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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hokkaido Summer 2012 北海道夏季之旅 - Anpanman Shop 面包超人商店

Visited 11.07.2012


Third attraction on the Twinkle Bus Furano route.

Anpanman is a well-known Japanese cartoon character and has been around since 1973. Rising popularity of this popular figure have created a whole range of related merchandises - virtually any children's product that you can think of! Shops and museums were also built to showcase this adorable looking character.
Apart from its flagship store located in Tokyo, museums are scattered all around Japan (Yokohama, Sendai, Kobe and Nagoya). To date, this outlet in Furano is the only shop opened outside Tokyo.

Anpanman shop was officially opened in July 2000. This modest building houses a merchandise shop on its ground level and a picture gallery on the second level.  


Frankly speaking, with most of the time spent tasting/shopping for jams, Anpanman shop was more of a touch-and-go attraction for us. We used the remaining time to take photos with the stone statues of Anpanman characters located outside the shop and did a quick tour of its ground level shop. Still managed to grab a goodies bag (735 yen) which contains sweets and biscuits, before hopping back onto the bus.

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Anpanman shop 面包超人商店
富良野市东麓乡3
Located beside Furano Jam Garden.
Opening hours: 0900 - 1730 hrs
Closed on Mondays during winter season (24 Nov - 20 Apr).

http://www.furanojam.com/about/anpanman.html
http://www.anpanmanshop.co.jp/furano/furano-9.htm

大きな地図で見る

How to go there?(1) Twinkle Bus Furano, makes a 40 mins stop at this attraction. Only available in Jun - Aug, weekends in Sep and Oct. Fee = 1000 yen.
(2) Infrequent local buses heading for Rokugo (麓乡) from Furano JR Station.
Alight at the last stop, takes about 40 min to 1 hr by foot (3.5 km) or you can choose to rent a bicycle instead. 
Refer to Furano bus website for updated bus schedule: http://www.cbnet.co.jp/furanobus/rosen.html#rokugou
(3) Taxi, about 5000 - 6000 yen from Furano JR Station.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Hokkaido Summer 2012 北海道夏季之旅 - Furano Jam Garden 富良野果酱工房

Visited 11.07.2012


Third attraction on the Twinkle Bus Furano route.
Furano Jam Garden was one of the main reasons why I signed up for this day tour package.
Founded in 1974, this factory features handmade jam using locally produced ingredients. To date, a total of 35 types of jams have been introduced, and all subjected to the taste test in the shop! Bread and biscuits are provided by the shop, to go with the wide array of jams during taste testing.

The list of jams created by Furano Jam Factory goes on and on... apple, strawberry, carrot, blueberry, pumpkin, cherry, white grape, red grape, blackcurrant, blue honeysuckle (haskup fruit), tomato, watermelon, plum, prune, etc.
My vote goes to pear and melon jams. The former has crunchy bits of zesty fruit in it, definitely one of the better version of pear jams I have eaten so far in my life. Melon, being one of their most expensive fruits in Japan, turn out to be equally popular (and tasty as well) in the form of jams.  


Apart from the shopping experience, Furano Jam Garden also offers jam making class for visitors at a fee of 1000 yen per person. More details such as timing of classes and reservation method can be found on their homepage and brochures.
English brochure: http://www.furanojam.com/pdf/furanojam_guide.pdf

Travelling all the way to Rokugo to grab (and taste) these jams can be quite a hassle and inconvenient if you taking public transport. A decent selection of jams can also be found @ Furano Marche or souvenir shops located in hotels within Furano.
In Singapore, Hokkaido food satellite shop (Come-In-Hokkaido) in Meidi-ya (Liang Court) will import some of these jams every now and then, but only limited/more popular flavours are available (spotted melon and grape jams previously). Therefore, no need to fret if you have just finished your favourite handmade jams...

