Let’s continue our Japan Hokkaido Travel Guide, this time more detailed stories about Furano & Biei, places to go, see and eat.
Please note that this blogpost is based on our autumn trip around 6th October 2018.
If you’re looking for different places to visit besides modern city, Furano and Biei offer amazing natural scenery. It’s perfect destination to take a step back, relax and rewind.
We can say that Furano and Biei are our top reasons to visit Hokkaido, we hope you will visit it too someday.
Ok, so based on our Hokkaido Itinerary, here are the itinerary for Furano & Biei, we think minimum 3days are needed to visit these places.
Day 1. Sapporo – Furano
– 2.5hours bus ride from Sapporo
– Check in at hotel in Furano (our hotel was Furano Natulux Hotel located strategically right in front of Furano Train Station)
– Furano Cheese Factory
– Ningle Terrace
Day 2. Furano
– Shikisai-no-oka Farm
– Tomita Farm
– Furano Marche for souvenir & snacks shopping
Day 3. Biei and Blue Pond
HOW TO GO TO FURANO?
We took 2.5hrs bus ride from Sapporo Ekimae BT Bus Stop to Furanoshi Bus Stop (near Furano Station and our hotel). You can check the screenshot below for reference.
For route guide in Hokkaido, we recommend using JapanOfficialTravelApp since it provides better info compared to Google Maps
WHERE TO STAY?
Our hotel was Furano Natulux Hotel. We picked this hotel because it’s located strategically right in front of Furano Train Station. The room was clean with minimalist modern decor, convenient and comfortable option we must say.
FURANO CHEESE FACTORY
It was our first destination after arriving Furano. Since it’s not that far from our hotel, we took taxi (you can find taxi stand near Furano Station) to Furano Cheese Factory and it was still reasonably priced JPY 1,270 for our ride.
Furano Cheese Factory is one of the famous tourist destination. It’s basically a cheese factory where you can see the cheese making process and buy some of their products. They have cafe and gelato store as well.
We visited their cheese shop and sampled some free cheese 😀 and then had freshly baked pizzas which were delightful. Then finished with some gelato, it was light and enjoyable but not as rich as usual gelato we had, more like ice cream for us though.
While reading travel brochure we got from Furano Station, Mr. Jajan found this interesting place called Ningle Terrace so we ended up making last minute decision to visit it.
After Furano Cheese Factory, we headed to Ningle Terrace and it’s located 2-3km from the cheese factory, since there was no taxi nor public transportation, we decided to just walk slowly to the destination to burn some calories. The walk was still manageable but kinda tiring because of the hilly road condition, kinda regretted our decision but we enjoyed the beautiful nature scene and fresh air during the walk.
Instead of walking, here’s our recommendation, better ask Furano Cheese Factory staff to call for taxi pick up. Or other option, we received some tips from Sahabat Jajan who visited Ningle Terrace by joining Klook 1day bus tour, we think it’s better way for hassle free option.
Anyway, THIS PLACE IS SURREAL!! Too beautiful you HAVE HAVE HAVE to put it on your bucket list!!
Ningle Terrace is one of our top favorite spots from this trip, it has this magical vibes with lush forest, small log cabins and twinkle lights. So pretty, so romantic, simple moments that we will cherish forever🏡✨🌲
The small log cabins are actually hand craft shops, there’s cafe as well, we wish we can comeback someday with snowy winter view.
Since Ningle Terrace is located next to New Furano Prince Hotel, we managed to get taxi ride back from the hotel concierge area.
Located in Biei, it’s very convenient to reach from Furano around 1 hour. You can take JR train from Furano station to Bibaushi station and then take taxi or walk to Shikisai-no-oka Farm (2.2km from Bibaushi station)
The farm has stores selling snacks or souvenirs but they also have restaurant for dine in too. Me and Mr. Jajan had lunch first before exploring around, we ordered Soup Curry or Hokkaido’s curry dish cooked with locally produced ingredients, it was decent, quite good and filling.
AnakJajan highly recommend you to visit early so your picture won’t get too many photobombs.
It was a dream come true. Visiting Hokkaido’s famous flower field has been one of our top bucket list, we always thought that summer is the best time but it turned out that autumn has equally beautiful scenery. It looks so beautiful with vivid color of flowers carpet. (spring has bright pastel color blooms)
At Shikisai-no-oka Farm you can rent ATV to stroll around too. Make sure to try their white corn, it was THE SWEETEST CORN we’ve ever had, crazily juicy and sweet, no wonder Hokkaido is famous for their corn.
From Shikisai-no-oka Farm, you can take JR train ride around 20 minutes from Bibaushi station to Nakafurano station, and the take a walk or taxi ride to Farm Tomita (1.6km).
