Beautiful, Clear Water at Beppu Benten Ike (別府弁天池) in Mine

For my 25th birthday, I went on a trip around Yamaguchi Prefecture. I’m already well into my third year here in Waki, and I still hadn’t gotten around to visiting most of the places Yamaguchi is known for (besides the Kintai Bridge, which is practically next door). My friend Kaoru flew down from Shizuoka, rented a car, and we went on a road trip!

This place was right in the middle of our trip, but I’m going to start here at the Beuppu Benten Ike (pond) because every picture is so good I hardly know which ones to pick :) It’s in Mine, pronounced mee-nay, in western Yamaguchi. There’s very little English information available about this place, although there is this site that just says it’s not famous yet–but all you really need to find it in the end is a map, right?

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The pond is well hidden out in the country. It’s back behind those houses, where that big yellow tree is!

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We parked in the parking lot, and headed in on this path…

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Right when we came in, there were fallen red leaves scattered all over the ground.

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The leaves filled up the river.

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Although the pond is blue, the river was filled with red rocks, giving the streams a deep crimson color.

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The red-tinted water, combined with the red autumn leaves and the bright green plants, came together to create something quite amazing.

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The streams coming out from the pond (I think?) are red, but the pond itself is clear and blue.

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This pond is one on the list of “100 Famous Waters of Japan” (日本名水百選) as determined by the Japanese Ministry of the Environment. (Japanese info page) It’s number 71 on this list, although I don’t know if the order means anything.

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The yellow tree reflected in the water is the same one you can see on the mountain in the very first picture. It’s right behind a shrine (Beppu Itsukushima Shrine / 別府厳島神社).

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The leaves blanketed the ground, and it was quiet and peaceful.

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There’s a sign saying not to throw coins in the pretty blue pool, so I think that’s why they set up a Buddha in the tree, where a lot of people have been throwing coins.

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A little ways back, there’s a little forested path. I love forests <3

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If you follow the path, there’s a small orchard in back, too.

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My friend and I were both wowed by this place. I don’t think it’s as well known by tourists (hehe, I feel so hipster), and it’s quiet and relaxing. I highly recommend it! It was one of the highlights of our trip.

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Mafumafu – “Ikanaide” (Don’t Go)

6 thoughts on “Beautiful, Clear Water at Beppu Benten Ike (別府弁天池) in Mine

  1. What a wonderful place! Makes you want to dive in but figure it is for reflecting. The orchard reminds me of Sebastopol. Lovely.
    Thanks for posting.
    Joy

  2. It looks like you had a wonderful birthday celebration. That is the way I like to celebrate hiking in a beautiful natural setting. Oh the wonders of nature! Thank you Lord for creating such wonder!

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