Nikko Sightseeing: Lake Chuzenji

Lake Chuzenji (Chuzenji-ko in Japanese) is a scenic lake in Nikko National Park. It was created 20,000 years ago when Mt. Nantai (2,484 m) erupted and blocked the river. Lake Chuzenji’s shores are mostly undeveloped and forested except at its eastern end where is the small hot spring town of Chuzenjiko Onsen.

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The lake is especially alluring in mid to late October, when the autumn leaves reach their peak along the shores and surrounding mountains. The Chuzenjiko Skyline road offers you a panoramic view from the hill.

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Visitors can also take a boat tour which takes an hour to go around the lake.

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In the vicinity area, there are some other sightseeing sites such as the Futarasan-jinja Shrine, which is a part of the Toshogu Shrine complex, and Ryuzu (Dragon Head) Waterfall.

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Futarasan-jinja shrine tower gate

The name of the falls comes from its shape, which resembles the head of a dragon. This waterfall is one of the most famous autumn leaves destinations in Nikko.

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Ryuzu waterfall

 

Fishing are quite popular in the lake, and many restaurants in the area serve trouts caught from the lake. During the autumn color season, traffic can be very busy around this area. Thus visiting during weekdays is recommended. Lake Chuzenji Boat Cruise cruises depart from the pier in Chuzenjiko Onsen. You can take a 10min. shuttle across the lake to Chuzenji Temple (150 yen) or a 60min. round course (1,500 yen).

 

Address: 2478-21 Chugushi, Nikko-shi, Tochigi
Phone: 0288-55-0360 (Chuzenjiko-Kisen)
Hours: 9:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Closed : Dec. through Mar.

[ Information ]
Transportation:
From Nikko:
Take the Tobu bus bound for Chuzenji Onsen or Yumoto Onsen to Chuzenji Onsen bus stop. (50min.)
A 2-day pass for unlimited bus rides between Nikko and Chuzenjiko Onsen is available for 2,000 yen at Tobu Nikko station.

The Hakone Open-Air Museum

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The Hakone Open-Air Museum opened in 1969 as the first open-air art museum in Japan, consisting of five exhibition halls. There are as wide as 70,000 square meters grounds of lush greenery and permanent display of approximately 120 works by well known modern and contemporary sculptors.

The exhibition halls include the Picture Gallery and the Picasso Pavilion have as many as 300 works on rotating display. Other exhibitions are paintings, prints, large assortment of pottery along with gold and silver items.

The Henry Moore Collection is another recommended exhibition hall, which displays huge collections of works by the famous English sculptor Henry Moore.

Additionally, the museum has artistic play sets for children, restaurants and shops, as well as a foot bath of natural hot spring where visitors can relax and enjoy the splendor of art in nature.