What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Japan?
Is it the ever-bustling otaku town, Akihabara?
Is it the ubiquitous conveyor belt sushi?
Is it the ultra fast bullet train, Shinkansen?
Is it the host city for Olympic 2020, Tokyo?
Is it the skiing resort at Aomori?
Is it the historical city, Hiroshima?
Or is it the cherry blossom season that attracts tourists from all over the world?
Furano Travel Guide
To me, it was the idyllic town named Furano. It is located in Hokkaido, which is the northern part of Japan. Furano is just 2 hour bus ride away from the capital of the state of Hokkaido – Sapporo.
During my month-long visit to Japan in June and July, almost everything that I saw make me go wow. It is such a special country that I longed to visit since young. It is a mysterious nation, waiting for its true colours to be unveiled by the curious. To be honest, I had culture shock literally everyday during my stay in Japan. Generally, Japan was already awesome.
And Furano totally brought Japan to another level of awesomeness.
My experience in Furano
I took an hour-long budget flight from Tokyo to Sapporo and explored the city for a little before going to Furano. I regretted so much because I only went to Furano for a day, which is severely insufficient. Furano is so rich in landscape, food, culture, and so on… And I only had a day for that!
Know what, when I was in Hokkaido, my couchsurfing host from Tokyo, was also having a vacation in Hokkaido! Fated or fortunate? I don’t know, but I am truly thankful that we had to opportunity to explore a foreign land together (because Yuta had never been to Furano as well)!
Once there in Furano, we didn’t want to waste time and so we went straight to the tourist information centre. To my surprise, there’s an Australian lady working as a receptionist! I mean, I never expected any expat would live in such a small town!
Partly because I didn’t rent a car, it was hard for me to go around Hokkaido. If you really wanna explore the whole Hokkaido, you should rent a car. Though it can get a bit more expensive, but it’s definitely worth it when you see something like this.
I used Chuo bus (click link to check it out) as I found that it was the cheapest option because I was only going for a day trip. It costed me 4000 JPY for a return ticket. I woke up super early that day because I wanted to catch the earliest bus at 7:00am, and I planned to return using the latest bus at 6:20pm. There is a more comprehensive list of all the bus options that you can consider here. Alternatively, you can take the train.
Getting Around Furano
As suggested, we rented an electric assisted bike just across the street for 2000 JPY (18 USD) for a whole day. We didn’t want the electric ones actually, but we were left with no choice as the normal ones were all gone. However I am really thankful that we got the electric ones instead. There are uphills and downhills in Furano and moreover, we cycled for a day! I feel so sorry for my muscle.
It was summer day and the weather was perfect for cycling. As Furano is located at the north of Japan, it doesn’t get too hot nor humid during summer.
Actually, the real intention of me coming to Furano is for the famous lavender season. I was there about two weeks before the full bloom season, but I was really satisfied already as I could see them started blooming, and also a lot of other species of flowers which I don’t even know what the names are!
Intrigued? There will be more posts about what to do in Furano! Stay tuned!
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Born and raised in Malaysia, Aaron is a medical student that is deeply in love with travelling. He loves to inebriate all his readers with the crazy travel stories and personal travel tips that he has gathered throughout years of travelling experience. Learn more about him here.