Hokkaido, the second largest island of Japan is very famous for its lavender season. Usually this season starts in late June in summer. Unlike cherry blossom season that stays less than a week at a particular hanami spot, lavender season stays for more than a month from early July to late August. In fact, Hokkaido’s weather is quite favorable to cultivate lavender. Most of the lavender cultivation can be seen in a small city named Furano. Hokkaido’s lavender season depends on this city.
Please check out the lavender tour or Hokkaido summer itinerary to get some idea right now.
Small towns: Nakafurano and Kamifurano host some lavender and flower festivals every year in July. Will not it be great for you to spend few days in Furano in summer? Hokkaido itself famous for being a coldest place but those snowy landscapes could turn into a colorful landscapes offering you variety of flowers including lavenders.
So, visiting Hokkaido in summer to see the beautiful lavender fields would be a perfect destination for you. Japan offers you endless beauty of any season you would like to visit.
Sakura (cherry blossom) reminds me of spring, Sapporo Snow Festival reminds me of winter, colorful leaves (koyo) reminds me of autumn, while on the other hand deep purple lavender reminds me of summer. This is how nature of Japan gives you enormous opportunity to explore its natural beauty.
In this article, I have featured everything related to Hokkaido’s lavender season. While reading this article you will be seeing beautiful lavender photographs of Hokkaido. Except this, I have included useful information how do get there to see lavender gardens and fields easily. Let’s explore northern Japanese island Hokkaido’s summer nature.
Furano and Biei – Two Most Famous Places to View Lavender in Summer
Are Furano and Biei the two main cities to view lavender in Hokkaido region? Yes indeed they are! Both of these cities are located in the center of Hokkaido. They are the famous places to see summer flower in Japan and thus how they attract thousands of tourists each and every year. In the city of Furano there are two small towns located which are called Nakafurano, and Kamifurano where picturesque lavender farms can be enjoyed during the peak season.
Biei is a small town that is surrounded by a picturesque landscape of gently rolling hills with rainbow fields. It does seem to you very a pleasant and charming place to travel to! It attracts number of visitors in summer when lavenders are in full bloom. This area could be divided into two broad categories, they are: 1) Patchwork Road and 2) Panorama Road.
The area northwest of the city center is known as “Patchwork Road” and therefore the area south of the city center is called “Panorama Road”. South Biei has a beautiful small flower farm called Kanno Farm. This city also hosts a biggest marathon event which is called Biei Healthy Marathon, Hokkaido. It is a great spot for cycling and driving through the hills.
While on the other hand, the city Furano (located in Kamikawa Subprefecture of Hokkaido Prefecture) is famous for growing beautiful summer flowers including lavenders, poppies, French marigolds and many more. It is not only famous for its wide lavender fields but also for ski slopes. Peak season of lavender is from early July to early August. If you are a flower aficionado then I assume you won’t miss this spot.
This city offers you four different types of lavender, 1) Okamurasaki 2) Hanamoiwa 3) Yotei and 4) Dark Purple. During the peak season the JR Lavender Bataké Station is open for tourists. However, being a coldest area this city produces winter vegetables such as carrot and onion.
This city offers you three most popular lavender viewing spots, they are:
1) Farm Tomita
2) Flower Land Kamifurano and
3) Farm Tomita – Lavender East.
If you are serious of visiting other famous flower farms in these areas then please take a look at the list of the 10 beautiful flower farms to visit in Furano and Biei.
If you want to see rural Japanese landscape and scenic beauty like these then why not to visit these two famous cities in the summer of 2016?
Best Lavender Farms to See in Hokkaido
What is the perfect garden/farm to view Hokkaido’s lavenders? Let me narrow the exact destination! Have you ever heard of a place name called Furano? Yes, you have heard of this a moment ago while reading this article.
In fact, this is where you need to go first when you arrive in Hokkaido to see breathtaking view of lavender. This is a beautiful city located in Kamikawa sub-prefecture of Hokkaido prefecture. Most of the popular lavender fields are found there.
