Impressive landscapes of Shikisai no Oka could make you thrill as you take each step into this beautiful panoramic flower garden. Shikisai no Oka simply means the Hills of Seasonal Colors and it is located in picturesque Biei town. This is the biggest flower garden/park in Furano area, about 7 hectares with a wide range of seasonal flowers. The park consists of beautiful rolling hills, seasonal flowers, rainbow fields, restaurant, and souvenir shop. If you are in Furano to see its popular flower fields in summer then you must come to this flower garden. Its picturesque landscapes look pretty beautiful all year round, especially in summer.
Though, it does not mean winter here is unpleasant to travel to! The grounds of the rolling hills get covered with a lot of snow. That’s the time when many winter sports enthusiasts start arriving in Shikisai no Oka. They like enjoying their time doing various winter activities especially riding on the snowmobile and snow rafting. While on the other hand, spring opens the door of the flowering season till the end of autumn. Sadly, I want to inform you that winter is the only season with no flower in this garden. In this article I would feature the four season beauty of this panoramic garden with useful travel information.
Shikisai no Oka: A Little Paradise of Flower
Some people say, to see a paradise like place in Hokkaido one has to come to Biei and Furano during the summer season. It is the flowering season that everyone likes to experience in Hokkaido. There are so many flowers including early and late blooming together make a perfect world’s top summer holiday destination. Ok, I won’t say anything here about Furano and its loveliest flower fields but I have got to say something about Shikisai-no-Oka or so called Shikisai Hill.
Shikisai no Oka sometimes overshadowed by the greatest Farm Tomita, located in Furano. I mean those who travel to Furano in summer by a tour operator, they just take you to it Farm Tomita and its adjacent flower fields and skip this panoramic flower garden. If this thing happens to you, request them to take you there in Biei as it is only a short distance from Fram Tomita. Just make sure you don’t miss out the panoramic flower gardens.
What can’t I see there? It should be your main question. Everything is beautiful there if you are on a mission of searching for tons of different kinds of flowers in one single place. Here, spring is the beginning of a particular flowering season while end of autumn is the ending part of it. You are offered to see a wide range of seasonal flowers by that time. Throughout a flowering season you are going to see colorful Tulips, Grape hyacinth, Pansy, Poppy, Lupine, Lavender, Peony, Iceland Poppy, Campanula, Gayfeather, Sunflowers, Dahlia, Salvia, Marigold, and so on.
All these flowers create an outstanding flowerbed on the grounds of the gently rolling hills. Rows of flower with brightly colored petals and fragrances are enough to make you fall in love with this garden. You hardly find a space to walk around when it comes to the peak flowering season. A sunny weather along with breathtaking rows of flowers brings the perfect atmosphere to have a stroll through the garden’s path. Where on the other hand, if you come there in late May then the Mount Tokachi snow capped ranges are clearly visible. It is a perfect way of remembering your last winter season!
The garden is at its best during the summer season. If you ask me why then honestly I would say – it features abundance of different species of flowers, in fact they are in full glory at that time. Hokkaido’s summer is not alike Tokyo summer where people sometimes have to fight with it. Here the weather is very cool and easily adaptable. You are going to love a summer vacation in Biei and Furano area, no doubt about that. And I would like to inform you that, summer is the best time to visit it. Hopefully, before making a travel plan you value this travel advice.
How to Enjoy a Flowering Season in Shikisai no Oka?
To enjoy the most of it you are supposed to know some very important things which I believe you must be familiar with. Gently rolling fields don’t get decorated with colored flowers all year round. It takes time! Early spring feature slightly colorful flowers fields but as the flowers reach to their peak season everything looks amazingly gorgeous. You will be astonished seeing the colored rolling hills from a far distance and you would be thinking like a sea of flowers. Therefore, I want to push you at the right time so that you don’t find any point to miss a thing for which actually the garden is well known for.
At first, end of June, July and August simply the best months of visiting this place if your intention is to see tons of flowers. Though in early September there are still flowers to be seen. So, plan accordingly before you head to this garden.
