Nikko’s Akechi-daira Ropeway

Fantastic viewpoint for Kegon-no-taki Falls

By Tomoko Kamishima    - 3 min read

Akechi-daira (明智平) is the best viewpoint of the great and wonderful nature of Nikko. It’s on the way to Chuzen-ji Lake from downtown Nikko. Here, you can hold all of Mt. Nantai, Kegon-no-taki Falls, and Chuzen-ji Lake in one extraordinary frame.

Ropeway to Akechi-daira

If the weather isn’t good, the ropeway doesn’t run. From the ropeway, you can see the road you came up on--Iroha-zaka Pass (with its 48 hair-pin curves going up and down the mountain) to your right. You can also enjoy the view of many mountains overlapping one another in the far distance. In the woods below you, you’ll see a river meandering through the trees. It is the Daiya River. After a short 3-minute trip, you’ll arrive at the observation area—a wide-open deck with a 360-degree view. The ropeway runs from 9 AM to 4 PM throughout the year except March 1-15th. The one way fee is 390 yen (child: 190 yen) and the round trip fee is 710 yen (child: 360 yen).

The view from the deck

The west view consists of Chuzen-ji Lake and Kegon-no-taki Falls. You might see a rainbow near the basin of the waterfall! The white building at the bottom of the falls is a special observation deck, which you can reach by a special elevator. There is a thinner and shorter falls than Kegon on the right. It is Shirakumo-no-taki (白雲の滝). The small town on the right edge of the lake is Chuzen-ji Onsen. There are a lot of inns and hotels, restaurants, and souvenir shops. And the big mountain on the right is Mt. Nantai. If you are lucky, you’ll be able to see the entire mountain. But it’s quite rare, because Nikko is a very foggy place.

The naming of Akechi-daira

The splendor of the view from Akechi-daira was found and named by Tenkai, a high-ranking priest favored by Tokugawa Ieyasu (the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate in 1603). It is said that Tenkai might have been the same person who secretly plotted treason against Oda Nobunaga, a samurai famous for his enterprising spirit. That person’s name was Akechi Mitsuhide. In the history books, Akechi attacks Oda and is later killed in Kyoto. But some experts now believe that he survived and escaped to become a priest in Enryaku-ji Temple in Kyoto (He later moved to Edo). The name Mitsuhide was recorded in the list of high-ranking priests in the temple.

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Tomoko Kamishima

Tomoko Kamishima @tomoko.kamishima

Japan is a small island nation, but we have a huge number of surprising things to discover here. Many of these delights can be found when you step off the main street onto small side paths. I really enjoy studying about and researching various aspects of traditional Japanese culture, and then sharing this information with visitors to Japan. I hope you will enjoy it, too! ARTICLE INDEX & PHOTOS:  An index of most of my Japan Travel articles can be found at the entry page of my blog, and my photos are shown here.  日本はとても小さな国ですが、大通りから一本小道に入ればたくさんの発見があります。日本人が積み重ねてきた歴史を学びながら、古い建物や庭を訪ね、物語の舞台となった景色を眺めて、皆様といっしょに日本文化の奥深さを探求していきたいと思います。

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Tomoko Kamishima Author 8 years ago
The round trip ticket costs 710 yen per person. A ticket for a child is 360 yen.
Stacy Kurokawa 8 years ago
How much does a return trip on this ropeway cost?