Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Oshino Hakkai

Oshino Hakkai
Oshino (忍野) is a small village in Yamanashi Prefecture. The village used to be a lake called Lake Utsu (宇津湖). Lake Utsu used to be the biggest lake surrounding Mount Fuji. When Mt. Fuji erupted around 800 AD, the lava from Mt. Fuji split the lake into two, Lake Yamanaka (山中湖) and Lake Oshino. Later, the lake Oshino dried up, but the eight spring (pond) still remain and they are called Oshino Hakkai (忍野八海).

The spring waters are underground water that flowed down from Mt. Fuji. When the snow melt into water from the top of Mt. Fuji, it got filtered down the mountain through layers of lava, traveling for over 80 years to finally spring at Oshino Hakkai, resulting a very pure, clear water.

The purity of the water is the proud of the locals. It is said that the water is one of the best waters in Japan.


Oshino Hakkai
There are two ways to get there, by train and by bus. If you prefer train, take the Fujikyuukou Line to Fujisan Station and take a bus until Oshino Hakkai Iriguchi (忍野八海入り口). It is five minutes walk from there.

Oshino Hakkai
If you prefer bus, there is Keio highway bus that runs from Shinjuku to Oshino Hakkai. From there, it is about 10 minutes walk to the spring. It took me about 20 minutes because I got lost a bit. So yes, I did take the bus.

Oshino Hakkai
Inside the bus. It's a 2.5 hours trip.

Oshino Hakkai
The Eneos is where I got off from the bus. I was confused at that time, because I couldn't find any sign of the pond anywhere, and the GPS wasn't helping at all. As a warning, if you decided to take the bus, head to the direction where I took the above photo, you will find a small sign pointing to the spring at the end of intersection of the road.

Oshino Hakkai Zarusoba
Getting zarusoba for lunch.

Oshino Hakkai
Only in Japan you can find unattended shop. Just leave the money in the box if you want to buy it.

Oshino Hakkai
The weird entrance to the village. The entrance is that small narrow path on the left side of the photo.

Oshino Hakkai

Oshino Hakkai
Oshino Village

Oshino Hakkai

Oshino Hakkai
The pond's water here is really clear and transparent. Even though it was very deep (about 8m), you could clearly see the bottom of the pond.

Oshino Hakkai
Those fishes must be really happy to live in the pond.

Oshino Hakkai
Some of them are not lucky enough.

Oshino Hakkai

Oshino Hakkai

Oshino Hakkai
Next to one of the springs, there is a place where you can feel and drink the water.

Oshino Hakkai
The water is very cold and feels so refreshing.

Oshino Hakkai

Oshino Hakkai
When you come here, make sure to wear shorts and sandals so you can easily jump down and play in the river. The water here is so nice and refreshing, it is definitely one of the best waters in Japan.

Oshino Hakkai

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