Furano International Snowsports School

Furano International Snowsports School: Hours, Address, Furano International Snowsports School Reviews: 5/5

Furano International Snowsports School

Furano International Snowsports School
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Furano International Snowsports School offers private ski & snowboard lessons and kids day care facilities.FISS has the highest qualified and experienced instructors available in Furano. All our staff speak English, for more information please visit our website.
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20 reviews
Very good

Sydney, Australia44 contributions
Friendly and expert instructors
Mar 2016
The standard of instruction was excellent and the rates were competitive. The instructor was great at identifying individual strengths and weaknesses and building confidence (which is, after all, what skiing is mostly about).
Written 18 June 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Melbourne, Australia113 contributions
Great child care service and excellent instructors
Feb 2015 • Family
We booked FISS for a 2-hour family ski lesson with our 6-year-old son, and child care for our 1-year-old. Our instructor was friendly, patient and experienced, adjusting the lesson to suit our individual needs and speed of learning. I was happy with the child care services. The child carers were gentle and experienced with young children, and our daughter was happy with them (for the most part - she hated parting from us in the morning). We stayed at the New Furano Prince Hotel, and the complimentary pick-up service for the child care was handy on the days when we wanted to stay in the Furano Zone. Booking was easy, and I appreciated the quick response time by email (I get a reply usually within a day). The childcare facility is quite small and bookings get filled up quickly (as it is to date the only day care facility in Furano)
Written 15 April 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Queensland, Australia31 contributions
Absolutely the best
Spent 14 days at Furano and arranged ski lessons with FISS for Sarah, Tom & Rob whilst we were there. We were staying at the New Furano Prince Hotel and in spite of FISS having their base at Kitanome it was no problem to meet us at our Hotel. These guys really are at the top of their game. From booking through to lessons everything was a breeze. FISS provide a highly polished service with some of the highest qualified instructors you could find 'anywhere'. We were lucky enough to have Jana & Jiri. They were both outstanding and made our experience equally so. If your looking for ski lessons, no matter what your level is, we recommend FISS unconditionally.
Written 9 February 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Singapore, Singapore635 contributions
Patient English Speaking Instructors
Dec 2014 • Family
We had very patient instructors take care of us noobs. Its great that they were English speaking so we could understand. Two hours passed by quickly. It was fun.
Written 28 December 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

52 contributions
Best coach in Hokkaido
We spend 5 days in Furano this year and we book FISS again (we've been here last year). It is difficult to find good English speaking coach in Japan with reasonable price. Naoko, Rebecca, Jan, Clare and all other team members showed their professionalism and caring in coaching ski & snowboard (both for adults and children).
Highly recommend for future visitors for Furano skiing trip.
Written 23 December 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kipsan B
Bangkok, Thailand66 contributions
Snowboarding training AWESOME
Jan 2014 • Solo
I went to FISS/Kojima Academy to improve my snowboarding (hardboots, slalom/giant slalom style riding for racing). I've ridden since 1990, but had developed a few odd habits, and reached a point where I could understand what I should be doing, but not knowing how to fix.

FISS has highly qualified international instructors for skiing and snowboarding; Ben, Naoko, Kojima, Jan, Rebecca, Jill are all really skilled riders, but they are excellent at instructing. They all speak English, Kojima is a former Olympic coach, Ben and Naoko train other instructors - they have the credentials to be sure!

In my case, over 2 days, Kojima first identified my riding issues, and we did drills (he taught me so I could also do on my own time) to help me ride correct modern race technique (basically I had too much rotation, was too straight in the body/legs, turning too far out of the fall-line). A lot of what I got from the lesson will be drills to 'reset' my technique correctly each time I ride in future.

I have done season long training in the past, IMHO the difference between a great lesson and an average one is not that you ride better after it (that's almost a given), but that the instructor responds and teaches you in a way that is effective for you to improve longterm. In my case, I am a nerdy analytical guy, so Kojima explained what I should be doing, then the reasons why combined with clear and simple drills plus clear demonstrations highlighting one issue at a time. And also, it was awesome fun to ride with someone so good!

Actually the week prior an Australian snowboard racer went from being good to really good with Kojima, and that's what pushed me to get some lessons. You will get the most out of lessons, IMHO, if you do private lessons for a few hours each day for several days, so you can see what to do, have time to then go and practice a bit yourself, then come back again the next day for more guidance on improving or learning more. It's especially important when learning, as its easier to start the right way, than have to spend time (like me) unlearning bad habits.

