BumblebeeMum
Hokkaido Self-drive with Kids (June 2014) Part 5: Furano, Biei, Tomamu, Obihiro, New Chitose Airport
Day 9: Sapporo - Furano

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.

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.

Furano Wine House in June 02

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

We also ordered also their four cheese pizza.  The cheese fondue and cheese pizza were both made with locally produced Furano cheese!

We also ordered a locally produced Furano grape juice – the kids loved it!

Furano Wine House in June 01

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

> Furano Wine House is on my list of Kids-Friendly Restaurants in Hokkaido. Click here to find more kids-friendly restaurants in Hokkaido! <

Furano Wine Factory

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

Furano Wine Factory in June 01

Furano Wine Factory in June 02

There was a lavender hill in front of the wine factory, but June was too early for lavender season.  These lavender were still in their infancy.

Furano Wine Factory in June 03

We went for a walk around the cellar.

Furano Wine Factory in June 04

Furano Wine Factory in June 05

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

Furano Wine Factory in June 06

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

Furano Wine Factory in June 07

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

When we first arrived, the boys were more interested in the tractors than the melons.

It started raining, so I shooed the boys off the tractors and into the melon house to seek shelter. We were welcomed by the enticing display of melons!

furano tomita melon house in June 01

While waiting for the rain to stop, we went around to buy all sorts of melon snacks. The kids loved the melon snacks and ate so much!

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

> Tomita Melon House is on my list of Hokkaido Best Sweets Cafe.  Click here to find more wonderful Sweets Cafe in Hokkaido! <

Furano Tomita Farm in June 01

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.

Furano Tomita Farm in June 02

Furano Tomita Farm in June 03

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!

Furano Tomita Farm in June 05

Furano Tomita Farm in June 07

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

Furano Tomita Farm in June 06

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

Furano Tomita Farm in June 04

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

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

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.  In my earlier visit in October 2013, we did some shopping at the beautiful dried flower shop and dined at the cafe at Tomita Farm. Click here to read about my earlier visit to Tomita Farm!

> Tomita Farm is on my list of Kids-Friendly Restaurants in Hokkaido. Click here to find more kids-friendly restaurants in Hokkaido! <

Furano Cheese Factory

Since it was raining, we decided to go to an indoor destination next – Furano Cheese Factory.

Furano Cheese Factory in June 02

There were some free cheese for sampling:

Furano Cheese Factory in June 01

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

Furano Cheese Factory in June 03

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.

Furano Cheese Factory in June 04

Furano Cheese Factory in June 05

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

Furano Cheese Factory in June 06

Furano Cheese Factory in June 07

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.

Furano Delice in June 01

> Furano Delice is on my list of Hokkaido Best Sweets Cafe.  Click here to find more wonderful Sweets Cafe in Hokkaido! <

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.)

furano marche

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!

marche 01

marche 02

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.

Furano haruchan sushi 01

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.

Furano haruchan sushi 02

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.

furano summer festival 01furano summer festival 02

 

Day 10: Furano - Biei - Tomamu

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

Flower Land Kamifurano in June 01

Flower Land Kamifurano in June 05

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

Flower Land Kamifurano in June 02

Flower Land Kamifurano in June 15

Flower Land Kamifurano in June 04

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

Flower Land Kamifurano in June 03Flower Land Kamifurano in June 16

Even 18 month old MY could appreciate the scenery!

Flower Land Kamifurano in June 11

Flower Land Kamifurano in June 06

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

Flower Land Kamifurano in June 10

Flower Land Kamifurano in June 20

The little one particularly liked the little flowers!

Flower Land Kamifurano in June 13

Flower Land Kamifurano in June 14

Flower Land Kamifurano in June 12

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. But the kids loved the tractor ride anyway.

Flower Land Kamifurano in June 17

Flower Land Kamifurano in June 08

Flower Land Kamifurano in June 07

So we had a repeat telecast of all the flowers we had seen earlier.

