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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

Biei 美瑛町

A picturesque patchwork of fields and flowers with a famous lake nearby

Biei lies near the heart of Hokkaido, at the foot of the Tokachidake Mountain Range in Daisetsuzan National Park. The area has so much natural appeal that elements of it regularly appear in promotional media for Hokkaido. Chief among the attractions is the Blue Pond, just southeast of the town, a still body of vivid blue that alters its hue in tune with the seasons and weather.

Don't Miss

  • Seeing the Blue Pond illuminated
  • Walking through the seven-hectare flower garden at Shikisai Hill
  • The rare groundwater waterfalls of Shirahige

How to Get There

The Biei area is accessible by train, bus, and car from Asahikawa and Furano, and also by plane from Asahikawa.

The closest major train station, JR Asahikawa, is an hour and 20 minutes from Sapporo on the JR Hakodate Line. You can take a JR Furano Line train from Asahikawa to Biei and arrive in around 40 minutes. A train from Furano to Biei takes about the same time. If you're coming from Asahikawa Airport, take a fifteen-minute ride on the Lavender-go bus to Biei. In the summer, sightseeing buses run from both Furano Station and Biei Station.

Quick Facts

You can rent both standard and electrically powered bicycles from shops in Biei

The town hosts an annual race called the Biei Healthy Marathon

See the pond and floral patchwork

As many as 1.2 million people visit Biei every year. Many come to see the Blue Pond, while others seek out the spectacular swathes of flowers found in colorfully named places like Patchwork Road, Panorama Road, Shikisai Hill, and Zerubu Hill.

Vast fields of lavender, sunflowers, poppies, cosmos, and purple salvia are arranged in a beautiful patchwork. You can stroll through these flower gardens in some locations with the permission of the farmers.

Get some wheels to cover more ground

By taking a sightseeing taxi or renting a bicycle, you can visit many of the area's special spots, such as the flower fields and stands of trees used in promotional media. These trees even have names such as the Ken and Mary Tree, Seven Stars Tree, and Parents and Child Tree and draw plenty of tourists who want to see them in real life.

For photography fans

Biei surged in popularity as a sightseeing destination thanks primarily to the work of the famous landscape photographer, Shinzo Maeda, who visited Biei and was captivated by its scenery. Maeda's son, Akira, continues to visit Biei to take more pictures. The Takushinkan Photo Gallery exhibits the work of the Maedas.

Get active in Biei

In summer, you can stroll through the woods and find quiet restaurants. You can walk along the Biei River, go canoeing and camping, and play golf at the local course. In winter, snow transforms the town into a powdery playground where you can ride snow buggies or snowmobiles through the fields.

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