Furano is one of the best places in Hokkaido for an authentic powder filled ski holiday or guided tour.
Located in the exact geographical centre of Hokkaido, Furano is known for its champagne light powder, long runs and bluebird days. Without the same crowds as some of the bigger resorts in Hokkaido, Furano has retained an authentic Japanese charm exhibited throughout town, with its interesting sightseeing and après ski options including a huge variety of restaurants and bars. Furano is also a very family friendly resort, with its international ski school and children’s facilities. What’s more Furano makes a great base to check out the resorts of Central Hokkaido. Click on the tabs below for more information.
‘Furano is where you go to escape the crowds and enjoy traditional Japanese culture, great powder and still get fresh tracks at the end of the day.’
To experience what Furano really has to offer book a day or three with one of our Whiteroom Backcountry Guides. Better still book onto one of Guided Furano Tours such as our popular Central Hokkaido Tour. Furano has arguably the longest fall line skiing of any resort in Japan, but you’ll never get to really experience this unless you book a ski guide. We’ve been guiding in Furano for 10 years now and know it like no one else.
Furano is known as the little town with the big ski resort. It is located in the exact geographical centre of Hokkaido and is known for impressive amounts of snowfall, bluebird days, calm weather and stunning views. The resort has a good variety of terrain suitable for all levels including fun family areas, blue groomers and steep powder. The town at the base of the mountain is a great place to explore after skiing enabling you to have not only a cultural experience, but one which you’ll remember to be so much more than a snow trip. Highlights include English speaking snow schools and childcare, a family snow activity park, local restaurants, cultural events as well as weekly shuttle buses to Asahidake, Kamui and Tomamu. Want to escape the Niseko crowds? Furano should be on your hot list!
FURANO RESORT STATS
Season: November – May
Terrain: Beginner 40% / Intermediate 40% / Advanced 20%
Lift system: 11 lifts
Longest run: 5.5Km
Average Snowfall: 15m
Terrain Parks: small
Asahidake is one of the most popular touring locations in Hokkaido, due to the easy access to above tree line terrain given by the Ropeway at the bottom of the volcano (top height 1600m) and the fame of the mountain itself, which at 2290m is the highest in Hokkaido. Short hikes are often required along the ridges at the summit and there is the option of hiking around the active volcano. Once at the bottom, all roads lead to the Ropeway but if you do happen to veer off the well groomed runs a short hike may be needed to return to the lift.
ASAHIDAKE RESORT STATS
Season: Mid Dec – Early May
Altitude: 2291m (peak) / 1600m (ropeway summit)
Terrain: Beginner 0% / Intermediate 50% / Advanced 50%
Lift system: One 101 person tram
Vertical: 1191m hiking / 500m trails
Longest run: 2.5km
Average Snowfall: 15m
Terrain Parks: n/a
Tomamu strikes a cord with all who ride its mountains. With arguably the best in-bounds powder skiing in Hokkaido you’ll be wanting to come back for more. Mt. Tomamu at 1239m, offers skiers and snowboarders a wide variety of runs catering to all abilities. With 11 lifts, Tomamu has some great options. It also offers skiers and boarders an awesome park and off-piste section which is roped off from the rest of the crowd.
TOMAMU RESORT STATS
Season: Mid Dec – May
Terrain: Beginner 30% / Intermediate 40% / Advanced 30%
Lift system: 10 including 1 gondola and 1 magic carpet
Longest run: 4.5km
Average Snowfall: 15m
Terrain Parks: NA
Kamui is a small ski resort set on its own, 1.5 hours north of Furano. With 7 lifts accessing a network of wide open cruises as well as powder filled trees and gullies, you’ll feel like your riding your own private mountain as crowds here a virtually non-existent. Combine that with one of Japan’s most open ski area policies, and there is enough here to suit every kind of skier and boarder.
KAMUI RESORT STATS
Season: Dec – Late Mar
Terrain: Beginner 50% / Intermediate 0% / Advanced 50%
Lift system: 7 including 1 gondola
Longest run: 3.5km
Average Snowfall: 15m
Terrain Parks: NA
Our Furano Tour office is located in Snowflake Pension down the road from the Kitanomine Gondola in Furano.
From our base in Furano we can also take you to one of 7 resorts in the Central Hokkaido area. Choose from Asahidake, Kamui, Tomamu, Sahoro, Pipu, Yubari & Kurodake. Or the backcountry of Tokachidake or other lesser known areas. Each area offers something different for every level of rider/skier. All destinations are between 45min-1.5hrs away (Kurodake 2hrs) and each has their own distinctive weather system, so if the weather is not cooperating in one ski area more often than not it will be either fine or at least manageable in another.
