Top 19 Things to Do in Nikko, Tochigi | FAST JAPAN
Nikko, Tochigi

Top 19 Things to Do in Nikko, Tochigi

Nikko in Tochigi prefecture is where unattached nature and traditional temples and shrines remain. Easily accessible from Tokyo and best place for weekend trip. Enjoy both rich nature and Japanese traditional culture!

#1. Nikko Toshogu Shrine

Nikko, Tochigi

Nikko Toshogu Shrine (Japanese:日光東照宮) is one of World Heritages in Japan. Especially well known as it enshrines Ieyasu Tokugawa, one of the most famous generals in Edo period. Eight of National Treasury and 33 important cultural property are located in the area.

Nikko, Tochigi

For very beginning of regular route, three wise monkeys (Japanese:三猿) designated as Important Cultural Property will welcome you. They represent “See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil”. You can meet “Sleeping Cat” after monkeys if you go along the regular route. It is designated as National Treasure and not exaggeration to say it is the most famous cat in Japan! It looks a lot smaller than in the picture so pay your attention not to miss it.

Nikko, Tochigi

Finally, the grave of the general Ieyasu will appear in front of you. To reach there, you need to go through steep staircase since it is located on small hilltop. Still it is worth going to feel the majestic atmosphere and see the solemn sight. Reportedly, Ieyasu’s body is buried in this grave though nobody has seen it.
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Nikko Toshogu Shrine

Address: 2301 Sannai Nikko-shi, Tochigi Japan 3211431

Access: 5 minutes bus ride from Tobu Nikko train station to the bus stop called “Shinkyo” and 8 minutes walking

Opening Hours:
8:00am ~ 5:00pm (April to October)
8:00am ~ 4:00pm (November to March)

Admission fees:
1300yen for adult over age 16
450yen for child under age 15

Phone: +81(0)288-54-0560

Website: Nikko Toshogu Shrine (Japanese) 


#2. Kegon Falls

Nikko, Tochigi

Kegon Falls (Japanese:華厳の滝) is considered as one of the most finest waterfalls in Japan. Among many waterfalls in Nikko, Kegon falls is the most powerful and magnificent. Water coming from Lake Chuzenji falls from about 100m tall! The view of water running is just overwhelming.

From an observation floor reached by elevator, you can enjoy both the view of the basin and explosive sound. The floor is so close that you feel a spray of water that rises with a smoke-like appearance. Autumn is the peak season for visiting Kegon fall because of beautiful autumn leaves.
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Kegon Falls

Address: Chugushi Nikko-shi, Tochigi Japan 3211661

Access: 40 minutes by bus bound for Chuzenji onsen to the bus stop called “Chuzenji onsen” and 5 minutes walking.

Opening Hours:
8:00am ~ 5:00pm (March to November)
9:00am ~ 4:30pm (December to February)

Admission Fees for observation floor:
550yen for adult
330yen for child

Phone: +81(0)288-55-0030

Website: Kegon Falls


#3. Lake Chuzenji

Lake Chuzenji

Lake Chuzenji (Japanese:中禅寺湖) is located at altitude of 1200m, perimeter of 25km and depth of 163m. It is considered one of high-located lakes in Japan and a symbol of Nikko area. Around Meiji period, the area was popular as summer resort for foreigners because of its mild climate.

Nikko, Tochigi

You can enjoy the view of each season by the lakeside. Especially azalea in early summer and beautiful leaves in autumn are stunning. Joining trip by a pleasure-boat will be a option to sightsee around the lake.
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Lake Chuzenji

Address: Chugushi Nikko-shi, Tochigi 3211661

Phone: +81(0)288-54-2496 (Nikko City Tourist Association)


#4. Senjogahara Marshland

Nikko, Tochigi

Senjogahara (Japanese:戦場ヶ原) is a marshland, its total area 400 hectare registered under the Ramsar Convention. You can go on 2 hours hiking along a long well-organized promenade surrounding the area. It is well know as more than 350 kinds of plants grow naturally and many wild bird live in the area. Some spots you can see the outstanding view with Mt. Nantai in background are located on the hiking course. You will enjoy rich nature to the fullest throughout year. Especially cotton grass between June and early August and grasses that turn red in late September is highly recommended!
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Senjogahara Marshland

Address: Chugushi Nikko-shi Tochigi 3211661

Access: 50 minutes by bus bound for Yumoto onsen from Tobu Nikko station to the bus stop called “Sanbon Matsu” and walking 1 minute

Phone: +81(0)288-54-2496 (Nikko City Tourist Association)


#5. Irohazaka

Nikko, Tochigi

Irohazaka (Japanese: いろは坂) is sightseeing road with 48 sharp curves, connecting main area of Nikko and Lake Chuzenji area. It is also famous as you can enjoy beautiful scenery from the uphill road while driving. Best season to go Irohazaka is definitely autumn because of colored leaves.

