Venturing Further into Nikko
Seems like I’m on a perpetual backlog clearing mode when it comes to blogging about my travel escapades. My current aim is to pen down my thoughts on all my trips around Japan before leaving. So let’s rewind the clock to April 2014 and allow me to finish the rest of my Nikko trip.
Besides the shrines and temples of Nikko (which by the way is a UNESCO World Heritage Site), there’s also plenty of natural scenery to be enjoyed around Nikko. I ventured further to the Okunikko area (literally inner Nikko) to Lake Chuzenji. After taking a bus up the Irohazaka Winding Road, I arrive at the Akechidaira Plateau (fancy names, eh?). The only thing to do here is to take a cable car up to an observation point overlooking Lake Chuzenji and the Kegon Falls.
I’ve read that the area is incredibly beautiful (and crowded) during autumn. Although I went in spring, I think the higher altitudes are a bit slower in catching up with the seasons so the trees and vegetation were barren and brown. Naturally, the view wasn’t all that great though you get a bird’s eye view of the waterfall.
It’s 730 yen for the round trip on the cable car. Probably much more worth your while if you came at the right season otherwise I’d personally suggest to give it a miss.
After that, I caught the next bus onward to Lake Chuzenji. It was a quiet day by the lake. There were a few anglers honing their fly fishing skills but there was not much going on besides that.
I also made my way near to the base of Kegon Falls. The waterfall looks a lot more impressive up close though I was once again disappointed with the drab vegetation.
My last stop was at the Futarasan Shrine which overlooks Lake Chuzenji. There are actually two other Futarasan Shrines around Nikko, the most well known one located next to Toshogu Shrine which I missed due to lack of time.
I really like the trees planted around the shrine which reminded of my dad’s bonsai trees. I left around late afternoon making the long journey back to Yokohama as I had work the following day.
If you’re a fan of Japanese history or natural beauty, Nikko would be a good place to visit. I’d recommend giving this place more than the 2 days I did so that you have more time to see everything. Also, there are discount travel passes that you can buy for traveling to and fro plus within Nikko. I referred to Japan Guide’s webpage for info on each pass.