A section of this hike can also be seen here > Kumakubo – Bear Cove 

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This hike is circular hike Ryuzu > Takayama > Senjugahama > Kumakubo (Bear Cove) > Ryuzu

The trailhead for hiking Takayama in Nikko Japan is near the parking area on the upper section of Ryuzu Falls; just next to the bridge that overlooksChuzenji Lake.  The bus stop is Taki-ue and not Ryuzu-no-taki.  I recommend starting at the top as by the time you get to Chuzenji Lake, you may want to refresh yourself with a quick dip in the lake for a little swimming.

The hike’s slope is relatively constant until 20 minutes before the peak.

The trail begins simple and stays flat for quite a while.  There is a gradual incline and you walk on bare roots in many spots.  You have to keep looking for a few decent viewpoints just off the trail.  There isn’t a view from the peak, so be sure to get some views when you have the chance along the trail; look for openings and thin woods.

You’ll know you’re at the base of Takayama when you see the trail is worn in a wide area.  Obviously, groups rest at this point before starting the final ascent.  A few points along the trail give you views of the famous Nantai Mountain, only one such viewpoint of the nearby Otake Mountain on the west.

Takayama Peak has no views of the area below nor of the landscapes around the mountain.  The peak is peaceful and pleasant with many birds and some deer when we got there.  Takayama translates to Hawk Mountain.

Heading south, you know you are getting close to Chuzenji Lake when the landscape gets greener and greener and you start to see moss covered trees in the moist fertile lowlands

 

The bay and beach are beautiful and remote; tucked away from and out of sight of any roads and buildings in the populated parts of the area

Senjugahama beach is just to the west of where the trail sets you on Lake Chuzenji.  Headed back toward Ryuzu waterfall, I was pleasantly surprised that the trail didn’t just follow the beach the entire time.

The best part of the trail back is that the trail takes you completely to the top a cliff where you can overlook the beaches, bays and Lake Chuzenji.

trail begins - simple beginning
trail begins – simple beginning
gradual incline
gradual incline
walking on bare roots in many spots
walking on bare roots in many spots
a decent viewpoint just off the trail
a decent viewpoint just off the trail
just before the ascent, clearly a place of contemplation
just before the ascent, clearly a place of contemplation
view of the nearby peak of Otake Mountain
view of the nearby peak of Otake Mountain
view of the nearby peak of Nantai Mountain
view of the nearby peak of Nantai Mountain
Takayama peak
Takayama peak
Takayama Peak area - no views of the area below
Takayama Peak area – no views of the area below
moss covered trees as you get closer to the moist fertile lowlands near Chuzenji Lake
moss covered trees as you get closer to the moist fertile lowlands near Chuzenji Lake
lush lowlands
lush lowlands
the approaching Lake Chuzenji
the approaching Lake Chuzenji
end of the descent from Taka Mountain at Lake Chuzenji
end of the descent from Taka Mountain at Lake Chuzenji
Kumabubo (beach/bay)
Kumabubo (beach/bay)
looking toward Senjugahama beach
looking toward Senjugahama beach
an enormous tree along the path
an enormous tree along the path
the trail along the beach rises and gives great views
the trail along the beach rises and gives great views
twisted fallen trees from ages past
twisted fallen trees from ages past
the trail fence along Chuzenji
the trail fence along Chuzenji
Tochi Kubo (bay/beach)
Tochi Kubo (bay/beach)
Tochi Kubo (bay/beach) and cliff
Tochi Kubo (bay/beach) and cliff
view from cliff back toward Tochikubo
view from cliff back toward Tochikubo
view of the beach from cliff back toward Tochikubo
view of the beach from cliff back toward Tochikubo
last viewpoint before civilization
last viewpoint before civilization
last look back at Tochikubo
last look back at Tochikubo
trail leads to road near Ryuzu waterfall
trail leads to road near Ryuzu waterfall