The Mirrors of Nature - Five Beautiful Japanese Ponds to Take Your Breath Away

The Mirrors of Nature - Five Beautiful Japanese Ponds to Take Your Breath Away
The ponds (“ike”) of Japan change their features with the seasons and have an aura of mystery that draws you in. Those ponds that are surrounded by mountains are especially lovely as trekking or hiking destinations during the fall holiday season.

The scenery shifts daily with the weather, so each trip is truly a “once in a lifetime” experience. Even the trip there will be full of beautiful and exciting scenery.

We’ll be introducing Zekkei’s top five ponds of Japan, guaranteed to leave you breathless with their beauty.

No. 5

Taisho-ike (Nagano)

This pond was formed by the eruption of Mount Yake, an active volcano. On a clear day, the Hotaka Mountains reflect on the surface of the water for a sight so grand it will steal you words away.
Trees submerged in water by the eruption, called “dieback trees,” remain even now. Depending on the day or season, you might see fish swimming brilliant between them. For the morning mist that so enchants photographers, fall is the best time to go!

No. 4

Kaminoko-ike (Hokkaido)

Only five meters deep, it is believed that Kaminoko-ike is fed by an underflow from Lake Mashu, famous for its crystal-clear waters. This is a small pond that leaves a big impression with clear, blue water transparent through to the bottom.
Characterized by how its shade changes with the season, the water sparkles cobalt blue in the strong sunlight from spring into autumn only to become a deep indigo in winter. The radiant shine of Kaminoko-ike surrounded by a carpet of leaves makes it feel like a cathedral of nature.

No. 3

Ao-ike (one of the Juniko, or “Twelve Lakes”), (Aomori)

In a corner of Shirakami-Sanchi, a natural World Heritage Site, is Tsugaru Quasi-National Park as well as Juniko, the Twelve Lakes. Ao-ike is the most famous of these “lakes,” and the reason for its sparkling blue is unknown and remains one of the beautiful mysteries of Shirakami-Sanchi.
The best season to visit is fall, and as one of Japan’s leading trekking spots, there is a walking path installed, so even those without trekking experience can enjoy the trail. Come at least once and see with your own eyes the contrast between the ever-changing shades of Ao-ike and the fiery autumn leaves that surround it.

No. 2

Aoi-ike (Hokkaido)

This pond can be found in Biei, Hokkaido, which is praised as one of “Japan’s most beautiful villages.” Brought into the world by the shining sun, the beautiful blue of this pond is truly a gift of nature. Come fall, the soft reflection of the brilliant red leaves on the pond’s surface adds another level to appreciate.
When cloaked in fog, the scenery is of another world, enough to make you completely forget you’re in Japan. Not only is Aoi-ike closed in winter, its beauty varies a lot based on the day’s climate, so be sure to check the weather before you visit.

No. 1

Happo-ike (Nagano)

Located 2,060 meters above sea level, Happo-ike is surrounded by the majestic Shirouma Mountains. In fall, the pond paints a brilliant flaming picture with the oranges, reds, and yellows of the autumn leaves.
The surface of the water reflects the expansive scenery, tying together the heavens and the earth into one world. Happo-ike makes an excellent trekking destination, so when the weather cools in fall, take yourself along the trail and have your breath taken away.

So what do you say? If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience, come on your own feet and capture with your own eyes the best autumn travel destinations.

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