Biei in Hokkaido

Hokkaido Things to See

Hokkaido, Japan Jul. 23 Tues 2:21AM

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Hokkaido is known for many gorgeous places. One of the most famous and popular places has to be Biei. Biei is a town located next to Furano, pretty much in the center of the Hokkaido. Biei is known for many beautiful natural landscapes as well as natural landmarks that are not only icons of the area, but of Hokkaido. This includes one of the most famous natural landmarks, the Blue Pond.

 

Shirogane Blue Pond

The Blue Pond also known as aoi ike is probably one of the most famous sights of Biei. The body of water is known for being exceptionally blue, almost a fluorescent shade of blue. The pond itself was man made though by accident when a dam was made on the Biei river to counteract the destruction of volcanic mud flow. But the color of the pond is a natural occurrence stemming from mineral rich hot spring water mixing with aluminum found in the cliffs. In addition, the rocks found at the bottom of the pond are whitened through sulfur and lime to create the look of that very blue water. 

The pond is also characterized by trees that stand in the water, leafless but still beautiful. During the changing seasons, the pond also undergoes seasonal changes. During the summer, the pond is that traditional bright blue, during the fall the trees in the background provide a red and gold colored contrast, and in the winter, the lake freezes over and the snow creates a new backdrop. The blueness of the pond varies too, with mid-May to June's end being the most vibrant and clear. Melting snow and rain during other times bring a more emerald shade of water as the aluminum in the water becomes diluted. 

 

Shirahige Waterfall

The Shirahige falls/waterfall is near to the Shirogane Blue Pond and brings another picturesque site of spectacular nature. Nicknamed the "white beard waterfall" due to the way the water cascades down resembling a white beard. The water from the falls comes from an underground river, and the river below sometimes turns the same bright blue that the Shirogane Blue Pond turns. You can view the waterfall from up on a bridge.

 

Hot Spring Resorts

Near the Shirahige waterfall is a hot spring destination where guests can enjoy a Japanese onsen experience. With volcanoes in the area, it's only right that there would be naturally occurring hot springs, and Biei is the place to go if you want hot springs, lush nature, and a relaxing environment. 

Hot Spring Area near Tokachidake Mountains

 

 

Patchwork Hill

In spring, the entire area is green, but as the season progresses, it changes to various colors. The appearance of this change looks like a piece of patchwork cloth, hence the name "Patchwork Hill".

In order to prevent crop failure due to continuous cropping, the fields in this area are planted with different crops every year, even in the same field, and the name "Road of Patchwork" is derived from the colorful patchwork of green, yellow, and brown. Therefore, the view from this patchwork road is different every year.

 

Scenic Routes

For those who enjoy long walks, a leisurely bike ride, or a scenic drive, Biei has two scenic routes that you can roam down. The first route, Patchwork Road, takes you through some farms and adjacent flower fields. The second, Panorama Road, takes you down lanes through the countryside. 

Famous Route in Biei

Scenic Route in Biei

Biei has no shortage of things to do, and with popular town Furano right next door, there is plenty to see, taste, hear, and enjoy. Depending on the route you take, even the drive to and from the two towns is beautiful and scenic! 
 


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