you are going to have violet ice cream, violet tea leaves, violet air freshener, violet soap, violet pillow, violet bus and last but not least, ladies in violet dresses! Why would they have to have this colour? Well, it’s because violet spells of romance, friendliness, approachable and gentle. It is also because violet is the colour of Apple Vacations too!
A journey to Hokkaido for rejuvenating your mind, body and soul
This trip to Hokkaido, we are not going to talk about snowing, hot spring, giant crabs or shopping spree. That’s because…..we are going to be mesmerized by the fragrant scents of Hokkaido! Even if you are not the kind of person who is fascinated with flowers, I’m sure you will also be utterly impressed by the violet colours.
Summer in Hokkaido is a splurge of violet hues. Whether you like it or not, you are going to have violet ice cream, violet tea leaves, violet air freshener, violet soap, violet pillow, violet bus and last but not least, ladies in violet dresses! Why would they have to have this colour? Well, it’s because violet spells of romance, friendliness, approachable and gentle. It is also because violet is the colour of Apple Vacations too!
Millions of visitors head off to Hokkaido just for a dose of this violet colour. This is also probably due to the effort of the Hokkaido Tourism Board in promoting Hokkaido as the destination of romance and style. Mmmm….seems like the fragrance of lavenders sifting in the air is coming from the Furano fields of Hokkaido. That explains why more and more people are flocking to Hokkaido in the summer month of July to discover its inner beauty. With the soothing violets of the lavender fields, visitors wouldn’t mind even if the temperature rises to 25oC. The charms of the lavenders have attracted a wide spectrum of visitors, including the grannies and grandpas, and even the busy bosses would put aside their work and head off to the Furano fields in Hokkaido.
The Fascinating Summer of Furano
The lavender fields are not just a spread of plain violets but there are usually some other multi hued flowers that bloom around the farm, turning the flower fields of Furano into a sea of rainbows. This will certainly leave you enchanted for hours and not only that, you will fill your senses with the aroma from a myriad of flowers. Who knows, your enthusiasm might overwhelm the summer of Hokkaido?
No doubt the lavender is the main feature here but there are other highlights of Hokkaido that are equally fascinating. In the summer of Hokkaido, there is still quite a large temperature difference between day and night. It could be 25oC in the day and below 20oC in the night. In a chilly summer night like this, what’s better than a dip in the natural hot spring pool for a cleansing of body and soul? Hokkaido is also the best place for the freshest crab sashimi, delectable scallops and so on…. What else is missing? Well, what about a shopping spree? Desmond Lee-san recommends the Factory Outlet that stocks Japanese and international big brands at unbelievable prices. So don’t forget to bring more of the bills in violet shades!
Lavenders of Furano, Hokkaido
The name Furano originated from an indigenous tribe, Ainu, in Hokkaido and its original meaning was the “stinking flames” due to the smell of sulphur in the streams flowing down from the mountainous areas. The smelly Furano turned into a major industry of lavender essence and fragrance production when the Furano people started cultivation of lavenders from France. There were more than 20 flower farms and essence factories. However, it did not last long when the industry lost to countries with low cost labour and the market was flooded with imported essence. At last there was only one flower farm left, that is, Tomita Farm that has held on till now. This farm has gain much popularity lately attracting more than a million visitors per year.
The most popular Lavenders Farms in Hokkaido
Top in Popularity: Farm Tomita in Furano
Best time to visit 10th – 25th July.
- Other than lavenders, there are attractive multi coloured flower fields.
- It’s like a carnival where butterflies and dragon flies dance around the sea of flowers which filled the air with fragrances.
- Most popular place attracting millions of visitors and even gone LIVE on TV.
Only 5 minutes’ walk from JR Lavender Batake Station (seasonal station) and 25 minutes walk from JR Nakafurano Station. Follow the signages for Farm Tomita.
2nd place: Saika no Sato, Sasaki Farm
- One of the largest lavender farms in Nakafurano.
- In this “Village of Colourful Fragrance”, half the hill is packed with sunflowers.
8am – 5pm
Only 15 minutes walk from JR Nakafurano Station.
3rd place: Shinei Hill Observatory Park, Biei
- Biei is only 30 minutes’ drive from Furano. The journey to Biei is filled with spectacular sights of potato fields, wheat fields and lots of agricultural land.
- There are even cute and interesting scarecrows that are worth a few shots.
- Shinei Hill is one of the most photographed places of Hokkaido country-side.
Lavender varieties of Hokkaido
- Noshihayazaki – this species blooms by end of June in dark violet hues.
- Okamurasaki – the most classic species with magnificent blooms in mid of July.
- Yotei – produces rich aroma, suitable for cosmetics, mainly commercial crop.
Facts about Lavender
Lavender has been in use for more than 2,500 years since the early Egyptians, Romans and the peoples of Arabia. However, it was in Provence, South of France that it gained much popularity. Now lavenders are making their success at Farm Tomita of Hokkaido. Similarly, there are also large tracts of commercial cultivation of lavender in Xinjiang, China.
Characteristics of Lavender
The colour of lavender, violet, invokes the feeling of romance. The lavender or lavandula is a representation of the violet colour. Lavandula comes from a latin word for purple bluish flower. The fragrance from this cute little flower really soothes your senses. Lavender also has a wide variety of uses. Apart from perfumes, it has medicinal uses too.
- One acre of cultivated lavender is able to produce 400kg of flowers with 6kg of essence extracted from it.
- The commercial value of lavender is very high. It is not only used in perfumes but it is also used in herbal medicines. It aids sleep and relaxation, alleviates headaches, lowers blood pressure and soothes the nerves.
- The top grades of lavender essential oils are usually grabbed by the international perfume makers.
- One acre of lavender field can also provide lingering memories to its visitors. That’s why a trip to the Lavenders of Hokkaido is a journey of rejuvenating your body, mind and soul!