Home >> Itineraries,Japan Travel >> Hokkaido Self-drive with kids (June 2014) Part 8: Furano -> Biei (Flower Land Kamifurano, Panorama Road: Shikisai No Oka, Shinnei No Oka, Sanai No Oka, Chiyoda Farm, Patchwork Road: Hokusei No Oka, Hill of Zerebu) -> Furano (Ningle Terrace, Kumagera)

We started the day with a visit to Flower Land Kamifurano.

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June was still too early for flower season, but there were a few fields that were blooming.

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Although many of the flower fields were still bare, the view from Flower Land Kamifurano of the surrounding area was breath-taking!

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Even 18 month old MY could appreciate the scenery!

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Since it was not peak flowering season, the good thing was that we had the whole place to ourselves!  The kids had fun running around and playing with the little flowers.

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There was a tractor ride going around the farm for a fee and MF (who has a thing for tractors) kept asking to ride on it.  Flower Land Kamifurano is not very big and it was pretty lame going around on the tractor AFTER we have already explored the whole place on foot.  We should have gone for the tractor ride at Shikisai no Oka (which is much bigger) instead.

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After our tractor ride, we went to the shop at the entrance to grab some snacks before driving on to Biei.

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Driving to Biei from Furano, we arrived at the area called Panorama Road first.  Our first stop was Shikisai No Oka.

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Most of the flowers were still at infancy stage, but we could see that the flower fields went on and on and on…. Shikisai No Oka is much bigger than Flower Land Kamifurano, which makes taking the tractor ride here a much better idea.

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In June, there was only a patch of red and yellow flowers that were in full bloom.

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There was a lone tree in the middle of the flower fields which makes for good photo opportunities.

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I would love to come here in July / August when the flower fields are in full bloom.  If it is already this beautiful in June, how wonderful it must be in a month’s time!

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Our next stop in the Panorama Road area was Shinnei No Oka.

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The scenery of the rolling hills around Shinnei No Oka was so beautiful!

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Our next stop was Sanai No Oka which also offered a beautiful view of the rolling hills of Biei.

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Our lunch destination was Farm Restaurant Chiyoda which was also in the Panorama Road area.  Our initial plan was to have lunch before going to the Patchwork Road area, but because the weather was so good and the weather forecast said that it would rain in the afternoon, we decided to go to Patchwork Road area first.

Our first stop in the Patchwork Road area was Hokusei No Oka.

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We climbed up the pyramid-shaped observation deck for a view of the surrounding area.

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Next, we went to Hill of Zerebu.

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I would recommend skipping Hill of Zerebu if you are visiting in June because the flowers have not bloomed yet.  But if you’re visiting in July – October, it should be worth a visit.

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Next, we drove around the Patchwork Road area in search for celebrity trees.

Ken and Mary tree:

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Parent and Child tree:

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Seven Star tree:

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The whole drive around Patchwork Road was extremely scenic.  My photos do not do the place any justice, you need to visit it for yourself (or google for some professionally taken photos :p).

After a while, everyone was bored of celebrity trees and decided to go for lunch.  So we drove back to the Panorama Road where Farm Restaurant Chiyoda was.

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The restaurant was extremely popular and we had to wait some time for a table.  Their most popular dish was the beef stew and I can understand why.  It was SUPER yummy!

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We also ordered their steak which was not bad – not the best steak I’ve had in Japan but not too bad.

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The kids meal was disappointing though – there was hardly any meat in the curry.

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The kids meal came with a tub of jersey ice-cream produced by the farm, but it was the crappiest ice-cream I have eaten in Hokkaido.

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One bad thing about Farm Restaurant Chiyoda was that they only have beef on their menu.  So if you have anyone in your company who does not take beef, he or she would be stuck eating plain potato.

After lunch, we drove to the nearby Tree of Philosphy to take some been-here-done-that photos. It was drizzling by then, so we just snapped some photos from the car.

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Next, we decided to go for after-lunch coffee at Sanai No Chaya Curve, which is a small cottage just beside Sanai no Oka (you won’t miss it – there’s just one cottage sticking out of nowhere and often with a few cars parked along the road in front of it).

