Let’s explore: Furano Marche (フラノマルシェ), Furano, Hokkaido, Japan

I’ve said it before and I’m going to say it again – the Japanese have incredible desserts and products. While in Furano, we dropped by Furano Marche (フラノマルシェ), which is a little cluster of shops selling a variety of things. At the back, we’d find a supermarket selling some of Hokkaido’s most famous treats.

I wanted to give you a quick look around Furano Marche – so come along, let’s go!

Furano Delice (菓子工房フラノデリス), Furano, Hokkaido, Japan

SCRIBBLES

Category: Japanese – Desserts – Special milk pudding

I was really excited about Furano Delice (菓子工房フラノデリス) after all my research and what my cousin had told me, and you can totally tell from my voice and the ooh-ing in the video below.

Shimo-Goryou 2156-1, Furano-shi, Tel: 0167-22-8005, Opens 10AM – 6PM (June – September)

Seated atop a hill in the outskirts of Furano city, Furano Delice is not difficult to find and can be easily spotted when you’re in the vicinity. I’m not sure if you can get here via public transport and if there is it is probably rather infrequent, but if you do plan to drive like we did, the telephone number provided is accurate for the GPS and there’s an abundance of parking at the open-air public carpark just opposite its entrance.

Damage: $ – $$

I guess that depends on how many cakes you order, but on the whole it was inexpensive. They’re most famous for the  Furano Milk Pudding which was 300JPY (~$3.50), and the cakes are just a little more than that. They have coffee as well, and the espresso we had was really intense, so all you caffeine-lovers should be pretty happy at Furano Delice too!

To go: When in Furano for sure!

Just to try the milk pudding! Creamy and luscious, like a softer cousin of panna cotta. In my opinion, cheesecake cravings can be better fulfilled at LeTAO in Otaru, but their double fromage cheesecake is pretty good too.


A MORE DETAILED REVIEW

The Furano Milk Pudding was decadent – made from locally produced Furano milk, cooked, and then set in a miniature Furano milk bottle, it is super cute AND delicious. The syrup at the bottom is not caramel, like I’d thought when shooting the video, but more of a thicker, darker, maple sort of flavour which went on smoothly atop the flavours of the pudding. You can keep the glass bottle as a souvenir as well! The cheesecake was good, LeTAO’s is still better, but the strawberry cake was nothing special.

If it’s cold out enough, you can sit on the terrace outside under the tent with gorgeous views over the countryside, but when we were there we sat indoors to get away from the scorching heat.

Furano Delice Desserts Cakes Milk Pudding Hokkaido Japan Travel Blog Food Review

Tomita Melon House とみたメロンハウス, Furano, Hokkaido, Japan

SCRIBBLES

Category: Japanese – Fruit / Dessert

Throughout my entire time in Hokkaido, I was on the hunt for all things melon. Melon ice-cream, melon pocky snacks, melon everything. That’s because the melons in Hokkaido are amazing – even if you don’t get a top grade melon, they’re still probably going to own the ones you have back home. When I saw the green melon shaped balloon floating in the sky, I could barely contain my excitement. And when I finally got a taste of the melon bun… I was on a high for pretty much the rest of the day and wanted to have the bun for dinner as well*.

*Reaction(s) may vary according on how much of a melon fan you are.

3-32 Miyamachi, Sorachi-gun, Nakafurano-cho 071-0714, Hokkaido

Tomita Melon House is actually located in Nakafurano, which is still in the Furano region but not right smack in the middle. It’s just next to Farm Tomita, so if you go to either one, you most definitely should stop by the other as well. There’s ample parking, and when you find yourself surrounded with melon-inspired decor everywhere, you know you’ve gotten to the right place.

Damage: $

In general it isn’t expensive – for individual servings, they sell melons by the slice in the fridge or melon buns by the piece at the bakery shop. Otherwise, you can do what we did, which was to buy up a box of melons to savor at the hotel afterwards; the pricetag on Japanese melons in Singapore is pretty hefty, so if you want to eat a lot of melon, this is the opportune moment. And let’s not talk about the buns… which were my fault (and weakness), entirely.

