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In Nayoro, where many sunflowers are grown, the entire city is covered in sunflowers!
Every August, Nayoro's big summer event, the Nayoro Sunflower Festival is held at Hokkaido Sun Pillar Park, and many people come to enjoy the wonderful scenery.

This article will focus on information about the "Nayoro Sunflower Festival", a summer event held in Nayoro!
In addition, various spots for activities, sightseeing spots, and local gourmet food throughout Nayoro city that you can enjoy when visiting for the Nayoro Sunflower Festival will also be introduced.

This article will introduce the charms of Hokkaido's Nayoro city you may not have heard of, from its spectacular natural beauty to its popular tourist attractions! Please enjoy it until the end.

Image of Sunflower field at Sun Pillar Park, Nayoro, Hokkaido
Photo: "Sunflower field at Sun Pillar Park", Nayoro, Hokkaido

At Hokkaido Sun Pillar Park, around 300,00 sunflowers bloom over an area of about 3 hectares (around 0.6 the size of the Tokyo Dome).
This park became famous nationally as the filming location for the movie "Stargazing Dog (星守る犬, Hoshi Mamoru Inu) "starring Toshiyuki Nishida, which was released in 2011. The film "The Destiny" starring Mickey Curtis was also filmed there in 2023.

The highlight of Hokkaido Sunflower Park is "Sunflower Hill". You can see the city of Nayoro beyond a vast carpet of flowers! This beautiful scenery can be seen from 0:55 in the video. The sowing of the seeds is timed to ensure that the flowers are at their best for being seen around Mountain Day (August 11th).

Hokkaido Sun Pillar Park

Image of Sunflower Field at Hokkaido Sun Pillar Park
Photo: Sunflower Field at Hokkaido Sun Pillar Park
General Information
【Address】147 Nisshin, Nayoro City, Hokkaido 096-0066
【Access】10 minutes by car from Nayoro station
【Blooming information】 The time of full bloom depends on the weather, but is usually around Mountain Day (August 11th).

The Nayoro Sunflower Festival held at Hokkaido Sun Pillar Park is usually held from the first Saturday in August to the third Sunday after Obon, although it may change depending on the weather conditions of the year.
The Nayoro Sunflower Festival is a major summer event in Nayoro that attracts many tourists from outside Hokkaido!
During the festival a variety of events are held, and along with the sight of many sunflowers blooming to face the open sky, you can see the smiling faces of many visitors!

Image of Sunflower Tourist Information Center, Nayoro, Hokkaido
Photo: "Sunflower Tourist Information Center", Nayoro, Hokkaido

Sunflower goods are on sale at the Sunflower Tourist Information Center. At the Sunflower Tourist Information Center, which will be set up in the sunflower field for the duration of the event, Nayoro specialties such as sunflower oil and other agricultural products, and original goods such as limited edition T-shirts, will be on sale!
Other popular items include "Shaved Strawberries", a sweet made from shaved frozen strawberries, shaved ice and grilled corn available at food stalls.
Business hours are from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM for the duration of the event.

Image of Goods for sale at the Sunflower Tourist Information Center
Photo: Goods for sale at the Sunflower Tourist Information Center

You can pick sunflowers blooming at the festival, wrap them at the Sunflower Tourist Information Center, and take them home with you!
Available for sale from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM for the duration of the event.

Image of Nayoro Sunflower Festival Sunflower picking and wrapping
Photo: Nayoro Sunflower Festival Sunflower picking and wrapping

In the middle of the sunflower field, a yellow door that matches the sunflowers and a monument with the word "NAYORO" in large letters suddenly appears.
Why not take out your camera and take a picture that will look great on Instagram or other social media? A photo that captures a moment of beauty is sure to become a wonderful memory.
The yellow door can be seen at 1:48 and 2:17 of the video.

