Monday, October 09, 2017

Shikisai-No-Oka (四季彩の丘) - Panoramic Flower Fields! @ Biei [Near Furano in Hokkaido, Japan]

Farm Tomita isn't the only flower farm in Hokkaido and many guidebooks gave suggestions on other as-worthy flower fields, some of which were said to be better than the one that your tour agency would bring you to.

One strong contender would be Shikisai-No-Oka. Like you, i have no understanding on what the words mean although its kanji writing (四季彩の丘) did enlighten me a bit as it translates into the understandable mound of four colorful seasons! 

From outside the boring, factory-like entrance, you would have caught the colorful splendor in the farm but let me draw your attention to the vending machines! Shouldn't they be under shelter?! What happens if it rains? 

Want lunch? There was a restaurant and i have appended the menu above for your reference. For us, the tummies had already been filled with a great meal at Teppan Okonomiyaki Masaya and i am only looking forward to my first bite of Hokkaido ice cream

Now, there's no admission ticket to enter the flower field even though i did notice a collection box right in the middle of the walkway with a signage in Japanese. From what i gathered (from the Kanji writing), it's for the maintenance of the place and recommendation was 200 yen per person. 

Needless to say, i didn't see anyone putting money into the box. 



It made perfect economic sense for the operator to sell you pots of flowers! Do note that some countries have strict policies on the import of flora; hence, do check with your home country before you buy any!


Yes, i did see the nicely stacked haystacks that looked like a person. While researching the attraction, i came across quite a few pictures of it and i didn't realize there were in fact of them; one male, one female!

Waited here for my travel mates who needed to go to the washroom.

I decided to take a pee too just in case the tide were to get high while i am halfway exploring the flower farm. Saw this amusing notice in Chinese and Japanese that taught users on the correct usage of toilets in Japan; like close your door, throw the toilet paper in the toilet bowl, don't squat, remember to flush the toilet etc.

Ticket counter?! Please be assured that this wasn't a surprise move to get you to cough up money for entry to the flower fields. However, it's still a smart move to squeeze more money from visitors! Nothing wrong with that; it's just business and no one is pointing a knife at you. 

Pity my group was quite stingy as we totally didn't see the point to take the tractor bus (500 yen per person for 1 round), buggies (500 yen for two persons for a one-kilometer circuit) and carts (2,500 yen for up to 5 persons for 15 minutes). 

There's even an alpaca farm that would cost an adult 500 yen to enter. Frankly, i didn't know where the alpacas were kept and only saw on the map (to be shared later) that the farm was on the right, near the washroom. 

Excited to see the flower fields said to be a real-life postcard guaranteed to draw your breath away?! p.s. above plot was undergoing rejuvenation i guess.

Amazing right?! 

Total area was 15 hectares but how big is a hectare!? You know a typical 400-meter jogging track in a stadium? For better visualization, the area within the track is about 1 hectare; hence, you can imagine how expansive the flower fields were at Shikisai-No-Oka

A lot of visitors dropped by Hokkaido during summer to specially check out a type of flower! Want to guess what it is? Give you a hint; its scent is said to relax the mind and give you a better sleep.

The lavender fields! 

Just a few photographs; they were not as vibrantly purplish as i thought they would be even though the aroma was still rather alluring! p.s. Alex said he didn't want his face on this blog after what happened in my Taiwan posting where many friends and family members said they saw him!

Never mind, i got a better "model"! From the numerous photographs, you would have assumed that visitors would have to trample the flowers in order to get a nice photograph of being surrounded by them. 

It's frankly not as inconsiderate; the flowers were in "bushes" and there were paths that you can walk in to take photos that gave an illusion that you are literally amidst the flowers! 

Not all kinds of flowers provided a "path".
The cosmos didn't have that option.

There were certain plots that didn't allow you to enter and these were demarcated accordingly with signs in various languages for better communication. 

Guess idiots would simply be idiots. By the way, i am going to bombard you with tons of pictures as i am not well-verse in flowers and didn't know the scientific names or even the commonly-called names for most of them.

To put it more simply, i would have called the above lavender! 

So did the flowers and the breathtaking scenery captivate you? It was such a pretty sight in front of me; i literally shot hundred over photographs with nuanced differences! Had a hard time deciding which one i should put up here. 


Someone was flying a drone and i knew it was prohibited as there were quite a few signs declaring a no-drone policy and i am so attuned to the signs for no photography, no cameras etc.

It's along the route of the tractor bus and i saw the driver telling the guy to stop flying it. Think there's a communication problem as one simply couldn't understand the other! 

Tractor uncle driver; steady woah! 

Shikisai-No-Oka wasn't very crowded and i figured it was because we arrived at almost close to their closing time with just only about 90 minutes to go. 

Rather good timing with plenty of space for your carts. Did i regret getting a cart? To a certain extent i was since it would result in so much lesser walking! Oh well, it would be a better "investment" if i was travelling with my parents.

Furthermore, i am more likely to stop at every few meters to shot a few photographs and that would definitely eat into the limited timing given for the rental of the cart.

Asshole decided to finally show his face as he figured it would be impossible not to have his face plastered in the postings relating to our first visit in Japan! 

Since we were on top of the hill, the landscape in front of us stretched beyond what the camera can capture and there were patches where basic greenery took precedence over the colourful flowers. 

I am a huge fan of fairy tales and whenever the story talks about beds and beds of flowers, i always wonder how they would look like in real life. My childhood question got an answer at Shikisai-No-Oka!

Don't you think it was an accurate depiction?!

You know what i really want to do? To roll along the beds of flowers and see if they were as soft as they were said to be in the fairy tales! Of course i didn't do that; can just imagine the frowns upon the faces of local Japanese....

Not everything was picture perfect even though i would have seen nothing wrong with a broken sunflower on the ground. The harsh reality of life is that nothing's ever perfect.

Last look of the fields as we were thoroughly exhausted given it was our first day in Hokkaido and we had to endure a few hours of drive just to get to this part of Hokkaido.

Map of 四季彩の丘 and the type of flowers you would be able to see in the various months from May till October! To be honest with you, i would love to return again sometime in October to catch the flowers and also enjoy the autumn season in Hokkaido

What should we do before exiting the attraction?! Shopping time and you can find loads of souvenirs to buy and haul them back home! As it was our first day, we were rather protective of our expenses and i didn't buy much. 

You can find flowers seeds, bookmarks (who use them nowadays?) and the ever-common postcards. 

With the proliferation of phone cameras that have the ability to shoot pretty good pictures, i believe the demand for postcards has dropped drastically. In addition, not many people go through snail mail anymore and you can pull equally nice photographs from the web. 

Lavender products continued to draw a good demand and even i was tempted to get a lavender pillow so that i can have better sleep at night! Pity i didn't have sufficient luggage space. :( 

Fancy bear meat in a can? I should have gotten one for the Great Kon!

As i had mentioned countless times in this blog, such fresh produce would not go unnoticed if my mom was with me. She would likely deliberate for a moment and fly home with a head of cabbage. 

My tour mates were just more interested in eating and Alex got a potato croquette which wasn't spectacular in my opinion. To be fair, i am not much of a potato person. 

Get your stamp of visit before you leave! 

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Location
Dai 3 Shinsei, Biei-cho, 
Kamikawa-gun 071-0473, 
Hokkaido, Japan

Location Map 
Check out my google map here.

Operating Hours (June to September)
8.30 am to 6.00 pm

Farm Map
As above.

Website


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