Sometimes, I can't get over how lucky I was to be placed in Utsunomiya, Tochigi. I have all the conveniences of city life, such as a variety of interesting shops and restaurants, movie theatres, parks, sports events, and a well-connected train station (complete with shinkansen straight to Tokyo) without the crowds and stress of a big city. But at the same time, I get a taste of the Japanese countryside - people are friendly and welcoming, my school is amongst farms and rice fields, and I can easily visit small-town festivals. What's more, I'm only an easy 40 minute train ride from one of Japan's most famous shrines, and places of stunning natural beauty: I'm talking about Nikko.
If you've done some research about things to do in Japan, you've probably come across Nikko. It's highly recommended in guide books and websites, including japan-guide.com, where it's ranked the 11th best place to visit in Japan.The most popular attraction in Nikko is Toshogu Shrine, where you can see many intricately carved and decorated buildings built in honour of Tokugawa Ieyasu, one of Japan's infamous historical shoguns, whose ashes are held at the shrine. I've visited Toshogu Shrine more times that I can remember, and I can fully vouch for it as a beautiful and interesting experience in Japan. However, I recently visited another part of Nikko which I think is just as worthy a visit, which I'd like to share with you!
|A hike in Nikko! Photo by the wonderful Dale of Dale Baby Tours.|
|We caught the Yumoto Onsen bus from Nikko Station, and got off here, at this lake near Ryuzu Falls.|
|Just the beginning of the many lovely sights we saw that day. Photo: DBT.|
|Looking out over Ryuzu Falls.|
|The trail leads you down to the bottom of the waterfall.|
|There are also chances to go off the trail...|
|Especially for good photo opportunities! Thanks again, Dale Baby Tours.|
|Just don't go too far off trail.|
|The boardwalk through the marshlands was very well maintained.|
|Back in the town of Nikko, the streets were covered in fallen leaves.|
Just like on my tour of Mashiko, I took some short footage of our walk that day, and made a video of it. Watch some clips from our day here!
If you come to Japan, a trip to Nikko is well worth it. If you have time, go beyond the usual sightseeing spots like Toshogu Shrine, and try a relaxing hike like this one!