10 Things to do in Nikko, Japan Travel Guide

Join us as we travel to Nikko, Japan in this travel guide exploring one of the most scenic areas of the country mere hours outside of Tokyo. Nikko (日光) ended up being one of our favorite destinations that we visited on our trip to Japan. After spending a month in the hustle and bustle grinder of Tokyo getting out to the countryside in Japan was a top priority for us. While in Nikko we ate delicious local cuisine (Yuba – Tofu skin), visited shrines and temples and hiked and marveled at lakes and waterfalls. If you’re visiting Japan, and want to explore rural areas, be sure to include Nikko in your itinerary.

10 Things to do in Nikko, Japan Travel Guide

1) Shinkyo Bridge (神橋)
2) Shrines and Temples of Nikko including Toshogu Shrine (東照宮)
3) Street Food in Nikko (Yuba Manju)
4) Akechidaira Ropeway (明智平)
5) Kegon Waterfalls (華厳の滝)
6) Yuba for Lunch
7) Boat tour on Lake Chuzenji (中禅寺湖)
8) Yumoto Onsen Foot Spa
9) Ice Cream at Sanbonmatsu
10) Senjogahara Moor (戦場ヶ原)

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Our visit Nikko travel guide covers some of the top attractions including a food guide, top sightseeing tourist attractions and the city by day including visiting mountains, waterfalls, temples, shrines and lakes. We also cover off-the-beaten-path outdoor activities you won’t find in a typical Nikko tourism brochure, Nikko itinerary or Nikko, Japan tour.

10 Things to do in Nikko Tour | Japan Travel Guide Video Transcript:

After a month in Tokyo, Nikko was everything we were hoping for! We knew we were in for a treat on the train ride over once we started seeing forests and mountains all around us and the town did not disappoint.

Nikko was the breath of fresh air we were looking for; during our visit we hiked through shrines and temples, cruised a beautiful lake at the base of a volcano, sampled some local dishes featuring tofu skin, and basically had the perfect city break.

So in this travel guide, we are going sharing some of our favourite things to do in Nikko, so you too can plan your weekend escape!

The Shinkyo Bridge you see today was constructed in 1636, but a bridge of some form has stood on this very same spot for much longer…even if its origins are a bit unclear.

Nikko is home to numerous Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. We focused our visit on the Toshogu Shrine.

Now for a quick history lesson; the Toshogu shrine is the final resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. This was Japan’s last feudal military government, with the shogun as its leader.

Kegon is Nikko’s most famous waterfall. It stands almost 100 meters tall and the waters that feed it comes directly from Lake Chuzenji.

We were feeling pretty hungry after all that sightseeing, so we decided to find a restaurant serving up the local specialty: yuba! Or tofu skin.

I ordered the ramen with yuba and Sam got the udon with yuba. The tofu skin was fluffy and absorbed all the flavours of the miso.

Lake Chuzenji is located at the foot of Mount Nantai. We cruised around the lake for a bit, but then got off at one of the early stops to continue onwards to Yumoto Onsen.

Yumoto is a small hot springs town that is located in part of Nikko National Park. We then enjoyed a little walk along Lake Yunoko, before hopping back on a bus to Senjougahara Moor.

The Senjogahara Marshland covers the area between Lake Chuzenji and Yumoto Onsen. It offers some great hiking opportunities within Nikko National Park.

And that’s a wrap for our Nikko travel guide! This proved to be the perfect weekend escape from Tokyo. We visited everything you see here over the course of 2 days, but this place is even better if you can come for 3 or 4 nights. Nature abounds, there are countless shrines and temples to visit, plus the local cuisine was exquisite! Now you have a few ideas of things to do around Nikko when you visit. Wishing you happy travels and see you next time!

This is part of our Travel in Japan video series showcasing Japanese food, Japanese culture and Japanese cuisine.

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