Biking at Bibaushi
Just as we thought it couldn’t get any more memorable. About an hour from Furano is Bibaushi, a small village on the way to Biei. It was a beautiful sunny day and we rented bikes and leisurely cycled around. We both agreed that it was the best part of a trip already full of bests. The rolling countryside with fields of corn, rice and what not is like an Asian version of Switzerland.
We cycled to the local school which is a much-photographed landmark. We also visited the Takushinkan, a museum of works by local photographer Shinzo Maeda, whose photographs of the local scenery are full of amazing colours and textures. We were glad we were on bikes because it gave us the freedom to stop every few minutes to admire the landscape and take pictures. It would have been more difficult with a car.
After Furano and Bibaushi we returned to Sapporo for our final 2 nights. About an hour from Sapporo is Otaru where we planned to visit last on our trip because we thought we’d get most of our shopping done there. We bought several music boxes, glassware and several sake sets. Unable to shake off the bicycling urge we rented bikes again and it proved to be very useful in nipping around the narrow streets.
The must see landmark in Otaru is the canal with the cluster of historic warehouses along the way, a remnant of Otaru’s shipping past. The warehouses are all converted to shops and restaurants nowdays but by day or by night, walking along the canal still retained its romantic feel.