not a bunch of tourist crowding up the mountain. Going back this year, can't wait!
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