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Biei: Hokkaido's Charming Gem for Nature, Photography, and Culinary Adventures

Updated: Dec 17, 2023

Far away from the bustling city life, Biei offers a serene escape into nature's embrace. With its idyllic landscapes, rolling hills, and vibrant flower fields, this hidden gem is a haven for photographers, nature lovers, and those seeking a tranquil retreat. We journeyed through Biei's natural charm to revel in its beautiful scenery, enjoy the laid-back vibe, explore nearby wonders and experience what it’s like living in a quaint Japanese town. 



Snow-capped mountain range in Biei
Snow-capped mountain range in Biei


Journey to Biei Town


Having been to some of Japan’s key cities like Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka, and Sapporo, it felt a bit odd hopping on a small regional train with only a few cabins and  hardly any passengers in it. The view from the train ride from Asahikawa to Biei was full of rice fields, mountains and greenery — an indication that we’re heading to a rural town.


Look at that view right outside the Biei train station! It gets magical at dusk.



Majestic view outside Biei Station
Majestic view outside Biei Station


Biei's Quaint Charms


As you stroll through Biei town’s tulip-dotted streets, you'll immediately notice its understated beauty. Unassuming cafes and family grown restaurants offer the comfort of a good meal and cup of coffee. The postcard perfect image of dusk settling in is perhaps one of the best little joys you'll see, with the sky illuminating pink and purple hues against the snow-capped Tokachi mountain range. 



Biking around Biei town
Biking around Biei town


We also met the warmest and friendliest Japanese hosts who made us feel more than welcome in their home. Ayako-san made super delicious breakfast every morning for a minimal fee of 1,000 yen per person. Her husband picked us up from the train station and arranged our tasty dinner at a friend’s restaurant. The owner gave us a ride back to Ayako-san’s home after dinner. We’re so glad to have met such warm, accommodating and  thoughtful people.




One of the filling breakfast sets prepared by our host
One of the filling breakfast sets prepared by our host


We initially planned to stay in Biei for a few days but since we loved the experience of staying in a Japanese home, the laid-back vibe and captivating beauty of Biei, we extended our stay for a week. It instantly became one of our favorite places — and for good reason.


The picturesque landscapes of Biei are a treat for the eyes and the soul. Patchwork fields stretch endlessly, adorned with colorful flowers during the summer months. Lavender, sunflowers, and poppies paint the landscape with vibrant hues, offering a dreamy backdrop for your photos. The gentle breeze carries the sweet fragrance of nature, inviting you to slow down and embrace the tranquility and contentment. 













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