Beat the crowds and discover a hidden gem: 10 reasons to ski Furano this winter

Every year, Japan stays true to being a skier’s dream destination. The huge volume and dry quality of the Japanese snow urge families from around the world to visit popular skiing destinations, like Niseko.

Due to the immense popularity of Niseko, we are always on the lookout for new destinations before they become too crowded, and Furano has been Hokkaido’s best-kept secret for years.


With the winter season approaching, it is a perfect time to uncover some of the spectacular features that Furano has to offer. From thrilling snow activities to enchanting tourist spots and delicious winter cuisine, here are our top 10 reasons to get ahead of the crowd and discover Furano’s snowy secret!


Related: Where to eat in Furano? Top restaurants to try
Related: Fun Activities for Non-Skiers in Furano


Furano is home to a beautiful ski resort that will leave you speechless. The resort offers a variety of slopes catering to different skill levels that proves a thrilling experience for winter sports enthusiasts. It has 11 lifts, serving two connected peaks and 30 km of wide ski slopes with up to 840m vertical drops!


Having hosted 10 FIS World Cup Ski and two World Cup Snowboard events, it’s no surprise that Furano is equipped with great mountain infrastructure. The resort has efficient and quick ski-lifts, comfortable gondolas and a high-speed ropeway that accommodates 100 passengers. When we say high-speed, we mean it! The ropeway only takes 5 minutes from mountain base to the peak, allowing you to stop wasting time on cold lifts and making your skiing a more comfortable and enjoyable experience.

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The slopes can be split into two large areas: the Furano zone and the Kitanomine zone. These two zones offer ski runs of all shapes and sizes, from long flatter runs to steep and testing groomers. With the two zones intricately connected via lifts, the skiing choices are endless!


In the northern part of Hokkaido, Furano’s high latitude and low temperatures create the perfect environment for Furano to receive an abundant snowfall each year. Frequent visitors here describe the snow as drier and lighter compared with other Japanese resorts, making it a number one contender for the best snow in Japan!


If you are looking for Japan’s ultimate snowy destination, then Furano is the place for you! Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy the famous “champagne powder” that Hokkaido produces, providing optimal conditions for a smooth and exhilarating ride.


Furano Ski Resort boasts wide and consistent slopes, with a multitude of green and blue runs available. This makes it an ideal destination for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. The resort offers gentle slopes that are perfect for families to learn and practice their skiing or snowboarding skills together.


In addition to its excellent slopes, Furano Resort provides a range of family-friendly facilities. Families can take advantage of amenities such as childcare services, ski schools, and rental equipment specifically for children. The ski schools offer specialized lessons designed to help kids learn in a safe and enjoyable environment. These facilities ensure that families have everything they need for a memorable and hassle-free skiing experience.


For adventurous skiers and snowboarders, Furano offers thrilling off-piste opportunities. Explore backcountry areas, glades, and untouched powder for an exciting and challenging experience.


Situated in the Tokachi-dake Mountain Range, Furano provides easy access to the unbelievable Hokkaido Powder Belt. The Hokkaido Powder Belt is the collective name for ski areas in Tomamu, Furano, Kamui and Kurodake. These areas consist of steep snow-capped mountains and local ski resorts, that provide the ultimate conditions for advanced skiers and backcountry beginners to immerse themselves in the winter mountains. If powder and thrilling off-piste adventure is what you seek, then Furano has to be at the top of your bucket list!


Furano Ski Resort’s size sets it apart from larger, more well-known ski destinations. While it offers a variety of slopes and amenities, its lesser-known status means it attracts fewer visitors. This translates into a more serene and uncrowded experience on the slopes and within the resort facilities.


Adventurous skiers and snowboarders will find exhilaration in Furano’s renowned off-piste opportunities. Explore untouched powder stashes and revel in the thrill of uncharted terrain before these secret spots gain popularity.