Here, there are top 10 places to see lavender all over Hokkaido, they are as follow:
1) Farm Tomita
2) Saika Farm
3) Choei Lavender Farm & Nakafurano Flower Park
4) Flower land Kamifurano
5) Shikisai-no-Oka, Biei
6) Farm Tomita – Lavender East
7) Miyama Pass
8) Hokusei-no-oka Observatory Park
9) Hill of Zerubu & Hill of Atoms
10) Hinode Park Lavender Garden
I will be describing a few of these most popular lavender viewing spots here in this article.
Farm Tomita in Furano, Hokkaido
Read About Farm Tomita and Its History
Suppose you are now in Furano but still you need to find the exact place to view dark purple lavender garden. Am I right? Well, there are many small and large flower fields in Furano. Farm Tomita is the best lavender field in Hokkaido region, even from all over Japan! It is located in Furano city. This is a massive flower farm consists of more than 12 hectares. A beautiful view of Tokachi mountain range is seen from this spot.
History says, Tokuma Tomita is the first generation of the Tomita line introduced this farm in 1903. Though the cultivation of lavender had started in 1958. It is said that in 1970 the total planting area of lavender reaches its largest at 230 ha, though it decreased thereafter.
A miracle happened in 1976 where the lavender fields of Farm Tomita was introduced on the calender of JR throughout Japan. Then tourists had started knowing about this beautiful lavender garden and they began to visit it. In 1998, farm authority had opened a museum named “Tomita Lavender Museum”. It is possible for you to see lavender in the middle of snowy winter because in 2000 they have opened a greenhouse. In 2008, a new farm named “Lavender East” was established. This farm offers you paid 15 minute bus ride through the lavender fields.
Visitors here can purchase variety of lavender-infused products from cafe such as ice-cream, perfume, original lavender essential oil, pastries, jellies, honey puddings, cream puff, dried lavender, cream puff and so on.
You would definitely see rainbow fields that means field’s rows are planted by different colorful flowers. It is not hard to reach to Farm Tomita from the main city Furano, just take a bus or train. If you are living in Tokyo then the best and easiest way to be there is to fly to Asahikawa from Tokyo and then you have to go to Nakafurano by bus or train. There is an option you can rent a car from the Asahikawa to reach your dream destination – Farm Tomita. That’s simple!
Opening Hours: 8:30am – 6:00pm in summer.
What to Eat and Shop?
Tourist just like me expects to buy beautiful things and eat, what about you? If you are from outside Japan then you must be thinking about buying some souvenirs for someone you know. Well, Hokkaido’s lavenders farms have gift shop from where you can buy variety of original products that are made from fresh lavender. Some of these are potted plant, dried lavender, soap, candles, perfumes, lavender potpourri doll, lavender tea, lavender essential oil, lavender cosmetics and so on.
If you are to eat some delicious foods then I highly recommend five delicious Japanese foods you must try they are: Lavender soft serve Ice cream and Furano’s traditional watermelon, Chiffon cake, Pumpkin ice ream, Calpis jelly, Honey pudding and Cream puff. Next to the gift shop there is a cafe, this is where you can drink Lavender soda.
Take a look at the picture shown above, that’s lavender soft serve Ice Cream! It sounds yummy, right?
Have you seen this kind of melon (shown below) before? If you have not seen then you surly have not tasted it yet, so don’t forget to have a slice.
You don’t be surprised knowing this place as a motherland of lavender. This popular lavender viewing spot is located in Sorachi-gun district. It takes approximately 10 minutes to reach there by car from JR Kamifurano Station.
The first time lavender was introduced here During Showa period (1926-1989) by a essence company, though the first cultivation was part of a trial. People thought Hokkaido was the best area to cultivate it, indeed they were completely right. It is said that local farmers of Kamifurano were contracted to grow lavender after the Second World War. Thus how lavender production spread throughout the island.
