Hiking Nikko Japan – Lake Yu / Yunoko in Yumoto Onsen
Lake Yu (yunoko) and the Yumoto Hot-spring (onsen) are beautiful places.
Most travelers get to Lake Yu by hiking up from Senjogahara or by the bus from Tobu Nikko or JR Nikko stations. Yumoto is where the trailhead to Shirane Mountain is, however you can’t see Shirane Mountain as it is set back in the range to the northwest. You can easily see Nantai Mountain from Lake Yu. The area is about 1500m above sea level, so it’s higher in the mountains and cooler. In the winter; stores, hot-springs, and general business is closed randomly. There is usually more snow around Yumoto and Lake Yu than around Toshogu and the world heritage area.
The Lake Yu (yunoko) trail follows the road at times and the ducks are quite tame and approach hikers wanting food offerings. The hour long hike has a little bit of everything. There are quiet pockets where you will feel completely in nature; fallen trees, moss, meadows and alcoves.
Yumoto and Lake Yu are the end of the bus pass that you can buy at Asakusa station in Tokyo.