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Minamifurano Ski Area

The Minamifurano Ski Resort in Hokkaido is a small locals’ ski area run by the equally small town of Minamifurano, which as the name suggests (minami means “south”), is south of the well known town of Furano and the Furano Ski Resort. Unfortunately, Minami Furano has joined the long list of Japanese ski areas that have stopped running their top lift to minimise expenditure on ageing infrastructure, but in the process have completely stuffed the ski area for anyone except beginners to low-end intermediates. 

Pros and Cons of Kokusetsu MinamiFurano

  • If it’s a big storm day and lift operations are impeded at nearby ski resorts, Minami-Furano might be a good choice.
  • It is usually very quiet and the locals are not likely to poach your powder.
  • Even though you don’t get much value for your yen, lift tickets are really cheap, especially if you get the 4 hour pass.
  • It’s a very small ski area with slow lifts and basic infrastructure.
  • The top lift hasn’t been operating recently, which removes the best of the lift-accessed tree skiing runs.

Minami Furano Ski and Snowboard Terrain

Minami Furano is a little ski area with 4 courses and a vertical of 220 metres from 380 to 600 metres. It is serviced by a single and double chair lift that mostly run in parallel and have a mid-station. These lifts also operate for night skiing. There is a pair lift that goes to 729 metres, but it seems like it’s been retired. Above that is what looks like an overgrown piste, which possibly had a chair lift that’s gone to God.

The trail stats are beginner 30 percent, intermediate 50% and advanced 20%. Beginners can unload at the mid-station and enjoy the groomed trails either side of the lifts, although timid novices may find the slope inadequately mellow.

Intermediates can head to “the top” to do a groomer, whilst advanced riders can test their knees on the mogul run.

Trees either side of the piste are reasonably tight but they could be fun with good snow conditions. Powder hounds may prefer to skin up higher and then drop some of the steep trees and logged areas, pending a good snow base. Some lines drop to the road, so it’s ideal for laps if you have a car and someone is having a rest day.

The ski area is usually closed on Mondays.


Whilst at reasonably low elevation, snow quality can be good thanks to cold Central Hokkaido temperatures and a northeast aspect. One can assume that Minamifurano has a similar weather pattern to Tomamu and Sahoro, whereby it typically isn’t renowned for lots of early season snow, and comes to the fore further into winter.

Where is Minamifurano Ski Area?

The Minami Furano ski area is just to the southwest of “downtown” Minami Furano, and south of Kanayama Lake/Sorachi River.

Minami Furano ski-jo is 41km southwest of Furano. Other road distances: You’ll need your own vehicle to get there. The telephone number for GPS navigation is 0167-52-2143.

Minamifurano Accommodation

Chances are that you’ll be staying at a nearby destination resort such as Furano, Sahoro or Tomamu and do a day trip. However if you to fully experience the little town of Minamifurano, there are a few options for accommodation, and apparently if you stay in town the lift tickets are even cheaper.

The main Minamifurano hotel option is the Fairfield by Marriott.

Minamifurano Accommodation Listings


The ski hill has really basic facilities. The lodge sells food, but usually just a handful of options.


If you want to do a bit more touring, there is a trailhead near town for the Take Noro Yama backcountry area. A nice gradient ridge goes up to approximately 1,200 metres in the sub-alpine and offers a vertical drop of about 700 metres. Some parts are reasonably mellow whilst there are also some steep treed pitches in the mid-section of the hill. This can be a good pick for inclement weather days, especially if you find a local with a snowmobile to assist with access.
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