Nikko in northeastern Tochigi Prefecture has been one of Japan’s main religious districts for ages, with many temples and shrines located there, including the well-known Nikko Toshogu Shrine. It is also famous for the numerous scenic spots in the vicinity of Lake Chuzenji, reached by climbing the steep Iroha Slope. Widely known overseas as well, Nikko has a strong cosmopolitan flavor. By Lake Chuzenji, among other attractions, there are the sites of Italian and UK embassy villas. The rivers, waterfalls, ponds, lakes, and other sites in Nikko all have their own distinctive charms. The autumn colors are superb, and the spectacle of the mountains dyed a bright red and reflected on the surface of the water is wonderful. This time I took a trip northward along the Yugawa River, which flows from the northeastern part of Nikko, known as Okunikko, to Lake Chuzenji.