Furano and Biei Winter Information • Simply One Cookbook


From snowy landscapes to scorching spring baths, this Furano and Biei Winter Journey Information has the whole lot it’s good to plan your good winter getaway.

Wooden lodge shops covered in snow

Furano, famed for its luscious lavender fields and seasonal flowers, can be a haven for every kind of winter sports activities, actions, and surroundings. From snowboarding and snowboarding to canine sleds and frozen waterfalls, there’s something everybody can do to get pleasure from Hokkaido’s winter.

Frozen waterfall covered in snow and a blue river at the bottom

I’ll be visiting lots of the locations that appeared in the summertime Furano Journey Information and exhibiting you what it’s like throughout the peak winter season.

So, let’s get into the motion!

Methods to Get to Furano

Furano, situated in central Hokkaido, will be accessed from Sapporo by prepare or bus. By prepare, take the Lilac-Kamui Restricted Categorical from Sapporo Station to Takikawa Station after which change to the Nemuro Line to Furano Station. The entire journey takes roughly two hours and 20 minutes, costing 4,540 yen ($30 USD) a method (in 2024).

Alternatively, take the Hokkaido Chuo Bus from the Chuo Bus Terminal to Furano. This takes roughly 3 hours and prices 2,700 yen ($18 USD) a method.

Nevertheless, from Furano Station, attending to among the locations I’ll point out is tough, so it could be price renting a automotive as soon as arriving. In winter, the windy, slim roads round Furano and in the direction of Biei are very harmful, and the climate can flip towards you, which I’ll get into afterward.

If you happen to plan to drive from Sapporo, it’ll take roughly two hours and 1,300 yen ($9 USD) in tolls (in 2024). The freeway takes you to Mikasa, and the roads will be slippery from there, so please watch out. From Furano, it’ll take one other 40 minutes to Biei.

Winter Actions

Furano Ski Resort is one in every of central Hokkaido’s hottest ski areas alongside Tomamu. The resort is cut up into two areas: Kitanomine zone (open mid-December – late March) and Furano zone (open late-November – early Could). There are 28 totally different trails to select from. Furano’s central location implies that Siberian storms that move over the Sea of Japan find yourself dumping among the lightest and driest snow in Hokkaido. The typical annual snowfall is round 7 meters, with the very best in January and February.

Snow covered field

20% of the paths are rated superior, 40% intermediate, and 40% newbie, making the resort accessible to all skiers and snowboarders. The slopes are additionally open till 8 pm, so you may also get pleasure from some evening snowboarding. You may attain the summit by taking the 101-passenger Furano Ropeway. As you ski down, you’ll see the picturesque Daisetsu Mountain Vary. On the backside are two massive ski-in ski-out Prince Resorts, making it the right winter vacation spot.

Furano Prince hotel

What’s nice about snowboarding and snowboarding in Furano is which you could get pleasure from all of the powder snow, spacious slopes, and wonderful views with out the crowds of different resorts equivalent to Niseko! There may be additionally English assist for ski classes, lodge companies, and total amenities.

Kamifurano Ski slope

Away from Furano Ski Resort, you possibly can get pleasure from different smaller ski slopes, equivalent to Nakafurano Hokusei Ski Space.

Other than snowboarding and snowboarding, there are many different winter actions. From snowshoeing and snow rafting to driving a scorching air balloon, there may be a lot to supply. Sadly, once I visited, the climate wasn’t nice, so I wasn’t capable of partake in any. You may take a look at the record of actions right here.

Furano Cheese Manufacturing unit

Furano is understood for its agriculture and dairy manufacturing, which you’ll be able to get pleasure from at Furano Cheese Manufacturing unit. Right here, you may get a glimpse into the cheese manufacturing whereas having fun with cheese samples, together with flavorings equivalent to squid ink.

You may also find out about cheese and participate in ice cream and butter-making experiences.

Ice cream display

You may also choose up some ice cream with some distinctive flavors, equivalent to cheese and pumpkin!

Downstairs, there’s a small pizza restaurant utilizing native greens and house-made cheese.

Farm Tomita

Throughout the summer season, Farm Tomita is the perfect place to see Furano’s well-known lavender fields. Surrounded by a sea of purple, the farm attracts individuals from throughout the globe. Nevertheless, in winter, it’s a unique story. As a substitute, a blanket of white snow envelopes the fields with little hint of its summer season counterpart. To not point out that all the retailers have been closed!

However, the surroundings continues to be stunning, and it’s good to take a stroll round!

