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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Ryuzu no Taki and Kegon no Taki, Tochigi Prefecture, Japan

Nikko is a World Heritage site. I was there recently to take a short break after the launch of my book in Tokyo.

From the Japanese capital, a direct train on the Kegon Limited Express runs from Asakusa directly to Tobu-Nikko station, and another Limited Express called the Kino gets you to Shimo-Imaichi Station, where a local train runs to Tobu-Nikko Station. There is also a Rapid train from Asakusa, but despite its name, it takes almost an hour longer than the Limited Express, and there are no seat reservations. This Rapid train runs like a regular metropolitan subway, stopping at almost every station along the way.

From Tobu-Nikko, one has access to the World Heritage sites - mainly the temples and shrines in Nikko, and to the resort areas of Chuzenji and Yamato.

Today, I will show some photographs of the Chuzenji area. The bus from Tobu-Nikko takes a very scenic, but hairpin turn filled road to the town of Chuzenji. I was told that this route was where they filmed the movie Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift...where the protagonists were racing down the mountain sliding along...

It is about an hour ride. And from the bus station, the beautiful Kegon Falls is about 300m away.

When I arrived at about noon that day, Kegon, which is reputed to be the most beautiful falls in Japan, was shrouded in mist. I would not have known the falls existed as I gazed out from the observation platform if not for the roar of water falling. There is an elevator costing only Y565 that takes one down to the foot of the falls, where the power of the falling water can be observed, and I think perhaps a more dramatic photograph can be taken. But given the thick, heavy mist, I did not take the elevator.

But jumped on another bus to Yamato Onsen, further up the mountains. At Ryuzu no Taki, I decided to stop and go have a look...the view was outstanding. Fall colours had just begun, especially at the higher altitude of Ryuzu. It was Oct 15. And the water falls, known as Ryuzu, meaning dragon head.

And a landscape orientation

I am offering both these as prints in a special limited edition size of 20 in A2 on Hahnemulle Ultra Smooth PhotoRag 308g paper at a sale price. Please email ( to purchase.

I returned to Chuzenji about 4pm, and before catching the bus back to Nikko, decided to go take a quick look at Kegon...and there she was...all 97m of falling water, with many beautiful tributries...beautiful. It was getting a bit dark, so the exposure was 4s, so I lost the texture of the falling water, and it became a misty stream.

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