Home >> Itineraries,Japan Travel >> Hokkaido Self-drive with kids (June 2014) Part 7: Sapporo -> Furano (Furano Wine House and factory, Tomita Melon House, Farm Tomita, Furano Cheese Factory, Furano Delice, Furano Marche)

This was my second time driving from Sapporo to Furano.  On both occasions, the default route given by the GPS instructed us to take the expressway all the way to Takikawa before turning back to Furano.  This time, I decided to ignore the GPS instruction and exit and Mikasa and use route 452 to get to Furano. I found going by this way took about the same time but saved us quite a bit on toll fees.

We arrived at Furano in the afternoon and headed straight for lunch at Furano Wine House.

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Furano Wine House was located at the top of a hill and the view from there was splendid even on this rainy day! We got a table next to the window where we could enjoy the beautiful scenery while dining.

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The most famous dish at Furano wine house was the cheese fondue.  We ordered the lunch set which came with a steak and mini cheese fondue.

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We also ordered a pizza that is made with four types of locally produced Furano cheese.

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And we ordered a bottle of Furano grape juice to go along with the food.

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Frankly, I found the food here was nothing to rave about.  I enjoyed the grape juice, but I believe you can buy the bottle of juice at souvenir stores for a cheaper price than what the restaurant was selling it for.  And I thought the cheese fondue was over-hyped. We unanimously agreed that the best part of the meal was the kids meal!

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It was cheap and the prawn was gigantic! Excellent value for money!

After lunch, we drove down the hill to Furano wine factory.

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There was a lavender hill in front of the wine factory, but June was too early for lavender season.

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We went for a walk around the cellar.

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Then we went upstairs for free wine tasting.  You just grab a small plastic cup and help yourself to the barrels of wine available. Unlimited wine for free!

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The kids also helped themselves to a cup each and they got their first taste of wine. :p

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Before anyone got drunk, we left and headed to our next destination: Tomita Melon House.

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The boys were more interested in the tractors than the melons.

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It started raining and we quickly rushed into the melon house to seek shelter.  The display of melons was so enticing!

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While waiting for the rain to stop, we went around to buy all sorts of melon snacks.

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I enjoyed the melon shake and soft serve, but the cut melons were not as nice as the one we had at Hakodate market.  Maybe we are still too early for melon season, I felt the melons sold here were not quite ripe enough.  The melon bread was also a huge disappointment – it was cold and hard! And they were so stingy with the melon filling.

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When the rain became lighter, we quickly dashed back to our car and headed for Farm Tomita which was just beside the melon house.

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June was too early for lavender season and most of the flowers were not in full bloom yet.  But it was a nice visit nevertheless.

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We walked all the way to the end of the farm where there was a terrace cafe from which we could get a beautiful panaromic view of the flower field.  By June it was already so beautiful, how nice it would be if I could visit in July / August when everything is in full bloom!

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There were some lavender hills at the back, but as mentioned, June was too early for lavender viewing.

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I just had to take a photo with the baby lavenders. These were the most mature lavender I could find in the farm when we were there.. Better than nothing. :p

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And there were some lavender wannabe (a purplish plant that looks a bit like lavender).

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The kids were more interested in posing with the lavender ice-cream than the flowers.

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It started raining again after a while, so we quickly headed back to our car and didn’t have time to visit all the shops around the farm.  Here are some photos I took from an earlier visit, among the shops near the carpark, there was a beautiful dried flower shop, a cafe with a view of the flower field and a terrace overlooking the flower field.

There is also a greenhouse where you can see lavender all year round.

Our next destination was Furano Cheese Factory.

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There were some free cheese for sampling:

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MF was super excited to sink his teeth into the black squid ink cheese (because black was his favourite colour).

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But the moment it went into his mouth, he spit it out.  I tried a piece myself and frankly found it absolutely disgusting!  We quickly bought ourselves some milk to wash away the awful taste of squid ink cheese.

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In the factory, there was a fake cow which you can milk – it was coin operated.

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Next, we headed to Furano Delice for tea break (never mind the fact that we have been eating non-stop since we arrived in Furano.. but what else could we do on a rainy day?).  Their double fromage cheesecake was pretty so-so IMO, I very much prefer Le Tao’s.  But it was a nice cosy place to chill out.

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We then headed to Furano Marche to do some shopping.  Furano Marche turned out to be much smaller than expected, and it was hard to get between the buildings when it was raining heavily.  (They provided umbrellas, but still it was a hassle with the kids around.)

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We grabbed some Furano snacks from the souvenir shop.  The potato chips was quite nice, so make sure you buy a pack if you are there!

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Since it was raining heavily, we decided to just go back to our hotel and bum until dinner time.  For dinner, we went to restaurant called Haruchan sushi which was recommended by the Furano Cheese Factory for their cheese steamboat which uses cheese from Furano Cheese Factory. We ordered the cheese pot and a pork shabu shabu.

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It was pretty puzzling for a sushi restaurant to be selling cheese pot and shabu shabu.  The food was forgettable.. So I guess a jack of all trades is a master of none.

There was a festival going on right outside the restaurant.  It was raining, so we just took a quick look around before going back to our hotel.

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Other posts for this trip:

Complete summarized itinerary
Part 1: New Chitose Airport -> Lake Toya

Part 2: Lake Toya -> Hakodate
Part 3: Hakodate -> Niseko
Part 4: Niseko -> Otaru
Part 5: Otaru
Part 6: Sapporo
Part 7: Furano
Part 8: Furano -> Biei -> Furano
Part 9: Tomamu -> Obihiro -> New Chitose Airport


 

This post is archived under my Japan Travel Blog:
japan-travelogue


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2Comments

  1. LEE MUNLY says:

    Hi Bumble Bee Mum…below is your comment. If I follow route 452 to Furano, what is the map code to key in? I am planning my trip end Aug 2017.

    “This time, I decided to ignore the GPS instruction and exit and Mikasa and use route 452 to get to Furano. I found going by this way took about the same time but saved us quite a bit on toll fees”.

    When driving, we just need to key in map code or tel no to get to the destination? Is their GPS user friendly? Thank you for your advice

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Yup, for Japan GPS, you key in the destination using Map Code or telephone numbers. The GPS then displays the recommended route – which usually uses the toll ways. If you want to use a route other than the default recommended route, you need to find the ‘5 routes’ option on the GPS and use an alternative route from there. You can read more on this post:
      http://bumblebeemum.net/2015/03/31/japan-map-code-search/

      For this particular drive to Furano, I didn’t bother changing the recommended route (which asked me to take the tollway all the way till Takikawa). I followed the recommended route until I reached Mikasa and I exited the toll-way. After the GPS detected that I had deviated from its recommended route, it found an alternative route for me to get to Furano.

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