Urabandai Mountain Walks
A trail walk at Grandeco under the azure sky
A view of autumn foliage seen from a gondla
Urabandai Lakeside Walks
Goshikinuma hiking guide map
(L) Lake Yanagi and lakeside trail (R) Ao Pond
Akanuma ("Red Pond") is a small pond actually greener than it
is red, but with a unique reddish
outline from the high iron content of it water seeping into the roots of
the reeds in it and tinting
Tatsu-numa ("Dragon Lake") is distinguished by having numerous
little cascades of water flowing
into it, and having water that is particularly changeable in color, tending
towards green in winter,
and bright blue in spring.
(L) Lake Benten
Benten-numa (Benten is the Japanese goddess of the arts and wisdom): the
second largest of
the five lakes, and perhaps named after a goddess for the almost mysterious
depth and mix of
rich blues and greens visible in the water.
(R) Midori Pond
Midoro-numa ("Deep Mud Lake") is a butterfly-shaped pond surrounded
by reeds and bulrushes,
and its water is, much like Akanuma, emerald green but with reddish tinges
in its plant life.
(L) Vines with purple-colored fruits of akebi were found in the forest
close to a lake.
(R) Lake Bishamon: Mt Bandai is far in the back.
Goshikinuma, the "Five Colored Marshes," is a group of very picturesque
lakes and ponds on a highland plain
in Bandai-Asahi National Park, , about 3 km north of the foot of Mt. Bandai.
They have existed only since 1887,
when Mt. Bandai erupted, generating a cascade of displaced earth and rubble
that blocked in various places
what was a river, creating ponds and lakes. From this the mineraloid, allophane
(consisting mainly of aluminum and silicon), leached into the newly formed
lakes, and the sludge at the bottom
of the most of the lakes contains this and other chemicals that give the
water a distinctive deep-blue tint
that changes subtly with the sunshine. Furthermore, a combination of iron
oxide and various kinds of plants
and algae in the lakes produced a reddish tinge often evident in some of
the lakes. Each lake or pond,
therefore, has a different, unusually vivid, color, which can change day-to-day
or throughout the year.
The 3,300 m-long hiking trail takes nearly two hours to walk, while photographing
the landscape. It takes
hikers around mysterical five lakes and ponds of Goshikinuma, which means
'five colored lakes and ponds.'
There is a slight elevation change, caution is needed due to scattered
rocks and mud caused by rain.
(L) A blue clear sky after long rainy days: The picture was taken from
a shinkansen bullet train.
(R) Inawashiro JR Station
Urabandai Lakeside Resort
Urabandai Lake Resort is a huge hotel, which has 324 guest rooms. It was
built in 1990 at cost of 32 billion yen
( 364 million Us dollars ), at the time of the peak of the bubble economy.
In December 2016, all guest rooms became smoke-free. A smoking room is
provided on the first floor; however,
the entrance door is sometimes not closed. Smoking is allowed in the bar
on the third floor. During a business hour,
door is kept open. They appear to ignore to prevent a harmful side smoke.
It is located in the starting point to walk to Lake Hibara and Goshikinuma,
"Five Colored Marshes."
A free shuttle bus is operated from JR Inawashiro station three times a
(L) Exterior (R) Entrance hall with a decoration for a Halloween
(L) A long corridor (M) A powder room (R) A twin-bedroom
(L) An indoor public bath (R) An open-air hot-spring bath
(L) Drawing fashion collection (R) A library and Mt. Bandai
(L) A hotel guide for yukata, no-smoking in a guest room and the place
we can use Wi-Fi.
(R) A smoking room
(L) A playroom and bar, in which smoking is allowed. (R) A course Japanese
A course Japanese cushion
The new section built in 2015 (L) An entrance lobby (R) An elevator hall
(L) Reception desk (M) A replica of Qin's bronze chariot (R) hotel corridor
$B!!(BA giant resort hotel at Urabandai, Fukushima
Hotels for young people and families seeking ski and hot-spring
It fell short of expectations when we saw the guest room, because the actual
is so much different from the photos displayed on the hotel's home page.
We reserved one of the best guest rooms on the top floor. However, the
room is so old,
just like a past local-government-made accommodation. There are two public
One of them is new. The pillars and ceiling of the bathroom are made of giant cypress trees.
It is an extremely precious existence in this era. A bathing people can
white Hakuba mountain ranges in a 41$B!n(B-Hot-spring water. All hotel staff are friendly and helpful.
The hotel turned its policy, and all guest rooms became smoke-free from April 2018.
Smoke-free Hotels in Japan
A summary of smoking-room rate studied in local hotels of Japan
Smoking Restriction at Hotels in the World: Actual Survey
The ratio of a smoking guest room to the total hotel rooms was calculated,
based on-the-spot investigation.
$B!!(B $B<9I.(B $B!!6X1l@J%M%C%H
$B!z(BThis Web site is link-free.
This information was provided by the Smokefree Hotel and Travel.
The article was written in Octobr 2017.
All photography was taken by Dr. Junhaku Miyamoto inOctober 2017.
Domestic Travel in Japan
Tokyo Metropolis mini-tour
Japanese inn, 'ryokan' at Kaminoyama Hot spring, Yamagata
Japanese inn, 'ryokan' at Dogo Hotspring, Matsuyama
Miyajima ( Itsukushima shrine ) and Hiroshima
Kagoshima, southwestern tip of the island of Kyushu
Mt.Komagatake and Lake Onuma in the southern Hokkaido
Suginoi Hotel, Hells of Beppu and Yufuin of Kyushu
Yuze-Onsen, Hot Spring in Northern Honshu
Kagaya Rykan, Hot Spring in Noto Peninsula, central Honshu
Hotel Associa Takayama Resort, Hida-Takayama, central Honshu
Minakami highland ski and hot-spring Resort, Gunma
Yoshiike, Hot-spring Resort, Hakone, Kanagawa
Fujiya Hotel, Miyanoshita, Hakone, Kanagawa
Mampei Hotel, Karuizawa, Nagano
Akakura-Kanko Hotel, Myoukou Highland, Niigata
Shiojitei, Toba, Mie