Attractions Of Nikko National Park

by Rin Yamada

Some of the most beautiful sightseeing spots in Japan are her nature parks that she has an abundance of. Due to its geographical makeup, the country enjoys, more than most, many works of nature. In efforts to make them even more appealing to both locals and foreign visitors, the government has consistently upgraded the look and feel of these landmarks.

Perhaps the one park that is a must see for any visitor to Japan is Nikko National Park. An easy hour’s drive from Tokyo, this park has been declared one of the national treasures of the country. A big reason for that is the many wonders of nature that it houses, from waterfalls to a dormant volcano that rises high over the horizon.

The park is located around the city centre of Nikko. The city itself has a small population that benefits greatly from the waves of tourists that visit the area. While that might be disturbing for some who prefer peace and quiet, the boom to both the city’s and country’s tourism industries will offset any frustration.

There are many attractions within Nikko National Park itself and the first that comes to mind is the ancient architecture that is Toshogu Shrine. This shrine was home to 17th century shoguns and is a mausoleum that is considered symbolic. The details in the carvings that adorn its walls are incredible and one can spend hours just admiring the skills of the craftsmen who built the shrine.

Japan is famous for Mount Fuji which is often considered their national mountain and a popular symbol of nationalistic pride and beauty. Perhaps not as well known but just as majestic is Mount Nantai of Nikko. It is considered a dominant volcano and lush forests and scenery have sprung up around it.

A most spectacular sight to behold in Nikko National Park is the Kegon Waterfall. Measured at over 100 meters in height, Kegon Waterfall can be astounding when viewed in person. The rapids that crash down provides a strong contrast to the calm air that one will discover in the caves that are hidden behind.

If one needs to go away for a day of peace and quiet in Nikko National Park, there is no better spot than right next to Lake Chuzenji. The lake is a by-product of Mount Nantai’s volcanic eruptions many years ago. It is now a serene location that allows everyone to enjoy the beauty of nature and have time to him or herself.

While there are countless things to see and experience in the park, the busiest times it sees are during spring and autumn. These are the seasons in which the weather is perfect for both sightseeing in the country and the park obliges with its beautiful foliage. It is no wonder that so many busy Tokyo-ites also make the trip in order to escape from their busy lives for just a day.