Nikko, Tochigi

One thing you have to keep in your mind is you might be stuck in super long traffic jam in peak season. You better go there with “plenty of time” thus you can enjoy the amazing view for long time
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Address: Hosoo Nikko-shi Tochigi

Access by bus: To Akechidaira, 40 minutes by bus bound for Chuzenji onsen or Yumoto onsen from Tobu Nikko station. Iroha saka is on the way to Akechidaira and there is no bus stop in between.

Access by car: Exit at Kiyotaki Interchange in Nikko-Utsunomiya toll road and going about 20 minutes toward Oku-Nikko

Phone: +81(0)288-54-2496 (Nikko City Tourist Association)


#6. Ryuokyo Canyon

spacerNikko, Tochigi

Ryuokyo (Japanese: 龍王峡) is a canyon created by movement of volcanic rocks shooting up from submarine volcano 22 million years ago. “Ryu” means a dragon and “0” means a king in Japanese. The shape of valley looks like a dragon wriggling around and reportedly that is the origin of name.

Hiking course about 7km is arranged along the valley and you will enjoy the rich nature and gorgeous view. It takes 3~4 hours for hiking and will be visited by many people especially between end of October and early November.
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Ryuokyo Canyon

Access by train: From Tobu Asakusa Station, it takes 100 minutes by taking Limited Express called “Spacia” and transferring to train bound for Aizu-Kinugawa line at Shimo-Imaichi station. Taking about 30 minutes to Ryuokyo station

Access by car: Exit at Imaichi Interchange in Nikko-Utsunomiya toll road and going toward Kinugawa onsen about 30 minutes on National Route 121

Phone: +81(0)288-76-4111 (Nikko City Tourist Association Fujiwara area)


#7. Kinugawa Onsen

Nikko, Tochigi

Kinugawa Onsen (Japanese: 鬼怒川温泉) is one of most famous hot spring areas in Japan. Kinugawa river is running through the area and it has very long history since Edo period. Along the river, many hotels and Japanese style hotel called “Ryokan” are located. The water is alkaline and effective against neuralgic pain, painful shoulder. Also it helps relieve your fatigue. Some hotels have open-air bath. You will spend luxury time since you will take the bath and see the view of rich nature around.
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Kinugawa Onsen

Address: 1404-1 O-hara Nikko-shi, Tochigi

Access: By train, about 2hours from Tobu-Asakusa station by taking Limited Express bound for Kinugawa Onsen station.

Phone: +81(0)288-22-1525  (Nikko City Tourist Association Kinugawa area)

Website: Nikko Kanko (For hotel reservations in English)


#8. Ryuzu Falls

Nikko, Tochigi

Ryuzu Falls (Japanese:竜頭ノ滝) is waterfall where the water runs on a lava created by a volcanic eruprion of Mt. Nantai. The water goes down about 210m toward the basin. Falls close to the basin is separated to two flow of water by huge rock. Ryuzu (Japanese: 竜頭) means dragon’s head and named because the two flow of water remind of “dragon’s head”.

Nikko, Tochigi

Ryuzu falls appears differently in each season. Pretty azalea will be blooming between May and June. In autumn, it will be surrounded by beautifully colored leaves.
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Ryuzu Falls

Address: Chugushi Nikko-shi Tochigi 3211661

Access by bus: An hour bus ride bound for Yumoto onsen from Tobu-Nikko station to bus stop called “Ryuzu fall” and 2 minutes walking

Access: by car: Exit at Kiyotaki Interchange in Nikko-Utsunomiya toll road and going 25km toward Oku-Nikko

Phone: +81(0)288-54-2496 (Nikko City Tourist Association)


#9. Edo Wonderland

Nikko, Tochigi

Edo Wonderland (Japanese: 日光江戸村) is a theme park where you can experience Japanese culture in Edo period (Edo period is long lasting period in Japan and based on modern Japanese culture). Some streets, traditional hotels, marchant residences, Ninja house and residences of samurai are located and they look like the ones back in Edo period.

