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Fun Day Trip to Biei and Furano from Sapporo

If you’re dreaming of fields of sunflowers and lavender as far as the eye can see, look no further than Zerubu Hill in Biei, Hokkaido. This picturesque location, with its rolling hills and vibrant blooms, is a feast for the senses, making this day trip to Biei and Furano from Sapporo a must do when in Hokkaido. Join me as we dive into the beauty of Biei and Furano, indulge in delicious food, and soak in the local charm.

Morning in Biei: Sunflowers and Lavender Bliss

Our adventure began with a scenic train ride from Asahikawa to Biei, a journey that took about 2.5 hours each way. The train ride itself was a treat, offering panoramic views of Hokkaido’s lush countryside, dotted with quaint farms and distant mountains. As the train chugged along, the anticipation grew for the floral wonders awaiting us at Zerubu Hill.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by a breathtaking sight: fields of sunflowers and lavender stretching out under the bright blue sky. The sunflowers stood tall and proud, their golden heads turning towards the sun, while the lavender swayed gently in the breeze, releasing its soothing fragrance. It felt like stepping into a painting, with nature’s palette on full display.

We wandered through the fields, taking countless photos and simply basking in the beauty around us. The tranquility of the place was truly rejuvenating, making it easy to forget the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Day Trip to Biei and Furano

A Michelin Star Lunch: Café Junpei

After our floral escapade, it was time to satisfy our hunger, and what better place than Café Junpei, a Michelin Guide restaurant renowned for its exquisite cuisine? Nestled in the heart of Biei, this charming café lived up to its reputation and then some.

We opted for their signature fluffy, non-oily shrimp tempura and the mince rice balls with curry. Each bite was a revelation. The shrimp tempura was light and crispy, with a delicate flavor that left us wanting more. The mince rice balls, paired with rich, savory curry, were a perfect blend of textures and tastes. It was a meal to remember, made even better by the cozy and welcoming atmosphere of the café.

Exploring Furano: A Must-Visit Neighbor

With satisfied bellies, we decided to extend our adventure to Furano, a short train ride from Biei. Furano is famous for its picturesque landscapes and vibrant flower fields, similar to Biei, but with its own unique charm.

Tomita Farm: A Floral Paradise

Our first stop in Furano was the iconic Tomita Farm, a must-visit for flower enthusiasts. Known for its stunning lavender fields, Tomita Farm is a rainbow of colors during the blooming season. We strolled through the various gardens, each dedicated to different flowers, from poppies to marigolds. The lavender fields were the highlight, with their mesmerizing purple hues and enchanting scent. We couldn’t resist picking up some lavender-scented souvenirs and indulging in lavender-flavored ice cream.

Zerubu Hill in Biei

Furano Cheese Factory: A Dairy Delight

Next, we headed to the Furano Cheese Factory, where we got a glimpse into the art of cheese-making. We participated in a cheese-making workshop, which was both fun and educational. The factory also offers tastings of their various cheeses, including the unique wine cheese and squid ink cheese. For dessert, we treated ourselves to some freshly made ice cream, available in a variety of flavors.

Ningle Terrace: A Fairy Tale Village

Before heading back to Asahikawa, we made a stop at Ningle Terrace, a quaint village of log cabins nestled in the forest. Each cabin houses a different artisan shop, selling handmade crafts and souvenirs. Walking through Ningle Terrace felt like stepping into a fairy tale, with its charming wooden pathways and twinkling lights.

Walking around Biei

Strolling Through Asahikawa

In the late afternoon, we hopped back on the train to Asahikawa, where our next adventure awaited. Heiwa Dōri Shopping Street, the heart of Asahikawa, was bustling with activity. This vibrant street is lined with shops, cafes, and restaurants, offering everything from local crafts to delicious street food.

We spent the evening wandering through the shops, picking up souvenirs, and indulging in sweet treats. The lively atmosphere and the variety of offerings made it a delightful end to our day.

Tips and Tricks to Getting to Biei and Furano

Here are some things we learned about the way to Biei and Furano:

  • Leaving Sapporo JR station, take the Limited Express train for faster service. You can also take a bus or rent a car.
  • The train to Furano line was only a single car so be sure to look at the train schedule. It does not run consistently like in the major cities!
  • There’s a bus service to take you to the Blue Pond in Biei from the train station but there’s only a handful of times it leaves throughout the day.

The Perfect Day Trip to Biei and Furano

Our journey to Biei, Furano, and back was more than just a sightseeing trip; it was an immersion into the beauty and culture of Hokkaido. The 2.5-hour train ride each way was a small price to pay for the incredible experiences we had. From the stunning sunflower and lavender fields of Zerubu Hill to the culinary delights of Café Junpei, the floral paradise of Tomita Farm, the delicious dairy treats at Furano Cheese Factory, and the fairy tale charm of Ningle Terrace, every moment was a treasure.

If you find yourself in Hokkaido, make sure to carve out a day for this unforgettable adventure. Whether you’re a nature lover, a foodie, or simply looking to explore, Asahikawa, Biei, and Furano have something special to offer. Trust me, it’s a journey worth taking.

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