Goshiki-numa Ponds

Goshiki-numa Ponds

The Goshiki-numa ponds of Urabandai are a cluster of five volcanic lakes at the foot of Mt. Bandai. When Mt. Bandai erupted in 1888, Goshiki-numa - which translates as "Five-Colored Ponds - were formed. In actuality dozens of lakes were created due to the 1888 eruption, but the Goshiki-numa Ponds are the most famous. It was thanks to the eruption that the lakes each took on rich color; the various minerals found in each lake give them a unique color and create a mystical aura.

The colors of the Goshiki-numa Ponds also change throughout the year depending on weather and time of day, a truly mysterious phenomenon. The lakes have become a popular tourist destination. The five main lakes are Bishamon, Aka, Ao, Benten, and Midoro, and their colors range from a lime green to deep turquoise to a topaz blue. A scenic walking route guides visitors around the ponds. At 3.6 km in length, this walking route - which will take you past many of the ethereal colors - takes about 70 minutes to complete.

If you’d like a view of all five lakes at once, why not take the 4 km walking trail from Bishamon-numa (largest of the five lakes) up to nearby Lake Hibara. Alternatively, if hiking is not on your itinerary, enjoy a simple rowboat out on Bishamon-numa. It’s especially lovely in autumn as the color of the autumn leaves reflects on the deep green surface of the lake. In winter, there are even snowshoe trekking tours offered. The color of the lakes looks particularly vivid in winter, seeing as the minerals in some of the lakes stop them from freezing over, meaning you can see their colors contrasted with the white of the snow.

Be sure to stop by the Urabandai Visitor Center, which is a large and well-equipped facility. You can find great information here about tours as well as the various geography, wildlife, and even the history of the area. It’s a great chance to learn more about the ecosystem that makes up the Goshiki-numa Ponds.

Venue Details

Venue Details
Websitehttps://www.urabandai-inf.com/en/
Contact

Urabandai Tourism Association

(+81) 241-32-2349

staff1@urabandai-inf.com

Best SeasonAll Year
ParkingAvailable
Access Details
Access1093 Ken-ga-mine, Hibara, Kita-Shiobara Village, Yama County, Fukushima Pref. 969-2701
View directions
Getting there

By Car: 30 min drive from Inawashiro Bandaikogen I.C. exit off the Ban-etsu Expressway.

By Train: Take the JR Ban-etsu West Line to Inawashiro Station. From there, take the Bandai Toto Bus bound for Urabandai Kogen-eki, and get off at Goshikinuma Iriguchi bus stop (五色沼入口バス停). The bus takes 35 min to reach the Goshiki-numa Ponds.

Related trips

  1. Driving

    Ultimate Fukushima Prefecture Road Trip

    This trip highlights some of the best Fukushima has to offer and is perfect for those looking to get the most out of the prefecture in a limited time. Take in castles, nature, traditional villages, and more as you treat yourself to local styles of soba and ramen along the way. Renting a car is a must if you want to hit all the spots on this tour. You can take it slow and complete this trip over three days, or skip out an overnight stay in Urabandai area, and do it in two days. Start the day from Fukushima Station with a scenic drive to the the beautiful Urabandai region. We recommend taking the Bandai-Azuma Skyline road so that you can enjoy a mountain drive and check out the great sights at Mt. Azuma-Kofuji. From there, take the stunning sightseeing road Azuma-Bandai Lake Line into Urabandai. Explore the Urabandai area, have lunch, go on a walk around the five-colored ponds of Goshiki-numa, and maybe even take a dip in a hot spring or two. Choose whether take it slow and stay the night in Urabandai area, or whether to press on to Aizu-Wakamatsu City.  Later that day - or the next morning, depending on your schedule - head into the castle town of Aizu-Wakamatsu City where samurai culture is prevalent. The majestic Tsurugajo Castle offers beautiful views of the surroundings from the keep. Check out the nearby Tsurugajo Kaikan to paint an akabeko or two and maybe have some lunch. Then explore the mysterious Sazaedo Temple and the surrounding Mt. Iimoriyama area. From here, we suggest staying overnight in the city. There are plenty of budget hotels in Aizu-Wakamatsu, but if you are looking for something traditionally Japanese, we recommend looking into lodging at the nearby Higashiyama Onsen hot springs town just east of the city. On the next day prepare to jump into the past with a trip to the Ouchi-juku mountain village. You can spend hours here shopping and eating local foods while walking up and down the street lined with traditional thatched-roof houses. Lastly, head to the To-no-Hetsuri Crags, a natural monument filled with towering cliffs overlooking the Okawa River. Cross the nearby suspension bridge which offers breathtaking views of the surroundings. After getting fully refreshed head back to Shin-Shirakawa station by car, drop off your rental car, and connect back to Tokyo or the next stop on your journey!