Nikko, Tochigi

You can experience the culture by joining events suhc as trying traditional clothes on and learning history and culture at the museum. Also, you can see some plays in the theatre and try Edo-period style meals.
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Edo Wonderland

Address: 470-2 Karakura Nikko-shi, Tochigi

Access: Free shuttle bus is available. Check the time table

Opening Hours:
9:00am ~ 5:00pm (March 20th to November 30th)
9:30am ~ 4:00pm (December 1st to March 19th)

Fees: Adult 4700yen, Child 2400yen

Phone: +81(0)288-77-1777

Website: Edo Wonderland


#10. Futarasan Shrine

Nikko, Tochigi

Futarasan Shrine (Japanese: 二荒山神社) is located in the middle area of Mt.Nikko area founded by a priest 1200 years ago. Reportedly the shrines is the origin of faith of Nikko area and Mt. Nantai is enshrined as a sacred object.

Nikko, Tochigi

Main enshrined deity in Futarasan Shrine is the God of marriage thus recently many people visit there and receive the blessings of the God. Shinkyo Bridge (Japanese: 神橋) is a part of construction of Futarasan Shrine and located at the entrance of the shrine. It is wooden architecture and beautifully painted with vermilion-lacquered. It is considered as one of three unique bridges in Japan.
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Futarasan Shrine

Address: 2307 Sannai Nikko-shi Tochigi

Access: 10 minutes by bus bound for Chuzenji onsen or Yumoto onsen from Tobu-Nikko station to the bus stop called “Nishi-sando” and 7 minutes walking

Opening Hours:
8:00am ~ 5:00pm (April and October)
8:00am ~ 4:00pm (November and March)

Admission Fees: 200yen

Phone: +81(0)288-54-0535

Website: NikkoFutaarasanShrine (Japanese)


#11. Kotoku Farm

Nikko, Tochigi

Kotoku Farm (Japanese:光徳牧場) is where you can enjoy both nature and fresh made foods. Its total area is about 30,000 square meters and is filled with rich nature. Small lake called “Kotoku numa” is located close to the pasture and you can enjoy walking around the lake. Fresh made milk and ice cream are served in the restaurant. You can only taste the fresh made ice cream in this pasture. It will be very delightful time in the rich full of nature!
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Kotoku Farm

Address: 2452 Chugushi Nikko-shi Tochigi

Access: An hour by bus bound for Yumoto onsen to the bus stop called “Kotoku onsen” and 5 minutes walking

Opening Hours: 8:30am ~ 5:00pm
*8:30am ~ 4:00pm in winter

Phone: +81(0)288-55-0256


#12. Lake Yunoko

Nikko, Tochigi

Lake Yunoko (Japanese: 湯ノ湖), the perimeter of 3km is the lake surrounded by hills on three sides. The mysterious atomosphere attracts tourists and it is getting popular. Promenade surrounding the lake is well organized and it takes about an hour to walk around. There are many untouched nature such as broad‐leaved trees and coniferous tree around the lake. In May, trout fishing is open to public till September and autumn leaves beautifully blooms from late September.
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Lake Yunoko

Address: Yumoto Nikko-shi, Tochigi 3211661

Phone: +81(0)288-54-2496 (Nikko City Tourist Association)


#13. Rinnoji Temple

Nikko, Tochigi

Rinnoji Temple (Japanese:輪王寺) is name of area including halls, pagodas and sub-temples and designated as World Heritage as a part of “Shrines and Temples of Nikko”.

Nikko, Tochigi

The temple was build in Heian period which is more than 1200 years ago by a priest and it has integrated temples as a main temple in Nikko area since then.
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Rinnoji Temple

Address: 2300 Sannai Nikko-shi Tochigi

Access: 5 minutes by bus bound for Chuzen-ji onsen or Yumoto onsen from Tobu-Nikko station to the bus stop called “Shinkyo” and 5 minutes walking

Opening Hour:
8:00am ~ 5:00pm (April to October)
8:00 ~ 4:00pm (November to March)

Adult 400yen, Child 200yen (For Sanbutsu-do)
Adult 900yen, Child 400yen (For whole area of Rin-noji)

Phone: +81(0)288-54-0531

Website: Rinnoji Temple


#14. Italian Embassy House Memorial Park

Italian Embassy House Memorial Park
Photo Credit: flickr

Italian Embassy House Memorial Park (Japanese: イタリア大使館別荘記念公園) was constructed in 1928 and an ambassador actually had used till 1997. Lake Chuzenji area was so popular as summer resort that many foregin embassies built in summer houses between the middle of Meiji and early Showa period. It is now open to public as museum. Each room are nicely furnished and you can feel the atomosphere of international summer resort. Also, you will enjoy the beautiful view of all over Lake Chuzenji from museum.
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Italian Embassy Memorial Park