You are offered to rent golf/buggy carts or if you feel uncomfortable with it then get in a tractor bus (Shikisai Norokko). It will give you a pleasant ride to see the whole garden. Remember, this is not a free paid service! So get ready to pay before you take the service. Many people actually prefer tractor bus tour as the flower garden itself a quite large. You will end up being tired if you are going to explore it on foot. Act wisely!
Thinking of your needs, the authority has opened a restaurant and souvenir shops there. Who knows you may find a very nice souvenir there! Biei produces a huge amount of potatoes, beans, wheat, tomatoes and other crops. You will find so many agriculture products and foods made of these crops. Enjoy the meal which are served to you at the restaurants and of course take a look at the menu, and then order some!
I suggest you to walk as well! This is certainly one of the best ways of getting attached with nature. Walk and walk then gaze at the fields of flowers. The feelings you would get it doing such can’t be expressed in words, at that moment only you can feel that but no one. In fact, a lot of photographer first choice is this as they need to find different angles to capture the best ones. Check out this cool Japanese camera! I hope you find the perfect photogenic spots walking through the stroll paths. Is there anything left? Oh yes of course that is a mascot called Roll-kun. I hope you would find rest of the things out yourself.
Please take a look at the following information:
Address: 3 Shinsei, Kamikawa-gun, Biei-cho 071-0473, Hokkaido
Admission fee: Free but donate some money
Parking lot: Yes
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
Don’t ignore the winter here
It snows a lot here in winter season. Freezing winter cold might resist not getting out of home but here people don’t care the temperature. They want to celebrate winter on their own way. In comparison with summer winter does sound like an unpleasant season but stop thinking right there!
It is wonderful and chilling riding on a rental snowmobile during the snow season. Usually the season starts from early December to late April. Yet you find snow in April here, this is quite impressive! In fact, snows start melting here in early May.
While children get busy with fun doing winter activity snow rafting. The snowy rolling hills provide a great place to enjoy it. In fact people of all ages can enjoy it! During the weekend in winter, a lot of people come here. I am glad to inform you that Furano Ski Resort is one of the best ski resorts in Japan. Those who get there in winter, please take a little trip to Shikisai no Oka.
Access & Accommodation
Many people prefer visiting Biei from Asahikawa; some of them prefer to get there through Furano. It is a best way when you choose to visit Biei from Furano. Either you can get there by bus or train taking no less than 30 minutes from Asahikawa and Furano. While on the other hand, it is really easy to get to Shikisai no Oka from Asahikawa airport by Lavender-go bus. And if you are at JR Biei Station now then I suggest you to take a taxi as there are a limited bus services. It is only a 12-minute ride by car from there. That is reliable!
When it comes to Accommodation, I say Biei offer some great hotels to stay in. I think you can stay a night in Biei so that you get enough time to visit its sightseeing spots including Kanno Farm, Hill of Zerubo, Hill of Atoms, and so on. Check out these best hotels of Biei: Hotel Lavenir, Shirogane Park Hills, and Yumoto Shirogane-Onsen Hotel. Reserve your rooms in advance before you arrive in Biei as it is really hard to book a room there in summer. Even though if you get a room that time you will have to pay a lot of money, so reserve during the off season time. It indicates, you are requested to book as soon as possible.
Visit Biei and reveal the secrete beauty of it
The beauty of Biei was hidden till 1970. A Japanese landscape photographer called Shinzo Maeda actually made it popular through his photography art work. With his camera, he captured the seasonal beauty of Biei town’s landscapes. And the photographs that he took caught so many people’s mind in Japan. Photographs used to feature in posters, newspaper, films, TV commercials, photo collection and etc. He was the man who turned this town famous.
Except experiencing the beauty of Shikisai no Oka, you can view the stunning beautiful scenery of the patchwork road and panorama road. You can rent a taxi and drive through these roads. If you are adventurous then take a bicycle and have a pleasant ride with it while viewing color of Biei nature. Here, beauty is everywhere, no matter where you look at!
Finally, the flower garden – Shikisai-no-Oka is truly magnificent to observe. Huge flower fields, green grasses with Tokachi Mountain ranges in the background is a kind of scenery that I hardly want to miss. What about you? Are you interested in visiting this flower garden? I wish you are coming this year, if not then the next year. Good luck and thanks for reading.
Copyright 2016 @ takkhis