Oshino Hakkai are the eight ponds formed by the melted snow of Mount Fuji, located in between Lake Kawaguchiko and Lake Yamanakako. Listed as one of the Mount Fuji constitution assets, and it is said that people used the water to purify themselves as a part of Mount Fuji pilgrimage. The story has been told to have been related to the Eight Dragon Kings from Japanese mythology and folklore.
The ponds are very clear with beautiful deep fresh water that naturally gets filtered by porous layer of lava from Mount Fuji. The ponds are home for fresh water fish and watery plants. With 8 meters depth, we can still see the bottom of the ponds with blue reflection, and ‘Niji masu’ fish swimming around.
The place is a famous photographing site for each season. The eight ponds are called; Deguchiike, Okamaike, Sokonashiike, Choshiike, Wakuike, Nigoriike, Kagamiike and Shobuike. Each pond was named based on a different trait. For example, the Sokonashiike Pond or Bottomless Pond is said to have a whirpool that will drag you to the bottom, thus is called bottomless, and it is forbidden to wash things in it.
From my experience, the best time to visit Oshino Hakkai would be during the autumn season. The colorful autumn leaves provide nice vibrant to the ‘Hannoki Bayashi Shiryokan’ – a small open air museum. A small admission fee of 300 yen is needed to get into the area. The museum features various farming tools and household items. Some of the ponds (Choshiike and Sokonashiike Ponds) are located in this area.
Apart from the marvelous scenery of the Oshino Hakkai, we are free to enjoy food tasting of local products such as Japanese ‘tsukemono’ or pickles, fresh vegetables and local sweets, before deciding to buy any of it as a souvenir. If you prefer to stay a night at the Oshino Village, there are several guest-houses provided around it. You can make reservations through the Oshino Navi Official Website below