Nov 28, 2012

Hiking in Tochigi / 栃木でハイキング

Last Friday in Japan (November 23rd) was our public holiday called Kinro Kansha no Hi or Labor Thanksgiving Day, so it was a long weekend!  I went hiking to Tochigi prefecture, one of our most popular tourist attractions with the three UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the historic town of Nikko, and I had lots of fun!
Well, before I go further, I want to say thank you here to Non san who helped us a lot with planning.  We didn’t know much about hiking spots in Tochigi, so without your help we could not have such a nice experience.  Thank you!!!
She recommended hiking trails in Shiobara Hot Spring Village.  I’m not sure, but I think it’s somewhere around 200km from Tokyo (We took trains to get there).  Here are some of the beautiful views we enjoyed while hiking.  We were little late for the colorful autumn leaves, but we enjoyed the leaving autumn and felt the arrival of winter in the air. :)
Beautiful waterfall called Mikaeri no taki.
A suspension-bridge called Mikaeri no tsuribashi.
A beautiful view from the bridge.
As it’s called Shiobara “Hot Spring Village”, Shiobara area is known for nice relaxing hot springs, and you can find them almost every corner of the area.  What made us really happy was that they had free ashiyu or footbath in the hiking trail!!!  I jumped when I found it! :D  This is us having our foot in nice ashiyu.  It made us forget the time, and it took us more than 30min. to finally pull our foot out from the hot water! :D
In Japan, hot springs are very popular, and it's common that we go in there being naked with strangers (men and females are separated).  I had some penpals visiting Japan from different countries, but so far my Finnish pal is the only person who went in there and others didn't go.  I took sauna with her being naked when I visited her in Finland, so I guess for her being naked in front of other women wasn't a surprise.  Anyway, if you are not comfortable taking a hot springs being naked, you might want to try Ashiyu. :)  It's really relaxing!
Has the winter arrived in your area?  Maybe summer for those who live in the southern hemisphere?  I hope you are having a nice season!


  1. Hi, Yukinko-san. It's my pleasure !! I was a bit worried about the weather and colored leaves remaining. Yet mountains mostly faded away, I'm very glad to know that you had good time in Shiobara.

    Once again (as my comment for a report of Mt. Takao), with seleced pics and simple overviews in bilingual writing, your blog is nice to read. Of course, you can ask me whenever you have a question about in-country hiking :)

    1. Whaaa, Non san! I was also a bit worried about the weather, but it turned out to be just perfect!! The cloudy weather was perfect for marathon on Day 1, and on the following day we got a beautiful sunny day for hiking! It was just so relaxing taking Ashiyu while surrounded by the beautiful nature. Once again, thank you so much for all your help!!

      Thanks! I'm not a big fan of having lots of pics on my blog only because I'm not that good with taking pictures. lol We're already looking for our camp in Tochigi next summer but hoping to come back for hiking in spring! :D Thank you!!

  2. Winter has kind of arrived here - if you count darkness at 5 pm and cold rainy days as winter. I miss summer already!
    The hot springs sound great, they must be so relaxing! :)

    1. Same here, Caddi. By the time I leave the office at 5pm, it's already dark outside. Not much fun! :( Oh, but I'm not a big fan of our summer as it's just so hot and humid (my make-up can be washed away being outside for just 10min.! by my sweat! lol).

      If you ever come to Japan, let me know! I will help you finding nice hot springs spots. At some hot springs, you can book the place for private so that you don't have to be naked in front of strangers. That's what I will do when my Russian pal comes here next spring as she said she can't go in there being naked with strangers. :)

      By the way, I got the Advent Calendar swap yesterday!!! I will have a posting about it tonight! Caaaaaaan't wait to open them!! :D