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Why Senjogahara Field is special ?
Senjogahara is located at the level of about 1,400 meters, and the width is about 400 hectares. From north to south, Yukawa River flows through this marsh. At the south end of the marsh, there is Ryuuzu Falls on the river and the river flows into Lake Chuzenji.
This marsh is classified into intermediate moor or high moor, then we can enjoy alpine plants from June to August.
And a lot of wild birds inhabit this area.
To the west of Senjogahara, Odashirogahara grassland spreads.
This is the popular spot in this area, and we can see many native wildflowers in summer.
About 20 thousand years ago, when Lake Chuzenji was formed after the erruption of Mount Nantai, a large lake also was formed in current Senjogahara around the same time.
After that, earth and sand had deposited for a long period of time, then current marsh has been formed.
"Senjogahara" means "field of battle ".
In the age of god, the god of Mt. Nantai and the god of Mt. Akagi (Gunma Prefecture) had fought for the ownership of Lake Chuzenji.
The god of Mt. Nantai changed himself into a lot of snakes, and Mt. Akagi changed himself into many centipedes, and they had a battle at this area.
Therefore, this name of "Senjogahara" was given this field.
(Of course, Mt. Nantai won.)
Through the east part of this, Route 120 runs. The road runs from central Nikko, through Iroha-zaka, Lake Chuzenji and this area, to Lake Yunoko.
Basically, a few bus stops or parking areas on this route are the starting points to tour, and please hike from there.
Additionally from Akanuma stop located at the southeast part of the area, low-emmission bus runs toward Odashirogahara.
What to explore at Senjogahara Field?
A nice and easy walk along a river from Lake Chuzenji 中禅寺湖 to Lake Yu 湯ノ湖. There is a lot of beautiful scenery to look at along the way like waterfalls and the marsh. It’s very popular when flowers are in season or when the leaves change in autumn. Suitable for families, as it is mostly a walk up a gentle slope, and there are many places to stop for a picnic lunch. The area also has a number of other walking trails so it’s worth picking up a map (in English) at the Tourist Information Center in Tobu Nikko Station 東武日光駅.
How to get to Senjogahara Field?
By route bus
By route bus to Yomoto-onsen, about 1 hour and 5-10 minute from Nikko station to Akanuma stop.
From around Kegon Falls, about 6 km to Ryuuzu Falls, about 8 km to Akanuma.
- Excellent hiking trail
- Legend battle field
- A leisurely hike through nature
- Stop for a picnic lunch
- A lot of beautiful scenery to look at
Japan, 〒321-1661, 栃木県日光市中宮祠
Tips for you
I wanted to see Japan in Autumn. The Senjogahara Plateau gave me exactly what I came for. Despite arriving about two weeks early to see the fall colors, I really enjoyed the scenery during the early stages fall. Hiking the various trails was very nice. Signage, though mostly in Japanese, was very helpful in helping me find my way around the various natural attractions around Nikko. Note that a planned or expected short hike can turn very lengthy based on the direction one takes on the trails. Consider this when planning your itinerary for Nikko. Bring snacks and water as well. Getting lost on the trails, as they are quite scenic, can actually be a wonderful thing if sufficiently prepared. Also, heed the wildlife warnings posted along the trails. I spotted a bear during my walk. I really enjoyed my hike around Senjogahara and would highly recommend it.