The golden ray of the Gunma sunrise that roused me was a good sign. The day will be blessed with a smiling sun and clear blue sky. It was a perfect time for a trip to the neighboring prefecture, Tochigi.
The Castillos, my gracious host family in Isesaki, took time off work to show me around what their new home in Japan was like. I am honored. And excited of what was going to unfold. Long before I arrived to this place, I knew very well that having enough of this country is next to impossible.
So I hopped on the family car and have them take me to wherever. We drove for miles across green fields and made a quick stop to grab some snacks from a roadside convenience store (I love Japanese snacks!) before heading off to our first stop was Lake Chuzenji, a scenic lake in the national park of the city of Nikko in the Tochigi Prefecture.
|My rice snack from the roadside convenience store. Pretty much like maki.|
|Spotted: luxury rider|
Above the city of Nikko is the scenic Lake Chuzenji. It was formed 20,000 years ago after the eruption of Mt. Nantai, a scared volcano, that blocked the river. Shodo, a priest discovered in 782 when his group succeeded in scaling the sacred volcano.
I was in awe of the beauty of the lake and it was the perfect time to visit when the lush flora was in its rich autumn colors of red, gold and brown popping out of the perennial greens of the landscape. The gentle sloping range of the surrounding mountains set before the clear blue sky was the perfect backdrop for the scene.
|Giovanni, Angelo & I. TIto Obet is behind the camera.
It is possible to navigate the whole 25-kilometer shoreline by foot. Mostly undeveloped and forested, the circumference of the lake has walking trails. Or if you prefer, you can do your sight-seeing on a boat that departs from Chuzenjiko Onsen or by just enjoy the panoramic view on higher ground in your car while driving along an eight-kilometer road of the Chuzenjiko Skyline.
The lake is not the only sight to see. Around the lake, there is the Futara Shrine built in 790, Chuzenji Temple, and most famous of the waterfalls in Nikko National Park, the Kegon Falls, and another popular waterfall is the Ryuzu Waterfall.
After a shot of fresh mountain air by the lake and several snapshots, it was time to go higher. To do that, we have to take the IROHAZKA WINDING ROAD!!!!
The thrilling story next.