Lake Chuzenji

A short drive behind the town of Nikko proper the Nikkō national park begins, at the heart of which is Lake Chūzenji.

Formed when the now extinct Mount Nantai last erupted, the lake area is refreshingly cool in the summer, and once acted as a summer residence for foreign embassies to Tokyo. There are walking trails both around the lake, which allow you to take in some of Nikkō’s more famous waterfalls, and takes a little over an hour. There are also hiking trails in the hills around, though if you plan to climb Mount Nantai do be aware that it can take a full day, depending on your fitness level and speed.