Four Great Mountainous Views of Nikko

by Luke - TripleLights travel specialist

If you are planning a trip to Nikko, and want to see breathtaking views of Mount Nantai, Kegon Falls, or Lake Chuzenji, then there are plenty of great spots to soak up the sunshine and enjoy glorious views of mountains and the countryside beyond. Sights that are simply stunning. Here are the best four places to see mountainous views of Nikko:

Hangetsuyama

Four Great Mountainous Views of Nikko

(image by upload.wikimedia.org)

Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture is visited by many tourists annually, but there is an especially popular spot in the form of the secluded area of Oku-Nikko which rises even higher than the 600-meter altitude of downtown Nikko. Oku-Nikko includes Yunoko Lake, Yumoto Onsen, Senjogahara and Lake Chuzenji. Because of the high altitude, the summers are cool there and the area is known for its serenity and lush green forests. Many tourists come to the observation deck on Hangetsuyama so that they can get a look at the wonderful view of Oku-Nikko. From the deck, Mt. Nantai, which is the highest mountain of the Nikko Mountain Range, Lake Chuzenji and the high moors of the Senjogahara Wetlands can all be viewed. 300 meters below the summit of Hangetsuyama, the No. 1 parking area can easily be reached by car and a beautiful view can also be seen from there. In addition, there is also the No. 2 parking area further up the mountain from where the Lake Chuzenji Skyline can be used and once you park your car there, it’s just a 10-minute walk up to the observation deck. The walk up from the No. 1 parking area to the deck will take up to 1 hour. Buses and cars can be used to get up Hangetsuyama, but why not do some hiking through Hangetsutoge Pass? There you can get in touch with the nature at Oku-Nikko while viewing Lake Chuzenji and Mt. Nantai.

The especially famous views from the observation deck on Hangetsuyama are for Mt. Nantai, Lake Chuzenji and Hatcho Dejima Peninsula. Mt. Nantai is the highest mountain of the Nikko Mountains and a volcano belonging to Nikko National Park. It is has also been known as a symbol of worship since ancient times. Lake Chuzenji spreads out in front of the mountain and was created from an eruption from Mt. Nantai. Protruding out from the south is Hatcho Dejima Peninsula. The shores of Lake Chuzenji are well known for the fall colors, and during autumn, both the mountain and the peninsula are colored in a beautiful scarlet. The green trees of summer are also lovely, but the observation deck is particularly recommended to fully appreciate the deep autumn reds in the mountains which are reflected on the lake.

Admission: Free

Guidebook from Planetyze about Hangetsuyama
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Hangetsuyama
Tours of Hangetsuyama

Akechidaira

Four Great Mountainous Views of Nikko

(image by upload.wikimedia.org)

Akechidaira, which is located in Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture, is a rest area along Irohazaka on National Route 120 which links the city of Nikko with the popular tourist spots of Lake Chuzenji and Yumoto Onsen in Oku-Nikko. Irohazaka goes up 440 meters in altitude from Nikko to the shores of Lake Chuzenji, so taking a drive on that route makes the scenery below even grander. Nikko, which can be reached from the center of Tokyo in about 2.5 hours, is certainly a popular tourist destination, and there are a lot of tourists who make the drive on Irohazaka to get that view from Akechidaira. In particular, Akechidaira is especially famous for its autumn leaves. During the fall when there is that enjoyable splendid view of the mountains all painted in red, Akechidaira is the place to visit although there are big traffic jams on Irohazaka. It’s therefore recommended that if you want to enjoy the scene at your leisure that you try to reach Irohazaka early in the morning.

Along with the rest area at Akechidaira in the middle of Irohazaka, there is the Akechidaira Ropeway that heads for the observation area. The ropeway was first opened in 1933 but was shut down afterwards. However, it reopened in 1950 and has become used by many tourists as a route to reach the prominent tourist spot of Akechidaira Observatory. The observatory can be reached by ropeway in about 3 minutes. It is a short trip but you can view features such as the mountain range and the small waterfall. When you reach the observatory, the large vista of Oku-Nikko spreads out in front of your eyes. You can see Kegon Falls, one of Oku-Nikko’s Three Famous Waterfalls, the mountain range and Lake Chuzenji. Please enjoy the beautiful and grand scenery that can be viewed as if you were in the sky.

