October 05, 17 | Fumiko Magota
Cycling around golden rice fields in Fukagawa City had great views!
Fukagawa City is one of the major fine-quality rice producers in Hokkaido, and it is at the third place regarding yields. Every year in early autumn, rice fields scattered around the city change the color to gold!
Seeing the beautiful rice fields from a car is nice but why don’t you try cycling? It is a nice workout and a great opportunity to feel the nature under the clear autumn sky.
So, I rented a power-assisted bicycle from “Maabu Campsite” and “Fukagawa Tourism Association” and went around places where I can get beautiful views of rice fields.
The rice field easy to access from “Maabu Campsite”I went to two sights from “Maabu Campsite” which is located at Otoe Area in the southern part of the city. That was “Totoro Toge Parking” and “Kunimi Park”.
“Totoro Toge Parking” is about 1.2 kilometers from the campsite along Hokkaido Road 79. I had to drive uphill on the way to the parking, and it was pretty difficult for me, but the power-assisted bicycle did assist me a lot.
The site is famous as an observation deck. I felt the city is very big from here.
▲The view from “Totoro Toge Parking”. All gold parts are rice fields. I was surprised such a number of rice fields in the city!
On the other hand, “Kunimi Park” is about 1.9 kilometers from the campsite, first to north and downhill then east to uphill. I passed rice fields and apple farms on the way.
▲There were rice fields just down the hill from the campsite.
▲Those are apple trees. Fukagawa is also famous for growing apples.
And the view from the observation area in the park is below. The green and river in front made gold rice fields more beautiful!
▲The view from Kunimi Park.
The 4 kilometers journey from the park to National Route 12 (Chuo Kokudo) in the west direction had lots of gingko trees, and it will be beautiful with yellow leaves in October.
The rice field from “Fukagawa Tourism Association”From “Fukagawa Tourism Association” in JR Fukagawa Station, I went to “Maruyama Park” and “Rice Field Area” which is a little far from the downtown.
▲JR Fukagawa Station
To “Maruyama Park” we go to the direction of Asahikawa and turn left at the end and keep going on Hokkaido Road 875. It is approximately 4 kilometers from the station. The view from the park had a mountain in front, and it was real Japanese rural scenery.
▲The view from “Maruyama Park” felt really authentic.
You can reach to “Rice Field Area” by going under the underpass to go to the other side of the railway, then proceed as the road continues. The view was very open, and I felt like I wanted to ride the bike as long as I can. You should be able to feel a nice smell of rice, too.
▲The straight road after passing the underpass.
▲Rice fields are very beautiful! It is almost ready to harvest.
If you are here, you should try a rice bowl from “Fukagawa Donburi Daisakusen”!If you get hungry on the way, you should try delicious rice from Fukagawa! Stop by one of the restaurants in the city participating in “Fukagawa Donburi Daisakusen 2017”.
The restaurants provide special rice bowl dishes using rice from Fukagawa and also involved in the stamp rally. Some places offer half size or small size, so it might be a good idea to go around two to three restaurants.
You can find restaurants participating in the campaign from the website below. The campaign is until November 26
▲“Fukagawa Zangi Rice Bowl” from “Sendo”, one of the participants. (The photo is provided by Fukagawa City)
Morning glow and sunset is recommended as well!It takes about 1.5 hours from Sapporo and 40 minutes from Asahikawa to Fukagawa City using Hokkaido Express Way.
The staff from Fukagawa City Shoya Narita told us about the cycling going around golden rice fields: “I recommend to visit here in the morning glow or sunset. The rice fields reflect the lights, and red sky is speechless, and I can forget everything.”
If you visit later in the season, you can see farmers harvesting with combines and rice fields after harvesting. Why don’t you spend a slow weekend and enjoy cycling in autumn?
There are many more sights where you can get a view of rice fields. Get a “Fukagawa Cycling Map” from Tourism Association or the Campsite and find your favorite rice field sight!
Text / Hokkaido Likers writer Fumiko Magota
Photo / Sapporo Commercial Photo Kei Utsuki