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Furano Jam Factory
富良野市东麓乡3
Opening hours: 0900 - 1730 hrs
Closed during winter season (Dec and Jan).
http://www.furanojam.com/

大きな地図で見る

How to go there?
(1) Twinkle Bus Furano, makes a 40 mins stop at this attraction. Only available in Jun - Aug, weekends in Sep and Oct. Fee = 1000 yen.
(2) Infrequent local buses heading for Rokugo (麓乡) from Furano JR Station.
Alight at the last stop, takes about 40 min to 1 hr by foot (3.5 km) or you can choose to rent a bicycle instead.
Refer to Furano bus website for updated bus schedule: http://www.cbnet.co.jp/furanobus/rosen.html#rokugou
(3) Taxi, about 5000 - 6000 yen from Furano JR Station.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Hokkaido Summer 2012 北海道夏季之旅 - Rokugo Observatory 麓乡展望台

Visited 11.07.2012


Second attraction on the Twinkle Bus Furano route.

Located 500 m above sea level, Rokugo Observatory is a popular place for flowers viewing during summer season. Sad to say, most flowers were not at their full bloom stage yet when we were there and should be at its best a couple of weeks later. Nevertheless, standing at a highland, overlooking the beautiful scenery still makes this place a well-deserving attraction.  


Tip: Furano Tourism Association has dedicated a page to provide lavender blooming status/stages for several flower parks in Furano during summer period. Rokugo Observatory (Furano Jam Garden) is one of the featured flower parks.
http://www.furano-kankou.com/flower/lavender/shisu.html (In Japanese)

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Rokugo Observatory 麓乡展望台
富良野市东麓乡3
Within walking distance from Furano Jam Garden and Anpanman Shop.

How to go there?
(1) Twinkle Bus Furano, makes a 20 mins stop at this attraction. Only available in Jun - Aug, weekends in Sep and Oct. Fee = 1000 yen.
(2) Infrequent local buses heading for Rokugo (麓乡) from Furano JR Station.
Alight at the last stop, takes about 40 min to 1 hr by foot (3.5 km) or you can choose to rent a bicycle instead. 
Refer to Furano bus website for updated bus schedule: http://www.cbnet.co.jp/furanobus/rosen.html#rokugou
(3) Taxi, about 5000 - 6000 yen from Furano JR Station.



Sunday, January 20, 2013

Hokkaido Summer 2012 北海道夏季之旅 - Twinkle Bus Furano

Joined 11.07.2012


Twinkle Bus Furano Itinerary - taken from JR Hokkaido website

Reason: 
Attractions in Furano are actually quite scattered and transportation network (buses) is not well-established due to the small local population in this humble town.
Attractions such as recycled houses featured in TV drama serial, Kita no Kuni Kura (from the Northern Country), Furano Jam Garden and Anpanman shop are all located 20 km away in the rural district of Rokugo (麓乡).
Rokugo is quite inaccessible by public transport, with infrequent local buses ferry passengers between Furano JR Station and Rokugo. For those who do not plan to self-drive, I will recommend this day tour package offered by JR if you want to venture further to these attractions.

Twinkle Bus Furano only operates during the summer period, from Jun to Aug.
Tickets can be purchased from ticket counter in JR train stations or Twinkle Plaza.
- Departs from Furano JR Station at 1150 hrs.
- Returns to Furano JR Station at 1600 hrs.
- Fee = 1000 yen

Attractions covered:
(1) Jun and Yui's Recycled House (20 mins stopover), additional 300 yen entrance fee.
(2) Rokugo Observatory (20 mins stopover)
(3) Furano Jam Garden and Anpanman Shop (40 mins stopover)
(4) Furano Cheese Factory (20 mins stopover)
(5) New Furano Prince Hotel, Kaze no Gaden (Windy Garden) and Ninguru Terrace (1 hour stopover)

Sidenote:
During summer period, JR introduces several sightseeing bus routes in Furano and Biei at pretty affordable rates. Perks such as discount vouchers/free gifts for respective attractions are also issued to passengers. Do note that throughout the bus journey, the tour guide only speaks/introduces the attractions in Japanese. Alternatively, you can refer to English/Mandarin written brochures/cards placed in the buses for a more detailed description of respective attraction.