Beyond its tranquil ambiance, Furano boasts natural beauty and a rich cultural heritage. Immerse yourself in the region’s stunning landscapes, from majestic mountains to vibrant festivals. To complete your Furano experience, indulge in the region’s local hot springs (onsen). These hidden gems provide relaxation and rejuvenation in mineral-rich waters, surrounded by a serene ambiance. Take advantage of this tranquil oasis before it becomes more widely known.


Furano provides a favorable cost-to-value ratio, allowing travelers to enjoy comfortable and affordable Ski holidays without overspending. Furano offers a wide range of affordable accommodation options, the cost of one-night accommodation in winter ranges from JPY 15,000 to JPY 25,000 per person. Comparing Furano with other popular ski destinations such as Niseko, it’s worth noting that other destinations tend to charge higher accommodation costs. This price differential makes Furano an attractive alternative for travelers looking to enjoy a ski vacation in Hokkaido while keeping the accommodation expenses more affordable.

In addition, Furano’s dining scene offers a mix of local and international cuisine, with options to suit various budgets. You can find reasonably priced restaurants, cafes, and izakayas that serve delicious and satisfying meals at local prices. You can enjoy quality meals with fresh local produce without breaking the bank.


Travelling to Furano Ski Resort is extremely straightforward, being only a 50-minute car ride from Aashikawa regional airport or two-hour drive from New Chitose international airport.

The Asahikawa Airport has a 99% service rate, which is higher than national standards. Additionally, the airport has numerous car rental counters and ski buses which allow for smooth travel to the Furano area.

Taxis are also readily available in Furano for getting around during the winter season, particularly around popular tourist areas, transportation hubs, and major hotels. You can easily find taxis at designated taxi stands, hail one on the street or accommodations can assist in arranging taxi services during your stay that make your trip easier without self-drive in Furano. If you’re planning to make multiple stops or have specific sightseeing requests, a tip for you consider hiring a taxi for a set period or negotiating a flat rate with the driver.


For a day off the mountain or going out for an evening meal, nearby Furano City offers a relaxed and picturesque environment just a 10-minute bus or taxi ride away. Home to fantastic shops, supermarkets and a plethora of great restaurants run by locals, you can immerse yourself in authentic Japanese culture. Enjoy discovering chefs expertly preparing dishes with high-quality ingredients from the surrounding fertile fields, the Sea of Japan and Okhotsk Sea. Make sure to check out the fantastic fresh seafoods, Hokkaido’s renowned ramen, local dairy products, and other delightful dishes that will satisfy your taste buds.


The beautiful area of Furano is home to a plethora of exciting activities that take advantage of its vast and scenic spaces. When you visit Furano, you can diversify your days by choosing from a range of thrilling activities that will leave you with unforgettable memories. Whether you’re interested in Snowshoe Trekking, Ice Fishing, Hot Air Ballooning, Dog Sledding, or Winter Rafting, Furano offers a multitude of adventures beyond the slopes. Get ready to embark on an extraordinary journey and create lasting memories in this captivating destination.


Visiting Japan’s hidden gem for skiing has never been more appealing, with new world-class accommodation options such as Fenix Furano and Fenix West now available to book!


Fenix Furano is the hotel of choice for your winter holiday. With all the luxuries of modern-day resort living, it features 62 full-service units ranging from hotel-style suites to multiple-bedroom apartments and penthouses. Fenix Furano’s ski-in ski-out convenience, being located directly opposite Kitanomine Gondola, makes it a top pick for your 2023/24 winter skiing holiday.

Our parent company Zekkei Properties is also developing a luxury villa estate, Intuition Furano, at the heel of the Kitanomite slopes.   The exclusive estate is set in a spectacular natural landscape with stunning views across Furano Ski Resort and Daisetsuzan ranges. Every residence at Intuition Furano is a marque of sophistication with sweeping views of snow-covered hills during winter and equally breath-taking Furano panoramas that change with each season. The first villa will be completed right before this ski season. For those who are interested in investing at the best locations of this up and coming ski resort, limited apartment units in Fenix and land lots are in Intuition Furano are now selling!