My ryokan owner went shopping after she dropped me off at Farm Tomita and returned later to pick me up. We drove back to the ryokan.
In the afternoon, I took the bus to the New Furano Prince Hotel, one of the gateways to winter skiing. The hotel has two further attractions.
First, I visited the private Kaze-no Garden (Wind Garden). I was surprised to find it was styled after an English garden, including a rose garden. The picturesque setting made the house and grounds popular filming locations for TV dramas.
There weren’t many people in the garden. I mostly had it to myself, shared with the gardeners. I sat in one of several areas, thinking about the past few months in East Asia.
As I walked back towards the hotel, I noticed there were no straight paths. Instead, the paths curved, which gave them a more organic feel, like a Zen garden.
The second attraction close to the hotel is Ningle Terrace. My ryokan owner said this was best visited at nighttime. I sat in the hotel’s spacious lobby until it got darker but not until it was completely dark because I had just learnt that I’d missed the last bus back to the town centre. I had an hour walk back to my ryokan.
Given how relatively deserted Furano’s town centre was, I was surprised how many groups were checking into the hotel. I suspect they toured the flower farms and lakes.
Whilst sitting in the hotel, I discovered this little fella, who had lodged itself in my clothes, probably whilst I was in the garden. I placed it back amongst some plants in the hotel.
Ningle Terrace consists of many wooden chalet-style boutique shops and, as it gets dark, they light up.