In the Asahikawa region, you can be sure to look forward to numerous incredibly instagenic areas, including the Shirogane Blue Pond and Unkai Terrace. From spots that are simply bursting with color to vistas that change their appearance completely based on the time of day or weather, you will definitely not want to leave that smartphone or camera at home. Before heading out, be sure to check out the weather forecast and scour social media to ensure that the conditions are perfect for that special shot. If they are, you can look forward to absolutely stunning pictures – no filter necessary. Enjoy our selection of the best spots to take that perfect photo to commemorate your Hokkaido experience.
Tomita Farm is located in Nakafurano, famous for its beautiful lavender flowers. The current owner’s grandfather started growing lavender in 1897, with the farm’s inclusion into the Japanese National Railway’s calendar in 1976 marking the area’s ascent as a place to visit. The vast grounds include not only lavender but also numerous other flowers such as poppies and marigold, best enjoyed from Spring to Fall. Be aware however that the farm is extremely popular in summer, with large crowds descending on the grounds starting at about 10 AM. Since the farm is open 24 hours, we, therefore, recommend getting up early to enjoy the flowers in relative solitude. On a good day, you will be also to see as far as the Tokachidake Mountain Range. For that perfect Insta shot, be sure to pair the famous lavender soft serve with the popping colors of the flowers in the background.
15 Kisenkita, Nakafurano, Sorachi-gun, Hokkaido
Shirogane Blue Pond
Originally created to protect the town of Biei from volcanic mudflows, the Shirogane Blue Pond is named – quite obviously – for its striking blue color. In recent years, the pond has gained fame when its picture was used as a wallpaper by Apple when iOS7 launched. The mystical atmosphere of this spot is not only owed to its unique blue color palette, but also because of the withering larches that are partly submerged within the water. In the Spring, meltwater brings the pond’s color closer to a shade of cyan, with it becoming baby blue in the early days of summer. In addition, even daily weather changes have an impact on the pond’s color – making every trip back a potentially new experience (and pictures!). This metaphorical game of roulette is another reason that makes this spot both unique and exciting.
Shirogane, Biei, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido
Asahikawa Kitasaito Garden
The Asahikawa Kitasaito Garden provides you with some great views without the need for taking a car out to some distant location. Located on the south end of Asahikawa Station, the garden features more than 300 different species of plants stretched out across 12 hectares of land. Add to that the Chubetsu River, which the garden sandwiches, as well as the snow-capped mountains off in the distance, and you have yourself a winning combination for a beautiful landscape. The design of the grounds is inspired by the traditional textile “Yukara-Ori” and aims to feature the colors of Hokkaido. A sort of urban recluse, the garden is used by locals to relax and soak up some nature on the way to work or school. If you are passing through Asahikawa, it is definitely a place worth checking out – even if only for a short photo shoot while waiting for your next train.
Miyamae2-1, Asahikawa, Hokkaido
Located at about 1,088 meters above sea level on Mount Tomamu, the Unkai Terrace does one thing and one thing really well. Literally meaning “Sea of Clouds Terrance”, the name is game here, as you will have a chance to be immersed in arguably one of the most memorable (and photogenic) natural phenomena in the world. Accessible in about 13 minutes (one-way) via the gondola of the Hoshino Resorts TOMAMU luxury hotel, the terrace was opened in 2006. By 2020, more than 1.2 million visitors had visited the facility. Being able to view the sea of clouds depends on the weather and season, with the period from Spring to Fall bringing a 40% chance for successful viewing. Getting up early is a must, however! Even when the weather conditions are not cooperating, the grounds feature numerous decks and walkways to enjoy a walk while breathing in the brisk mountain air.
Nakatomamu, Shimukappu, Yufutsu-gun, Hokkaido
Ueno Farm (The Gnomes’ Garden)
Designed with the natural climate of the Asahikawa region in mind, the Ueno Farm’s grand garden has a unique backstory. As the name suggests, it was originally a commercial farm, with the garden being set up to provide customers with a pleasant view while picking up wares. Eventually, designer Sayuki Ueno built an English-style garden, which was quite rare to see in Hokkaido at the time and contributed to its rise in popularity. Today, the design has evolved again to feature numerous styles over a total of 10 different areas but one common thread – the prominent featuring of plants that only grow in the Northern climate of Hokkaido. There is also the Naya Café on-site, which is perfect for grabbing a sandwich to eat while enjoying the view. Don’t forget your camera either!
16-186-2 Nagayama-cho, Asahikawa, Hokkaido
Throughout Asahikawa, there are numerous bike paths that allow easy access to the various spots we showcased above, making the region perfect to explore by bike (in the warmer months, of course). If you are in need of a rental, check out FUJI SHOUKAI, which offers a wide variety of bikes to suit your need. Furthermore, if you run into a flat on the road, they will happily come to assist you. In the winter months starting from the middle of November, FUJI SHOUKAI becomes a full-fledged ski rental shop – featuring a selection of brands (including Avalanche Gear) that is sure to satisfy even veteran skiers.
5-8 Right4, Asahikawa, Hokkaido