How (and Why) to Go to Hokkaido’s Mesmerizing “Blue Pond”


In Japan and elsewhere, some locations simply don’t click on instantly. One such place, for me, was the Shirogane Blue Pond in Biei, close to Asahikawa in central Hokkaido.

After I first visited the pond in the summertime of 2018, I used to be in fact struck by its namesake shade, even when I wasn’t conscious of its attention-grabbing origin story. But the blue hue was so near that of the extra verdant timber and shrubs round it that I discovered it lower than spectacular, even when it was actually stunning.

Right now, I’ll not solely discuss you thru find out how to go to Shirogane Blue Pond, however clarify to you why you need to go to not in summer season, however throughout Hokkaido’s underrated autumn for those who can.

Is Blue Pond Value Visiting?

The Hokkaido Blue Pond has many issues going for it, and would even when it didn’t stay as much as the hype. For starters, it’s fairly simply accessible, being lower than an hour from the middle of Asahikawa by automotive. Even when it’s important to use a mix of prepare and bus, it’s unlikely to take you greater than two hours, presuming you analysis schedules upfront and time your transfers good.

Now, for the pond itself. As I discussed within the introduction to this piece, I did really feel lower than overwhelmed once I visited the pond throughout the summer season. A part of this was the climate—there was principally no sunshine to make the water of the pond sparkle and shimmer—however a part of it was the dearth of distinction between the inexperienced timber and the blue pond. Autumn, as you’ll see evaluating my summer season and fall footage, actually does make all of the distinction.

Issues to Do in and Round Shirogane Blue Pond

{Photograph} and admire the Blue Pond


Even for those who can’t handle to come back throughout the autumn like I did, the blue pond remains to be a photographer’s dream. Whatever the time of yr, I do suggest approaching a sunny day for those who can, as it will trigger enticing refractions throughout the water.

Stroll or drive to Shirahige Falls


For those who’re coming to the Hokkaido blue lake by prepare and bus, it’ll take a bit extra work to succeed in Shirahige Falls, which is lower than 5 minutes away by automotive. In both case, this waterfall makes an ideal companion to the pond, as each are fed by the identical milky, blue-green waters.

In autumn, head as much as Mt. Biei


Is Mt. Biei a part of Daisetsuzan Nationwide Park? Form of, however that’s not the purpose. The purpose is that it’s proper up the highway from the blue pond and Shirahige Falls—and that, particularly throughout autumn, it’s much more colourful than each. This makes for a pleasant trifecta of sightseeing in fall.

In summer season, head all the way down to the Furano lavender fields


Then again, for those who come to the Hokkaido blue pond throughout summer season, you need to round head down towards Biei City, after which onward to Naka-furano. That is the place you will see Hokkaido’s well-known lavender fields, that are price a summer season Hokkaido journey on their very own, the pond however.

Keep in mind that Hokkaido solely begins right here


Hokkaido is a fully huge island—and the Asahikawa space is admittedly solely the start of what there may be to find there. Be certain that to go again to Sapporo (and farther west) for those who haven’t explored in and across the capital. Or drive east to Lakes Akan, Mashu and Kussharo, and even onto the Shiretoko Peninsula.

When is the Finest Time to Go to Shirogane Blue Pond?

As I’ve articulated fairly strongly all through this publish, autumn is a significantly better time to go to the Blue Pond than summer season. Whether or not on the pond itself or down the highway at Shirahige Waterfall, the distinction between the blue-green water and the fiery hillsides paints a significantly better image of the scenes than the inexperienced of summer season. I haven’t been to the pond in winter, but, as of October 2023.

Based mostly on Instagram, it might appear that January and February are well-liked answered for the query of when to go to Shirogane blue pond. Nonetheless, I’ve heard from buddies and associates who went right now that the water of the pond tends to be muted in shade throughout this time, and that almost all footage on social media are closely enhanced. For those who do go throughout winter, I hope you allow a remark and let me learn about your expertise!

Different FAQ About Visiting the Hokkaido Blue Lake

Why is Shirogane Pond blue?

Shirogane Pond is of course blue—however the pond itself isn’t pure. Reasonably, it was fashioned when native authorities determined to partially rattling the Biei River within the early 90s, in response to the 1988 eruption of close by Mt. Tokachi. The thought is that doing so would restrict the motion of doubtless hazardous mudflows within the wake of future eruptions. The start of the Blue Pond as a vacationer attraction was a contented accident!

How do I get to Shirogane Blue Pond?

The best option to get to Shirogane Blue Pond is to hire a automotive in Asahikawa, from which it’s lower than one hour driving time (or barely extra, for those who cease en route within the Furano Lavender Fields). For those who go by public transport, in the meantime, you’ll have to experience a JR Furano Line prepare from Asahikawa to Biei Station, after which take one of many buses there to the pond, for a complete journey time of 60-90 minutes, together with transfers.

Are you able to swim in Shirogane Blue Pond?

You can not swim in Shirogane Blue Pond, or anyplace alongside the Biei River. Whereas I’m not sure if that is legally enforced, the fact is that even within the hottest a part of summer season, the waters listed below are unpleasantly chilly. Right here and elsewhere on the island, Hokkaido is sweet for a lot of issues—however swimming will not be amongst them.

The Backside Line

Inquisitive about find out how to go to Shirogane Blue Pond? It’s extraordinarily simple, whether or not you’ve gotten your individual set of wheels or plan to rely upon the admittedly subpar public transportation in central Hokkaido. The true quandary, at the least for me, is deciding when to go to the pond. Whereas it’s most handy to go in summer season, if you’ll most likely be in close by Furano scoping out lavender anyway, I implore you to delay your journey right here till the autumn. The distinction of the blazing reds, yellows and oranges of late October are actually the perfect time to see the blue pond. Want customized assist placing your journey collectively? I do hope you’ll take into account hiring me to plan it!



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