Flower Land Kamifurano in June 09

Flower Land Kamifurano in June 19

Flower Land Kamifurano in June 18

Shikisai No Oka

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

shikisai no oka biei hokkaido in June 01

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.

shikisai no oka biei hokkaido in June 08

shikisai no oka biei hokkaido in June 03

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

shikisai no oka biei hokkaido in June 02

shikisai no oka biei hokkaido in June 06

shikisai no oka biei hokkaido in June 05

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

shikisai no oka biei hokkaido in June 04

shikisai no oka biei hokkaido in June 09

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!

shikisai no oka biei hokkaido in June 07

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

Shinnei no Oka Biei Hokkaido in June 01

Shinnei no Oka Biei Hokkaido in June 04

Shinnei no Oka Biei Hokkaido in June 02

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

Shinnei no Oka Biei Hokkaido in June 03

Shinnei no Oka Biei Hokkaido in June 05

Shinnei no Oka Biei Hokkaido in June 06

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

Sanai no Oka Biei Hokkaido in June 01

Sanai no Oka Biei Hokkaido in June 02

In case you are wondering where the kids were, they were happily sleeping in the car all the way since we left Shikisai No Oka. We just took turns to hop out to take photos while leaving them in the car.

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.

Patchwork Road

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

Hokusei no Oka Biei Hokkaido in June 01

Hokusei no Oka Biei Hokkaido in June 02

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

Hokusei no Oka Biei Hokkaido in June 03

Next, we went to Hill of Zerebu.

Hill of Zerebu and Atom Biei Hokkaido in June 01

Hill of Zerebu and Atom Biei Hokkaido in June 02

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.

Hill of Zerebu and Atom Biei Hokkaido in June 03

Hill of Zerebu and Atom Biei Hokkaido in June 04

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

Ken and Mary Tree Biei Hokkaido in June

Ken and Mary Tree


Parent and Child Tree Biei Hokkaido in June

Parent and Child Tree


Seven Star Tree Biei Hokkaido in June

Seven Star Tree

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).

Farm Restaurant Chiyoda

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.

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!

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

The kids meal was disappointing though – there was hardly any meat in the curry.  The jersey ice-cream that came with it was pretty crappy too.  Should have just ordered one more beef stew for the kids!

Farm Restaurant Chiyoda Biei Hokkaido in June 01

Farm Restaurant Chiyoda Biei Hokkaido in June 02

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.

> Farm Restaurant Chiyoda is on my list of Hokkaido Best Food.  Click here to find more wonderful food in Hokkaido! <

More of Panorama Road

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.

Tree of Philosophy Biei Hokkaido in June

Next, we decided to go for after-lunch coffee at Sanai No Chaya Curve, which is a small cottage just beside Sanai no Oka.

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.  Can’t believe we were having toast immediately after lunch.  But what else could we do on a rainy day??

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

Sanai no Oka Chaya Curve Biei Hokkaido in June 03

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

Sanai no Oka Chaya Curve Biei Hokkaido in June 04

Word of caution: 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).

Sanai no Oka Chaya Curve Biei Hokkaido in June 05

> Sanai No Chaya Curve is on my list of Hokkaido Best Sweets Cafe.  Click here to find more wonderful Sweets Cafe in Hokkaido! <

Ningle Terrace

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

Ningle Terrace Furano in June 01

Ningle Terrace Furano in June 02

Ningle Terrace Furano in June 03

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.

Kumagera

Kumagera Furano in June 01

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

Kumagera Furano in June 02

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?

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

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

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

> Kumagera is on my list of Hokkaido Best Food.  Click here to find more wonderful food in Hokkaido! <

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

Day 11: Tomamu - Obihiro - CTS

We woke up bright and early to go up to Unkai Terrace. Unkai means ‘sea of clouds’ in Japanese and this postcard of Unkai Terrace shows you what you can see on a perfectly good day.

Unkai Terrace Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 01

The gondola only operated from 4.30 to 7am in June, so we had to wake up really early and dressed everyone up warmly and headed out. But we actually weren’t that early, by the time we dressed the kids and took the resort shuttle from the hotel tower to the gondola station, it was about 6am.

Unkai Terrace Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 02

When we arrived at the gondola station, there was a poster showing the current unkai condition, so you can still change your mind before buying the expensive gondola tickets if there is no unkai the day you are there. Lucky us, it said there was beautiful unkai that day!

Unkai Terrace Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 03

So up the gondola we went! The kids LOVE gondola rides.

Unkai Terrace Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 04

And through the clouds we went..

