Visiting Farm Tomita at Furano - Hokkaido : Public Transport, How To Get There & Budget


I don't know how should I start to write this post: so many pictures to post and information I would love to share. Frankly speaking, I confuse what should I put as the title for this post. Well, I hope this title is eye catching enough:D

Before continue to read this post: I should warn you that the post about Farm Tomita will be very long, as I will try to make this post a guide for you who would like to go to Farm Tomita by taking public transport. I have made my dream come true visiting the lavender field at Farm Tomita, I hope this post will help you to make your travel dream come true as well.

This place is really beautiful and worth the trip, effort and every Japanese yen we have spent.

The lupine flowers were the first flower we saw from the entrance of Farm Tomita



1. WHERE IS THE LOCATION OF FARM TOMITA?

Farm Tomita is located at Furano, a small town which is 2-3 hours away by train. If you are taking Lavender Express trainlike we did, it took 2 hours to get to Furano from JR Sapporo Station. But it will take longer travel time if you take normal train via Takikawa or Asahikawa.

If you couldn't catch the Lavender Express train, or if it is full, you are advised to take the normal train which will require transfer and also longer travel time. Check the schedule of the available train on Hyperdia website.

Taken from Furano Tourism




2. LAVENDER EXPRESS TRAIN: THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW


2.1 There Are Only 2 Schedule Per Day From Sapporo to Furano

The fastest way going to Furano is by taking the Lavender Express train. But bear in mind that there are only 2 departures per day in the morning: at 07.52 am and at 09.07 am departing from JR Sapporo Station.

The schedule is almost the same every year. But should you wish to know the updated schedule, visit JR Hokkaido website at the end of May, each year.

The schedule will also show you the start and end date of this seasonal train.

Lavender Express Train Schedule in 2017, taken from JR Hokkaido Website




2.2 You Need To Arrive At JR Furano Station Early

This is very important: to arrive as early as possible and start to queue for the Lavender Express Train. We took this train at the end of June 2017, and the queue was long enough. I couldn't imagine the queue at the Lavender peak period: mid of July to early August.

We arrived at 08.30 at JR Sapporo Station, and was told by the station's staff that we should go to track no.5. When we arrived there, so many people queued at different lines... It was so confusing!

FYI track no 5 is also used for train going to New Chitose Airport, so you will find many people queuing on the different lines. My advise is: DO NOT PANIC hahaha.. 

Waiting for the Lavender Express Train at JR Sapporo Station


We joined the queue for the unreserved cars. We checked several times whether we were on the right queue line. It wasn't easy to make sure that we were on the right track, especially with two kids in tow:p We asked people around us, and they all said that we were on the right line. Ahhh finally!

If you are traveling during the very peak period of lavender, I would advise you to book a reserved seat. You can ask the staff at JR office, and you will be required to pay an additional charge of JPY520 per person.

So if you do not have reserved seat just like us, please queue early, min. 30 mins before the departure time. And do not queue on the wrong line. I mean, if you don't have reserved tickets, do not queue on the line for reserved seats car. I hope you understand my post so far, if you don't, just send me email:)



2.3 Getting Seats On The Unreserved Car 

After you get into the train, try to find the available seats as fast as possible. If the unreserved seat car is full, you will have to find a seat at the cafe on the first floor of the train.

Our seats located on the second floor of the train. And fortunately we had seats for the four of us. We saw also people who didn't get seat and had to stand for two hours journey. I hope you will get seats on this train, especially if you are travelling with kids.


Arriving at Furano Station, we took picture in front of Lavender Express Train



2.4 Is Furano Lavender Express a Non Stop Train?

Nope, it will stop at the following stations:
- Sapporo
- Iwamizawa
- Takikawa
- Ashibetsu
- Furano

The information of the above stations is from this link.


2.5 Furano Lavender Express Is Fully Covered by JR Pass

JR Pass and JR Hokkaido Pass will cover your journey to Furano without additional charge.

But how if you don't have the JR Pass? What is the cheapest way to travel between Sapporo and Furano? I will tell you in the next section. 



3. FURANO BIEI RAIL TICKETS (4 DAYS)

We opted going to Furano from Sapporo by Furano Biei Rail Tickets because it suits our itinerary.