For anyone looking to go to Hokkaido, whether beginner or advanced, child or adult, Furano is a great mountain to ski/board, with better weather and drier snow than Niseko.

If you visit Furano, I highly recommend to get a lesson at FISS as well, the cost is very reasonable compared to private lessons in USA/NZ/Australia, and there is no lost time waiting in lift queues at Furano. The quality of instruction in English is excellent, and you will see some of the mountain that you might not otherwise get to experience. Be aware that like a lot of Japanese mountains, there are several ski schools at Furano, FISS are the easiest to see, they are wearing the bright yellow coloured jackets and they teach out of both the Kitanomine and also the Furano zones. And if you see a guy trying to keep up with Kojima on a raceboard...well that might be me!
Written 9 January 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Gary M
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia5 contributions
Friendly, helpful, accommodating, skilful, great with kids and went out of their way to help us
Jan 2013
We stayed at Furano for a skiing holiday as a family with 2 children aged 3 and 8. I wanted our family to have lessons during our stay and made contact by email. Ben's response was fantastic and extremely informative.
They met us (at no cost) at our hotel lobby the evening we arrived to help us with ski rental, then picked us up each day to take us to the other side of the mountain to have lessons.
My little 3 year old girl had a combo session (private lesson with lovely Miwa then the perfect crèche for the rest of the morning) and she was snow plough turning by herself quickly. She had skied only once before.
Jan was perfect with my boy (he KNOWS kids and what makes them tick, making his lessons adventurous) and my lessons with him were personalised and informative. All the teachers have a long list of qualifications and clearly know how to teach.
Furano is delightful and uncrowded.
Price is what you would expect for their excellent qualifications but was worth every cent.
I could not recommend the ski school more highly!!!
Written 4 September 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Sydney, Australia6 contributions
Very professional and fun
Feb 2013 • Couples
My girlfriend and I were first-timers for snowboard and was hoping to find really encouraging and patient teachers. We couldn't have gone to a better place. We had two lessons and both were enjoyable and fun. We were even brave enough to go on the lift pass up to midway to floating leaf down the slopes.

Its not just the ease of having english speaking staff to learn from but also very professional and qualified staff that can identify what is wrong with your technique and correct you each time you fall or not achieve. And each time we got better , words of encouragement will flow that really boosts your confidence which is just as important to allow you to relax and actually snowboard well.

Thanks guys we will continue to work on our skills back in australia and not give up on Snowboarding.
Written 1 March 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Cottesloe, Australia17 contributions
Best ski school in Japan
Feb 2012 • Family
I love this ski school! I've learned so much and had such a lot of fun doing it!
My family (husband and 3 adult girls, all in their 20's) and I, have now skied with Ben and his ski school for two seasons and we are preparing to go again in 2 weeks. We have already booked lessons for our 2 week stay. The girls are all pretty experienced skiers, having skied annually from age 3. My husband and I are solid skiers and enjoy powder and groomed slopes.
We have skied all over the world and all agree that Ben and his wife Naoko at FISS have the best set-up and coaching style we have experienced anywhere.
I love the lessons! Ben divides the 5 of us according to our ability and interest levels and concentrates on each of us individually, picking up our strengths and points needing development. He is so good at this that my skiing has gone up to a level I didn't think I could achieve being an adult starter at skiing.
They have a great team of international instructors, all who speak expert English, and are so highly experienced that they train the local instructors, including the government ones.
It's an amazing, fun experience; it is a small intimate ski school and makes for a very personal and friendly environment - and in my opinion one of the best ski schools in the world.
Written 17 January 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Hong Kong, China2 contributions
A Michelin 3-Star Ski and Snowboard School!!!
Mar 2012 • Solo
To borrow the Via Michelin Guide’s terminology, the Furano International Snowsport School (“FISS”) is a Michelin 3-star experience – it is well worth going to Furano if only just for getting private ski (or snowboard) lessons with the instructors at FISS. I did, a few months ago. And I will again, in a few weeks’ time. They are really that superb.

According to their website, FISS’s mission is to give their guests the best ski and snowboard lesson experience possible in Japan. In my view, they are being much too modest. The truth is, not only have I had the most exceptional lessons, the hospitality and friendship offered by everyone at FISS also made my entire ski holiday a most unforgettable experience.

