Lake Chuzenji

Nikko Travel Blog

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We made a long journey from Tokyo to Nikko by train, then from Nikko to Lake Chuzenji by bus. The road to the lake is a treacherous narrow set of hairpin turns up a very steep mountainside - we were amazed by the skill of the bus driver. The bus itself was perfectly comfortable, and we had our first taste of Japanese buses (there is a screen with prices posted depending on where you got on, and you pay as you leave) (well, at least on some buses).

We stayed one night at a small ryokan on Lake Chuzenji, where we came to realize that there was still some snow on the ground. Around the lake it was still quite easy to walk, though. After our first delightful ryokan meal Alex and I walked to the nearby hotel to use their sentoo. It was at this point that we realized we should have studied the kanji for "men" and "women". We stood, towels in hand, at the entrance waiting for someone to come out of either the men's side or the women's side, but no one came for the longest time. Alex pointed out to me that it would be alot less disasterous if I accidentally walked into the men's side compared to the other way around, so I tiptoed in one entrance and came surrying back after seeing a young boy in the room. After we finally made it into our respective sides, I enjoyed the large, warm, wood-paneled onsen water with steam rising up to the chilly air and foggy windows with a beautiful view of the snowy lake. This was the beginning of a sento addiction.

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photo by: Shakar81