Saturday, May 12, 2018

Hokkaido Revisit 2017 三回目の北海道の旅 - Shirogane Aoi ike (Blue Pond) 白金青い池

Visited 14.10.2017 (Sat)
Previous post:

Revisit. On my first weekend in Hokkaido, I headed south from Asahikawa to Biei and Furano to revisit and explore new places in this area. When I visited Hokkaido five years ago during summer, I hired a taxi to cover several sightseeing spots located in Furano and Biei, and Aoi ike was one of them. Unfortunately weather was not its best on the day of my visit and Aoi ike was not as spectacular as what I perceived before I came. And because of this disappointing outing, I have also wanted to revisit this mysteriously blue coloured pond, hopefully on a different season.

Every second counts. For my trip, I made use of Dohoku Bus Shirogane line to commute between Biei and Aoi ike. The bus stop to board the bus heading for Aoi ike is located about a minute walk away from Biei JR Station. As the bus service was not very frequent (about 1 bus every 2 hourly interval), I had to plan my stay in Aoi ike carefully. Took the 0926 hrs bus departing from Biei and arrived at Aoi ike at 0946 hrs. I had only 40 minutes to spend in Aoi ike and this was inclusive of additional 3 minutes walk from the bus stop to the pond. Had to board the return bus trip to Biei at 1024 hrs, otherwise the next one would only come three hours later! Therefore there was no time to be wasted at Aoi ike!

But totally worth it. Despite the limited amount of time spent here, I was blessed with extremely fine weather and was able to witness a totally different view of Aoi ike as compared to the previous time I was here! The turquoise waters were relatively calm and could capture a clear and beautiful reflection of its surroundings on its surface. Moreover, the vegetation were in the midst of transforming into autumn foliage, thus further enhanced the mystifying charm of Aoi ike. I turned speechless when this picturesque scenery appeared right in front of my eyes and without further ado, started working with my camera to capture the panoramic feature of the blue pond from various angles/locations.

Landmark of Biei. One major difference I observed was the increase in the number of people visiting Aoi ike, and it was definitely way more crowded (and less peaceful) as compared to the past. The beauty of Aoi ike has lured many tourists (both domestic and foreign) like myself to travel all the way to Hokkaido to behold this scenery, and have paved way for to become one of the most prominent landmark in Biei over the last few years.


Shirogane Aoi ike (Blue Pond) 白金青い池
071-0235 上川郡美瑛町白金

How to get there?

(1) By Dohoku Bus Shirogane line 道北バス 白金線
The bus departs from Asahikawa Station Bus Terminal Platform 8 and passes by the bus stop near Biei JR Station. To get to Aoi ike, alight at Shirogane Aoi ike iriguchi 白金青い池入口. Bus journey from Asahikawa takes about an hour and a half whereas from Biei, it takes about 20 minutes.
Bus fares:
- Asahikawa Station Bus Terminal <> Shirogane Aoi ike iriguchi = 1,090 yen
- Biei JR Station <> Shirogane Aoi ike iriguchi  = 540 yen

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