Stretching across Hokkaido’s middle ground from Asahikawa to Furano passes through the rural towns, the 54km JR Furano Line ranks high on wish list in summer. Picturesque hillside breadbasket and flower gardens covered with colorful patchwork like a mini European village. You will find real onsen around the Tokachi-dake Mountains.


THE ROUTE

Asahikawa to Furano

  • DISTANCE: 54.8km

  • DURATION: 1 hour

  • ORDINARY FARE: ¥1290

  • BEST TIME: July is the best lavender season / June to October for cycling and hiking


Best Stopovers

  • Biei ›› While Biei is a very easy day-trip from both Asahikawa and Furano for cycling on the scenic hills. The Blue Pond in Shirogane Onsen is a popular detour from Biei.

  • Kamifurano ›› The rustic countryside makes for a good few hours of strolling. Climbers and onsen enthusiasts come to the mountain foot of Tokachi-dake.

  • Nakafurano & Lavender Farm ›› In summer picturesque lavender gardens can be easily explored on foot from the both train stations.


START: 0km

Asahikawa 旭川

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Northern Hokkaido’s major transport hub, Asahikawa is a good base for a train trip on the JR Furano Line. The city is straddles the clear rivers and laid out in a grid pattern.

CONNECTIONS ›› Trains for Sapporo, Wakkanai, Abashiri

BOARDING ›› The train crosses Chubetsu-gawa soon after leaving and heading south out of Asahikawa along Route 237.


23.8km

Biei 美瑛

Hokkaido’s most famous countryside on the distinctive undulating hills, Biei 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 bike or on foot.

BOARDING ›› Biei’s lovely train station was built in 1952 and using local shite stone. The line between Biei and Bibaushi has a 28.6 per mille maximum gradient on the winding hills, the steepest rail section in Hokkaido.


DETOUR: 20km Southeast of Biei

Shirogane Onsen 白金温泉

The highland hot sprigs village of Shirogane Onsen is an excellent point for a soak after a hike or cycling, as well as hike to the Tokachi-dake Mountains. Dohoku Bus 39 and 42 runs between JR Biei Station and Shirogane Onsen via the Blue Pond.


30.6km

Bibaushi 美馬牛

Bibaushi sits on the border between Biei and Kamifurano. It is the closest position to the scenic Shikisai-no-oka (2km southeast) and Kanno Farm (1.5km northwest) flower gardens.

BOARDING ›› As you go down the pass, the active volcanic Tokachi-dake lie on the left.



39.7km

Kamifurano 上富良野

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On the northern side of the Furano Basin, this agricultural town is a convenient jumping-off point for both Tokachi-dake’s wonderful onsen and great hikes in the southwestern part of Daisetsuzan National Park.

BOARDING ›› The straight line on the Furano Basin runs across the fields.


45.8km

Lavender Farm ラベンダー畑

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No stop for the local train. The Furano-Biei Norokko Train stops at this seasonal station from June to September. The region’s most popular flower garden, Farm Tomita is about 500m northeast of the train station.

BOARDING ›› Look out for the town-managed hillside lavender garden (Hokusei-yama) on the right.


47.3km

Nakafurano 中富良野

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Just 10km north of Furano, this small rural town is a dream destination for flower lovers. In July the scenic hillside gardens are covered with lavender.

BOARDING ›› Note that a few trains don’t stop at two stations (Shikauchi and Gakuden) between Nakafurano and Furano.


52.5km

Gakuden 学田

One stop before Furano on the line, Gakuden is the closest station to Furano Grape Juice Factory (600m) and Furano Winery (2km) on the scenic hills.

BOARDING ›› After crossing Sorachi-gawa, the train arrives in Furano on the JR Nemuro Line.



FINISH: 54.8km

Furano 富良野

The lively agricultural city of Furano is said to mark the geographical center of Hokkaido. Tourist-friendly attractions and dining options dotted around the city so you won’t miss out anything. In winter, the ski area is occupied by skiers and snowboarders coming from all over the world.

CONNECTIONS: Trains for Takikawa and Shintoku


BOOK YOUR STAY ONLINE: FURANO

Furano has a spread of accommodation near the train station and the ski area. Room rates rise sharply during lavender and ski seasons. Kitanomine (北の峰) is a perfect base for skiing and plenty of hotels, pensions and condominiums. A number of lodges may be closed for about one month before and after ski seasons.

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