Viewing sunflower field in a little town called Hokuryu is a must thing to do for tourists who visit Hokkaido in summer. I am not a resident of Hokuryu but I am proud of being part of this city, of course as a tourist! I have visited this city a number of times especially in summer. Hokkaido’s summer is special for two reasons, one is for Sunflower Field of Hokuryu and other one is for Furano’s Lavender Field. If you are not familiar with the beautiful flower gardens in Furano then please find out them here right away.
Himawari no Sato is seen as the biggest sunflower garden in Japan. It is unique, beautiful and a majestic sunflower garden you would ever visit in the land of the rising sun. City life has never made me happy so I always had to go for somewhere else that I find natural beauty and eye catching landscapes. Instead of visiting Tokyo’s Disneyland I would prefer to go to this sunflower garden and be part of nature. This journey to Hokuryu will take you into a world of silence and pleasure. Therefore, let’s go and find it from A to Z including useful travel guides of Himawari no Sato.
Where is it Located?
Himawari no Sato is located in a small town called Hokuryu-cho in Uryu district, Hokkaido. About 2000 people live in this town. It is only 119 km away from the Sapporo station taking less than 1 (one) hour and 50 minutes by train. Sometimes, we ignore exploring small cities but if we think ourselves as real a explorer then why not to give it a shot? Hokuryu has a treasure! Yes, it has! Don’t you think that hosting the country’s biggest sunflower garden is a treasure? To me it is much more than that though. Neither could it be found in Tokyo nor in Kyoto but only in Hokuryu. That’s sound AWESOME!
About Himawari no Sato:
This is the most beautiful sunflower garden not only in Japan but also all over the world. I don’t have no idea what is the biggest sunflower garden in the world but I am pleased to see one in the land of the rising sun which is extraordinary. It is a huge sunflower field with approximately 23.1 hectares in size. At the peak time your eyes would witness 1.5 million sunflowers of 30 kinds in a single garden. Is not it amazing? It would make you want to come back here over and over again each year.
The year of 1979 was the remarkable year for every resident in Hokuryu. That’s the year when for the first time sunflower cultivation has begun by Hokuryu agricultural cooperative staffs. Hokuryu’s fertile land and favorable weather helped to grow millions of sunflowers. In 1987, the first sunflower festival (Himawari Matsuri) was held in order to spread it throughout the country. Once it was started, it never stopped until a natural disaster (tornado) had hit it in June 29, 2001.
Here, I want to inform you about a thing that seems to me a great activity. Students of Hokuryu-junior high school “the world of Sunflower” start their seeding process with the help of teacher’s guidance. It is a great voluntary work; they make holes, put the seeds in and cover it. They usually think it as a fun job though seeding 30 different kinds of sunflower seeds is not an easy task at all. It takes time to get the job done successfully.
Based on this natural wonder, the authority decided to open a restaurant, shop stall, tourist office, sunflower tourism center, sightseeing tractor service, road station sunflower hokuryu, world sunflower corner, bicycle rental service, parking space, water mill, several observatory platforms, and duck ranch for visitors.
There is also another interesting thing to do that I believe you must try out. It is called sunflower maze! This is a fun way to enjoy your trip. The admission to this sunflower village is free of charge but there is a donation box where you can donate some money and could receive sunflower seeds!
Hokuryu-cho Himawari Matsuri (Hokuryu-cho Sunflower Festival):
Every seasonal matsuri (festival) in Japan represents the natural beauty of Japan. Himawari matsuri that was originated back in 1987 is now one of the top summer sightseeing spots in Hokkaido region. It is held every year during the summer. There is no exact date of its beginning but once it begins it stays for a month. Though expected month is July. Therefore, you are supposed to be there in mid July. To witness its utmost beauty you have got to come here in early August. Don’t forget it! This is the best time to view the sunflowers village. The field is covered with millions of shiny sunflowers that would overwhelm you at once. This year in 2016, Hokuryu-cho would host the 30th sunflower festival starting from July 16 to August 21.
Date: July 16 – August 21 (2016)
Venue: Hokuryu-Cho Sunflower Village
Do you think that only viewing tons of sunflowers is the main attraction of this festival? That’s not true. Apart from enjoying that part you are welcome to see fireworks display, Song performance, YOSAKOI, Hokuryu drum, Bon Odori performance, duck farm, shopping from the shop, having traditional Japanese meals at the restaurant, riding bicycle, sunflower maze, leisurely speed tractor ride, visiting sunflower tourism center and photographing the beautiful landscapes.
Staring at the Sunflower Field:
I like staring at the sight of the yellow sunflower field as far as the eye can see. It brings me an inner peace in my mind. It is relaxing and most importantly it takes me away to somewhere else where I could breathe joyfully. You can do the same as I do whenever I get to this spot in summer. I made few trips to this sunflower field before. Every time I visited this site it has paid me off.
I did not care how much money I had spent for making every single trip to this field. I always thought of this as one of my dream destinations. My dream came true and I would come back there as long as I am able to get there. Do you wish to make it as one of your dream destinations? Who knows, someday you would be staring at millions of sunflowers; it is like they are happy to get you with them.
Best time to visit Himawari no Sato
The best time to visit Himawari no Sato is between mid July and late August. In general, at this time of year sunflower festival takes place. You are suggested to come over there in early August. Therefore, first week of August is the best time and it is the full bloom period of sunflower. Though, sunflowers start blooming in early July. Many visitors arrive there from different parts of Japan and abroad.
