Things to do in Nikko

Our most recommended things to do in Nikko

Nikko: Private Walking Tour with Local Guide

1. Nikko: Private Walking Tour with Local Guide

Discover Nikko on a fully customizable private tour. Choose what you would like to experience, what time you would like to start your tour, and the local partner will arrange a tour to suit you. Start your day by meeting your guide and then choose the sites you wish to visit depending on your interests. Example 6-hour Itinerary: Meet your guide at Tobu Nikko Station and get the bus to Nikko Tosho-gu shrine. Discover the impressive carvings of the shrine which showcase the techniques of Edo period craftsmen. See carvings of animals, such as the three monkeys said to be admonishing mankind, the sleeping cat, as well as ornate buildings and a five-storied pagoda. Hop on the next bus to Lake Chuzenji via Iroha Zaka. Enjoy the views throughout the journey on this famous winding road. Enjoy lunch by Lake Chuzenji with the brilliant colors of the leaves contrasting with the lake's pristine waters. Take a short walk along the shore of the lake to better experience the beautiful scenery. Continue to Kegon Falls, one of the three most famous waterfalls in Japan. See the water flowing from Lake Chuzenji as it falls from a height of 97 meters. To experience the full power of the waterfall, take the elevator to the viewing platform at the base of the falls where you can view them up close.

Tokyo: Nikko Toshogu Shrine and Kegon Waterfall Tour

2. Tokyo: Nikko Toshogu Shrine and Kegon Waterfall Tour

After meeting at 7:50AM, your tour leader will greet you at the ground floor of the Shinjuku Subaru Building next to the Shinjuku JR Station west exit. At 8:00AM, you will depart from Shinjuku to Tochigi prefecture, where Nikko City is located. At around 10:30AM, you will travel to the first stop on your tour, the Nikko Toshogu Shrine. This shrine is the final resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate that ruled Japan for over 250 years until 1868, known as the Edo Period. You can appreciate the beauty of this shrine complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site, whilst learning the interesting stories and legends of the buildings from your guide. After visiting the Nikko Toshogo Shrine, you will pass through the Iroha Slope. It is famous for its 48 sharp turns along its route, and is portrayed in the animation ”Initial D”. The road is very popular for its autumn leaves in the fall. At 12:30PM, you will arrive at the Kegon Waterfall. This almost 100-meter-tall waterfall is the most famous of Nikko's many beautiful waterfalls. It is even ranked as one of Japan's three most beautiful falls, along with the Nachi Waterfall in the Wakayama Prefecture and the Fukuroda Waterfall in the Ibaraki Prefecture. At 2:00PM, your tour will be separated into two groups, you can choose according to your preference to either walk along Lake Chuzenji, or to experience the Nikko hot spring. Before finishing your tour, you will stop by the Onihei Edo service area, which is the most interesting service area with edo style design and traditional souvenirs. At 6:00PM, you will be dropped back at the Shinjuku Subaru Building, where your tour will end.

Edo Wonderland Samurai and Ninja Cultural Theme Park Ticket

3. Edo Wonderland Samurai and Ninja Cultural Theme Park Ticket

Enter the renowned Edo Wonderland in the beautiful city of Nikko to learn about one of the most defining eras of Japan. After entering, feel like you have traveled back into the Edo period as you navigate the town constructed with traditional Edo architecture. Choose to wear a traditional kimono from a selection of various ranks and take the opportunity to become an Edo citizen for the day. Become a lord, samurai, princess, farmer or a different kind of citizen, making for great photo opportunities. Be immersed in the culture and experience the complex beauty of being dressed in kimono.  Enjoy a variety of live performances including the popular ninja performances, oiran cultural shows, water magic shows, and a variety of other traditional plays. Try authentic cultural experiences. Learn the basics of how to handle a samurai sword or traditional archery. Take a lesson on how to play the musical instrument Shamisen, how to apply traditional handmade beni lipstick, how to do ukiyo-e woodblock printing or aizome indigo dying.  Learn unique facets about Edo culture through various exhibits including the Edo firefighters exhibition and swordsmith exhibit. Discover fun unique amusements including a mechanical maze, a ninja house filled with secrets, and the mysterious ninja training house, where the laws of physics seem to not apply. Taste authentic seasonal Edo cuisine at various restaurants in the park. 

From Tokyo: Nikko's Shrines & Lake Chuzenji Private Day Trip

4. From Tokyo: Nikko's Shrines & Lake Chuzenji Private Day Trip

Set off towards the Nikko area after being picked up at your hotel / your home. Your first tour destination is the breathtaking Kegon Falls, at about 97 meters high, which is one of the top three waterfalls in Japan. Follow the stream to the scenic Lake Chuzenji (Circumference 25km, Water depth 163m). During Autumn, you can take some stunning pictures of the seasonal colors with the lake in the background. After arriving at a sightseeing spot in Nikko such as Toshogu Shrine, Futarasan Shrine and Nikkozan Rinnoji, you will be exploring the place on your own. ※Zhensho Yashason is put on view to the public at special venue in Nikkozan Rinnoji Sanbutsudo from 4th Feb.2022 to 3rd Feb.2023 which is held once every 9 years. -------------------- 【COVID-19 Safety Measures】 ・Safety screen installed between driver's seat and passengers' seats in vehicles. ・Vehicles regularly sanitized. ・Vehicles regularly ventilated for fresh air circulation. ・Regular temperature checks for all drivers. ・Drivers wears a face mask. ・Drivers regularly sanitize/wash hands. ・Drivers have a hand sanitiser for passengers.

