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Regions of Japan

Hokkaido Tohoku Hokuriku
Shinetsu
Kanto Tokai Kansai Chugoku Shikoku Kyushu Okinawa Islands SAPPORO TOKYO NAGOYA OSAKA FUKUOKA FURANO KUSHIRO AOMORI SENDAI FUKUSHIMA NIKKO HAKONE SADO TAKAYAMA KANAZAWA ISE KYOTO NARA HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI KAGOSHIMA NAHA
Hokkaido
Hokkaido
  • Hokkaido
Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush Japan's great white north offers wild, white winters and bountiful summers—a haven for dedicated foodies, nature lovers and outdoor adventure fans seeking an adrenaline rush
Tohoku
Tohoku
  • Aomori
  • Akita
  • Iwate
  • Yamagata
  • Miyagi
  • Fukushima
Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan Fearsome festivals, fresh powder snow and vast fruit orchards—the rugged territory of Tohoku offers a new perspective on travel in Japan
Hokuriku Shinetsu
Hokuriku Shinetsu
  • Niigata
  • Toyama
  • Ishikawa
  • Fukui
  • Nagano
An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare An easily accessible slice of rural Japan offering unrivaled mountainscapes and coastlines, endless outdoor adventure and amazing ocean fare
Kanto
Kanto
  • Tokyo
  • Kanagawa
  • Chiba
  • Saitama
  • Ibaraki
  • Tochigi
  • Gunma
Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife Jump from the neon glow of Tokyo to Gunma's mountain retreats, Kamakura's cultural heritage and the Ogasawara Islands' exotic wildlife
Tokai
Tokai
  • Yamanashi
  • Shizuoka
  • Gifu
  • Aichi
  • Mie
Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan Hallmark attractions such as Mt. Fuji and Takayama coexist with major cities and famous heritage in the center of Japan
Kansai
Kansai
  • Kyoto
  • Osaka
  • Shiga
  • Hyogo
  • Nara
  • Wakayama
The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara The Kansai region is one of contrasts, from the glittering lights of Osaka and Kobe to the cultural treasures of Kyoto and Nara
Chugoku
Chugoku
  • Tottori
  • Shimane
  • Okayama
  • Hiroshima
  • Yamaguchi
Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower Welcome to Japan's less-explored western frontier, where the weather is warmer and the pace of life is slower
Shikoku
Shikoku
  • Tokushima
  • Kagawa
  • Ehime
  • Kochi
Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving Island-hopping, cycling, soul-warming spiritual strolling and red-hot dancing—the island of Shikoku gets you up and moving
Kyushu
Kyushu
  • Fukuoka
  • Saga
  • Nagasaki
  • Oita
  • Kumamoto
  • Miyazaki
  • Kagoshima
The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky The southern island of Kyushu is home to hot springs, rugged geography, undeveloped beaches and volcanoes ranging from sleepy to smoky
Okinawa
Okinawa
  • Okinawa
Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings Fly to Okinawa and discover a distinct island culture born of subtropical sun, white sand, coral, mangrove jungles and the age of the Ryukyu Kings

Nature

Furano 富良野市

Ski, play, photograph and drink your way through Furano

Furano is a large expanse of rolling hills that lead up to Mt. Tokachi. Situated along the Sorachi River, Furano belongs to Furano-Ashibetsu Nature Park. Because of its position in the heart of Hokkaido, Furano is nicknamed the "navel town." There's even a festival to celebrate it.

In winter, Furano is prime downhill and cross-country skiing territory with world-class slopes. Warmer weather is perfect for river rafting, trekking, cycling, golf and other pursuits.

Don't Miss

  • Taking a hot-air balloon ride to see and photograph vast fields of lavender and other blooms
  • Skiing on long, fast, challenging runs at Furano Ski Resort
  • Drinking locally produced wine, especially during the festival in September

How to Get There

You can reach the Furano area by train, bus, and car.

A Hakodate Main Line train to Takikawa takes 50 minutes, followed by a Nemuro Main Line train to Furano (1 hour, 10 minutes). You can also catch a Hokkaido Chuo bus from Sapporo to Furano, which takes three hours. Getting around Furano's various attractions is easiest by rental car.

Quick Facts

The name Furano means fragrant or stinky flame, from the Ainu word furanui, and is a reference to local volcanic activity

Furano is famous for its vast lavender fields

Furano's ski resort has been the site of World Cup races

Naturally attractive in every season

Furano's natural beauty can be appreciated in every season—stardust in the winter sky, charming Japanese skunk cabbage flowers along the roadside in spring, the inviting color and fragrance of lavender in summer, and the glorious red and yellow leaves in fall.

Go play outdoors

If you love outdoor sports, head for Furano for hiking, cycling, fishing, parasailing, thrilling rafting trips down the Sorachi River and skiing through the soft powder snow at the nearby Kita-no-Mine ski resort in winter. If you're looking for a special present for someone, a hot-air balloon flight is a great choice.

Strolling through fragrant fields

A walk through Furano Lavender-no-Mori (lavender field) is de rigueur in summer when the sweetly scented purple blooms are at their best. There are several farms in the area growing different types of lavender, which is used in perfume, cosmetics, potpourri and other products.

Some serious navel exposure

During the summer, Furano holds a humorous festival in which about 3,000 people draw funny faces on their bellies and dance around the main street. This is definitely a singular event you won't see elsewhere, so get your cameras ready.

Sip wine with the locals

Furano has been producing wine since 1972, and there is a winery overlooking the town open to the public with free wine tastings. In September, Hinode-machi in Furano has a wine festival. You can buy and sample many types of wines.

There's more than wine to this event. Eat fresh corn on the cob, pumpkin dumplings, and cheese pancakes. You can also get into events such as barrel races, barefoot grape stomping, and pumpkin weight guessing contests.

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