Furano Resort Reviews
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Visitor reviews for Furano Ski Resort
October 29, 2015
Lucy from Australia
I like Furano. The town is an agricultural hub with a purpose beyond feeding and watering tourists (although local businesses are very pleased to do that). The resort also works for me although the first time I went up the gondola (all the way to the top, my first mistake), I fell in the powder and spent a good 10 minutes getting upright-ish. Mustn't grumble...
I am originally Canadian and skied BC a lot; the beauty here reminds me of there. I also lived in the US and skied Colorado a lot. I guess the friendliness and community feel of towns that are towns all year whether or not we ski here reminds me of there.
In Australia, I live in the Snowy Mountains and really the back country experience reminds me of there. Not that the snow or terrain are even remotely similar, but the sense of being in nature, at peace, with a huge epic either behind you, ahead of you, or up to your neck right now, feels similar.
I am about to ski my 11th winter here. The Furano discoveries I've made in those seasons are the chocolate shop in Kitanomine (a whole shop of chocolate), the cross-country / skating tracks at the base of Kitanomine, best OM shope about 12km out of town towards Asahikawa (sells everything on earth and then some), and the double espresso at the Marche in Furano town. It's a strong long black although possibly better.
Just on the basics, children 12 and younger ski for free at Furano resort and my kids look way older than they are and have never been hassled getting their passes.
I advise the first time you come, tour with a pro, the next time organise your own accom but do guided day trips, and the next time DIY the whole thing and hire a car with a GPS. They all have GPS's but make sure you can input telephone numbers before you drive off the lot.
Overall: 4.1. Based on 15 votes and 16 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Furano.
Public Transport: 4.6
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Furano, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Furano, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 4.3
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 4.1
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Furano.
Ski in/Ski out: 4.6
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Furano, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Furano is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Furano relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 4.9
(1) There are no snow groomers at Furano, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Furano are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Furano is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 3.8
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Furano, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.6
(1) Furano usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 4.9
(1) The staff at Furano are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Furano are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 4.2
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.4
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.1
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Furano has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Furano, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 2.7
(1) Not even a kicker at Furano, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Furano, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Furano has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.3
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 2.6
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 3.8
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 4.7
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 4.5
(1) Overall, Furano is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 4.6
(1) Overall, Furano is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
February 18, 2015
Matt from Australia
When it snows you don't need to duck the ropes to find powder but get a guide to take you backcountry and you will need to order skis. Amazing place: great food in the town down below and amazing skiing. If you want somewhere where English is widely spoken and you can get pizza for dinner go to Niseko. Come here to enjoy and participate in the Japanese culture. Been coming for six years and love the place although unimpressed with the increasing number of Australians wandering around drinking beer from cans in public and swearing loudly in the gondolas. No wonder the rest of the world thinks we are uncultured.
Kitanomine side is my pick for both the best snow and food but it is harder to get first tracks than on the Furano side which has a larger gondola.
January 12, 2014
Powdah to the People from Australia
Furano grows on you. We ended up with positive reflections on this place, as a whole. Like many snow fields in Hokkaido, it needs new snow to keep the skiing interesting. There are lots of flats and basically the bottom half of the mountain is no more than gentle cruise. The snow quality can be ridiculously good. In fact, on some powder days it was almost too light and no one needs fat/powder skis here (note: the gondola does not easily accommodate more than mid fat skis). Aside from the "Premium" run (great with every new snowfall)', the Kitonomine side is rather lacking. Unfortunately, they limit the opening hours of the ""Premium" area so that after 2pm you're done. The Giant run offers something but it is short. The "romance" chairs scattered around this hill are just too slow. The lift infrastructure and more specifically the layout isn't the greatest especially for young kids at the bottom of Kitonomine area. Furano side struck me as having a slightly better layout and fall line runs. I rate this side better for kids that are learning or improving. Nothing notable about the night skiing, it's all very tame with nothing challenging accessible. Rope ducking was tolerated and I didn't experience or witness any rigid ski patrol. Food is typical Japan resort fare. It's tasty and wholesome and there are a variety of places in town and at Kitonomine (limited options at the New Prince complex, however). We stayed at the ski in-(just about) ski-out hotels. The rooms and facilities at New Prince are much nicer but it's a cattle market and quite impersonal. Much more friendly at the old Prince. Staff were much friendlier here maybe because their English was so much better. Furano is conveniently located; try other nearby resorts but most tend to be even smaller. Asahidake offers some powder play time. It has good facilities and you get about max 50 people skiing there. You will not remember Asahidake for its terrain either but the pow is memorable.
