How to access to Nikko. Learn about how to get Nikko by Japan Rail Pass with no extra charge.

Nikko Toshogu shrine is one of the highlights in Nikko.
Nikko Toshogu shrine is one of the highlights in Nikko.

Nikko (日光) is very popular destination for the tourist from the foreign countries because it is World Heritage site. You can see lots of very historical temples and shrines.

Change trains at Utsunomiya station

Take Tohoku Shinkanse from Tokyo or Ueno to Utsunomiya.
Take Tohoku Shinkanse from Tokyo or Ueno to Utsunomiya.

You can get Nikko by Japan Rail Pass. If you access there from Tokyo, take Tohoku Shinkansen to get Utsunomiya. “Hayate” does not stop at Utusnomiya station. Take “Yamabiko” or “Nasuno” to get Utsunomiya.

Take Nikko line train

You need to take the local train on Nikko line.
You need to take the local train on Nikko line.

You will transfer to Nikko line at Utsunomiya station. After you get off Shinkansen, move to platform #5. Mostly the train to Nikko depart there. Nikko is the last station. It takes about 40 minutes from Utsunomiya to Nikko.

If you need more info about transfer at Utsunonmiya, please see the post, Utsunomiya station guide. How to transfer to Nikko train.

This is the typical interior of the local train.
This is the typical interior of the local train.

Nikko line is used for not sightseeing but commuting. We do not have the luxury express train. You need to get the local train. And also these trains are not operated very often. We have 24 round trips a day. We mostly have once train a hour. Please check the time table before you go.

View Nikko Line in a larger map

51 thoughts on “How to access to Nikko. Learn about how to get Nikko by Japan Rail Pass with no extra charge.”

  1. Hi, I would like to know the 72hr metro/subway pass – is it the same as the Pasmo card ? Can you go to Nikko, Kamakura and Mt Fuji with a 72hr metro/subway pass ?
    Our planning goes like this (staying near Hajima Station):
    15 days in Tokyo (Imperial Palace, Nikko, Kamakura, Mt Fuji)
    3 days in Kyoto-Nara
    1 day in Osaka
    1 day in Himeji (perhaps Okayama)
    1-2 days in Hiroshima
    7 days in Tokyo (downtown, Sumida, Skytree)
    What passes would you recommand to us?

    Thanks for taking your time to answer our questions,

    1. Hi Fab,

      First of all, Nikko, Kamakura and Fuji are not in Tokyo. Subway pass covers only downtown Tokyo and these places are far away from subway pass coverage area.

      For trip to Fuji, Nikko and Kamakura, I recommend you to use Tokyo wide pass.

      You can use subway pass when you are in downtown Tokyo. By the way, Pasmo card is not same as subway pass. Subway pass gives you unlimited ride at fixed price but it covers subway only. Pasmo covers any kinds of train but you can get same worth as cash payment ticket. If you have Pasmo, you don’t need to purchase a ticket one by one but you can get this convenience only.

      For Kyoto, Nara, Osaka, HImeji, Hiroshima, you may use 7 days JR Pass.

      If you cannot complete these places in 7 days, 14 days pass is okay. But if you use 14 days pass, you don’t need to have Tokyo wide pass.


      Takeshi /

      1. Hi Takeshi,
        Thank you so much for you answers! They are much helpful!

        We will be staying near Hajima Station in Tokyo.
        I guess this station is not in the 72 hr metro/subway itinerary?
        We will be doing this distance very frequently when in Tokyo.
        Would a 21 days JR pass pay off for this daily distance (Haijima-downtown Tokyo for about 10 days (with Nikko, Kamakura, Mt Fudji 4 days) and 7 days Kyoto-Nara-Osaka- Himeji- Hiroshima-Tokyo)?

        There will be 9 days in Tokyo left. What is the north east subway station the closest to Haijima station? Perhaps we could buy the metro/subway pass and have a Passmo pass for the outer of Tokyo?

        I am not sure I understood what you wrote about Passmo – It is like a credit card and there is no rebate for multiple trips, is that right?

        Thank you for your precious time,

        1. Hi Fab,

          Actually there is no “Hajima” station in Tokyo as far as I know. I guess it’s Heiwajima. If so, you can use Pasmo or Suica to get the nearest station which is Segakuji. Heiwajima is Keihin Kyuko railway station which is not covered by JR Pass. So JR pass does not work for staying in Tokyo. As I mentioned, 7 days+Tokyo wide pass or 14 days JR pass is your choice.

          Pasmo is same type of card as Suica. Please see the link below how it works.


          Takeshi /

          1. Hi Takeshi,

            Many Thanks ! We’ll probably go for a 14 days pass.

