Shopping Japan > Tochigi (prefecture) > Nikko

Never Say Kekko Until You’ve Seen Nikko: The Nikko Guide

Never Say Kekko Until You’ve Seen Nikko: The Nikko Guide
Keita
Keita
Updated

“Never say kekko until you’ve seen Nikko” is an old Japanese saying, where “kekko” means “to be satisfied”. Indeed, it is a huge waste if you miss Nikko during a trip to Japan. Located in Tochigi Prefecture in the Kanto region of Japan’s main island (Honshu), Nikko is a place filled with mind-blowing natural landscapes and various shrines and temples with historical value. The popular tourist destinations in Nikko can generally be accessed via bus and train, but driving may be more convenient for some places. Tochigi Prefecture, however, does not have an international airport, and the best way to access Nikko is via Narita International Airport, Tokyo, which is about 1 hour and 30 minutes away by train. Here are 10 destinations in Nikko that you wouldn’t want to miss:

1. Nikko Toshogu Shrine

Source: Tabiness

Nikko Toshogu is a shrine with 55 towers in total, and out of them, 42 have been designated as World Heritage Sites. It is one of the most-renowned tourist destinations in Japan and it is famous for the various iconic carvings, such as the Nemurineko (sleeping cat) and the Three Wise Monkeys – see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil. Despite having a history of over 300 years, the vivid colours and intricate carvings that decorate the shrine complexes still maintain their beauty.

Nikko Toshogu Shrine

Address: 2301 Sannai, Nikko-shi, Tochigi

Access info: 7-minute drive from Nikko Station

Opening hours: 8:00 - 17:00 (last entry 16:30)

Contact: +81 288-54-0560

Entrance fee:1,300 JPY (11.80 USD)

Find more at the official URL

See our full list of recommended Hotels near Toshogu and also compare the prices with airbnbs near Toshogu

2. Kegon Falls

Source: Tabiness

Kegon Falls is one of the most-famous waterfalls in Japan and it is, in fact, ranked among Japan’s three most beautiful waterfalls along with the Fukuroda Waterfall (Ibaraki Prefecture) and Nachi Waterfall (Wakayama Prefecture). The beauty of the Kegon Falls varies with season and it is especially splendid during autumn when the red and yellow maple leaves vibrantly decorate the waterfall. Apart from viewing the Kegon Falls from the free observatory there, you can access a lower-deck observatory via the Kegon Falls’ elevator, which will give you an even grander and impactful sight! It’s located near Lake Chuzenji so consider visiting here at the same time.

Kegon Falls Elevator

Address: 2479-2 Chugushi, Nikko 321-1661, Tochigi Prefecture

Access info: 40-minute bus ride from JR Nikko Station via Tobu bus

Opening hours: Depending on seasons. Core opening hours: 9:00 - 16:30

Fixed holiday: nil

Contact: +81 288-55-0030

Entrance fee: 550 JPY (5 USD)

Find more at the official URL

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nikko and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nikko

3. Lake Chuzenji

Source: Tabiness

Lake Chuzenji is located in Nikko National Park, which includes numerous mountains, lakes, waterfalls, and even active volcanoes. At Lake Chuzenji, you can admire the grand Mount Nantai – a 2,486-metre-high (8,156-foot-high) volcano that is also part of Nikko National Park. A Tobu Chuzenji-ko (Lake Chuzenji) cruise will bring you on an adventure around the lake and introduce you to the nature there. The area is famous as a summer area. You can find summer residences near here, including those used by Italian, French and Belgian ambassadors.

Lake Chuzenji Cruise

Address: Chugushi, Nikko 321-1661, Tochigi Prefecture

Access info: 1 hour and 10 minutes by bus from JR Nikko Station

Opening hours: please refer to official website

Fixed holiday: please refer to official website

Contact: +81 288-55-0360

Entrance fee: please refer to official website

Find more at the offical URL

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nikko and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nikko

4. The cedar trees of Nikko Suginamiki Path

Source: Tabiness

Nikko Cedar Tree Path is connected to Nikko Toshogu and is lined by a 35-kilometre-long (22-mile-long) stretch of cedar trees. The trees were planted from 1625 to 1648 and the area is today listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for being the “longest avenue of trees” in the world. Walking the entire 35 kilometres is not advisable, however, you can choose to hike 8 kilometres (5 miles) from Imaichi Station (in the Imaichi region) to Nikko Toshogu Shrine. The path is relatively wide, and the austere yet relaxing atmosphere of the path will bring you to a different world of nature. There are also various plaques along the way where you can learn about the path’s history.

Nikko Suginamiki Avenue

Address: Segawa, Nikko 321-1263, Tochigi Prefecture

Access info: JR Imaichi Station or Tobu Line Shimo Imaichi Station

Contact: +81 288-21-5611

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nikko and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nikko

5. Nikko Kanaya Hotel (from USD 214)

Source: Tabiness

Nikko Kanaya Hotel is the oldest Western-style hotel in Japan, and it was officially opened in 1893. The 3-storey-high building is a resort hotel that has a grand garden where you can enjoy Nikko’s gifts from nature right outside your room. The River Daiya flows right behind the hotel too, and there is even a walking route along the river. Nikko Kanaya Hotel’s historical importance has also made it a registered tangible cultural property of Japan.