JR Hokkaido website: http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/
Furano & Biei Twinkle buses (2012 edition):
http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/pdf/e/ml201205.pdf

Hokkaido Summer 2012 北海道夏季之旅 - Choei Lavender Park 北星山町营薰衣草园

Visited 11.07.2012



First flower park of the day. We were welcomed by beautiful coloration of flowers which were planted aesthetically on the slope of this hill. In winter, the slope is covered with snow and the chairlift is meant to ferry skiers to a higher elevation on this hill. In summer, chairlift allows one to tour this flower park in a different manner - viewing lavender flowers just beneath your feet!




At an elevated level, a picturesque of lavender flowers, with Tokachi mountain range in the background can be admired on a good clear day. With such beautiful scenery, one can expect humongous amount of photos snapped at different parts of this flower park. To me, the most important photo to be taken is one which shows yourself hiding in the vast field of blooming lavender flowers! Will recommend coming in the earlier part of the day to avoid huge crowds, especially when your main motive is to snap good pictures with the least interference (i.e. strangers in the background).


At the foot of the hill, there is a stall selling snacks - bought lavender flavoured ice-cream (300 yen) and steamed corn kernel (300 yen), and a souvenir shop selling mainly lavender related products.

1.5 hours should be sufficient for one to tour this beautiful flower park leisurely and enjoy a lavender soft serve after a good stroll.

Highlight: Chairlift cost 300 yen for both ways (up and downhill).
50 yen discount vouchers can be obtained through the following avenues:
(1) Furano Tourist Information Centre, located in Furano JR Station
(2) Tourist counter in Nakafurano JR Station
(3) Furano-Biei Norokko train

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Choei Lavender Park 北星山町营薰衣草园
Opening hours (for chairlift): 0900 - 1700 hrs
< 10 mins walk from Nakafurano JR Station

View Larger Map

Hokkaido Summer 2012 北海道夏季之旅 - Nakafurano JR Station 中富良野駅



Nakafurano JR Station (F42), along Furano line.
Train fee from Furano to Nakafurano = 220 yen.

During summer peak season, tourist information counter is set up in the train station catering to huge influx of tourists anticipated. On other days, there are no station crew assigned to this station, or otherwise known as a "no man" station.

Train timetable: http://www.hyperdia.com

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What's nearby? 

(1) Choei Lavender Park 北星山町营薰衣草园, approx 10 - 15 mins walk.
Nearest flower park from Nakafurano JR Station.

(2) Saika no sato 彩香之里, approx 35 mins walk.

(3) Farm Tomita 富田农场, approx 35 mins walk. Most popular and crowded park of them all.
During lavender blooming season (Jun - Aug), Furano-Biei Norokko train will make a stop at a temporary station, Lavender Farm station. Farm Tomita is about 7 mins walk from this nearest station instead.

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Remember...
... this friendly and helpful lady manning the tourist information counter. Not well-versed in English at all, but tried her best to provide me direction to nearby flower park. When we returned to the station, she approached us with a book in her hands, pointing to one of the English phrases in the book, "Hope to see you again!". She tried to learn the pronunciation from us and repeated after us. Before we board the train, she passed us stalks of fresh lavender flowers as a momento. Will never forget the cheerfulness she portrayed and assistance rendered despite the language barrier!

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Commemorative stamp: 


Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hokkaido Summer 2012 北海道夏季之旅 - Day 2 Itinerary: Furano 富良野 (Nakafurano 中富良野, Rokugo 麓乡)

Day 2 - 11.07.2012
https://maps.google.com.sg/maps/ms?msid=205065800026451234650.0004d3299ab1414225e19&msa=0&ll=43.359385,142.390022&spn=0.152016,0.308647

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Breakfast: Furano Natulux Hotel

Furano JR Station (0818 hrs) > Nakafurano JR Station (0825 hrs)
Fee = 220 yen

Nakafurano JR Station > Choei Lavender Park
approx 10 mins walk.

