Table of Contents
The first activity we want to introduce you to is snowshoeing. Snow shoes are shoes that have been especially made for walking atop the snow. Snowshoeing is the act of wearing these snow shoes and walking around on a snowy mountain. Walk on a snowy mountain in regular snow boots and your feet will be buried in the snow. But with snow shoes, you’ll be able to walk as much as you want on the snow.
The powder snow that floats into the air with every step you take is a breathtakingly beautiful sight. It’s an almost mystical experience you can only get through snowshoeing.
When walking on the road towards the forest, you might even encounter a wild deer or a rabbit. It’s safe even for beginners, as the instructors will provide full support along the way. Anyone three years old and above can participate. Children and adults alike can get the most out of the Japanese winter through this experience.
Address: Shimanoshita, Furano, Hokkaido Prefecture
Opening Hours: 9:00 am - Differs by course
Once in Furano, you can’t leave without trying your hand at wakasagi fishing! It involves drilling a round hole into an iced-over pond with a special drill, then dipping a fish hook into the water from over the ice to fish wakasagi.
Wakasagi fishing is one of the most well-known winter traditions of Hokkaido. It’s a special activity you can only experience in the winter when the temperatures go down.
Another fun perk - your guide will fry the wakasagi you fish into tempura.
Wakasagi is said to taste the best from January to March. Freshly caught wakasagi are fatty and have a fluffy, melt-in-the-mouth texture. You’ll be able to fish in the warmth and comfort of a heated tent, so no need to worry about the cold.
Address: 687-1 Ikutora, Minamifurano-cho, Sorachi-gun, Hokkaido Prefecture
Opening Hours: 8:45 am - 1:30 pm
The dog sledding experience is another activity we recommend for the winter in Furano. You might have seen it in a movie or a TV show, but there aren’t very many people who have actually experienced it in real life.
With Hokkaido Adventure Tours in Furano, you’ll be able to experience dog sledding in a snowy landscape that stretches as far as the eye can see.
A full-time instructor will give a detailed lesson on how to hold the ropes and how to adjust the speed of the sled. As such, this is a beginner-friendly dog sledding experience.
There are all kinds of plans available, from an advanced course on a snowy path with dramatic ups and downs, to courses that even small children can enjoy. Dog sleds can reach a maximum speed of 14 - 20 kilometers per hour - so it’s quite a thrilling experience. The wind is very cold, so make sure to bring your windbreaker, neck warmers, and other cold-weather goods.
Address: 308-6 Kitaochiai, Minamifurano-cho, Sorachi-gun, Hokkaido Prefecture
Opening Hours: 9:00 am - 11:00 am, 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Hot air balloon flight
The hot air balloon flight, which lets you look out over Mt. Tokachi and the Furano Basin, is another winter activity we recommend. The hot air balloon, once released, will rise to an elevation of about 1,000 meters. Seen from the sky, the cityscapes and expansive, snowy landscapes are awe-inspiring.
If you’re really lucky, you might even be able to see a mystical sight known as diamond dust. Diamond dust is a phenomenon in which water vapor in the air turn into tiny ice crystals and float, sparkling, through the air. Because this only occurs when a number of variables align, it is also known as a miraculous phenomenon.
Scared of heights? No need to worry - the basket of the hot air balloon is tied to the ground with four sturdy ropes. Why not ride the wind for about 20 minutes, and enjoy a nice relaxing “walk” in the skies? It’s sure to be an unforgettable memory. There will also be staff members that can speak English, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to communicate.
Address: 14-6 Kitanomine-cho, Furano, Hokkaido Prefecture
Opening Hours: 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Next, we’ll be discussing powered paragliding. This is like paragliding, except with a giant set of motorized propellers on your back to help you float through the air.
Powered paragliders seat two people, with a dedicated instructor that does all the maneuvering. As such, this is a beginner-friendly way to get into powered paragliding.
At the highest, you can go over 1,000 meters. The snowy landscape, stretching as far as the eye can see, is mystical and truly breathtaking.
This is an experience you won’t really be able to get with any other activity. It is an almost dream-like experience, one that will grant your wish to be able to fly through the skies. Be sure to experience it for yourself.
Address: Nishigakuden-niku, Furano, Hokkaido Prefecture
Opening Hours: 9:00 am - 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
You might think of rafting as being a summer activity, but did you know there’s a way to enjoy it in the winter as well? Rafting is a thrilling activity in which you ride a small boat known as a raft through swift downstream currents.
Rafting in the snowy mountains - with an almost mystical atmosphere - is completely different from rafting in the summer. This is an extraordinary experience, whether it be just looking at the beautiful scenery, or encountering wild animals like rabbits and deer. It’s a thrilling experience as well, when your boat hits some rocks or there are some extremely swift currents.
But it’s safe even for beginners, as the instructors will provide full support along the way. Make sure to bring waterproof gear and a change of clothes though, as you will get wet.
Address: 4746 Gakuden-sanku, Furano, Hokkaido Prefecture
Opening Hours: 9:00 am- 8:00 pm
Last up is snow rafting. Snow rafting is a thrilling activity in which you whiz through the snow on a boat tied to a snowmobile (a small motor-powered snow vehicle).
It’s popular amongst families as an activity that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.
The maximum speed of the snowmobile can get up to 100 kilometers per hour, which can be quite thrilling - with the boat moving side to side and almost tipping you over, or the floating sensation you get from the ups and downs of the snowy hills.
Address: 4746 Gakuden-sanku, Furano, Hokkaido Prefecture
Opening Hours: 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Lots of thrilling activities
In this article, we introduced you to some of the best winter activities in Furano. There are all kinds of activities for everyone - from beginners to winter sports aficionados, from children to adults, and from couples to families.
Most people think of skiing when they think of winter sports. But things like wakasagi fishing, dog sledding, and hot air balloon rides are experiences you can only get in the winter as well. Why not try out something new this winter?
Pricing information and schedule may not be up to date and are subject to change without notice. Please check before your trip.