By そらみみ - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
By そらみみ - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
  • eat 吃喝 먹거리
  • shop 购物 가게
  • stay 住宿 숙박 시설
  • see 看到 观光 볼거리
  • Recommendation 建議 建议 추천 ★★★★★
  • Foreign Language Support 外語支持 外语支持 외국어 지원 ★★★☆☆

●Town Info

Nikko is the final resting place of Ieyasu Tokugawa, the founder of the highest-ranking samurai class, the Tokugawa clan, which stood at the top during the samurai era roughly 400 years ago.


Visitors have been paying homage to his resting place, Toshogu temple, which has brought the historical town to prosperity and is acknowledged as a world heritage site.

Surrounding the town is natural bliss; mountains, plateaus, waterfalls, a lake and even a natural hot springs make it a well-traveled destination.



If your schedule allows you to stay in Tokyo for about a week or more, we strongly recommend going, otherwise forget about it, it’s a bit far.

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From Tokyo
By train you can ride either Tobu Railways or JR, but  Tobu Railway is more convenient.


① Tobu Nikko Station via Tobu Railways

Tobu Nikko station via Tobu Railway is about 2.5 hours from Tobu Asakusa and Tokyo Skytree station.


Best to use the Tobu skytree Line Section Rapid train or the Rapid Spacia train.

There are excursion tickets and free passes worth looking into on their website:


② Nikko Station via JR Nikko Line
Take the Tohoku bullet train from either Tokyo station or Ueno station to Utsunomiya station and transfer to the Nikko line. The trip will take about 1 hour 45min.

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The 2.5 hours journey from central Tokyo to the doorstep of Nikko, Nikko station, is close enough for a day trip or a more relaxing 1 night stay.


Don’t miss out Nikko Toshogu (日光東照宮) if you are a history buff. Here and there are sculptures and paintings that will spur your interest; for example, the mysterious feeling you get from the tree lined streets of Japanese cedars, or the cute yet unknown reason for the fine carvings of Nemuri-neko (sleeping cat) and Sanzaru (3 monkeys), or the mural of a dragon on the ceiling.


If you’re looking to immerse yourself in nature’s beauty, we recommend driving through Irohazaka, with the road’s 48 curves, you can witness nature’s beauty along the road and especially during autumn foliage (usually mid October), it’s a sight for sore eyes.

Nearby Nikko is Kinugawa, one of the famous hot spring resort towns, but Nikko has plenty of hot springs. We urge you to try dipping in a hot public bath.

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●Check It

Nikko Toshogu [日光東照宮]

A historical site on the UNESCO world heritage list. It is a must visit place for those of you interested in historical landmarks or arts. Recently it has become popular as a “power spot” – where you can feel invigorated by natural elements.


Sanzaru [三猿]
Located near the visitor’s center, enter through the front gate and on the side you will find a God’s stable. Among the monkeys you will see on the top half of the stable is the famous tale of “see, speak, hear no evil”, but it’s so small, you just might miss it. So look carefully.


  • Yomeimon [陽明門]

Yomeimon is a spectacularly elaborate design for a gate.

A bit of insider information, one of the pillars is called ‘Sakashibashira’, which one of the patterned designs is purposely carved upside down as a mark to ward off evil.

  • Nemuri-Neko [眠り猫]

On the path from the main shrine to Ieyasu Tokugawa’s graveyard (rear shrine) there is a carving of a cat napping. It’s so small you’re gonna have trouble finding it.

  • Nakiryu (鳴竜)

Wander inside Nakiryu (crying dragon), also known as “Honchido” and “Yakushido”, and find a painting of a huge dragon on the ceiling. Stand under the center of the painting and you just might hear the dragon’s cry if you clap your hands. (It’s a spiritual thing, but the sound you make by clapping your hands resonates and sounds something like a dragon cry, that’s all. You won’t be able to hear it if there are crowds of people.)


Address: 2301 Sannai, Nikko, Tochigi
Access: 10 min. bus ride from Sekaisan-meguri bus [世界遺産めぐりバス] from Tobu-Nikko station [東武日光駅]. Get off at Omotesando  bus stop [表参道バス停] and walk 5 min.
TEL: 0288-54-0560
Closed: N/A (part of the facility may be closed due to maintenance)
Open: 8:00am〜5:00pm (Nov〜Mar 8:00am〜4:00pm)
Fee: 1,300 yen (Jr. high/Elementary students 450 yen)


Irohazaka (いろは坂)
Highway 120 emerges from Nikko station passing by Toshogu and heads towards a mountainous region where Lake Chuzenji is.


