Northern Hokkaido’s top agricultural city of Furano produces a wide range of vegetables, high-quality cheese and wine. The main attractions are rather spread out, so you will need to use a rental bike, taxi or local public transport.
Highlights Furano Winery, Furano Cheese Factory
Tourist Information Furano Station Tourist Information Center (JR富良野駅横インフォメーションセンター): 1-1-30 Hinode-machi / 9am-6pm / www.furanotourism.com/en
Bike Rentals Moriya (ラベンダーショップもりや): immediately to the left as you exit JR Furano Station, 2-1 Hinode-machi / 8am-7am / Free luggage storage is available for guests (nonguests are ¥300 per day)
富良野ワイン工場 / Shimizuyama / 9am-5pm / Closed 27 Dec-5 Jan / FREE / www.furanowine.jp
The city-managed winery sits on a hillside with small lavender gardens and it provides a look into wine-making methods. Free tasting is available on the 2nd floor overlooking the city (don’t drink and ride a car or bicycle). It is 2.5km northwest of JR Furano Station.
02 JUICE FACTORY
Furano Grape Juice Factory
富良野市ぶどう果汁工場 / Furano-shi Budo-kaju Kojo / 2 Nishi-Gakuden / 9am-4pm Jun-early Oct / FREE
About 1.5km north of the Furano Winery passes through the hillside vineyards, you will find this small factory that serves juice and soft-serve ice cream made from local grapes. If you take a train on the JR Furano Line, get off at Gakuden Station (学田駅: one stop north from Furano), from where it is a 8-minute walk west to the factory.
03 CHEESE FACTORY
Furano Cheese Factory
富良野チーズ工房 / Naka-Goku / 9am-5pm, to 4pm Nov-Mar / FREE / www.furano-cheese.jp
About 3km southwest of the city center is this enticing dairy products complex in the trees, where you can taste a variety of cheese, ice cream and pizza using local ingredients. You can making cheese, butter and ice cream here (ask for staff).
TRAIN: Local trains run from Asahikawa (70min) via Biei (45min) on the JR Furano Line.
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).
Currently local trains on the JR Nemuro Line from Obihiro end in Shintoku (1hr), 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 Station and Furano Station (2.5hrs) via Kitanomine-iriguchi (北の峰入口), the nearest bus stop of Furano Ski Area.
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) via Asahikawa Airport, Biei and Furano stations.
Three intercity buses North Liner run between Furano Station and Obihiro Station (2hrs 40min), stopping at the roadside station Minamifurano (Ikutora Bussan Center).
Shimukappu Municipal Bus runs between Furano Station and Shimukappu (3 daily / 70min / ¥870) on Route 237.
CAR: You will find Toyota Rent-a-Car (Tel 0167-23-2100 / 8am-8pm Apr-Nov, 9am-6pm Nov-Mar) to the left as you exit JR Furano Station.
From late April to September, JR Furano Station operates Eki Rent-a-Car (Tel 0167-22-073 / 9am-5pm) office.