Copious amounts of light dry powder snow combined with soaring peaks, one of the longest vertical drops in Japan and easily accessible off-piste have made Furano as popular with lovers of deep powder as it has with those who like extra-long groomed cruisers. Located near Daisetsu-zan National Park in central Hokkaido, Furano generally receives more sunny days than its counterparts in the island’s west, more than 8 meters of snow a year with a season running from late November and often into early May.
Furano is also enormously popular for ski touring due to being within an hour’s drive or so from many of Hokkaido’s most famous backcountry hotspots such as Tokachi and Asahidake. Several excellent ski touring companies are based in Furano with tours geared for beginners through to advanced, and backcountry equipment for rent.
Furano Ski Resort offers two main areas: the Furano Zone which is home to the New Prince Hotel at the base and its adjacent network of shops, attractions, and eateries neatly landscaped into the forest; and the Kitanomine base area and village. The city of Furano a few minutes beyond has a population of over 20,000 and all the expected good dining, shopping, and opportunities to soak up Japanese culture.
As one of Hokkaido’s leading ski areas, Furano is famous for a long-standing relationship with the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup and regularly holds the mid-February Snowboarding World Cup.
As the areas are all a few minutes drive apart, a public bus service called Lavender runs from New Furano Prince Hotel via the Kitanomine resort area and then into downtown Furano. Taxis are also available as well as a night Resort Shuttle Bus from New Furano Prince Hotel to downtown Furano via Kitanomine.