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Resort

Furano

Sapporo Chitose Airport
coach or private transfer
957 metres

If talk of powder like clouds has piqued your interest then Furano should be your central Hokkaido base.

If you are unconvinced by spending all your time in Westerners’ mecca Niseko, then Furano is the alternative or, at the very least, an addition to the itinerary. Simply stated, Furano is a fantastic ski resort with abundant terrain for all ability levels, outstanding off-piste opportunities (only recently realised), and it also maintains the character of an authentic, thriving Japanese town. What's more, you can use Furano as a base from which to explore the surrounding region - five epic ski resorts and the peaks of the Daisetsuzan National Park are all within day trip-able range.

One of the things we enjoy most about Furano is the world that awaits after the slopes have closed. Between the Kitanomine village area and the city itself, you’ll get a real flavour of Japan: there are traditional izakayas serving local wine and informal tapas-style food; restaurants offering kaiseki (course after course of light-as-a-feather fayre); and lots in between, including sushi, noodles, Mongolian barbecue and the odd Western favourite. You can usually get by with a few basic Japanese words and phrases; failing that, pick somewhere with a picture menu!

Furano

Resort Card

Beginners:
Intermediate:
Advanced:
Snowboarders:
Après Ski:
Families:

Our Opinion

"Furano can be a bit of an enigma – it is a truly great mountain (now that they embrace off-piste skiing) and, as importantly, you are in the heart of Hokkaido’s most bountiful region. But without any truly great accommodation options - hotels are 'functional' - and with limited public transport links to establish itself as a base, it doesn't quite realise its full potential. To do the region justice requires knowledge and planning, and a private guide (with transport) is a 'must' to also get you to Sahoro, Tomamu and Asahidake, all essential day trips where the rewards are huge. It's a good job we've got the know-how and contacts you need."

Nick Coates Founder
Furano
43.3420°N 142.3832°E

Skiing & Snowboarding in Furano

With abundant powder, sunny days, fast no-nonsense lifts and empty slopes, many of which are open until 8.30pm, how could you not love Furano? The resort is renowned for well-groomed sweepers, so cruisers of all abilities will be laughing; but that’s not to take away from the staggering advanced skiing with fantastic on-piste runs, several of which are left au naturel and with pitch of up to 34 degrees. Then there is the now-within-limits backcountry – restrictions have been relaxed in recent years and you can access awesome tree runs and untracked powder through the new gate system.

For those with the inclination and know-how the main attractions lie beyond Furano: the powder havens of Mount Asahidake, Sahoro, Yubari and Tomamu are all within striking range.

Expert & Off Piste

Powder can be knee, waist or neck high in Furano itself – though inbounds isn’t a place where you’ll find super-steeps, chutes and drop-offs. Instead enjoy some outstanding tree-skiing and several glorious un-groomed, often heavily moguled, zones.

But the good news is that, only a couple of years ago, the rules and Furano joined the powder revolution. Gates were established on the Furano mountain and now side-country off-piste skiing is permitted in most parts of Furano (understandably, there are still a couple of areas that are marked by the patrollers as no go zones due to avalanche risk. With this new-found freedom, we like to head to the off-piste zone which sits in the middle of the ski map or, even better still, off to the far skiers right in Kitanomine: freshies galore, great pitches, widely spaced trees and snorkel deep powder in places.

But - as clearly stated - your stay in the region should never be only about Furano. Our knowledgeable  guides can take you to alternative mountains in the region where a veritable bounty awaits; from empty open bowls to tight tree runs and long, steep vertical.

Intermediate

There’s plenty of choice across the two resorts and the snow quality is up there with the best, allowing ample time for honing your carving technique. Furano’s pleasurable long, wide courses vary from gentle to precipitous, meaning lots of options and something new around every corner. The World Cup Downhill course provides the ultimate challenge.

Novice

Both Furano and Kitanomine offer something for beginners, with wide gentle runs at their bases and two excellent ski schools with English-speaking instructors. There’s also the chance to get up higher and ski mellow courses from the top of the Furano Cable Car.

Staying in kitanomine

The two slope-side Prince Hotels are the all-singing, all-dancing options in Furano. The New Furano Prince Hotel reigns unchallenged as the best hotel in the region and dominates the base of Furano Zone. But it is out on limb, and you may prefer to stay in Kitanomine, the ski village district above Furano town itself. This is where you'll find cute little cafés, a few quiet bars and a range of local restaurants. 

Hotels & Ryokans

Furano's premium choice, right on the slopes. Plenty of facilities, good service and - all things c...

Deluxe
Furano Zone

Great value-for-money in a great location, it may lack character but it makes this up in terms of c...