Unkai Terrace Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 05

Higher, higher…

Unkai Terrace Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 06

And we were above the sea of clouds!

Unkai Terrace Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 07

We arrived at the terrace and went around taking photos non-stop! It was pretty cold at the terrace, so if you did not pack warm clothing (since it’s summer), don’t worry, there were many winter jackets available for guests to help themselves to for free. However, there were no kids jackets, only adult ones.

Unkai Terrace Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 08

There are two levels to the terrace but they were all packed with people on this beautiful morning! The kids managed to squeeze their way to the front.

Unkai Terrace Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 10

It didn’t help that there was a TV crew doing filming and taking up so much space on the terrace.

Unkai Terrace Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 11

There was a mailbox at the terrace. We received a postcard that could be sent to anywhere in Japan for free, but they did not sell stamps there so that we could mail it back to Singapore. So if you want to mail your postcard overseas, bring your own stamps!

Unkai Terrace Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 09

We walked around the terrace to take more photos.

Unkai Terrace Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 12

There was a short walking trail beside the terrace which offered beautiful views of the unkai with the surrounding mountains and allowed us to get away from the crowd.

Unkai Terrace Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 13

Unkai Terrace Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 14

Unkai Terrace Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 15

By the time we came back from the walking trail, many people have descended the mountain and the terrace was significantly less crowded.

Unkai Terrace Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 16

We found a table and had a hot drink while enjoying the scenery.

Unkai Terrace Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 17

We took the gondola back down and went for buffet breakfast that was included in our stay.

Hoshino Resort Tomamu Breakfast Buffet

After eating, we went back to the room where MY went back to sleep. I brought MF to the resort centre to see what activities were available for a 3 year old.

Hoshino Resort Tomamu Activity for Children in June 1

They had balance bikes that were free to use. MF went for a short ride on it.

Hoshino Resort Tomamu Activity for Children in June 2 Hoshino Resort Tomamu Activity for Children in June 3

Next, we decided to try ice-cream making (chargeable). We paid for the activity at the resort centre shop and received a ‘ticket’.

Ice-cream Making Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 10

We brought the ticket up to the second storey where all the activities were held. They also had bread making and cookie making, but I thought those seemed too difficult for a 3 year old. An English-speaking staff came to teach us how to make ice-cream and MF was able to complete all the tasks (except the shaking of the tin which all of us had to take turns to do because it was super tiring!).

Ice-cream Making Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 12

Ice-cream Making Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 13

Ice-cream Making Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 14

Ice-cream Making Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 15

MF was super excited to see the end product.

Ice-cream Making Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 16

Tada.. We made ice-cream!

Ice-cream Making Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 17

And MF got to enjoy the fruit of his labour.

Ice-cream Making Hoshino Resort Tomamu in June 18

By then it was almost time to check-out, so we went back to the hotel and bid farewell to Tomamu. We had a very enjoyable stay at Hoshino Resorts Tomamu!

Hoshino Resort Tomamu Shuttle Bus

Obihiro

From Tomamu, we drove to Obihiro where we had lunch at my favourite buta don (pork rice bowl) shop, Panchou, which was located near Obihiro station.

hokkaido best food obihiro panchou buta don

> Panchou is on my list of Hokkaido Best Food.  Click here to find more wonderful food in Hokkaido! <

After lunch, we went shopping at Rokkatei and Ryugetsu main store in Obihiro before driving back to New Chitose Airport.

obihiro-ryugetsu

New Chitose Airport

We checked in to Air Terminal Hotel where we would be staying for the final night. After resting for a while, we went to walk around New Chitose Airport. New Chitose Airport is an awesome place to visit and I can easily spend a whole day there.

We first visited Royce Chocolate World.

You can see how the famous Royce chocolate is made, right here at New Chitose Airport!

Next, we passed by Steffi’s Nature World, which is a place where you could take photo with life-size animal stuffed toys (I think), but did not go in. There was a small play area outside Steffi’s Nature World that was free and suitable for small babies.

For older kids, move on to Doraemon Waku Waku Sky Park!

MF had been asking to visit the Doraemon Waku Waku Sky Park since our last visit.  He was so happy to see Doraemon this time that he did a Doraemon impersonation.

