Hike to Mount Nyoho in Nikko

In May, I went back once more to Nikko. This time, I climbed Mount Nyoho (女峰山), the sister peak to the better-known (and barely higher) Mount Nantai (男体山). At 2483m, it was the highest point during my year in Japan. This is the trail I did (except I started at the Futarasan Shrine).

In the morning, I had to wake up very early in order to catch the first JR train to Nikko. Tobu trains are faster but they also start later. In Nikko, I took the bus to the start of the trail: It is located near Futarasan Shrine, in the World Heritage area. It was a hard and long climb (9.5km to the summit of Mount Nyoho, with 1900m of elevation gain) through forests and fields of stones and I crossed path with surprisingly few people for a Saturday. The view at the summit was awesome. For the way down, I first walked on the ridge until Mount Taishaku (帝釈山) then I headed down in the general direction of Mount Nantai. There was still a lot of snow left on that trail so I had to go very slowly. I then followed a road for a bit then turned left on a trail towards Nikko. I walked until I reached a shrine and the Jakko-no-taki waterfall (寂光滝). I then hitchhiked my way back to the World Heritage area in order to catch a bus to the train station.

Above, Nikko JR station.

Above, at the Nishi-Sando (西参道) bus stop.

Above, torii of Futarasan shrine. The path is on the left of the torii.

Above, at the beginning, the path goes along Futarasan Shrine.

Above, shrine at the start of the forest trail.

Above, there was an area with many azalea trees.

Above, Mount Nantai.

Above, looking back towards Nikko.

Above, Mount Nantai (left) and Mount Omanago (right).

Above, statue of Fudo near the hut on the way up.

Above, shrine near the summit.

Above, view from the summit of Mount Nyoho: Mount Komanago, Mount Omanago and Mount Nantai, now covered with some clouds.

Above, ridge towards Mount Taishaku.

Above, Mount Oku-Shirane (奥白根山).

Above, on the way to Mount Taishaku.

Above, looking back at the summit of Mount Nyohou.

Above, view from the summit of Mount Taishaku.

Above, snow on the way down.

Above, this road also leads to the start of a trail to Mount Nantai.

Above, Mount Nyoho and Mount Taishaku.

Above, on the trail back to Nikko.

Above, more azalea.

Above, Jakko waterfall at the end of the trail.


Kanmangafuchi Abyss path in Nikko

After Mount Toyama, I headed towards Kanmangafuchi Abyss (憾満ヶ淵), a short riverside trail in a gorge not far from the World Heritage sites. It is also known for its 70 Jizo stone statues.

Above, Shinkyo Bridge, on the way to the train station.

World Heritage Shrines and Temples of Nikko

A few weeks ago, I returned to Nikko to visit the shrines and temples of central Nikko, which are on UNESCO’s list of Word Heritage Sites.

Above, to reach the sites from the station, I walked on a path next to the river.

Above, Mount  Nyoho (女峰山) in the background.

Above, Shinkyo bridge.

Above, Rinnoji Temple (currently being renovated).

Above, path to Toshogu Shrine.

Above, gate at the entrance to Toshogu Shrine.

Above, the famous carving of the 3 monkeys.

Above. main shrine building.

Above, carving of a sleeping cat on the gate leading to Tokugawa Ieyasu‘s mausoleum.

Above, Tokugawa Ieyasu’s tomb.

Above, path to Futarasan Shrine, dedicated to Nikko’s 3 sacred mountains.

Above, gate to Taiyuinbyo, Tokugawa Iemitsu’s mausoleum.

Above, path to Takino Shrine.

Above, baku at Kitano Shrine.

Above, Old Path.

Above, torii at the entrance to Takino Shrine (currently being renovated).

Above, Mount Toyama.