Hokkaido’s Lavender Fields: Farm Tomita Highlights, Sweets, and Tips
Farm Tomita is one of the best places to relish Hokkaido's beautiful lavender fields in the summer. From exciting activities and lavender-flavored treats to spectacularly colorful fields, there is plenty to enjoy during your visit.
Farm Tomita is located in Furano, an area famous for lavender farms. While Hokkaido is well known for its long snowy winters, locals know it's an excellent summer destination, too, with milder and humidity-free days and lush landscapes. Furano's lavender farms are synonymous with Hokkaido summers.
Furano, located in the center of Hokkaido, has been a home of lavender cultivation for over 50 years. Initially, lavender farming in Hokkaido was an agricultural industry, but it's become a living, major-scale art display and tourist attraction over time.
Farm Tomita is Furano's centerpiece when it comes to all things lavender. This facility, with the ruggedly beautiful Tokachi Mountain Range backdrops, is home to a variety of attractions, from the vividly colorful fields to exhibits, workshops, and culinary experiences that explore the potential, beauty, and versatility of this gorgeous flower. The farm is open all year round, but if it's the endless purple fields you want to see, it's best to visit between late June to early August.
Farm Tomita Overview
As much of an amusement park as a farm, Farm Tomita is one of Hokkaido’s most iconic attractions, drawing around a million annual guests, many of whom flock here during the summer months to catch the fields in full bloom.
The site’s origin dates back to 1903 when Tokuma Tomita, who came to Furano from Fukui Prefecture, began the early stages of what would become the first incarnation of Farm Tomita. Lavender cultivation became increasingly popular in the Furano area in the 1950s. Farm Tomita started cultivating lavender in 1958, mainly for lavender essence.
It was around the mid-1970s that the farm started to capture the attention of visitors. Its fields of bright purple caught the eyes of guests traveling through the area in summer. But it wouldn’t be until the early 1990s that the farm’s non-production facilities would open, the first being Hanabito House, which capitalized on the farm’s appeal as a tourist destination.
Facilities and Attractions at Farm Tomita
Today the farm boasts a total of 15 different attractions, not including the flower fields. Each of these attractions offers something a little different, from workshop displays to snack stalls selling the must-try pastel-purple lavender soft-cream to a small but well-designed gallery showcasing some of the best photographic work of Furano’s lavender fields.
With so much to do, it’s recommended you put aside a day to make the most of your time here. With a whole day, you can also explore some of the other lavender attractions located not too far from Farm Tomita to get a more comprehensive view of Hokkaido’s lavender culture.
How to Enjoy Your Stay at Farm Tomita
Start the day exploring the fields. Especially if the weather is good, it's a great chance to snap those perfect photos and take in the sights before going deeper into the farm's other activities.
As you enter the farm, which faces east, you'll be greeted by the colorful Hanabito Field, situated right in front of Hanabito House. This field is populated by various flowers – including lavender – that offer different scenes depending on the season. In spring, expect bright bulb blossoms, while summer is best for lavender viewing.
Behind this field is Sakiwai Field, which in its many gradations of purple is a great way to explore the unique varieties of lavender.
Following the paths to the last field of the front part of the farm, this field comprises two fields: the Spring Field where Iceland poppies bloom, and Autumn Field, from which in summer guests are welcomed with the sweet, delicate fragrance of Japanese roses.
After exploring the farm's front fields, head up west towards the hills, behind the Distillery, Workshop, and Greenhouse, to lose yourself in the even bigger and more diverse display of flowers located here.
There are several fields to explore, including the popular rolling Irodori Field, the Lavender Forest Field, the Forest Field covered in baby's breath and other brightly colored flowers, to the newest, poppy-covered Hilltop Field (2017), White Birch Forest, and two more lavender fields that occupy the northern corner of the farm.
As you wander through, you're sure to find a favorite floral display, which you can return to after exploring the farm's other attractions.
Activities to Enjoy in the Lavender Fields
Running in the middle of the farm, between the two collections of fields, is where you’ll find most of the site’s attractions. There’s the open Distillery, where guests can take a look at the only essential lavender oil distillery in action.
