Tuesday 6 September 2011

Ura Bandai Photo Series

For a change here are some photos taken on a recent weekend trip to Ura Bandai, the weather not good unfortunately.

Mount Bandai in cloud. It erupted in 1889 when this side, the back of the mountain, was blasted away. Rivers were blocked creating over 300 lakes. The area's just been designated a Geopark (Japan) because of its unusual topography. The theme is regeneration, how nature will recover  in a relatively short time.

One of the Goshiki Numa (the Five Coloured Ponds)

What makes the ponds blue? My guidebook tells me that water containing allophane particles (an aluminium silicate clay) bubbles up from underground springs mixing with the acid water of the ponds. These particles reflect the blue in the light spectrum. The red pools are caused by deposits of oxidised iron.
Sorry to destroy the magic!

My Mum was very excited to find this when she first came to Japan.
It's a wild, climbing hydrangea, the forerunner of the cultivated ones.

The walk through the Five Coloured Ponds is about an hour and a half one way.
A ride back on this bone-shaker, the Bear Bus,  is good fun.

View from the venerable Ura Bandai Kogen Hotel (Mt Bandai in cloud, unfortunately). Lovely walk round the lake (30 minutes). Show your thanks by having coffee and cake (900 yen) or lunch (curry 1,300 yen) in restaruants with this view.

This is the walk round the lake at the Kogen Hotel. With its ferns and lush vegetation, it feels like a primeval forest

The Morohashi Art Gallery. Mainly Dali sculptures with some Impressionists.
Interesting building, well-maintained river flowing through the  grounds.

Il Regalo, the only restaurant open at night apart from the hotels.
Excellent Italian food and wine. Also a hotel.

The outdoor bath at Bandai Royal Hotel

A bit further afield, the outdoor bath at Tamuraya Ryokan in Numajiri Onsen.  The hotel is run down but it's near the source of the hot spring and the water is hot, cloudy, slightly sulphury and tingling to the taste.

and autumn is not far away .....

1 comment:

  1. I have seen this area on live cam, but it's so nice to see clearer, larger pictures of it. Thank you for sharing! I will have to go there myself one day.