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Japan: Hokkaido (Biei/ “Shikisai no oka” (Hills of Seasonal Colors)

The town of Biei or Biei-cho as it is known in Japan is located in central Hokkaido in the hilly Kamikawa District at the foot of the Tokachidake mountain range. This small town that is surrounded by a picturesque landscape of gently rolling hills and vast fields attracts as many as 1.2 million visitors each year. Why you might ask? Because of the spectacular views of flowers that can be found in such places as Road of Patchwork, Shikisai no Oka and Hills of Zerubu. Biei was recognized as one of the premium sightseeing spots in Hokkaido in the 1970s thanks to the work of world renowned landscape photographer, Shinzo Maeda. Mesmerized by the town’s beautiful scenery, Maeda visited Biei over a ten year period photographing the stunning landscapes which were subsequently featured in photo collections, post cards, posters, films, TV commercials, etc.

Located in the southern part of Biei, is the 7 hectare (three times bigger than Tokyo Dome) field of flowers known as Shikisai no Oka which translates to Hills of Seasonal Colors. From April through October an astonishing number of flowers including tulip, lupine, lavender, salvia, sunflower, dahlia and Japanese anemone bloom on these hills. The garden has a mascot named Roll-kun. He and his female counterpart, Roll-chan, can be found at the entrance to the flower fields. Visitors to the area will be pleasantly surprised to learn that there are more than just pretty flowers at Shikisai no Oka. The gardens also feature a produce shop, a souvenir shop and a restaurant.

Guests can travel around the facility on the Shikisai Norokko, a tractor bus tour or rent buggies and four passenger carts to tour the fields on their own.

Shikisai no Oka is open from 9:00 AM -5:00 PM (April to May; October); 8:30 AM -6:00 PM (June to September); 9:00 AM -4:30 PM (November); 9:00 AM -4:00 PM (December to February); 9:00 AM –   4:30 PM (March). Admission is free however vehicles are subject to a minimal parking fee.

With its extensive hills and fields covered with fragrant and beautiful flowers, the Hills of Seasonal Colors is truly a masterpiece of color worth visiting.

Map

Shinzo Maeda

Shinzo Maeda

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Roll-kun

Roll-kun

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Shops & restaurant

Shops & restaurant

Shikisai Norokko Go

Shikisai Norokko Go

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5Photo Credits: Izumi Walker

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