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!
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
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
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