Lake Mashu (摩周湖, Mashuuko) is a crater lake in Hokkaido, known as the clearest lake in Japan and second clearest in the world, after Bikal. In 2001, it was selected for Hokkaido heritance.
Due to its extreme depth and clarity, reflection of light, an as a result, on a sunny day the surface color of the lake is called “Mashu blue”.
Location: Mashuuko; Hokkaido Prefectural Road Route 52, Teshikaga-cho,Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido, 088-3461 JAPAN
URL: http://www.masyuko.or.jp/pc/sightseeing/masyuko.html (Japanese only)
Image source: http://www.pref.hokkaido.lg.jp/
Shigorane Blue Pond (白金青い池, Shirogane aoi ike) has an area of 12,000 square meters (14352 square yard) and depth of 2.5-5 meters (2.7-5.47 yards). When seen from the land the lake appears light blue, but the actual water is clear. The acidity is low as well and so the source of this water color remains a mystery.
The photo of this beautiful pond was used as a desktop image for Apple’s MacBook Pro (Photographer: Kent Shiraishi).
Location: Shirogane aoi ike; Hokkaido Prefectural Road Route 966, Shirogane, Biei-cho, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido 071-0235 JAPAN
Image source: http://nationalgeographic.jp/
Hills of Biei (美瑛の丘, Biei no oka) is located in the town of Biei, one of the most famous tourist spot in Hokkaido, along with Furano city. The view of the hills and flowers are popular, attracting people outside of Hokkaido to relocate here.
There are various picturesque sightseeing spots within the Hills of Biei, in which they have been used for TV spots and dramas.
Image source: http://quasar.cocolog-nifty.com/
Kami no ko ike (神の子池), literally “God’s child pond”, located near Lake Mashu, is a pond made of spring water and famous for its mysterious emerald green color on the bottom of the pond. The ground water from Lake Mashu springs out, creating an extreme clarity of the pond. This enables the viewer to see the fallen tree inside the pond that does not decay due to its unchanging water temperature of about 8 degrees C (46.4F) throughout the year. Depending on the day’s climate, the surface water appears in a color of emerald blue.
Image source: http://www.kiyosatokankou.com/kaminokoike.html
Shiretoko was designated as the third UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site in Japan, and the first site that included ocean as part of the area.
Some sightseeing spots include the beautiful seashore of the Okhotsk, Oronkoiwa Rock, Yuuhidai (Sunset) Point, and in the winter Shiretoko is the southernmost point in the world where you can observe the drift ice.
Location: Shiretoko; 107 Utorohigashi, Shari-cho, Shari-gun, Hokkaido, 099-4355 JAPAN
Image source: http://www.shiretoko.asia/
Lake Shikotsu (支笏湖, Shikotsu-ko) is a massive crater late with its circumference of 40.3 km (25 mi.), surrounded with green primeval forest. The deepest point is 363 m (0.2 mi) and is the second deepest in Japan.
With a very high clarity, the lake was selected as the Japan’s number one lake for the quality and purity of water. Lake Shikotsu is the only lake in Japan where you can enjoy lake diving.
Location: Shikotsu-ko, Shisamunai, Chitose-shi, Hokkaido, JAPAN
URL: http://www.shikotsuko.com/ (Japanese) | http://www.welcome-to-chitose.jp/english/sightseeing/ (English)
Image source: http://www.shikotsuko.com/
List of places sourced from: http://matome.naver.jp/
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