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Furano ski resort, Japan

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You will find Furano in the middle of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island and can be accessed through Asahikawa and Sapporo airports. The resort prides itself on its powder snow which are delivered by cool Siberian winds blow across the Okhotsk Sea and dump on average 8 metres of snow a year. Despite being only ten minutes away from the city centre, Furano is a friendly place with world class skiing that has been the host to many World Cup ski competitions including a women’s downhill.

There are a total of ten lifts, which open between November and May, which cover pistes of all abilities from wide cruising reds and greens, to quite a long black run. Despite their powder record, skiing off-piste is strictly forbidden, but the area has a great initiative of a free ski host programme where English speaking locals volunteer their time each morning to show visitors around the mountain and provide valuable information about the city.

The resort offers a wide variety of accommodation options from ski-in ski-out hotels, to self-catering cottages and Japanese guesthouses. With it being so close to the city centre, it is also easy to experience the night life with its delectable Japanese cuisine, sake, and karaoke. Away from skiing Furano also has many outdoor natural hot springs which also afford magnificent views.

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