Furano: Summer in the Purple City *RERUN
Hokkaido Prefecture is a locale full of vast lands in the north of Japan. In its center, lies the city of Furano. The 3 months of summer, July to September, is Furano's tourist season, and a total of 2 million people come to visit Furano from all over the world. In this episode of Seasoning the Seasons, we bring you a short summer tale of northern Japan.

The Enchanted "Queen of Purples"

Travelers to Furano head straight to the more than 15 lavender farms in the city. Lavenders, flowers which the city is famous for, are native to the Mediterranean. Because of its elegant color and fragrance, it is referred to as the "queen of herbs." It is a wonderful season when the city is enveloped in the purple flowers. Cultivation of lavenders began in 1946, when farmers wanted the oil that is harvested from the lavender, used to make perfumes and cosmetics.

Kingdom of Vegetables

In Summer, Furano becomes one of the best treasure troves for vegetables in Japan. The types of vegetables here are plentiful. Of all the vegetables grown in Hokkaido, most of them can be harvested in Furano. The city is a basin surrounded by mountains. Vegetables are mainly grown in the fields on the plains, and the climate with temperature differences unique to the basin geology creates vegetables with a strong sweetness.

Hokkai Navel Festival

Every year on July 28 and 29, Furano's largest festival takes place, an occasion that the locals look forward to. It is the "Hokkai Heso Matsuri" or the Hokkai Navel Festival. The participants dance with faces drawn on their bare stomachs. This festival was born to unite the locals when 2 towns merged and became Furano City. Today, during the 2 days of the festival, the town is flooded with 70,000 tourists. And anyone can join in the dance if they want to.