If you are travelling to Hokkaido, I strongly suggest you make a trip to Furano. It is a little quaint town just north of Sapporo. Famous for its lavender fields, Furano is the perfect opportunity for you to relax and take a break from the hustle and bustle of the big city.
Day 1- To Furano!
We flew into Chitose airport from Seoul with Jeju air for SGD155 (one-way) and picked up our Unlimited 4G Pocket WiFi (JP Airport Pick Up) for Japan and Hokkaido JS Car RENTAL from the airport.
We drove for an hour and a half to reach Furano City and checked into our airbnb. If you don’t intend to drive, you can take a two hour train ride from Sapporo Station to Furano City. However, I highly recommend renting a car as most of the sights are hard to reach by public transportation. Oh, and they drive on the right hand side.
We booked a private room in a traditional Japanese inn via airbnb. It was our first time sleeping on tatami mats! Located centrally in the heart of the city, there are plenty of convenience stores and restaurants within walkable distance. Definitely worth the price for an authentic Japanese experience and its convenient location from just SGD 95/night for 2 pax!
Since it was already evening, the only night activity available was to visit Ningle Terrace. You can find loads of handcrafted souvenirs in the little huts and if you are lucky enough, you might find fallen leaves swept into the shape of a heart.
Unfortunately, we didn’t stay long as there were lots of huge moths and if you know me, you’d know I have a huge phobia of them. I wish I was able to overcome my fear so that we could have enjoyed this romantic experience together 🙁
To have a good night’s rest we wanted to try some fresh Hokkaido milk. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems like milk is very popular in Furano. We had to go on a hunt to 6 different markets, only to find out that they were limited to 1 per customer!
Day 2- Flowers and more flowers!
First, We started our day by visiting Farm Tomita! This was just a short drive from our Airbnb! If you’re taking the train, it is a 7 minute walk from Lavender Field station. We arrived at 9.30am and there was only a handful of people. It is advisable for you to reach here before 10.00am as it will be difficult to find a parking spot! Don’t forget to try their famous Lavender soft serve!
It is free to visit this lush farm but please remember not to enter the flower fields no matter where you’re at! This can be damaging to the fields and crops may not be able to grow again — so please, photoshop your pictures like how I did.
Tomita Melon House
Just right across the street from Tomita Farm is the Tomita Melon House. This is one of the most popular shops to enjoy some freshly harvested melons. We tried the melon bun and pudding but it was a little too sweet for our liking.
We stayed at both Farm Tomita and the Tomita Melon house for an hour.
Next, we drove ten minutes to Flower Land Kamifurano. These flower fields cover a larger area as compared to Farm Tomita.
Finding a parking spot was also a breeze as there weren’t much people. They even have ice cream and melon hats for you to take silly pictures with. We spent about 20 minutes here admiring the scenery and taking photos.
After that, we visited the Blue Pond in Biei. The crystal clear pond was gleaming in a glorious turquoise colour! I have never witness anything like this before! It was really crowded and the walking space was really tight. We spent 30 mins here just taking in the beauty of this place.
Lunch & Cafe FŪ Biei
We had a lunch-with-a-view at a hilltop log house. Lunch & Cafe FŪ Biei is just a stone’s throw away from Shikisai No Oka. I literally felt like I was on set of Harvest Moon. My boyfriend got the Curry Chicken Katsu Rice and I got the Curry Ebi Rice. Each dish comes with a garden salad and costed about SGD20.
Shikisai No Oka
After lunch, we walked over to Shikisai No Oka . These rainbow hills should not be a stranger to most as you’ll see it on almost every advertisement for Furano! This has got to be my favourite flower field as compared to the rest! They even have an alpaca farm and some mini activities like renting an ATV to explore the farm.
Getting parking is a little bit difficult as this scenic location is really popular. Just wait a few minutes as there will always be people coming and going.
Hokusei-no-oka Observatory Park
Then, we went to this pyramid shaped observatory to just chill and fly our drone!
Dinner at Marche Furano
And finally, we ended our day by having ramen for dinner at one of the stores at Marche Furano. It was just a short 3 minute walk from our airbnb.
Day 3- Hiking!
This was our last day in Furano and we wanted to make the most out of it. We decided to spend the day hiking up Daisetsuzan mountain. As time was limited, we had to wake up as early as 7.00am to ensure we can return our car in Sapporo on time.
Breakfast at Mcdonalds
I make it a point to dine at Mcdonalds whenever I travel to experience the different culture in this international food chain. I even have a Mcdonald’s instagram! And I’ll tell you that Japan’s Mcdonalds will never fail me. Their extensive limited edition menus are one of a kind and enticing. They had a golden bun for Mid-Autumn festival and a Shiro Kobito Mcflurry(?)!!
We wanted to try the Golden burger which was a seasonal item. However, it was only available after 10.00am (it was only 8.00am when we were there), so we got the Sausage Mcmuffin and Grape float instead.
We happened to come across this quirky melon house by chance while we were driving towards Daisetsuzan Mountain. The big melon soft serve caught our attention and we decided to stop by as we hadn’t tried it our entire trip yet.
We only ate one melon slice since we were full from the McBreakfast earlier. The meat was indeed very juicy and savoury and we can see why these Yubari melons are so popular.
Hiking Daisetsuzan Mountain
In order to explore Hokkaido’s largest national park, we had to go down to Asahidake ropeway. It was an hour and a half drive from Furano city and parking costed us 500 Yen. Then, we took the cable car which costed us 2,900 Yen for a two-way ticket.
We were presented with a magnificent view of the landscape as the cable car began to take off. The rich forest filled with different autumn colours was already more than enough for us to justify the price of the ticket.
It takes about an hour and a half to complete the trek but of course it took us longer as we kept taking pictures. This was one of the best hikes I’ve ever had and it always will be. We were blessed with such good weather which made the entire experience feel much more surreal.
I would say this is an amateur level hike. Nothing too strenuous or difficult. Just be sure to wear long pants and a jacket as it will be very chilly.
Furano Cheese Factory
Then, we drove back to Furano and had late lunch at the Furano Cheese Factory where you can observe the product process of their well known cheese! We got the Mushroom Cheese Pizza and to be honest, it wasn’t really to our liking.
Feeling inspired to visit Hokkaido already? Read on part 2: Hokkaido Itinerary – Sapporo (coming soon).