Japan Road Trip 2014 Summer: “F” For Flower & Furano

Lavender field in Furano, Hokkaido, Japan
Blue Pond in Furano in Hokkaido, Japan

The trip to Furano included a stopover at Asahikawa, in which we had lunch at the Ramen Village (to continue our ramen hopping!). We also dropped by The Sun Kuroudo to buy its famous cheesecake (for supper).

The trip from Asahikawa to Furano was quiet, with little towns along the way. The signs pointing to Calbee factory indicated the beginning of the highway leading to Furano plains.

Ramen and Gyoza at Hokkaido, Japan
Re-visiting Ramen Village in Asahikawa
The Sun at Hokkaido, Japan

Flower Farms

We visited a total of 3 flower farms while we were in Furano.

  • Farm Tomita
  • Saika no Sato
  • Shikisai no Oka

Farm Tomita is the most famous, biggest and busiest farm of all. It lived up to its name with its sprawling lavender fields, with a mixture of other flowers to give the landscape a varied view.

The farm being a touristy place, there is a large car park, ample amenities like restrooms and seats, as well as souvenir shops and food kiosks, with even a stall selling lavender ice cream!

A beautiful flower lasts for only a season. A useful flower lasts through all seasons.
A beautiful flower lasts for only a season. A useful flower lasts through all seasons.

Saika no Sato is only about a 5 minutes’ drive from Farm Tomita. After a few turns from the car park, we came to the large empty field in front of Saika no Sato.

The defining feature of this farm is that it was not as busy as Farm Tomita (since the latter has busloads of tourists on group tours dumped into the farm constantly). Sure it was not as big as the latter, but the farm was large enough for the eyes to take in the sea of flowers. And as Saika no Sato is higher up in the mountain than Farm Tomita, the landscape was also complimented with the distant valley and mountains.

If Farm Tomita boasts a sea of flowers, the Saika no Sato boasts a view of geological nature.

Snippets of me at Furano lavender fields in Hokkaido, Japan

We visited Shikisai no Oka the next day, as it was actually in the neighbouring Biei region. In fact, we visited the farm after visiting the Blue Pond; the journey between the farm and the highway was about 45 minutes on the mountain road.

Shikisai no Oka features more varied flower types, evident from the spectrum of colours on the farm. Although not as accessible, it attracted more tourists than Saika no Sato.

Therefore, in conclusion of the 3 farms we visited, it would be good to make a quick stop at Farm Tomita for a “been there, done” that photo-op. However, one should allocate more time at Saika no Sato and Shikisai no Oka for a more intimate, off the beaten track experience the flower season of Furano has to offer.

Furano lavender farms at Hokkaido, Japan

As mentioned earlier, the other place of interest in the Furano region is actually the Blue Pond. Blue Pond derived its name from the deposits discharged from a nearby factory. It is actually a dammed up reservoir.

The road to Blue Pond seemed no end (it was a good 45 minutes to an hour’s drive from Furano), but the big car park could not be missed. The Blue Pond tour can actually be summarised as a 100m track beside the pond that could be finished (after all the selfies) in 30 minutes. Was it worth the 2-hour 2-way drive? It really depends on your appreciation of nature, or non-nature, in the context of Blue Pond.

Furano City

The city/town of Furano is very small and quiet. After speaking to a waitress in a restaurant, she admitted that the city itself has nothing to offer, that it flourished because of the lavender farms. That being said, the city has some of the best foods in the region.

Around Furano train station in Hokkaido, Japan

We had our dinner at Teppan Okonomiyaki Masaya. It was a quaint restaurant near the foot of the Furano ski hills. When preparing the okonomiyaki, the chef even did a ‘show’ to entertain us.

The restaurant offers limited parking outside of its entrance.

Okonomiyaki at Furano at Hokkaido, Japan

On our 2nd day in Furano, other than visiting Blue Pond and Shikisai no Oka, we also had lunch at Fukuzushi in Furano itself.

The restaurant was oozing authentic Japanese charm, with floor seating and exquisite paper windows. The food was no less extraordinary.

The tempura was light and crisp on the outside, succulent and tender on the inside, and inari was chewy and stuffed with rice. The highlight was its yakitori, with its juicy and tender meat wrapped in a light skin of crisp.

Tempura at Fuku Sushi in Hokkaido, Japan

We had our dessert in Furano Delice, tucked away in the fringe of Furano, near the foothills of the ski slopes. Seated atop a little hill, its full length window offered a vast view of the neighbourhood. It was famous for its cheesecake, so do order one (or two) with a cup of coffee, and settle by the window to have a little moment with your loved ones.

The café is only recognizable from its small entrance way (the main building being on the slope), which could be easily missed with its lush greenery at the sides. However, the entrance faces the empty field where the car park is, so once in the neighbourhood, keep a look out for these features to find the café.

Cafe in Furano in Hokkaido, Japan

If one must tour the city, he can start from the train station like we did. The station was small, and had a rustic charm to it. From there, we took a leisurely walk down the road, which had none of the evening traffic jams typical in Singapore.

Accommodation of the night:

B.J Club Furano

151812 Fukuhara, Sorachi-gun, Nakafurano-cho 076-0742, Hokkaido

Click here for my TripAdvisor Review

What we did enroute to Furano:

  • Stopover at Asahikawa Ramen Village for lunch
    • あさひかわラーメン村
      079-8421 Hokkaidō, Asahikawa-shi, Nagayama 11 Jō, 4 Chome−119−48
  • The Sun Kuroudo for cheesecake
    • 〒078-8318 Hokkaidō, Asahikawa-shi, Kaguraoka 8 Jō, 1 Chome−1−9

What we did in Furano:

  • Furano Train Station
  • Blue Pond (Better to rely on GPS, as this is in the middle of the mountains)
  • Teppan Okonomiyaki Masaya (Official website) for dinner
    • 11-15 Hinodemachi, Furano 076-0025, Hokkaido
  • McDonald’s for breakfast the next day
    • 〒076-0033 Hokkaido Prefecture, Furano, Shintomicho, 2−5
  • Fukuzushi for lunch the next day
    • 〒076-0026 Hokkaidō, Furano-shi, Asahimachi, 1−24
  • Furano Delice for dessert the next day
    • 〒076-0017 Hokkaidō, Furano-shi, Shimogoryō, 2156−1
  • Lavender Farms

Click here for my TripAdvisor Review for Farm Tomita

Click here for my TripAdvisor Review for Saika no Sato

Click here for my TripAdvisor Review Shikisai no Oka

Streetscape in Hokkaido, Japan

Click on the links to find out more about the rest of the roadtrip!


Touch Down In Sapporo

Charming Sapporo and Otaru

Onward To Asahikawa!

The Nature of Sounkyo Gorge

Yorkshire Farm & Soba

We Do Not Want To Leave Hokkaido!

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