Day 12: Furano Skiing

Thursday, 5 February 2015

Top of the Kitanomine Chairlift, our hotel is at the bottom with a green roof
Continues from Day 11: Furano Skiing

Today is our second day skiing in the central Hokkaido town of Furano!

Like yesterday we had a lesson in the morning from 10:00 - 12:00 and today we arrived a bit early so practised a bit on the bunny slope before our lesson.

While yesterday was a first timers lesson, today is a group beginner lesson however like yesterday we were the only people in our group so we had an instructor to ourselves; a different person from yesterday.

Bottom of the family slope with the bunny slope on the left
We first had a couple of runs down the bunny slope to learn how to turn using the slow plow, then we were taken up the Kitanomine High Speed No. 1 chair lift.

Yesterday we had used single tickets to ride the lifts, which cost several hundred yen each trip, but today we bought a full day pass for around 5200 yen.

Our instructor taught us how to use the lift properly then on the way back down the beginner slope we practised more how to turn. Towards the end of the day we learnt the basics of parallel skiing, at least in a straight line.

Japan, and especially Hokkaido, is well known for having an abundance of powdery snow however this was not the case while we were there as it was actually rather icy.

Apparently it had not snowed for a while and apparently even rained a couple of weeks ago. This was according to our instructor at least as we didn't have much idea about what is icy and what is powdery.

Once our lesson finished we had ramen in the cafeteria at the bottom of the ski lift, before catching the lift up a few more times. In total we skied down four times in the afternoon.

Most of the other people on the slopes were primary and middle school students from other prefectures, as well as a Japanese Self Defence force group.

The kids were evenly split between skies and snow boards and varied quite a bit in skill level, from complete beginners like us to pretty advanced.

Kate actually knocked over one girl earlier in the afternoon, but they had their revenge when a middle school girl took me out from behind later in the day.

Thankfully no one had any injuries as all of the collisions occurred at low speeds.

When we first looked at skiing in Furano I was excited by the prospect of skiing at night time, which can be done between 16:30 and 19:30 for 1600 yen.

However once night actually fell I quickly decided against that as it was freezing outside! Even by about 16:30 I was starting to really shiver, especially while sitting up on the chairlift.

In the evening we caught a bus from just outside our hotel into the town of Furano where we checked out the souvenir shops and food shops that make up Furano Marche.

There we ate some delicious ice cream cones as well as some wine, cheese and crackers which we enjoyed when we returned back to the hotel.

Tomorrow will be a visit the Furano cheese factory and our last day skiing!

Continue reading Day 13: Furano Skiing

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