If you are someone who loves to explore nature and enjoys activities such as cycling, the Taisetsu Mountain (大雪山) Range in Hokkaido (北海道) is the best place to be, as it has curvy panoramic roads offering a countless number of views. Biei (美瑛) is a small town in the Kamikawa (上川) district that is renowned for its lavender fields, sprawling greenery, and beautiful lakes. Here are five outdoor things to do in the summer of Biei, a Hokkaido town captured amidst natural wonders.
Biei and nearby cities such as Furano (富良野) are famous for some of the most beautiful and picturesque flower gardens in Japan. Known for lavender farming, Biei attracts many visitors, both Japanese and visitors all over the world alike, every single year between the months of June and August.
There is a famous lavender spot near Biei where you can find hectares of colorful lavenders, namely Farm Tomita (ファーム富田). If you are looking for a garden with flowers throughout the year, you should visit Shikisai no Oka (四季彩の丘), a 15-hectare floral paradise with 30 species of flowers spread across heavenly slopes.
Be it lavender, cosmos, lupine, or another kind of flower, you can find them here at the garden, which is located in the Shinsei area of Biei. Usually, these flower gardens are free to enter and have parking facilities, too.
There is a crystal clear blue pond that looks out of this world in Biei that you must see called Shirogane Blue Pond. It contains a high amount of aluminum hydroxide, which is responsible for the pond’s super blue color.
It is said that the pond is there to protect the nearby villages from the lava flows of the nearby volcano. Known for serenity and strikingly blue waters, this place has become a great place to visit in Biei. It is located in a forest and can be reached on foot through hiking trails.
The color of the pond usually appears green during colder months when there is little sunlight, and blue in summer. The sight of this pond with faded trees amidst a dense forest leaves a lasting impression on its visitors. This pond is so marvelous and alien-like that even Apple’s Macbook has it as a built-in screensaver.
There is a small yet beautiful shrine, locally nicknamed as the “love shrine”, in Biei that you can visit to try to find your soulmate. This old shrine, built somewhere around 1896, welcomes you with a heart form and lets you pray for your match.
It is believed that those who visit this shrine will most likely find their partner within a few months, and the people who do so usually return to the shrine to offer gratitude. Many people visit this place during spring and summer when Biei turns colorful with blossoms and greenery.
Website (Japanese): http://www.hokkaidojinjacho.jp/data/06/06017.html
Shirogane Onsen (hot spring) is located near the Blue Pond amidst a forest surrounded by trekking mountains. Famously known as the “White-Hot Spring” due to the color of the waters resulting from some rare minerals, this hot spring is a must visit when you are in Biei. Take a relaxing soak after a long trek at this place amidst nature.
There are romantic, virtually unpolluted roads in Biei that take you through awesome sprawling flower and grass fields. You can explore the untouched parts of Biei by renting a bicycle from your hotel. Due to low population and gentle weather, cycling is a pretty awesome outdoor activity to do in Biei. The town is so small that you can ride around with minimal effort.
Some of the famous scenic roads in Biei are the Patchwork Road (パッチワークの路) and Panorama Road (パノラマロード) that are present in the countryside. These curvy roads offer some amazing views through bloom fields with a distant panoramic view of the hills. There is also an observatory, and from the top you can catch a 360-degree glimpse of the fields in a park that is open during summer called the Hokusei-no-oka Park (北西の丘展望公園).
These are the five best outdoor things to do in Biei, Hokkaido during the warmer months. If you are a thrill seeker, you can also try kayaking, river rafting, paragliding, and much more in Biei.