How to get to the beautiful pond “Maruike-sama” in Yamagata where is not on Google Maps?
In Yuza Town, Yamagata Prefecture, located at the southwestern foot of Mt. Chokai, there is a pond called “Maruike-sama”. It has perfectly clear cobalt blue color water. You can see the spring water from Mt. Chokai from the bottom of the pond. Pond Maruike-sama and the surrounding area are the secret areas of Chokaisan Omonoimi Shrine. There is a forest of the shrine, and great nature remains and even has a mysterious atmosphere.
This pond has been called Pond “Maruike-sama” by local people with their feelings of awe. It is because they treated this pond as an object of worship since ancient times. “Sama” is the formal and respectful form of Mr./Mrs./Miss in Japanese.
At the end of the Heian period (11th century), Kagemasa Kamakura was shot in a war and lost his eye. In the legend, he washed his eye in Pond Maruike-sama and since then, all fish live in Pond Maruike-sama become single eye.
Underground water of Mt.Chokai springs out to the Ushiwatari River and this river flows near Pond Maruike-sama.
The transparency level of the Ushiwatari River is very high, and you can find the unique aquatic plant called Baikamo (plum flower duckweed in Japanese). Baikamo can grow only in clear streams, and in the middle of June, small plum-like flowers will bloom under the water. Also, salmons come up the river every year from October to February.
The Ushiwatari River has a facility to catch salmon coming up the stream and collect and hatch their eggs. From October to February, you can see salmons come up the river and landing work of salmons.
It takes about 5 minutes from Pond Maruike-sama to the facility, so when you go to Pond Maruike-sama, please set your navigation system to “Minowa Sake Fukajo (Minowa Salmon Hatchery).”
There is a parking lot in front of “Minowa Sake Fukajo (Minowa Salmon Hatchery).” You can also use it for walking around Pond Maruike-sama and Ushiwatari River.
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