A few days ago my children and I drove from Sapporo to Eniwa, Hokkaido. It is an easy one hour drive. We parked (free) near a shopping center that sells the most wonderful selection of plants, garden tools, textiles, garden pavers, and home decor. Visiting just this shopping center would have been worth the trip. If you are looking for souvenirs from Hokkaido, go to Eniwa (for many garden inspired decor items, wall art, etc.), Art Park in Sapporo (for modern design in various media) and Otaru (for glass). We had our lunch at a restaurant named Camel near the stores -- large windows with bucolic views, good to very good food, and very friendly atmosphere. They had a kids menu, which my kids were very pleased with -- pastas, salads, desserts, burgers and more.
After lunch we went to the ticket office, about 4 minutes walk down the country road, to arrange our farm tour. We passed the cows on our right and enjoyed excellent views and fragrant air. The ticket of 1200 Yen covered the tractor pulled wagon tour, farm animal show, and access to a beautiful garden. Kids go in free and get a yellow quacking contraption that they use with joy to their parents' despair. Just kidding, it is actually quite cute but, yes, loud. The tour takes you to various animal runs. You get to pet and feed alpacas, sheep, goats, ponies, and dogs, and watch pigs and lamas from a safe distance. We missed the sheep dog show, but toured the premises and talked to the trainer, Ryoji-san, who could not have been any nicer. Sensing our interest, he organized a mini show for us and several other families. He speaks English and offers a wealth of information about the farm, dogs, and many other things. Look him up when you are there and need some translation. Last but not least, we went to the garden. It is the most generous garden I have ever been to. Every curve of the path offers beautiful plants and charming secluded structures to enter and enjoy. This is why I call this park generous. You feel there as if somebody made a special effort to please you, to offer you your own little oasis to rest in -- tree houses, doll houses, secluded benches, flower-covered gazebos and arbors. My kids loved the garden as well. The play ground was a great hit. We are definitely going back! In fact, the kids wanted to go back the next day, but we will wait maybe a week. Did I mention all terrain vehicles (did not try this time) and a sale at stores? I am making it a bit too exciting a busy. This park is foremost peaceful, happy and beautiful.
I have not looked at their web page yet, but I would like to learn more about upcoming events. The Japanese pamphlet indicates that there is something going on every month.
The pamphlet also indicates that you can take a train from Sapporo and a bus from the station.
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