Biei, Furano and Tomamu
Biei is a small town surrounded by the many picturesque beautiful hills with colorful fields. While you enjoy driving or cycling around the hills and the famous trees there, you will be moved with the wonderful scenery which you happen to find on the way. Since plants grown in the fields are changed every year, you will find new scenery whenever you visit there. In addition, there is a beautiful pond, a waterfall and hot spring in Shirogane area near Mt. Tokachidake, which will make you relax.
Furano is easily accessible from the town center of Biei. The beautiful lavender fields in Furano are quite popular among the tourists, whose atmosphere is different from that of Biei. If you stay at Minami-Furano, you can also enjoy a day trip to Tomamu which is famous for the sea of clouds.
Blue Pond, Shirahige Falls, Shirogane-onsen Hot Spring
The Blue Pond is located in Shirogane area near Mt. Tokachidake, and offers a picturesque scenery created by its blue water and standing withered trees. It is well-known that Apple selected the wonderful scenery as a wallpaper of Mac and iPhone. Shirahige Falls in Shirogane-onsen Hot Spring town are some distance above the Blue Pond, where the underground water from Tokachidake mountain range is flowing down the gaps of the rocks. It is said that the underground water contains the alminium and generates colloid after mixing with Biei River, which makes the water blue.
The road from the Blue Pond to Shirogane-onsen Hot Spring town is called Shirakaba Kaidou (Birch Road). You can enjoy driving as well as walking in the birch forest along the road. Heading further from Shirogane-onsen, you will find Tokachidake Bogakudai Observation Tower which offers a wonderful view of Mt. Tokachidake on a fine day.
The road in the area south of the town center is called “Panorama Road”. There are some typical hills along the road which offer the beautiful scenery of large fields. For example, Shikisai-no-oka Flower Garden is famous for its various flower fields, and Shin’ei-no-oka Observatory Park is famous for its wonderful view of the sunset.
Also it is worth visiting Takushinkan Photo Gallery which displays many impressive art works by Shinzo Maeda, a famous landscape photographer making the scenery of Biei popular throughout Japan. Some photographs look just like paintings, and I wanted to improve my photography skills after visitng here.
On the other hand, the road through the gentle hills north of the town center is called “Patchwork Road”. There are some patchwork fields on the hills, and different plants are grown in each field. In addition, there are some famous trees which were used in TV commercials or package designs such as “Mild Seven Hill”, “The Ken and Mary Tree”, “The Seven Star Tree” and so on. I would like to recommend you find your favorite scenery while visiting these trees. Since plants grown in the fields are changed every year, you cannot enjoy the same scenery again.
Firm Tomita in Furano
Furano is very famous for its beautiful lavender fields. Particularly, “Firm Tomita” is the most popular spot among the tourists whose lavender and other colorful flower fields are worth visiting.
Unkai Terrace in Tomamu
Tomamu located slightly south of Furano is famous for the sea of clouds. Although it is originally a small village whose population is 1,200, the large area has been developed as “Hoshino Resorts Tomamu”, and “Unkai Terrace” here is very popular as a spot to observe the sea of clouds coming from Hidaka mountain range early in the morning.
As it is a little far from the town center of Biei or Furano, I moved to Lake Kanayama in Minami-Furano to enjoy a day trip to Tomamu.
Many tourists rent a car at Asahikawa Airport to visit this area.
Let me introduce my travel route in 2015 for your reference. After visiting Akan National Park and Kushiro, I moved to the guesthouse “Cress” in Biei via Sounkyo Gorge to enjoy sightseeing in Biei, Furano and Mt. Asahidake, and then moved to Lake Kanayama Auto Campground in Minami-Furano to enjoy a day trip to Tomamu. Please note that the travel route below is a little complicated because I often had to interrupt or change the schedule depending on the weather.
|1||Shibecha -> Sounkyo -> Biei (car): rainy||Sounkyo Gorge||Biei|
|2||around Biei (car): rainy||Takushinkan Photo Gallery||Biei|
|3||around Furano and Biei (car)||Farm Tomita
|4||around Shirogane and Biei (car)||Blue Pond
Shirogane-onsen Hot Spring
|5||around Mt. Asahidake (car): rainy||Mt. Asahidake
Taisetsu Asahidake Gensui
|6||Biei -> Mt. Asahidake -> Lake Kanayama (car)||Mt. Asahidake||Lake Kanayama|
|7||around Tomamu (car)||Hoshino Resorts Tomamu Unkai Terrace
|8||Lake Kanayama -> Next (car)|