We didn't buy JR Pass, as we took Jetstar from Narita Airport to New Chitose Airport in Sapporo. Based on my research before our family trip to Hokkaido, the combination of airplane ticket and Furano Biei Rail Tickets were cheaper than buying JR Pass for our family. Beside, I didn't want to take the train all the way from Tokyo to Sapporo which require a 8 hours traveling time.

Are you planning to buy the discounted ticket of Furano Biei Rail Ticket? Please read the following points:

3.1 Finding The Updated Information About The Furano Biei Rail Tickets

If you google "Furano Biei Train Ticket" you will probably find brochure from 2014 on the first page of google with a title: Flowers Galore in Biei and Furano

It was frustating to wait the brochure of 2017, because it was available in the last week of May, just one month before our departure.

Apart from the price, the mechanism remains the same. So you can use the information from the previous year, and estimate a price increase of JPY500 from the previous year's price.

This is the brochure of Furano Biei Rail Tickets for 2017, it was downloaded from JR Hokkaido website.




By utilizing this ticket you will get:

1. Ticket A: to go from JR Sapporo Station to Free Ride Section. You can enter the zone from Takikawa, Asahikawa, Biei or Furano. Once you arrive at you destination, ticket A will be collected.

2. Ticket B: it is your "passport" for four days in the free ride section. You can ride the train between Asahikawa to Furano as often as you wish. Do not loose this ticket. If you loose your ticket, you will have to buy a new one. Ouch!

Our Biei Furanto Rail Tickets: 2 adults and 2 children


3.2 Where To Buy The Furano Biei Rail Ticket

Of course you can buy it at JR Sapporo Station on the same day of your departure, but please consider to buy it at least one day before your visit to Furano.

We bought our tickets at New Chitose Airport when we arrived from Tokyo. We told the staff at the train office that we are going to use the ticket on the following day. Then he put the date on the ticket, and it is valid for 4 days from the date printed on the ticket.

We paid JPY 19,500 for the four of us: each adult ticket is JPY6,500 and each child ticket cost JPY3,250, half price from adult ticket.

You do not need to buy it online before arriving in Japan. You just need to buy it one day before the day you plan to go to Furano. In case you arrive late at JR Sapporo Station on the D day, you can go directly to track 5. 

Imagine on the D day: you have to queue at JR office to buy this ticket and you have to catch your morning train. Your chance is 50:50. So again I advise you: buy the ticket at lease one day prior to your schedule going to Furano.


3.3 How Much Does A Normal Train Cost Between Sapporo to Furano?

If you do not have JR Pass, JR Hokkaido Pass nor the 4 Days Furano Biei Rail Ticket, the normal ticket will cost you:
- JPY 2,490 one way for adult using the Furano Lavender Express.
- JPY 3,670 one way for adult using the limited express via Asahikawa.

Source: Hyperdia.com


Beside the ticket to Furano/ Asahikawa from Sapporo, you will also have to purchase ticket between Furano and the lavender farms (Lavender Station, Nakafurano, Biei, etc). 

Just compare the best and most efficient ticket for your itinerary. Mine was by utilizing this 4 days ticket to explore Furano and Biei area. 



4. ARRIVAL AT JR FURANO STATION

Finally after 2 hours of train journey, we arrived at JR Furano Station. We managed to take picture in front of the Lavender Express train, then we go to the main station to store our luggage.

We were going to stay at Petit Hotel Melon that night, but we planned to explore the lavender fields first before heading to our hotel. So we paid JPY600 for a locker at JR Furano Station. We also managed to have our toilet break (with a long queue at woman's toilet), and went back to the train track to catch the Norokko Train.

The schedule for Norokko Train is at 11.53am, while the Lavender Express train arrived at Furano at 09.49 am. If you don't need to go to the toilet, you can stay at the train track and start to queue for the Norokko train.

During the peak period, Norokko Train will be packed by local as well as tourists, you have to think the strategy to beat the crowd. 


