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Biei town

Biei town mapBiei Biei is a small town located 25 km south-southeast of Asahikawa city.
It is well-known as a town with many picturesque beautiful hills and un-Japanese landscape.

In the east side of the town, there are Mount Tokachidake (2,077 m) and some mountains, which are active volcanoes.

This town is originally a volcanic ash land by the volcanoes.
Since 1900, the farmers have been plowed this poor land and planted potato, wheat, sugar beet and other vegitables.

In 1971, a landscape photographer, Shinzo Maeda (1922-1998), saw this landscape by chance and was very impressed, then he introduced this area on his photo books.
After that, since the 1980s, young travelers got to visit here, then in the 1990s, Biei had became one of the most popular spots in Hokkaido.

The center of the town which has shops and restaurants are around JR Biei station.
The northwestern scenic area of the station is named as "Road of patchwork", and the southern scenic area is named as "Panoramic road".
Additionally, a route from the station to the foot of Tokachidake volcano is named as "Refresh line".

There is the information center named as "The tower of the four seasons" just east of the station.
We can get the maps of the areas and other information there.

Most scenic points are in general farming land.
Please don't disturb the farmers in their work. And please don't enter any field and meadow.

Biei Tourism Association Corporation website : Japanese webseite.

Road of patchwork

To avoid repeat cultivation, different crops are planted in each piece of fields.
So we can see the landscape of the hills like a patchwork.

  • Northwestern hill observatory Park /1/ : It is located 2 km north of Biei station.
    It is on a top of a gently sloping hill, and there is an observatory like a pyramid.
  • Hill of Zerubu /2/ : It is located 2.5 km northeast of Biei station and on the Route 237.
    This is a new observatory which young men in this town built in 1998.
  • Tree of Ken and Mary /3/ : It is located 2.5 km north of Biei station.
    It is a solitary poplar. "Ken and Mary" is the words in the commercial song for a car of Nissan in 1972, then this landscape was used in the TV commercial.
  • Trees of family /4/ : It is located 4 km northwest of Biei station.
    There are 3 oak trees standing like a family on a hill.
  • Tree of Seven Stars /5/ : It is located 6 km northwest of Biei station.
    It is a solitary oak. In 1976, this landscape is used the commercial of a Japanese cigarette "Seven Stars".
    Around here, we can see the landscape of "patchwork".
  • Hill of Mild Seven /6/ : It is located 4 km west of Biei station.
    Some larches stand in line on the hill. In 1977, this landscape is used the commercial of a Japanese cigarette "Mild Seven".

Panoramic road

This area is wider than "Road of patchwork".
It is on the gentle slope of the foot of Tokachidake volcano, so we feel open.

  • Shin'ei hill observatory Park /11/ : It is located 5 km south of Biei station.
    It is on a top of a hill, and has a good view. Many tourist visit here, so it is always crowded.
  • San'ai hill observatory Park /12/ : It is located 1.5 km east of Shin'ei hill.
    It is nearer to Tokachidake mountains than Shin'ei hill, so we can see the view more grandly.
  • Takushinkan /13/ : It is located 8 km south-southeast of Biei station.
    It is a famous photo gallery opened by Shinzo Maeda in 1987. His main works are exhibited.
  • Tree of Philosophy /14/ : It is located 2 km east of Takushinkan.
    A solitary big tree stand at the center of wide field. It is slightly-tilted, so we look like "thinking tree". The naming derives from this.
    Unfortunately, this tree had been cut down by the owner in February of 2016.
    Because, it had become very old. And especially, many tourists had ignored the manner that they must not enter the owner's field.
  • Hill of Shikisai /15/ : It is located 8 km south of Biei station.
    It has a good view, and there is extensive flower field around here.
  • Tree of Christmas tree /16/ : It is located 1 km southwest of Shin'ei hill.
    A spruce tree stands at the center of wide field. It looks like a Christmas tree.
  • Trees of Puffy /17/ : It is located 4 km west of Shin'ei hill.
    There are two poplars. "Puffy" is the Japansese female duo, and a drama starring them was shot here in 1997.

Refresh line

  • Shirakaba Street /21/ : Shirakaba means white birch.
    Many white birches have grown naturally on the mudflow by Tokachidake volcano eruption in 1925.
    We can see them along the street for 4km long to Shirogane hot spring resort. Now they are naturally changing to pine tree and so on.
  • Shirogane hot spring resort /22/ : It is located 22 km southeast of Biei station and is just at the foot of Tokachidake volcano.
    There are a few hotels along the gorge where the Biei river flows.
    By route bus, it takes 26 minutes from Biei station.
  • Shirohige waterfall /23/ : It is a waterfall located just north of Shirogane hot spring resort.
    From the middle of a cliff, ground water falls down into the stream. The color of water is clear.
  • Shirogane-fudo waterfall /24/ : It is a waterfall located 1km northwest of Shirogane hot spring resort.
    Cold water fall down on the rocks like stairs
  • Mount Tokachidake Observatory /25/ : It is located 4 km south of Shirogane hot spring resort.
    It is at a height of 930 meters, and is called "Bougakudai" in Japanese.
    The Tokachidake volcano is outspread before us.
Scenic or Nature / Park or Garden / Resort / City, Town or Village / Quarter or Street /
Temple or Shrine / Museum or Laboratory / Market or Commercial facility / Factory /
Other Building or Construction / Historic place / Remains / World Heritage Site

How to get to here

By airplane

  1. By airplane, from each airport to Asahikawa Airport.
    (For example, it takes 1 hour and 40 minutes from Haneda (Tokyo) and 1 hour and 55 minutes from Kansai or Itami (Osaka).)
  2. Then by route bus, from the airport to Biei Station, it takes 16 minutes.

By railroad

By local train of JR Furano line, it takes about 35 minutes from Asahikawa.

By route bus

It takes 50 minutes from JR Asahikawa station to Biei station.

How to tour around Biei

  • On foot : If you have much time, this is the best tour.
  • By rental bicycle : There are some rental shops around Biei station. Prepare to pedal on many slopes.
  • By car : You can tour effectively. But parkings around most spots are not enough.
  • By "Twinkle bus" : This is the sightseeing bus for only JR passengers to Biei station. You can see about 4 spots in a short period of time. (Only from June to early October)
    Hill course (The road of patchwork) : 55 minutes / Takushinkan course (Panoramic road) : 1 hour and 30 minutes
  • By sightseeing taxi : The taxi driver leads you about 5 spots for an hour.
    The fare is about 5,400 yen.

The road of patchwork
Northwestern hill observatory Park
Photo by DO PHOTO
Hill of Zerubu
Photo by DO PHOTO
Tree of Ken and Mary Tree of family
Photo by DO PHOTO
Tree of Seven Stars
Photo by (c)Tomo.Yun
Hill of Mild Seven
Photo by DO PHOTO
Panoramic road
A view from Shin'ei hill observatory Park A view from San'ai hill observatory Park
Photo by DO PHOTO
Takushinkan Tree of Philosophy
Photo by DO PHOTO
(This tree had been cut down.)
A view from Hill of Shikisai
Photo by DO PHOTO
Hill of Shikisai
Tree of Christmas tree
Photo by DO PHOTO
Trees of Puffy
Photo by DO PHOTO
Tokachidake mountains in winter
Photo by DO PHOTO
Shirakaba Street Outdoor bath of Shirogane hot spring
İHokkaido Tourism Organization / İ JNTO
Shirohige waterfall Shirogane-fudo waterfall

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