No body shaming at this site of natural beauty.

Nose hair tends to get a bad wrap in society — everybody seems to want to cut it or conceal it. But here in Japan there’s a place where the nose hair is free to grow wild, as nature intended, and that place is called Hanagenoike (“Nose Hair Pond“).

▼ We found out about the place in a “Drive Map” for the Kanto Koshinetsu region, which covers Tokyo and its surrounding areas, as well as Yamanashi, Nagano, and Niigata prefectures.

Located in the mountains of Joetsu City, Niigata Prefecture, Nose Hair Pond is said to be resplendent with natural scenery, including trees with brightly hued leaves in autumn. There’s no detailed information for the exact address of the pond, however, with the location simply listed as “Ushigahana, Oshima-ku, Joetsu City.”

▼ This place is definitely hidden off the beaten path.

Following the directions on the car navigation system, we set out to find the mysterious site, and as we got close we were eventually directed onto a narrow mountain road.

▼ Could this be…the nasal passage?

The road became narrower and narrower, and nature looked to be swallowing up the route with tall fir trees and long autumn grasses.

And that’s when we arrived at our destination, which looked eerily quiet, as if totally forgotten by humanity.

▼ We got out of the car and trod carefully towards the pond…

▼ …and sure enough, it looked like a gaping nostril, filled with reeds that looked like nose hair!

As we got closer, we could see there was very little water in Nose Hair Pond. In fact, it looked more like a marshy wetland. According to what we’d read, the autumn leaves are meant to reflect beautifully on the surface of the pond like a mirror, but we must’ve been visiting outside of the ideal viewing period, because there were no pretty reflections here.

We were a bit cautious of getting too close to Nose Hair Pond, as there wasn’t a soul in sight to help us out if the cavity were to suck us in.

▼ Plus, we had hardly any reception.

According to the information we’d received, a stone monument and a campsite are said to be located nearby, but we couldn’t find any trace of them. So after a few more deep breaths of fresh mountain hair, sorry, air, we got back in the car and headed back down to civilisation.

It took about 50 minutes to get down to flat land again, and the whole time we didn’t pass one other vehicle or person. There were some beautiful terraced rice fields on the descent, though, and these are far more famous than Nose Hair Pond, drawing tourists to the area for their picturesque beauty.

As we drove home, we discovered that Nose Hair Pond was originally known as “Nose Kick Pass“. Apparently, the small road that passes by the pond was actually a major road in the past, and the pass was so steep it was said to “kick” the noses of horses and people who used it.

Thankfully, we left the area with our nose intact, and a new appreciation for nasal hair. Next time we’ll think twice before giving the insides of our nostrils a Brazilian wax with these nose hair pullers.

Site information

Hanagenoike / 鼻毛の池
Address: Niigata-ken, Joetsu-shi, Oshima-ku, Ushigahana

Photos © SoraNews24
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