Biei Overview

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Gently sloping hills and vast fields make the sleepy town of Biei seem like it was ripped straight out of the Studio Ghibli universe. Home to Japan’s infamous Blue Pond, the small town is a pleasant escape from the hustle and bustle of big city Japan, and an excellent spot to reconnect with natural surroundings. The charm of the town is best taken in by cycling or driving through the many hills which surround it, this scenic route of relaxation is only accentuated with the added bonus of viewing the beautiful flower fields and grand trees along the way.

To the north of the town centre is the charming area of Patchwork Road, named as such due to the way its numerous fields look when viewed from above. Despite the name, Patchwork Road is more an area of interest rather than a single road. The area is quite popular amongst visitors and locals alike due to its beautiful rustic landscapes which can be admired year round with the summer and autumn months offering a mosaic of rich vibrant colour, whilst the winter offers a wondrous backdrop of pure white as the whole area, and indeed the whole town, is covered with a deep layer of snow.

Patchwork Road is also curiously home to some of Hokkaido’s most famous trees, with many of Biei’s more photogenic foliage appearing in a number of high profile national commercials. Some of the organic stars which can be viewed include the Seven Star Tree which is used on cigarette packaging, a row of massive trees used on the Mild Seven Hill cigarette packaging, the popular Ken and Mary Tree which appeared on a car commercial, and three oak trees known as the Parents and Child Tree.

The area south of the city centre is called Panorama Road which, much like the aforementioned Patchwork Road, is more of a general area than a single road. It also shares the same beautiful characteristics of its northern counterpart, and is best explored via car or electric bicycle due to its somewhat hilly landscape. Shikisai Hill, located in Panorama Road, is a particularly interesting attraction for any visitor looking to take in some natural splendour. A visit to the wide open flower park can be wonderfully complimented with a unique ride on a tractor pulled by wagons – a service available to visitors. And don’t forget to visit the reverent Biei Shrine!

The indigenous people of Hokkaido called Biei ‘Piye’, which means oily and not clear, although the pioneers heard it differently and assigned similar sounding kanji to produce the meaning of ’beautiful and bright as a king’ - a name quite apt for the current star attraction of Biei - the magnificently beautiful and bright as a king Blue Pond.

Located in the middle of Furano and Asahikawa, the town of Biei is about a 30 to 40 minute car or train ride from either city, with the train ride from Asahikawa costing 540 yen one way and the train ride from Furano costing 640 yen one way.

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