    Ultimate Fukushima Prefecture Road Trip
    1. Driving

      Autumn Colors of Fukushima

      Spend a couple of beautiful days admiring the colors of autumn in Fukushima from the comfort of your car. You will love zooming around the prefecture and seeing all that autumn has to offer. With some of the best autumn vistas in the prefecture right outside your window, be sure to have your camera at the ready. Rent a car at Fukushima Station, and make your way down the picturesque Bandai-Azuma Skyline where you’ll see trees and mountainous views on either side. The colors of autumn will surround you like a cozy blanket and you will definitely want to take it slow to enjoy these brilliant leaves. Drive the mountain road down to the Bandai-Azuma Lake Line and admire the reflections of the autumnal trees on the surface of the beautiful waters. Take in the panorama of colors and nature in this tranquil setting before moving on to the next amazing site. Visit the fascinating Goshiki-numa Ponds that change color throughout the day; admire the various shades of these volcano-created ponds. Finish your crimson leaf tour of Fukushima at To-no-hetsuri Crags where you can drink up the gorgeous vista of trees against the stony edifice before heading back to Shin-Shirakawa Station and ending your trip.  

      Autumn Colors of Fukushima
      1. Adventure

        Diamond Route (4 days 3 nights)

        Have you ever wanted to take a cross-prefecture tour of Japan, from Tokyo to the impeccable countryside of Fukushima? Well, now is your chance to travel from the international hub of Tokyo and see what else Japan and—especially—Fukushima have to offer. Enjoy this cross-country tour of Japan any time of the year, over the span of a few days so that you can enjoy things at your pace. You’ll find life outside of Tokyo goes at a much slower pace. Start your trip from Tokyo Station and ride a short distance to Asakusa. See one of the busiest shrine-and-temple locations in Tokyo. You’ll love the bustling atmosphere and the street stalls with their many trinkets and souvenirs. Once you’ve finished in Asakusa, head out of the city and make your way for Tochigi Prefecture’s Nikko. Nikko is perhaps most famous for the three monkey statues that people equate with “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil”. You’ll see these wonderful statues and more while you stop over in Nikko. From there, travel north to Higashiyama Onsen and enjoy the sights form the train along the way. Higashiyama Onsen is Fukushima’s home to some truly great hot springs and Japanese-style inns. Soak up the hot waters and relax your tired muscles. At Tsuruga-jo Castle, you can walk the pristine gardens and enjoy the castle grounds. Be sure to make note of the red-roof tiles of the castle as well, this is the only castle in Japan that boasts having these deep-red tiles. Inside the castle keep, discover the history of the Aizu samurai through the many exhibits and displayed artifacts. Make your way to Nanokamachi-dori Street and admire the local architecture, which is quite different than that from the rest of the area. Search out local hidden gems along the narrow streets and find the perfect souvenir to take home. Enjoy your time in Tokyo, Tochigi, and Fukushima like never before with this route.  

        Diamond Route (4 days 3 nights)
        1. Driving

          Must See Sights of Fukushima:Halal Friendly Model Route

          Including halal friendly information! This is a two-day model course by public transportation and rental car that takes you through breathtaking nature to the historic post town of Ouchi-juku and Tsurugajo Castle, home of the once mighty Aizu samurai clan! Information about halal restaurants and lodgings is available at the bottom of this page. From Tokyo to Fukushima, you can conveniently use the Shinkansen bullet train or the Tobu Liberty train that leaves from Asakusa station. From the terminus at Aizu Tajima Station, you can easily hire a cab that offers a full-day plan to get to the historic Ouchi-juku and nearby Aizu-Wakamatsu City. On the first day, you will visit Ouchi-juku, where you can experience the historical charm of the Edo period, followed by the castle town of the former Aizu clan, Tsurugajo Castle in Aizu-Wakamatsu City. On the second day, get a taste for the rich nature of Tohoku. From Aizu-Wakamatsu Station, you can rent a car and drive towards the Urabandai area. Goshiki-numa, located in Bandai Asahi National Park, is a beautiful natural park named after its five colored lakes and ponds, which appear to change colors depending on the light at different times or day and seasons. Hop into a rowboat and paddle around to admire the carp swimming around in the crystal-clear waters of the lake. There is a trail that takes you around the Goshiki-numa area, where you can appreciate the hues of the various ponds. If you happen to be visiting in the fall, you will be blown away by the spectacular array of autumn leaves in their stunning gradients of red and gold. Finally, be sure to go fruit picking so that you can taste the delicious flavors of Japanese fruits at the end of your trip. HALAL-friendly Restaurant ※Reservations required [Japanese Restaurant] Kissui Restaurant Aizu-Wakamatsu City "Halal / VG Requests OK / Reservations required" http://aizu-kissui.jp [Chinese Restaurant] Hotel Hamatsu / Shaga Chinese Restaurant Koriyama City https://www.hotel-hamatsu.co.jp HALAL-friendly accommodations ※Reservations required ・Yosikawaya Iizaka Onsen Ryokan http://www.yosikawaya.com/ ・Inawashiro Rising Sun Hotel (Villa Inawashiro) https://www.villa.co.jp/ ・Bandai Lakeside Guesthouse Kitashiobara Village https://www.bandai.ski/ Taxi ・Minamiaizu Kanko(Hire a Taxi for 2-hour or 4-hour flat rate plan) https://www-minamiaizu-co-jp.translate.goog/tour/index.php?_x_tr_sl=ja&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=ja Rent a Car ・Eki Rent-a-car https://www.ekiren.co.jp/phpapp/en/  

