A relaxing train ride to Nakafurano Station
After a 1-hour train ride from JR Asahikawa Station or a 50-minute bus ride from Asahikawa Airport, you finally arrive at Nakafurano Station. As you alight and walk towards the town, your heart fills up with excitement at the thought of the wonderful experiences waiting for you.
Crossing the warehouses built from Biei soft stone
As you exit the station and turn to the left, you will pass a series of warehouses built from Biei soft stone. From late June to late July, the roadside along the warehouses blooms with lavenders.
Lavenders that bloom even in winter?!
Located around 20 minutes on foot from the station is Farm Tomita, the only lavender garden in Hokkaido that is open all year round. In winter, you can see lavenders blooming inside greenhouses.
☆Lavender gardens within walking distance of Nakafurano Station:
Choei Lavender Park (10 mins), Nanaka-no-Hanabatake (10 mins), Farm Tomita (20 mins), Saika-no-Sato (25 mins)
Sweets made from “Horafuki”, a local Japanese sake
After enjoying the lavenders, you can take another 20-minute walk towards the town. At Maeno Shoten, a liquor shop established over 100 years ago, you can buy “Horafuki”, a local sake made from Nakafurano Yukihikari rice. They also make and sell various sweets made from sakekasu lees.
Take a break in a cafe with a retro atmosphere
The next stop on your stroll is Original Blend Bell, a cafe with a distinctive yellow sign. The friendly couple who own the place will welcome you with a smile, and you can relax with a cup of original blend coffee.
Wandering from shop to shop for snacks, tofu, miso, and soy sauce
After re-energizing yourself, you can go and explore the neighboring shops. At Fukushima Shoten, you can find a wide variety of traditional snacks and candies. You’ll have a hard time choosing which one to buy!
In the corner across the street, you will find a small tofu shop. They sell fresh and deep-fried tofu made from pure water and Hokkaido soybeans. Some of their products get sold out soon after they open for the day.
Lastly, at Takemoto Jozomoto, you can find miso paste and soy sauce made using traditional techniques. Sprinkle their soy sauce on some fresh tofu from the previous shop to make for a delicious treat.
Enjoy lunch at a French restaurant popular with the locals
When you grow hungry after all the walking, you’ll come across Chevre, a lovely French restaurant. As you go inside, you’ll find the season’s menu written on a blackboard. They serve beautifully prepared dishes made with fresh, seasonal vegetables. It’s sure to be one of the highlights of your journey.