We had plans to travel outside of Tokyo for a short trip during my time in Japan, and finally decided on Nikko as it was a reasonable drive from Sayama and also a good place to catch some Koyo ( autumn red leaves ) in action. It was still too early in November for foliage to turn fully red in most places and so we had to travel to higher altitudes, where the temperature is lower.
(above) The drive up the mountains of Nikko, under the trusty stead of Nico-chan, Kojima’s pet name for their Suzuki Lapin. She also saw action when we drove from Tokyo to Kyoto last year. As we ascended the mountains the roads turned mostly to long, winding paths and apparently many drift drivers come here for practice, just like the roads in Akagiyama in Gunma prefecture, Takeshi’s hometown. ( where the comic Initial D is based on )
(above) The waters of lake Chuzenji, a mysterious, unusual deep shade of emerald that is quite beautiful. The waters are very choppy and tumultuous for a lake, caused by the strong winds descending from the distant snowcapped mountains, which also bring a fine mist of ice crystals that sparkle in the morning sun . This place is much, much colder that looks.
(above & below) An early bloomer near the coast of the lake. As we journeyed deeper into the mountains and the temperature dropped the landscape started to change from yellow to red. I’ll show more pictures in an upcoming post.