Doraemon Waku Waku SkyPark New Chitose Airport Hokkaido 04

At Doraemon Waku Waku Sky Park, there was an awesome FREE play area for kids!

The play area was super fun, considering it was free. The kids had lots of fun!

Doraemon Waku Waku SkyPark New Chitose Airport Hokkaido 01

There was an interesting target board where the kids used their socks as ammo. Very creative! (Though not the most hygienic.. Lol!)

Doraemon Waku Waku SkyPark New Chitose Airport Hokkaido 03

Doraemon Waku Waku SkyPark New Chitose Airport Hokkaido 02

If your kids are more of the sit-down-and-do-craft type of kid rather than the run-and-jump-around kind, just opposite the play area is a craft area. You need to pay to do the craft though.

There is also a ‘library’ full of Doraemon comic books – and they have them in different languages!!

If your kids like Doraemon, they would definitely LOVE dining at the Doraemon theme cafe!

There was a trick mirror along the corridor and the kids had a good laugh at it!

The kids had so much fun there and they were only willing to leave when the place was closed.

We went around exploring the rest of the airport and had dinner before going back to the hotel to rest before our flight home the next day.

Read More: Activities in New Chitose Airport for Kids

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READ MORE FROM THIS TRIP

Summary: Itinerary Outline for Hokkaido Self-Drive with Kids (June 2014)
Part 1: New Chitose Airport, Lake Shikotsu, Lake Toya, Hakodate
Part 2: Onuma Koen, Niseko, Shakotan
Part 3: Otaru
Part 4: Sapporo
Part 5: Furano, Biei, Tomamu, Obihiro, New Chitose Airport (You’re here now)

READ MORE ON JAPAN TRAVEL

Visit our Japan Travel Page and Hokkaido Travel Page for more itineraries and travel tips!

29 Comments

  • Terri @ AnEverydayGift says:

    Thank you for writing such an informative and very entertaining post! My family and I are planning a trip to Hokkaido very soon and your post has helped me so much in the planning of our trip!

  • 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.

  • Jolene says:

    Hi Bumblebee mum,

    I will be going to Hokkaido during mid Apr doing self drive.

    If it is not too troublesome, will you able to advise if the following itinerary is workable… Niseko mainly to see snow not into skiing though.. Sapporo for Shiroi Koibito factory, Sapporo beer factory..Furano mainly for cheese factory, these are the key places that the hub is keen to visit, any other recommendations during Apr that we can visit, thanks in advance…

    1. 13-Apr,Thur (Overnight flight to Haneda)
    a. Singapore to Haneda via red eye flight
    2. 14-Apr, Fri (Hakodate, stay Hakodate)
    a. Domestic Flight Haneda to Hakodate
    3. 15-Apr, Sat (Hakodate, stay Hakodate)
    4. 16-Apr, Sun (Hakodate to Noboribetsu, stay Noboribetsu)
    5. 17-Apr, Mon (Noboribetsu, stay Noboribetsu)
    6. 18-Apr, Tue (Noboribetsu to Niseko, stay Niseko)
    a. Enroute Lake Toya to Niseko
    7. 19-Apr, Wed (Niseko, stay Niseko)
    8. 20-Apr, Thur (Niseko to Otaru, stay Sapporo)
    9. 21-Apr, Fri (Stay Sapporo)
    a. Shiroi Koibito Fty Visit
    10. 22-Apr, Sat (Sapporo to Furano, Stay Furano)
    a. Cheese Factory
    b. Ice Cream making
    11. 23-Apr, Sun (Furano to Biei, stay Furano)
    a. Blue Pond
    12. 24-Apr, Mon (Furano to Sapporo, stay Sapporo)
    a. TV Tower
    b. Nakajima Park/ Odori Park
    c. Sukino Shopping
    13. 25-Apr, Tue (Sapporo, Stay Sapporo)
    a. Sapporo Beer Factory
    14. 26-Apr, Wed (Sapporo to Haneda, stay Tokyo)
    15. 27-Apr, Thur (Disney, Stay Tokyo)
    16. 28-Apr, Fri (Shibazakura day tour, stay Tokyo)
    17. 29-Apr, Sat (F&E, stay Tokyo)
    18. 30-Apr, Sun (F&E, overnight flight to Singapore)
    a. Haneda to Singapore
    19. 01-May, Mon (Singapore)

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Your itinerary looks good. 🙂

      • Jolene says:

        Dear Bumbblebeemum

        Thanks..

