Our next stop was Shirogane Blue Pond in Biei. The pond draws people in due to its blueish color. The pond itself is man-made due to a nearby dam that was created in an attempt to protect Biei from volcanic mud-flow from Mt. Tokachi. (A nearby volcano that erupted in the 80’s.)
Aluminum from the diverted waters give the pond its blueish hue. The color changes depending on season or weather or any additional components that get added, like if the mud gets stirred up from a typhoon in the area. When I went it was still beautiful but not a brilliant blue color.
Our tour guide sent us out one path that had us go down some stairs and walk along a path along the lake. This is fine, but maybe not the way you need to go. It was crowded because no one realized that eventually the path would lead to a better view that was much more open. Plus there were lots of places with roots crossing the path which if you weren’t paying attention in the crowd could’ve tripped someone up.
At the end of the path the view was much better.
There was even a little hill you could walk up on for a heightened view of the pond.
The way out was a lot less crowded and I feel like maybe a better way to go to see the pond. Instead of going up and right to go down the stairs, I think going left past the shop and bathrooms and then following people leaving might have been better. If you want to walk along the side and on the trail going down the steps to it is fine. But the way out had so much more space, as long as you aren’t interested in walking along the edge.
Some things to keep in mind that our audio tour kept telling us is that here are bathrooms near the parking. But there are only 3 toilets, and with the amount of people visiting the lines can get too long. So on our tour they highly suggested we go before and wait till the rest stop on our way to Sapporo. Or if there’s not a long line go.
Near the parking lot there’s also a little shop selling souvenirs and snacks. They had blue pond pudding that came in cute little jars made of blue ramune flavored jelly with local Biei milk pudding. It was 500 yen. But as soon as I got off the bus I saw someone with a soft serve ice cream, my weakness, so I made sure to get one. I got a a swirl, which was milk and ramune (lemonade). It was also 500 yen.