The brilliant patchwork fields and beautiful scenery of Biei are made possible by the farmers who live in harmony with nature here.
The colorful fields are actually made up of various crops.
We decided to visit Biei again as a family, only this time during winter.
We borrowed some snowshoes that allow you to walk with ease over the fluffy snow, and followed the nature guide out to the snowy fields.
The air was fresh and clear, skies were blue, and white marshmallow hills continued as far as the eye could see.
Stretched in front of our eyes were the Tokachidake Mountain Range, and in the distance,
the magnificent peaks of Mt. Asahidake and the Taisetsu Mountain Range, the highest mountains in Hokkaido, stood proud, sparkling with snow.
This was a spectacular winter panorama that one can only encounter during winter.
We turned to look at the direction from which we had come, and the only thing visible in the snow, were the footprints of our family.
Big sister loves animals, but little brother is a little unsure of them.
My older daughter who had been looking forward to horseback riding took no time in getting the hang of things and rode with ease!
The interaction with the horses was something that was out of the ordinary, and became a valuable experience for the children.
The commanding view of the area that could be seen on horseback was so refreshing and awesome!
The round-trip course took us to points where you can see the entire hills of Biei, and was a luxurious way to unwind.
As we drove along the Shirogane Road, we came across a cute cafe.
We were a little hungry so we decided to stop in, and were greeted by a smiling couple.
The wood-burning stove warmed our bodies as we enjoyed hamburgers and sandwiches made with Biei wheat.
I can still remember the moist and chewy texture of the bread.
Next we headed for the Blue Pond. During the winter, the perimeter of the lake is illuminated, and the frozen lake shone blue and green.
The atmosphere was very different from that which you experience in spring, summer and fall.
We all huddled together, mesmerized by the fantastic and mysterious view.
I silently hoped that this would become a very important memory for the children.
We stayed overnight at the hot spring inn in Shirogane,
awoke the next morning and went to the bridge in the hot spring village, and looked down at the Blue River and the Shirohige Falls.
We were surprised to find out that this blue river is what makes the Blue Pond so blue!
We found that when the aluminum in the Shirohige Falls is mixed into the water of the Biei River, that colloids are formed and appear blue.
The mystery of the Blue Pond was in fact, a coincidence of nature.
I felt as though I had learned something new about the profound power of nature.
Shirogane Hot Springs, Blue Pond, Shirohige Falls, Picnic