Biei: Exploring Local Culture & Traditions

Biei: Exploring Local Culture & Traditions

Biei: Exploring Local Culture & Traditions

Welcome to Biei, a charming town located in the Kamikawa Subprefecture of Hokkaido, Japan. Known for its picturesque landscapes and agricultural traditions, Biei offers visitors an authentic taste of rural Japan. Immerse yourself in the local culture and explore the unique traditions that have defined this region for centuries.

Local Festivals and Events

Biei is renowned for its lively festivals and events that showcase the town's rich cultural heritage. Here are a few must-visit events:

  • Hokkai Heso Matsuri: Held annually in July, this quirky festival celebrates the bellybutton (heso) and features humorous performances, giant bellybutton floats, and lively street parades.
  • Biei Lavender Festival: Taking place from mid-July to early August, this festival celebrates the region's vibrant lavender fields with musical performances, art exhibitions, and local food stalls.
  • Biei Town Fall Festival: Held in September, this festival highlights the autumn harvest season. Visitors can enjoy traditional dance performances, local delicacies, and participate in various cultural activities.

Traditional Crafts and Artisanal Products

Biei is known for its skilled artisans who craft beautiful handmade products. Here are a few traditional crafts and artisanal products to look out for:

  • Biei Glass: Visit the Biei Glass Studio to witness the art of glassblowing and check out the exquisite glassware created by local craftsmen.
  • Biei Woodwork: Discover the intricate woodwork crafted by skilled artisans using traditional techniques passed down through generations. You can find beautiful wooden furniture, utensils, and decorative items.
  • Biei Pottery: Explore the captivating world of Biei pottery, known for its unique glazes and delicate designs. From teapots to bowls, these handmade ceramics make for exceptional souvenirs.
  • Biei Textiles: Drop by the local textile workshops to witness the creation of exquisite fabrics. Take home handwoven scarves, blankets, or traditional garments as a cherished reminder of your visit.

Culinary Delights

No visit to Biei is complete without savoring its delectable local cuisine. Indulge in the following culinary delights:

  • Biei Wagyu Beef: Known for its melt-in-your-mouth tenderness and rich flavor, Biei Wagyu beef is a must-try delicacy. Sample it as steak, sukiyaki, or shabu-shabu.
  • Biei Milk Products: Biei is famous for its high-quality dairy products. Treat yourself to creamy ice cream, flavorful yogurts, and fresh milk straight from local farms.
  • Soba Noodles: Biei is renowned for its handcrafted soba noodles made from locally grown buckwheat. Enjoy a steaming bowl of soba noodles with a side of tempura for a fulfilling meal.
  • Furano Wine: Venture into nearby Furano to experience its flourishing wine industry. Take a tour of wineries, sample different varieties of wine, and bring back a bottle of Furano's finest as a memento.

Outdoor Adventures

Biei's natural beauty is best explored through outdoor activities. Here are some adventurous options:

  • Biei Blue Pond: Visit the stunning Blue Pond known for its vibrant blue-colored water, caused by natural minerals. Take a leisurely stroll around the pond and capture breathtaking photos.
  • Mount Tokachidake: Embark on a hiking expedition to the majestic Mount Tokachidake, known for its breathtaking views and challenging trails. Enjoy the serenity of nature as you explore this volcanic mountain.
  • Furano Bike Trail: Rent a bike and explore the picturesque Furano Bike Trail, which stretches around the vast countryside. Enjoy the scenic landscapes, charming villages, and fields of colorful flowers along the way.
  • Biei River Rafting: For thrill seekers, embark on a rafting adventure down the Biei River. Experience the rush of white water rafting while enjoying the picturesque surroundings.

Getting There and Around

Biei can be reached by train from major cities like Sapporo and Asahikawa. The nearest airport is Asahikawa Airport, which offers domestic flights. Once in Biei, it is recommended to rent a car to explore the town and its surrounding areas conveniently.


Biei offers various accommodation options to suit every traveler's needs. Choose from traditional ryokans (Japanese inns) for an authentic experience, cozy guesthouses for a homely atmosphere, or modern hotels for added comfort.

Experience the vibrant local culture, indulge in exquisite cuisine, and bask in the natural beauty of Biei. Discover the charm of this rural town and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.