If you try to think of a natural vista featuring the color blue, chances are the first image to pop to mind is a tropical ocean view or maybe a glacial ice-scape. Despite being somewhere in between those to climate extremes, Japan has some beautiful blues to offer as well. Here are seven of the most impressive blue landscapes in the Land of the Rising Sun.
- The Blue Pond, Hokkaido
If you are a Mac user, you may recognize this lovely place as one of the default wallpapers available on OS X. Sometimes called the Shirogane Blue Pond or the Biei Shirogane Blue Pond after the closest town, the pond was created in the late ’80s when the Biei River was dammed to prevent possible mudflows from seismic activity. The rising waters have drowned many of the trees, leaving the unfelled trunks poking out of the water. The unique color is thought to be a result of minerals in the water.
- Firefly Squid, Toyama
These bioluminescent squid normally live in deep waters, but from March to June they come into Toyama Bay in mass numbers to spawn, attracting equally large numbers of tourists and fishermen. Waves push many of the squid onto the beach, where they unfortunately die, but not before putting on a fantastic cobalt blue light show, flashing in various patterns.
- Tsunoshima Ohashi Bridge, Yamaguchi
Connecting the mainland with Tsunoshima Island, this 1780m bridge passes over shallow waters and white sand, offering travelers a spectacular view. Since its completion in 2000, it has become the number-one tourist attraction in the area. It’s also become a popular filming location for car commercials.
- Kaminoko Pond, Hokkaido
This little body of water is part of the Akan National Park, most famous for the fuzzy balls of algae known as marimo you may have seen bottled in tourist shops around Japan. The park also boasts some spectacular scenery, including Kaminoko Pond or “child of god pond”. It’s only about 220 meters around and 5 meters at the deepest point, but the crystal clear water allows you to see all of the trout darting around. In the bright sun, the pond appears a soft cobalt blue, but in the winter, the thin light makes it look more indigo. The temperature stays constant year-round, preserving the fallen trees.
- Goshiki-numa, Fukushima
The name of this place translates to five-color ponds, and that is exactly what you will find: ponds in a bunch of different colors. The color variation is the result of different mineral concentrations in the water, which were a result of a nearby volcanic eruption in 1888. The colors range from reds to greens to blues, depending on the light, but all of the different ponds can be observed in about an hour’s hike.
- World’s Deepest Underwater Postbox, Wakayama
Believe it or not, there are actually multiple underwater postboxes, and this is the world’s deepest at 10 meters! It’s not just for show, either. You can actually mail water-proof postcards and they will be picked up and delivered. Conceived as an effort to attract tourists to Susami City, the postbox has become extremely popular with divers. On average, 10 pieces of mail are deposited a day.
- Hitachi Seaside Park, Ibaraki
This public park within driving distance of Tokyo is hugely popular for its selection of flowers. In late April and May, huge swaths of baby blue eyes, a North American flower, bloom under clear spring skies, obscuring the horizon in a field of blue. The 3.5ha field is covered with almost five million of the tiny blue blossoms!
Have you visited any of these beautiful spots? If you have any recommendations, be sure to let us know!