Generally speaking, central Nikko is recognized
as Nikko while area of Lake Chuzenji, around Mt. Nantai and Yumoto
are called Oku-Nikko (Inner Nikko), but some people call it just
Yumoto area. Border between Nikko and Oku-Nikko is Byoubuiwa rocky
screen on the Irohazaka winding road.
There are some stories regarding name of Futara.
Mt. Nantai is also called Mt. Futara, and the name of Futara is
derived from Potalaka in Sanskrit. Also, Futara can be divided into
two Japanese words. One is futa, which means two in Japanese, and
another word is ara, which means storm. The meaning of combination
of those two words are two storms. According to a legend, god of
wind and god of thunder appear at Byoubuiwa rocky screen and bring
the two storms a year. Moreover, Futara can be pronounced Nikoh
in another way of reading. You can imagine that the Nikoh became
Landscape of Oku-Nikko has been created dramatically
by natural environment like an eruption. Lake, waterfall, grassy
plain and marshland are gathered like a miniature garden. Nature
has been remained its natural appearance since Oku-Nikko was designated
as a National Park in 1934.
History of Oku-Nikko began when Priest Shoto succeeded
to climb the Mt. Nantai in Nara-Heian period. Nikko developed as
a training area for ascetics until Edo period, and developed as
a resort area from Meiji era.
Weather of Oku-Nikko is relatively cold, but it
is comfortable to spend the summer. Plants change their appearances
in every season. You should bring chain for your tires when you
come to Nikko by the car from December to March. Snow will not be
heavy, but surface of the road will possibly be frozen.