Image of Monument with the letters NAYORO
Photo: Monument with the letters "NAYORO"

The Nayoro Sunflower Festival is an event beloved not only by locals, but by tourists from outside Hokkaido!
Visitors can experience Hokkaido's nature, food and culture, all in a spectacular setting surrounded by beautiful sunflowers in full bloom!

Nayoro, Hokkaido is a city located in the northern part of Hokkaido, with a population of around 25,000 people (as of October 31, 2023.) The name Nayoro comes from the Ainu language "Nai Oro Puto", meaning "The place where rivers meet." This is due to the fact that Nayoro is the meeting point of the Teshio river (天塩川, Teshiogawa) and Nayoro river (名寄川, Nayorogawa).

Despite being surrounded by nature, Nayoro is well provided for with large commercial facilities, general hospitals, and a public transportation system, with Nayoro continuously placing highly in "Best Places to Live" rankings for Hokkaido.

In recent years an increasing number of people from other prefectures have moved to Nayoro, and Nayoro has been making efforts to provide job and housing opportunities for those moving into the area.
Access to Nayoro is as follows.

◆ Asahikawa Airport → Nayoro City (Around 94 minutes)
Take a bus from Asahikawa Airport to Asahikawa Station (35 minutes), then take a limited
express train from Asahikawa Station to Nayoro Station (59 minutes)

◆ Sapporo City → Nayoro City
By car: Around 2 hours and 45 minutes from Sapporo city
By train (limited express): Around two and a half hours

Agriculture is a key economic activity in Nayoro, which produces a variety of specialties, from the largest production of sticky rice in Japan by both production volume and area, as well as green asparagus, pumpkins, potatoes, and sweet corn.

In Nayoro, the temperature drops to around -20°C in February, visitors can see "diamond dust", a phenomenon where the water vapor in the air freezes to form small ice crystals that sparkle in the light of the sun.
The "Sun Pillar", a phenomenon where diamond dust reflecting sunlight appears as a pillar of light, is a winter specialty of Nayoro.

Image of Diamond Dust Sun Pillar
Photo: Diamond Dust Sun Pillar

When visiting Nayoro to see the Nayoro Sunflower Festival, why not take a tour of the city?
Here is an introduction of popular spots in Nayoro, such as spots for activities, sightseeing spots, and accomodations to recover from the fatigue of your journey!
Along with the Nayoro Sunflower Festival, here are other activities to make your trip even more memorable!

Here are some of the must-see spots in Nayoro.
If you enjoy these along with the Nayoro Sunflower Festival, you are sure to double the memories of your trip!

Products made from sunflowers grown in Nayoro are especially recommended as special local product souvenirs for sightseers.
These unique products are sure to please as souvenirs!
If you bring them home for your own dining table, you may enjoy a meal that is a little different than usual.

Image of Sunflower Oil Kita no Kagayaki
Photo: Sunflower Oil Kita no Kagayaki

The sunflower oil "Kita no Kagayaki" is made from 100% non-genetically modified sunflower seeds grown in Nayoro.
It is a raw, first-pressed sunflower oil made without the use of food additives and using only the first oil to be pressed, letting the flavor, richness and minerals of of sunflower seeds be enjoyed to the fullest.

Image of Sunflower Oil Dressing
Photo: Sunflower Oil Dressing

This dressing utilizes the characteristics of Nayoro sunflower oil to the fullest and has no peculiar or unpleasant aroma.
It is a versatile dressing that goes with a variety of dishes, such as salads or as a sauce for cold shabu-shabu.

Image of Sunflower Oil Kita no Kagayaki Edible Chili Oil (Rayu) (Medium Spiciness)
Photo: Sunflower Oil Kita no Kagayaki Edible Chili Oil (Rayu) (Medium Spiciness)

Fried garlic and fried onions are added to "Kita no Kagyaki" sunflower oil to give this rayu a savory aroma and texture. It goes well with rice and a variety of Japanese, Western and Chinese dishes, and its rarity makes it a popular souvenir.

