Oku-Nikko is one of the most beautiful spots in Nikko with its mysterious natural scenery. Oku-Nikko area is the best place to admire the beauty of grand nature in Nikko.
Lake Chuzenji-ko is a lake measuring 25 km in circumference and has amaximum depth of 163 meters. The lake is situated at 1,269 meters above sea level, which makes it the highest elevated lake in Japan, with beautifulscenery throughout the four seasons. kegon Waterfall streaming from Lake Chuzenji-ko is considered one of the finest waterfalls in Japan because of its powerful straight fall from a height of 97 meters and its splendid natural scenic beauty. The steep road from the downtown area up to this area is called Iroha-zaka (a winding road with 48 curves. “ Iroha ” is an old poem consisting of 47 Japanese syllabary characters plus the Kanji character “Kyoto”). There are 48 curves in Iroha-zaka. It is also famous for its magnificent autumn foliage. Oku-Nikko, located at the top of Iroha-zaka and 1,000 meters higher than downtown, is
one of the still unspoiled places in Japan, conserving pristine nature.
The watershed areas of Lake Yuno-ko, formed by the eruption of Mt. Mitsu-dake, and the Yu-kawa (orYu-gawa) River are popular locations where you can enjoy colorful sceneryand fishing. Ryuzu Waterfall is known as one of the three best waterfalls in Oku-Nikko with its strong stream of 210 meters. As for the origin of the name Ryuzu (dragon’s head), it is said that it was named after two cascades divided by a rock that look like a dragon’s head.
Odashiro-ga-hara, a vast grassland measuring 2 km in circumference, is
located on the western side of the Yu-kawa River. A variety of flowers bloom from early summer to late summer and in autumn the leaves of trees and bushes turn beautiful autumn colors. A Japanese white birch tree, called“ the lady of Odashiro-ga-hara” because of its grace, is a famous spot for picture-taking. Senjo-ga-hara is a wetland and a habitat of many kinds of alpine plants and wild birds. Legend has it that it was once a battlefield of mountain gods “( senjo” means“ battlefield”). Nikko Yumoto Onsen by Lake Yuno-ko is an old, celebrated hot springs discovered 1,200 years ago. This very popular spa is famous for its milky white water.
The whole area of the wetlands including Lake Yuno-ko, Yukawa, Senjo-ga-hara, and Odashiro-ga-hara is a site designated by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands as Nikko National Park. It is a must visit destination in Nikko.