Biei, Hokkaido: Diamond in the Rough

  • HOKKAIDO
  • ASAHIKAWA
  • SPOT
  • Hidden deep in the town of Biei, Aoiike is a lake which is blue in color. Due to the natural minerals that dissolved in the water with the reflection of the sunlight, the water of the lake looks blue, or sometimes green depending on the weather and the amount of sunlight. There are some drying branches/trunk growing in the middle of the lake.

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    Author’s photo

    Aoiike is located in the prefecture road 966. The lake is actually a man-made lake built to prevent the damage of the nearby Mount Tokachidake, an active volcano. A mini dam can be found at the end of the lake:

    aoiike-1

    Author’s photo

    The blue lake which has only become a popular tourist spot in recent years due to the site not being adequately equipped/tourist friendly. There is a limited space of parking lots nearby near the lake which takes 5 minutes of walking distance where visitors can park their cars there. The location of the lake is hard to be find using a rented car’s GPS as the blue lake is not well known.
    After driving here, you can take a bus going to Shirogane Onsen from Biei station, stopping at Shirogane Aoiike Iriguchi.

    aoiike-volcano

    Author’s photo

    Nearby the blue lake, Mount Tokachidake, which is an active volcano, there is a hiking spot/tourist spot namely Tokachidake Bogakudai Observation Tower. Smoke can be seen coming out from the volcano.

    mount-tokachi

    Before the visit to the blue lake, I was actually not interested in visiting a spot in the outskirts. The initial plan involved heading to Otaru after going to the lavender farm in Furano. But our visit to the Tokachidake Bogakudai Observation Tower was actually a lovely accident caused by the car GPS. The location of the blue lake we got from the internet, using the car GPS, directed us to the observation tower. Thanks to some friendly local’s direction, we were able to find the blue lake. The trip here is totally worth a visit. The scenery of the lake and the active volcano are awesome. Words cannot be described as you must personally come for a visit to feel it.

    Biei Tourist Information

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