Kirifuri Falls

This is a hike we did during Spring vacation across 霧降高原 (Kirifuri Plateau) and down to Kirifuri Falls near Nikko. We wanted to hike up Mt Oyama but the path had been washed out/landslide so we had to change route. It was kind of lucky in a way as there were some gorgeous waterfalls that we may not have otherwise seen.

The start of the hike was not particularly interesting. It was just the wrong season – too late for mountain cherry blossoms but too early for Spring flowers so mainly just this grass:

Kirifuri 1From there we walked down the mountain to 丁字滝 (Teiji Falls):

Kirifuri 2Kirifuri 3 From there we climbed back up to マックラ滝 (Makkura Falls):

Kirifuri 4

Then we followed the course along the Kirifuri River:

Kirifuri 5

And up the inevitable stairs:

Kirifuri 6

This is the view from the Kirifuri Falls lookout. The middle mountain is where we started from:

Kirifuri 7

霧降の滝 (Kirifuri Falls):

Kirifuri 8

Kirifuri 9

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Chuzenji-ko

Further up in the mountains above Nikko, about an hour by bus, is Chuzenji-ko lake. The area is relatively not overdeveloped and, being higher up (1269m), it is wonderfully cool in summer. But the best time to visit if possible is October when the spectacular autumn colours come out. These photos were taken with an old Nikon point-and-shoot in 2004 (I think) so perhaps not the best quality.

The lake has its inevitable ‘attractions’:

The highlight of the lake is the almost 100 metre Kegon Falls:

It’s also possible to take an elevator down to the base of the falls:

There are also some nice walks around the lake. Just past the main village is Futarasan Shrine:

While around on the other side is Chuzenji Shrine, from which comes the name of the lake:

View of Chuzenji-ko lake from Chuzenji shrine:

Many years ago, the area was apparently popular with foreign embassies as summer residences. This was the former Italian residence which features beautiful wood panelling:

The colours are spectacular as the sun descends and gives the lake a glistening golden shimmer: