On Saturday, students of Hokkaido JaLS, volunteers and Sapporo locals went to Furano to see the lavender fields, which rose to fame through their appearance on a popular TV show. Beautiful views, great weather and even better company: it was lots of fun!
The day started off with the bus ride to the lavender fields, about two to three hours’ drive from Sapporo. Along the way we stopped off at the cheese-, milk- and ice cream-making factory, where we had the opportunity to look at the cheese-making process, taste freshly made ice cream and even milk a (fake) cow.
After half an hour we boarded the bus again, and after getting stuck in a traffic jam (which lead to great hilarity and new friendships being formed over the question if it would be faster to walk or drive) we made it to the first lavender fields. The view was beautiful: purple flowers for a good hundred meters, if not more, with big rainbow-coloured bands of blossoms stretching the other way. After taking a group picture, we headed off to eat lunch (teriyaki hamburgers for most of us, with the odd slice of melon and perhaps a cup of lavender-flavoured ice cream) and wander around in groups for an hour or two.
After those two hours we boarded the bus again, this time headed for Biei to see another flower farm. This particular one happened to have an alpaca farm, a small quad-riding area and a lot of tractors besides rows and rows of different types of flowers. The tractors especially provided an extra layer of entertainment, with many students posing and lounging on them. The flowers were indeed quite beautiful, and since the farm was positioned on top of a hill, the flower fields cascaded down which lead to great views of the surrounding area. By that time the sun seemed to have really reached its peak and most people slowly but surely started to seek shelter in the shade while enjoying yet another ice cream or a bottle of guarana, which is probably best described as a sweeter Hokkaido crossover version of Coca cola and Redbull. A leisurely hour was spent here before we boarded the bus again to drive to our last stop of the trip: the Blue Pond.
The Blue Pond was a stop many weren’t expecting, but it definitely was a case of ‘last but not least’. The name is a bit of a giveaway – the pond is indeed bright blue, with lots of tree stumps sticking out while being reflected at the same time. Combined with the view of the surrounding mountains, it was a stunning ending to the Furano trip.
A few hours later, we drove into Sapporo after a long but fun day, with camera’s filled with new pictures. Come and join us next time!
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