Hokkaido’s most famous countryside on the distinctive undulating hills, Biei (美瑛) is something like a France’s mini rural village. The picturesque hilly fields spread like a patchwork, you can explore the memorable landscapes from the scenic road network by car, bike or on foot. While Biei is a very easy day-trip from both Asahikawa and Furano.
Highlights Cycling around Patchwork Road and Panorama Road
Tourist Information Biei Tourist Association Shiki-no-Johokan (美瑛町観光協会 · 四季の情報館): 1 Hon-cho / 8.30am-5pm Nov-Mar, to 6pm Jun & Oct, to 7pm Jul-Sep / Closed 31 Dec-2 Jan / Directly left as you exit JR Biei Station / www.biei-hokkaido.jp
Bike Rentals there are several rent-a-cycle shops (レンタサイクル) around JR Biei Station (May to October / Free luggage storage is available for guests)
All private fields and pasture are off-limits, so you can enjoy the views from the roads or the viewpoints.
The famous Blue Pond (Aoi-ike) is about 16km southeast of Central Biei on the way to Shirogane Onsen.
01 SCENIC ROAD
If you only have a half-day in Biei, this classic road network on the northwest of town give you impressive views over the hillside rural. Four photogenic spots on the road are the Ken and Mary Tree (ケンとメリーの木), the Seven Star Tree (セブンスターの木), the Parent and Child Trees (親子の木: there is no car park) and the Hokusei-no-Oka Observatory (北西の丘展望公園).
The round-trip walking or cycling from JR Biei Station will take about three to four hours.
Day trippers can stop by the excellent boulangerie (from 10am; Closed Tue) at the Bi.blé (ビブレ: bi-ble.jp) complex in the scenic hills north of town, using Biei-grown wheat, on the way to the Sevenstar Tree. It is about 5km from JR Biei Station.
02 SCENIC ROAD
On the southeast of Biei is this panoramic road network runs across the rolling hills and valleys. The breathtaking view parks are San’ai-no-Oka (三愛の丘展望公園) and Shin’ei-no-Oka (新栄の丘展望公園), fields are beautifully colored by the setting sun.
The round-trip cycling from JR Biei Station or Bibaushi Station will take about four to five hours.
03 FLOWER GARDEN
四季彩の丘 / 8.30am-6pm Jun-Sep, 9am-5pm Apr-May & Oct & Dec-Feb, 9am-4.30pm Nov-Mar / FREE / www.shikisainooka.jp
Biei’s most popular flower garden on a scenic hill overlooking the mountains, but it is very crowded with tour buses in summer. It is 2km southeast of JR Bibaushi Station.
拓真館 / Takushin / 9am-5pm May-Oct, 10am-4pm Nov-mid Jan / Closed late Jan-Apr / FREE
Housed in an old schoolhouse, Takushinkan exhibits the works of photographer Maeda Shinzo (1922-1998) who introduced the landscape of Biei from the 1970s.
BUS: Furano Bus Kaisoku Lavender-go (快速ラベンダー号) coaches run eight times daily to JR Biei Station from JR Asahikawa Station (54min) via Asahikawa Airport (37min), as well as the New Furano Prince Hotel (66min) via JR Furano Station (44min).
Dohoku Bus 39 runs from Asahikawa (4 daily / 48min) and continue to Shirogane Onsen (1hr 25min) and the National Taisetsu Youth Friendship Center (Seishonen-no-ie) via Shirogane Aoi-ike. From JR Biei Station, Dohoku Bus 42 also runs to Shirogane Onsen (30min).