The beautiful colors of Shirogane Blue Pond
A stone’s throw away from the Shirogane Hot Spring in Hokkaido’s Biei lies the Shirogane Blue Pond. Gaining worldwide popularity after appearing as one of Apple’s iOS backdrops, the pond is characterized by its abnormally bright blue water and the almost otherworldly appearance of the petrified Japanese Larch trees which rise straight out of the pond’s surface.
The best time to see this beautiful blue color is from mid-May to late June, but various appearances of the pond can in fact be enjoyed across all four seasons! It’s particularly beautiful in autumn when the foliage of the surrounding trees turn red, creating a picture-perfect scenery. The recommended time to visit is at sunrise when the surface of the pond is painted a bright yellow by the fiery autumn leaves!
*The best time to see the autumn leaves at the blue lake is from mid-late October.
From JR Asahikawa Station, take the Hokkaido Bus heading towards “Shirogane Onsen” (approx. 70 mins). Alight at the “Shirogane Aoike Iriguchi” stop, from where it is a 5-minute walk to the Blue Pond.
Fall leaves at Sapporo Nakajima Park
Nakajima Park is only a five-minute walk away from Nakajima Park Station and is considered as one of the best 100 municipal parks in Japan. For locals, it’s a great place to find solace in the hustle and bustle of the city. In the fall, hundreds of old trees turn shades of vibrant reds.
There are plenty of places to see fall foliage in Nakajima Park, including Shobu-ike Pond which is a Japanese garden, and tons of Ginkgo trees whose yellow leaves reflect in the water for a breathtaking view. The Japanese garden is home to preserved historical structures such as the Hassouan tea house, where the autumn colors are also beautiful. A location wildly popular with photographers is the pathway from Nakajima Park Metro Station, where dozens of 10-meter tall Ginkgo trees leave a bright carpet of yellow leaves.
Fall colors season:
Shobu-ike Pond: Mid to end of October
Japanese garden: Mid to end of October
Ginko trees near Nakajima Park Metro Station: End of October to early November
Get out at Exit 1 at Nakajima Park Station on the Sapporo Metro Nambu Line
Maruyama Park, a go-to location for Sapporo locals
Many people go to Maruyama Park annually for various occasions, most predominantly, cherry blossom and red foliage viewing in spring and autumn. The park is located right next to Hokkaido Shrine, making the area a great sightseeing location in autumn.
Katsura, sakura, Japanese Maple, and other trees begin to change colors in mid-October. When the leaves start falling, they create a beautiful carpet of red and yellow on the ground. If you’re lucky, you can see Hokkaido squirrels running about in the tree branches!
The best time to see autumn leaves at Maruyama Park and Hokkaido Shrine is from mid to late October. Visit later in the month for a chance to see fall foliage covered with early snowfall! There’s no illumination at night, so it’s best to visit during the daytime.
474 Miyagaoka, Chuo-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido
A 5-minute walk from Maruyama Koen Station (Tozai Subway Line)
One of Hokkaido’s most beautiful autumn leaves at Onuma Park
Onuma Park is a designated “quasi-national park” famous for its rich nature and scenery. It’s located just 30 minutes by express train from Hakodate Station. One of Hokkaido’s top locations for fall foliage, the park has numerous beautiful viewing spots. Walking trails such as the Oshima Trail, Island Hopping Trail, and the walking trail of Konuma are great for viewing the fall leaves.
Besides enjoying a walk and gazing at the colorful scenery, you can board a sightseeing boat, enjoy canoeing or rent a bicycle to tour around the park.
From Hakodate Station: About 30 minutes to Onuma Park Station (closest to Onuma Park) by JR Hokuto Express
1023-1 Nanae-cho, Kameda-gun, Hokkaido
The most beautiful road in Japan
Road 966 which runs between Biei and Shirogane Onsen is a short, 800 meter stretch of road located directly opposite Biruke no Mori, the Shirogane Onsen Information Center. Appearing in countless Youtube videos, this breathtakingly beautiful road has become popular with Japanese and foreign visitors alike. The key to this road’s stunning appearance lies in the perfect balance between the bright blue sky, colorful autumn foliage, and the distant snow-covered mountains. The best time to see this moving scenery is from mid to late October.
If you visit Hokkaido in October, the most beautiful road in Japan is truly a sight not to be missed!