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Why Yunoko Lake is special ?
Lake Yunoko was formed about 20 thousand years ago, when Lake Chuzenji was formed after the erruption of Mount Nantai. There is a waterfall "Yutaki" at the south end of the lake, and Yukawa River flows out from here toward Lake Chuzenji. Around the lake, there are old-growth forests and marsh, and many wild birds inhabit here. At the northern lakeside, there is Yumoto hot spring resort. ("Yumoto-onsen" in Japanese)
Since the 8th century, here has been a resort as therapeutic bath. It smells sulfurous in the air. Today there are more than a dozen hotels and ryokans in this resort. But unlike common hot spring resorts, here are only them. We can find no amusement shop, no souvenir shop and no dwelling! In this resort town, there are "Onsenji temple" and "Onsen shrine". Of course, "Onsen" means "hot spring".
What to explore at Yunoko Lake?
This innermost lake of Nikko is calm and quiet. The trail of the east side of the lake is parallel to Route 120, so you’ll hear some car noise. But the west side has kept its tranquil beauty. When we started our walk, it was drizzling. You can see a few fishermen along the north shore. They naturally merged into the view. A fog had set in. The leaves with raindrops were colored fresh green. You should stop walking, trying to catch the sound of a fisherman casting his line, but it seemed to be absorbed by the mystic foggy rain. Complete silence surrounded the lake.
You can see some fallen timbers in the south corner of the lake. Complicated branch shapes reflected on the water surface, and the rain blurred their image. Thin twigs collected water drops creating tiny lenses. These were all gifts that the rain brought you.
How to get to Yunoko Lake?
By route bus
About 1 hour and 26 minute from Nikko station.
From around Kegon Falls, about 13 km, about 30 minutes.
- Tranquil walk around the picturesque lake
- Best onsen town in Nikko
- Quiet place to provide peace of mind
- Brilliant in the Winter sun
- Rolling on the lake
Nikko 321-1662, Tochigi Prefecture
Tips for you
From Yutaki fall you can take a nice walk/track around the lake to Yuomoto hot spring. Be advices that at the beginning of April still some snow on the part of the trail. This is nice walk with great view of the picturesque lake. We did meet no one while walking. At the begging of the trail at Yutaki fall you can start to smell the sulfur.