Home
Back

Lake Chuzenji (T, Chūzenjiko) is a scenic lake in the mountains above the town of Nikko. It is located at the foot of Mount Nantai, Nikko's sacred volcano, whose eruption blocked the valley below, thereby creating Lake Chuzenji about 20,000 years ago.

Chuzenjiko's shores are mostly undeveloped and forested except at the lake's eastern end where the small hot spring town of Chuzenji Onsen was built. The town is also the site of Kegon Waterfall, the most famous of several waterfalls in Nikko National Park. Another popular waterfall, Ryuzu Waterfall, is located at the northern shores of Lake Chuzenji where Yukawa River discharges into the lake.

Chuzenjiko is especially beautiful in mid to late October, when the autumn colors reach their peak along the lake's shores and surrounding mountains. And during Japan's hot summers, the lake's high elevation (1269 meters above sea level) keeps the area cool and comfortable, which in the past has attracted foreign embassies to build recreation villas along its shores.

It is possible to hike around the entire 25 kilometer circumference of Lake Chuzenji via hilly lakeside walking trails. Alternatively, the lake can be enjoyed from sightseeing boats that depart from Chuzenji Onsen. Panoramic views from above are possible from along the Chuzenjiko Skyline, an eight kilometer long former toll road which can now be used free of charge.

Irohazaka Winding Road

Akechidaira Plateau

Chuzenji Onsen

Kegon Waterfall

See admission details on our Kegon Waterfall page

Nikko Natural Science Museum

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (Mid November to March: 10:00 to 16:00)
Admission: 510 yen
Closed: December 29 to January 3, Mondays from November to May

Futarasan Shrine

Hours: 8:00 to 17:00 (November to March: 9:00 to 16:00)
Admission: Free

Chuzenji Temple

See admission details on our Chuzenji Temple page

Italian Embassy Villa

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:00 in April and November 11-30)
Admission: 200 yen (300 yen together with the British Embassy Villa)
Closed: December to March, Mondays in April

British Embassy Villa

Hours: 9:00 to 17:00 (until 16:00 in April and November 11-30)
Admission: 200 yen (300 yen together with the Italian Embassy Villa)
Closed: December to March, Mondays in April

Mount Hangetsuyama

Hours: Always open
Admission: Free viewing platform

Sightseeing Boat Cruise

Available from mid April through November

Ryuzu Waterfall

Hours: Always open
Admission: Free viewing platform

Getting there and around

Chuzenji Onsen is connected with central Nikko by Tobu bus. The buses leave from JR and Tobu Nikko stations and are bound for Chuzenji Onsen or Yumoto Onsen. There are about three buses per hour. The one way trip from Tobu Nikko Station to Chuzenji Onsen takes about 50 minutes, costs 1250 yen and is covered by the Nikko All Area Pass.

A 2-day pass for unlimited bus rides between Nikko and Chuzenji Onsen is available for 2300 yen at Tobu Nikko Station.

Note that during the autumn leaf season in October, traffic between central Nikko and Lake Chuzenji can be very heavy, and buses can incur heavy delays, especially on weekends. The Irohazaka Winding Road becomes particularly congested. If possible, try to visit during the week and not on weekends.

Sightseeing boats can sometimes double as a way to get between destinations around Lake Chuzenji, although they would only make sense if the original intention is to tour the lake by them. The sightseeing boats making a loop around the lake (one hour, 1400 yen, hourly departures) operate only from the second week of April through November. From Chuzenji Onsen, these boats make stops at Shobugahama (20 minutes, 650 yen) and close to Chuzenji Temple (50 minutes, 1240 yen). Infrequent boats go between Chuzenji Onsen and Senjugahama in June (40 minutes, 1000 yen).