November 29, 2013
Peter from Australia
Furano has lured my wife and I back February 2014 for another two weeks of delightful Japanese hospitality, scenery and, of course, awesome skiing on sensational snow. There are challenges for all levels of skiers/snowboarders, but, as mentioned by others, the off-piste policy is a slight downside. There are very good reasons for this: there are areas (up top particularly) that, to the naked eye, look seriously dangerous. We chose to get the off-piste experience at Kamui and Tomamu (easy 1 hour access from Furano). Furano town ticks off all the boxes in terms of access from the resort, restaurants (usually very quiet in winter) and all the normal facilities associated with a large rural town. And if you're up for top-shelf tuition and training I highly recommend FISS, based at Kitanomine Zone. Ben, Jan, Rebecca and the crew are outstanding.
February 16, 2013
Fonz from Japan
Furano is a place to be preserved. Ugly, loud, noisy, disrespectful and drunk Australians, stay away. From another Australian.
February 08, 2013
David Toppin from Japan
Have skied all over the world and Furano rates amongst the better resorts. Truly Japanese experience with little English spoken, well groomed slopes with plenty of runs left ungroomed after new falls, great local food in Furano (an easy bus trip away from the ski area), zero queues for lifts, prices similar to non-resort areas, cheap lift tickets (cf Australia), Japanese hospitality and politeness exceptional, honesty and respect outstanding, lacks the coarseness of 'Ozified' Niseko (if you want to get drunk every night and sing Aussie, Aussie etc, stay in Melbourne), wide range of terrain that suits all but hard core mogul skiers, low temperatures keep snow in top condition, ski in-ski out access available; suits both riders and skiers. Five star recommendation.
November 08, 2011
jon from Australia
Skied here Jan 2010 and found the pistes so boring! Steepish, great quality snow, wide and uncrowded. YAWN! Venturing off-piste was pretty awesome though and seemed to be easy enough to do without the patrol being too worried. There were sections that needed to be avoided due to avalanche risk and some twits decided to ski there. This prompted the patrol to get active and ruined our safe explorations. Losers! Heard these twits boasting in our lodge later and it turned out it was the last day of their trip so they took some risks. Bad idea. Could have died and made ruining our safe day seem trivial. Found a couple of nice bars in the town proper but it's pretty sleepy. Good spot to stay and do day trips to surrounding resorts like Kamui Ski Links (off-piste encouraged), Asahidake (take a guide) and Tomamu (off-piste encouraged after signing a waiver).
January 02, 2011
John from Australia
Extensive, efficient lift network. Courteous and friendly staff. Pity about the snow. It hasn't snowed for several days and the thin cover means that the groomers have picked up gravel chips all over the place.
My brand new powder skis are now looking like they have had 3 seasons in Australia instead of 3 days in Furano. Sob sob.
February 25, 2010
Doug from New Zealand
This place (Furan) truly is an amazing place. I snowboarded here a few years ago and had problems with riding off-piste but now it seems that the ski patrol don't even bat an eyelid.
Fresh lines everyday in the driest lightest snow, no crowds, great restaurants, great locals. They even had free culture performances on every week for anyone who wanted to go along.
This is definitely not a flashy resort, with only modest facilities you can not compare this to many resorts in that respect, but if you are looking for good snow with a real Japanese experience (not any of what they serve you in Niseko) then this place is it.
I will definitely be coming back here again.
November 26, 2009
Trevor from Australia
The people, the food, the snow, Furano is absolutely the best kept secret of any ski resort. There is definitely deep powder here. We had huge dumps for a week and the slopes were almost deserted. So yeh, don't go to Furano, leave it for me. Hang on, the food, and I am a foodie, locals in town are fabulous. Stay away it's mine..mine!