Nikko’s Yunoko Lake

Calm, quiet, innermost lake in Nikko

By Tomoko Kamishima    - 3 min read

Fishing season is now open. From May to September, fishermen come together at Yunoko Lake for trout fishing. They step into the water up to their waists and… wait. The silhouette of a fisherman and the mountain range is illusory and beautiful.

Outline of Yunoko Lake

Yunoko Lake is a 3km round lovely lake in inner Nikko. Yumoto-onsen is situated north of the lake. A good walking trail goes around the lakeshore, and rental boats are available at the Nikko-Yumoto Rest House on the lake and near the Kohan-mae bus stop.

About Fishing

During fishing season you can enjoy fishing from 5AM to 5PM for 2000 yen to 3600 yen (depending on the month and the location) per day. The rule is “catch and release”. We are strictly prohibited from taking fish out of the lake. Brook trout, rainbow trout, and Japanese pond smelt can all be caught here, as well as a few other types of fish.

Hiking course

A round trip hike around Yunoko Lake takes about one hour. The west side of the lake passes through a conifer forest. The ground is soft and comfortable with dead leaves as a cushion. The lake shown between the trees changes faces as you move along.

The view of the lake

This innermost lake of Nikko is calm and quiet. The trail of the east side of the lake is parallel to Route 120, so you’ll hear some car noise. But the west side has kept its tranquil beauty. When we started our walk, it was drizzling. We saw a few fishermen along the north shore. They naturally merged into the view. A fog had set in. The leaves with raindrops were colored fresh green. I stopped walking, trying to catch the sound of a fisherman casting his line, but it seemed to be absorbed by the mystic foggy rain. Complete silence surrounded the lake.

We saw some fallen timbers in the south corner of the lake. Complicated branch shapes reflected on the water surface, and the rain blurred their image. Thin twigs collected water drops creating tiny lenses. These were all gifts that the rain brought us.

Togoku-mitsuba-tsutsuji (Rhododendron Wadanum, a kind of azalea) and Azuma-shakunage (Rhododendron mettermichii) were in full bloom here. Their purple pink flowers and whitish pink flowers swayed in the gentle breeze.

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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。

Join the discussion

Victoria Vlisides 4 years ago
Looks gorgeous. Hope to view some momiji there this autumn!
Tomoko Kamishima Author 4 years ago
The season of autumn leaves is really beautiful. Please enjoy!