Admission: Free

Guidebook from Planetyze about Akechidaira
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Akechidaira
Tours of Akechidaira

Irohazaka

Four Great Mountainous Views of Nikko

(image by flickr.com)

Irohazaka is located in the city of Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture, and is represented by a section of National Route 120 between Umagaeshi in the city and the shores of Lake Chuzenji. No. 2 Irohazaka is the road climbing up to Lake Chuzenji from Umagaeshi while No. 1 Irohazaka is the road going down. The two roads together have 48 curves, and the name originated from the former Japanese alphabet consisting of 48 syllables and the Iroha Poem which was used to help remember the Japanese hiragana. There are signs displaying hiragana letters for every curve on Irohazaka. It is a tourist highway that links Nikko and Lake Chuzenji, and thanks to its 440m-altitude location, it has the distinct feature of tourists being able to view some truly wonderful scenery.  

Irohazaka connects the city of Nikko with tourist sites like Lake Chuzenji in Oku-Nikko, and it will always be used by visitors for that purpose. However, the charm of Irohazaka comes with the beautiful view that can be seen from there. First off, there are 2 parking areas on No. 2 Irohazaka on the way up to the shores of Lake Chuzenji. The first area, Kurokamidaira, is a small place so it is easy to be overlooked, but a fine view can be seen there. The second area is the famous Akechidaira where it is recommended to try out the Akechidaira Ropeway. By the ropeway, you can reach the Akechidaira Observatory within 3 minutes. Known as the No. 1 observation point in Nikko, from there you can see Lake Chuzenji, Kegon Falls which is one of the Three Famous Waterfalls of Oku-Nikko and Mt. Nantai which is the highest peak in Nikko. Furthermore, the autumn foliage of Irohazaka is famous for its beauty, so it’s also recommended to visit during the fall season.

Admission: Free

Guidebook from Planetyze about Irohazaka
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Irohazaka
Tours of Irohazaka

Senjogahara

Four Great Mountainous Views of Nikko(image by kura2.photozou.jp)

There is a hiking trail known as Shizen Kenkyuro (Nature Research Trail) which was built to wrap around the entire 400 hectares of the expansive Senjogahara. Taking up to 2 hours to traverse on foot, hiking can be enjoyed within the wetland where flora such as blossoms of Japanese water iris and lotus along with spiraea and cottongrass can be seen. The wetlands freeze over in winter so the plants don’t take root, but against their vast scenery, the starry night sky is lovely and it’s said to be the best in all of the Kanto region. Since summer star formations and meteor streams can be easily seen in this area of high altitude, it’s been recommended for astronomical viewing (since there is over 90% humidity at the wetlands, there is a possibility of equipment getting damp so caution is advised). Senjogahara is also famous for sightings of wild birds such as nightingale and bunting. You can enjoy scenery along with the flora and fauna all throughout the year.

In terms of information on surrounding facilities when visiting Senjogahara, access by bus and car is convenient when passing through the wetlands via National Highway 120. There is also a bus connecting Nikko Station and Yumoto Onsen. Along with the Sanbonmatsu Teahouse where you can purchase souvenirs, there is also an observation deck at Senjogahara where you can view the vast wetlands. Plus, at the Akanuma bus stop, there is a free rest area at the Akanuma Teahouse which is also used as a starting point for hikers. In the surrounding vicinity, there is Yumoto Onsen where you can enjoy a hot spring and Oda Yoyohara where you can stroll through the meadow.

Admission: Free

Guidebook from Planetyze about Senjogahara
Reviews from TripAdvisor about Senjogahara
Tours of Senjogahara 

Did you like my article?

