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“Best coach in Hokkaido ”

Furano International Snowsports School
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Attraction details
Owner description: 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.
Reviewed 23 December 2014 via mobile

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.

1  Thank Momowong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"during our stay"
in 2 reviews
"a lot of fun"
in 2 reviews
"fiss"
in 9 reviews
"naoko"
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"lesson"
in 9 reviews
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8 - 12 of 13 reviews

Reviewed 9 January 2014

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!

2  Thank Kipsan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 September 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!!!

2  Thank Gary M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 March 2013

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.

Thank yuponhim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 January 2013

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.

3  Thank fsam33
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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