Call me insane or obsessed or whatever but I booked and planned our Hokkaido vacation solely around the flower fields. I was sitting, searching the internets for some different vacation ideas when I randomly searched for “world’s best flower fields.” Within minutes the trip was booked and I was ordering my macro lens.
Most of the flower fields are scattered along the main road, in the center of the Hokkaido prefecture. You can get to Furano by train, though a rental car is best. The fields are… well, they are fields! Spread out over long distances, your legs would be tired either by foot or bicycle (though some do choose this option). With a rental we were able to visit multiple fields within the four days we spent in Furano.
The fields are free to enter, yet some ask for donations. The more popular ones also have items for purchase, cafes to enjoy and even rides for the wary.
I couldn’t get enough of these places, hence the four days.
Here were my favorites.
This beautiful, privately run farm sits on 37 acres of rolling hills, drenched in flowers. Most of the flower fields focus on Lavender. Here at Shiksisai, they do everything but! Zinnias, Dahlias, Snap Dragons, Sunflowers, Begonia … I could go on but you get it.
Tucked away in the hills and off the main road, you become corralled by the mountains. The views here are breathtaking. We came a little shy of prime bloom time. The flowers were just starting to show their colors in most of the fields, though that never took away from their splendor.
While hidden in the valleys, this place isn’t really off the beaten path. We had to walk through a thick mob of tourist that are brought in by the busload. What makes this workable is often those bus tours don’t provide their patrons with a decent amount of time. Many of them have enough time for a quick walk and a few photos before it is back on the tour bus. Once you break away and venture through the acreage, the visitors become sparse and the farm becomes much more enjoyable.
There are tractor rides or golf cart rentals for those who prefer not to walk around the acres. You can purchase typical Hokkaido snacks at the entrance as well.
Though smaller than the more popular flower sites, this commercial farm is stunning. We came as the sun went down and were able to capture my favorite photos of the trip! The location, on Rt. 237, sits by itself and is the perfect place to watch the sun fade, warming the colors of the flowers and hills in the distance. Growing typical flower crops, with a large portion of Lavender and offering basic Japanese fair, the uniqueness of this stop is that you can buy seeds and plants here. If I didn’t have to take a plane home, I would have stocked up!
If you know anything about anything I’ve been talking about, then you know this farm. If you have no clue then stay with me. This is the farm that started it all. Tokuma Tomita bought the land and started farming in 1903, by mid-century he focused on lavender that is pacifically grown for their essence. The rest grew quickly. They bought more land and started making their own perfume. The perfume is so good it has won against the best French Lavenders scents.
I consider this farm the amusement park of florals. With ten different venues to view the flowers through three seasons and 14 different houses offering demonstrations from perfume and soap making to flower drying, there is plenty to do.
Put your walking shoes on, there are no rides here, though I wouldn’t mind hopping on one of these bad ass lavender motorbikes! Everything here was lavender; coffee, teas, ice cream!
While driving, we saw a huge lavender field, higher up and closer to the edge of the mountains. We wove through the village to find it.
This is a government run park with quiet paths. No commercial goods or services. Just a nice view, overlooking the villages below with rows of sweeping lavender. High on the hill there was a chapel or hall that was literally pumping out weddings. I watched as couple after couple came down the steps, rang the bell and strolled through the fields with photographers closely following and setting up poses.
I enjoyed the quiet of this place. Many other stops we made had their fair share of tourist. This one seemed just enough out of the way to keep it peaceful.
We came to this slope on a whim as well. It is the smallest on our list but it is a great place to stop. A stone’s throw… by a pro ball player… away from Farm Tomita, it is a steep hill that provides a great photo opportunity. The sharp hill gives you an almost wall-like effect. A quick little stop is perfect.
Four days straight; we drove, Wade walked and I frolicked through flowers. Furano area is certainly worth a stop or even a few days. Wade really enjoyed the views and driving through the mountain roads. We broke up the flower seeing with some other sites that are located nearby including the Biei blue lake.
So yes, I booked a vacation solely around flower fields. What are some of your obsessions that you have booked vacations around?