Hokkaido‘s Summer is short and precious. With just two short months where lavender, sunflowers and rainbow-coloured flower fields bloom, July and August are definitely the best times to visit Hokkaido imo. Okay, maybe with the exception of the week of Sapporo Snow Festival.
If you are planning a trip to Hokkaido in July – August, your trip should focus on the Furano and Biei region. This is where the lavender and flower fields are concentrated.
But other than flowers, there is one other thing that you should include in your itinerary if you visit Hokkaido in July & August: Fruits. In particular, the famous Hokkaido melons.
One of the most common question I get on the blog from readers planning a Hokkaido trip in Summer is,
What are the places to visit around Furano and Biei region?
How many days should I spend to the Furano and Biei region?
Generally I recommend at least 3 days and 2 nights at Furano & Biei if you are visiting in Summer. Below is my list of recommended attractions, parks, nature spots and restaurants you can visit.
Probably the most famous lavender and flower farm in Hokkaido – Tomita Farm is a must-visit in summer.
Read more on:
Tomita Melon House
Located right beside Tomita Farm, drop by for a variety of melon snacks from melon popcorn to melon shakes!
Read more on: Hokkaido Best Sweets Cafe
Flower Land Kamifurano
Image Source: Flower Land Kamifurano
Beautiful flower field on a hill offering gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains.
Read more on: Visit to Flower Land Kamifurano in June 2014
Nakafurano Choei Lavender Park
Image Source: Furano Tourism
Visit Choei Lavender Park in Nakafurano from late June to end August to enjoy the lavender and colourful flower fields.
Furano Jam Garden + Rokugou Observatory
Image Source: Furano Jam Garden
At Furano Jam Garden, you can not only shop for local jam, you can even make your own jam! Also check out the Anpanman shop and head to the Rokugou Observatory for some stunning scenery.
Furano Cheese Factory
Want to sample and buy some local cheese? Furano Cheese Factory is the place to go.
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Furano Wine Factory
Enjoy (free flow) wine tasting at the chateau and dine at the restaurant with a view at Furano Wine House!
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Image Source: Tablelog
Rokkatei is a famous confectionery chain in Hokkaido and Campana Rokkatei is their store in the Furano region – complete with view of the surrounding mountains.
A popular cafe surrounded by lavender and sunflowers when they are in season.
Read more in: Hokkaido Best Sweets Cafe
Kumagera is my favourite restaurant in Furano and it is pretty famous. It has been featured in numerous variety shows around the world.
Read More in: Hokkaido Best Food by Region
Image Source: Farm Okudaira
Remember what I said about Hokkaido melons? At Farm Okudaira, you can enjoy a melon BUFFET when the melons are in season!
New Furano Prince Hotel & Ningle Terrace
New Furano Prince Hotel is a destination in itself. Here you can find a ropeway running from late June to Mid Oct to bring visitors to the top of the mountain for a birds eye view of the surroundings and little wooden cabins housing unique souvenir shops at Ningle Terrace.
If you have done research on Biei, you would definitely have come across the terms ‘Patchwork Road’ and ‘Panorama Road’. If find yourself very confused about which roads Panorama Road / Patchwork Road refer to – don’t worry, I was just as confused once. Because Panorama Road and Patchwork Road are not actually roads. They refer to two regions: One to the East of Route 237 (Panorama Road), one to the West of Route 237 (Patchwork Road).
The map above gives you a VERY ROUGH orientation of the 3 main sightseeing regions around Biei: Patchwork Road, Panorama Road and Shirogane Onsen. Driving up from Furano along route 237, you will reach the region known as Panorama Road first on your right before reaching the region known as Patchwork Road on your left.
Below are some of the key sights around the three regions:
Shikisai No Oka
Map Code: 349 701 156
Website: Official Homepage
Sanai No Oka
Map Code: 349 792 477
Sanai No Chaya Cafe Curve
Map Code: 349 792 775
Shinnei No Oka
Map Code: 349 790 676
Farm Restaurant Chiyoda + Chiyoda Farm
Map Code: 349 734 239
Website: Official Homepage
Map Code: 349 676 661
Hokusei No Oka
Map Code: 389 070 315
Hill of Zerebu
Map Code: 389 071 384
- Ken & Mary Tree (Map Code: 389 071 727)
- Seven Star Tree (Map Code: 389 157 099)
- Parent-Child Tree (Map Code: 389 128 063)
- Mild Seven no Oka (Map Code: 389 036 262)
Biei (Shirogane Onsen)
Himawari-no-Sato Hokuryu Sunflower Field
Image Source: Hokuryu Portal
If you don’t mind taking a 1.5 hours drive from Furano to see sunflowers, Himawari-no-Sato in Hokuryu is the place to be in early August where more than a million sunflowers reach full bloom.
Ohashi Cherry Farm
Image Source: Ohashi Cherry Farm
Cherry picking is only available from mid-July to end of August. Don’t forget to drop by Ohashi cherry farm, a short 30-min drive from Furano, during cherry season! Ohashi cherry farm is located along the route between Furano and Hokuryu, so you can visit Ohashi cherry farm and Himawari-no-Sato together as a day trip from Furano.
The best place to base yourself in to visit the flower fields would be anywhere from Furano to Biei. Furano has more accommodation options compared to Biei, but even then it is not that many. In July and August, you can expect accommodation prices to be sky high as demand outstrips supply.
Tips for securing the best accommodation deal:
- Start searching for accommodation in Furano at least 6 months in advance
- Secure a room with free cancellation first.
- Keep checking hotel booking sites from time to time to see if a better deal pops up. If one does, cancel your previous booking and rebook the cheaper deal.
If you find that accommodation in Furano and Biei is just way past your budget, you can base yourself in Asahikawa instead. There are plenty of hotels in Asahikawa and they will be much cheaper than in Furano / Biei. However, be prepared to do quite a bit of to and fro driving along route 237. The good thing is that route 237 between Asahikawa and Furano is toll free.
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