If you are interested to know more and save your time during your trip to Tokyo, You can send a message to our local guides to get a customized itinerary and quotation for an unforgettable experience.

In the TripleLights website you can find the best professional guides all over Japan to help you plan your trip. Check our local guides for Tokyo


13 Jul 2015

Plan your trip to Tokyo

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started

Recent Tour Reviews in Tokyo

“ Great Day in Tokyo with Arnold and my 14-year old son. ”

Excellent
21 minutes ago Traveler: Kimberly -   Tour Guide: Arnold

Arnold was fantastic. I picked him because he was younger and figure he could relate to my 14-year old son better and take us to some of the younger great spots and shopping Tokyo. We really enjoyed our time with him. He was very detailed in his itinerary he created for us based on the areas we wanted to see. His energy was upbeat and fun. Great Day!
read more

“ Highlights of Tokyo ”

Excellent
5 hours ago Traveler: Shelley -   Tour Guide: Kaori

We had two days to spend in Tokyo. We wanted to see as much as we could in the one day we planned on hiring a guide. Kaori was able to accomplish that for us. She asked us in advance what we wanted to see and then added her own thoughts. She came with an itinerary by area and with a plan of which order to see everything and how to travel to each place by subway. Kaori explained the day to us at t...
read more

“ Fantastic Tour with hidden spots and as requested ”

Excellent
7 hours ago Traveler: Anne -   Tour Guide: AKIRA

Akira san is super friendly and does everything to make your tour comfortable. He fulfills your wishes and responds to changes quickly. He is well prepared. He is calm and friendly. I enjoyed also his knowledge about the culture and was happy to receive his translation service. It was a long, exhausting but wonderful half day tour in Tokyo!
read more

“ excellent price & service ”

Excellent
10 hours ago Traveler: Elaine -   Tour Guide: ASKAtours

booked from hotel to cruiseport via get your guide; driver was on time, courteous, was able to navigate around heavy traffic & get us to the pier in ample time; there are trains to yokohama but you still have to deal with actual arrival at the port which is very busy; great service
read more

“ Great guide! ”

Excellent
10 hours ago Traveler: Patrick -   Tour Guide: Yasuro

We spent two days with Mr. Yasuro as our guide, and highly recommended him for your Tokyo travels. Punctual, informative, and cost conscious in guiding us to many Tokyo sights on th east and west sides giving us a fantastic taste of the city as a whole.
read more

“ Exceptional Day with a very knowledgeable and helpful guide! ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Lillian -   Tour Guide: YUKIKO

Yukiko was one of the best guides we've encountered. Not only did she know the city and restaurants and shops well, she was super organized and helpful. She worked with us before the tour to get an idea of what we liked to do. She made suggestions and tweaked and tweaked the agenda until we were happy. Then on the day we met, she had already printouts, Powerpoint slides to explain us the his...
read more

“ A wonderful tour guide ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: ALAN -   Tour Guide: Junko

Junko was our tour guide on our first day in Tokyo. She was wonderful! Exactly on time, very accommodating (the weather was bad today and we had to make some quick itinerary changes). She was extremely knowledgeable about the city, its history, how best to navigate and travel, among countless other things. We had a great time with her and would happily request her services on future trips to the c...
read more

“ A lovely gentleman, he made all my sightseing wishes come true! ”

Very Good
1 day ago Traveler: Kezia -   Tour Guide: Hiroki

The best 4 hour tour with a historian's perspective & a genuine love of his city. We had the absolutely best sushi lunch. Thank you.
read more

“ Excellent tour in Tokyo with Kohoko ”

Excellent
1 day ago Traveler: Gabriella -   Tour Guide: KAHOKO

We booked a 1-day tour and had a fantastic experience with Kahoko. Kahoko is not only very friendly and professional, she also patiently answered all our questions. She gave us all the important information about Tokyo and the surrounding neighborhoods with a lot of humor and charm. Without Kahoko we would never have been able to visit all the sights in this short time. She also gave us a lot of...
read more

Related cities

Plan your trip to Tokyo

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Get Started