        However would still like to check if areas like Niseko, Furano and Biei will have things to view during the period in Aor that I’ll be visiting? Also, there is only 2 full days in Sapporo, will it be sufficient?

        Thanks

        • bumblebeemum says:

          In Niseko, you can visit Milk Kobo and Fukidashi Park. And just play with the snow or check out other snow activities available besides skiing.

          In Furano, you can try visiting wine factory, jam factory, glass forest etc. And in Biei, it’s really just driving around the enjoy the countryside scenery – hopefully weather is good!

          I’m not a big fan of shopping so I do think 2 days in Sapporo is sufficient if your main purpose is to visit Shiroi Koibito Park and Sapporo Beer Factory.

  • Lee Munly says:

    I would like to know how long it takes to drive from Furano to Tomamu to get to Unkai. We have to be at Unkai very early so I need to know the journey. Thanks.

    • bumblebeemum says:

      It is about 1 hour 30 min drive from Furano to Tomamu. If you’re trying to get there for Unkai, you will probably be driving in the dark so give yourself more time. Frankly, I wouldn’t drive from Furano to Tomamu so early in the morning just to catch Unkai, because there is no guarantee of seeing it. And it’s just, well, really early.

  • Lynn says:

    Thank you so much Bumblebeemum for all the info, it is very kind of you to to this. Love reading your posts which is very informative. What is the traffic condition like? Is it heavy?

  • karen says:

    Dear Bumblebee mum,
    I love your blog! The pictures are so colourfull and you manage to pack a lot into your trip.

    I’m planning our first trip with my the family to Hokkaido. I have like 11 days here. We are not planning for an ambitious road trip and would rather take a slower pace so that we can relax and take in the sights and the culture. Would really appreciate advice on whether this will work:
    Day 1- arrive in New Chitose airport early morning (9am). Drive to sounkyo/ Asahikawa. Dual waterfalls. Ramen galore! Nite in Asahikawa.
    Day 2- Drive to Furano. Furano wine factory/ Tomita Melon House/ Farm Tomita/ Furano Cheese factory. Nite in either Asahikawa or Furano (which is better?) Where to stay in Furano?
    Day 3- Flowerland/ Panorama Road/ Shinei No oka/ Patchwork road/ Biel/ Blue Pond. Nite in either Furano or Biel.
    Day 4- Drive to Tomamu. Unkai Terrace. Stay at Hoshino Resort Tomamu.
    Day 5- Drive to Noboribetsu. Nite in Noboribetsu.
    Day 6- Drive to Lake Toya, then Otaru. Nite in Otaru.
    Day 7- Sapporo
    Day 8- Sapporo
    Day 9- Sapporo
    Day 10- Chitose
    Day 11- Fly home

    What do you think? Am i like cutting it too thin on Day 1? Shs i maybe do 2 nites at Asahikawa and just skip Tomamu? Thanks for looking at this!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      I wouldn’t drive all the way to Sounkyo / waterfalls from CTS right after an overnight flight. I suggest you end the first day at Asahikawa.

      As for Asahikawa, Furano and Biei, I suggest you go in the order Asahikawa – Biei – Furano so that you don’t keep doing back and forth driving.

      You can try something like this:

      Day 1- arrive in New Chitose airport early morning (9am). Drive to Asahikawa.
      Day 2 – Asahikawa (day trip to Sounkyo)
      Day 3 – Asahikawa – Biei (Panorama Road/ Shinei No oka/ Patchwork road/ Biel/ Blue Pond) – Furano
      Day 4- Furano (Furano wine factory/ Tomita Melon House/ Farm Tomita/ Flowerland / Furano Cheese factory)
      Day 5- Furano – Tomamu
      Day 6- Tomamu – Noboribetsu
      Day 7- Noboribetsu – Lake Toya
      Day 8- Lake Toya – Otaru – Sapporo
      Day 9- Sapporo
      Day 10 – Sapporo
      Day 11- Fly home

      If you want to spend more time at Sapporo, then yes, you can drop Tomamu.

