Summer in Japan is when all the flowers are in bloom, and it’s also one of the best times to travel around Hokkaido, visiting the various farms. Around mid July-early August is when the sunflowers are in full bloom and the Hokuryu region is most famous for this.
Hokuryu (北竜町) is about a 2.5 hour drive from Sapporo city, and similar to a lot of Hokkaido, it’s not the most accessible via public transport. A train will take you so far before you need to taxi to the farm, but in summer there are typically many local day bus trips you can take (book a day trip here).
We did a short day trip to the sunflower fields, Himawari no Sato (ひまわりの里), and despite the poor weather, it was still a fun day. The farm has an undercover area with restaurants and souvenir shops selling a range of sunflower themed goods. One of the more interesting ones was sunflower ice cream! To be honest, I don’t really know what sunflowers taste like so I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was a mixture of vanilla, with the flower and a slightly grainier texture. It’s not particularly unique or strong, but was still a tasty treat in summer.
Entry to the farm is free and there are fields and fields of sunflowers as far as the eye can see. There’s a small observation deck which offers an aerial view and even from up there, the sunflowers don’t end – it’s really breathtaking! For those who get a bit bored after a while, there is also a sunflower maze (entry fee required) and a duck feeding area with feed also available for purchase.
Our day trip only consisted of the sunflower fields as we had limited time, but for those with a full day, people typically also head to Asahikawa (旭川) which is known for their famous zoo.
Himawari no Sato
Address: Himawari no Sato, Hokuryu-cho, Hokkaido
Cost: Free to enter and view + additional fee for activities