Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Oku-Nikko: Kegon Falls

On Day 2 of our Nikko trip, we explored the Oku-nikko area. Oku-nikko is the mountainous part of Nikko national park which spreads over four prefectures Tochigi, Fukushima, Gunma and Niigata. Oku-nikko has lots of waterfalls, lakes, natural beauty and marshlands for the nature loving tourists.

One of the area’s most visited tourist attraction is Kegon Waterfalls ( Kegon no taki in Japanese). At 97 meters, Kegon is easily the most famous of Nikko’s many waterfalls. 
Kegon finds its place in Japan’s 3 most beautiful waterfalls along with Nachi Falls in Wakayama prefecture and Fukuroda no Taki  waterfalls in Ibaraki prefecture.

Lava flows from a volcanic eruption of Mt Nantai, rerouted the Daiya River resulting in the formation of Kegon waterfalls. The waterfalls are the only outlet for the waters of Lake Chuzenji.

Kegon falls is a short drive/walk away from Lake Chuzenji . A free observation deck offers a good view of the falls from the top, while a paid platform offers good views from the base of the falls. 
An elevator ride takes visitors 100 meters deep to the base of the falls.

The view from the base is impressive. 

Several smaller falls can also be viewed from here.

Basalt rock formations can be seen near the paid observation platform.
Kegon waterfall is said to offer different views in different seasons. Colourful leaves in autumn are said to enhance the beauty of the falls, whereas in winter the falls are said to freeze.   

Entrance fees: Yen 530 (Paid elevator/lower observation deck)
                       Free ( Observation deck at top)

Opening Hours: 8:00-17:00 hrs (Paid elevator/lower observation deck)

Closing days: Open 365 days

Access: Short walk or drive away from Chuzenji Onsen bus stop. Buses operate from Nikko
           city to Kegon and Chuzenji area at regular intervals.
           Paid car parking available.

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