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The cottage is famous for its affogato.  We tried one coffee and one green tea affogato and both were delicious!   We also ordered a toast with jam which was quite nice.

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If the weather is good, you can sip your drink on the terrace while enjoying the beautiful view around Sanai No Oka.

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There is also a little pavilion nearby with a great view.

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The interior of the cottage is not very child-friendly at all.  It only has one counter with high stools and the place is full of breakable pottery! Hence, we did not stay long (because staying any longer would increase the chances of one of the kids breaking something).

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After the coffee break, we left Biei and drove back to Furano and visited Ningle Terrace.

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After spending some time browsing through the shops at Ningle Terrace, we decided to go for dinner.  We visited Kumagera, which is a pretty famous restaurant in Furano and appeared on many TV shows before.

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We had a table with a stove in the middle for their famous hot pot.

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Although they are more famous for their hotpot with various types of meat such as chicken and venison, we ordered their seafood hotpot instead.  Doesn’t it look delicious?

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The fire was started and the hot pot was cooked right in front of us.  When it was done, TADA!

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We also ordered their oysters which were cooked with Japanese sake.  I loved it.. the sake was very sweet and went well with the juice from the oyster. But it was quite expensive.

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And for those who like your beef rare like me, you have to try their beef sashimi rice!

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We were instructed to mix the wasabi with soy sauce and drizzle it over the bowl.  I did just that and it was SUPER yummy!!

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There was still quite a bit of rice left after I finished the beef, so I ordered one more serving of beef sashimi.  However, the beef sashimi that came later was a bit icy and not as nice as the ones that were laid on top of the piping hot rice earlier.  So moral of the story: Order the beef sashimi together with the rice bowl and dump the sashimi onto the rice while the rice is still hot to defrost them!

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I would highly recommend dining at Kumagera if you are visiting Furano.  They are very tourist and foreigner friendly and the food is so good! (No wonder they keep getting featured on variety shows all around the world.)

After dinner, we left Furano and drove to our next destination: Tomamu.


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

the author

16Comments

  1. Jovin says:

    Hi mummy, I am going to Hokkaido this end Apr/early May. Because it is not blooming season, where do u advise us to visit in Furano, Biei and Asahikawa?

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Don’t wish to burst your bubbles but you are going at a very bad time. Firstly, I think you are going to run in Golden Week. Is there any way you can change your travel dates? Golden Week is a really bad time to go Japan. Prices of all travel-related stuff (accommodations, car rental) will go up, trains will be extremely crowded and you may not be able to get reserved seats even if you have a rail pass.

      On the bright side, you have a pretty good chance of running in sakura season! (Check sakura forecast) If i were you, I would focus my travel on sakura spots in Sapporo, Hakodate and Matsumae.

      I would not recommend going to Furano / Biei / Asahikawa at that time, you will just see a lot of melting snow. Asahiyama Zoo (at Asahikawa) will be closing their winter season after 7 April 2015 and they have not announced when they will reopen for their summer season, so it may not be open when you are there. But if you have already made plans to go to the region, I guess you could visit the food places.

      Asahikawa: Asahikawa Ramen Village

      Furano: Furano Wine House and Wine Factory, Furano Cheese Factory, Furano Marche. Tomita Farm has a greenhouse which is open all year round, but it’s really nothing much.

      Biei: Shirogane onsen (there are two waterfalls and a blue lake ‘aoiike’ there)

      If you have not planned your itinerary, I suggest you skip the Asahikawa / Furano / Biei region totally and spend more time exploring Sapporo, Otaru, Hakodate and onsen towns such as Lake Toya and Noboribetsu. These places are great in all seasons. If sakura season has started, you may even want to go further south to Matsumae from Hakodate for sakura viewing. Also, Niseko’s Grand Hirafu ski season should still running (they usually run until end of Golden Week). Don’t waste your time at Asahikawa / Furano / Biei.