Returned to Nakafurano JR Station (1044 hrs) > Furano JR Station (1054 hrs)
Fee = 220 yen

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Twinkle Bus Furano, departs from Furano JR Station at 1150 hrs.
(1) Jun & Yui's Recycled House, in Rokugo
(2) Rokugo Observatory
(3) Furano Jam Garden & Anpanman Shop, in Rokugo
(4) Furano Cheese Factory
(5) Ninguru Terrace, beside New Furano Prince Hotel

Skipped the return trip to Furano JR Station.

New Furano Prince Hotel (1532 hrs) > Naturwald Hotel (1540 hrs)
via Kururu bus, bus stop D.

Naturwald Hotel > Furano Delice
approx 10 mins walk.

Returned to Naturwald Hotel (1655 hrs) > Furano JR Station (1730 hrs)
via Kururu bus, bus stop F.

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Visited Furano Marche, a one stop shop for all made in Furano products.

Dinner: Kumagera, for Bandits' hot pot and Waygu beef shabu shabu hot pot.

- End of Day 2 -

Hokkaido Summer 2012 北海道夏季之旅 - Geographical Center Marker 北海道中心标

Visited 10.07.2012


As Furano city is located in the center of Hokkaido, it is also referred to as the "belly button" of this huge island by locals. The geographical marker for this center position is located in the premises of Furano Elementary School.

Note: The marker is neither the stone ball nor the 4 m tall stone tablet. The actual marker is the small stone tablet which has been there since 1914. Make sure you don't point to the wrong marker when taking a photo (because I did...).

If you happen to be Furano town, do drop by to take a picture with the marker to show that you have "conquered" the center of Hokkaido!

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Sidenote: 
On the 28th and 29th of July every year, the town will celebrate Heso Matsuri (Belly Button Festival). On these two days, a string of fun filled activities and programmes are lined up. The main attraction of the festival is the Belly Button dance, whereby participants will paint humorous faces on their abdomens and dance down the street of Furano town. Overall the years, this festival has become a highly anticipated event in summer season, attracting both locals and foreigners to take part in the parade.

The committee also created this adorable looking mascot for Furano (as shown in the photo collage below), which is hard to go unnoticed when you are exploring the town of Furano (at the train station, on the pavement, in souvenir shops, etc).


Heso Matsuri website: http://www.furano.ne.jp/hesomatsuri/en/index.html

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Hokkaido Geographical Center Marker 北海道中心标
Furano Elementary School
< 15 mins walk from Furano JR Station
< 5 mins walk from Furano Marche

View Larger Map

Hokkaido Summer 2012 北海道夏季之旅 - Yuigadoxon 唯我独尊

Visited 10.07.2012

Specially came to Yuigadoxon for our first dinner in Hokkaido. Yuigadoxon is one of the most established (in terms of reputation) curry restaurant in Furano. Yes, in terms of restaurant's appearance, it does not look appealing at all. A two-storey wooden house hidden within the trees, looking out of place as compared to adjacent modern buildings. Got to know about this restaurant through Taiwan's popular gourmet search TV programme - 食尚玩家.



We were lucky to find no queue outside the restaurant on the day of visit (~ 6 pm). Interior of the shop does look a bit shabby and needs some form of refurbishing. The walls and pillars were covered with memo pads and cards, are written with praises for the food! Indeed, the savoury fragrance of curry could be detected several metres away as we were locating the shop.



A total of 29 types of spices were used in their signature curries, while homemade sausages was also one of their specialties. We ordered both homemade sausage curry (1100 yen) and omelette homemade sausage curry (1450 yen). Curry definitely lived up to its name, it was thick, not overpowering considering the huge amount of spices utilised, with a spicy aftertaste. Sausage was slightly on the saltier side for my tastebuds, but the meat was indeed well seasoned. Omelette was cooked to perfection, creamy and moist on the inside.


Overall, a very satisfying first dinner in a humble setting in Hokkaido!

