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A Pleasant Trail Walk with Spectacular Views

May is a good season to see plants sprouting, putting forth leaf and flower buds, and attracting pollinators with colorful flowers to which they have devoted all their energy. This hike focuses on the ecosystem in Senjo-ga-hara moor that extends at the foot of Mount Nantai and provides you with an opportunity of interacting with the natural environment

Senjo-ga-hara covers an area of about 650,000 m2 at an altitude of 1,400 m (4,000 ft.) at the foot of Mt. Nantai (2484m above sea level), an old volcano which first erupted about 23,000 years ago and was active until 7,000-8,000 years ago. By lava flows from the volcano, the Yugawa river was dammed to form a lake, which has gradually dried due to sediment and soil accumulated in it. Much of Senjo-ga-hara appears to be a grassland now with small ponds and creeks. Shrubs and trees are migrating into the area and transforming it into woodland. You will find tree species representative of cool temperate forest, such as birch, beech, maple, tsuga, and larch. There are a few other volcanoes in this area, of which Mt. Shirane has a recent record of volcanic activity, an eruption in 1649.

Leaving the bus at Ryuzu-no-taki falls, you begin to walk along the rushing water toward the top of the fall. Then you will cross the road and walk into Senjogahara. The elevation gain is less than 200 m in this hike. You will enjoy a pleasant nature walk for about 3 hours. The distance you will cover is about 8 km. At Yumoto onsen you can take a bus to go back to Nikko station.. If you want to visit Toshogu shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage site, leave the bus at Nishisando.

1. Schedule

not definite for 2010.

2. Where and What Time

How to get there from Tokyo: see the information below.

3. Itinerary

Lv. Nikko station (Tobu bus ) 9: 40- Arr. Ryuzunotaki falls 10: 41
Ryuzunotaki falls -(walk)- Senjogahara -walk- Yumoto Onsen


4. What to Bring

You will walk at about 1,400 m above sea level where temperatures are always lower than in Tokyo and weather is unpredictable. We suggest you bring warm jacket, rain gear and a hat. You should wear comfortable walking shoes with firm soles. You may want to bring snacks and drinks.

8.  Notes

To return to Tokyo You can catch the 15: 59 train or a later one.

If you want to visit Toshogu shrine (a UNESCO World Heritage Site):
Leave the bus at Nishi Sando on the way back to Nikko station.
Open 8:00 - 17:00 (April - October)  8:00
16:00 (November March);

admission \1,300 adult, \450 child
(I suggest you enter the shrine at least one hour before the closing time)
For more information about Toshogu

Getting There from Central Tokyo:
Go to Asakusa either by Tokyo Metro, Ginza Line or by Toei Subway, Asakusa Line. (Ginza Line is connected with Tobu Asakusa station by an underground passage. If you use Asakusa line, take the exit 3, you will see the station building on your right. (Or take the exit 5, and walk to the left along the street.)

At Tobu Asakusa station, tickets are sold on the first floor, and trains depart from the second floor.
Take the 7:10 train (attention! Only cars 1 and 2 are for Nikko). Lv. Asakusa 7: 10 - Arr. Nikko 9: 15

Tobu Railway Company also offers express service.the limited express Kegon 1leaves Asakusa at 7:30, arriving at Nikko at 9:19. (reservation needed. \1,040 in addition to the regular fare)

Asakusa Station (Tobu Railways)

With Japan Rail Pass
Travel byTohoku Shinkansen from JR Tokyo to Utsunomiya, and change for Nikko Line to JR Nikko. You will get to JR Nikko without paying extra fare

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