Hokkaido actually has so many farm but one of the most famous one would be Farm Tomita, they are famous for their lavender fields.
You might wonder when is the best time to visit Farm Tomita? Well, each season (Spring/ Summer/ Autumn) has its own charm with different flower to offer. If you want to see lavender fields, best timing would be July to early Aug, then for vivid colorful flowers like this, best timing would be July until early October.
Personally we think Shikisai-no-oka Farm has better flower field for picture thanks to its hilly land surface but Farm Tomita is also fun to visit.
The colorful flowers were neatly arranged, it was such an eye pleasing scene.
Inside the farm, there are few shops selling various souvenir and snacks. Their Lavender soft serve ice cream is really famous, it has smooth creamy texture with pleasant mild lavender aroma (don’t worry it doesn’t taste like perfume)
We had quick bites at their cafeteria and ordered Lavender Coffee & Baked Potatoes, Cream Croquette which were tasteful. I really enjoyed their locally produced potatoes, baked with just simple butter seasoning, so good, the cream croquette was mind blowingly good we ended up ordering one more not to mention the green view from cafeteria, ahh perfect combo!
Just outside Tomita Farm, near car park, there’s Hokkaido melon shop selling all Hokkaido Melon sweets including the fresh one. We ended up buying many Hokkaido melon desserts and milk.
Lucky us, sunflower fields were blooming too, so happy!!
Back to Furano down town, you can visit Furano Marche for souvenir and snack shopping, we’re talking about HOKKAIDO SNACK SHOPPING, must buy it all!
At Furano Marche we found this Hokkaido chocolate milk drink by Shiroi Koibito, it was CRAZILY GOOD!! One of the best chocolate milk drinks for me ever, must must try.
Kumagera is one of the top dining options in Furano. We can see why it’s very popular because the food was memorable for us.
We had yummilicious A5 Wagyu Sashimi Rice JPY 1.900, A5 Wagyu Sukiyaki JPY 4.600 and Hokkaido Melon with Sake JPY 1.200, oishi!!
The combination between HOKKAIDO MELON + SAKE = GENIUS, it was the star of our dinner session, so so good, the sweet combo is just to die for 🙌🏻
1 DAY BIEI AND BLUE POND BUS TOUR
After all the hassles, as the trip planner and guide, I need a rest too so we decided to take 1day Biei & Blue Pond Local Bus Tour at jitabi.ne.jp (paid using credit card, English language available at the website) for easy and hassle free trip, it was worth it!
No need to think about transportation, simply sit in the bus and it will take you to the famous spots. We really appreciate the tour guide’s effort in sharing some explanation in English too for foreign tourist like us so we won’t miss out some basic information about our destination.
Here’s the trip itinerary from the tour we picked, if you join the tour please make sure to come to the bus tour desk in Shikino Jouhoukan by 10 minutes before the bus tour starts, and complete boarding procedure. Buses will depart on time. So don’t get late 😉
13:25 Shikino Jouhoukan Dep.
Shirahige Waterfall (Stop)
Shirogane Blue Pond (Stop)
Tokachi-dake Observatory (Stop)
Birke-no-mori (Toilet Break)
16:15 Shikino Jouhoukan Arr.
For this tour route, the cost was JPY 2.000/ person for adult or JPY 1.000/ person for children in October 2018 (half price for 6-11 years old or free for under 5-years-old)
Honestly we had an awe moment the second we saw this waterfall. The scenery was INSANELY BEAUTIFUL with blueish water and autumn leaves.
It’s known as the “White Beard Waterfall” with blue water, you have to visit this place to see the beautiful scene completely. We heard that the best timing to visit Shirahige Waterfall is during winter with half frozen waterfalls and blue colored river surrounded with thick white snow. Can you imagine how spectacular the view is?
Ahh the cold breeze, fresh air, the sound of waterfall, too pretty no words can describe how amazing the place.
SHIROGANE BLUE POND
Blue Pond has increasingly become famous tourist spot in recent years thanks to TV shows and commercials.
The best time to visit Blue Pond is anytime except winter, you don’t want to see the white frozen pond right? Hahaha!
Of course for the most vivid blue color, it’s highly recommended to visit on bright sunny day. It is indeed pretty but super packed with tourists due to its popularity.
Autumn leaves started to change its color first on mountainous areas, we were so happy being able to catch the view of colorful autumn leaves from Mt. Tokachi.
Thank you for reading, you hope you become convinced to visit Furano and Biei after reading this post 🙂
We still have so many stories from Hokkaido to share like Otaru, Sapporo (sooo many good food!), and Sounkyo. Stay tuned.
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