10 Highly recommended Summer Activities in Furano!
by HTIT team
It’s summertime! There is no better place to be than Hokkaido. Furano is one of the most popular tourist destinations Hokkaido has to offer, attracting around 2,000,000 visitors every year! The breathtaking lavender fields are quite popular and definitely worth a visit, but did you know that there’s so much more out there to experience? Let’s have a look at 10 highly recommended things to do in the beautiful Furano area during summer.
#1) Rafting in the Shisorapuchi River! (Minami Furano Town)
The Sorachi River, which flows through Furano city can be followed upstream to a connected area known as, “Shisorapuchi River.” It’s a beautiful undeveloped mountain stream. This area is well-known among water sport organizations and is actually a popular location for national canoe competitions. Here you can enjoy an exciting rafting activity stretching 5km downstream! The tour includes a helmet, life jacket and a dry suit, which keeps your clothes completely dry! Your guide sits on the back of the raft and makes the calls to make your journey as enjoyable as possible. “Row forwards!” “Row backwards!” With everyone’s strength united, you’ll make your way down the rapids for one of the most thrilling experiences of a life-time. There are also a few calm areas where you can have fun floating around or even climb up the river bank boulders and jump into the water!
#2) Canoeing in the Sorachi River! (Minami Furano Town)
There’s an area in Minami Furano called, “Ochiau” (The meeting point). A section where a few rivers including the Shisorapuchi River and Tomamu River come together. The main river flowing through the Meeting Point is the Sorachi River, which provides calm waters making it a perfect area for Canadian canoes! You can enjoy an exhilarating canoe trip being guided by the calm currents of the river. The large-sized canoe can fit up to 5 people, which makes for a fun group activity. Have fun talking, laughing and enjoying the breathtaking scenery as you make your way downstream. This is definitely one of the most refreshing summertime activities!
#3) Kayaking in the Sorachi River! (Minami Furano Town)
If you make your way down the Sorachi River, you’ll eventually reach a section that flows through Furano City. It’s in this section of the river where a kayaking course has recently been designed to give you the best tour of the area! A kayak is a small boat ridden by one person and comes with a double-sided paddle, which is used to guide your boat by rowing as you alternate right and left. Your guide will coach you and help set the pace as you make your way down the wide stretching Sorachi River. On the way downstream, there’s a calm area known as, “The Bird Sanctuary” where you can stop for a break and enjoy observing local wildlife! It’s about a 5km tour in total!
#4) Enjoy a fun ride on a bush cruiser to a hidden café house!
The thought will definitely cross your mind… “Are you sure there’s a café up ahead?” When all you can see is trees and foliage in all directions, a café and restaurant called, “Tarukiitona” will suddenly appear! It’s a hidden gem in the middle of the forest. Riding the Bush Cruiser driven by the owner of the restaurant Mr. Hai Kazuo, is quite a unique experience. He’s attached a trailer with seats to his small-sized tractor and will drive you through the forest and around his restaurant showing you interesting scenery. You’ll even get a glimpse of a river and a mysterious valley! What a unique experience!
#5) A delicious melon tour on electric bikes! (Furano City)
Experience Furano’s summer to the fullest! This is a limited seasonal gourmet tour only available for a 2 month period during July and August! Travel around by bike and taste the sweetness of the Furano melon, a unique taste created by being cultivated in a wide spectrum from cold to hot temperatures. You’ll depart from Furano City on an electric bike and follow your guide to a melon house called, “Oishi Noen.” Here you get to taste and learn all about melon cultivation! After heading back to Furano City, your guide will take you to a place called, “Furano Marche,” a cluster of popular local shops. The entire tour lasts 3 to 4 hours and is kindly lead by Mrs. Yumiko Goto who will definitely make sure you have an enjoyable experience.
#6) Horseback riding in Furano City! (Furano City)
If you’re looking to spend an hour doing something fun other than sightseeing then horseback riding is for you! Located about 15 minutes by car from the center of Furano City is an establishment near Furano ski slope called, “Furano Trekking Support Yuma.” Here you’ll find about 40 well-trained horses! After a short lesson on how to guide a trained horse, and a few practice laps around the horse-riding grounds, you’ll get to cross the street and make your way trekking through the forest. Enjoy the sunlight filtering through the trees and the breathtaking landscapes of Furano.
#7) Enjoy a birds-eye view of Furano from a motor paraglider! (Furano City)
For those of you who want to enjoy Furano from the sky, this motor paragliding activity is for you! Powered by a giant electric fan, you’ll enjoy flying through the air with an expert pilot attached to your back. In the blink of an eye, you’ll go from ground level to an altitude of 200~300 meters high! It’s possible to go even higher if the conditions are nice, sometimes finding yourself above the clouds. The surreal perspective makes Furano look like a mini garden and truly is an epic view with Mt. Tokachi off in the distance and the beautiful city of Furano surrounded by mountains. Get ready for an unforgettable experience of a lifetime! This motor paragliding activity is actually available all year-round!
#8) Enjoy a farm experience in Kami Furano! (Kami Furano Town)
Located at the base of the Furano Mountain range is an old farm that’s been around for over 100 years known as “Tada Farm.” Here you can enjoy an ultimate local farm experience. The premises of the family farm offers three types of buildings where you can have fun experiencing farm life. They include a standard room, a room with a kitchen and lastly a cottage, which is exclusively for families or people traveling in groups. This is a unique experience giving you a taste of country life and insight on how real farmers live!
#9) Have fun camping in the front garden of a hotel. No camping gear necessary! (Kami Furano Town)
Furano Hops Hotel is a super stylish hotel located on the top of a hill overlooking the Tokachi Mountain range. In summertime you can enjoy camping on the grassfields in the front garden of the hotel. No camping gear necessary! Everything you need to have a barbeque including the ingredients is provided by the hotel for dinner. Enjoy an amazing buffet style breakfast in the hotel! Take note that the sunset and starry night sky is truly breathtaking. We also recommend waking up early to see the epic sunrise!
#10) Pick your own potatoes and make fresh potato chips! (Naka Furano Town)
Introducing a new program that started this year, 2018! You can pick your own potatoes and enjoy the process of making fresh potato chips. This is a unique experience where you get to meet Mr. Kuguri and harvest potatoes from his farm where he grows potatoes exclusively for making potato chips. After collecting your own batch of potatoes, you’ll make your way to the “Kita No Curry Workshop” where you’ll slice your potatoes and learn first-hand how to make handmade potato chips! You’ll be amazed by the flavor of the freshly fried crispy chips!
That’s all for our 10 highly recommended activities in Furano during summer! We hope you’ll take a trip and enjoy all Furano has to offer. The combination of outdoor adventures and gormet food really makes Furano a special place in summertime!