Flowers welcomed us at JR Furano Station
The crowd that morning coming from Sapporo
What a lovely stair at JR Furano Station
Crossing the bridge from Lavender Express Train track to the station
At the main station of Furano



5. LOVELY TRAIN RIDE: THE NOROKKO TRAIN

We queued at the unreserved seat line for the Norokko train. And when it came to JR Furano Station, we hurried getting into the train, in order to get the best seat: facing the window :)


We were so ready to see the beautiful view from the window!
Taking video of our train ride
The reserved seat car of Norokko Train



6. ARRIVAL AT LAVENDER FARM STATION

Like everyone else, we headed to the seasonal station: Lavender Farm Station , which is located 10 mins walking to Farm Tomita. This station only opens at summer and only Norokko Train stops here. 

If you are coming to Furano in summer and plan to visit Farm Tomita, you should try this Norokko Train. It is included in the Furano Biei Rail Ticket. If you don't have the Furano Biei Rail Ticket, JR Hokkaido Pass nor the JR Pass, you can buy the one way ticket for JPY230 (adult) and half price for the children.

Schedule, price, the map and anything you should know about the Norokko Train, is available at Farm Tomita's website.

Yeay minutes away to see the lavender field.. excited!!
In front of the colorful Norokko Train
The train station is in the middle of a rice field!



To go to the Farm Tomita from the Lavender Farm Station, we had to walk through the field and cross a red bridge. Please be careful as there is no passage way.

The road was calling us to take a roadtrip, but too bad our Indonesian International Driving License is not accepted in Japan (:


Walking from the Lavender Farm Station to Farm Tomita
Crossing the bridge
We were almost there :)



7. FINALLY WE ARRIVED AT FARM TOMITA: A DREAM COME TRUE

After a long explanation about how to go to Famr Tomita using public transport, I will just uploaded pictures when we were exploring the Farm Tomita. 

Enjoy the pictures :)


We came to early, the flowers were not bloom yet
Up close and personal with the lupine flowers
The lupine and a glass house from a distance
Seen from the glass house
Hello lavender :)
Lavender and the mountains
A family picture with the lavender :)




8. WHAT TO DO AT FARM TOMITA

Beside taking pictures and visiting the lavender field, do check the map of Farm Tomita, and decide which lavender field you would like to explore.

The map of Farm Tomita



And after your taking picture session, do not forget to go inside the souvenir shop. If you love purple color like myself, you will love to be surrounded by purple souvenirs at Farm Tomita :)

Going to the souvenir shop
He is eating the lavender ice cream:p



It was time for the lavender ice cream! We sat one hour at the cafe located just in front of the souvenir shop. The view was gorgeous and the food was yummy!


I could sit here for hours..
Great place to hang out with firends
The curry with potato croquette and asparagus for JPY720. And yes a cup of lavender coffee!

The lavender ice cream, JPY300
The lavender ice cream and the view



After a break at the cafe we decided to move to other farm with a chairlift. Our Kiddos was so excited when I told them that we were going to take the chairlift. We walked about 15 minutes to Choei Nakafurano Lavender Farm. I will make a separate post about it :)

I hope this post can help you to plan your summer holiday visiting Farm Tomita. If you have any additional information, please share in the comment below, so together we can help other travelers who are trying to find information about how to go to Farm Tomita as an independent traveler.

To end this post, I would like to thank my husband who has made my dream come true. Arigato Gozaimasu!


Travel begins with a dream :)


written on July 24, 2017
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Next Post:

Taking The Nakafurano Chairlift


Previous Post:
Where we stayed at Furano: Petit Hotel Melon



6 comments:

  1. Wah udah lama saya tahu keindahan kota Furano dan Biei karena nonton drama "Yasashii Jikan". Waktu itu hanya jadi impian saja. Pas liat blog ini impian saya jd bangkit lg hehe. Thanks ya mba blog nya bermanfaat sekali.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wah, malah saya enggak tau ada film Yasashi Jikan hehe..
      Semoga segara bisa ke Furano ya :)

      Delete
  2. i like your post and detail rail pass to furano ,does the pass includes the return trip to sapporo.?you mention part A and part B tickets and Part A ticket was to be detailed by the machine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, yes the ticket B include the return trip to Sapporo.

      Delete
  3. SandyMalaysia19/9/17 6:41 PM

    Great blog packed with information. Glad to found this blog.. keep it up

    ReplyDelete