Knowns as Japan’s largest sunflower fields (himawari-batake), this small agricultural town (北竜町) on Route 275 is a popular destination with Asian tourists in summer. You can visit the town by buses from Fukagawa, Takikawa, Rumoi or Sapporo.
Tourist Information Himawari Tourist Center (ひまわり観光センター): Himawari-no-Sato (see below) / 8am-6pm / Free left-luggage office and Wi-Fi / hokuryu-kankou.com
01 SUNFLOWER FIELD
北竜町ひまわりの里 / 143-2 Itaya / 24hrs mid Jul-mid Aug / FREE / hokuryu-kankou.com
One of Hokkaido’s most famous and photogenic flower gardens, Hokuryu Himawari-no-Sato is covered with 1.5 million sunflowers from late July to mid August. You can walk in the sunflower maze (ひまわり迷路: 8am-6pm / ¥300) and rent a bike (¥100 per hour). Check out the bloom situation on the web before yo go.
02 ONSEN & SLEEPING
北竜温泉 / 163-2 Itaya / Day bathing 9.30am-10pm / ¥500 / portal.hokuryu.info/sunflowerpark/onsen
About 1km north of the Himawari-no-Sato, this roadside onsen is a good place for a rest or wait for a bus to Fukagawa. The restaurant Fusha (11am-8pm) offers local rice and beans. There is also a small hotel on-site.
GETTING THERE & AROUND
Himawari-no-Sato Hokuryu Chugakko-mae (ひまわりの里・北竜中学校前) is the nearest bus stop of the sunflower village. Local Chuo buses from Takikawa (38min) on the JR Hakodate Line and Fukagawa Shiritsu Byoin (深川市立病院: 32min) stop here throughout the year.
During the sunflower season (3rd Sat of July-4th Sun of Aug), four highway buses Kosoku Rumoi-go (高速るもい号滝川経由: via Takikawa), run from Sapporo Station (2hrs) and Rumoi (45min), also stop at the Himawari-no-Sato.
Local Chuo buses run between Fukagawa Shiritsu Byoin (深川市立病院) and Hokuryu Onsen (北竜温泉: 7 daily / 35min), and between Takikawa and Hekisui (碧水: 4 daily / 46min) via Hokuryu.