The road to Lake Chuzenji, Irohazaka, is particularly famous for its steep and continuous curvy turns, so you can enjoy the ride as well as the fabulous encompassing view of nature.


The scenery during autumn will blow you away. It is one of the most popular seasons as autumn foliage is at its peak (mid-October, can be a bit earlier or later), but be warned, it’s gonna be congested.


Stop over at Kegon no Taki or Lake Chuzenji if you need a break and want to visit a tourist attraction.


※To Nikko station by train and then Bus:

After arriving at Nikko station, catch the Tobu bus for Chuzenji Onsen. It’s not a bad idea to ride Irohazaka by bus, and you just might catch your self clapping or saying “nice driving skills” to the bus driver commanding the bus through such curves.

Use the same route on your return trip.

Tobu bus link: (In Japanese only.)


Kegon no Taki [華厳の滝]
This waterfall’s 97 meter drop is incredible among Japanese people and has become a tourists attraction spot. Just know, if you’ve already been to Niagara Falls or the Iguazu Falls, you won’t think much of this.


Address: 2479-2 Chugushi, Nikko, Tochigi
Access: Get off at Tobu-Nikko station [東武日光駅] and take the Tobu Bus [東武] headed for Chuzenji-onsen [中禅寺温泉]. Get off at Chuzenji-onsen stop [中禅寺温泉バス停] and it’s a 5 min. walk.
TEL: 0288-55-0030
Closed: N/A
Open: 8:00am〜5:00pm (changes depending on season, please check beforehand)
Fee: 550 yen (kids: 330 yen)


Chuzenjiko Kanko Center (中禅寺湖観光センター)
Grab a bite to eat, do a bit of gift shopping, or just take a short break at this tourist center.


Address: 2478 Chugushi, Nikko, Tochigi
Access: Get off at Tobu-Nikko station [東武日光駅] and take the Tobu Bus [東武] headed for Chuzenji-onsen [中禅寺温泉]. Get off at Chuzenji-onsen stop [中禅寺温泉バス停] and it’s a 5 min. walk.

TEL: 0288-55-0042
Closed: N/A
Open: 9:00am〜6:00pm


Nikko Lakeside Hotel (Restaurant/Hotel)
The hotel is a bit expensive, but the view of the lake from the restaurant is worth checking out. A day trip to the hot spring isn’t a bad idea either.


Address: 2482 Chugushi, Nikko, Tochigi
Access: Get off at Tobu-Nikko station [東武日光駅] and take the Tobu Bus [東武バス] headed for Chuzenji-onsen [中禅寺温泉]. Get off at Chuzenji-onsen stop [中禅寺温泉] and it’s a 3 min. walk.
TEL: 0288-55-0321


Nikko Edomura [日光江戸村]
Experience going back 200~300 years and wear clothes from that era to get a feel of life back then. One of the attractions to check out is the ninja experience.


Address:  470-2 Karakura, Nikko, Tochigi
Access: Catch the Tobu Bus [東武] at Fujiya Kanko Centa [冨士屋観光センタ―バス停] (Fujiya Travel Center) stop, near Nikko Toshogu [日光東照宮], and get off at Nikko Edomura stop [日光江戸村バス停下].


TEL: 0288-77-1777
Closed: Wednesdays
Open: 9:00〜5:00pm (9:30am〜4:00pm during winter)
Fee: 4,700 yen (kids: 2,400 yen)


Kinugawa Onsen (鬼怒川温泉) (Hot Spring)

Over 300 years of history, this hot spring is filled with natural alkaline. It’s best to wander inside the Kinugawa Koen and make your way to Kinugawa Koen Iwaburo to enjoy a great outdoor bath. Other choices for a nice bath are hotels and Japanese Inn’s but be prepared to pay about 1,000 yen for the entrance fee.


Address: Nikko, Tochigi  [栃木県日光市]
Tobu Railways [東武鉄道]: Kinugawa Onsen station [鬼怒川温泉駅]; Kinugawa Koen station [鬼怒川公園駅]

From Tokyo area:
Direct trains from Shinjuku [新宿] and Asakusa [浅草]

Address: Nikko, Tochigi
Access: Tobu railways, Kinugawa Onsen station, Kinugawa-koen station. From Tokyo, there are direct trains from Shinjuku and Asakusa.


Kinugawa Koen Iwaburo [鬼怒川公園岩風呂]
Address: 19 Fujihara, Nikko
Access: 5 min walk from Kinugawakoen station
Closed: Tuesdays (closed the following day if Tue. is a holiday), year end (12/30,12/31)
Open: 10:00am〜9:00pm
Fee: Jr. High School and older: 500 yen, elementary school: 250 yen

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