Let’s go to Nikko to feel its nature and history! A world heritage tourist spot located three and half hours north of Tokyo

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Let’s go to Nikko and Okunikko! You can absolutely enjoy Japan’s best architectures and its surrounding nature like the more than 1200-year-old shrine, 17th-century temples and shrines, Lake Chuzenji and European embassy villas on its lakeside.

Nikko−a World Heritage site full of architecture, art and history

A World Heritage site with two Shinto shrines and one Buddhist temple

    A World Heritage site with two Shinto shrines and one Buddhist temple

    UNESCO listed the site as World Heritage in 1999 with reasons such as “the Nikko shrines and temples are a reflection of architectural and artistic genius” and “an outstanding example of a traditional Japanese religious centre, associated with the Shinto perception of the relationship of man with nature, in which mountains and forests have a sacred meaning and are objects of veneration, in a religious practice that is still very much alive today.”

  • SiteNikko City Tourism Association

    • Keikyu Bus

      Sit back and relax all the way to Nikko or Kinugawa-Onsen directly from Yokohama Railway Station and Haneda Airport without any worries about transfers with your heavy bags. Enjoy the scenery from the car window.

    • SiteKeikyu Bus

      Tour around Nikko with a discount ticket!

      For those who use Keikyu airport limousine bus service from Yokohama Railway Station to Nikko and Kinugawa-Onsen via Haneda Airport, we have the “Limousine & Tobu Bus Nikko Area Pass”, which consists of a one-way or round-trip Keikyu limousine bus ticket and Tobu Bus “Nikko Area Pass”. You can use Tobu Bus service in Nikko area for four days. This is a very reasonably priced ticket for those who will tour around Nikko for several days.

    • SiteLimousine & Tobu Bus Nikko Area Ticket (in Japanese)

    • Nikko Tosho-gu, one of the most famous Shinto shrines in the areaNikko Tosho-gu, one of the most famous Shinto shrines in the area

      Nikko Tosho-gu, one of Japan’s best architectures and listed as a World Heritage site together with Futarasan Shrine and Rinno-ji, is a shrine where Tokugawa Ieyasu who seized power to rule Japan 400 years ago, is enshrined. Nikko Tosho-gu today was reconstructed in 1636 by Tokugawa Iemitsu, who was the grandson of Ieyasu.

    • Nikko Tosho-gu, one of the most famous Shinto shrines in the area

      Various designs of fine carvings are on the side of buildings, and the beauty of these carvings has been passed down from generation to generation. You should see the woodcarving of a sleepy cat, "Nemuri-neko" located in the East corridor and the three wise monkeys (see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil) located in the stable of the shrine's sacred horses.

    • SiteNikko Tosho-gu
      2301 Sannai, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture

    • A Buddhist temple surrounded by the finest Japanese architectureA Buddhist temple surrounded by the finest Japanese architecture

      It is an old temple which was founded 1250 years ago. Rinno-ji consists of temples, halls and towers and is listed as a World Heritage site together with Nikko Tosho-gu and Futarasan Shrine.

    • A Buddhist temple surrounded by the finest Japanese architecturezw

      The inside of Taiyuuin Mausoleum, a gold-filled hall located in the inner area is an impressive space not to mention the beauty of the exterior of the temple and its gate with carvings. You will be surprised by its sublimity and beauty. It has a good view since it located on a slope−a perfect place to take pictures.

    • SiteNikko-zan RIN-NOJI Temple (in Japanese)
      2300 Sannai, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture

    • Experience Japan at a Shinto shrine surrounded by beautiful natureExperience Japan at a Shinto shrine surrounded by beautiful nature

      Futarasan jinja is one of “Shrines and Temples of Nikko”, which is listed as a World Heritage site together with Nikko Tosho-gu and Rinno-ji. This beautiful site is very spacious and has many historical buildings with the approach to the shrine harmonized with nature, such as woods and a pond.