          Must See Sights of Fukushima:Halal Friendly Model Route

Nearby

The World Glassware Hall
Historical Sites

The Warehouses of Kitakata

In the Meiji and Taisho eras, Kitakata City experienced a boom in the construction of kura (traditional Japanese storehouses). There are approximately 4,200 still left in the city today. While these were used both as storehouses for businesses in the brewing and lacquerware industries, the building of a kura has traditionally been considered among Kitakata locals as a great symbol of status, and a source of pride. In the Mitsuya District, the rows of brick storehouses are reminiscent of rural Europe, whereas in the Sugiyama district, they have roofs that take the appearance of helmets. Visitors can see a range of kura and other traditional buildings at Kitakata Kura-no-Sato museum, or enjoy exploring the kura of the city on foot or by bike. See here for a 1 day itinerary for visiting Kitakata City.

You might also like

Kannonji-gawa River Cherry Trees
Nature & Scenery

Kannonji-gawa River Cherry Trees

Only a one-minute walk north of Kawageta Station (JR Ban-etsu West Line) is this beautiful 1 km-path along the banks of the Kannonji-gawa River. In the spring the path transforms into a spectacular tunnel of Yoshino cherry trees and weeping cherry trees. Kannonji-gawa River is perhaps the most fantastic place to see cherry blossoms in Fukushima Prefecture; the calming river and the lovely petals falling like snow are a sight that can’t be beat. The lush green bank contrasting with the pale pink blossoms creates an unforgettable scene. Altogether there are about 200 trees growing along the Kannonji-gawa River on both banks. Additionally, the river maintains its natural curves and bends as it hasn’t undergone any work to adapt its shape to the city surrounding it. It’s one of Fukushima’s most splendid and respected natural landscapes. Currently, the Kannonji-gawa River cherry trees rank number 11 of the best places to see cherry blossoms in the entire Tohoku region! While enjoying the delicate blossoms and the sweet, fresh air, visitors to Kannonji-gawa River can also enjoy some of the tasty food from street vendors available only during the cherry blossom season. We’d really recommend a springtime picnic right on the river bank with various yatai (food stand) delicacies. Be sure to come back during the evening when the trees are illuminated, and the river transforms into a magical dreamscape.

To-no-hetsuri Crags
Nature & Scenery

To-no-hetsuri Crags

A national natural monument, To-no-hetsuri Crags consists of tower-shaped cliffs overlooking Okawa River. Hetsuri is an Aizu word meaning "a cliff overlooking a river" or "a steep slope" in the local dialect. These strange-shaped cliffs are thought to be made of various types of rocks formed around 28 million years ago and feature deep cracks along the vertical joints. Thanks to trees growing between the white multi-layered rocks the view in autumn is quite spectacular. In spring and summer, the lush greens create a beautiful carpet down the rocks; in winter, the heavy snows make To-no-hetsuri Crags look otherworldly. The 200-meter long, natural cliff formation has alternating types of rocks that also include a relatively soft strata, which have been eroded by rain and wind, resulting in distinctive and eye-catching dips and curves in the rock face that resemble a forest of towers. Each of these tower-like rocks has its own name: Eagle Tower, Hawk Tower, Lion Tower, House Tower, Turret Tower, Nine-Ring Tower, Elephant Tower, Goma (fire ritual) Tower, Eboshi (tall hat worn by male aristocrats in the Heian Period) Rock, Folding Screen Rock, Stage Rock, and Sumo Arena Rock. Visitors to the area of To-no-hetsuri Crags can best enjoy the dynamic scenery by crossing the nearby suspension bridge. The suspension bridge offers a breathtaking sight of the river and cliff sides. At the foot of the cliff there is also a small shrine dedicated to the Bodhisattva of Wisdom. Another great way to enjoy To-no-hetsuri Crags is from the observatory neighboring the area where guests can view a panoramic scene of Okawa River, To-no-hetsuri Crags, and the suspension bridge. After enjoying the beautiful sight, head over to the local shopping area for restaurants and souvenirs.

Tenkyokaku
Nature & Scenery

Tenkyokaku

Named by the Crown Prince Yoshihito upon its opening in 1907 as “The Palace of Heaven’s Mirror”, Tenkyokaku is a decadently decorated former villa. Imperial Prince Arisugawa Takehito decided to build Tenkyokaku after being impressed by the beauty of Lake Inawashiro during a visit to the Tohoku District. His family, the Arisugawa-no-miya Family, owned the villa until 1952, when it was granted to Fukushima Prefecture. Tenkyokaku has since been used as a meeting hall and a space for lectures and exhibitions. The former villa, its annex and its front gate have been specified as important cultural properties of Japan. Despite being restored in 1984, the building retains many of its original features, including the impressive chandelier which can be seen below. Despite no longer being able to see Lake Inawashiro from the windows of Tenkyokaku, the luxurious renaissance-style architecture and liberal use of all things gold and glittery means that visitors will by all means feel that its name still rings true. For only 520 yen, you can dress up in a traditional outfit and take as many photos as you would like in the building!

Top