In Nikko, when going beyond Lake Chūzenji and beautiful Ryūzu Waterfall, there is another splendid place to discover : the Senjōgahara Marshland (戦場ヶ原).
It takes 2 or 3 hours to go around, but there are trails much more
longer and you will have to spend the night if you want to take them
all. This is an excellent playground, a perfect hike between pals.
The first part is done in a very woody area which sometimes reminds me
of the forest in the Landes with its smells and brightness, although
the vegetation is completely different.
We are arriving at the main viewpoint of the marshland, but we wonder
what we can see, now that we know no bears will be seen. The view is
at last very relaxing, there isn’t any noise… and icing on the cake
: a Japanese family treats us with hot coffee!
We walk and finally reach the crossroad I was expecting.
Unfortunately, the trail I wanted to take is closed! Rangers are
stationed at the entrance, holding sabre in their hand… the reason?
The day before, a tourist had been attacked by a bear! Allright, so
what? The bear set up his camp right in the middle of the path and
never goes to visit others? I wonder what the decision-making process
to re-open the trail will be… They will certainly have to wait for
the bear to strike somewhere else 😀 I would have like to keep going
on this trail, but it’s easier to jump barricade than the she-ranger!
Or… maybe not?
So we continue on the other way and this is really not a
disappointment. I have to say, I love these wooden paths : this is
highly enjoyable, it allows to walk very fast and to appreciate the
scenery in the same time.
Hey, by the way, want to know what Senjōgahara means? It means “Field
of Battle”! But truth be told, nothing ever happened there. Except of
course the tricks of the mischievous bears! Little bastards! :shoot:
Shōyō-en Garden (逍遥園)
Your eyes turned yellow? So let’s go back to Nikko, and more precisely
to the Shoyo-en Garden, just to rest our retina.
It’s still a bit too early to see this garden, maple trees aren’t all
red yet. But you need to go if you are visiting the Nikko temple, the
garden is near : less visited but really beautiful.
Well, let’s say goodbye to Nikko for this year!
We will go immediately to the Japanese Alps to enjoy the blazing end
of autumn! With bears we hope! :p
Translated by Amélie.