Furano, 2007

sunflower

I want to get married in Hokkaido. Or have my honeymoon there. This was something I decided immediately after visiting Furano ‘富良野’. It has some of the most beautiful countryside in the summer I’ve seen. Sunflowers, lupins, poppies, and cosmos galore! Furano is most famous for its lavender fields, the top attraction outside of its winter ski resorts. The fields have been cultivated for over half a century and are in full bloom mid-July. We timed our trip to Furano so that we would arrive during the peak of flower season.

cantaloupe

Not to mention the fruit! My goodness has sweeter, juicier, and silkier cantaloupe never existed anywhere else. Specifically, the Yubari King Melon 夕張メロン. The best Yubari is perfectly round and has a smooth rind; the most expensive pair of melons was sold for ¥2 million. Just to give an idea of how precious these melons are. They were offered at the hotel buffet we ate at for lunch. My mom went straight to the melons the moment we sat down and brought back 3 plates of them. Didn’t even bother to eat anything else.

ningle

Before we hit the lavender fields my mom so sought after, we first visited the quaint village of Ningle Terrace ‘ニングルテラス’. Ningle Terrace is a collection of small, wooden huts that sell various handicrafts. They’re all incredibly local shops, typically run by families; one hut sells snowflakes made out of silver, another paintings, and another houses a glass-maker. The story behind the village comes from an Ainu legend that a dwarf by the name of Ningle lived in the forests of Hokkaido. There are 15 stores in total, each unique: still, there was one that stood out. The “Chu Chu House チュチュの家” is a cafe that sells yakimiruku ‘焼きミルク’, or baked milk.  It’s essentially creme brulee, but only with milk (no butter or cream or sugar). Really thick and creamy milk though.

And then to Farm Tomita ‘ファーム富田’ we went! Most beautiful place in Hokkaido, I daresay. That is, if you love flowers as much as my mom and I do.

tomita5

tomita4

Colors! Rainbows fallen from the sky.
tomita3 tomita2 tomita

Delicious lavender ice cream to cool off with after walking around in the sun for so long. Everything sold at Farm Tomita was made from lavendar. Sake, pudding, spices, potpourri. The gift store was so fragrant with the smell of flowers. Amazing. It was truly a shame that we had no more than 90 minutes to 2 hours to explore the many acres of Farm Tomita. We barely got to venture beyond the poppy fields. I could not have asked for a more picturesque day, with bright sunshine, sapphire skies, and cottonball clouds. Definitely try the lavendar pudding if you’re ever there! MMMMM.

tomita6

Our day didn’t stop at Farm Tomita, we went to one other flower farm by the name of “Hill of Shikisai” 四季彩の丘. So here’s to more flower pictures!

shikisei

cantaloupe ramune

shikisei2

lavender ramune

Then it was time to eat…again.

furanodin

Beautiful kaiseki meal for dinner.

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