Goshikinuma is a hidden corner at the foot of the mountain in Fukushima prefecture, with five differently colored volcanic lakes. In the background, the infamous Mount Bandai, all around, a beautiful chameleon-cute forest that changes its coat according to the season. Scene set!
I traveled extensively during my year in China. The most beautiful place I visited was Jiuzhaigou, probably one of the most splendid valleys in the world. That was in 2006. You can read my adventures and see photos from those days here: Jiuzhaigou.
When I first came to Japan and starting traveling around, I was thinking there had to be a place just like Jiuzhaigou. And so there is! There are plenty of small colored ponds and lakes in Japan! But the finest are here in Goshikinuma.
Goshiki means five colors, numa means lake. These lakes were formed after the deadly eruption of Bandai-san in 1888.
I’ll come back to the eruption in another article as there’s a very little-known yet incredible tale (well worth the telling) I just have to share with you.
The minerals in the water create these lovely colors that change depending on the direction of the light, the depth of the water, the temperature and the… duck droppings 😉
The site isn’t very big. It’s best to drive there and park at Goshikinuma Hotel (ホテル五色荘). From there, you can row out with the love of your life or set off alone through the forest.
A small path borders this first lake which, after a 4 km walk, takes you to Lake Hibara. There are restaurants, shops, a combini nearby and … a bus stop!
This bus very conveniently takes you back to the parking lot by the first lake. But I’d recommend making the trip in the opposite direction, even if you have to wait awhile for the bus, or even walk?
The complete walk is 4 km in one direction; 8 km round trip. It’s perfect on a quiet day with a lunch break at Lake Hibara.
There isn’t much to discover about Goshikinuma, just head out there, relax, and enjoy! You’ll find a few onsen nearby, as well as other attractive routes.