Hokkaido, Japan’s Iridescent Blue Pond (青い池)
See more photos from Hokkaido’s Blue Pond by visiting the 青い池 (Blue Pond) location page.
In a crater atop Mount Meakan (雌阿寒岳), there sits one of Japan’s most Instagrammable sights: the iridescent Blue Pond (青い池).
The pond’s origins are recent. After nearby Mt. Tokachi erupted in 1988, the regional government constructed a dam to protect nearby towns from volcanic mudflows. The resulting body of water, also commonly called Aonuma (青沼), owes its bright color to a high concentration of aluminum hydroxide, which reflects blue light. Blue Pond is just one of five volcanic lakes in the region formed after the eruption, and each has its own distinctive color.
The pond is a popular destination for tourists during the warmer months, but its location in the northern part of the country makes it difficult to access during winter snows.