From Tokyo: Private Day Trip to Nikko

5. From Tokyo: Private Day Trip to Nikko

Travel to Nikkō and enjoy the small city nestled in the foothills of gigantic, snow-capped mountains north of Tokyo. Meet your host in Tokyo and head to your destination on the Tobu Railway Limited Express.  You'll be paired with guides that are passionate about the place they call home and who choose to spend their free time sharing it with like-minded travelers matched to them. Immerse yourself in centuries of Japanese culture and see two grand mausoleums and an array of Edo relics adding to Nikkō’s rich history. Visit the Buddhist temple of Rinnō-ji and Toshogu Shrine, a 17th-century treasure with a stunning five-story pagoda, that is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.  You can take a trip up to the mountains, which are home to Nikkō National Park. It is one of Japan’s most spectacular protected areas, where Lake Chūzenji drains through Kegon Falls, a 97-meter natural marvel. With your host by your side, lace-up and tackle some of its mesmerizing walking trails, some of which lead to hidden waterfalls and secret Shinto shrines. Once you leave the forests, before heading back to Tokyo, quiet the tummy rumblings at a local eatery, and crunch down on some yuba, or tofu skin, a local delicacy, and wash it all down with some locally-brewed sake.

From Tokyo: Day Trip to Nikko with English Speaking Driver

6. From Tokyo: Day Trip to Nikko with English Speaking Driver

There are many reasons why Nikko is a must-see stop during your stay in Japan. Your private driver will help you efficiently escape the hustle and bustle of Tokyo on a full-day tour of this historic, beautiful town. Your driver will pick you up at your hotel, the nearest station, or your preferred location around Tokyo. Passing by Irohazaka Route, made up of 48 hairpin turns throughout the different upslope and downslope roads, it is known as the best place to view the autumn leaves. Stop at Kegon Falls, the most famous of Nikko’s 48 waterfalls. Water from Lake Chuzenji falls 97 meters straight down to the rocks below creating a dynamic and artistic work of nature. A special lift takes visitors to the basin where the force and roar of the water can be witnessed close up. Visit the waterfall when surrounded by the fresh green leaves in May, house martins in June or the “12 falls” - small streams of the frozen waterfall clad in blue ice - during January and February. Visit Lake Chuzenji to enjoy the seasonal charms of the lake, particularly when the cherry blossoms or azaleas are in bloom. Walking trails surround the water’s edge and there is an excursion boat available on the lake. Go to Senjogahara, the battlefield, that refers to a mythical battlefield where legends say that the gods of Mount Nantai and Mount Akagi fought once to claim the neighboring lakes as their own. The battlefield has now changed to a battle of charms as various plants and fauna reside in the vast field. Take a hike along the trail for a personal experience with the plants and birds that visit the place. Or head over to the observation deck for a stunning panoramic view of the marshlands. Either way, be ready for a breath-taking sight that you will not regret. Stop at Nikko Toshogu Shrine. Understand why “Don’t say ‘magnificent’ until you’ve seen Nikko” visiting the final resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, and nearby shrines and temple. The shrine contains 55 buildings including 8 national treasures and 34 listed buildings. The highlights are sumptuous carvings lacquered and richly colored brilliantly, which you will gaze at craftsmanship assembled from all over the country. Do not miss the symbol of peace “Sleeping Cat”, and the “Three Monkeys” with the “see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil” poses.

Japan: Pocket WiFi-Shinjuku Counter

7. Japan: Pocket WiFi-Shinjuku Counter

Access the internet all the time in Japan with our 4G LTE pocket WiFi! No more hassle of looking for free public WiFi spots or staying out of the internet connection. Enjoy safe access, simple to use, and easy pick-up/return by Ninja WiFi. It can connect five devices at the same time. You can share it with people you are traveling with and your multiple devices. Pick up at our counter located in the center of Shinjuku, Tokyo. You can access the internet as soon as you arrive in Japan. Return is also easy. You can drop it off at our counter at major international airports in Japan or mail it back. Make your experience in Japan much more convenient with WiFi on the go! Get a plan that suits you; the choices of flexible plans from 5 to 30 days.

Other Sightseeing Options in Nikko

Want to discover all there is to do in Nikko? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Nikko

Overall rating

4.2 / 5

based on 155 reviews

In this short tour I was able to visit the shrine, see the water fall, the beautiful lake, mountain and enjoyed a local onsen. The two rest stops were worth visiting as well because there were clean toilets (one had ikebana and origami display), nice restaurants and shops :) Every activity was well paced out I think. The tour guide was very patient and helpful. She came prepared with the map drawn by her and English explanation. She gave tips on where we had better spent more time at the shrine. The onsen experience was not really amazing. It's a very small local and indoors onsen. Overall, considering the price that I paid for and places that I have experienced within a day, all's good.

Amazing place, I was very impressed with the park, centuries-old trees, clean, crystal air, the temple complex is very beautiful and interesting, it was very informative to walk around the territory. The weather that day was frosty, but sunny, despite this, the impressions from the waterfall and the view of the lake were the most iridescent and favorable. We expected more from the onsen, in the female part there are two pools with hot water, one of which smelled of hydrogen sulfide, probably real thermal water, only this smoothed out the overall impression of the spa. We were satisfied with the walk.

This was a very good tour, well organized and the tour guide (I think Vicky?) was very good. She gave ample information and made sure all our questions were answered. This was a small group of about 12 people, we traveled in a comfortable mini bus and our driver was excellent.

Perfect way to stay connected. Very easy and conveniant. If the could deliver to the hotel it would be perfect!

Recommended, you can have Internet to guide you where you want to go.