Shirogane Blue Pond (白金青い池), Biei, Hokkaido.
The Blue Pond (青い池) is located in Shirogane, a hot-spring town, and it was something I was dying to see. The beautiful deep blue, unique yet almost so unreal thanks to the man-made accident of colloidal aluminium present in the water. As the result of the river-works to protect the town from volcanic mudflow after the volcano eruption of Mount Takachidake, it gave birth to a very still blue pond.
In the distance you get a chance to see the snowy capped tops of Mount Tokachidake. The tall an skinny ancient trees sprouting above the waters were a very interesting sight. It was almost magical like something straight out of a fairytale book. Depending on what season/time you visit, the waters may appear either more blue or more green.
From the parking area it’s a short 5-10 min walk to the pond. The parking is free so no worries! The area is very rural with the blue pond playing as the main attraction. You can hop onto the bus from Biei which will take you directly to Shirogane Aoiike Iriguchi (白金青い池入口), it is approx. a good 20 min journey and will cost you 540 yen one way. But, you will have to plan your day effectively as there are, as far as I am aware only 5 round trips per day but it may vary depending on the season. If in doubt, you can grab some information leaflets from the Biei Tourist Info Centre which is located 1-2 mins from the JR Biei Station. They also offer taxi services if that is more suitable or you.
The Blue Pond is definitely a hidden gem in Biei. The best thing is that it’s not touristy at all, the area is secluded in pure peacefulness and being surrounded by nature is a wonderful experience. The pond itself wasn’t as big as I had imagined, but it deserves a lot of admiration. In the winter season they have illumination lights at the pond, which I’d love to see in the future! Overall it was a very enjoyable time!!