  • Barbara says:

    Thank you so much for such a great blog! I really want to see Furano and Biei, but unfortunately we only have one morning for this. We will arrive to New Chitose airport in the evening and then head straight to Furano for overnight. The next evening, we have to be in Otaru by 18:00. This means we have from around 8 hours to see what we can AND get to Otaru with two young children. My plan now is just to drive to Farm Tomita, explore that area and head to Otaru from there. Would love to just drive through panorama and patchwork road, but it seems too far out of the way. Will just driving on route 298 be pretty? Any advice is much appreciated!

    • Barbara says:

      BTW, right now googlemap is recommending we take 452 from Furano down to Otaru. It looks like we could go the other way and head up to Asahikawa then connect to the Hokkaido expressway to head down to Otaru. If we did it, we would only be doing that to drive by, without stops. Is the drive more beautiful/worth an extra 30-60 min (plus toll fees I imagine)

      • bumblebeemum says:

        Yup, I would take the 452 route to Mikasa to enter the expressway. You can go all the way up to Asahikawa, passing by Biei, but I don’t think the extra driving time and toll fees you would incur is worth it considering the amount of time you have. Panorama and Patchwork Road, together with blue pond, deserves a whole day to fully enjoy. It will be very rushed if you try to do both Furano and Biei in a day. Technically it can be done, if you drive to a spot, jump off the car to snap a few photos, and jump back on the car and head straight for the next stop and so on. But I would recommend you visit less spots and spend more time at each spot – soak in the scenery, grab some snacks and ice-cream from the snack kiosks, enjoy your ice-cream while looking out at the flowers and mountain and breath in the fresh air. The kids would probably be happier that way too. My boys always enjoy running around the flower fields, and of course eating ice-cream. Hahaha…

    • bumblebeemum says:

      Yeah, I don’t think you have time to go all the way up to Panorama and Patchwork Road. You can probably just do Tomita and Flower Land Kamifurano. And Furano has many nice eating-cum-sightseeing spots like Furano Wine Factory and Campana della Vigna by Rokkatei which doesn’t require you to go far. You can read more here:
      http://bumblebeemum.net/2016/07/05/hokkaido-self-drive-trip-june-2016-furano-biei-asahikawa/

      So I would suggest you just stick to Furano and not go all the way up to Biei to save time.

      I suggest you use Route 237 – that’s the main sightseeing road for the Furano / Biei region.

  • Xue Hua says:

    Hi love, i enjoyed reading your Hokkaido blog entries as i’m heading there in the coming May as well. As i’m planning my own itinerary, can i ask for some advice? Your day 10 which starts at Flower Land Kamifurano, is almost identical to one of my days cept that i’ll be coming down from patchwork road instead and will be going to Farm Tomita as well, but excluding Sanai no oka, Sanai no Chaya Curve and Hill of Zerebu.

    So my question is, how early did you start your day? Reason is because i will also go to Farm Tomita on the same day, I’m not sure if it’s going to be rushed (Farm Tomita closes at 5pm). I plan to start early at about 8+am, coming from Asahikawa.

    One more thing, did you have to reserve any seatings for Kumagera? Or walk in is fine? Thanks in advance!!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      I think starting your day at 8+ should give you enough time. You can just play by ear. So let’s say you find yourself running behind time at Biei, you can skip Kamifurano and go straight to Tomita.

      I didn’t make reservation for Kumagera. I have always just walked in.

  • Lin says:

    Hi BBMum,

    Thanks for the post, it was an insight about hokkaido.
    but i am getting more confused about where to go now.

    I am on a honeymoon with Hubby, carrying a 25 weeks in me by then.
    We are traveling from 19-27th June. 9 days in total.

    We will probably on Self-drive, but have a few questions:
    1) Is self drive cheaper than public transport for 2 adults?
    2) I would like to go south to Hakodate and east to Biei Furano. but not sure whether is it too rush?
    3) During that period, scenery are mostly green and not full bloomed flower seasons, is it worth to go to the east ?
    4) Where is the best nature scenery to go during this time, and which onsen resort you would recommened?
    5) We are quite well traveles, and a scenic trip will not be enough, if it isn’t bundled with some special activities, anything interesting you would recommend? ( eg: baking, cooking, handmake things, make ice cream, whatever you think it would be interesting to do..)
    6) Are the above recommendation suitable and not too exhausted for pregnant lady (too long ride/journey).