Aoi-Ike (Blue Pond)

Simply outdoors of Shirogane Onsen is Aok-Ike or Blue Pond. It’s recognized for its vibrant blue water, created from all of the pure minerals dissolved within the water. I’ve been earlier than in summer season, and the blue coloration is price seeing, however other than that, there may be little else to do or see.

In winter, the lake was frozen and coated in snow, so you possibly can’t see the blue coloration! I don’t assume it’s price stepping into winter, however in case you have the possibility to go in spring, summer season, or autumn, I like to recommend visiting.

Shirahige Waterfall

Only a five-minute drive from Aoi-Ike is Shirahige Waterfall, which was most positively the spotlight of my time in Furano. The waterfall is shaped by a sequence of floor streams flowing out the aspect of a cliff and into the Biei River beneath.

Blue river lined with snowy trees and a bridge in the background

To the left, you will note the Biei River flowing into the gap.

Frozen waterfall covered in snow and a blue river at the bottom

To the fitting, you’ll see Shirahige Waterfall frozen over. Its title, Shirahige, truly interprets to white beard!

Whereas the waterfall is gorgeous in summer season with the encircling greenery, in winter, the view of the ice formations and distinction with the cobalt blue river is a must-visit.

Shikisai No Oka

If you happen to’ve learn our summer season Furano Journey Information, you’ll bear in mind Shikisai No Oka as having rows of colourful flowers meandering by way of the rolling hills. In winter, the realm, very like the remainder of Furano, is roofed in snow and turns into a playground for winter actions. Children can benefit from the sleds that may be rented from the doorway constructing, whereas adults can journey snowmobiles or banana boats.

Now it’s time for my driving “accident.” You may in all probability see from the images that the climate began to take a flip for the more serious. Visibility was poor, and whereas leaving Shikisai No Oka, I adopted the automotive navigation, which led me down a slim and unassuming highway. With poor visibility and full belief within the automotive navigation steering, I made my manner down the highway. At first, my automotive powered by way of, however the snow bought deeper and deeper till I used to be finally caught.

Snowy fields and hills in Biei

I attempted to dig my manner out for at the least half an hour however to no avail. Fortunately, it wasn’t too removed from Shikisai No Oka, so the employees helped pull me out. They informed me that many roads across the space are like this, so it’s important to watch out. Different areas are far more abandoned and won’t have anybody to assist. You may name JAF (Japan Car Federation) or the automotive rental, however in extreme circumstances, it could take some time for them to achieve you.

So please drive with warning and be ready for a state of affairs like mine!

Lone Christmas Tree

With little daylight left, I made my method to the Lone Christmas Tree, an 8-meter spruce tree with its tip supposedly formed like a star. The tree is surrounded by nothing however snow, making a surroundings that appears like a portray.

Single tree surrounded by snow

The realm across the tree is non-public property, so you aren’t allowed to stroll up shut. The encompassing roads are additionally slim, and also you’ll in all probability discover many individuals making an attempt to take images. If you’re driving, please proceed with warning.

Christmas tree surrounded by snow

Ningle Terrace

Throughout the night, there’s not an excessive amount of to do other than evening snowboarding or visiting Ningle Terrace. Established with the neighboring New Furano Prince Lodge, the buying space consists of 15 log cabins linked by a sequence of wood walkways. These walkways are lined with fairy lights throughout the night, making a magical winter ambiance.

Wooden entrance to Ningle Terrace in Furano covered in snow

The title comes from the novel Ningle by So Kuramoto, which options the looks of a small creature referred to as Ningle, who lives in a forest in Hokkaido.

The retailers are full of native artisans’ merchandise and items, making it the right spot to purchase souvenirs!

Subsequent to Ningle Terrace was a small illumination show with a paid entrance. After a protracted day and temperatures nearing 14°F (-10°C), it was time to go eat one thing heat!

After researching and searching round, lots of the eating places round Furano Station have been closed. My solely selection was one curry store, Yuiga Dixon.

Curry Doria

It’s a well-liked restaurant and the employees stated there are sometimes queues. I needed to wait round quarter-hour to get a seat. I ended up selecting the meat tongue doria, which got here out piping scorching. The spicy curry, tender beef tongue and wealthy cheese was the right method to finish the day!

Furano’s winter is a real wonderland, full of unbelievable surroundings and plenty of winter sights and actions! Whether or not it’s sunny or snowing, prefer it was for me, there may be at all times one thing to do! Simply watch out whereas touring round and revel in Hokkaido’s winter surroundings!

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