Hokkaido is known as a wintry fairyland. For half a year, outdoors here is mostly white. However, with the arrival of spring, pink and white cherry and plum blossoms, rainbow coloured tulips, stunning lilacs, and aromatic lavenders abloom. A number of flower admirers from all over the country come here in spring and summer to enjoy the beautiful flowers. The Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park is a captivating flower park in Hokkaido famous for the Shibazakura (lawn Cherry blossoms) flowers. Every year in May and June, vibrant Shibazakuras blushing around the foothill of Mt. Mokoto, along with lush green forests and a blue sky create a fantasia. You can make the most of your trip to the park by combining it with a visit to the famous Higashimokoto Nyurakukan (Dairy museum), popular for its cheese.
Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park (Northern Dream Hill)
The Higashimokoto park is spread over twenty five acres of land in Ozora, which is a tiny town in the Abashiri district of Hokkaido. As a matter of fact, seventy percent of the Shibazakuras of the park were planted by a single person named Midorika Sueyoshi. He was a farmer and also a Japanese war veteran. It is believed that Midorika san started the park by using only a single strain of the plant. In addition to flower viewing, the park offers other fun activities which can be enjoyed by people of all age.
Photo Credit camera-beginner.sakura.ne.jp
Activities at the Nonky Land Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park :
- You can try Go-karting in a 820 meter circuit for a single seat fee of 300 yen and a double seat fee of 500 yen.
Photo Credit recruit-hokkaido-jalan.jp
- Take a long relaxing bath at the Shibazakura no Yu hot spring. Single day entrance fee at the hot spring is 420 yen. A warm and relaxing foot bath is available for free.
- If you are a camping enthusiast then, plenty of camping spots ( fee 300 Yen per adult and 150 yen per child) are available at the Higashimotoko camp-ground. Otherwise, you can also try glamping in the month of July and August. Accommodations for up-to 8 people are available at Dreamhouse bungalows ( fee-4500 Yen per night). Caravan camping spots ( 1500 Yen per van + 300 Yen per adult and 150 Yen per child ) are also available.
- Hop onto the park tour bus which will take you around the twenty five acres of park and to the top of the hill.
- You can make your wishes at a 900 years old Yamazumi (Mountain God) Shinto Shrine with pink tori gate.
Photo Credit blog-001.west.edge.storage-yahoo.jp
- Take a helicopter tour ride for an aerial view of the park, fee 5000 yen per person.
- Try your luck in fishing at the fishing pond.
- Relish on the pink moss ice-cream and other local food produce.
Below is a glimpse of the park :
Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park opening hours: 8:00 am- 5:00 pm
Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park entrance fees: 500 yen adult, 250 yen for kids
How to reach the Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park from Sapporo?
The best way to reach the park is by flying into Memanbetsu airport. From the airport, it takes about 30 minutes drive to the park. You can rent a car at Abashiri or just hire a taxi.
By Public transport:
Catch a JR train to JR Abashiri station, and then a forty minute drive from there. Buses from Sapporo to Abashiri are also available, and it takes about six hours.
Direct buses from Abashiri to the Higashimotoko Shibazakura Park are available. For more information and how to access, click here.
- Best time to visit the park is in Early May-Early June.
- Prefer visiting early in the morning to beat the crowd in the peak season and for a good view.
- There are no hotels in Higashimokoto. For this reason, it is better to find an accommodation in Abashiri.
- A driving day trip from Sapporo is also possible.
- Make sure to check the flowering status before you go at the park’s website.
After being mesmerised with the beauty of the Shibazakuras, if you have time to spare, make a visit to the Higashimokoto Nyurakukan (Dairy Museum).
At Higashimokoto, the population of cows is believed to be more than that of the people, resulting in an oversupply of milk. With the intention of overcoming this surplus amount of milk, locals in the village started making cheese. This in turn, also helped in building the village’s economy. Thus, began production of the famous Higashimokoto Cheese brand.
At the Higashimokoto Dairy Museum, you can learn interesting history of the good old cheese making process. Free tasting and selling of speciality cheese products such as Gouda, Cheddar, and Camembert etc. is also done at the museum. Higashimokoto Camembert Soft cream is available only from May-October. I am being told that Camembert soft cream helps in getting gorgeous and flawless skin, make that two for me please! At the museum in sixty minutes, you can take a butter making lesson and eat it too, but of course with prior reservations (call-0152-66-3953). For 700 yen, you can take home about 100 Gms of self-made butter.
Facility business hours: Tuesday to Sunday – 9:00 am -4:00 pm
Parking lot: Available
How to reach the Higashimokoto Nyurakukan?
Driving is the best way to reach the museum. It is about nine minutes drive from the Higashimokoto Shibazakura Park.
Here is the website in Japanese.
- It is a good idea to visit the museum before 2:00 pm, as after that things start to wrap up.
Hokkaido is fascinating in all seasons. In summer, gorgeous lavenders in Furano, will come into full bloom and I will make my way to the lavender valley for an aromatic experience. Which is your favourite flower field? Write to me by commenting below
As always, thank you for reading