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This is so Hokkaido!

2019.12.06

A Mysterious Gem Appears on the Shores of Hokkaido

The Hokkaido Winter Treasure called “Jewelry Ice”

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In Hokkaido, an island known across Japan for landscapes that take your breath away, there is one particular spot in winter that might not be as well-known as the others, as though it were a precious secret.

This mysterious treasure is found hidden away in the Tokachi region, near the sleepy seaside town of Toyokoro. Naturally polished by the sands of Otsu Beach, it is known by the locals as “Jewelry Ice.”

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It might be hard to believe, but these gorgeous crystals are chunks of ice that have washed in from the Pacific Ocean.

People who know Hokkaido well might be aware that the drift ice in northeastern Hokkaido is a particularly famous tourist attraction. But this special jewel is something completely different. The major difference is its incredible “colour.”

The transparency of jewelry ice is what makes this gem so precious. When the sun ray’s pass through its crystalline structure, the ice glistens like a fine diamond.

 
Beauty Made in the Coldest Temperatures

 

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The timeframe to see jewelry ice is incredibly short, only spanning from the middle of January to the end of February. Just barely a month!

The way the ice looks changes dramatically over time as the sun streams through it. The best time of day to witness the steady changing colour of the ice is during sunrise. As the sun climbs into the sky, the jewelry ice ever so slowly transitions from the lightest violet colour to a bright, fiery orange that instills the hope of another beautiful day.

 

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When the sun has reached its peak in the sky, the entire beach is transformed into a glistening crystalline landscape, the kind of sight that would take anyone’s breath away.

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What better place to take that gorgeous shot that’ll set your Insta account apart?

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While you’re here, why not try your hand at making some jewelry art? A one-of-a-kind art piece. Pick one up, stack a few of them, form them into shapes… the winter sky is the limit! Build something special and take the kind of photo no one’s ever seen.

 

Make sure to dress warm!!!

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In this gorgeous crystal landscape, it’s easy to forget the passage of time. But with temperatures in the area going down as low as -20°C, you have to make certain to take appropriate precautions and dress warmly. It’s all about wearing layers! A wool or fleece sweater over your shirt and a thick winter coat are essential. Wearing long underwear is also advised, as is wearing at least two layers of socks under your winter boots. Just remember, wool is warm, so try to use it! And please don’t forget your warm winter gloves and winter hat.

The human body isn’t the only thing weak to the cold. Your smartphone’s battery gets sapped very quickly in the freezing cold and it can and will drain to zero without much warning, so make sure to be careful to keep it warm and keep it charged!

 

■Bus Tours

Eastern Hokkaido Express Bus No.12

https://easthokkaido.com/en/expressbus_winter/route12/

 

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