It’s already snowing on Mt. Daisetsu, and it's about time for the first snow on the flatlands of Hokkaido.
Kids, and maybe some adults, are excited when they woke up in the morning to see that, behind the window, a silver-white curtain enwrapped the landscape.
However as you grow up, removing snow is an house chore, so some people may get sick when it snows but our reporter in his thirties still get excited at the first snow !
That is mainly thanks to the fact that he really looks forward to see the snowy scenery of Biei.
Our writer’s friends who are into photography, use their paid leave just to take pictures of the first snow.
This time, we will introduce our favorite first snow sightseeing spots in Biei.
How to estimate when the first snowfall in Biei is
The time when the first snow falls is different every year, so our reporter suggests to check the weather forecast every day from when snow bugs appear in the city. When the weather forecast foretells snow, our reporter goes to Biei.
Of course, the weather forecast may be off sometimes and this is mainly why he missed the first snow several times in the past. But as long as his work and his time allowed him to, he usually manage to see Biei’s first snow.
The Blue Pond
The blue pond is a must-see when talking about Biei's first snow!
I mean, it was even used as a wallpaper for Apple's iMac in the United States!
Since the blue pond at the foot of Mt. Tokachi the first snow may fall earlier there than in the city.
Sometimes, our writer guesses wrong and come all his way to the blue pond to realise that there is no snow yet. But the scenery is also great without snow so it’s still worth the trip.
This is to say how fantastic the landscape is!
The snowy blue pond can only be seen for a short period of time: between the first snowfall and the freeze of the pond. If covered with snow, the frozen blue pond will turn into a white pond.
As said earlier, it’s even difficult for people living in Hokkaido to see that marvellous landscape at the right time. So if people from outside Hokkaido manage to see this scenery, they can call themselves lucky!
Address: Shirogane, Biei-cho, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido
Phone: 0166-94-3355 Roadside Station Biei Shirogane Birke
Business hours: 8: 30-21: 30 (November-April)
Parking lot: Yes (parking fee 500 yen)
The Shirahige Waterfall
Shirahige Waterfall is about 5 minutes by car from the blue pond.
As it is located upstream of the blue pond, the water of the waterfall is also blue.
The contrast between the clear stream of blue water flowing from the waterfall and the white of the snow is beautiful.
If you go to the blue pond, you may also want to take a look at the waterfall.
Address: Shirogane, Biei-cho, Kamikawa-gun,
Hokkaido Parking: Available (free)
The Christmas tree
About 25 minutes by car from the blue pond.
During the winter, this tree becomes a landmark, one of Biei’s sightseeing spot.
A tree proudly standing on a picturesque hill.
When the sky is blue, it feels like you’re living in a painting!
The first layer of snow is slim, showing the field’s lines and patterns from underneath.
*There is no line if the field is not cultivated before it snows
When the snow piles up, it becomes a snowscape of gentle, smooth hills.
The field is privately owned, so please do not step in it without authorisation.
Address: Bibaushi, Biei-cho, Kamikawa-gun, Hokkaido
Biei's first snow is famous and aimed by a lot of photographers.
There are many people who post pictures on Instagram too.
However, the atmosphere of the first snow cannot be felt through a photo. This is why, if you have time or plan to be near Biei during the first snow, we recommend you to see this snowscape with your own eyes.
This scenery can only be seen once a year, it would be a shame to miss it!
Translated from Yellow’s article.