The products that have been introduced here are available for purchase at the Sunflower Tourist Information Center at the Nayoro Sunflower Festival venue.
They are also available throughout the year at the roadside station "Mochi Rice Village ☆Nayoro", 「 the Nayoro branch of the Aeon shopping mall」and the gift shop Clim, which can be found on the first floor of Station Exchange Plaza Yorona.
These products are also available as hometown tax return gifts.

"Sunflower Field Pork" is pork from pigs raised on a diet of the leftovers from locally grown sunflower seeds after their oil has been extracted.
Sunflower Field Pork is characterized by its mild, refreshing taste and lack of oiliness.

Image of Sunflower Field Pork, a local gourmet dish from Nayoro, Hokkaido
Photo: "Sunflower Field Pork", a local gourmet dish from Nayoro, Hokkaido

When visiting Nayoro, a local gourmet dish you should be sure not to miss is "Nayoro Stewed Jingisukan".
Here the characteristics and history of Nayoro Stewed Jingisukan will be introduced, as well as restaurants where you can eat Nayoro Stewed Jingisukan.

Nayoro Stewed Jingisukan is a home-cooked dish eaten in Nayoro that has been passed down as part of Nayoro's unique food culture since the early Showa era, and is the soul food of Nayoro.

Image of Nayoro Stewed Jingisukan, a local delicacy of Nayoro, Hokkaido
Photo: "Nayoro Stewed Jingisukan", a local delicacy of Nayoro, Hokkaido

While regular Jingisukan is grilled, Nayoro is stewed in a butcher shop's secret signature sauce.
Along with vegetables such as onions and Nayoro bean sprouts, other ingredients including rice cake, udon noodles, and fried tofu are used to soak up the flavor of the sauce.

Jingisukan has long history in the Nayoro area.
Sheep were valued for their wool's use as raw materials for military uniforms during the Taisho era, and bred in the Chiebun district of Nayoro, with the sheep tending including some 3,000 sheep at its height.
Mutton had a strong odor and was initially thrown away without being used as food, but dipping the meat in sauce to remove the odor became popular in the Nayoro area in the early Showa era, and mutton began to be consumed, initially mainly among wool producers.
Although sheep farming has ended in Nayoro since the latter half of 1955, Nayoro Stewed Jingisukan remains popular among Nayoro residents as a home-style dish throughout the year.
There are six restauraunts in Nayoro that serve the town's original Nayoro Stewed Jingisukan!

Here is a list of recommended accommodations for those visiting Nayoro for the Nayoro Sunflower Festival!
Please contact each separate lodging facility for reservations or room rates.

Can you imagine the sight of 300,000 sunflowers in full bloom? Visitors can enjoy the unimaginably beautiful sight of a carpet of yellow sunflowers blooming under the big open sky and wide landscape at the Nayoro Sunflower Festival.

The sights you see at the Nayoro Sunflower Festival, a cherished summer tradition of Nayoro, will surely remain in your heart for the rest of your life as a precious memory of your sightseeing in Hokkaido.

Nayoro in Hokkaido has many spots for activities that you should be sure to try at least once, as well as a number of recommended sightseeing spots you should be sure to visit.
Be sure to visit these other places as well as the Nayoro Sunflower Festival.
Make great summer memories in Nayoro!

If you are interested in sightseeing in Nayoro, be sure to check out the official website listed below as well as the "Cool Japan Video" account, which are both full of the latest information about Nayoro.

【Official Website】Official Nayoro Tourism and Town Development Association

COOL JAPAN VIDEOS, a Social Networking Site Dedicated to the Beauty of Japan

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Last Updated : Mar. 27, 2024
A COOL JAPAN VIDEOS promotional account for Japanese companies, governments, and tourist attractions
In the Hokkaido city of Nayoro, the Nayoro Sunflower Festival is a summer tradition! Enjoy the beauty of fields of sunflowers that stretch as far as the eye can see!
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