This summer you are warmly welcomed to not only appreciate the breathtaking beauty of the famous Central Hokkaido lavender fields, but also to meet the people behind this phenomenon and learn about their passion and everyday lives.
During this private tour you will also become acquainted with other artisans of Hokkaido, such as the melon farmers, sake brewers and sushi masters among others. They are totally inspiring personalities who are eager to share their raison d’être and the pride in their work!
Welcome to Hokkaido in full bloom
Welcome to Furano, Central Hokkaido! Lavender is probably the most popular and well-known product cultivated here, but the area offers so much more than just the fauna: the artistic skills, warm personalities, and life stories of the local individuals are definitely worth the visit.
You will start your summer journey into the art of Japanese craftsmanship with a relaxing visit to Ningle Terrace. Wander through this charming fairytale-like little village of timber log cottages on a forest boardwalk to discover arts and crafts and appreciate the work of the craftsmen and craftswomen working in the village.
Tender fragrance of lavender and the sweet taste of fresh honey
It’s only day two, and we are already straying off the beaten path: today you will be enjoying the beauty of Furano flowers, but our way of doing things is a bit different from any basic package tour.
Ride a comfortable E-bike together with a local guide around the less populated and touristy areas of Furano and learn about the true Hokkaido. Today you will also meet some local beekeepers and learn about their lifestyle and passion. Don’t worry, we will also visit the famous lavender fields. They are totally worth the buzz.
Hokkaido culture: beekeepers
– Besides popular tourist spots, in Furano it is possible to take part in very unique local activities such as getting to know local beekeepers and their lifestyle.
– During a beekeeper experience, you can learn about beekeeping – naturally wearing appropriate protective gear – make candles out of the beeswax and of course taste some sweet, fresh honey.
Enjoy the charming "patchwork hills" and local agricultural lifestyle to the fullest
Today will start with a visit to a local melon farm. Furano Melon has become quite a brand in Japan and not for no reason: cultivating melons takes lots of expertise and handiwork and it is clear the people here know what they are doing. For lunch you can try out a fun and tasty Japanese summertime food known as the “Flowing Noodles” (Nagashi somen).
Then it is time for a relaxing walk on Biei village’s picturesque “patchwork hills” with our trusted local guide. In normal conditions, it would not be possible for just anyone to approach these fields, but we hold our bonds to the local businesses very dear and can trust that the guide understands and respects the people living in this area. And we promise that after this experience, so will you. The scenery that you are about to see from this sacred spot is beyond words.
– The village of Biei is known for its hilly scenery and agriculture. If you stop to think about this for a moment, the combination is actually a bit unusual; driving a tractor or using other agricultural machinery in steep hills is quite challenging.
– The technique and knowledge of the local farmers is also one of the hidden treasures of this charming village.
High-quality Asahikawa furniture and a day trip to Daisetsuzan National Park
The Asahikawa area is famous for its first-rate wooden furniture. After paying a visit to some local shops and appreciating the handiwork of professional craftsmen, let’s give you some time to digest what you have experienced and learned and to do something different for a change of pace.
One of the charms of Hokkaido is in the gorgeous national parks and the nature unique from other parts of Japan. It is easy to make a relaxing day trip to view the stunning nature of Mt. Asahidake or Soun Gorge in Daisetsuzan National Park.
– Asahikawa city has a great concentration of woodwork specialists from manufacturers to interior designers.
– It is possible to visit booths of furniture makers for ready-made pieces or you can order unique customized design furniture of your own. Restoration of old furniture is naturally also part of the craftsmen’s specialty.
– Various related events such as International Furniture Design Competition Asahikawa and Asahikawa Design Week are held annually in the city.
Healthy and fresh local Hokkaido food from beef barbeque to seasonal fruits and vegetables
Back to business: This day is dedicated for Hokkaido food and the people behind it! You will visit the first cherry orchard in all of Japan and meet the people behind this success. The farmers take accessibility and respecting visitors with different needs seriously. The orchard proudly uses organic fertilizers and organizes all-you-can-eat cherry picking.
As if this was not enough, beef barbeque, super fresh seafood and local, seasonal vegetables are also a must on today’s menu. Be ready to really get your fill of Hokkaido!
– A traditional Japanese “ryokan” inn with “tatami” mats and futon.
– Most of the rooms have their own private outdoor hot spring.
– A beautiful, large Japanese garden surrounds the inn area.
– Traditional Japanese “kaiseki” dinner with high quality local ingredients is served.
Otaru - the city of artisans - and a private tour to an inspiring sake brewery
The city of Otaru, not far from Hokkaido’s largest city Sapporo, is a heaven for exploring Japanese craftsmanship. You might already have heard of Sakaimachi Merchants’ Street, full of charming glass and music box artisans’ boutiques. Besides basic sightseeing attractions, there are also many other interesting artisans worth getting to know, such as traditional Japanese “wagashi” confectionery makers and even a rubber boot factory that will blow you away with its enthusiasm.
One of today’s highpoints is a private tour to the petite but totally inspiring Tanaka Sake Brewery. The team spirit and dedication of the staff is just astonishing. How does it sound to taste some cool and fresh Japanese sake which has just been squeezed out, direct from the tank?
– Tanaka Sake Brewery is one of the most famous sake breweries in Hokkaido, but they actually have the second smallest sake cellar on the island.
– Many sake producers can only make their products during the cold season, but a small cellar like Tanaka Sake Brewery’s keeps the temperature just right even in summer. This method is called “Shikishuzo” literally “four-seasons brewing” and it means that fresh sake can be enjoyed at the brewery all year long.
Set your creative side free by trying out handicrafts with your own hands
After receiving all the inspiration from the people who dedicate their lives to honing their skills and expertise to the limits, we know you are already itching to make something with your own hands.
Today you will be learning how to make real Japanese sushi with a sushi master and create your own unique pieces of art in a workshop of “Ezo Washi” Japanese paper made from plants. And while you are here, what would be nicer than tasting the famous Sapporo Beer, another success story with remarkable individuals behind it?
Summer festivals in Sapporo
This is the last day of your summer Hokkaido trip, but there is still time to enjoy some local specialties. Summer is the season of festivals in Japan! If you are lucky with your timing, we recommend popping by Odori Park before departure to see if Sapporo Beer Garden or Hokkai Bon Odori dance festival is on. We hope this vacation turned out to be inspirational and that you met some individuals you’ll remember for the rest of your life. Each season in Hokkaido has their own peculiarities, so we recommend paying a visit some other time too to see a completely new side of Hokkaido the next time!
7 Nights Accommodation
7 Breakfasts / 3 Lunches / 2 Dinners
8 Days Jumbo taxi with Local English speaking Driver
*2-3pax Toyota Alphard with Local English speaking Driver
Parking, Fuel and Highway Fees
Taxes (10% Consumption Tax)
*Prices are in JPY（Japanese yen）, per person, based on double occupancy.