At FISS, client satisfaction is a priority and this was evident even when I first contacted them by email. Ben (one of the founders of FISS) promptly responded to my enquiries. Unlike many other ski schools, FISS does not give out “one size fits all” private lessons. Ben took time to discuss and understand my objectives with me to plan and customize the lessons to my specific needs.

FISS prides itself on having ridiculously highly qualified instructors, to the extent that they actually train instructors and even examine those who wish to become trainers of instructors. Many of them have worked in and are the most sought-after instructors in world-renowned ski resorts in the northern and southern hemispheres (I heard that they get booked out months before the ski season actually starts). Some of them were even ex-Olympians and/or trainers and coaches to national teams.

That’s all good on paper. But what are the lessons really like?

In short, they are simply the best ski lessons I have ever had anywhere, by a country mile.

I had 3 days of private lessons with Ben on my first visit to Furano. After the initial run on the first day (which actually was a mini-assessment of my skiing ability in disguise), Ben took me to various parts of the mountain. He had a near-psychic ability of finding just the right quantity and quality of snow for me, kept me working hard but manageable. We started off with some skiing on the piste, then on the cushiony sides of the piste, then on the ungroomed snow under and through the trees on very gentle slopes. It was challenging skiing and most important of all, fun.

What I hadn’t realize then but which finally came to me in retrospect was that all of those “fun” skiing that took place on the first day were in fact different components of a very carefully drawn up 3-day training programme that Ben devised in his mind based on: 1) what I had told him before on emails about my learning objectives, and 2) his assessment of my skiing abilities. The exercises were so spot on that not only were they the magic pills to many of my previous ski faults and deficiencies, they were also carefully arranged to equip me with the different skills required to tackle fresh Furano POWDER that is world famous!!! By the 3rd lesson, I was skiing some easy and some not so easy uneven knee-deep powder on an ungroomed black run!!! I had never thought that for someone (moi) who had never skied any real powder before could develop sufficient skills in such a short time. And it all came down to Ben’s excellent teaching ability.

Apart from the great lessons (with measurable results and the successes), the good laughs on the chair lifts, and the very fun stories that Ben had to share, what else makes FISS so special?

Well, there is Kojima-san, the other co-founder of FISS. He is a famous local of Furano who represented Japan in snowboarding in World Championships and the Olympics. As such, FISS benefits from his insider knowledge of the mountain and the snow, as well as his connections. I heard that he managed to get some handmade snowboards for students of FISS last season to try out during their lessons …

Ben and his wife (Naoko, who, by the way, is an excellent instructor and often made clients speechless by the sheer grace and the SPEED of her skiing) went out of their way to make my stay in Furano as comfortable as possible. They drove me to the supermarket to stock up the groceries. They also organized après ski drinks at one of the local pubs with other students. Ben even showed me how to wax a pair of skis properly (in fact, he waxed MY skis for the sake of demonstration).

I enjoyed skiing in Furano and taking lessons with FISS and Ben so much that I cancelled my second ski trips of last season (I had originally planned to go to Zermatt) to return to Furano in March earlier this year. And it was a hard pick whether my first or the second trip was the more memorable. Though I must say that on my second visit, Ben deemed me sufficiently skilled to go skiing off-piste (which was another one of my objectives) so Ben, other members of the FISS team and I spent a day skiing in the Daisetsuzan National Park. It was a live volcano!!!! There was above knee-deep powder, pristine blue sky and tree skiing. Definitely one of those priceless MasterCard moments.

I went to Furano hoping that I would have a good ski holiday. I got that, 200% in fact. FISS exceeded my expectations in every way. But I had not expected that, before I returned to Furano, Ben and Naoko had already left a message at the hotel (by the way, Hotel Petit Suzuran is a jem, see my other review) saying that they would be happy to give me a lift to the supermarket to pick up some groceries after I checked-in. They have become my friends.

I will go back to Furano in a month’s time. I have already booked lessons with Ben and Naoko. Whilst FISS is expanding and more top quality instructors are joining their team, I cannot emphasize enough that lessons should be booked well in advance to avoid disappointment. Trust me, not being able to take lessons from them would be a real disappointment.

When I left Furano in March, Ben and Miwa-san (a very nice and popular snowboarding instructor at FISS) came to send me off and gave me a box of local Japanese chocolate for the road, which Miwa said was her favourite. It was very good dark chocolate, but I could only taste the sweetness.
Written 7 December 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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