Where is the most popular summer destination in Japan? Of course, it is none other than Hokkaido!

There is romance in the air when the subtle purple colours and the soothing fragrance of the lavenders pop up all over the farms.

Say Love to Purple

10 Great Reasons for a Summer Holiday in Hokkaido

Where is the most popular summer destination in Japan? Of course, it is none other than Hokkaido!

Come every July and August, there is romance in the air when the subtle purple colours and the soothing fragrance of the lavenders prop up all over the farms. With the cool summer days, this certainly the best place for relaxation and a few snapshots.

#1 : Seek the celebrity lavender

The celebrity of Hokkaido in summer is none other than the purple Lavender. As a matter of fact, there wasn’t any lavender in Japan until the lavender seeds were brought in from France in 1937 and farming of lavender began from then. As both Furano of Japan and Provence of France lie on the same latitude, the lavenders flourished and blossomed here.

Since the 1970s, the lavenders of Hokkaido began to fill the pages in magazines and calendars.

Around the 1980s, Furano’s lavender fields and magnificent landscapes which formed the backdrop of several TV dramas had deeply impressed the audience. From then on, many tourists went to Hokkaido in pursuit of the purple romance. And purple became the most popular colour in the summer of Hokkaido. Hence, this place became the popular summer destination for honeymoon and lovebirds.

Seek the celebrity lavender

10 great reasons for a summer holiday in Hokkaido

Summer in Hokkaido

Say Love To Purple

#2 : Furano – Provence of the East

Most of the lavenders in Hokkaido are found in Furano and hence, this place is known as the Provence of the East. Out of the various farms in Furano, the best place to view the lavender is at Farm Tomita where the flower fields are rich and spectacular. Between every June to early August, the hill slopes and the plains are turned into a sea of purple.

At Farm Tomita, there are 5 areas to visit – Hanabito Field (Field of Flower Lovers), Sakiwai Field (Field of Happiness), Field of Perfumes, Traditional Lavender Garden and Potpourri Field. While the Potpourri Field is a long bed of multi-coloured flowers that spreads like a colourful carpet, the rest are the purple fields of lavenders. The most beautiful colours are set to bloom in mid-July.

Scenic town Biei

Biei

#3 : Fascinating Purple

The summer of Hokkaido is an air of purple. Not only are there purple lavenders, there are also purple ice cream, purple tea, purple air freshener, purple soap, purple pillow, purple bus, purple motorcycle and even purple dress for the girls.

If you love purple, this is place to be immersed in the romantic purple. Even if you are not keen about this colour, you will also eventually fall in love with purple once you are caught in this ambience.

#4 : Delicious agro-produce

Hokkaido which was once home to volcanoes is now a fertile plain. Their beef, milk, cheese, ice cream, wheat, potatoes, vegetables, honeydew melon, watermelon, cherry and other fruits are of the “ichiban” (No. 1) quality in Japan.

Their Yubari melon is a “must eat” item. This honeydew species is so succulent and sweet that makes you crave for more. One Yubari melon which costs only about 3,000 Yen (about RM100) is really value for money.

Sweet and succulent Yubari melon.

You cant resist a Yubari Melon.

#5 : Happy-go-a-plucking

Being a beautiful natural wonder, Hokkaido has everything to offer for outdoor activities. As its soil and climate are most suited for fruits cultivation, it is no wonder that fruit picking is one of the most popular activities in summer.

When the fruits are in season, many fruit orchards open their doors for visitors to pick their own fruits with an entrance charge. As the farmers do not use any chemicals on their plants, you may pluck and taste the fruits fresh from its tree.

From June when the strawberry makes its appearance until November when the apples are red, this is the period when many fruits are in season including cherry, peach, pear, grapes, etc. This is the time to enjoy the fun of fruit picking, just pay for the fruits when you exit the farm.

Happy go a plucking.

#6 : Biei three ‘sans’ principle

Biei, a scenic town at the centre of Hokkaido, is famous for its three ‘sans’ principle i.e. 1 – Sans air pollution, 2 – Sans land contamination and 3 – Sans river pollution. It is these three principles that give rise to vibrant flowers and agro produce. You can be rest assured of the freshness and safety of the agro products here like the corn, fresh milk, etc.

Flowers, grass and farms filled the landscape of the vast spread of countryside surrounded with undulating hills. What a sight to behold? Such is the magnificence of picturesque Biei which dons the backdrop of many advertisements and has attracted many photographers here.

#7: Wall Street of Northern Japan – Otaru Canal

The Otaru Canal was once a thriving business centre known as the “Wall Street of Northern Japan” , this area is now a beautiful tourist area.

When the canal became obsolete, many of its old buildings were left to rot. But thanks to a citizen’s movement, part of the canal was beautifully restored and this place is now a popular tourist attraction.

Along with the tastefully decorated restored buildings, there is a stretch of 1120m of walkway on the banks of the canal. Come evenings when the old fashioned gas lamps are lit, the glow of the setting sun with the reflections on the water and the nostalgic walls transforms the Otaru Canal into a romantic stage.

Wall Street of Northern Japan - Otaru Canal

#8 : Magnificent Natural Environment

The Japanese realised that construction will inevitable cause some damage. However, through proper understanding of the process, they are able to protect the environment. Hokkaido is a natural environment with biological symbiosis. There are so much of natural elements and yet no contamination here, that is so precious to human nature.

It is worth mentioning here that the Shiretoko National Park, located on the Shiretoko Peninsula of eastern Hokkaido is a World Heritage Site and is also Japan’s 3rd World Heritage site. The Hokkaido Shiretoko Peninsular is a primary forest with marine life. Every winter when the drift ice flows down here, it helps build up the food chain and productivity of the marine ecosystem. Apart from this, the alpine forest is also a habitat for many endangered species. It is this unique ecosystem that Shiretoko earns the name “The last of the best-kept secret”.

Magnificent Natural Environment

#9 : A season of bountiful blooms

Hokkaido is an all year round scenic beauty. Other than the lavenders, Hokkaido also has more than 100 species of flowers blooming over the hills and the plains.

In the summer months of Hokkaido (especially July and August), sunflowers, tulips, poppies, etc will join hands to tuft the most colourful carpet on earth.

A season of bountiful blooms

#10 : Mouth-watering cuisines

Being surrounded by three oceans gives Hokkaido the advantage in abundance and varieties of seafood. Amongst the pride of Hokkaido are salmon, trout, cuttlefish, octopus, crab, sea urchin, cod, halibut, herring, shrimp, scallop and seaweed.

The fresh catch of the day are simple perfect for sashimi, sushi, hot pot or grill – whichever that suits your palate!

Fresh mouth-watering cuisines.

Travelution 2012 May/June Issue 18

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李桑 作者

在旅游业纵横驰骋1万1000多个日子, 探秘南北极境, 足印遍布7大洲132国! 由衷信仰,“出走”; 身体力行,“走出”。