Furano is situated in Hokkaido`s beautiful Daisetsu-zan National Park. The ski resort with over 950 vertical meters of skiing is one of Japan`s biggest and most famous resorts. Skiing Furano is spectacular, with virtually every run giving you great views of the peak of Mt Furano and the summits of Hokkaido`s highest mountains.
Situated on Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido, Furano is the second largest ski resort in the area after Niseko. Furano is fast becoming one of the most popular ski destinations for Australian skiers and snowboarders, offering a great balance between traditional Japan and western ski resort. Furano will not disappoint powder hounds, providing consistent JaPOW which Japan is famous for.
Located approximately 2 hours from Sapporo International Airport, Furano Ski Resort is an excellent all-round ski destination suitable for all levels of experience. Due to its central Hokkaido location, Furano also suits skiers and snowboarders who want to combine multiple ski resorts in one holiday, with Tomamu Ski Resort is only an hour away.
Top tips visiting for Furano:
Furano is ideal for skiers and snowboarders that love the snow but like to have an authentic Japanese ski holiday experience. Offering the perfect cultural blend or traditional Japan, mixed with the ease of having English menus at restaurants and English-speaking people at popular attractions and English speaking ski instructors.
Make sure to check out Furano town centres many izakayas for a true Japanese dining experience.
If you LOVE the snow, you might even like to add a visit to Tomamu while you are in Hokkaido, it's only about an hour away from Furano!
Where to stay in Furano
Furano Ski Resort provides a diverse range of accommodations compared to smaller Japanese ski destinations. With hotels, self-contained apartments, and houses, you'll find a variety to suit all budgets. There are also boutique lodges and pensions for a more intimate experience.
For families and groups, houses and apartments are popular choices, offering the convenience of dining in after a day on the slopes. Furano offers budget-friendly options for cost-effective group stays, as well as more luxurious apartments for those seeking extra comfort.
One of Furano's standout features is its ski-in, ski-out hotels, allowing you to hit the slopes right from your doorstep. This means you can be among the first on the slopes, maximizing your snow time. Regardless of where you stay, easy access to the ski fields is ensured through shuttles and buses.
Furano Ski Resort offers a variety of accommodations, from hotels and self-contained apartments to houses and boutique lodges. Whether you prefer budget-friendly options for group travel or luxurious apartments, Furano has something for everyone. The convenience of ski-in, ski-out hotels makes it a top choice for avid skiers and snowboarders looking to make the most of their time on the slopes.
Skiing & Snowboarding Furano
Furano Ski Resort, the second-largest in Hokkaido, boasts 168 hectares of terrain, 10 ski lifts, and 23 runs to explore. With a peak vertical of 839 meters, Furano is renowned for its wide groomed runs, quick lifts, and powdery snow, offering an exhilarating experience for skiers and snowboarders.
Located in central Hokkaido, Furano enjoys excellent snow quality, often surpassing coastal resorts like Niseko. Although it experiences fewer snow days, it offers more bluebird days on average, with approximately 9 meters of annual snowfall.
The resort features two distinct zones: Furano Zone and Kitanomine Zone, catering to various skill levels. Beginners and intermediates can conquer the lower areas, while advanced riders can tackle the higher, steeper terrain. The terrain is evenly divided, with 40% for beginners, 40% for intermediates, and 30% for advanced riders.
Furano is renowned for its tree skiing, cat skiing, and rapid lifts, enabling you to maximize your skiing time. Off-piste skiing, once restricted, is now becoming more accessible with patrol permission. Experienced skiers may want to explore sidecountry skiing left of Kitanomine, where fresh powder often lingers. Access to the slopes is hassle-free, thanks to shuttle and bus services. Experience the thrill of Furano's diverse terrain and stunning snow conditions on your ski holiday.
Getting to Furano & getting around
Direct flights run from major Australian cities into Sapporo’s New Chitose International Airport, however due to demand and number of flights they can be expensive. If you plan to ski over peak winter travel dates (such as Christmas and New Year’s Eve), it may work out best to fly via Tokyo and then catch a domestic flight to Sapporo. Furano is also close to Asahikawa airport and some visitors prefer to head straight there from Tokyo, instead of into New Chitose.
You can also fly via Singapore and other popular hub cities in Asia with full-service carriers or using Scoot, Jetstar and Air Asia for a budget friendly no-frills option. If you do choose to travel with a Low Cost Carrier, make sure to look into the cost for additional baggage etc before committing to anything, sometimes once you add a meal and your skiing or snowboard gear it actually doesn’t work out much cheaper than a full service airline.
From the New Chitose Airport, Furano ski resort is about 3 hours by bus or can be reach via train in approximately 2.5 hours however you do need to swap trains and this can be a bit more complicated with all your snow gear! From the Asahikawa Airport, Furano ski resort is only 1.5 hours by bus or you can catch a train that takes just over an hour.
One you are there, Furano ski resort is relatively simple to navigate with ski shuttles that operate in a circle from Kitanomine village frequently. At night the shuttles run from Kitanomine village to Furano town for easy access to restaurants, bars and entertainment. Some hotels operate their own shuttle services and there are taxi’s available if you would prefer, however they are a much more costly way to travel.
Top things to do in Furano in Winter
Furano is well known for skiing and snowboarding, but there are still things to do off the ski slopes! The Waku Waku Snowland offers snow rafting & banana boats, snow mobiles, snow shoeing and sledding. There is also a kids play area near the Kitanomine Gondola
Onsen hot springs are a popular Japanese activity and an awesome way to relax after a day on the slopes. The New Furano Prince Hotel does have an onsen that allows non-guests to pay to use their facilities, you can also combine your onsen with a massage or a sauna for the ultimate relaxation.
Dining & Après in Furano
Best Après in Furano:
Bar & Dining AJITO is the spot in Furano for après, with lively music, pool tables and pub-style atmosphere it’s is worth a look. The AJITO is quite popular with Aussies, so if you are looking for a more Japanese experience try the Furano Brewery Yama no Doxon for a nice cold beer. Yama no Doxon also has a great selection of Western and Japanese meals for dinner.
If you prefer a quiet more intimate apres-ski beverage, Soh’s Bar is about a 10 minute walk from the Furano Prince Hotel, a chalet style building set in the forest giving it a really magical feeling. If you are staying at New Furano Prince and don’t feel like venturing out, we recommend you try Top Furano for a cocktail with a view! As the name suggests, the bar is on the top floor of the hotel.
Best Restaurants in Furano:
There are quite a few dining options in Furano, between Kitanomine, Furano hotel’s and downtown Furano there is no shortage of options to suit all taste buds. For an excellent Japanese meal Fukuzushi does incredible sushi, seafood and sashimi, they are often busy due to the popularity of the restaurant, but well worth the wait. There are also lots of great izakayas scatter throughout Furano and it’s a great ideal to explore a few that aren’t too westernised for a more traditional Japanese dining experience.
Bistro Le Chemin offer more of a fine dining experience with French cuisine prepared by a chef trained in a French Michelan star restaurant. For Italian we recommend Cafe Bakusyu, a cozy little restaurant that does great pizza with both traditional options and a few pizzas with a Japanese twist.
For a cute, alpine café experience, try the Forest Clock Café only 5 minutes’ walk from Furano Prince hotel. The Café was once the setting of a popular Japanese sitcom and is a great photo opportunity on a clear day or night!