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Yuigadoxon 唯我独尊
< 10 mins walk from Furano JR Station
Opening hours: 1100 - 2100 hrs
Closed on Mondays (Tuesdays when Monday is a public holiday)

View Larger Map

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Video: Restaurant was featured in 食尚玩家. Fast forward to 12:30 for their recommendation on Yuigadoxon.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Hokkaido Summer 2012 北海道夏季之旅 - Furano JR Station 富良野駅


Tip: There are no lifts and escalators available in Furano JR station. Therefore, you will need to carry your luggage up the stairs of overhead bridge to get to respective platforms. Suggest to reach at least 15 mins before departure timing, especially if you are carrying bulky luggage.

Train services:
(1) Furano line - to Nakafurano, Bibaushi, Biei and Asahikawa.
(2) Nemuro main line - to Takikawa (and change to Hakodate main line bound for Sapporo).

Discounted train tickets:
Between Sapporo and Furano (via Takikawa), discount for group of 4 tickets purchased.
- Total fee = 8,480 yen (instead of 14,080 yen, ~40% discount), for unreserved seats.
- Free seating in train commuting between Furano and Takikawa. Additional fee required for reserved seats in train commuting between Sapporo and Takikawa.

JR Hokkaido: http://www2.jrhokkaido.co.jp/global/english/pticket/pticket03.html#04
Train timetable: http://www.hyperdia.com

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Essential services:
(1) Tourist Information Centre

(2) Bus Terminal
- Lavender buses to/fro Asahikawa Airport.
- Twinkle bus for Furano route.
- Kururu bus (available in Summer only), bus stop A.
- Buses going to Grape Juice Factory and Winery, Rokkatei (Campana della Vigna) and Farm Tomita.

Kururu Bus: http://www.furano-kankou.com/english/hyperlinks/getting-shuttle-Kururubus.htm
Fee = 2 day pass for 1000 yen.
Summer season only loop service, available from 1 Jul to 15 Aug. Starts and end at Furano JR Station, this bus brings visitors to tourist attractions (e.g. Furano Marche, Grape Juice Factory and Winery) and hotels in Furano.
Bus pass can be purchased at Tourist Information Centre.


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Can't speak Japanese? 
During peak summer, JR employs and assigns Mandarin speaking staffs at certain train stations (spotted one in Furano and the other in Biei during this trip). Local crew are not very well-versed in English, therefore you can approach them to purchase train tickets at the counter. Just keep a lookout for staffs wearing lanyard with "Mandarin translator" tag.


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Commemorative stamp: 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hokkaido Summer 2012 北海道夏季之旅 - Furano Grape Juice Factory and Winery 富良野果汁工场, 富良野葡萄酒工场

Visited 10.07.2012


Furano Grape Juice Factory, much smaller scale as compared to the winery. Factory only opens for visitors during Summer season (May - Sep).
Overall, quite a small factory (less than 15 minutes to complete the tour). On the second floor, you can view related information on its cultivation and manufacturing processes, a tourism information corner, and a shop selling grape juices/wines, grape juice jellies and soft serves. A glimpse of its ground floor manufacturing line from the second level, however was not in operation when we were there.

Sampled their grape juices and had their soft serves (grape flavoured) at a discounted price of 200 yen with Kururu bus pass. Eventually, bought several bottles of 100% straight grape juices (both red and white) and jellies from the shop. One can really taste the rich and sweet flavours of grape in just one small soft serve!


Walked to Furano Winery, which took us approx 20 mins. Along the way, we saw plots of land that were solely dedicated to grape cultivation. However, we did not manage to spot any fruits hanging in the vineyard.


Similarly in the winery, we did not manage to catch a glimpse of its manufacturing process. Did sample various types of wines on its second floor, but was not a wine lover in the first place. Actual highlight was the huge lavender field beside the winery. Blooming lavender bushes & flowers covered the gentle slope. Standing among the flowers, occasional breezes brought along the aromatic natural scent of lavender.
- Received free postcards at the Winery, with the Kururu bus pass.
- Saw grapevines at the foot of Winery, and finally spotted some fruits, but were unripe.



