The Furano ski area located in central Hokkaido is part of the Hokkaido powder belt which is blessed with the dryest powder snow.
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Furano is well known amongst international travellers who have ventured past Niseko in their search for perfect powder. The resort’s large size, varied terrain, modern facilities and relatively cheaper accommodation options have seen skiers and boarders returning for hits of the famed Champagne powder. The central Hokkaido snow is dryer and lighter than the stuff which falls on Hokkaido’s Western resorts, giving you that awesome feeling of weightlessness as you glide down the slopes.

Skiing in Furano

Furano is one of Hokkaido’s largest resorts. The ski area is divided into 2 zones - the Furano zone and the Kitanomine zone. The Furano zone has the New Prince hotel and the ropeway to the Summit. While Kitanomine is the Northern aspect, with a gondola station and a village at its base. The 2 zones are connected at the top of the resort and a single ticket lets you ski them both. There is a good mix of courses for all skill levels, with long and steep runs for advanced skiers. A backcountry gate system gives skiers access to the trees and sidecountry. Venturing further out, the towering peaks of the Daisetsuzan National Park is home to some of the best backcountry terrain for groups willing to earn their turns. 

Furano Ski Resort

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Furano Ski Shops & Rentals

During Winter, there are a limited number of ski and snowboard shops near the Kitanomine base which also offer rentals. Best to bring your own gear or buy when in Sapporo or Niseko. You can also rent skis and snowboards and get your skis or boards waxed at the Furano Zone Ropeway Station and the Sport Pia / Salomon Station at the Kitanomine Zone Gondola Station. Waves rentals will also transport you to and from the resort to the city if you rent with them.

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What to Eat in Furano

The surrounding countryside region of Biel is home to Japan’s famous farmlands and produces Hokkaido’s highest quality food. Furano’s dairy products and cheese are exceptional and famous throughout Japan. In this region, restaurants emphasise local ingredients and organic vegetables sourced direct from farms. No trip to Furano can be complete without trying it’s signature dish - Furano Omu Curry.

Furano Omu Curry
Furano is pretty proud of their omelette curry. Only restaurants who abide by the strict standards of using local eggs, butter and rice are allowed to display a little “omu curry” flag.
Furano Cheese
Furano is known for the quality of their dairy and you will find lots of cheesy dishes here like pizza, dorias, gratins, fondues and even ice cream.
Furano Cheese Ramen
Try the local ramen which is topped with slices of cheese that combine into melty stringy mouthfuls of umami. Tastes so good, you wonder why they don’t do it elsewhere in Japan.
Local Potatoes
You can’t feel guilty about carbs on a ski trip especially when the local potatoes taste so good. Try the fries and croquettes or simply steamed and topped with local butter.

Where to Eat in Furano

Around the Furano zone, there really is only restaurants in the Prince hotel. In Kitanomine, most pensions and lodges in Furano offer half board, and there are also a couple of dining options in the area. It’s a good idea to book ahead for dinner, as the popular places can get packed out with skiers staying the area. Across the Sorachi river, Furano town has more restaurants, ramen stalls and izakayas.

A much loved teppanyaki restaurant serving Okonomiyaki and Monjyayaki. Their specialty - grilled and flame seared pork ribs is the best.
Yuigon no Doxon
A Furano establishment, Yuigon no Doxon uses the freshest ingredients from around the Furano area for their curries and home made sausages. Remember the password "Ruru Lulu".
Yama no Doxon
Run by the same owner as Yuigon, Yama no Doxon is an izakaya and boutique brewery in the Kitanomine area which makes Furano craft beer.
Cheese Ramen Karin
The place to go for Furano Cheese Ramen. Karin also serves omu curry, hamburg steaks pilafs which you can top with cheese of course.
This small ramen shop has a cult following for it’s roasted black garlic ramen which has a rich and unique flavour.

Where to Stay in Furano

On the Furano side, you are limited to ski in ski out New Prince Hotel. Apart from the hotel there is little else on this side. In Kitanomine there are more options in the village - small hotels, pensions and lodges with accompanying restaurants and shops. Another option would be to stay in Furano city where there is much more amenities, and take a local bus to the resort

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Things to do in Furano

Furano Prince hotel have set up a couple of tourist attractions - the Family Snow Land and Ningle terrace. The area is home to wineries, breweries and the Furano Cheese Factory, but they require transport or a taxi ride to get to. 
There is minimal nightlife in the Kitanomine area, with Ajitos Bar a favourite with the international travellers. Head to Furano city, where there are small Japanese style bars and breweries with fresh local beer. Bear in mind that walking back to Kitanomine at night time in freezing temperatures can be a hazardous affair 

Ningle Terrace
Walk along the trail exploring the cute wooden cabins set in a forest in front of the Prince hotel. Each cabin is a shop selling various local handicraft and souveniers.
Furano Kan Kan Mura
"Night Snow Fantasy" is an evening event at the base of Furano zone where there are igloos, snow sculptures, slides and a snow dome ice bar.
Furano Ski Festival
Takes place in the Kitanomine zone every year, you can watch the slopes of Furano light up with fireworks and the Big Air competition. There is also food, hot drinks and sake available with activities to keep kids entertained.
Shisai no Yu
This onsen attached to the New Prince hotel is open to the public for a fee. Ride down and have a soak to relax.
Furano Cheese Factory
Learn about cheese making and pose for photos with a cow statue. There is a pizzeria and shop where you can pick up cheese including an interesting squid ink cheese.
Tokachidake Onsen
A famous onsen resort situated at an elevation of 1280m with spectacular views of the Tokachidake Mountains. For skiers, Tokachidake is also one of the best destinations in Hokkaido for backcountry skiing.
Furano Marche
A supermarket which sells produce and craft from the Furano and Biel regions. Pick up some snacks and drinks for the ski trip and souvenirs to bring back home. There is an info centre, cafe and stalls selling food made with local ingredients.

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Furano Ski Resort

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