Best Places to Visit in Hokkaido: Spring~early Summer vol.1
【Takikawa City－Japan’s Largest Canola Fields become a Dazzling World of Yellow!】
Around 60 canola fields can be found in the Ebeotsu area of Takikawa, a city which sits between Sapporo and Asahikawa. This region is perfect for the cultivation of different varieties of canola, such as “Kizaki no Natane” used in the production of cooking oil, and “Haru no Kagayaki” which is cultivated for eating.
Canola fields cover around 180 hectares of Takikawa-the largest total area of canola fields in Japan! The best time to see these impressive fields, which is considered to be one of Hokkaido’s “One Hundred Moments of Excitement”, is from mid to late May.
At the “Takikawa Canola Flower Festival”, which is held in conjunction with the blooming of the canola flowers, you can view the “sea of yellow” from a viewing platform located in the flower field event area. Sweets and ramen made using locally produced canola produce is on offer in the gourmet event area, as well as the Hokkaido-classic “Ghengis-Khan” roast lamb dish, cooked in miso sauce for a special Takikawa twist! For those who would like to taste Takikawa’s gourmet foods whilst enjoying fabulous views of the bright yellow canola fields, it’s definitely worth visiting during this festival!
Note:The Canola flowers of Takikawa are part of the agricultural livelihood of the local farmers, so entering the flower fields is not permitted.
＜Takikawa Canola Flower Festival＞
The 2020 event was scheduled to take place on the 23rd and 24th of May, however this year it was cancelled in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
■Best time to see Mid-late May
From JR Takikawa Station take the “Takifuka Line” bus heading towards “Fukugawa Shiritsu Byouin Eki-Mae”(approx. 20 mins), and disembark at “Ebeotsu Chuo-dori” from where you can take the “Nanohana Taxi” to the event area.
(For Canola flower viewing, there are Nanohana Taxi services departing from JR Takikawa Station and Takikawa Roadside Station that take visitors round the best photo spots efficiently and at a reasonable cost.)
■Spot introduction https://en.visit-hokkaido.jp/wp/what-to-do/takikawa-nanohana-fields/
【Shibazakura Takinoue Park－Japan’s Largest Field of Shibazakura Pink Moss】
The shibazakura which blooms all over the “Shibazakura Takinoue Park” from the beginning of May until early June started out as only a handful of seedlings; just enough to fill a mandarin orange box. Since then, the shibazakura has increased year on year, blossoming into a large community which now stretches out across 100,000 square meters! On an average year, the vivid pink sea of shibazakura reaches its peak around mid to late May, filling the town of Takinoue with the flower’s sweet scent. The “Shibazakura Festival” is held every year when the shibazakura flowers are in bloom. During the festival you can take a “helicopter aerial walk”, to enjoy the entire view of Takinoue Park from the sky! To get a real taste of the shibazakura, we recommend that you try a “Shibazakura Soft Cream”!
Note: The 2020 Shiba-zakura Festival and the public display of the Shiba-zakura have been canceled due to COVID-19. Images provided by Takinoue Town.
About 210 minutes by bus from Sapporo Ekimae Bus Terminal, or 120 minutes by bus from JR Asahikawa Station. Disembark at “Takinoue” bus stop, from which it is a 10 minute walk to “Shibazakura Takinoue Park”.
Admission fee is charged during the Shibazakura Festival , Adult 500 yen, Child 250 yen.
■Spot introduction https://en.visit-hokkaido.jp/wp/what-to-do/shibazakura-takinoue-park/
【Sobetsu Park－Best View of Plum Trees in the Area】
Lake Toya is a popular Hokkaido sightseeing destination, especially among foreign tourists. Sobetsu Park, famous for its plum trees in spring and its spectacular view of the lake, offers the best view of the area. In the distance, visitors can also see Mt. Usu, Mt. Showa-Shinzan, Mt. Yotei, the Niseko volcanic group and the Windsor Hotel TOYA, which hosted the 38th G8 summit in 2008.
The park is home to 300 Japanese plum trees. When in full bloom, they cover the space in a beautiful pink. Though they might look like cherry blossoms, plum blossoms have rounder petals and a pleasant fragrance. Travelers can see plum blossoms in action in early and mid-May and can relax at nearby cafés, hot springs, orchards and more.
Note: The park is closed every year from November to April.
2-hour drive from Sapporo; one and a half-hour drive from New Chitose Airport; 15-minute drive from JR Datemonbetsu Station; 10-minute drive from Lake Toya Onsen Town.
Higashikohan, Sobetsu, Usu District, Hokkaido
【Mount Moiwa－Beautiful City Lights Overlooking Sapporo City】
Can Sapporo get more romantic than this? Mount Moiwa is a 531-meter-high mountain located in Sapporo City. At the summit, visitors can enjoy a breathtaking view of the city. The view is especially popular in the evenings, where the city lights shine as bright as jewels. The sightseeing spot is a rare one where, on clear nights, both the moon and the city lights can be seen at the same time.
Visitors can ride the ropeway and mini-cable car to the top of the summit and enjoy a fantastic view. It is a popular attraction for couples seeking to spend a romantic time together. They can also purchase and attach love locks to the railing and ring the “happiness bell”. According to the legend, this guarantees a lifelong partnership.
There is a French restaurant at the top of the mountain, where you and your significant other can indulge in a delicious meal while enjoying the spectacular view. Nothing better to make the heart swoon!
Travel to the Ropeway Iriguchi Station takes about 20 minutes from the city center. There are also free shuttle buses between Ropeway Iriguchi Station and Sapporo Station available in the evenings. Please note there are only three round-trips per day.
Ropeway and mini cable car round trip package: Adults ￥1,800, elementary students and younger ￥900
April-November | 10:30~22:00, last ride at 21:30
December-March | 11:00~22:00, last ride at 21:30
■Spot introduction https://en.visit-hokkaido.jp/wp/what-to-do/mt-moiwa/