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Furano Grape Juice Factory (富良野果汁工场)
北海道富良野市西学田二区

大きな地図で見る

Furano Winery (Chateau Furano, 富良野葡萄酒工场)
http://www.furanowine.jp/
北海道富良野市清水山

大きな地図で見る

How to get there?
(1) Kururu bus, only available from 1 July to 15 Aug.
(2) Furano bus, to Grape Juice Factory, Rokkatei, Winery and Farm Tomita. Only available in July and August. Fee = 150 yen.
Furano bus: http://www.cbnet.co.jp/furanobus/index.html
(3) Twinkle Bus Biei Lavender Course, makes a 20 mins stop at Furano Winery. Only available from 30 Jul to 12 Aug. Fee = 1000 yen.
(4) Taxi, about 1000 yen from Furano JR Station.

Hokkaido Summer 2012 北海道夏季之旅 - Day 1 Itinerary: Furano 富良野

Day 1 - 10.07.2012
https://maps.google.com.sg/maps/ms?msid=205065800026451234650.0004d3299e22f1f7e3e34&msa=0&ll=43.354892,142.384615&spn=0.038257,0.077162

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Asahikawa Airport (1340 hrs) > Furano JR Station (1500 hrs)
via Lavender Bus, fee = 1000 yen
Bus stops at Biei JR Station, Kamifurano, Nakafurano and New Furano Prince Hotel (Last stop).
Lavender Bus: http://www.furano-kankou.com/english/hyperlinks/access-Lavender-bus.htm

Check in: Furano Natulux Hotel

Visited Tourist Information Centre, located outside Furano JR Station:
- Purchased Kururu bus pass.
- Collected Choei Lavender Park chairlift discount voucher (300 - 50 yen discount = 250 yen).
- Arranged half day sightseeing taxi for Day 3.

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Attractions: Furano Grape Juice Factory and Winery

Furano JR Station > Grape Juice Factory
via taxi, fee = ~1000 yen
Had to take taxi because we missed the shuttle bus at 1520 hrs and the next one comes at 1620 hrs.

Grape Juice Factory > Winery (Chateau Furano)
approx 20 mins walk.

Winery (1726 hrs) > Furano JR Station (1730 hrs)
via Kururu bus, bus stop M.

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Dinner: Yuigadoxon (唯我独尊), for omelette and homemade sausage curry rice.

Strolled to Furano Elementary School, location for Hokkaido geographical center marker.

- End of Day 1 -

Hokkaido Summer 2012 北海道夏季之旅 - Furano Natulux Hotel

Stayed 10.07.2012 - 12.07.2012 (3 days)
Booked through Agoda.sg.


- Booked a double room, inclusive of breakfast. Approx 300 SGD.

- Small space but simplistic and stylish design/layout, usage of neutral colours created a cosy atmosphere.


- Breakfast served in Natural Dining Restaurant & Bar. Choice of Western or Japanese set - tried both and were equally sumptuous and tasty. Apart from free flow of coffee, tea and orange juice, you get to choose between fruit/vege juice and Furano milk (I had milk for three consecutive days!). Not forgetting to mention the free flow of tasty bread made by the kitchen, which we had several helpings during breakfast.

- Highly recommended if you want to make use of public transport (trains, buses and taxis) to visit nearby attractions, especially during summer. During winter, Natulux is of a less popular choice. Most visitors will choose accommodation (e.g. New Furano Prince Hotel, Naturwald Hotel, Hotel Bells Hill, etc) in Kitanomine area (北の峰) as most skiing/winter activities take place there. Kitanomine area is about 10 - 15 minutes bus/taxi ride away from Furano JR Station.

- Great hospitality and service left a deep impression on me. Hotel also employs part-time Mandarin speaking staff, catering to the influx of visitors from Taiwan and Hong Kong.

Recognition: Rated 1 star in Michelin Guide Hokkaido 2012.

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What's nearby?
(1) Furano JR Station (T30), a stone throw away.

(2) Tourist Information Centre, located outside Furano JR Station.
Visit this place to gather info and discount vouchers/coupons to attractions in Furano and Biei, purchase Kururu bus passes and arrange sightseeing taxis.

