Kinmuto Pond is a beautiful clear pond deep in the mountains on the eastern side of Lake Kussharo. Its seclusion deep in the forest, the stillness and silence, and the naturally amplified acoustics create a mysterious atmosphere. It is among the less-visited natural attractions in the Teshikaga area.
Steep forested slopes surround the pond, amplifying the sound of the flapping of a duck’s wings, fish jumping in the water, and rustling leaves. The pond is not spring-fed; rather, it is filled by snowmelt and rainwater that falls directly on it or runs down the steep slopes into its basin.
Getting to the pond
You can access this secluded and remote pond on foot or by car. On foot, a five-kilometer trail from Ikenoyu Onsen at the edge of Lake Kussharo leads there through the forest. It is possible to drive down this trail, but the path is rocky, uneven and narrow in places. It is recommended only for experienced off-road drivers. The lake is a five-minute walk from the small parking area.
You are in bear country. Be aware of the possibility of a bear attack, and do not take the danger lightly. Bears will hear you before you see them, so if you are trekking to the pond, carry a bear bell and make enough noise to alert them to your presence. If you are traveling by car, honk your horn before making the short walk down to the lake.