Nikko Kanaya Hotel

Address: Tochigi, Nikko, Kamihatsuishi-machi 1300 , Japan (see map)

Access: Shuttle bus from Tobu-Nikko Station

Contact: +81 288-54-0001

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nikko and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nikko

6. Nikko’s famous tofu-skin cuisine

Source: Tabiness

The yuba is also known as tofu skin and is a food product made from soybean. The dried, yellowish sheets of skin comprise one of Nikko’s famous foods, and there are various shops and restaurants where you can enjoy the yuba cuisine. Among the shops is one called Aburagen, where you can enjoy a full-course Japanese meal that revolves around yuba. The harmony between the vegetables, meat, and sweet yuba creates a never-before experienced sensation in your mouth.

Aburagen

Address: 1028 Kamihatsuishimachi, Nikko 321-1401, Tochigi Prefecture

Access info: 5-minute drive from Nikko station

Opening hours: 11:00 - 16:00

Fixed holiday: Wednesday

Contact: +81 288-54-1627

official URL (Japanese)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nikko and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nikko

7. Kinugawa Onsen and Kanaya Hotel Kinugawa (from USD 474)

Source: Tabiness

Kinugawa Onsen (Kinugawa means River Kinu) is one of the most famous onsens in Japan and Kanaya Hotel Kinugawa is a hotel where you can fully enjoy the gifts from this natural hot spring. Various open-air baths are located in Kanaya Hotel Kinugawa where the comfortable hot spring will be accompanied by the wonderful scenery of the river that flows beside the hotel. Apart from enjoying the hot spring, you can also participate in boat rides along the river.

Kanaya Hotel Kinugawa

Address:Tochigi, Nikko, Kinugawa-Onsen 1394, Japan (see map)

Access: 3-minute walk from Tobu Line Kinugawa Onsen Station

Contact: +81 288-76-0002

See our full list of recommended Hotels in yunishikawa and also compare the prices with airbnbs in yunishikawa

8. Edo Wonderland

Source: Tabiness

The Edo period of Japan lasted from 1603 to 1868 and it was an era saturated with various major historical events. Edo Wonderland is a theme park that aims to replicate the atmosphere of the Edo era, and you can get to witness the architecture as well as lifestyle of the period. Among the various attractions is the world-famous Ninjas, where shows are carried out. There are also buildings that are filled with various illusions, tricks, and mazes – much like the actual Ninja buildings in the past – where you can have great time with your family, especially if you have children!

Edo Wonderland

Address:Tochigi Prefecture, Nikko City, Karakura 470-2

Access info: 10-minute drive from Tobu Line Kinugawa-Onsen Station

Opening hours: 9:30 - 16:00 for winter time (Dec - Mar), 9:00 - 17:00 for summer time

Fixed holiday: Wednesdays

Contact: +81 288-77-1777

Entrance fee: 4,700 JPY (42.70 USD) for one day, 4,100 JPY (37.30 USD) for entry after 14:00

Find more at the official URL

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nikko and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nikko

9. Tobu World Square

Source: Tabiness

Tobu World Square is a theme park that allows you to travel the world in just 1 day. What does this mean? In Tobu World Square, there are models of a total of 102 famous landmarks around the world that are accurately displayed at a scale-size of 1/25. Over 140,000 figures are located in Tobu World Square to depict the people around the world, and the models are very accurately made. During the winter season, Tobu World Square is also illuminated beautifully, making it a romantic date spot too.

Tobu World Square

Address: 209-1 Kinugawa Onsen Ohara, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture

Access info: 10-minute walk from Tobu Kinugawa Line Kosagoe Station

Opening hours: 9:30 - 16:00 for winter time (Dec - Mar), 9:00 - 17:00 for summer time

Fixed holiday: nil

Contact: +81 288-77-1055

Entrance fee: 2,500 JPY (22.70 USD)

Find more at the official URL

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nikko and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nikko

10. Ashio Copper Mine

Source: Tabiness

Ashio Copper Mine operated for about 400 years until it was closed in 1973. It used to produce 40% of the copper in Japan and was, in fact, the copper mine with the highest importance in Japan. Today, Ashio Copper Mine can be accessed via tram, where 700 metres (2,297 feet) of the copper mine can be viewed. The whole length is greater than 1,200 metres (3,937 feet)! Various displays and statues are placed within the mine to show the changes in working conditions over the years. Additionally, a shrine is located on the route, found at the 700-metre (2,297-foot) mark. This shrine used to serve as a place of prayer for the workers in the past, where they prayed for their safety.

Ashio Dozan (Ashio Copper Mine)

Address: 9-2 Ashiomachi Tsudo, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture

Access info: 50-minute bus ride from JR Nikko Station

Opening hours: 9:00 -16:30

Fixed holiday: nil

Contact: +81 288-93-3240

Entrance fee: 820 JPY (7.50 USD)

Find more at the official URL

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Nikko and also compare the prices with airbnbs in Nikko

The beauty of Nikko

Along with other tourist destinations such as Kyoto and Nara, Nikko is an amazing location flooded with fantastic natural landscapes and important historical areas. The scenery of maple leaves in autumn is one of the best in Japan, and it is a great place for nature-lovers and photographers. Make sure you plan your Nikko trip and tours in advance as many of the places are incredibly popular!

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

3
Still Need Travel Insurance?

You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101

*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.

Hi there, thanks for stopping by to read my articles. I travel to various regions in Japan and constantly find myself discovering something new. Hope my work will help in your planning and enjoy...Read more

Top 3 activities to book in Nikko

Have a question? Ask fellow travellers and travel experts here.
Explore Nikko
Good things are meant to be shared!