Next to the Distillery is the Perfume Workshop and gift store. In the workshop, which is open from late April to mid-October, you can watch expert perfumers hard at work creating gorgeously fragrant blends, which you can sample and buy at the workshop’s gift store Proche House, located next door.
Gallery Fleur is a bit of a secret gem when it comes to Farm Tomita’s attractions. The modern gallery exhibits photos showcasing the farm’s landscape throughout the four seasons, and in summer is a quiet and air-conditioned space, perfect for cooling off.
If you visit outside of summer, right by the gallery also sits the Greenhouse, where you can see lavender no matter the time of year.
Lavender Ice Cream and Other Sweets! Food to Try at Farm Tomita
The culinary offerings of Farm Tomita offer something for all visitors. Still, the most popular food item is the lavender soft cream, which is as tasty as it is photogenic. You can buy the soft cream from a few locations throughout the farm, including Poppy House, located at the entrance, and Arbre House up the back of the farm, and the central Sakiwai Trail Petit Shop.
Other culinary highlights include the lavender lemonade, sold in traditional Japanese ramune glass bottles, fresh sweet melon, and the melon-cream-filled crispy and soft melon pan, at the store located in the Flower House looking out over Hanabito Field.
Cafe Rene, a sun-drenched, glass-built cafe serves Hokkaido specialties, like curries using local vegetables and fried potatoes.
Recommended Photo Spots and Tips for Instagram-worthy Photos
When it comes to getting the perfect photo at Farm Tomita, it’s hard to go wrong. However, there are some little tips.
If you want to get a sweeping view of the facility, inside the Perfume Workshop is a viewing platform that’s quiet, offering a little respite from the crowds and the ideal spot to fit as much as you can into the frame. Another good ‘up high’ spot is from the observatory deck atop Flower House.
Looking at the fields, all of them are stunning, and no matter where you go, there will be plenty of opportunities.
However, for lavender, we’d suggest going to the Traditional Lavender Field located at the northern back corner of the farm, as it’s situated on a hill, making it a great backdrop.
Also, the bright red colors of the Hilltop Field contrasting with the lush green forest backdrop makes for a unique photo as the field is quite new and hasn’t been as exposed as the others.
Recommended Souvenirs From Farm Tomita
The Dried Flower House is an excellent spot to pick up a gorgeous dried flower arrangement for souvenirs. The store was designed by the Dutch floral designer Len Alkemade who crafted the dried flower displays you see here, and it's here you'll surely find some inspiration.
The Perfume Workshop is another highlight when it comes to gift shopping. Here you'll find a huge variety of perfume blends, and you can also explore the bookmark section, where guests can create bookmarks scented with their favorite perfumes.
When to Visit? The Best Season to Visit Farm Tomita
The farm is open throughout the year, with seasonal flowers blossoming between early May to mid-October. From late June to early August is the best time to visit if you want to catch the lavender in full bloom.
If you're visiting in winter, the farm is open as a 'Winter Garden' where guests can admire the ice-crusted poplar trees and try sledding.
Access to Farm Tomita
You can reach Farm Tomita via the JR Furano Line, a direct train from Asahikawa Station (about one hour each). The closest regular station is Nakafurano Station, about a 25-minute walk or short taxi ride from the farm.
If you're visiting between early June to late September, the train also stops at the temporary Lavender-Batake Station, but check the schedule ahead of time, as it doesn't stop at the station as regularly as the other stations.
The farm is also a destination for some sightseeing buses from Furano. If you're traveling by car, there is free parking available.
Going Further: Lavender East
If you want to explore Furano's lavender scene a little further afield, Farm Tomita has another farm, Lavender East, one of Japan's largest lavender fields located four kilometers east of Farm Tomita. The facility has a cafe, store, observation deck and offers scenic "Lavender Bus" rides (for a fee) through the lavender fields.
*In 2021, Lavender East was closed as a measure to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 infections.