The Chuzenji Lake was created by the eruption of Mount Nantai which blocked and flooded the river. There are many resorts and hotels along the shore of the lake. Nearby sites include the Futara Shrine and the Kegon Waterfalls.
This Futarasan Shrine is located close to the Chuzenji Lake and has a happiness trail with a lot of written advices (in Japanese) to live a more harmonious life (I was lucky to have a translator with me)! It is also the entrance to a mountain climbing area (Nantai mountain).
This short clip first shows some scenes of the trip from Tokyo to Niko on the Tobu Nikko line. It then explores the surroundings of the Nikko Tobu station and moves on to the most popular historical monuments of Nikko, the Nikko Tosho-gu temple, the Futarasan shrine and the Taiyu-in mausoleum. After a hot day, nothing is better than a Kakigori, those iced-shaving Japanese desserts!
The Fujiyoshida fire festival is held every year to appease the goddess of Mt. Fuji and prevent the volcano of erupting in the following year. It also marks the end of the season for climbing Mount Fuji. During the festival, huge torches are burnt in the middle of the street.
The Kitano shrine is a lovely and peaceful shrine located just north of Nikko’s most popular shrines. This shrine is visited by people who wish for a successful pregnancy. Couples expecting come to the shrine and borrow a Kyousha (usually a part of the Shougi game). After the birth of the baby, they bring back the Kyousha with a new one with the baby’s name, therefore more and more Kyousha accumulate on the shelves of the shrine. The reason behind this is that in the Shougi game the Kyousha can only go forward and therefore symbolizes a safe and easy delivery!
The Takino Shrine is one of those small Japanese shrines where one can truly find inner peace. Located north of Nikko’s most popular and busy historical site, it is within an easy walk from the more crowded Futarasan shrine. It is also located very close from a lovely waterfall.