Furano is Hokkaido’s gem. Located between picturesque mountains, it offers a plethora of interesting activities fitted for everyone. Check out these 15 things to do when visiting Furano!
1. Enjoy seasonal flowers
Furano is well known for its beautiful flowers. All kinds of flowers can be seen, depending on the season. May brings lupines and tulips, while June is colored by the contrasting blue salvia and poppies. July is represented by lavender which makes the area so famous and August marks the beginning of sunflowers and cosmos flowers. Autumn is not left behind, with dahlias and yellow mustard blooming everywhere. Besides visiting flower fields, tourists can also search for rare flowers in the nearby mountains.
2. Go cycling
Hokkaido has a smaller population than the rest of the country. This results in quieter and emptier roads, perfect for cycling! Even if you are not a cycling enthusiast, you will love doing it here. The temperatures are mild all year long and the landscapes are astonishing. Not to mention that by riding a bike you can see different parts of the city that would otherwise remain unseen. Bicycles can be rented from various places, either at hotels or ryokans or at various special renting centers.
3. Go on a tractor ride
Some flower farms in Furano offer tractor-pulled cart rides. Enjoy the amazing views by from this unique kind of ride! The endless flower rows combined with the tall mountains in the distance will leave you speechless. The rides last for about 10 minutes and the carts can take up to 40 people. Tickets can be purchases in advance and usually cost around 500 yen for adults and 300 yen for children.
4. Go hiking
Furano is surrounded by beautiful mountains like Mount Asahibetsu Dake, Mount Furanodake and Mount Furano Nishidake. You can enjoy bubbling rivers, noisy waterfalls, and lush green forests. There are several trails that fit any kind of experience level, from easy walks to difficult climbs. Even if you are not the athletic type, you can still enjoy the area because there are ways to get closer to the summits, like riding the Furano ropeway.
5. Visit a fruit or vegetable farm
Furano has many fruit and vegetable farms that let visitors experience daily activities. You can try picking strawberries, blueberries, cassis, haskapp and raspberry, dig for potatoes and other root vegetables or harvesting melons, asparagus and grains. You can keep the fruits and vegetables you harvested and enjoy their fresh taste! Time sessions last from 30 minutes to an hour and the prices vary from 800 to 3000 yen, depending on the fruit or vegetable.
- English pamhplet: https://en.visit-hokkaido.jp/library/brochures/pdf/activities_in_hokkaido_en.pdf
6. Go canoeing
Furano has plenty of waters perfect for canoeing. Various tours can be organized which are lead by an experienced guide. This way, even beginners can feel safe and enjoy the ride! The tours can last from a couple of hours to as much as six hours and is usually organized when a minimum of two persons apply. Depending on the tours, Small children either need to be accompanied by a guardian or cannot participate at all.
7. Enjoy local food
You can enjoy a variety of dishes in Furano: sushi sets, yakitori (skewered chicken), shabu shabu (boiled beef slices with vegetables), okonomiyaki (Japanese style-pancake), hot pots, takoyaki (battered octopus pieces), curry, ramen (wheat noodles in a hot soup) or Hokkaido’s famous Genghis Khan, which refers to dish made from vegetables and mutton meat that are basted with a sauce and then grilled.
8. Go skiing
Furano is also a ski resort, famous for its extraordinary power snow. Due to its location, Furano is passed by Siberian storms that leave behind the driest and lightest snow in Hokkaido. The resort consists of two areas: Kitanomine, where skiing starts in mid-December and ends in late March the Furano zone, where people can ski from late November to early May. The slopes have various inclinations, fitted for any kind of experience level, from beginners to advanced.
9. Look for souvenirs
There are various interesting souvenirs you can bring your family and friends from Furano, such potpourris, and artwork made from the local flowers, the representative souvenirs of the city – Furano sweets, wines or cheeses produced from fresh milk. There are also souvenirs being sold for several TV dramas that were filmed in the area : “From the Northern Country”, “Yasashii Jikan” and “Kazeno Garden”. If you are a fan of Japanese dramas, you must hunt for these!
10. Attend the Bellybutton Festival
What better way to experience Japan’s culture than attending a festival? Furano has many attractive festivals thorough the year. Maybe the most interesting of all is the Hokkaido Bellybutton Festival. People paint their stomachs to look like a face and then add different props to add hair and clothes. Then they show off with their dances, competing for the first prize. The festival was first held in 1969 after it was decided that the town needs a yearly event. It was not much appreciated at first but became very popular in the decades after.
11. Ride a hot air balloon
Flying in a hot air balloon is among the most amazing feelings one can experience. Doing this in Furano is even more special because of the beautiful surroundings. The balloons fly over Daisetsu National Park, Mount Tokachi, and endless green forests. The flights can last from 20 to 30 minutes. For 20 minutes you will have to pay 13.000 yen for an adult and 9000 yen for a child while for 30 minutes will cost you 16.000 yen for an adult and 11.000 yen for a child.
12. Take cooking classes
In Furano, you can learn how to cook several delicious meals like sushi, tempura (battered and deep-fried vegetables or seafood), noodles, sausages, bread, ice cream, jam and various desserts. A great experience for little kids, amateur cooks or food lovers! All instructions are in English, so you do not have to worry about the language barrier.
13. Play golf
Furano offers a variety of golfing courses among the amazing mountainous landscape. Some of then have holes among valleys and forests, making the whole game a very interesting experience. There is even a course designed by the famous American golfer Arnold Palmer, that has won numerous prizes thorough the years. The golf courses have various difficulties, fitted for any kind of experience level.
14. Go paragliding
Although a bit scary for those who never experienced it, paragliding is extremely fun. Few things can beat the sensation of weightlessness and seeing the world from above. Paragliding in Furano is even more amazing because of the beautiful landscapes you see. Observing the flower fields and all the mountain peaks from a bird’s eye will surely leave you with lifelong memories! A 1.5-hour tour will cost around 10.000 yen, including preparation from an experienced instructor.
15. Relax in a hot spring
Do you fancy relaxing in a hot bath while enjoying astonishing landscapes? Furano is the place for you! Hot springs can be found at various places in the town: Ryounkaku Tokachidake Onsen, Kamihoro-sou, Hakuginso Onsen, Furanui Hot Spring Hotel, La Terre Onsen, Highland Furano and New Furano Prince Hotel. The views from the baths can differ, from lavender flower fields to snow covered mountains.
Have a good trip and travel!