Hokkaidō is well-known for its cold winters and landscapes covered in deep snow, but did you know that the northern island of Hokkaidō bursts into many colors in the springtime? Besides the cherry trees (sakura) which blossoms gradually, from the south to the north of Japan, the big island of Hokkaidō will astonish you with its breathtaking sceneries and endlessly expanding flower fields. Blossoming of the flower in itself is a very important event for the practitioners of the traditional arts in Japan. For example, the traditional tea ceremony uses it as the motif in the decoration of the “chashitsu” (tea room) and in the flavour of the “wagashi” (in this case, traditional pastry made from reddish-brown “azuki” beans) in order to welcome the coming season.
In the north Hokkaidō, there is an astonishing Kamiyubetsu Tulip park that you wouldn’t want to miss. You will be amazed by the million colorful tulips that spread as far as the eyes can see.
About 100 kilometers northwest of Sapporo, you will find the Tomita farm which has built at the beginning of the 20th century by the Tomita family. They started to plant lavender in order to extract it and use its essence. Today, this field is the biggest lavender field in the entire country. Sit on the terrace and enjoy the incredible view of the purple fields surrounded by mountains, all while smelling the sweet scents of the coming summer.
At the extreme north point on the island of Hokkaidō, you will be able to visit the Higashimokoto Shibazakura park. Situated in the middle of the lush green countryside, this park is in fact one of the most beautiful flower fields, counting more than 100,000 square meters of pink moss - flowers that are in many ways similar to the cherry trees blossoms. We recommend you to visit it from May to June, in order to enjoy it at the optimal temperature.
Oppositely, at the extreme south point of Hokkaidō, the town of Matsumae is probably the greatest place to experience the “hanami” (cherry blossom viewing/contemplation under the cherry trees blossoms). During the 16th century, the Matsumae clan established and maintained their power in this region, built the only castle in Hokkaidō that still exists today and surrounded it by hundreds of colourful cherry trees that blossom in the spring.