Nestled in the heart of Hokkaido, Japan’s northernmost island, lies the picturesque journey from Sapporo to Furano. This route is not just a mere transportation connection; it’s a scenic adventure that unveils the natural beauty of the Japanese countryside. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a skiing aficionado, or simply seeking a tranquil escape, this road trip offers an unforgettable experience. In this guide, we’ll delve into the various transportation options and highlight the must-see attractions along the way.
Option 1: Train Journey
One of the most comfortable ways to travel from Sapporo to Furano is by train. The JR Furano Line connects these two charming destinations, allowing travelers to sit back, relax, and enjoy the stunning landscapes passing by. The journey takes approximately 2.5 to 3 hours, making it a convenient and efficient option.
As you depart Sapporo Station, the train gradually weaves through the lush greenery of Hokkaido, offering glimpses of vast farmlands and quaint villages. Once you arrive in Furano, you’ll be greeted by the town’s warm hospitality and breathtaking views of the Tokachi mountain range.
Option 2: Driving Adventure
For those who prefer flexibility and the freedom to explore at their own pace, renting a car is an excellent choice. The journey from Sapporo to Furano by car takes approximately 2 to 2.5 hours, depending on traffic and weather conditions. The well-maintained roads offer a smooth ride, and the scenic vistas along the way are nothing short of spectacular.
Take the Hokkaido Expressway from Sapporo and head south towards Furano. Along the route, you’ll pass through charming towns, rolling hills, and perhaps catch a glimpse of the iconic lavender fields that Furano is famous for. Don’t forget to make a stop at the Furano Cheese Factory, where you can indulge in delicious dairy treats and witness the cheese-making process.
Option 3: Bus Excursion
Another convenient option for reaching Furano from Sapporo is by bus. Several bus companies operate daily services between the two destinations, providing an affordable and relaxing alternative. The journey takes approximately 3 to 3.5 hours, and the buses are equipped with comfortable seating and large windows to soak in the scenic views.
As you travel through the countryside, you’ll pass by enchanting landscapes, including fields of vibrant flowers, meandering rivers, and charming farmhouses. Consider taking an early morning or late afternoon bus to witness the changing colors of the landscape as the day unfolds.
No visit to Furano is complete without exploring Farm Tomita, renowned for its stunning lavender fields. Depending on the season, you’ll be treated to a kaleidoscope of colors, from lavender in summer to vibrant reds and golds in autumn.
This unique craft village nestled in the forest is a haven for art lovers. Explore the charming shops and galleries showcasing handmade crafts, perfect for picking up souvenirs or gifts.
Furano Ski Resort:
If you’re visiting during the winter months, the Furano Ski Resort offers world-class skiing and snowboarding facilities. The powdery snow and breathtaking mountain views create an unforgettable winter wonderland experience.