In 1965, production decreased dramatically because farmers were not able to compete with the price of imported lavender at that time. Thereafter the contract was terminated in 1977, it was a contract between farmers and the essence company.
However, those dark days did not stay for long. Farmers did recommend lavender cultivation in order to attract local tourists because during the summer time scenery of that area used to look like a heaven. In 1979, the first lavender festival was held in Kamifurano and it played an important role to send a message to the world that why Kamifurano was supposed to call as motherland of lavender! Many public and private lavender gardens were formed and today it has become one of the best tourist spots in all over Hokkaido.
Get ready for having craft-making experience such as making pillow with lavender potpourri. It is a fun task I must say you. You will have a great fun experience that is riding on a tractor bus and it is possible to have Furano’s traditional watermelon here.
Shikisai-no-Oka in Biei, Hokkaido
A Panoramic Flower Garden with Lavenders
Can you imagine that sweet fragrance of various flowers coming out of a garden then you can smell and enjoy it? This could happen once you visit a panoramic flower garden called Shikisai no oka. It is a famous flower garden and farm at Biei town. This is not only famous flower garden for viewing lavender but also for tulips, dahlias, sunflower, lupine, salvia, petunia, celosia, cosmos, California poppy, snapdragon and more. Magnificent sceneries of Hokkaido can be found here!
The small town Biei is blessed with scenery that looks like a heaven! In order to find real beauty of a flower garden then you should visit there. It is said that the name Shikisai-no-Oka is created by aggregating “Shikisai (color)” and “Shiki (four seasons)”. The full name Shikisai-no-Oka means the Hill of Seasonal Colors. The total area of this garden is about 7 hectare. I think it is a big enough space for planting various colorful flower plants along with lavender. Flowers start blooming from April to October, some of them are early bloomers and some are quite late bloomers.
If you want to visit all the area of this flower garden then you better take a tractor bus or cart. This is the perfect transportation for you to view colorful flowers. The peak season for viewing lavender here is from July to August. When your flower viewing trip is over then you can visit a shop to buy various products that are actually produced in the Biei filed. Fruits like melons, cherries are available to buy including pumpkin ice cream.
There is no access fee to enter the flower garden but you will have to pay when you ride on tractor bus. However, you can donate money but how much? Well ¥200 is enough, that is what I think of! So, if you can then be a donor. It takes only 5 minutes by car from Bibaushi Station on the JR Furano Line and 50 minutes from Asahikawa-Kita Interchange of the Doo Expressway.
Opening hours depends on season:
April to May/October 9:00 – 17:00
June to September 8:30 – 18:00
November 9:00 – 16:30
December to February 9:00 – 16:00
March 9:00 – 16:30
Is The Town “Furano” Only Famous for Viewing Lavender?
Of course it is not! In fact this small town that is located in the center of Hokkaido welcomes you to see other flowers except lavender. If you had seen any picture of rainbow field of Furano, you would have certainly agreed with me. It is true that it is the motherland for lavender. Many farmers’ lives depend on lavender cultivation. Nowadays, lavender cultivation in Furano city has become one of the best tourist destinations in this lovely island Hokkaido.
Red poppies, multicolored tulips, purple lavenders, yellow sunflowers can be found here in this place. Whether you believe it or not that Hokkaido is now a peaceful place in summer for nature lovers. It attracts more tourists in summer than winter season. It happens only because of Furano’s massive flower gardens. Many Japanese TV Drama series production companies prefer Furano’s landscape. It is clear why they prefer it! Also number of TV commercials take place in the summer here. Don’t wait anymore, let’s get prepared for seeing beautiful summer nature of Hokkaido.
Saika no Sato/Saika Farm in Nakafurano, Hokkaido
Saika no sato or Saika Farm is one of the biggest lavender fields in Nakafurano, Hokkaido. Apart from having lavender garden, this farm has lupines, two-rowed barley, red salvias, sunflowers, lupines, cosmoses, and poppies. What is the perfect time to visit this farm? The best time to visit this famous garden is from late June to mid September.
