Preseason skiing can be hit or miss, but Hokkaido is far enough north that sometimes you get lucky. Friends booked an ANA package tour from 9-12 December to the Shin-Furano Prince for 38,000 yen including air (Haneda-Chitose), bus, hotel, breakfast, and lifts. We decided to join, but stay one more day and come home on Sunday, which was regular season; that cost us 52,000 yen each.
Only the Furano zone was open and not all of the lifts were running, but conditions were pretty good. Friday the 11th brought rain at base and light snow up top. Skiing on top was still ok. Saturday brought colder weather and spectacular views as the resort opened the top lift; views toward Tokachi were spectacular. The resort was not crowded. The area has very long intermediate runs. There were some rocks poking through, but all in all, an excellent way to start the season! Preseason is over, but in future years, why not consider an early excursion to one of the great Hokkaido resorts!
I plan to go back later in the winter to experience the whole resort open with their famous dry powder.
From 09 December, 2015 To 13 December, 2015
Snow condition on visit:
Fairly good for preseason
Things I liked:
price, uncrowded, friendly people
Things I didn't like:
Not a very interesting apres scene in the hotel; better if you head to town