    • Experience Japan at a Shinto shrine surrounded by beautiful natureExperience Japan at a Shinto shrine surrounded by beautiful nature

    • The shrine is always visited by people because of beliefs such as finding a good partner or increasing their luck with money. So, make a wish and write it down on an ema (small wooden plaque which you can buy at the shrine).

    • Nikko Futarasan-jinja
      2307 Sannai, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture

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    Let’s go to two major theme parks in Nikko!

    Go back in time 300 years to see samurais and ninjas!

      Go back in time 300 years to see samurais and ninjas!

      Anyone can feel as if he/she arrives in Tokyo 300 years ago (the former name of Tokyo is “Edo”) in Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura. This is a rare type of history theme park in Japan where you can see samurais and Edo townspeople with kimonos walking around in the street of the park and can experience life in Edo.

    • Go back in time 300 years to see samurais and ninjas!Go back in time 300 years to see samurais and ninjas!

    • We recommend “Jiku Kimono Rental” where you can change your clothing and hairstyle for that special Edo Period costume and experience the period (service fee is required).

    • Go back in time 300 years to see samurais and ninjas!Go back in time 300 years to see samurais and ninjas!

      Go back in time 300 years to see samurais and ninjas!

      “Edo Work Experience” is a popular program among visitors. You can experience being a ninja, or Edo police officer known as Okappiki, and can learn more about Japanese history. In other facilities, you can learn how to throw ninja shuriken and experience how to put on traditional Japanese make-up (service fee is not required).

    • SiteEdo Wonderland Nikko Edomura
      470-2 Karakura, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture

    • Can you find your own country’s famous buildings?! Fine miniatures of fine 102 world-famous buildingsCan you find your own country’s famous buildings?! Fine miniatures of fine 102 world-famous buildings

      Tobu World Square is the biggest architectural museum in Japan with miniatures of Japan and world-famous buildings at 1/25 scale. You will be surprised to see skillful miniatures of famous buildings from 21 countries and regions.

    • Can you find your own country’s famous buildings?! Fine miniatures of fine 102 world-famous buildings

      The miniatures include Egyptian pyramids, Forbidden City in Chaina, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Parthenon in Greek, Arc de Triomphe in France, etc. You can see many buildings listed as World Heritage sites. You may find your country’s building.

    • Can you find your own country’s famous buildings?! Fine miniatures of fine 102 world-famous buildings

      More than 140,000 miniature figures are used to make the miniatures buildings and structures more realistic. If you want to know more about the miniatures, you can rent an audio guide system. If you purchase a play card, you can let the miniature figures move by putting the play card over the card reader. Take a picture of yourself posing like a giant in front of the miniatures.

    • SiteTobu World Square
      209-1, Kinugawaonsen Ohara, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture

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    Going higher to Okunikko with nature

    Its surface elevation 1269 m, the 25th biggest lake in Japan.

      Its surface elevation 1269 m, the 25th biggest lake in Japan.

      Taking a bus from Nikko and passing Iroha-zaka, you can see Lake Chuzenji. It is a lava dammed lake caused by the eruption of Mount Nantai. Its maximum depth is 163 m and perimeter is 25 km. It did not have any fish originally, but the lake has been well stocked with fish around 30 years ago. Now you can enjoy sport fishing with red salmon. If time permits, you can enjoy trekking around the area with the refreshing nature where you can see alpine animals and plants.

    • Lake Chuzenji

    • With a total height 97 m, Kegon Falls is one of the three famous falls in Japan!With a total height 97 m, Kegon Falls is one of the three famous falls in Japan!

      The amount of water which falls down from the total height of 97 m waterfall per one second is 3 tons. The Kegon Falls, which is one of three famous falls in Japan, is surrounded by mountains and has a different beautiful look for each season. Recommended to see the falls seasons are spring when the amount of water increases due to the melted snow and autumn when leaves turn red. Using an elevator (fee-charging) and passing a tunnel, you can go to the viewing platform to see the waterfalls. After descending the tunnel going to the viewing platform, everyone will gasp in surprise. Another good place to view the Kegon Falls is from Akechidaira, where you can get by using the Akechidaira Ropeway from the hallway up Second Iroha-zaka. The panoramic view of the waterfalls, Lake Chuzenji and Mount Nantai will definitely be very memorable for your trip. It will be very memorable for your trip with a panoramic view including Lake Chuzenji and Mount Nantai.

