All photographs © Shunichi ABE. All rights reserved


Biei is like a page from a picture book, capturing spreading rolling hills and an almost complete panoramic view of the Taisetsu mountain range. You can enjoy Biei throughout the year, with the snow-capped tips of the Taisetsuzan contrasting the bare soil in spring, beautiful flowers and blue sky in the summer, autumn leaves and bright yellow rape blossoms in fall, and pure white powder snow in winter. You can't help but be fascinated by the distinct visual effects produced in each season by the spectral interplay between the hills and mountains in the background.

In the town itself, every building along the main street ( Biei Hondori Shotengai) is obligated to follow a building code requiring buildings to have a triangular roof and to display their year of construction. JR Biei station, though not large by any stretch, is a quietly polite, photogenic little building. Diagonally across from the station building you'll find the Tourist Information center, called “Shiki no Jyouhou-kan (four seasons information center)”. The Center is relatively new and is filled with many Biei local products, gifts, and maps. There is also a little rest area to sit down nd read a magazine or brochure.

The West side of JR Biei station is known for its “photo spots.” The Northwest Observatory Park, Seven star tree, and Mild Seven hill are on this side of Biei. The East side of Biei is more conducive to hands-on experiences like farm visits, craft workshops and small interesting cafes and restaurants. Still further east towards the mountain range you'll find the Shirogane onsen area. During summer, the road from Shirogane onsen and Tokachidake onsen is open. You are able to drive through volcanic mountains that have seen eruptions as recently as 1989.

Biei is also known as the “artists’ town.” You can find many unique shops, restaurants, B&Bs, art studios, and small galleries scattered around the town and its outskirts.

For more information about Biei and things to do and see there, please visit the Biei Tourism Association website.


Biei Facts

The origins of the name "Biei"
The Ainu called this place “piye” which means oily or not clear. The pioneers heard it differently and used similar sounding kanji to make the meaning “beautiful and bright as a king.” Most of places in Hokkaido have Ainu names, Bibaushi in Biei is from the Ainu “pipaush” meaning the place where green shell muscles live, Rubeshibe is from the Ainu “rupeshpe” meaning downhill road from mountain.

Potato Flower
From the end of June to the beginning of July you can see the beautiful potato flowers in the Biei hills. Oddly enough, the color of flowers changes depending on the types of potatoes. Potatoes originating from Ireland “danshaku" (meaning baron) have light violet flowers. Potatoes originating from England “may queen” have bold purple flowers. Potato chip potatoes “toyoshiro” have beautiful white flowers. The Hokkaido native “kita akari” have light red flowers.

Panorama Road
Follow the Panorama Road to cover all the must-see destinations in Biei. The 17.3km (about 11 miles) tour route will take you to fascinating destinations. Just to make the drive without stopping takes a bit over an hour, so be prepared to spend a whole day.

Shirogane Onsen
Shirogane Onsen is a short 25 min. drive towards the Taisetsu mountain range from Biei. The main activity here is relaxing and enjoying the abundant nature. They offer excellent indoor and outdoor baths, as well as various hiking and trekking courses for both beginner and advanced level hikers.


  • Biei Accommodation
  • Biei Restaurants


  • Biei Sightseeing Spots
  • Biei Entertainment

Biei Information

Population: 11,700

Main Industry:
Agriculture and tourism

Average Agricultural land per household: 19 ha

Biei Tourism Association
C/O Shiki no Jyouhou-kan
Biei-cho Honmachi 1 chome,
Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido
Web: www.biei-hokkaido.jp (JP)


How to get to Biei From Asahikawa

Route 237 in Biei/Furano direction,    24km (30 min.)
No. 39 for Shirogane-sen
No. 40 for Biei-sen
(50 min.)

JR Furano-sen 
Biei station       (32 min.)

How to get to Biei from Asahikawa Airport

Route 237 in Biei/Furano direction (15 min.)

Furano Bus (15 min.)


    Asahikawa City
    Asahikawa's Neighbours
    Asahiyama Zoo
    Aibetsu Town
    Daisetsuzan National Park
    Higashikawa Town
    Kamui Ski Links
    Otokoyama Park
    Tomita Lavender Farm