A tourist hotspot in recent years, "Aoi Ike" Blue Pond lies on the outskirts of the hot spring resort of Shirogane Onsen in Hokkaido, northern Japan. 

The Instagrammable pond, which rests in the mountainous countryside of Biei, takes its name from its rich blue color that came about accidentally following work carried out on the Biei River to control mudslides following the 1988 eruption of Mount Tokachi.

The blue color is thought to come from aluminium hydroxide that seeped into the water from nearby hot springs, resulting in particles in the pond reflecting the colour of the blue sky overhead. 

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"Aoi Ike" Blue Pond ice cream creating a splash in Hokkaido

[Supplied photo]

  [Supplied photo]