Furano - Reviews

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
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

Andrew Henderson
20/11/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    N/A
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Month Visited:
    January
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
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!

Off-Piste Skiing Galore

POWDERHOUNDS.COM
30/03/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Expert
  • Rider Age
    36-50
  • Month Visited:
    February
Furano Japan Hitting the Furano backcountry Great ski areas nearby
It’s been 2 years since we’ve visited Furano and it has changed a fair bit in that time. Firstly, Furano seems to have become popular again with westerners. A significant reason for this is probably that off piste skiing is now permitted, but there were also lots of families, probably because Furano is only one of several ski resorts in Japan that offer child care and group ski and snowboard lessons in English.

We scored a couple of powder days in Furano, and it seemed somewhat weird that there were hordes of powder hunters charging the powder under the link lift, whereas in years gone by, this was a quiet spot where only the invisible skier or snowboarder would sneak in some freshies. Freshies are now much harder to come by …. oh well onwards and upwards…. or there are various ski areas nearby for a day trip.

See the Furano overview page for our thoughts on the pros and cons of Furano as well as our Japan resort ratings to see how we compare Furano to other Japanese ski resorts.

Wide pistes

Frances Trimmer
25/01/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    51-70
  • Month Visited:
    January
A beginner and intermediates paradise. Wide runs with chance to improve your technique. Those wanting challenging black runs will not find much here to keep them occupied.
The snow is fantastic. Base of nearly 3metres. Lovely weather. Pistes are almost empty with no lift queues, even at the weekend.
Booking late in the year, we were limited to the rather expensive New Prince Hotel. Great hotel but too far from town so you are stuck there. There is an evening shuttle which costs a few hundred yen. Food is quite expensive in general.
We would not re-visit as the ski area is too small to feel that there is more to do. There are other resorts that we still wish to visit.
We enjoyed skiing in Japan and would return to this country.

Refreshing and epic

Love snow
02/01/2016
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    18-35
  • Month Visited:
    December
Loved furano refreshing after niseko visit. Really lucky with snow, thigh deep powder that lasted all day. Kept snowing.

Fast lifts, busy at bottom of mountain but hardly anyone up top!

Have a ramen at ramen corner at base of rope way and an onsen in new prince hotel at end of day,,,

Like the culcha and the variety

lucy morrell
12/09/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    36-50
My first ski at Tokachi circa 1996
I've been coming to Furano to ski for 10 years, mostly on the resort (free passes for kids 12 and younger draw me in) but also backcountry at Asahidake and Tokachi for day trips. Havent been off piste much at the resort myself but have seen the shift with patrollers now lifting the ropes for skiers where they used to chase them mercilessly. Much better now and long may it last.

I like that Furano town has a genuine feel to it, not just a resort town or fake place. Like the XC tracks near the resort. So relaxing for a cross country circuit or quick skate. But that's me. xx

Furano

Phil Clinton
19/05/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Snowboarder
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    18-35
Furano did it for me. Great snow, good lifts, uncrowded and plenty of off-piste fun if you know where to find it (not hard unless you're blind).

I was with a guided tour so off piste rope ducking was expected but we weren't the only ones including plenty of locals young and old.

I wouldn't spend more than a week here if you have knowledge of the off piste runs and like to explore rather than hitting the same tree runs but if I was exploring this place for the first time an extended stay would do nicely as it is a central location for visiting the other smaller resorts in the area. I rate this place over Niseko for the fact you can still get freshies at noon if you've hit the cans and need a sleep in.

Nightlife is pretty tame other than a few small local bars but the restaurants are top notch if you like your Japanese cuisine.

Probably shouldn't be rating this place as high as I have as it seems to be a bit of a "well guarded secret" but it deserves a look if you are into uncrowded, untouched JAPOW!!

Skiing limitations at Furano

Bill Toppin
27/02/2015
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Advanced
  • Rider Age
    N/A
For those wanting to ski in trees, lift runs and off piste, the resort is a major disappointment. Few opportunities to do so, unclear signage re where you are allowed, and highly conservative risk management means that you are channelled on piste and the joy of skiing off piste cannot be done without skiing out of bounds and probably voiding insurance.

A major contrast to Niseko where opportunities abound

If you like long piste intermediate runs, this is the resort. Very little ungroomed black unfortunately.

{Editor note: Whilst the patrollers are somewhat uptight re off-piste for some areas, this has pros and cons. Particularly if you visit Furano with a guide and avo gear (or you're self-adventurous), there are sooo many more freshies than places like Niseko where off-piste skiing is permitted. The con is that you may possibly lose your lift ticket and it may void insurance with some companies, as does other off-piste skiing in Japan.}

Need to be there after December

Tomas
04/10/2014
  • Recommend
  • Would Revisit
  • Rider Type
    Skier
  • Rider Level
    Intermediate
  • Rider Age
    51-70
Nothing much. Too much hype. Not that fantastic. Needs to open up more piste area for skiing.
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