If you visit Daisetsuzan or Sounkyo Onsen in Hokkaido, the Daisetsu Mori-no Garden is a spot you will definitely want to add to your sightseeing itinerary. In this sculpted flower garden with a view of the Daisetsu Mountain Range, you’ll enjoy spending a relaxing time in the soothing embrace of nature. There is a restaurant and café in the park that are owned by master French chef Kiyomi Mikuni, where you can also savor an elegant lunch and exquisite sweets made with the finest Hokkaido ingredients.
What is the Daisetsu Mori-no Garden?
The Daisetsu Mori-no Garden is a garden situated at Daisetsu Kogen Asahigaoka located at the northern foot of the Daisetsu Mountain Range. It is one of eight famous gardens in Hokkaido registered in the Hokkaido Garden Highway and is located about one hour by car from Asahikawa Airport and about 30 minutes from Sounkyo Onsen.
The Flower Garden in the Forest is the main garden and boasts more than 700 varieties of blooming flowers as well as the Forest Guest House set within an enclosure of trees. Here also is the Daisetsu Mori-no Garden's symbolic Dress Garden TWIN. In this soothing space it almost seems that you can hear the breath of the seasonal flowers.
The Garden Shop and Garden Café are located at the garden entrance. This is the perfect spot to take a break and have a look for souvenirs either before or after sightseeing. While there is an entrance fee for the garden there are none for the shop and café areas which you can freely enjoy.
The Fratello di Mikuni, owned by Kiyomi Mikuni, sits atop a small hill located a short 5-minute walk from the garden entrance. An exquisite lunch while viewing the Daisetsu Mountain Range provides visitors with a time of bliss.
Follow along as we explore each of the major areas in the park!
Feel like a movie heroine in the Flower Garden in the Forest!
Let’s begin with the garden.
The Flower Garden in the Forest was designed by Sayuki Ueno, senior gardener at Ueno Farm located in Asahikawa City. In all, there are five themed gardens such as Kamui Mintara, Fountain of Flowers, and Familiar Garden.
One of the garden’s special features is that the flowers have been planted so that their beauty can be enjoyed throughout all the seasons as opposed to coming into bloom only at one particular time. Whether you visit in spring, summer, or autumn, the garden will be awash in colorful flowers.
In the back of the Flower Garden in the Forest there is the Forest Guest House. The Dress Garden TWIN is near the boundary between the Flower Garden in the Forest and the Forest Guest House, and is a great place to snap some photos! Taking a selfie here you may feel like the heroine in a movie or a fairy in the woods.
Forest Guest House: Where your relaxing time seems to pass more slowly
After snapping selfies at the Dress Garden TWIN, meander on to the Forest Guest House sitting atop the broad hill. The colorful landscape of the Flower Garden in the Forest suddenly turns into a landscape of lush greenery.
Having for its concept "forest hospitality", the Guest House in the Forest was created in a way that utilizes the trees growing there. Here, too, there are five theme gardens.
Valley of Healing, set in a recessed area, is a highly recommended spot for those who want to escape the fatigue of daily life.
Why not sit here on the terrace bathed in sunlight filtered through the trees and forget the time while enjoying the view of the fields spread out before you? Sitting under the warm sun you may catch yourself dozing off. It’s really quite relaxing.
Items sold at the garden shop
The most popular item here is the Forest Gaufrette (6 pieces, 741 yen less tax). It is a confection of framboise cream sandwiched between gaufrette wafers made from glutinous rice produced locally in Kawakami Town.
Daisetsu Mori-no Garden大雪 森のガーデン
- Address 841-8 Kikusui, Kamikawa-cho, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido
- Phone Number 01658-2-4655
[2018 garden summer hours of operation] April 28 ~ May 18: 9:30 a.m. ~ 5:30 p.m. (Last admission 5:00 p.m.); May 19 ~ September 9: 9:00 a.m. ~ 6:00 p.m. (Last admission 5:00 p.m.); September 10 ~ October 14: 9:00 a.m. ~ 5:00 p.m. (Last admission 4:00 p.m.)
[2018 garden winter hours of operation] December 22 ~ end of March 2019 (tentative)
[2018 garden shop hours of operation] April 28 ~ October 14: 9:00 a.m. ~ 6:00 p.m. ※Times may vary. Closed during winter
※ Times of operation vary each year
Days closed: Open daily during season
Garden admission: Adults: 800 yen (including tax); free for junior high aged and younger
Enjoy light meals and sweets made with local ingredients at the garden cafe
The Ryokkyu (Green Hill) Tea House is located just outside the garden shop. Guests can enjoy drinks and snacks while viewing the garden from the inside of the shop. Recommended are the snacks and sweets made with sake lees and sweet sake from the Kamikawa Taisetsu Brewery. You really must try them!
