Furano is a town situated at the heart of Japan’s Hokkaido region. Although it is a pleasant enough place to visit throughout the year, it becomes an even more special travel destination during summer. The main reason for this — Furano’s gorgeous fields of lavender that can captivate anyone with its brilliant color and incredible fragrance.
Furano is part of the Furano-Ashibetsu Nature Park, and is located along the Sorachi River. For some reason, the town has earned the nickname, “the navel town”; and every summer, a festival is celebrated here that showcases thousands of people with funny faces on their bellies, dancing their heart out. While in Furano during summer, you can also engage in various outdoor activities such rafting down the river. Going for a hot air-balloon ride organized by the Alpine Visitor Center is also a fantastic way to get a bird’s eye view of the seemingly endless fields of lavender.
It is indeed during Hokkaido’s mild summer that lavenders are in full bloom all around. And one of the best places to truly admire their beauty is Furano. While here, you can easily take a stroll along the paths around the fields and smell the sweet scent of lavender. There are also a number of flower farms, which you can visit to gaze upon the beautiful patterns of flowers all around.
Some of the more popular farms include Saika Farm, which covers a huge land area and Flower Land Kamifurano. Kamifurano, in particular, is ideally nestled on a hillside, offering outstanding views of the Tokachi mountain range aside from its own spectacular flower fields. While here, you can ride a cart pulled by a tractor to explore the fields. You can also go for a tour that allows you to experience flower pressing and lavender cutting.
The undisputed most famous flower field in town without question is Farm Tomita. Conveniently situated near the Lavender Train Station, which only welcomes passengers during summer season, Tomita is just 2.5 kilometers from Saika Farm. To reach Tomita from the main town, you can take a bus or train from the JR Furano Station.
The Tokachi mountain range also serves as the backdrop to Farm Tomita’s lavender and flower fields, making your trip quite picturesque. Another good reason to drop by Tomita is that access to the farm is easy. Inside its compound, you will also find cafes and shops that sell a variety of lavender-related items, which are perfect as souvenirs and gifts! Just a few years back, the Farm Tomita management opened a second farm named Lavender East, which is situated just four kilometers east of the first farm and covers a land area of about 14 hectares.
Furano basically has four types of lavender, Dark Purple, Okamurasaki, Yotei and Hanamoiwa. The majority of the lavender starts blooming in late June. The best month to visit lavender farms is in July, when the weather is most ideal. Nevertheless, the season for lavender viewing stretches until early August. There are even some lavender varieties that remain in bloom until the middle of August if you are late in getting here!
Lavender is not the only type of flower Furano is proud of growing. Other beautiful summer flowers that can easily draw you to the area include poppies, rape blossoms and French marigolds.
The sight and the fragrance of the magical lavender will forge an unforgettable memory of your time in Furano so know that this part of Japan is worthy of a visit.