How to get to and around Nikko

Hotels around Nikko

Top rated in Nikko
Budget:
    • B&B Izumi Nikko
      Budget-friendly
      Located in Nikko and only 2.4 km from Nikko Toshogu Shrine, B&B Izumi Nikko provides accommodation with mountain views, free WiFi and free private parking. The 2-star bed and breakfast features river views and is 3.8 km from Tobu Nikko Station. Every room comes with a balcony. Certain units in the bed and breakfast have private entrance and are fitted with desk and outdoor furniture. Complete with a private bathroom equipped with a walk-in shower and slippers, the units at the bed and breakfast have a flat-screen TV and air conditioning, and some rooms here will provide you with a terrace. At the bed and breakfast, all units have bed linen and towels. Guests can relax in the garden at the property. Nikko Station is 4.2 km from the bed and breakfast, while Kegon Falls is 18 km away. The nearest airport is Ibaraki Airport, 121 km from B&B Izumi Nikko.
      View on Booking.com
      9.8Booking.com
    • Stay Nikko Guesthouse
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring free WiFi, Stay Nikko Guesthouse offers accommodation in Nikko. Nikko Station on the Tobu and JR lines can be reached within a 13-minute walk. Free private parking is available on site. Every room at this guest house is air conditioned and comes with a flat-screen TV. Views of the mountains, river or garden are featured in certain rooms. Guests will find a microwave, toaster and kettle on site. Nikko Toshogu Shrine is a 20-minute stroll from Stay Nikko Guesthouse, while Kegon Falls is a 50-minute bus ride from the property.
      View on Booking.com
      9.6Booking.com
    • Sanga Nikko
      Budget-friendly
      Located in Nikko, 2.1 km from Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Sanga Nikko provides rooms with free WiFi access. The property is set 10 km from Kegon Falls and 22 km from Nikk?-kokuritsu-k?en. Nikko Station and Tobu-Nikko Station are within a 5-minute walk from the property. The property is equipped with two private bathrooms. A range of activities are offered in the area, such as cycling and fishing. A supermarket is situated within a 5-minute walk from the property. This property is situated a short distance from attractions such as Rinnoji Temple and Shinkyo Bridge. Futarasan Shrine is 2.2 km from the property, while Chuzenji Lake is 12 km away.
      View on Booking.com
      9.5Booking.com
    • Midorian
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring a garden, Midorian is located within Nikko National Park. The property is around 1.5 km from Nikko Toshogu Shrine, 8 km from Kegon Falls and a 16-minute walk from Futarasan Shrine. The guest house features mountain views, a terrace, and free WiFi is available throughout the property. On-site parking is available free of charge. Guest rooms in the guest house are fitted with a kettle. A shared kitchen comes with a microwave, a toaster and a fridge. At Midorian, every room comes with a shared bathroom with a hair dryer. Cycling and hiking are among the activities that guests of the accommodation can find nearby. Rinnoji Temple is 1.6 km from Midorian.
      View on Booking.com
      9.4Booking.com
    • Okunikko Guesthouse JUN
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring 1-star accommodation, Okunikko Guesthouse JUN is located in Nikko, 1.1 km from Kegon Falls and 16 km from Nikko Toshogu Shrine. Among the facilities at this property are a shared kitchen and a shared lounge, along with free WiFi throughout the property. Tobu Nikko Station is 17 km away and Nikko Station is 18 km from the guest house. Chuzenji Lake is 2.3 km from the guest house, while Ryuzu Waterfall is 4.8 km away. The nearest airport is Ibaraki Airport, 133 km from Okunikko Guesthouse JUN.
      View on Booking.com
      9.2Booking.com
    • sumica apartments
      Budget-friendly
      Sumica apartmens offers accommodation in Nikko, 900 metres from Nikko Toshogu Shrine and 9.3 km from Kegon Falls. The property features views of the city and is 18 km from Nikko Yumoto Hot Spring. The accommodation is only a 2-minute stroll to Shinkyo Bridge, known as the entrance to the Shrines and Temples of Nikko, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The kitchenette is fitted with a microwave. Towels and bed linen are offered at sumica apartmens. Nikk?-kokuritsu-k?en is 22 km from sumica apartmens, while Rinnoji Temple is 600 metres from the property.
      View on Booking.com
      9.2Booking.com
    • Nikko Akarinoyado Villa Revage
      Mid-range
      Homely rooms with mountain views, free Wi-Fi and a private bath await guests at Villa Revage, 350 metres from Nikko Botanical Garden. It is completely non-smoking, and free private parking is available on site. Rooms at Nikko Akarinoyado Villa Revage are heated and come with simple furnishings and art on the walls. An LCD satellite TV is included. Both a hairdryer and toiletries are provided. You can relax on the sun terrace, enjoy the garden or unwind in one of the private reservable baths. A Western breakfast is served at the dining room, which boasts a high ceiling and forest views. The hotel is 4 km from JR Nikko Train Station and Tobu Nikko Train Station. Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa is 800 metres away, and Nikko Toshogu Shrine is 2 km away.
      View on Booking.com
      9.1Booking.com
    • Nikko Guesthouse Sumica
      Budget-friendly
      Just a 3-minute walk from JR Nikko Train Station, Guesthouse Sumica offers beds in dormitory rooms, as well as Japanese-style private rooms. It features a shared kitchen and free tea and coffee. Free Wi-Fi is provided in the whole building. The Sumica Guesthouse is a 5-minute drive from the Nikko Tosho-gu shrine, and a 30-minute drive from both Lake Chuzenji-ko and historical theme park village Edo Wonderland (Nikko Edomura). JR Nikko Train Station is a 3-minute walk away. Nikko Guesthouse Sumica is a completely non-smoking hotel. It offers luggage storage, and it has a curfew at 23:00.
      View on Booking.com
      9.1Booking.com
    • Asaya
      Luxury
      Boasting open-air natural spring baths that look out to the surrounding mountains, Asaya provides chic Japanese accommodation that displays flower arrangements throughout. A bus stop is located right in front of the property, and shuttle buses are available from Utsunomiya Train Station, an hour away, at an additional fee. Featuring a relaxing ambience, each room comes with a flat-screen TV, a telephone and a fridge. Asaya Hotelfs front desk is open 24 hours, and massages are available at an additional cost. Karaoke facilities and a gift shop are on site. Some of the hot spring baths can be reserved for private use for a fee. A tour to Edo Wonderland can be arranged upon request. The hotel is a 13-minute walk from Kinugawa Koen Train Station. Nikko Toshogu Shrine is a 40-minute drive away, and Edo Wonderland Nikko theme park is a 10-minute drive from the property. A buffet is served at one of the on-site restaurants. The dinner buffet serves about 80 various dishes ranging from Chinese, Japanese and Western meals, while the breakfast buffet provides about 60 variations, mainly Japanese and Western dishes.
      View on Booking.com
      8.9Booking.com
    • Fairfield by Marriott Tochigi Nikko
      Mid-range
      Set in Nikko, 1.8 km from Tobu Nikko Station, Fairfield by Marriott Tochigi Nikko offers accommodation with a shared lounge, free private parking and a terrace. The 3-star hotel has air-conditioned rooms with a private bathroom and free WiFi. The property is non-smoking and is situated 2 km from Nikko Station. All guest rooms at the hotel come with a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and a safety deposit box. Fairfield by Marriott Tochigi Nikko can conveniently provide information at the reception to help guests to get around the area. Nikko Toshogu Shrine is 2.4 km from the accommodation, while Kegon Falls is 20 km from the property. The nearest airport is Ibaraki Airport, 119 km from Fairfield by Marriott Tochigi Nikko.
      View on Booking.com
      8.8Booking.com

Experiences around Nikko

Top rated in Nikko