Skiing the Japow: Day 11 Epic Furano Part 1

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Kitanomine base of Furano.

You know that exhausted-ecstatic-ravenous because I skied through lunch and only paused on lifts look powderhounds can get. That was Rob after 6 hours at Furano. I should have taken a picture, but we were rushing off to the cheese factory before it closed. He said he was lapping super deep powder all day with a short hike and that there’s a premium zone, a bowl of powder that opens at 10:30am, which he managed to get to just before the rope dropped. Even though I enjoyed my day of planning and postcard writing, I was a bit powder jealous and we talked about skiing there another day.

The town area surrounding the ski resort (Kitanomine base) is very cute and has the most important things. My first shop was the backcountry ski store to get a topographic map for a tour in the national park. I bought the last one and got some route info from the store owner. Errand complete, I wandered downhill to the Downhill Royce chocolates to try some hot chocolate and pick up some nama chocolate to surprise Rob. My mom mentioned that she’d heard it was really good chocolate and 3x the cost in the US. Must eat!
After a bit of van cleaning and reading time, Rob was done skiing and it was time for cheese.

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Downhill Royce hot chocolate

Aprés ski at Furano Cheese Company Factory.
After tasting cheeses in the gift shop, we bought their reasonably priced ice cream. It came in a variety of interesting flavors including cheese, milk, corn and tomato. We tried cheese and corn. They were both tasty but very mild flavors. We both hadn’t had lunch so we splurged and ordered a pizza from their pizza factory, which was amazing. They have a legit wood fired oven and the crust has that perfect crisp-chewy balance.

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Cheese (chizu) ramen is actually a thing here. Those wedges are their squid ink cheese.

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Pizza from the Furano cheese factory. They gave a legit pizza oven.

With full bellies (apparently a no-no for onsen bathing), we went back to town for some bathing. Bell Hills was recommended to us as the best, but we ended up at Hotel Naturwald Furano. Their hotel is owl themed with cute owl things everywhere.

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Snow owl outside hotel naturwald. There are more owl pics than these but I won't subject you to anymore.

The onsen was nice with tons of different bath products and even a hair straightener to use.

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Owl onsen.

Clean and full, the next stop was Ningle Terrace, a cute artisan shopping Village in the woods behind the New Prince Hotel. It was beautiful at night and the craftspeople had some neat works for sale. Rob and I were a bit tempted, however, our favorites were too expensive.

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Ningle terrace at night.

Since the best weather conditions were lining up for the next day, we took the opportunity to head to the Biei Michi no ekki, setting ourselves up for a day at Asahidake. The ropeway can be closed due to high winds so we wanted to explore it while the weather allowed.

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Ending the evening with the long awaited Royce nama chocolates (bitter).

Camping for the night, we broke out the Hibiki 12 year and Royce chocolate.

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