Thursday, July 2, 2009

Nikko Japan Part 2: Lake Chuzenji to Yumoto Onsen

On day 2 in Nikko I took a bus up a mountain to the Lake Chuzenji area. My plan was to hike from the lake on the left hand side of the map, to the hot spring on the top right. IMG_2042 My guide book said it should take about 3 hours, but it in the snow it took me 5. In that time I only saw 3 other people on the trail, I it was –10 degrees C, and I didn’t have a map until I found the sign above a few hours into the hike and took a picture of it.

IMG_2016 But I felt relatively safe because most of the trail was on these elevated boards and I just had to follow the footprints.


This part of the hike is the Senjogahara Plateau Nature Trail. Most of the year this park is crowded with people, but it was very peaceful to be all alone in the woods.


IMG_2054  IMG_2069 This panorama was stitched together using Windows Live Photo Gallery.

IMG_2068 StitchThen I went over the river and through the woods.

IMG_2111 IMG_2108 After 5 hours I finally made it to Yumoto Spa. To call this a “Spa” is a bit misleading. All I could find at this time of year were shuttered buildings, igloos, and a stinky pump house.

IMG_2119 IMG_2120IMG_2130I found one place that was open for business. The Okunikko Konishi Hotel and Hot Spring. For about $10 you can use their hot spring baths even if you are not staying at the hotel.

nikko bath nikkoAfter warming up in the hot spring for a while I got a bus back to Nikko station, took a train to Tokyo, and was back home before 22:00.


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