Nikko is a small town that leads to Nikko National Park. It’s a picturesque place complete with Japan’s most astonishing shrine and a scenic lake. The best time to visit this place is during autumn to see the koyo leaves. I was there in late September when it was barely even autumn and I saw a few trees that turned red. It was pretty but it is still better to come during October to see autumn leaves at its peak.
Travelling to Nikko from Tokyo on the railway is not cheap. However, you can save cost by getting the tourist pass which gives you unlimited ride to all places of attractions. There are a few passes available such as Nikko All Area Pass (a four-day pass that covers a wide area from World Heritage shrines and temples to Lake Chuzenji, Okunikko area and Kinugawa Onsen), Nikko City Pass (a two-day pass which covers only the World Heritage Shrine area and Kinugawa Onsen) and Theme Park & Nikko City Area Pass. Choose your pass wisely based on your needs.
I got myself the Nikko All Area Pass from Tobu Tourist Information Center Asakusa which covers the return transport from Asakusa to Nikko that comes with the unlimited bus ride around Nikko area. I also topped up for Limited Express SPACIA at a discounted rate (20% off). Travelling by the Limited Express SPACIA takes only 110 minutes or almost two hours from Asakusa to Nikko.
I recommend you to top up for the limited express SPACIA as the seat is more spacious and comfortable. Also, the travel time is shorter compared to express and local trains, and it is a direct route that leads you right to the destination without any transfer.
Getting here from Asakusa
Take the Tobu Railway from Tobu-Asakusa station (about 3-minute walk from exit A3 Asakusa subway station). The journey takes about 110 minutes on limited express SPACIA train which leads you to Tobu Nikko Station on the Tobu Skytree Line.
Now, let’s check out what I did in Nikko
1. See the beautiful Kegon Falls and Lake Chuzenji from the Akechidaira Plateau 明智平
Located near the ascending Irohazaka Winding Road, Akechidaira Plateau is where the station of Akechidaira Ropeway is located. Take the 3-minute tiny ropeway up to reach the observatory platform. You may get the picturesque view of both Kegon fall and Lake Chuzenji from here.
Take Tobu Bus bound for Chuzenji Onsen or Yumoto Onsen from Tobu Nikko Station and get off at Bus Stop #24 Akechidaira.
Ropeway Fee | ¥730 for round trip (¥660 for round trip with Nikko All Area Pass)
Opening Hours | 9 AM to 6 PM