Biei is a town located in Kamikawa District, almost in the heart of Hokkaido. It sits in the hilly terrain at the foot of the Mt. Tokachi-dake. This town began to attract people’s attention and became a popular sightseeing spot in 1970s, when Shinzo Maeda, a photographer famous all over the world, visited here and was impressed by the beauty of this town. In the next ten years, Shinzo Maeda came here repeatedly to take photographs and these photographs were widely used for post cards, photo collections, posters, TV commercials, films and so on. It is these beautiful photographs that make this town well known to all Japanese people. The Shinzo Maeda Photo Art Gallery, which is open to the public, exhibits many Shinzo Maeda’a excellent works. Tourists here are deeply impressed by these beautiful photographs.
Every year more than one million of tourists come here to enjoy its breathtaking scenery, especially its fantastic views of flowers, which you can see in the areas like “Hills of Seasonal Colors”, “Road of Patchwork” and “Hills of Zerubu”. If you stand on the hills and overlook these areas, then you can see a more spectacular scenery.
Tourists here will surely be overwhelmed by the magnificent views of those brightly coloured flowers , like sunflowers, lavenders, poppies, purple salvias, and cosmoses, which are cultivated crossly. You are allowed to walk through the flowers at some certain locations. In addition, there are oaks and poplars standing solemnly on a huge green field. Taking a rental bicycle or a sightseeing car is the best way to appreciate these special trees, which are used in posters or TV commercials, like “ Tree of Seven Stars”, “Tree of Parent and Child” and “ Tree of Ken and Mary”.
Also, in the town of Biei, you can access to some outdoor sports. In summer, here is a good place to go hiking, canoeing, camping, or you can take a walk along the river, or play golf and many other activities. And in winter, this town is wholly covered with thick snow, which offers a good condition for riding on a snowmobile or snow buggy.