Maruiikesama Pond

Maruiikesama Pond, Yuza-machi: Address, Phone Number, Maruiikesama Pond Reviews: 4.5/5

Maruiikesama Pond
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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39 reviews
Very good

Hiroaki Kaneko
Tokyo, Japan2,163 contributions
Mysterious pond that reflects a variety of expressions, at times beautiful, at times terrifying
Aug 2020

It is a spot that has been revered as an object of worship by the local people since ancient times. Its appearance changes from moment to moment depending on the season, weather and time of day. One minute it is a beautiful emerald green, and the next it is an eerie, awe-inspiring color that should never be touched.
The pond is large that you can walk around it in less than an hour. You cannot enter the pond through the small path around it, and of course touching the water is strictly forbidden. There are only a few small shrines around the pond, and no other facilities (no restaurants). There is a parking lot, but it is not well maintained. And there is only one simple restroom in the parking lot (and it is not recommended to use it, as it is often dirty).
Written May 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Corona, CA1,852 contributions
The Maruike-sama Emerald Colored Pools
Aug 2019
While I very much enjoyed the visit to the Maruike-sama Emerald Colored Pools, I think I almost enjoyed the circuitous ride to see them more ... the real Japanese countryside, rice paddies, railroad crossings, and unspoiled (if not raw) agricultural beauty.

That said the pools are very very emerald colored and peaceful. You use a bridge to walk over a stream filled with trout as well as on a dirt walkway to see them. The only sounds you will hear is that of your guide and others that may be talking in your group. Our guide told us that the pools are very difficult for most people to find. So if you plan to go there on your own, make sure you have an up-to-date GPS to assist you. But as I said, the drive trying to find it may still make it worthwhile. And the lack of signs in English may add to the challege of finding it on your own.

I will attach some pictures of the countryside that you will enjoy along the way.

On the other hand, you most likely will not see any other tourists than the ones in your own group ... something quite refreshing in Japan. Being an out of the way attraction is a serenity plus.

Having fly fishing as a hobby it was easy for me to find the trout in the stream you will see along your walk. Have patience and you will see them. But don't worry about having any trouble walking up to the pools as the dirt path and bridge are in good walking condition. Wheelchairs? Other than making your wheels dirty (and possibly a bit muddy) I would certainly suggest you have someone assisting you.

Regarding pictures ... try many F-stops with and without flash. You will be surprised to see details in your pictures your eyes missed. Again, check out my pictures.

Overall I think this is the real, non-tourist side of Japan you owe it to yourself to see. But the destination is only part of the beauty you will see.
Written November 13, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Tokyo, Japan445 contributions
Better than the more famous Aoike in Junikyo 12 Lakes area of Akita.
May 2016 • Solo
This pond was a hassle to find if you don't read Kanji. It's up just above Sakata in Yamagata. It isn't far off the main road, and actually, the Google Maps is pretty accurate if you can get it to show up but I had to use the Tripadvisor map. The problem is you have to cross some train tracks so you have to take a side road just in front the train station near it.

If you follow the GPS, you end up at the beginning of a dirt road. But look to the left and you see a dirt lot in the ricefield next to an abandoned salmon hatchery. The pond is just a 5' walk from the lot! I was about to give up and leave until I saw some Japanese park their car and walk into the woods. So I parked my car and followed them.

The pond is the same size as Aoike but you don't have to walk 500 km and there are no gaggle of foreigners tramping about the hiking paths. Aoike looked a bit stagnant to me and Maruike seemed cleaner. There is a shrine near the pond as it is considered sacred. The pond is quite accessible as you can walk around it and there is not a lot of bushes and greenery around it. There were about 5-6 Japanese there looking at the lake while I was there. Also check out the super clear water in the streams next to the salmon hatchery. I do believe Yokoso Japan puts this pond on their itinerary of tours in the area; the parking lot could accommodate a tour bus.

Anyways, this is one of the easier blue ponds to get to if you can figure it out. No, there are no gift shops and places to buy ice cream cones nearby, but there is one portable toilet in the parking lot. I read in one blog that even the locals don't know the location of the pond however I'm pretty sure the signs nearby made mention of it in Kanji.
Written June 2, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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