To go: Yes, please! 😀

I’ll definitely go again the next time I’m back, but note that these are Tomita melons and not the super famous Yubari melons which I’m told are even more mind-blowing, although I personally struggle to understand how mind-blowing a melon could possibly be. In any case, it was unfortunate that we passed the Yubari region too late on our first day in Hokkaido so they had already closed for the day. I’ll definitely want to try those if I ever go that way again, but either way the Tomita melons are great as well.


A MORE DETAILED RECOUNT

The bakery was the closest to the carpark so that was the first place I went. I headed straight to the counter of melon buns and tried to make sense of the different types of buns available. The chef initially told me they’d run out of the signature melon-filled buns, but because we were a group of 8 and would place an order for an entire batch of 10 buns (yes, my crazy idea – anything to get my melon fix), they did it fresh just for us. We’d actually had lavender ice cream at Farm Tomita and lunch before that, so everyone was quite stuffed. I ended up having 3 or 4 buns to myself (oops) but I spread them out over a few meals into the next day, and they kept quite well, except being a little squished from my journey.

Tomita Melon Furano Hokkaido

Since the buns were being freshly baked, we had to wait for a bit and ventured into the building next door which sold the melon fruits in boxes of 2. They’re sold according to a ripening schedule, so the staff advised us on a pair which would be ready to be eaten that evening and the next day.

Tomita Melon Farm

When the sound of the bakery’s ringing bell pierced through the air, I immediately turned on my heel and tried to look as composed as possible while getting there in the least possible time. The buns were ready – fresh from the oven and cozying into their individual paper holders. It was warm against my fingertips. My first bite of the hot and fluffy bun revealed its molten melon center (featured picture) and let loose a whiff of its fruity fragrance. The molten melon filling was a sort of custard, and full of the natural sweetness of the fruit. Truly a delight.

Travel Diary: Farm Tomita, Furano, Hokkaido, Japan

Furano, a city to the south of the Kamikawa Subprefecture and rather central in the landmass that is Hokkaido, is a paradise of natural produce. Furano was our stop after Asahikawa and before Sapporo, and I was absolutely thrilled by the prospect of all the farms we would get to visit and the photographs I’d seen. The lavender fields would only be ready in July, but in June, we had melons, strawberries, and other delicious fruits.

It was back at the start of June 2014, a few weeks into the Hokkaido Spring, and the fields were already full of colour. For some of the later blooming flowers, the buds were transitioning into blossoms as the heat was coming on, although we could still cool down quickly by hiding out in the shade because the humidity had not risen too much yet.

Poppies in Furano

I remember trodding up the sandy path leading farther into Farm Tomita. That turned quickly into a half-run once I saw the bold dabs of colour at the end of the field. The poppies were in full bloom, spotting the lush green field with its starburst centre surrounded by its bright white or red chiffon-like petals like skirts in the wind. There are a few greenhouses near the edge of the farm as well, which houses an assortment of flowers in rows on rows. Looking out from the inside of the greenhouse, beyond the flowers potted in the window sill and to the field beyond, I tried my best to capture the beautiful scene and lock it in my memory for a future revisit.

Flowers at Farm Tomita Greenhouse

Flowers at Farm Tomita

Although the lavender was not in season, Farm Tomita was selling its famous lavender ice-cream anyway. I thought it tasted absolutely amazing and it was the prettiest shade of… well, lavender. I’ve tried lavender ice-cream on several occasions and came away with an expanded awareness of the range of taste – from soapy to powdery. But this… was a different matter altogether.

Lavender Ice Cream

It was like eating perfume. I know how that sounds, but trust me, it was great. You have to try it if you ever go that way. There was a certain sweet creaminess in the ice-cream and as I ate it, felt like I was inhaling a lavender perfume. I would describe it as “tasting the scent”, if that makes any sense at all.

I sat together with my family in the shade of an umbrella, colored in the same pine green shade that colors all of Farm Tomita’s signs, thoroughly enjoying the ice-cream while watching children run around in the sun, trying to avoid having their melting lavender ice-cream drip on their toes.