Chuzenji Onsen – mountain lake scenery and Japanese school trips

Chuzenji Onsen is a cute little town in the mountains near Nikko. And it seems to be a very popular destination for school trips. I took the 45 minute bus ride to get there in the morning of my second day in Nikko.

When I arrived I came across these colourful souvenir shops.

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The big ticket attraction is the waterfall. It’s ok, nothing to write home about.

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But what made it really interesting were several groups of Japanese school kids. They wore matching caps for easier recognition and each group had their own professional photographer! I had seen this in Nikko as well. And from my observations, the official school photographer needs to have two large DSLR cameras with big lenses to emphasise his credibility.

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Spot the photographer with two cameras and a rucksack full of lenses (or sandwiches maybe?).

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After seeing the waterfall and chatting with a really nice American photographer who lives in England, I had a snack and headed over to the lake.

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Ah, so beautiful!! I did a sightseeing boat tour as well. I was lucky because I managed to catch the boat that was empty. When we arrived back there was a long queue of the school kids! I don’t think my boat trip would have been half as peaceful with those kids on board…

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They had these fun peddle boats

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And of course there was a temple. Built around the statue of Kannon, which was carved into a tree trunk. This original tree trunk is still there.
It was interesting… But for me the main attraction was the view over the lake.

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I also spotted some autumn leaves. I can only imagine how beautiful this place must be in mid October.

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As I walked a bit further up the road and away from the main touristy bit, it became quite clear that the town had seen better times. There’s a lot of faded glamour of previous decades, when there must have been more money for holidaying and eating out. I actually think that these kinds of areas have their own melancholic charm. I like walking around and taking photos of old decrepit buildings.

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I rounded the day off with coffee and cake at this cute cafe and enjoyed the sun for a bit longer before heading back to Nikko.

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3 thoughts on “Chuzenji Onsen – mountain lake scenery and Japanese school trips

  1. spccwgurl

    Cool stuff, Rabster! Imagine getting a gig where you’re a photographer for various schools and just go from one attraction to the other. Right up your alley!

    Reply

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