A wide range of lavender products are available to buy for tourists. From this farm, the stunning view of Mt Tokachidake and Mt Ashibetsudake can be seen and you fully can enjoy the moment you will have. If you want to see beautiful rolling Japanese landscape then don’t forget to visit this farm. You will be happy to know that It takes only about 15 minutes on foot from JR Nakafurano Station.
Opening Hours: 8:00AM until 5:00PM
Things to Do to Have a Memorable Hokkaido’s Lavender Season Trip
I could suggest you number of important thing you must abide by. Accommodation, sightseeing spots, transportation, things to do and etc will take place in this part. Since most of the lavender gardens are located Furano and nearest part of Furano including Biei you should know the following tips.
1) The most important thing to do is to check the lavender blossoming forecast. Peak season starts usually in July, so keep it in mind.
2) When you can be sure about the exact forecast then prepare for going Furano and its nearest popular lavender farms.
3) Tourism Information Center of Furano and Biei give you a lot of useful travel info so don’t forget to check it out.
4) English Tourist Map, and the FURANO Area Guide would definitely help you to understand something where you need to go to see Lardner.
5) Decide how you want to explore and reach to a destination by train, bus or rental car.
6) Make a hotel reservation before arriving there, in the summer sometimes it would be impossible to make a reservation because lots of visitors gather there. Booking.com offers a lot of best hotels deals in Furano and Biei. If you don’t believe me then you could try it yourself from here.
8) Finally take as many as pictures you want including yourself! Just look at the photo on the right side, is not it great?
9) Hokkaido’s temperature remains still cold a bit even in July. So, those of you who are going to visit Furano lavender field from Southeast Asia, I request you to wear a very light jacket or coat. Even though you are not going to go to Furano in winter I want you to get some idea how to dress good when visiting Hokkaido.
Is Hokkaido a Paradise for Flower Lovers?
Is Hokkaido a paradise for flower lovers? I think it is a paradise for them including me. I myself think as a flower lover. We hardly find a person who hates flowers. Flower is a wonderful natural creature that everybody likes to touch and see. They do symbolizes many things based on different countries cultural value and customs.
Hokkaido’s landscapes are totally different than other parts of Japan’s landscapes. Here fields are covered with many flowers in summer and they come in several varieties. You will see lavender, sunflowers, poppies, Japanese roses, herbs, marigolds, cosmos, scarlet sage, lupins, and iris germanica. Among these lavender, poppies and marigolds are my favorite.
You can stroll down the rolling hills and enjoy viewing the lavender smelling sweet fragrance of it. Can you imagine that everything would sound to you peaceful and charming? The rainbow field would certainly make you curious to think of a paradise. Visiting Hokkaido’s lavenders fields make your day memorable and joyful.
Traveling Hokkaido by Train During Lavender Season
One of the best ways of traveling all over Hokkaido is by train. In Hokkaido, during summer season demand of train ride increases because many visitors start coming to see lavender. Looking through the train window one can enjoy his/her train journey. It is a comfortable ride that could relax you very much. Nature gives you everything it has got, you just have to accept its offer.
There are some trains along the JR Furano Line. Your destination and my destination could vary, so it is better to know it first where actually you want to go – Furano or Biei? Firstly, decide yourself where to go and then secondly book or buy a train ticket based on your desired destination.
There are limited express train services from Sapporo called “Furano Lavender Express.” It will take you directly to Furano city from Sapporo. Furano-Biei Norokko train allows you to enjoy the beautiful scenery along the railway at a leisurely speed and it stops at the seasonally constructed “Lavender Batake Station”. JR Railway Stations that operate in Hokkaido also offer you to reserve ticket for The Twinkle Bus Furano “Lavender Course” sightseeing bus service. It runs from Asahiawa to Furano and stops at the Farm Tomita.
