Last week I finally ticked off one of my Japan bucket list destinations… The flower fields in Hokkaido! I’ve been traveling to Niseko (in Hokkaido) for over 6 years during the winter season but I had NO IDEA what summer had in store! The images I’d seen of these locations were a major influence in my latest style evolution so, I definitely had to see them in person. In this post, I’ll share a rough itinerary and some of my favourite photos from the trip. Note: I edited all of these photos on my new Google Pixel 3a using Adobe Lightroom and VSCO. Due to the overcast weather, the originals just don’t do these places justice so I had to enhance them for your viewing pleasure.
Day 1: Tokyo > New Chitose Airport > Biei Sta. > Shikisai No Oka > Bibaushi Sta. > Biei Sta.> Furano Sta.
I took an early flight from Narita Aiport to New Chitose Airport and then headed straight to the JR office to buy a ticket for the next train. My years of waiting for buses at this airport finally paid off… It took me only 10 minutes to get off the plane, speed walk to the train station below the airport and get my tickets. I purchased the Furano Biei Rail Ticket for ¥ 6500 and then jumped on a train bound for Furano. I actually decided to get off at Biei, a couple of stops away from Furano, to make the most of the good weather and head to the first flower farm. I put my luggage in a locker at the Biei Tourist Information Center and then caught a taxi to Shikisai No Oka. The staff at the Information Center were super helpful. They actually called the taxi for me and told the driver my destination.
The ride took no more than 15 minutes and I had a funny conversation with the driver (in my not so good Japanese) about the weather and the fields of wheat growing all around us. When I arrived, I was not prepared for what I was about to see but OMG it was amazing! The farm was much smaller than I’d anticipated (the power of photography) but the COLOUR! THE FLOWERS! Woah, it was beautiful. Below is my favourite photo from the whole trip!
The place was packed with tourists but I was able to make my way around the fields at my own pace and snap some tourist-free photos. Some of the flowers were not yet in full bloom but it was still a sight I will NEVER forget. Before I left, I made sure to try some freshly cut melon which was incredibly juicy and refreshing. A must in the summer heat!
I spent about an hour at the farm and then walked about 25 minutes to Bibaushi train station. From there I caught the next train back to Biei Station, picked up my bag and then jumped on the next train to Furano. The trains there only come once an hour so you really have to keep an eye on the clock otherwise you’ll be waiting for ages in tiny little towns with not much around. I finally arrived at Furano around 6pm and was picked up by my accommodation. Phweewfff Day 1 was complete!
Day 2: Furano > Naka-Furano Sta. > Farm Tomita > Naka-Furano Sta. > Biei Sta. > Hokusei No Oka > Biei Sta. > Bibaushi Sta. > Kanno Farm > Bibaushi Sta. > Furano Sta.
The next day I got on the 7am train from Furano to Naka-Furano to head to my next flower farm. From the station, I walked for about 25 minutes to Farm Tomita, the most well-known flower farm in Hokkaido. I’m not sure if you can tell but my outfit was 100% inspired by photos I’d seen of this place. The website says that the farm opens at 8:30am and I was aiming to be there early so I would be let in first but… I was wrong! That time just refers to the souvenir and food stores operated by Farm Tomita. The flower fields were already accessible and there were already people checking them out! So, you can avoid the crowds and the midday heat by rocking up earlier than 8:30am.
Farm Tomita is actually most well known for its lavender and they sell lavender everything in their stores. I love lavender but, I don’t really love the colour purple so, I didn’t really snap many pictures of the lavender fields. I did buy some lavender essential oil though! Just next door is the Tomita Melon House, a bunch of stores selling all things melon. I got another slice of freshly cut melon and also tried a melon cheese tart for morning tea. Who knew melon and cheese pair so well together!
After Farm Tomita, I checked out a couple of the other flower farms and fields in the area. I rode an electric bike to Zerebu No Oka which was a major waste of time but I followed it up with a scenic ride around the Patchwork Hills. There were almost no cars around and the fields of wheat and wild flowers spread so far into the distance. The wind was blowing in my hair, the sun was shining on my face, I was holding my mouth shut to avoid swallowing bugs and nature was just making natural sounds and being really beautiful. I also checked out Kanno Farm and ate some sweet white corn which was just so yum! On the way back to my accommodation, I stopped at Yuiga Doxon, a famous curry shop in Furano known for making their own sausages, curry roux, and BEER. It was definitely one of the best meals I have ever eaten in Japan and I probably dreamed about it that night.
Day 3: Furano Sta. > Sapporo Sta.
After 2 days in Furano, I was all flowered out and decided to head back early to Sapporo for some holiday retail therapy. I hired a bike from my hostel and set out to fulfill a burger craving at Jacksonville Burgers. Then I rode over to Tanikukoji Shopping Street, which has about 3 or 4 second hand stores. The whole street looks really similar in both directions and I accidentally lost my bike for about 45 minutes so had to put shopping on hold while went to find it. Whoopsy! After the stress of losing my bike, I ended up only buying one thing. It was a 70’s style handmade vintage dress that fit me perfectly.
My trip had almost come to an end but not before I had eaten some fresh fish! I ended up eating Kaiten Zushi (sushi train) for dinner and opted for a liquid dessert with a couple of Hokkaido exclusive drinks from the convenience store. The perfect way to end my summer vacation!
Day 4: Sapporo Sta. > New Chitose Airport > Tokyo
So thats my trip! It was super colourful, refreshing and weirdly relaxing to just be on my own doing my own thing outside of Tokyo. If you do go to Hokkaido to see the flowers, put Shikisai No Oka and Farm Tomita at the top of your list, get up early and dont forget to put sun cream on your forearms… Yes, I am leaving you with the image of me with a t-shirt tan. BYE!