(3) Bus Terminal, outside Furano JR Station.
Lavender-go buses to/fro Asahikawa Airport, Twinkle Bus, Kururu Bus, buses to attractions such as Furano Grape Juice and Winery and Farm Tomita.

(4) Supermarket, located just behind the hotel.
Opening hours: 1000 - 1900 hrs

View Larger Map

(5) Within walking distance to Furano Marche (a small shopping complex comprises of shops selling locally grown agricultural products, souvenirs and cafe) and Hokkaido geographical center marker in Furano Elementary School.

(6) Famous eateries/restaurants featured in guide books/travelogue:
- Yuigadoxon (唯我独尊): well-known for their omu curry rice and homemade sausages.
- Kumagera: well-known for their raw beef rice and Bandit's hot pot.

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Furano Natulux Hotel
http://www.natulux.com/en/about/index.html
1-35 Asahi-machi
Furano City, Furano
Japan 076-0026

View Larger Map

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Hokkaido Summer 2012 北海道夏季之旅 - Day 0 Arrival: SIN > HND > AKJ

Day 0 - 09.07.2012
Day 1 - 10.07.2012

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Route: 
(1) S'pore Changi T3 (2130 hrs) > Haneda (HND) Int Terminal, 羽田空港 (0515 hrs)
via SQ636
Note: Japan timing is +1 hour later than Singapore. 

(2) HND Int Terminal > HND Domestic Terminal 2 
via Airport shuttle bus service, to board the bus at Level 1. 
- Loop service which ferry passengers from Int Terminal to Domestic Terminal 1 and 2. 
- Bus comes every 6 minutes. 


(3) HND Domestic Terminal 2 (1115 hrs) > Asahikawa (AKJ), 旭川空港 (1250 hrs)
via Air Do NH4757


Asahikawa Airport: http://www.aapb.co.jp/

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Purchase: 
Due to stiff competition from budget air carriers, SQ has been offering pretty attractive deals recently. Deal grabbed, without further ado.

As there are no direct flights to Hokkaido from S'pore, a transit at either Haneda or Narita Airport is required. The more well-known domestic air carriers that fly to Hokkaido are namely ANA, JAL, Air Do (Hokkaido Int Airlines, in which ANA is a major stakeholder) and HAC (Hokkaido Air System).

For visitors travelling to Japan via air carriers who are members of (1) Star Alliance (SQ, ANA) and (2) One World (Cathay Pacific, JAL), they are entitled to purchase domestic air fares from ANA and JAL, respectively, at cheaper rates.

(1) ANA: http://www.ana.co.jp/wws/sg/e/wws_common/fare/special/airpass.html
(2) JAL: http://www.oneworld.com/flights/single-continent-fares/visit-japan/

How it works:
Per domestic flight ticket = 10,000 yen + 500 yen consumption tax + applicable airport taxes
This programme/campaign allows visitors to travel up to 5 destinations within Japan.
- Personally I think this is a good deal to make use of.

Tip: If you are travelling by ANA or JAL, it is recommended to book all your air tickets on their online website and you will automatically be entitled to the cheaper domestic airfares.

However, if you are travelling via a partner airline, you will need to purchase the tickets through authorised travel agents, e.g. JTB, to enjoy the cheaper domestic airfares. An additional administrative fee (I paid $20 per pax) will be charged as well.

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5 long hours of wait @ HND Airport:
Was advised by travel agent not to book the earlier flight to Asahikawa (0650 hrs), in the event SQ flight is delayed. Duration between the two flights was less than two hours. However, we can request to be on the earlier flight, if we reach there on time.

To our delight, plane touched down in Japan punctually and upon immigration clearance and baggage collection, we rushed to domestic terminal immediately, hoping to board this earlier flight.
To our dismay, only two seats were available and we had to stick to original plan.

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Commemorative stamps: 
- Haneda Airport 羽田空港 -
- Asahikawa Airport 旭川空港 -