Autumn in Japan Guides + Tips

Captivating Shirogane Blue Pond in October: A Guide to This Scenic Wonder

Nestled amidst the tranquil beauty of Hokkaido, Japan, Shirogane Blue Pond is a true wonder. This enchanting body of water, famous for its dreamy blue color, has become a favorite spot for those seeking a peaceful getaway. While the Blue Pond is open year-round, we decided to experience its magic in October. In this article, we’ll take you on a journey to discover what makes this place so special during this wonderful season!

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    An Introduction to Shirogane Blue Pond:

    Located near the hot spring town of Biei in the heart of Hokkaido, Shirogane Blue Pond, affectionately known as “Aoiike” in Japanese, is a captivating man-made water feature. What distinguishes this pond from the ordinary is its beguiling azure hue, which possesses an almost otherworldly quality. This striking cerulean color owes its existence to the presence of aluminum hydroxide in the water, a natural phenomenon that diffuses light in such a manner as to create the illusion of a vivid blue expanse.

    What makes Shirogane Blue Pond even more enchanting is its harmonious relationship with the surrounding landscape. A dense forest of towering birch and larch trees encircles the pond, providing a stunning contrast to the cerulean waters. This contrast is most pronounced during the autumn months when the foliage transforms into a breathtaking mosaic of yellow, orange, and red hues. This picturesque fusion of the serene pond and the vibrant fall foliage renders Shirogane Blue Pond an ideal haven for photographers and nature enthusiasts alike.

    Exploring Shirogane Blue Pond in October:

    Shirogane Blue Pond is a year-round delight, but there’s something truly special about a visit in October. Here’s what makes it so enticing:

    A Splash of Fall Colors

    Come October, Hokkaido puts on its autumn best. The trees around the Blue Pond erupt in fiery reds, oranges, and yellows, creating a breathtaking contrast with the vivid blue waters. It’s like Mother Nature’s own canvas, and photographers and nature lovers can’t get enough.

    Perfect Weather

    October in Hokkaido is like the Goldilocks of weather – not too hot, not too cold, but just right. With temperatures ranging from a comfy 10°C to 15°C (50°F to 59°F), it’s ideal for outdoor adventures. You won’t have to battle winter’s chill or summer’s swelter, so you can fully enjoy the Blue Pond’s beauty.

    Peace and Quiet

    Unlike the busy summer and winter seasons, October brings a sense of calm. There are fewer crowds, which means you can soak up the serenity of the Blue Pond without the hustle and bustle of big tourist groups.

    Photographer’s Dream

    October’s unique lighting is a shutterbug’s dream come true. The sun sits lower in the sky, casting a soft, warm glow that perfectly complements the vibrant fall colors. It’s the kind of magic that photographers adore, and they flock here to capture it.

    Getting to Shirogane Blue Pond:

    Shirogane Blue Pond is tucked away in the charming town of Biei, nestled in the heart of Hokkaido, Japan. Despite its serene location, reaching this enchanting destination is quite straightforward. Besides driving there on your own, you can conveniently access the pond by taking the Dohoku Bus (Bus No. 39-白金線) from either JR Asahikawa Station or JR Biei Station. Here’s what you need to know if you opt for this mode of transportation:

    • Travel Time: If you board the bus at JR Asahikawa Station, the journey to the Blue Pond will take approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes. From the bus stop near JR Biei Station, you’ll arrive at the Blue Pond entrance in about 25 minutes.
    • Bus Fare: The bus fare from JR Asahikawa is ¥1,110, while it costs ¥540 from Biei.
    • Limited Frequency: Keep in mind that bus services to the Blue Pond are not very frequent. Buses operate at intervals of 2-3 hours, with only 4-5 buses available per day. To make the most of your visit, plan your schedule accordingly.

    For additional details and the Dohoku Bus schedule to Shirogane Aoiike Iriguchi (白金青い池入口), the Blue Pond, you can refer to this link.

    Duration of Your Blue Pond Visit:

    Considering the modest size of Shirogane Blue Pond, you can make the most of your experience by planning to spend approximately one to two hours fully appreciating its splendor. 

    Additional Tips for Your Shirogane Blue Pond Adventure:

    To ensure you get the most out of your October visit to Shirogane Blue Pond, consider these handy tips and recommendations:

    Layer Up: While October in Hokkaido is generally mild, it’s wise to dress in layers. Daytime temperatures can fluctuate, so having the flexibility to add or shed clothing ensures your comfort throughout the day.

    Footwear Matters: Given the dirt trails around the pond, we highly recommend wearing water and dirt-resistant shoes. This way, you can explore the area with ease and without fretting about your footwear.

    Time Your Visit: To savor the soft, enchanting lighting conditions and avoid the busiest times, plan your visit for early morning or late afternoon. Sunrise and sunset cast a magical glow over the pond that’s simply irresistible.

    Explore Nearby Gems: Don’t limit your adventure to just the Blue Pond. The surrounding area boasts other attractions worth exploring, including the Shirogane Onsen (hot springs) and the nearby Shirahige Waterfall. These hidden gems offer additional opportunities for relaxation and discovery.

    Respect the Environment: As you revel in the natural beauty of Shirogane Blue Pond, remember to tread lightly and respect the environment. Stick to designated paths, dispose of your trash properly, and leave no trace. Preserving this pristine location ensures that future generations can also bask in its splendor.

    To sum it up, Shirogane Blue Pond in October is like stepping into a magical painting. You get the calming blue pond, and Mother Nature throws in her palette of fall colors for free. With the weather just right, fewer crowds to hassle with, and the soft, dreamy lighting, October is the sweet spot for a visit.

    Whether you’re a shutterbug chasing that perfect shot or simply after a peaceful getaway in nature’s arms, Shirogane Blue Pond in October serves up an unforgettable experience. So, go ahead, soak it all in, and have a blast by the pond!

    Access Map:

    Quick Info About Shirogane Blue Pond:

    Address: Shirogane, Biei, Kamikawa District, Hokkaido 071-0235, Japan
    Admission Fee: Free
    Parking Hours:
    - May and October: 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    - June to September: AM 7:00 - PM 7:00
    - November to April: 8:00 AM - 9:30 PM
    Parking Fee:
    - Car:  ¥500
    - Bus (29 or less passengers):  ¥1,000
    - Bus (30 or more passengers): ¥2,000

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