Escapade 2014 - Biei & Furano (Day 4 & 5)

Previous blog posts:
Sapporo I (Day 1 & 2)
Sapporo II (Day 3 & 4)
Moerenuma (Day 4)

After leaving Moerenuma park, we drove in our little rented Toyota towards Biei. 
We made many stops to the convenient store for some snacks and restroom breaks along the way. I am still amazed at how most of the convenient store restrooms in Japan are open to the public. 

Sigma 60mm f2.8 taken from the car window

Sigma 60mm f2.8 taken from the car window

Sony 35mm f1.8 OSS "Shotgun"

Sony 35mm f1.8 OSS
"Shotgun"

The countryside almost felt like the drive to Yosemite in America (flat farmlands until very hilly and mountainous region). Other than the hazy weather, it was very beautiful and had that beautiful lush landscape that made me definitely want to comeback in the near future for the autumn foliage.

On our way to the Minshuku (motel) in Biei, we stopped at Farm Tomita which was on the way. Biei and Furano are famous for the field of flowers especially lavender during summer. Farm Tomita seemed to be one of the more popular ones in the area. 
 

Samyang 12mm f2.0

Samyang 12mm f2.0

Samyang 12mm f2.0

Samyang 12mm f2.0

Sony 20mm f2.8

Sony 20mm f2.8

Sony 20mm f2.8

Sony 20mm f2.8

Nothing like the smell of lavender in the summer ;)
Unfortunately around sunset time, most of the flower fields in Farm Tomita were closed off for fumigation. One of the worker even shooed me off yelling "poison poison." 

After the checkin at the Minshuku, we headed out into a small restaurant nearby for some late dinner. The restaurant was closed but the owner was very kind enough to open up the restaurant just for us.
The night in Biei was pretty enchanting. It felt very quiet and peaceful especially after spending three nights in Sapporo. 
 

Sony 20mm f2.8 

Sony 20mm f2.8 

Sony 35mm f1.8 OSS

Sony 35mm f1.8 OSS

Sony 35mm f1.8 OSS Some low light portrait funsies

Sony 35mm f1.8 OSS
Some low light portrait funsies

Sony 20mm f2.8

Sony 20mm f2.8

After watching the last train leave the station, we returned to the Minshuku, finished up a beer can, and went to sleep. 

I woke up early in the morning to try to capture some morning landscape shots. Luckily, there was a sunrise park right behind the Minshuku place. 

Sigma 60mm f2.8

Sigma 60mm f2.8

Sigma 60mm f2.8 Field of barleys

Sigma 60mm f2.8
Field of barleys

Sigma 60mm f2.8 Crows

Sigma 60mm f2.8
Crows

Sony 35mm f1.8 OSS Sunrise through lavender

Sony 35mm f1.8 OSS
Sunrise through lavender

Sony 20mm f2.8

Sony 20mm f2.8

Sigma 60mm f2.8

Sigma 60mm f2.8

The view of the fog moving through the hills reminded me of Tuscany and little bit of Palouse. After enjoying the morning sunrise, we headed out again to Furano for more flower farms :) One can never get enough of farms full of flowers.
 

Sony 20mm f2.8

Sony 20mm f2.8

Sony 35mm f1.8 Rapeseed Flowers

Sony 35mm f1.8
Rapeseed Flowers

Sony 20mm f2.8

Sony 20mm f2.8

Sony 20mm f2.8 Family time

Sony 20mm f2.8
Family time

After awhile, all the farm names seem to all sound the same so lost track of them. But they were all beautiful and smelled like a piece of flowery heaven :)
 

Sigma 60mm f2.8 Cosmos

Sigma 60mm f2.8
Cosmos

After a quick lunch at a restaurant in Furano, we headed out towards Shirohige fall and Blue Pond. 
 

Sony 20mm f2.8 Shirohige

Sony 20mm f2.8
Shirohige

Sony 35mm f1.8  Blue Pond

Sony 35mm f1.8 
Blue Pond

Sony 20mm f2.8 Blue Pond

Sony 20mm f2.8
Blue Pond

Sony 35mm f1.8 Blue Pond

Sony 35mm f1.8
Blue Pond

Sony 20mm f2.8 Some photohshop funsies

Sony 20mm f2.8
Some photohshop funsies

Both Shirohige and Blue pond were amazing. It was touristy but definitely worth the stop. After visiting both we stopped by another small waterfall along the way between Shirohige and Blue Pond. It was fairly unknown and off the touristy map but we decided to check out since we were going to drive past it. 
 

Samyang 12mm f2.0

Samyang 12mm f2.0

Sony 20mm f2.8

Sony 20mm f2.8

Other than the mosquitos, the creek and the cascading waterfall were definitely worth checking it out. A small shrine next to the water and the lush creek foliage were very picturesque. 

We drove around the region until we met another major flower farm. We decided to stop by for some sunset shots. 

Sony 35mm f1.8 OSS

Sony 35mm f1.8 OSS

Sigma 60mm f2.8

Sigma 60mm f2.8

Sigma 60mm f2.8 some portrait funsies

Sigma 60mm f2.8
some portrait funsies

Samyang 12mm f2.0

Samyang 12mm f2.0

Samyang 12mm f2.0

Samyang 12mm f2.0

Samyang 12mm f2.0

Samyang 12mm f2.0

Sigma 60mm f2.8

Sigma 60mm f2.8

After some Ashikawa styled Ramen at Biei, we headed back to the Minshuku for the night.

We did go check out the sunrise park for the night view of Biei, but the light at the park was little too strong for some clean shots.

Samyang 12mm f2.0 Burst of light :)

Samyang 12mm f2.0
Burst of light :)

To be continued...