Blue Pond of Biei Blue Pond of Biei

Blue Pond of Biei


2017.09.29

NAVITIME TRAVEL EDITOR

Blue Pond of Biei

On the outskirts of the hot spring town of Shirogane Onsen lies the Instagram famous Blue Pond of Biei, which takes its name from its deep blue colour which occurs naturally thanks to the minerals from nearby hot springs dissolved in the pond’s water. The pond has only recently become a tourist hotspot thanks to the magical atmosphere and equally magical photos which can be taken on location.

  • This seemingly mysterious, shining blue pond rests in the mountainous countryside of Biei, and whilst the setting is beautiful, it can also be precarious – the blue pond’s very existence came to be after an eruption from the nearby Mount Tokachidake in 1988. After the eruption, the blue pond was built as part of a grander damage control system implemented to protect the town from volcanic mudflows in the event of a future eruption.

    Blue Pond of Biei

    Blue Pond of Biei

    Blue Pond of Biei

    Blue Pond of Biei

    The enticing blue colour of the pond was an unintended, albeit tantalising consequence. As water from the nearby river began to accumulate in the pond, so too did the naturally occurring high levels of aluminium hydroxide in the waters – resulting in the pond reflecting the colour of the blue sky overhead, whilst sulphur and lime build-up turned the pond bed white, only serving to further enhance the rich blue colour of the pond. Hence the seemingly magical sight which greets visitors coming to seek a slice of enchanted, picturesque tranquillity.

    Blue Pond of Biei

    Blue Pond of Biei

    The pond wasn’t always open to the public though. Initially entrance was strictly prohibited, however, once it was finally opened to the public in 2010 it has grown to flourish as a popular tourist attraction for both Japanese and foreign tourists alike.

    Blue Pond of Biei

    Blue Pond of Biei

    The pond experienced a popularity boom in 2012 when Apple used an image of it as one of its featured wallpapers for the Mountain Lion release of OS X, amounting in the pond becoming an instantly recognizable icon worldwide. Due to its popularity the pond can get quite crowded during the summer months, early arrival is advised if one wishes to avoid the bulk of the crowds. Numerous tours operate in Spring, Summer, and Autumn, but do not operate during the winter months when the pond freezes over.

    Blue Pond of Biei

    Blue Pond of Biei

    The Blue Pond can be easily accessed from Biei Station by bus, with the one way journey taking about 20 minutes and costing 540 yen. Do keep in mind that there are only five round trips on offer per day. In the summer months the Blue Pond is also accessible via some Biei View buses which depart from Biei station, and Round Trip Sightseeing buses which depart from Furano station. The Pond can then be reached via a five to ten minute walk from the free parking lot.

    Shirogane Blue Pond
    place
    Hokkaido Kamikawagumbieichou Shirogane
    phone
    0166924378
    opening-hour
    Freedom to see
    View Allarrow

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