List of Columns
There are articles written about hidden attraction of Nikko.
*Some of the information is displayed in Japanese.
2022/05/01 Do you know of any places in Kanto where you can enjoy Hanami during GW holidays?
Spring is a season of many new encounters, such as entrance and initiation ceremonies.
Cherry blossoms have long been loved by Japanese people not only for their lovely pale pink appearance, but also as a flower that appears in memories with family and friends.
When we Japanese see cherry blossoms, we think like, Okay! Cherry blossom viewing!
That's Japanese people's nature, don't you think?
The blooming date of Someiyoshino cherry trees in Tokyo in 2022 is March 20.
It takes about one week to 10 days after the bloom date for the trees to be in full bloom.
This year, the blooming seems to have been delayed by about a week, but most people probably feel that way until approximately late March or early April, which is usually the best time to view cherry blossoms.
(As for the cherry blossoms around shrines and temples area this year, they also bloomed late but were at their best from early to mid-April, as usual.)
So, after mid-April, some people living in the Kanto area may think that the cherry blossom season is over and all we can do now is wait for summer...
But wait a minute! There is a place in Nikko where you can enjoy cherry blossom viewing during GW holidays!
It is here, in Oku-Nikko.
Someiyoshino is probably the most famous cherry tree often seen in town, but at the altitude of Oku-Nikko, Oyama-zakura is the most common variety.
While Someiyoshino cherry trees have green leaves after their flowers fall, Ooyama-zakura cherry trees have flowers and red leaves that appear at the same time and bloom later in the season.
Although it is not well known, the Ooyama-zakura cherry trees in Oku-Nikko are usually at their best around GW holidays every year. So it would be a perfect place for those who still want to enjoy cherry blossoms!
It is fun to enjoy viewing cherry blossoms in the city, but it is also enjoyable to admire cherry blossoms in the magnificent nature and to take pictures of various compositions.
Please come to Oku-Nikko to see the last cherry blossoms in 2022 ;)
2022/02/20 While the excitement of the Beijing 2022 Olympic Winter Games has not yet cooled down...
The Beijing Olympics were held under difficult circumstances.
Many of you may have been cheering at home instead of going outside.
This time it was the Winter Olympics, so athletes from various countries showed us heated competition in "sports that only winter can offer!
I would like to thank all the athletes for their hard work and excitement.
By the way, Nikko is known as a cold and snowy area, even though it is located in the Kanto region.
For those who live in areas where it does not snow, there are probably many people who have seen skiing, snowboarding, skating, etc., but have never actually experienced them, or have done them a few times but are not aware that they are familiar sports... What do you think? :)
I am from Nikko, where we have skating classes during physical education and an "Ice Skating Competition" in the winter, so I am very familiar with winter sports, especially skating, and it is one of my favorite winter activities.
So this time, I would like to invite you to enjoy the fun of skating in the great nature! With this in mind, we would like to introduce you to a spot where you can rent shoes and enjoy skating easily.
The name of the place is Nikko Kirifuri Skating Center.
It is a 5-minute drive from JR Nikko Station and Tobu Nikko Station. It is a full-scale skating rink with a certified standard double track of 400 meters per lap and 1.6 meters in width.
As you can see from the photo, the location is perfect, overlooking the snow-capped Nikko mountain range.
There are skating rinks in the city, but I want you to experience this open atmosphere that only the great outdoors can provide!
Furthermore, there is an indoor ice arena attached to this rink, which is a full-scale rink that conforms to international ice hockey standards.
It is also used as the home rink of the H.C. Nikko Icebucks, a professional field hockey team that plays in Nikko City, and you can experience the excitement of skating on the same ice as the players!
The period of operation changes depending on private practice, games, maintenance, etc., so please inquire when you visit.
(Unfortunately, the open period of the outdoor rink for 2022 has ended...)
(Please come back next year and bring your friends and family to make winter memories♪)
2022/06/01 Recommended Quiet Spot in International Summer Resort, OkuNikko ;)
"In the summer, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs moves into Nikko."
Did you know that there was a time when it was said so?
From the Taisho era (1912-1926) to the early Showa era (1926-1926), many foreign people visited Okunikko, an international summer resort, to escape the hot and humid summer heat.
Nishirokuban Enchi is a place where you can feel such history.
Nishirokuban Enchi is the former site of the Nishirokuban Villa, which was once the base of the Tokyo Angling End Country Club, an international social club visited by members of the royal family, diplomats, and many other distinguished guests.
The villa was built by Thomas Glover, known for the "Glover House" in Nagasaki, and later rebuilt into a clubhouse by Hans Hunter, but unfortunately the building was destroyed by fire in 1940.
Fly fishing and yacht races, flying boats circling, people cooling off by the shimmering lakeside....
