"It's not dye?!" Bright blue Aoike Pond and Wakitsubo Pond will have you questioning your eyesight.
From nearby Mt. Kuzure’s peak, twelve lakes could be seen, thus the lakes were collectively named Juniko “Twelve” Lakes. However, there are in fact more than thirty lakes that compose this area, two of the most famous being Aoike Pond and Wakitsubo Pond — both of which have strikingly cobalt blue water.
Juniko Lakes is conveniently located for those traveling on Route 101, along Akita and Aomori Prefectures’ coastline. Those traveling by train can take the JR East Gono Line from JR Higashi-Noshiro Station and get off at JR Juniko Station, from which buses are available to the lakes (see bus timetable below). The rugged coast of Akita and Aomori Prefectures is breathtakingly beautiful, so opting for the sightseeing Resort Shirakami Line is recommended. This train specifically, is a “rapid” service line that offers comfortable seating and slows down at photo-worthy spots.
For those traveling by car, Juniko Lakes is only ten minutes from Juniko Station, and just under an hour from Higashi-Noshiro Station. Parking is available throughout the area although, it is recommended that visitors park at the main lot in front of Kyororo — a souvenir store and rest area (paid parking: 500 yen).
From Kyororo, both Aoike Pond and Wakitsubo Pond can easily be reached on foot.
Aoike Pond (Blue Pond) 10 min. walk from Kyororo
With water so clean that it appears to be a deep cobalt blue, this pond is a wonder for the eyes. Although it is 10-meters deep, visitors can see the fallen trees that scatter the pond’s floor, along with small fish swimming about. The pedestrian boardwalk allows visitors to take pictures of the pond from above.
A 15-minute walk from Aoike Pond, Wakitsubo Pond’s deep-blue water is another great scenic spot for visitors. Hear the trickling of natural spring water flowing into the pond, and see it sparkle with the sun’s reflection. What makes this pond particularly special, is that you can drink its waters directly, or as Japanese green tea at Juniko-an, a traditional tea house located near the foot of the trailhead.
A loop around Aoike Pond and Wakitsubo Pond can be completed within 45 minutes.
⋆ Juniko Lakes Bus Timetable (20 April 2023 till 30 November)
- Operation period
- Closed during winter (December to March)
*Winter hiking course (with guide) may be accessible depending on snow conditions.
- Postal Code
- 1-56 Matsukami, Fukaura, Nishitsugaru, Aomori
- *Paid parking available at Mori-no-Bussankan Kyororo (Capacity: 123 regular automobiles & 5 large buses).
*Payment accepted in cash only.