I met few American tourists at Himawari no Sato and their opinion was to me “Wow! Your country is awfully beautiful & a lot of things to experience with” – I was honored hearing such thing! Who would not I be? I think they all thoroughly had enjoyed everything they explored during the festival time.
Things to do in Hokuryu Except Viewing Sunflower Field
- There is a place called “Road Station Sun Flower Hokuryu” where you can hang around and see its dragon gate, shopping center, restaurant, dragon-Onsen and etc. It is situated 1.5 km away from the sunflower village to the north. If you have any doubt of finding this place then you don’t hesitate to ask locals or employees at the tourism centre.
- There is a maze, a sunflower maze which is created for both for kids and adult. You can have fun spending few times here. You will have to pay 300 YEN (per person) to take this service. It is located near the pond duck.
- Bicycle rental is available, so here is another fun thing to do. Paying with only 100 YEN, you can rent a bicycle for an hour.
- Sunflower tourism center provides you various things to experience such as having traditional Japanese dishes at restaurant inside this center; you can rest as long as you want since chair-table is provided for visitors. You can find shop there and buy some beautiful souvenirs from.
- You can find small cottages in the shade of trees; you can have some rest there when you get tired of strolling along the paths in the sunflower village.
- Viewing sunflower riding on the sightseeing tour car is a must do thing there. Adults have to pay 300 YEN and for children it is only 300 YEN. So if you have got two kids you will have to pay 600 YEN!
- Other things you could do are listening to songs performed by locals, drum performance, sunflower park golf tournament, fireworks display, and photographing.
My Experience at Himawari no Sato:
It is my pleasure to share my travel story with you here. As I have been there several times before, I know how it feels. I made a trip in 2014 during the sunflower festival in Hokuryu. I visited this flower field when the sunflowers on the hill slopes became fully bloomed. If there is a place of beautiful blooming world of sunflower then it is the Himawari no Sato. Millions of sunflower planted on the slopes of the hills which sounded to me like a paradise. I rented a bicycle and roamed around the sunflower field, I almost went to the edge of the site of sunflower village. WOW! How nice! Apart from this, I ate watermelon, enjoyed shows and the fireworks display.
I met with new people there who were also tourists like me. They asked me to go to souvenir shop with them, I could not say “NO” because I really loved their companion. We had soft-served ice cream and Udon noddles there and believe me the shop was full of sunflower goods! The day I was viewing the sunflower field it rained for a little while and after raining I saw a beautiful rainbow. That’s the moment which is unforgettable. You can’t compare the summer weather of Hokkaido with Tokyo if you have not experienced them both seperately yet. In fact, Hokkaido’s summer is much better than Tokyo’s summer. Pleasant breeze with a sunny day was a perfect day of traveling around and I fully enjoyed my whole trip.
Useful Information for Visitors:
- The sunflower village is open for 24 hours during the festival time and the admission is free for all
- There is a big parking spot though it is limited to 500 cars only. You will not have to pay a single penny for parking your car
- Best time to see sunflower here is “Early August”
- You can load free wheelchairs and strollers from the tourism center
- Wheelchair accessible toilet is also provided with general public toilet
- Sunflower tourism center provides free Wi-Fi facility for visitors
Access: How to reach to Hokuryu-cho Sunflower Village?
It is only about two hours train ride from the main Sapporo city to the sunflower village. The distance between Sapporo Station to the Sunflower Village is approximately 120 Km. You have different access routes, as a result you have the choice of how you would like to get there. You can rent a car from Sapporo city and drive it to Hokuryu. However, either you take a rental car, bus or train it will take at least 2 hours to reach there. There is a train/bus departs from Sapporo Station via JR Takikawa Station operated by JR Hokkaido.
The Route: Sapporo Terminal → Takikawa Terminal → Sunflower Village → Rumoi Terminal.
Take a train from Sapporo Station to Takikawa Station which will take more than an hour. Then simply take a bus ride from Takikawa and get off when you reach at “Hokuryu-junior high school.” It is only about 30 minute’s bus ride but you are advised not to miss the early bus ride. If you miss one then you will have to wait for 2-3 hours long for the next bus.
Coming from Asahikawa? You can take a train to Fukugawa from Asahikawa and then transfer to the bus that goes to Hokuryu. Please note that the bus departs from Fukugawa Hospital.
Please visit to the official website of JR Hokkaido and get some useful information from there.
Attention!! Attention!! Attention!!
Chou Bus is offering a day trip to Hokuryu, Biei and Farm Tomita. You can take this awesome opportunity just spending 7,100Yen for adult and 4,000Yen for Children. The bus would departs at 8:15 AM, from Sapporo Station bus terminal. Hurry up, click here for online reservation.
Would you Take a Trip to Hokuryu this Summer?
I don’t know what’s going on in your mind now. If you have passion for traveling and you do really love nature then why are you waiting for? Once you explore a thing online I guess it is better to explore that in real life. Make a travel plan to Hokuryu and I promise you that you will not regret for this. To enjoy a splendid summer in Hokkaido one must head to this beautiful sunflower town. Great moment does not come to us every day, we are the ones who have to find it somehow and somewhere else in the world. Here is the address and telephone number given below if you still care!
Address & Phone Number:
Place: Hokuryu-cho Sunflower Village (Himawari no Sato)
Address: 143-2. Itaya. Hokuryu-cho, Uryu-Gun, Hokkaido
Experience Hokkaido’s summer through this wonderful sunflower garden . It is a special destination for visitors who are planning to visit Hokkaido in August. Be sure to plan your trip accordingly and just don’t miss the sunflower matsuri there. Wishing you good luck. Thanks a lot.
Copyright 2015 @ takkhis