How To Get There
Where is Furano?
Furano is located in Central Hokkaido, the north island of Japan. Furano is 59km south of the city of Asahikawa and 141km (by road) northeast of Sapporo.
The concept of what is and where is Furano can get a little bewildering. There is the Furano Ski Resort, of which one half is called the Furano Zone. The other side of the ski area is called Kitanomine. There is also the town of Furano, which is a little way from the ski resort.
It’s about 2.5km between the Kitanomine gondola and the centre of Furano town. The road distance between the Kitanomine gondola and the New Furano Prince Hotel (the Furano side of the ski resort) is 3.8km, whilst it’s about 5km from the New Furano Prince Hotel to the centre of Furano.
Common gateway airports for Furano are Asahikawa Airport (44km north of Furano) or the New Chitose Airport (128km southwest of Furano). Flights into Asahikawa typically originate from Tokyo (Haneda & Narita), Osaka or Seoul. Flights into Sapporo (New Chitose) come from Hong Kong, Haneda Tokyo or from Narita Tokyo (which is much more convenient). See the flights to Hokkaido page for more information. You can check out different flights into Hokkaido and look for the best fare by using a flight search aggregator.
Travel to Furano from the New Chitose Airport
Sapporo Airport to Furano Bus
Hokkaido Resort Liner (available for booking from October onwards) runs direct buses from the New Chitose Airport to Furano ski resort, with multiple departure times each day. The shuttle buses conveniently stop at major Furano hotels (see below), and the trip takes about 3 hours depending on which hotel you get off at. You’ll need to pre-book your shuttle bus at least 9 days in advance. Click here for timetables, bus stops, rates and reservations.
The Furano airport bus stops at:
From the New Chitose Airport, Furano can be accessed by JR train in two ways. Either way will include a transfer at Sapporo Station. The first option is via Takikawa Station which takes approximately 2.5 hours. The second option is to come via Asahikawa Station. Check out the Hyperdia website for schedules and fares.
You’ll need to catch a taxi from Furano Station to the ski area which will cost about ¥1,000 and take 5-10 minutes. Taxis are readily available, but you’ll have to search for a hatch or taxi with roof racks if you have a big ski or board bag (it’s wise to pack octopus straps).
Driving to Furano
Plenty of car rentals are available at the New Chitose Airport; some with English GPS where you can just input the phone number of your Furano hotel (or the phone number of the Furano Ski Resort is 0167-22-1111).
The drive takes about 2:40 hours if the tollways are taken.
Travel to Furano from Sapporo City
Hokkaido Resort Liner provides bus services from a few hotels in Sapporo to some Furano hotels. The trip takes about 2:10 hours depending on which hotel you embark and disembark. Click here for timetables, bus stops, rates and reservations (available for booking from October onwards).
It’s also possible to catch the train from Sapporo to Furano. See Hyperdia for timetables and fares.
Getting to Furano from Asahikawa City or Asahikawa Airport
||Hokkaido Resort Liner - Bus Transfers
The most economical & efficient way to get to and from Sapporo/Airport to Hokkaido resorts including Niseko, Rusutsu, Furano, Kiroro, Kokusai, Sahoro & Tomamu.
The train from Asahikawa City to Furano is inexpensive and takes one hour depending upon how express it is. Check out the Hyperdia website
for schedules and fares. You’ll then need to take a 5-10 minute taxi to the ski area.
There are buses from Asahikawa City to the resort which take about 1 hour and 30 minutes, called the “Lavender Go”. These drop you off at the New Furano Prince Hotel and the Kitanomine hotel area. There are also buses between Asahikawa Airport and Furano which take about one hour. Here's an option for booking a transfer
between Asahikawa Airport and Furano.
If you’ll be travelling around a bit, the other option is to rent a car
at Asahikawa Airport or Asahikawa. It’s fairly well sign-posted and hit the R273 directly to Furano.
Getting Around Furano
To get between either of the ski areas (the Furano and Kitanomine sides) and the town of Furano, you can catch a taxi and thankfully Furano Taxi accepts credit cards (so un-Japanese!).
Otherwise there are inexpensive shuttle buses from the New Furano Prince Hotel
and a few key hotels in the Kitanomine area. Reservations are not required for the bus and you can buy a ticket on-board from a machine. It’s best to have coins handy if possible.
Ski Resorts Near Furano
Furano makes a great base from which nearby ski resorts can be accessed for a day trip or multi-day trip. It is possible to get around to other resorts via shuttle buses or as part of a guided tour, but you’ll have the most flexibility if you rent a car or catch a taxi.
Car Rental: There is a car rental outlet near the Furano station.
Taxi: Furano Taxi offers round trip charters to Tomamu and Kamui, either via a regular or jumbo taxi.
Buses: Buses run on particular days (Kamui on Tues and Thurs, Tomamu on Wed) but the downside of catching the bus is that you won’t be chasing the powder alone on these days!
Guided Tours: Day tours from Furano tend to book out very early in the season as do the multi-day tours, so if you plan to take a guided tour, pre-book it well in advance. See the Furano overview page for more information on multi-day tours that include or stay at Furano.
Ski resorts near Furano:
- Tomamu is 68km southeast of Furano. Hokkaido Resort Liner has a bus service between the two resorts (between the New Furano Prince Hotel and three hotels in Tomamu) but the timing is only good for a multi-day trip. The bus leaves Furano at 5pm for Tomamu, and it leaves Tomamu for Furano at 8:20am. The bus trip takes about 90 minutes. Click here for schedules and to book (NB bookings generally only available from October onwards).
- Asahidake is 70km northeast of Furano. Chuo offers a bus trip there on Mondays that takes about 2 hours.
- Sahoro - 68km southeast
- Kamui Links – 55km northwest - 60 minutes
- NAC Cat Skiing - 62km northwest - 60 minutes
- Tokachidake (backcountry) – 60 minutes
- Kurodake - 116km northeast - 2 hours
- Mt Racey/Yubari - 105km southwest
There are also two local ski hills, Biei and Minami-Furano, but you can probably just leave those to the locals.