Just past the turn off for the ruins of the Matsuo Mine Apartment Complex on the other side of a tunnel shelter there’s a little unassuming parking lot. Most people drive right by without a second thought. This is where you’ll find Goshiki pond, a deep and mysterious body of water that changes color throughout the year.
A short trail from the parking area leads to Goshiki pond, which literally means 5-color pond. The iron and sulfur (among other minerals) that feed into the lake cause the color of the pond to change throughout the seasons. The color of the waters range from cloudy and brown to milky white, and are a stunning clear blue during the heat of the summer, which is accented by the red clay banks. Gozaisho Pond is directly adjacent, and quite beautiful, though it lacks the unique coloring of its neighbor. There is a small gazebo that provides a view of both ponds, allowing visitors to appreciate their differences, while relaxing and perhaps enjoying a picnic.
There are parking lots on both sides of the trail to Goshiki Pond. The walk takes about 15 minutes each way, and doesn’t require any special footwear, though you wouldn’t want to attempt it in high heels. There are often bears in the general vicinity, so bringing a bear bell or talking with your friends (constantly) while you are there is recommended. (There’s also a makeshift bell at the trailhead for you to sound – thus scaring away any nearby bears.) It’s most beautiful in mid-August.