  2. Jason says:

    Hi there,

    I am making a trip with my family to Hokkaido in end June with my wife and baby boy. Will be spending 3 days 2 nights in the Furano, Biei area. Do you have any hotels to recommend?

    Thanks in advanced.

    Jason

    • Our family stayed at Hotel Edel Warme. It was pretty dated and there was nothing interesting around the hotel. You would have to drive out for ddinner. We chose it because it had quad rooms (with 4 beds) so that all our whole family could sleep comfortably and it was pretty cheap.

      The more popular hotel is New Furano Prince Hotel. The rooms were smaller and more expensive, but the hotel has better facilities. (Ningle Terrace is there.)

  3. Michelle says:

    Hi! I’m planning to drive from Otaru to Furano for a day trip on 13 June. Is that a good time to visit Furano, or should I skip Furano and head to Noboribetsu straight? Thanks!

  4. Joanne says:

    Hi Bumblebee mum, We are having our Hokkaido self-drive trip on 29 Jun ~ 6 Jul with our 4 yr old kid. Below is our itinerary:
    Day 1: Hakodate – mount Hakodate , Overnight at hakodate kokusai hotel
    Day 2: Hakodate / lake Toya – morning market (Hakodate Asaichi)
    – Kanemori red Brick warehouse
    – Goryokaku tower
    – Lake toya
    – Overnight at Lake toya
    Day 3: Lake Toya/ Noboribetsu/ Furano – Sobetsu fruit farm
    – Date jidaimura
    – Hell vallry – jigokudani
    – Overnight at furano
    Day 4: Furano/ Biei/Asahikawa – farm Tomita
    – Biei Aoiike
    – Biei waterfall & bridge
    – Biei shikisai-no-oka flower garden
    – Overnight at Asahikawa hotel
    Day 5: Asahikawa/ Mitsui/Jozankei – Otokoyama sake museum
    – Mitsui Outlet park sapporo
    – Jozankei futami park
    – Futami suspension bridge
    – Kappabuchi
    – Overnight at jozankei hotel
    Day 6 : Jozankei /Otaru /Sapporo – Ishiya chocolate factory
    – Otaru canal
    – Sakaimachi street
    – Otaru music box museum
    – Overnight at Sapporo
    Can you advise me which of the place above are recommend to go and which is not?
    Where you will recommend us to have our lunch and dinner?
    Do you have any other place that is recommend visiting but it’s not in the list above?

  5. nazlin says:

    hi,
    I plan to bring my 68 yr old mum to hokaido from 29/7 to 3/8. Furano-Biei is high on my list. I wonder which day will not be super busy to visit the flower farm, should I start saturday/sunday by spending time exploring Sapporo and Otaru first. And on monday and tuesday to Furano and Biei. I would like to avoid a big crowd actually.

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Unfortunately the flower fields will be super busy any time during the period you’re there. It’s near impossible to avoid crowds at Furano / Biei during flowering season. Have you booked your accommodation? Maybe you can decide which day to go where based on the availability of accommodation.

      • nazlin says:

        tq for your advise. I found that it is almost impossible to get a decent accomodation on weekends. So I decided to move my trip to weekdays.

        • bumblebeemum says:

          Even weekdays can be problematic during peak season. Most people book at least half a year in advance. Hope you manage to find secure a decent accommodation!

          • nazlin says:

            hi, i hv another query on car rental. is it difficult to park in sapporo. what about directions, can i use waze to go around. is the phone system similar to our phone in msia/spore?

            • bumblebeemum says:

              There are plenty of coin parking in Sapporo, it is not difficult to find parking at all.

              I have never tried using waze in Japan. Their rental cars come with pretty good built-in GPS which I rely on fully when I’m driving in Japan. When I had a pocket WIFI, I tried google maps when I had to make last minute changes to my itinerary (and hence did not have telephone numbers / map codes of my destination on hand) and it worked fine.

  6. QQ says:

    Hi Bumblebee mum, we are having our Hokkaido self-drive trip on 22 Aug ~ 28 Aug 2017 (7D5N only) with our 3 yrs old kid. Is late Aug still a great a time to Furano for Lavender?

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