Budget
Kitanomine Village

A cosy little bed & breakfast, worthy of consideration if location, a homely atmosphere and great v...

Medium
Kitanomine Village

The original Prince hotel, offering a great location and comfortable accommodation, though a little...

Medium
Kitanomine Village

Apartments, Chalets & Houses

A couple of two-bedroom apartments or a four bedroom house? Your call. Great location.

First Class
Kitanomine Village

This five-bedroom house, only built in 2019, raises the bar in Furano. Very stylish and very contem...

Deluxe
Kitanomine Village

A little gem, two-story maisonette-style rooms with lofts and outstanding views across Furano.

First Class
Kitanomine Village

Modest, yet comfortable, apartments in Kitanomine village, hosted by the brilliant 'Hiro'.

Medium
Kitanomine Village

Ski guiding in central hokkaido

Many come to Furano to establish a base from which to explore the region. However, to explore you need local knowledge, transport, and the personable company of a good guide to reveal the powder stashes. There are only a handful of local off-piste and backcountry operators in Furano and it's worth your while to be booked in with the best...and that's who we work with. Tours include transport, safety equipment (where required), and expert guiding.

 

If it’s immersion you’re after, look no further than historic Furano city, which isn’t overly westernised. It provides a good Japanese cultural experience and we’ll make suggestions and be happy to arrange activities for you.

On the mountain

Long, open off-piste runs, often through the trees. Then snowcat...straight back up again.

Hire an experienced, qualified, locally-knowledgeable private ski or snowboard guide.

Sample itineraries featuring furano

These suggested itineraries will give you a starting point for what your ski holiday to Furano could potentially entail. Sometimes we combine ski resorts and we often cherish the opportunity to explore and experience Japan beyond the ski slopes.

 

We hope these itineraries will inspire, excite and inform you as we begin the planning process. But note: they’re not set departures or tours, as every holiday we plan is completely tailor-made for you - consider these itineraries as inspiration only.

 

Hokkaido Powder Unlimited - Itinerary
Itinerary

Hokkaido Powder Unlimited

An itinerary with a singular objective: to ride the finest, deepest powder snow in Hokkaido.

15 days
Niseko - Asahikawa - Furano
Find out more
Ski & Beach - a honeymoon - Itinerary
Itinerary

Ski & Beach - a honeymoon

Powder skiing & tropical beaches - the ultimate itinerary often requested as a honeymoon...

2 weeks
Japanese Ski Resort - Tokyo - Asian Beach
Find out more
The Powder Hunter - Itinerary
Itinerary

The Powder Hunter

Untracked powder snow. That's it...nothing more required. The best in Japan please...

14 days
Asahikawa - Furano - Shiga Kogen
Find out more

Ski Concierge

In Furano we can include transfers, lift passes, equipment hire, ski school, activities and excursions. In each instance, the price you pay will be cheaper – or, at worst the same – as what you would pay locally.

Lift Pass

Lift passes in Furano are valid on consecutive days only – therefore if you head out of Furano to ski Asahidake, Kamui or any one of the other nearby resorts you will lose a day, unless you time it for the first or last days.

Children under the age of 12 ski for free. Night skiing is included, when operating.

Because Prince Hotels own the lift infrastructure in Furano, lift passes are cheaper if you are staying in either the Prince or the New Furano Prince Hotel. It's a flat rate for all, irrespective of age and season.

Equipment Hire

Atomic & Salomon Station rental shops offer a wide range of snow equipment and clothing rentals. Rental shops are located in both Prince Hotels, as well as in the Furano Zone Ropeway Station and the Kitanomine Zone Gondola Station.

Lessons

Furano offers a variety of lessons in English for skiers and snowboarders who are either getting on the mountain for the first time, or for the more experienced who are keen on fine-tuning their skills. Private lessons, group lessons, and children’s lessons are available from Furano Snow School (FSS) and Furano International Snowsports School (FISS).

Following are some indicative prices, but it's best we tailor something to suit – let us know and we'll get a price for you.

What our customers say

4.5 star rating

Our customers rate us 'Excellent'

I can’t rate Different Snow highly enough...

They put together a well thought out and carefully researched tailored three week trip. Different Snow’s guidance notes and travellers’ aid pack were comprehensive and really well thought out. Their recommendations for hotels, sightseeing, entertainment and dining were spot on.

David  ·  TrustPilot (verified review)

Terrific

Very knowledgeable, patient and organised. Enjoyed all of my chats with Nick who offered a fantastic personalised service. Itinerary, accommodations and transfers all exactly as planned, loads of useful info to accompany the trip. Would definitely use again and recommend.

Patricia O'Donnell  ·  TrustPilot (verified review)

Please visit our TrustPilot page to read the full reviews.

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Itinerary

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Travel Pack

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