It’s not just flowers that thrive in Furano’s fertile soil. The area is also known for its melons, potatoes, onions, milk and grapes. At Chateau Furano (w www.furanowine.jp; Sept–May 9am–4.30pm, June–Aug till 6pm; free), around 4km northwest of Furano Station, you can sip from a range of 18 different wines; some of them are fairly palatable. The obvious accompaniment is cheese, and this can be sampled at the Furano Cheese Factory (富良野チーズ工房; w www.furano.ne.jp/furano-cheese; Apr–Oct 9am–5pm; Nov–Mar till 4pm; free), about 1km east of the New Furano Prince Hotel. Apart from selling concoctions such as a brie turned black with squid ink, this fun facility also allows you to practise milking a fake cow (¥100) and sign up for bread, butter-, cheese- and ice cream-making workshops (¥680–850).

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