Stretching across Hokkaido’s middle ground from the dramatic rural village Biei to the tranquility forested Shimukappu, this agricultural basin along Route 237 ranks high on wish list for many travelers. In summer the picturesque hillside breadbasket and flower gardens covered with colorful patchwork like a mini European village. In winter Furano and Tomamu turns into the international ski resorts. You will find real onsen around the Tokachi-dake Mountains. The shore of the artificial lake Kanayama-ko is pleasant escape from the main tourist routes.
TO DO 01
Countryside Cycling in Biei
Hokkaido’s most famous countryside on the distinctive undulating hills, Biei is something like a France’s mini rural village. Cycling through the photogenic hilly countryside spread like a patchwork.
TO DO 02
Visiting Shirogane Onsen & Blue Pond
Shirogane Onsen is an excellent point for hike to the Tokachi-dake Mountains. Admire picturesque views of the Blue Pond, waterfalls and dynamic landscapes.
TO DO 03
Hill Climbing in Kamifurano
On the northern side of the Furano Basin, this rustic town makes for a good few hours of strolling on the way to Tokachidake Onsen.
TO DO 04
Admiring Lavender Gardens in Nakafurano
This small rural town is one of Hokkaido’s top summer travel destinations. In July the scenic hillside gardens are covered with lavender. The big attraction here is Farm Tomita.
TO DO 05
Sampling & Skiing in Furano
Northern Hokkaido’s ‘ski and agricultural capital’, the lively city of Furano is said to mark the geographical center of Hokkaido. Check out local cheese, wine and ice cream.
TO DO 06
Strolling the Kita-no-Kuni-kara Location Site
Famed for its rural landscapes and as the main setting of the long TV drama series Kita-no-Kuni-kara (From the Northern Country), Rokugo is a lovely agricultural village.
TO DO 07
Taking Time Out on Kanayama-ko
On the south side of Furano, this picturesque artificial lake in the forested valley offers pleasant cottages, hotels and campsite on the serene shore.
TO DO 08
Staying at Tomamu’s Mountain Resort
Tomamu is one of Hokkaido’s main resorts, with high-rise hotels, dining options and massive ski slopes. Overlooking the dramatic unkai (sea of clouds) from the mountain.
FURANO BASIN MAP
GETTING THERE & AROUND
TRAIN: From Sapporo, take the limited express train to Takikawa (50min) on the JR Hakodate Line and transfer to the local train on the JR Nemuro Line to Furano (60min). Total ticket cost is ¥4010.
Currently local trains on the JR Nemuro Line from Obihiro end in Shintoku (1hr) on the JR Sekisho Line, and local trains from Furano end in Higashi-Shikagoe (45min) in Minamifurano. Alternative JR buses connect Higashi-Shikagoe with Shintoku (1hr).
BUS: Chuo Bus operates approximately hourly buses between Sapporo and Furano Station (2.5hrs / ¥2300) via Akabira and Asgibetsu.
Furano Bus operates Kaisoku Lavender-go (快速ラベンダー号) between Asahikawa Station stop 9 and the New Furano Prince Hotel (8 daily / 2hrs / ¥1050) via Asahikawa Airport, Biei and Furano stations.
Three intercity buses North Liner run between Furano Station and Obihiro Station (2hrs 40min; ¥2200) via Ikutora Bussan Center (Michi-no-eki Minamifurano) and Biei.