Flower fields in Biei, "Shikisai no oka", Hokkaido
Credit: Jérôme Laborde
Panorama Road, Biei
Biei beef steak
Aoi-ike in Biei is a stunning blue color
Flower fields in Biei
Mountains of flowers
A small village in Hokkaido, Biei is well known in Japan. Its great location, large flower fields and beautiful scenery make it a popular destination.
Biei is famous for its many appearances in films or commercials due to it's incredible scenery.
With a total of six national parks, Hokkaido is an ideal destination for nature lovers. Located in the center of Hokkaido Island, in Daisetsuzan National Park at the foot of Mount Tokachi, Biei is a heritage village. Shaped by volcanic activity and the erosion of an ancient river, the land is never flat, which is not without problems for agriculture. In 2005, an association for the protection of Japanese rural heritage was created within the village. In 2016, 64 villages were registered.
Agriculture and local products
When leaving Biei Station, don't miss the local market, Biei Senka, which offers all kinds of local products: vegetables, meat, rice and dairy products. Also visit the village's famous bakery and restaurant Asparagus. Northeast of Biei, various crops on the slopes of the hills make up colorful checkerboard fields. Before your eyes a patchwork no michi unfolds, a patchwork road, specific to the green landscape so particular of the region. Rice fields occupy the few flat lands between the hills. South of Biei, you will see the panorama road, a long road in the middle of the fields, from where you can admire the traditional landscape of Hokkaido.
'Farms Chiyoda' Children's Educational Farm encourages you to get to know the animals, and its restaurant offers local specialties such as Biei beef, organic bread made with locally produced flour, and ice cream and yogurt made with local milk. Don't forget to try the korokke (croquettes) made with Biei potatoes, as well as ice cream with amazing flavors: pumpkin, lavender or melon!
Read also : Culinary specialties of Hokkaido
Nature all around
At the foot of Mount Tokachi is the blue pond, Aoi ike. The artificial pond, created by the construction of a dam, is one of the main points of attraction in Biei. Surrounded by forest, the landscape is so fantastic that it has become a wallpaper on Mac computers. The hill of Shikisai no oka (hill with the colors of the four seasons), is a flowered garden of 7 hectares, offering a huge panorama of multicolored fields. You can admire tulips, lupines, lavender, sunflowers, sage and other Japanese dahlias and anemones. The place has become the symbol of Biei.
The photo gallery of master photographer Maeda Shinzo and her son Akira, the Takushinkan, displays photographs that have made the village famous throughout the country. The collection is composed of landscapes of Japan and the region of Biei. A visit to the former school gymnasium, now transformed into a museum, should not be missed to help you discover the history of the village. After your trip make a stop at Merle, a tea and pastry parlor located in the forest, where you can enjoy afternoon tea with a nice selection of cakes for 2,500 yen ($23). Open from 1pm to 6pm, closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.
Rent a bike, preferably electric, to ascend the hills easily and make getting around easier. Electric bike rental : 3000 yen ($28) per day.