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【Fukushima】Hike through the kaleidoscopic-colored Goshikinuma ponds2016.01.15

160115 五色沼

If you are looking for a pleasant hike with breathtaking views in Tohoku area, Goshikinuma should be listed on top, and it never fails to charm visitors. Goshikinuma (five-colored pond) is a group of large and small ponds situated at the foot of volcanic Mt. Bandai in the Fukushima Prefecture. Mt. Bandai boasted a spectacular line of mountain ridges until a massive eruption in 1888 deformed it. This created nearly 300 ponds all over the highland. The water of these ponds contains various minerals produced by the eruption. The size of mineral particles dissolved in the water determines the color of each pond. It fluctuates through the year. The weather and time of day also makes a difference to the kaleidoscope of colors. Some ponds are emerald green while others are brownish red, cobalt blue, and etc. On a sunny day, the sky blue gives bright and impressive color contrasts to the view. Goshikinuma is such an enchanting place to visit.

The Mt. Bandai area offers attractive scenery, hot springs, and various hiking opportunities in summer and skiing in winter. It is also popular for autumn color viewing. The contrast between the foliage and the waters is absolutely picturesque. Among the hiking trails in the area, Goshikinuma has always been a popular outdoor destination, and is one of the best hiking spots throughout Japan. The whole trail is about four kilometers long, takes about an hour, and is easy to cover. It is well-maintained and flat for most of the part, children can also enjoy hiking.

Sunset is sensational with the cobalt blue Lake Bishamon which is only a five-minute on foot from starting point. It is the largest of the Goshikinuma ponds. Take a refreshing row-boat out on the cobalt blue lake. From Lake Bishamon, you can see the magnificent volcanic crater of Mt. Bandai right in front of you. The main part of Akanuma pond is ringed with rust colors with an entire side pool almost glowing orange. Midorinuma pond is mysterious, as all the primary colors are there in one lake. The marvelous views and sights are worth seeing at least once in your lifetime. Goshikinuma is a gem of Japan!

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