Why don't you enjoy the pleasant breeze blowing through this place and think back to the scenery of those days?
2022/02/01 Enjoy Golf in Nikko
Speaking of activities in Nikko, there are hiking, SUP, skiing, skating, mountain biking, rafting...etc. Among these many activities, we would like to introduce "golf" in this column.
There are more than 100 golf courses in Tochigi Prefecture, and there are currently 9 golf courses in Nikko City.
Some may think, "Can I play golf in winter?", "It's too expensive..." But that is not true.
Golf is an activity that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and in all seasons!
Every year, events such as the "Nikko Golf Stamp Rally" and the "NIKKO Premium Cup" are held to tour golf courses in the city. *
The winter season is off-season, so beginners can play in a relaxed atmosphere, and it is a good time to practice.
Why don't you come and play golf in Nikko while feeling the seasonal air in the spacious natural setting of the course? ;)
*The Nikko Golf Stamp Rally and NIKKO Premium Cup for fiscal year 2021 have been cancelled.
［Nikko Golf Stamp Rally (Nikko City Website)]
［NIKKO Premium Cup (Nikko City Website)]
★Please use good manners and play safely when using the facilities.
2021/11/01 Have you ever heard the popular spot among foreign tourists, "Abyss" in Nikko?
In this column, I would like to introduce some spots where we often receive inquiries from foreign tourists.
Every year, many foreign tourists stop by the tourist information centers located inside JR Nikko Station and Tobu Nikko Station seeking information.
One spot where we receive more inquiries from foreign tourists than from Japanese tourists is the today's topic, "Kanmangafuchi Abyss".
"Abyss" means "a deep, unfathomable pit" and is also used to describe a crevice in the ground. (For me, Japanese is not familiar with this word...)
Located about a 20-minute walk from the World Heritage Site "The shrines and temples of Nikko", this is a popular spot to enjoy the natural beauty of the lava that erupted from Mt. Nantai and the Daiya River that flows above it.
This place is famous for its rows of Bake Jizo statues, and visitors can enjoy the seasonal changes from fresh greenery in spring to autumn leaves in fall, until the statues put on their snow hats in winter.
The town is gradually becoming well-known among foreign tourists who enjoy walking around the town. This may be one of the reasons why the place has been featured in many foreign brochures.
If you have never been to Kanmangafuchi Abyss, please visit this popular spot that attracts tourists who are from abroad more than Japanese!
2021/07/10 Konshinsanso, base for mountain hiking
Have you ever climbed the Ashio Mountains?
If you are a Japanese mountains lover, you may have heard of Mt. Koushin, known as the mountain where the Japanese endemic and endangered an insectivorous plant "Koushin-so" was discovered or Mt. Sukai which is selected as one of the 100 most famous mountains in Japan.
Koushinsansou is a convenient base for climbing these mountains.
As you can see in the photo, it is a solid mountain lodge with bedding and a cooking area.
There is no electricity, but there is an environmentally friendly "bio-toilet" outside.
（Please pay the accommodation fee of 2,080 yen (as of July 2021) at the "National Lodge Kajika-so" located at the entrance of the mountain trail).
Starting from the mountain lodge, it takes about 1 hour to the top of Mt. Koushin (1,892m).
It takes about 3 hours and 30 minutes from the lodge to the top of Mt. Sukai (2,144m), which is located beyond Mt. Nokogiri consisting of 11 peaks, starting from the first peak of Mt. Koushin.
When visiting Mt. Koushin, it is recommended to walk the Oyama Tour Course around June to see the Koshin-so.
Although the view from the top of Mt. Koushin is not good, the nearby observatory offers a spectacular view. Please do not forget to check it out!
2021/07/01 New mobility has arrived in Nikko! Electric scooters is so fun!
The mekke Nikko Kyodo Center, located between Nikko Station and the World Heritage Site "The shrines and temples of Nikko", has introduced Nikko's first electric scooters, and I got to experience it first hand!
Not being much of an athlete, I was worried about whether I would be able to ride well, but the facility staff was kind enough to show me the ropes.
After practicing for about 5 to 10 minutes, I gradually got the hang of it and was able to ride smoothly.
At my age, there are fewer opportunities to try new things, so it's kind of fresh and fun♪
With a maximum speed of 25 km/h and a cruising range of 28 km, it is difficult to go over the Iroha slope to Oku-Nikko, but I thought it would be perfect for taking a look around temples and shrines.
In France and Italy, which are also famous tourist cities, electric scooters are being used not only by tourists but also by local residents as a new means of transportation.
Perhaps this will be the case in Nikko in years to come.
Driver's license valid in Japan is required to rent a scooter, so please don't forget to bring it with you if you wish to rent a scooter!