Hot Dog Sakekasu Cheese is a grilled hot dog topped with cheddar, shredded cheese, and sake lees. The delicious aroma of sake permeates each bite. The cheese and sake lees go well together! It’s really delicious!
And this is the perfect drink to go with it.
A non-alcoholic drink, the content changes according to the season, but on the day I visited it consisted of orange juice and tonic soda topped with cassis ice cream. Its dry flavor was a perfectly marriage with the hot dog.
Here are some recommended sweets.
The parfaits, such as the strawberry one, contain seasonal fruit and sweet sake to which is added soft ice cream, shiratama (rice-flour dumplings), matcha (green tea), and lots of cocoa crumble. The presence of the sake is not that strong, so the parfait has a refreshing flavor to the very last bite!
Sometimes the sweetness of sweet sake can be a bit much, but combined with the acidic frozen strawberries it becomes refreshing. Here they are perfectly balanced!
You can leisurely enjoy gelato at the Ryokkyu Tea House. The gelato, made with milk from dairy cows raised on the organic pastures of the Toyohara Ranch in Kamikawa Town, is handmade by the Fratello di Mikuni chef.
When served in cups, gelato is 300 yen for a single scoop, 400 yen for a double, 500 yen for a triple, and when served in cones there is an additional 50 yen per scoop (all include tax)
There are many varieties of gelato with about 10 kinds displayed in the store every day. It's fun to imagine which types will be offered on the day you visit!
Garden Cafe Ryokkyu Tea Houseガーデンカフェ「緑丘茶房」
- Address 841-8 Kikusui, Kamikawa-cho, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido
- Phone Number 01658-2-4655
[2018 Hours of Operation] April 28 ~ October 14: 9:30 a.m. ~ 5:00 p.m. (Light meal last order 3:00 p.m.) ※Times may vary. Closed during winter season
Holidays: none during the season
While enjoying the majestic landscape, savor Mikuni’s delicious cuisine
Last of all, I will introduce Fratello di Mikuni, a garden restaurant where you can enjoy a memorable lunch.
Here you can savor courses created with seasonal Hokkaido ingredients.
We ordered the Daisetsu Four Seasons Course (3,500 yen, including tax, per person; for two or more; reservation required).
The first course was the Vegetable Garden Style Vegetable Salad. This artistic creation evoking the image of flowers and trees rising up from the earth was such a delight to behold it seemed almost a shame to eat.
The second course was the "Ruru Rosso" Tagliolini made with Rumoi wheat, snow crab, and spring cabbage.
The main course was Ebetsu Amamu Maiale Arrosto. Chef Mikuni samples pork from various regions in Hokkaido and uses the pork loin which he feels to be the most delicious. It goes well with the mustard sauce.
The final course is dessert and coffee. The dessert on this day was a chocolate terrine topped with a strawberry mousse served with milk gelato.
Afterwards relax for a while in the salon gallery near the entrance.
According to the staff, wildlife often appears outside the window. I was once again reminded that this was not a restaurant in the city but one situated in the midst of nature.
There are villas near the restaurant where it is possible to spend the night (rates are from 19,440 yen, including tax and service fee, per individual per day with two meals included). For dinner, you can enjoy a full course Mikuni dinner made from the natural bounty of Hokkaido, and for breakfast a special plate made with morning grilled vegetables selected by the chef himself.
Fratello di Mikuniフラテッロ・ディ・ミクニ
- Address Kikusui Asahigaoka, Kamikawa-cho, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido
- Phone Number 01658-2-3921
Open: All year. However, between December and March lunch is served at Ryokkyu between 10:00 a.m. ~ 3:00 p.m. at which time light meals and drinks are served and only dinner is served at Fratello di Mikuni (reservations are required for villa accommodations)
Hours: 11:30 a.m. ~ 2:00 p.m.; 6:00 p.m. ~ 8:00 p.m.
In the Daisetsu Mori-no Garden sprawling across the plateau at the foot of the Daisetsu Mountain Range, there are gardens of colorful flowers and plants where you can feel the breath of nature as well as cafes and restaurants where you can enjoy delicious cuisine made with local ingredients. Here you can forget the stress and fatigue of daily life in a relaxed and soothing atmosphere where time passes by slowly. Why not come here and experience firsthand all the pleasures nature has to afford?
*Prices and options mentioned are subject to change.
*Unless stated otherwise, all prices include tax.
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