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Nikko Culture & history

Our most recommended Nikko Culture & history

Tokyo: Nikko Toshogu Shrine and Kegon Waterfall Tour

1. 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.

Nikko: Private Walking Tour with Local Guide

2. 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.

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. 

Other Sightseeing Options in Nikko

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What people are saying about Nikko

Overall rating

3.9 / 5

based on 52 reviews

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.

Our guide was sooo good. She spoke great English and was so informative about the sites. She was very attentive too. The Toshogu Shrine was beautiful and the waterfall was spectacular. Also, the bus and driver were excellent.

I enjoyed this immensely! Takes all the thinking out of travelling to some key tourist spots in Nikko. Waterfall was extremely beautiful.

Funny park with a lot of fun traditional shows inside. There are lots of mini games and food with just a few bucks extra.