Nikko is one of the popular destinations from Tokyo. You can visit there as day trip. Of course if you stay there, you can visit many places in outside of Nikko city and also can enjoy hot springs in Kinugawa Onsen too.
I have written about access to Nikko by JR Pass before. At that time, I did not expect travellers who want to use other than JR Pass. But since I opened this website, I found many of you are looking for other ways or deals other than JR Pass
There are several ways to get Nikko by train. In this post,I will show you how to get there and compare a few deals.
Please see the map below:
As you see the map above, there are three ways to get Nikko.
Shinkansen + JR Nikko line — average trip time 2 hours (includes 1 transfer at Utsunomiya)
Limited Express “Nikko” from Shinjuku — average trip time 2 hours (direct access)
Tobu Railway Limited Express “Kegon” from Asakusa — average trip time 2 hours (direct access)
Trip time is not much different among these choices. But you have to transfer at Utsunomiya station to take Shinkansen + Nikko line route.
Tohoku Shinkansen and JR Nikko line route
If you use JR Pass to visit Nikko, this route is only way that is fully covered by JR Pass. Please see the post below:
JR/Tobu Limited Express Nikko from Shinjuku
Both JR East and Tobu Railway operate direct train service “Nikko” from Shinjuku to Nikko and “Kinugawa” to Kinugawa Onsen. This train runs on JR East line and Tobu Railway line. So JR Pass does not cover this train fully. It covers between Shinjuku and Omiya only. But both JR East Pass and Kanto Area Pass covers this train fully even though this train runs on non JR line.
Please see the post below to get the details about this train.
You can find out the timetable at JR East official site.
Tobu Limited Express Spacia Kegon from Asakusa
Tobu Railway is more popular to visit Nikko for local tourists. Tobu Railway’s terminal station is Asakusa. Asakusa is not very convenient place for everybody. But trains run more frequently, especially to Kinugawa Onsen.
If you use Tobu Railway, you can use some Tobu Railway’s deals, 2 day Nikko Pass, Kinugawa Theme Park pass and All Nikko Pass.
Especially 2 day Nikko Pass at 2670 yen is cheaper than round trip fare from Asakusa to Nikko at 2720 yen. This pass includes local bus in Nikko too. If you go to Nikko as day trip, this pass is still cheaper.
I mentioned only limited express train service above. But Tobu Railway operates Rapid Train service too. These above deals do not include limited express surcharge. But you can take Rapid train service without any extra on the pass.
If you take Rapid train, trip time is 2 hours 15 minutes to get Nikko. It is not much different from limited express.
You can find the timetable for both limited express and rapid at the link below:
In Nikko, Tobu-Nikko station is the core place. JR Nikko station is a few minutes away from Tobu-Nikko station. Most of bus services stop at both stations. Please see my post to see more about Nikko stations.