A mysterious blue pond
Lake Mashū is called Kamuito (the Pond of God) in the Ainu language, and its water level doesn’t change at all since there are no rivers flowing in or out of the lake. It is said that the explanation lies in the waters of Lake Mashū flowing into the surrounding ponds as underground water. Kami-no-Koike is one of those ponds, and its name means “The Child Pond of God”. It is a small pond with a circumference of 220m and a depth of 5m, but it is a popular place visited by many tourists. The overriding reason for this is its mysterious blue color. The surface of Kami-no-Koike which turns a beautiful cobalt-blue due to the strong sunlight in spring and summer and a light indigo-blue in fall and winter has a loveliness which amazes visitors. Since the temperature of the pond stays at about a low 8 degrees Celsius throughout the year, anything that falls into the pond such as trees doesn’t tend to rot so that they seem to appear as sunken fossils in water so impressively clear that it doesn’t look like the water is 5m deep. Dolly Varden trout can even be seen swimming within its lovely blue waters. Due to the accumulation of snow in the winter, it will be necessary to move around in snowshoes, but to see the pond within an air of quiet deep in the mountains is also recommended. This is a mysterious place whose beauty remains unchanged throughout the year.
Surrounding tourist spots
In Kiyosato Town where Kami-no-Koike is located, there are other tourist spots that are recommended. Kiyosato’s Mt. Sharitake is one such spot that is a hit with mountain climbers. From its summit, the grand Sea of Okhotsk can be viewed. Also at Sakura-no-Taki Falls, you can see cherry salmon jumping up the falls so that they can spawn. Kiyosato Town is one of those tourist areas where you can experience this dynamism of Mother Nature.