Furano is a famous ski and snowboard resort located on the slopes of Furano-Nishidake in Furano city, central Hokkaido. Furano has two separate base areas and 'zones' - the Kitanomine Zone and the Furano Zone - which are course and lift connected on the upper areas. Skiing in Furano dates back to 1931, with the Number 1 lift installed and opened as Kitanomine in 1962 and the resort being named 'Furano' in 1976. The Furano Zone opened in 1982. Over the years Furano has hosted various national and international events. It is increasingly popular with skiers and snowboarders from overseas.
Furano city is located in the central region of Hokkaido, between the Tokachi and Yubari mountain ranges. Other mountains like those in the Daisetsuzan National Park are within reach of Furano. Furano is a popular year-round tourist destination. Apart from the famous ski resort, the area is famous for its lavender fields and other flowers in the summer months.
Hokkaido is the second largest island of Japan and also the largest and northernmost prefecture (though it is not usually referred to as a prefecture). It has coastlines on the Sea of Japan, the Sea of Okhotsk and also the Pacific Ocean. Sapporo is the capital city of Hokkaido and was host to the 1972 Winter Olympics. Hokkaido is home to the largest number of ski hills in Japan. While the majority of them are very small, some of the larger ski and snowboard resorts in Hokkaido - mostly found in regions to the west and east of Sapporo - are amongst the most famous in Japan.
Various bus tour services to Furano are available.
A taxi from Furano Station takes about 10 minutes and usually costs about 1,700 yen.
50.4km from the Shimukappu IC on the Doto Expressway
53.2km from the Takikawa IC on the Hokkaido Expressway
62.9km from the Asahikawa Takasu IC on the Hokkaido Expressway
Nearest national route: Route 38 (0.9km away)
Nearest prefecture road: Prefecture Road 800
The ski and snowboard resort of Furano is located to the west of central Furano city.
Approaching Furano from Shin Chitose Airport
Furano is about 125km from Shin Chitose Airport. From the Airport, head north on Route 337 for about 10 minutes (10km) to the Chitose Higashi IC exit of the Doto Expressway. Take the expressway east for around 65km and exit at the Shimukappu IC. At the Shimukappu IC exit, turn right onto Route 237 (also known as the Furano National Highway) and just over 1km further on the road turn right to follow the road north. After about 30km turn left onto Route 38 and follow the road signs into Furano.
Approaching Furano from Sapporo
From the Sapporo IC on the Hokkaido Expressway to the north east of the city centre, travel north east towards Asahikawa, exiting the Expressway at the Takikawa IC. From the Takikawa IC exit, turn left onto Route 38 to head towards Ashibetsu and Furano. Route 38 goes directly through (and beyond) Furano.
Alternatively, exit the expressway earlier at the Mikasa IC and take Prefecture Road 116 for just over 18km and then Route 452 (known as the Yubari National Highway) for just under 24km where there is a right turn onto Prefecture Road 135 to head towards Furano. Although this is nearer in terms of distance and it uses less of the expressway, it can be more of a challenge in mid-winter conditions than the easier drive from Takikawa IC.
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