    • SiteThe Kegon Falls elevator
      Chugushi, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture

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    Four seasons of Nikko with full of charms

    Spring in Nikko

      Spring in Nikko

      The Yayoi Festival, a traditional Shinto ritual which lets people in Nikko know that spring has come, happens from April 13th to 17th every year. For the last two days of the festival, you can see “Hanayatai” floats decorated with flowers from 11 areas of the town and run up the approach to the shrine. This is the best opportunity to experience a Japanese traditional event. It is a must-see event if you visit Nikko in April.

    • Summer in NikkoSummer in Nikko

      You should try the special kakigori (shaved ice with flavored syrup) made of fine natural water if you visit Nikko in summer. The ice, which was frozen slowly in natural cold air in winter, tastes slightly sweet, and melts nicely inside your mouth like cotton candy. There are only three “himuro” (ice house). And also the restaurants where you can eat this special kakigori are limited, yet you can find them in Nikko and Imaichi cities. The best syrup is made from Tochiotome strawberry, a specialty of Tochigi Prefecture.

    • Autumn in NikkoAutumn in Nikko

      Nikko and Okunikko are two of the greatest spots for autumnal tints in Japan. The elevation difference in the area is approximately 2000 m, so you can enjoy seeing leaves turning red from a higher place to lower place. For the long period of autumn season, you can find the best spots−Okunikko surrounded by nature, Iroha-zaka with broad-leaved trees and good elevation difference, and Nikko with temples and shrines listed as a World Heritage. Usually, you can see autumnal tints from the beginning of October in Okunikko and from the middle of November to the end of November in Nikko area.

    • Winter in NikkoWinter in Nikko

      In Yunishigawa Onsen (located approximately 20 km north-west of Kinugawa-Onsen,) KAMAKURA Snow House Festival, which is listed as Japan night view heritage, is held in winter. You can enjoy watching more than 1000 elluminated miniature kamakuras (snow huts) made by the local people. There are also standard size kamakuras, where you can go in, and you can enjoy BBQ every year. You can also have onsen, food, and sightseeing here.

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    columnOkunikko local food which satisfies both the stomach and soul.

    Okunikko local food which satisfies both the stomach and soul.

    Food in Nikko is not just yuba (tofu skin) and soba noodles that you may see in guidebooks. Tochigi-wagyu beef is one of the best food in Nikko area. You should try homemade hamburger steak made with Tochigi-wagyu beef. Its juiciness and aroma-rich sauce is a perfect combination. Regular and big sizes (300 g) are available.

    All the information contained here is true and correct at the time of publication.

    information

    Timetables

    There are two round-trips from Haneda Airport and Yokohama Railway Station to Nikko and Kinugawa-Onsen per day.
    Timetable for each station from Yokohama Railway Station and Haneda Airport through Kinugawa-Onsen Railway Station and Tobu-Nikko Railway Station

    Fares

    Kinugawa-Onsen Railway Station, Tobu-Nikko Railway Station, and Shimo-Imaichi Railway Station Adults: ¥3,300 (Children: ¥1,650)

    Contact Us
    For reservations please contact the Keikyu Highway Bus Reservation Center. Phone: 03-3743-0022 (9:00 am - 6:30 pm). English, Chinese (Mandarin) and Korean operators available.
    This article was published in June 2018.All the information contained here is true and correct at the time of publication.
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    Guide

    guide's profile

    Natsumi Shiiyama
    Natsumi Shiiyama, a stage actor, told us her recommendations after visiting tourist spots.

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    Strolling in a beautiful port town, Yokohama
    Eight unique hotels in Yokohama
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