Four seasons of love

04/10/2017 10:00

Whatever the season, visitors will fall in love with Furano on Japan's Hokkaido Island

Famed for its rugged natural beauty, Hokkaido is a leading tourism hotspot in Japan. Nestled in the heart of Hokkaido, Furano is popular with both Japanese and foreign visitors thanks to its breathtaking natural scenery. Join us in discovering Furano's four seasons.




The colors of spring and summer
From late April until the end of August, Furano is carpeted with flowers. Brightly colored blossoms cover the region's iconic hills, drawing many visitors to this area. In the spring Furano is bursting with tulips, sunflowers, dahlias and chrysanthemums.


In the summertime,  many colorful species are in bloom, but the region is best known for its lavender. Fragrant violet fields of lavender are a source of pride in Hokkaido, where this species has been cultivated for over a century. As in Provence in Southern France, Hokkaido's lavender fields glow purple beneath clear azure skies. Tomita Farm has been growing lavender for over a century and is a must-see destination for summer visitors. In July, the deep purple fields are dotted with brightly-clad visitors who come to watch and join the harvest. The locals harvest lavender by hand and use special machines to extract essential oil and to produce lavender essence and medicinal and decorative products. Visitors will find everything from lavender cosmetics to lavender-flavored popsicles to be enjoyed in a peaceful local café.


There's more to Furano than just flowers. Take a tour to Biei Town, known for its intriguing blue lagoon. Biei Lagoon was formed following the eruption of Mount Tokachidake in 1988. A dyke built in the river to protect locals from the volcano's intermittent eruptions resulted in a lagoon with an unusual sparkling blue color. The water is azure because it contains aluminum released from a nearby hot spring. The aluminum particles reflect the blue sky.


Adventurous visitors can enjoy river rafting on the Sorachi River. Professional guides lead guests on a wild journey to see rugged waterfalls, rapids and unspoiled primordial forests full of birdlife.

The brilliance of autumn and winter
Furano's autumn lasts from around early September to early November. While the hills of flowers still bloom, the trees' leaves begin to change color, turning magical hues of gold and scarlet. Visitors flock to the area's leafy, shady parks and to Biei Lagoon to marvel at the orange, red and yellow leaves reflected on the lagoon's unearthly blue surface.


The trees' autumnal performance ends when snowflakes start to fall over Furano. The winter draws outdoor enthusiasts who discover a true wonderland. Furano is known for winter sports such as skiing, hockey and paragliding. The Furano Ski Resort is a well established ski resort that hosts many international skiing competitions. It has a variety of runs suited to both beginners and advanced skiers and snowboarders. Following challenging hours on the slopes, visitors can enjoy onsen baths and soak in warm mineral spring water to regain their energy.


Furano boasts hospitable locals and world class services. Visitors will find many Japanese and European restaurants. You can stop at a wooden house deep in the woods to enjoy French food and wine, or visit Kumagera, a traditional Japanese restaurant with a lovely garden and a facade covered with grape vines. It's worth booking in advance to enjoy a buffet dinner at the Hoshino Resort Tomanu, known for its hairy crabs and salmon sushi. One of the most famous resorts in Hokkaido, it offers all types of rooms and suites, including the incredible Kumo Suite, the design of which was inspired by billowing clouds. The astonishing amenities of the Hoshino Resort Tomanu include an ice restaurant in the winter, and a mountaintop observatory in the summer from where guests can view lush green hills, forests and wild animals.




  Vietnam Airlines offers daily direct flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka. From these cities, passengers can take domestic transport to Hokkaido.
Huong Quynh

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