Tips for Accommodation and Transportation
It is quite possible to get a room in a hotel, small cottage, apartment or ryokan. The early you make a reservation the better it would be because many tourists arrive here during the lavender season. You may not get a room at the time you arrive here. You are advised to find the best hotels that are not that much far from the flower gardens. I stayed in several hotels during my stay in Hokkaido. If you want to stay in Furano for few days then I highly recommend you to stay in a hotel located in Furano town. Please visit here to book a hotel/guest house/ryokan room near the flower gardens or before you reserve your room, I would like you to get familiar with our top 5 best Furano hotels. We have reviewed most of the hotels in Furano but we ended up with only the top 5!
The first time I went to see flower gardens in Furano was from Sapporo city. I was in a hurry so, I decided not to stay a night in Furano as a result I did not need to reserve a room in Furano downtown. If you would like to visit Furano from Sapporo then I could name you a very good hotel called Keio Plaza Hotel Sapporo. The customer service was awesome and whenever I needed to know anything regarding accommodation they did pay their helpful attention very early. My room was nice looking, everything was organized well with free Wi-Fi facility. I chose this hotel only because it is very near (only 5 minutes walk) to JR Sapporo Train Station. I highly recommend this hotel to you. I honestly tell you now that, please make sure you book hotels in advance otherwise you might not get any hotels rooms, they usually get booked early before lavender season starts in Hokkaido.
Be sure to buy Japan Rail Pass or Hokkaido Rail Pass from a reputed JR pass seller or from tour operators. Apart from this you can rent a car at Asahikawa Airport or Furano Station to get to the exact destinations but it will not be economic if you travel alone or with a person! Though, if you plan on traveling only Furano and Biei areas then please don’t buy a Hokkaido Rail Pass. Public transportation there is rather poor and infrequent. Instead I want you to rely on a rental car. Rent one from Asahikawa, it will be super cheap than renting one in Furano town. Get Furano & Biei train service info here.
There are sightseeing bus services available for you. You should take Twinkle Buses by JR Hokkaido in order to reach to different lavender and flower gardens. This is an exclusive bus service I could also recommend you for traveling Furano and Biei city by bus. In addition, Chuo Bus offers one day tour package to explore the flower farms.
If you decide to go to Furano city from Tokyo by air then buy plane ticket first from JAL or Air Do. There are multiple flights available on daily basis operated by JAL and Air Do between Haneda Airport and Asahikawa Airport.
Hello Photographers! Attention Please!!!
Are you a professional photographer who is searching for a unique place to take some shots with your camera? I can recommend Hokkaido’s lavender farms and other flower gardens located in this lovely island of Japan.
I know you will not regret for visiting Hokkaido in summer because you have seen how it looks like here in this article. I invite you to explore Hokkaido summer and get this unforgettable summer experience.
You surly would find many great photogenic spots if you think yourself as a professional photographer. So hunt for the spots you are looking for. No one will pass you by or tell you something until you say “hello” to someone during your photo session.
Lavender filed in France is quite remarkable and this country is famous for it! I have not been to France yet but yeah I have been to Hokkaido in summer. Actually by writing this article I have expressed my experience with you all. Good luck to you!
Hokkaido Lavender Tour 2016
Are you planning to visit Japan in this year summer vacation? If you have got such a plan then why don’t you think of Hokkaido’s lavender tour? It is going to be a great destination you would like to visit with your all family members.
Summer nature of Hokkaido can’t be forgotten by you once you make a day trip to Furano’s lavender fields. I can assure you that while leaving Hokkaido flower and lavender fields you could get hurt. It will be hard to say “Goodbye”! So you better stay few days more instead of staying a day. Well, on behalf of Hokkaido’s inhabitant I warmly welcome you to explore Hokkaido Lavender Tour.
Please before make a trip plan I highly recommend to read this post. It will reveal some important Japan travel tips and ideas. If you want to find some Hokkaido lavender tour packages then search here. I have tried my best to explain you about Hokkaido’s Lavender Tour. I would be just pleased if you think this article helps you somehow. Thank you all.
Copyright 2014 @ takkhis