Beautiful flowers in summer and snow in winter are all what astonishes visitors. Biei is one of the most popular sightseeing spots in Hokkaido, a prefecture that welcomes many tourists.
The town of Biei is located almost at the center of Hokkaido, in the hilly district at the foot of the Tokachidake Mountain Range (Daisetsuzan National Park). It was only in the 1970s that the town became regarded as one of the best sightseeing spots in Hokkaido. Shinzo Maeda, a leading Japanese landscape photographer with a worldwide reputation, once visited Biei and was very moved by its beautiful scenery, as well as by the wonderful views of hills in the neighboring town of Kamifurano. Since then, he visited Biei repeatedly over 10 years to take photographs, which were used for photo collections, post cards, posters, films, TV commercials, etc., making the views of town well known throughout Japan. On a hill in Biei, in a former elementary school building, the Takushinkan photo gallery is open to the public and exhibits Maeda's excellent works, which greatly impress visitors.
The attractiveness of Biei, where as many as 1.2 million people visit every year, is represented by its spectacular views of flowers found in areas named "Road of Patchwork," "Shikisai-no-oka" and "Hills of Zerubu," as well as by the views from the hills overlooking the horizon.
You will be astonished by the magnificent views of colorful flowers such as lavenders, sunflowers, poppies, cosmoses, and purple salvias, blooming just like beautiful patchworks. You can walk through these flowers at some locations. One of the best viewpoints is where you can see poplars and oaks standing imposingly on a vast green field. By taking a sightseeing taxi, or by renting a bicycle, you can go to see around these special trees used in TV commercials and posters, such as "Tree of Ken and Mary," "Tree of Seven Stars," and "Tree of Parents and Child."
If you like outdoor activities, you will love all nature has to offer in Biei. In summer, you can stroll in wild woods, climb trees, walk along the river, go canoeing or camping, or play golf. In winter, the town is transformed by snow, whose magnificent appearance will astonish you as you ride on a snow buggy or snowmobile.
[Air] 1h 50 min from Haneda to Asahikawa Airport, and 16 min from the airport to Biei by bus.
[Rail] 1h 20 min from Sapporo to Asahikawa Station by JR Hakodate Line, and 32 min from Asahikawa to Biei Station by JR Furano Line.