Furano, Hokkaido

Hokkaido is well-known for its annual ice festival in February, and it is also a popular ski destination in this part of the world. so needless to say, it is a pretty good place to head for the winter holidays.

it is also becoming more and more of a popular destination in summer, as evident by the number of fully booked hotels while i was scrolling for a place to stay about a month ago.

i decided to take my mum on a holiday to Hokkaido on a whim. she’s been visiting me for almost 3 months and i haven’t had much time to spend with her while she was in Hong Kong. so, feeling rather bad about that, i took leave off from work and booked a direct flight to Sapporo and wallah!

we spent the first two days in Sapporo and then headed to Furano for the flower farms.

we bought the Furano-Biei Rail Pass which cost us 6500 yen. i figured the pass would be worth it as we were going to utilise it for the maximum 4 days in which it’s valid for. knowing that it’s a highly popular destination in this time of year, and since i wanted my mum to feel comfortable, i paid the 520yen extra (each) for reserved seats.

and i’m glad i did, because the train was pretty packed.

the train journey took us about 2 hours.

after getting to Furano, we took another train to Naka-furano and checked into our hostel.

we were lucky to have been able to book beds at the Furano Youth Hostel on the day of our arrival – every other days were fully booked.

i would definitely recommend Furano Youth Hostel to anyone heading toward Furano. it cost us 6900yen (for 2 adults) for 2 beds in a 4-bed all-women dormitory. don’t let the word dormitory fool you though. unlike the usual bunk beds in dormitories, we all got single beds. the ceiling was really high, so there was a platform on top, connected by a ladder, where 2 Korean girls had their own single beds and privacy. it was definitely very roomy and very comfortable.

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outside, there were hammocks. i spent some time reading while lying on the hammock in the cool breeze while the rain fell and it was wonderful. the view from the deck was beautiful and there were the sound of birds everywhere.

the food was good too. dinner and breakfast were provided (included in that 6900yen for 2), and they consisted of vegetables grown from the owner’s very own farm.

there were a lot of local Japanese travelers staying there too. mum and i had a good time chatting with the different people staying there.

wonderful accommodation aside, we were in Furano to visit the famous flower farms.

the farms were within walking distance from our hostel.

the first flower place we visited were the Lavendar Flower Fields.

they had a chairlift which allowed us to admire the flowers from a different angle. the view from the top was really pretty too.

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after that, we got to the Tomita Melon Farm where we had our lunch (curry with rice) as well as the famous melon ice-cream and desserts. they were delicious. we had to take shelter there for quite a bit due to the rain.

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when the rain slowed down to a drizzle, we got to the famous Farm Tomita. unsurprisingly, there were plenty of tourists, but there were plenty of space and flowers to go around – and they were absolutely beautiful.

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i was keen to walk a short trail through the forest park and head to Saiko-no-Sato afterward but my mum was already pretty tired from all the walking and the rain got heavier so we ended up heading back to the hostel in the evening and just chillax-ed. i finished reading Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar on the hammock as the rain pattered onto the roof. it was nice.

the next morning, we headed to Biei to purchase the bus tour tickets. will blog more about that in the coming posts.

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