The best view of Oku-Nikko from the observation deck on Hangetsuyama
Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture is visited by many tourists annually, but there is an especially popular spot in the form of the secluded area of Oku-Nikko which rises even higher than the 600-meter altitude of downtown Nikko. Oku-Nikko includes Yunoko Lake, Yumoto Onsen, Senjogahara and Lake Chuzenji. Because of the high altitude, the summers are cool there and the area is known for its serenity and lush green forests. Many tourists come to the observation deck on Hangetsuyama so that they can get a look at the wonderful view of Oku-Nikko. From the deck, Mt. Nantai, which is the highest mountain of the Nikko Mountain Range, Lake Chuzenji and the high moors of the Senjogahara Wetlands can all be viewed. 300 meters below the summit of Hangetsuyama, the No. 1 parking area can easily be reached by car and a beautiful view can also be seen from there. In addition, there is also the No. 2 parking area further up the mountain from where the Lake Chuzenji Skyline can be used and once you park your car there, it’s just a 10-minute walk up to the observation deck. The walk up from the No. 1 parking area to the deck will take up to 1 hour. Buses and cars can be used to get up Hangetsuyama, but why not do some hiking through Hangetsutoge Pass? There you can get in touch with the nature at Oku-Nikko while viewing Lake Chuzenji and Mt. Nantai.
The view from the observation deck
The especially famous views from the observation deck on Hangetsuyama are for Mt. Nantai, Lake Chuzenji and Hatcho Dejima Peninsula. Mt. Nantai is the highest mountain of the Nikko Mountains and a volcano belonging to Nikko National Park. It is has also been known as a symbol of worship since ancient times. Lake Chuzenji spreads out in front of the mountain and was created from an eruption from Mt. Nantai. Protruding out from the south is Hatcho Dejima Peninsula. The shores of Lake Chuzenji are well known for the fall colors, and during autumn, both the mountain and the peninsula are colored in a beautiful scarlet. The green trees of summer are also lovely, but the observation deck is particularly recommended to fully appreciate the deep autumn reds in the mountains which are reflected on the lake.