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Flower fields and small farms at the base of the Taisetsu-san mountain range attract thousands of domestic and East Asian visitors hoping to get a taste of the simple country life. Although Western visitors may not be so wowed by lavender and potato fields, or by the art galleries and cutesy coffee shops that dot the region, it makes an attractive stopover area while driving to central
or east Hokkaido between late May and September. Biei is a small modern village with neighboring rolling hills and a patchwork of crop fields (potato, corn, soba, sunflowers) to cycle around; Furano is a small town famous throughout Japan for its lavender farms (when in bloom) and its ski resort.
A good touring base for eastern Hokkaido, Abashiri is a small town in the shadow of Tento-san. On the town outskirts are shallow coastal lakes...