Address: 2482 Chugushi Nikko-shi, Tochigi 3211661

Access: 50 minutes by bus bound for Chuzen-ji onsen or Yumoto onsen from Tobu-Nikko station to the bus stop called “Chuzen-ji onsen” and 40 minutes walking

Opening Hours:
9:00am ~ 4:00pm (April to June, September to November)
9:00am ~ 5:00pm (July to August)
*Not available between December and March

Fees: Free (Gratuity is appreciated)

Phone: +81(0)288-55-0880 (Nikko Nature Museum Association)

Website: Italian Embassy House Memorial Park (Japanese)


#15. Yumoto Onsen

Nikko, Tochigi

Yumoto Onsen is located over Senjogahara marshland and well known as calm hot spring area. The source of hot spring was found 1200 years ago and the water is effective against neuralgic pain and rheumatism. Free foot bath called Anyono-yu (Japanese:あんよの湯) is located in the town so you can easily experience the hot spring. You can see the stunning view of Lake Yunoko and rich nature from some spots in the town. You will have very relaxing time there.
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Yumoto Onsen

Phone: +81(0)288-62-2570 (Oku-Nikko Yumoto Onesn Association)

Website: Yumoto Onsen (Japanese)


#16. Kirifuri Falls

Nikko, Tochigi

Kirifuri Falls (Japanese: 霧降の滝) is one of 3 finest waterfalls in Nikko along with Kegon falls and Urami falls. The water falls over Kirifuri river and it is separated into two sections. The top one is about 25 meters height and lower one is 26 meters. Kiri (霧) means “mist” and furi (降) means “fall” in Japanese. Origin of the name is the water looks like fine mist when it crashes into the rock around the basin. The best season to visit Kirifuri falls is definitely in autumn. The falls will be surrounded by amazingly beautiful autumn leaves and you can enjoy the rich nature to the fullest. You will be feeling like you are in a painting.
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Kirifuri Falls

Address: Tokorono Nikko-shi Tochigi 321-1421

Access: 10 minutes by bus bound for Kirifuri Highland and O-sasa pasture from Tobu-Nikko station to the bus stop called “Kirifuri falls” and 15 minutes walking to observation area of the falls


#17. Akechidaira Ropeway


Akechidaira plateau (Japanese:明智平) is located on the top of uphill road of Irohazaka. It has huge parking area so tourists stop by to take some breaks from long drive. The beautiful view of the plateau will refresh you.

Nikko, Tochigi

From the parking ara, ropeway will take you to the top of the plateau which is 1373 meters! It is where you can see stunning view of all over Nikko including Mt. Nantai, Lake Chuzenji and even Kegon fall. Definitely the best spot to take a photo in Nikko!
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Akechidaira Ropeway

Address: Hoso Nikko-shi, Tochigi

Access: 35 minutes by bus bound for Chuzenji onsen or Yumoto onsen from Tobu Nikko station and get off at the Akechidaira bus stop

Opening Hours (for ropeway) : 9:00am ~ 4:00pm

Adult 400yen, Child 200yen (One-way ticket)
Adult 730yen, Child 370yen (Round ticket)

Website: Akechidaira Ropeway (Japanese)


#18. Kirifuri Highland

Nikko, Tochigi

Kirifuri highland (Japanese: 霧降高原) is located about 8 km north of Nikko City and the altitudes is about between 1,300m to 1,600m. There are many kinds of alpine flowers blooming in each season. Hiking course in the area takes about 90 minutes for longest.

Especially orange-yellow day lily called “Nikko Kisuge” is well known as the flower here. The peak season is  from end of June to early July. Blue sky, light-green grass field and bright yellow lily are perfect combination and worth seeing it.
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Kirifuri Highland

Address: Tokorono Nikko-shi, Tochigi 321-1421

Access: 30 minutes by bus bound for Kirifuri highland or Osasa pasture from Tobu-Nikko station and get off at the bus stop “Kirifuri Highland” (Bus is available only between April and November)

Website: KirifuriHighland


#19. Mt. Nantai

Nikko, Tochigi

Mt. Nantai (Japanese: 男体山) at altitude of 2486m used to be an active volcano and is the origin of all nature in Nikko. Also, it used to be prohibited to women to come in since it was considered as sacred area for priests training. In early Meiji period, it was opened to anyone to climb and now it is so popular as climbing spots that considers as one of 100 famous mountains in Japan.

Mt. Nantai apears differently in each season. In middle of summer it is good to visit the area to avoid hotness and see fresh green leaves and in autumn the best season to enjoy autumn leaves in the mountain colored into red.
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Mt. Nantai

Climbing Period: May 5th ~ Oct 25th

Phone: +81(0)288-54-2496  (Nikko City Tourist Association)


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