    I appreciate your input. thank you in advance!!

    • bumblebeemum says:

      1) Not always cheaper, but definitely more convenient.

      2) 9 days does sound a bit rushed for both Hakodate and Furano / Biei.

      3) By end June, there should be some flowers in bloom. Definitely not the peak, but I do think it’s worth visiting. Just don’t expect travel guide pic kind of photos that are usually taken during the peak flowering season.

      4) Personally I think the most scenic area in Hokkaido is the Akan National Park / Shiretoko area. Lake Akan is quite a nice onsen town.

      5) You can find those activities you mentioned at Hoshino Resort Tomamu. To me, what sets Hokkaido apart from other scenic places is really the food. Frankly if I wanted good scenery, I would be going New Zealand again and again. But I go to Hokkaido repeatedly instead because the food is much more to my taste.

      6) If I’m pregnant, I would just drive all the way and it’ll be quite relaxing. I would even skip Sapporo and just spend 9 days in Eastern Hokkaido.

      • Lin says:

        Thanks for the reply!! i missed your reply at this post so i went on to post my draft itinerary in another post.

        i was thinking the below :

        Day 1 (19Th) : CTS (Reach 825am) – OTARU
        Day 2 (20th ) : OTARU (pick up rented car) – Hakodate (4 hours drive, Town & Mt Hakodate Sunset + Night view)
        Day3 (21st) : Hakodate (morning market) – Noboribetsu (onzen resort)
        Day 4 (22nd): Noboribetsu – Tomamu (hoshino resort)
        Day 5 (23rd) : Tomamu Unkai – Furano (dinner @ kumagera)
        Day 6 (24th): Furano – Biei – Asahikawa (Ramen village)
        Day 7 (25th) : Asahikawa (zoo)- Sapporo (drop off rented car)
        Day 8 (26th) : Sapporo
        Day 9 (27th) : Sapporo – CTS (8pm Flight)

        When you think we should use train/public transport and when we should rent car?

        i noticed from OTARU to Hakodate’s, the train travels through Noboribetsu area (take 5 hours plus),
        do you advice us take that route using train or rent a car and drive through Niseko area (3 hours plus according to google) ?

        My hubby would like to be in the cities a bit to ‘feel’ the people and food and do some shopping too. therefore we alocated sapporo a bit more. but do let us know if the itinerary need to be adjusted.
        we are flexible.

        Thank you very much in advance for your reply!

        • bumblebeemum says:

          I would suggest you do Otaru as a day trip from Sapporo. From CTS, head South directly towards Hakodate. It doesn’t make sense to go up North to Otaru then South to Hakodate and later go all the way back to Sapporo again.

          This is how I would rearrange the itinerary:

          Day 1: CTS (pick up rental car) – Noboribetsu
          Day 2: Noboribetsu – Hakodate
          Day 3: Hakodate – Tomamu
          Day 4: Tomamu – Furano
          Day 5: Furano – Biei – Asahikawa
          Day 6: Asahikawa – Sapporo (return car)
          Day 7: Sapporo
          Day 8: Sapporo (day trip to Otaru by train)
          Day 9: Sapporo – CTS

          • Lin says:

            Is Noboribetsu not along the way from Hakodate to Tomamu?
            How long the drive from hakodate to tomamu?

            • bumblebeemum says:

              Yes, Noboribetsu is along the way from Hakodate to Tomamu. It is also along the way from CTS to Hakodate. But if I were heading South towards Hakodate from CTS, I would usually use either Noboribetsu or Lake Toya to break up the drive towards Hakodate. Because it’s too tiring (at least for me :p) to take the long drive all the way to Hakodate immediately after the flight to CTS, especially if it was an overnight flight. Whereas I would be more able to do a long drive a few days into the trip. So I suggested you only drive as far as Noboribetsu for your first day.

              If you think you have no problem driving to Hakodate right after getting off the plane, then you can go Hakodate directly from CTS. And slot Noboribetsu in between Hakodate and Tomamu.

              Alternatively, you can stay at Lake Toya on your first day. Then visit Noboribetsu for a couple of hours as a driving break from Hakodate to Tomamu.

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