RESORT, LIFT ACCESSED BACKCOUNTRY GUIDING & TOURING
PEAK SEASON – ¥75,000
SHOULDER SEASON- ¥70,000
3 day or more multi-day special – ¥60,000
LOW SEASON – ¥60,000
(Open – 11JAN/11MAR – close)
3 day or more multi-day special – ¥50,000
Price includes: Furano, Kamui, Tomamu, Asahidake, Sahoro and Tokachidake.
Kurodake and Pipu – add ¥5000 – on request
CAT SKIING OPTIONS – Price on application
Guided days include:
- Your own qualified guide
- Furano Accommodation pick-up/drop-off (7:30-8am / 4-6pm) and transportation to the resort of choice
- Flat rate – maximum of 6 clients per guide.
- Group of 7 permitted with tail guided – ¥50,000.
- 8 people and above 2 guides needed
Guided days do not include:
- Avalanche Safety Gear (beacon, shovel, probe and backpack)
- Lift passes
- Ski/SB equipment
- Assurances on the days weather
- Accommodation pick up from areas other than Furano. Extra charges will apply for additional travel.
NOTE: If you booked a certain ski resort and the lifts are shut that day we will offer up another resort. If all available resort options are closed we will try to reschedule another day (if available), or offer you a full refund
- Book a Whiteroom Backcountry Guided Day! Furano is Whiteroom’s home, we know it better than anyone so let us show you the best on offer here and in Central Hokkaido. Book one day to get to know Furano at the start of your trip or book multiple days and let us show you around the whole area. We’ll do the hard work of watching the weather and take you to the goods!
- Visit Kamui and Tomamu. The local tourism board runs a ride & ski bus to Kamui on Tuesday and Thursday and Tomamu on Wednesday (Jan & Feb only). This is a great way to see some other resorts in the area for those not on one of our guided tours or guided days.
- Take a trip to Tokachidake Mountain (about an hour drive away) to visit their onsen. Have lunch and onsen at one of the few hotels or if you’re brave onsen in the middle of the forest! It’s a very unique experience. Walk a few hundred metres through a narrow snowy track and you’ll come across a natural onsen fed by naturally hot and cold water – be warned the upper pool is extremely hot and not for most! Start off slowly in the lower pool and move up if you’re brave. You’ll likely come across a local or two here, they won’t wear bathers but you can if you want. If you’re a keen tourer get in touch and we can book you an accommodation and Whiteroom Guide at Takachidake. There’s plenty of terrain there to keep you happy for days.
- Make sure to check out the restaurants and bars in Furano town and Kitanomine ski village – both have great options and are only about 10mins drive apart (about ¥1,200~¥1,500 taxi). Ask your hotel for their best recommendations as there’s new places opening each year or ask your consultant for their favourite local spot.
- Visit New Furano Prince’s ‘Kan Kan Mura’ – This is a fantasy village of snow and ice in front of the New Furano Prince Hotel. Wander through the enchanted forest where there are snow and ice sculptures. Stop in at the Ice Café for a drink, or experience a snow tubing slide of nearly 200m! Small artisan shops line the area for you to pick up a unique souvenir. Night flights in a hot air balloon are also available here pending good weather.
Furano is about 125kms north east of Hokkaido’s New Chitose Airport. Best ways to travel to/from are below:
- Resort Liner scheduled coach 2 1/2 ~ 3hrs.
- Private transfer 2 1/2hrs+.
- Train (via Sapporo) under 3hrs (be careful to check the timetables on www.hyperdia.com as there are multiple connections and travel time can greatly vary).
- Local bus (from Sapporo) 2 1/2 ~ 3hrs.
- Hire car 2 1/2hrs+ – great option for those who want to visit multiple resorts in Central Hokkaido.
- The storms in Hokkaido can be quite extreme, whilst the above are average times, when the storms are big it can take much longer. Your consultant will help you to pick the best transfer option and times to suit your flights.
- You can also fly into Asahikawa Airport (AKJ) which is about an hour from Furano. However, there are not as many daily flights and the transfer options are limited to a few buses or private transfer. On top of this in bad weather the planes flying into Asahikawa are more often turned back than New Chitose as they are often smaller and less able to cope with bad storms.