With the spring weather in full force now the landscape has changed from one of pure white to one of vivid green growth in the fields and the colourful pinks of the cherry blossoms. Winter is over! The snow line of the resort has retreated well up the mountain and all traces of white will soon be gone.
Reflecting on the season, I would have to say it was the best season that I can ever recall in Furano. While resorts on Honshu were dealt a bad hand and struggled for snow, the opposite happened here in Furano in 15/16.
From mid December onwards we received copious quantities of fresh snow on an almost daily basis. Needless to say the powder skiing was excellent both on and off piste. Although temperatures were negative and wintery, they were noticably warmer than the usual Furano norms and I don't recall getting cold fingers or feet during the season.
The village saw a large increase in the number of international visitors, who surely left town with fond memories of the great skiing, delicious food and the friendly locals. No doubt we will see many of them back again next year to get more great skiing and to continue to explore the local restuarants.
Many visitors used Furano as a base and did day trips to the other Hokkaido powder belt ski areas of Kamui, Tomamu, Asahidake and Kurodake. There sure is a lot of terrain variety when all of those options are factored in. Guided day trips were a really popular option and many people also used rental cars to get around.
For the next few months I will be enjoying the warmth of summer. My skis have been serviced and put away, and will not be out until next December.
I'll be back in touch in November as we start the run up to the opening of the 16/17 season.