            The station I was talking about is Haijima (near Tachikawa)


  2. Hello Takeshi

    Great information here.

    I am not sure of the answer, but I will arrive in Tokyo after travelling 2 weeks from Fukuoka through Matsumoto.

    I am lucky that I will spend 6 days in Tokyo and would like to know how (if) I can buy two 72hr metro/subway passes to cover my 6 days.

    Many thanks
    Kind regards

      1. Hi Takeshi

        Great but I am confused as it says it is not sold in Tokyo prefecture and is only sold with other travel products?

        I assume Bic Camera or the Tourist Info Centres do not need me to buy a travel package as well.

        Also, is it possible to buy two or are we limited to one?

        Sorry to be a pain – many thanks for your assistance.

        Kind regards

        1. Hi Tas,

          You can buy it at Bic Camera, Laox, Tokyo tourist center and other spots without no restrictions. The restriction that you mentioned is applied to travel agency only.
          You can buy it as many as you want.


          Takeshi /

  3. Hi,
    I’ m planning a trip to Japan next April and I need advice on jr pass.
    My plan is

    Day 1 Tokyo nikko Tokyo
    Day 2 Tokyo hakone yuomoto
    Day 3 hakone yumoto Kyoto
    Day 4 Kyoto Nara Kyoto
    Day 5/6 Kyoto
    Day 7 Kyoto Kanazawa
    Day 8 Kanazawa takayama
    Day 9 takayama Tokyo

    I’d like to understand if it’s convenient to buy ro and when should I activate?


    1. Hi Mirco,

      You can use other deal for Nikko.

      And add single fare to Odawara by Odakyu railway and use Hakone Free pass in Hakone.

      When you leave Odawara, you start using JR pass 7 days. Hakone Yumoto to Odawara is covered by Hakone Feee Pass.


      Takeshi /

  4. Hi,

    I am travelling at the end of the month for 10days to Japan.
    Im spending 5days in Tokyo, visiting Nikko, Matsumoto, Kamamura.

    Then go down to Osaka for 2 days, Nara, and Kyoto another 2days.

    Come back to Tokyo to fly out.

    I have been trying to make a plan but it is so complicated that my head will explode! None of the passes fully covers me in the destinations I want to go in 10days.

    I would really appreciate some help!


    1. Hi Billy,

      I recommend you to use JR pass 7 days. You may use it for the last 7 days of your trip. And try to put Nikko, Matsumoto, Kyoto and Osaka in this 7 days.

      For Tokyo and Kamakura, you will make short distance trips only. You don’t need to have JR pass. You can use subway pass for Tokyo.

      For Kamakura, single ticket or Odakyu railway deals can be used.

      You may find some info about access from airport at the links below:


      Takeshi /

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        I made a plan that I would like to have your opinion on? Does that plan makes sense economically?
        I fly to Tokyo and my planing goes like this:

        24-Nov Osaka Tokyo-Osaka Jrpass 1st day
        25-Nov Osaka Jrpass 2nd day
        26-Nov Nara Jrpass 3rd day
        27-Nov Kyoto Jrpass 4th day
        28-Nov Kyoto Jrpass 5th day
        29-Nov Kyoto-Tokyo Jrpass 6th day
        30-Nov Tokyo-Matsumoto Jrpass 7th day
        1-Dec Tokyo-Kamakura Kamakura-Enoshima Pass ( maybe) + Tokyo Furii Kippu (Ticket) (for the rest of the day in Tokyo
        2-Dec Tokyo-Nikko 2 Day Nikko Pass
        3-Dec Tokyo Tokyo Furii Kippu (Ticket)
        4-Dec Tokyo-Airport

        What do you think?

        I appreciate you time!

        I was looking for hotels today. Osaka as people suggest Namba is the place to be. However price for hotels are extremely expensive! Quality is not great as well. Is there somewhwre else I should be lloking to stay?

        Thanks a lot!

        1. Hi Billy,

          I agree with your planning mostly. I have only one thing to make sure. Do you really need Tokyo Furii Kippu? It costs 1590 yen. Actually it’s so hard to get the worth in one day to use this pass. If you have 7 to 8 trips a day in coverage area, it may work. That means you need to visit 6 to 7 places in one day. And Kamakura is away from this coverage area. I don’t think it’s a good idea to use this pass when you go to Kamakura.

          Tokyo Subway ticket covers only subway but it covers most part of downtown Tokyo. Price is 800 yen for 24 hours and 1200 yen for 48 hours. This deal is valid for not one day but 24 hours. If you start using it on 13:00, it’s valid until 12:59 on next day. Tokyo furii kippu is valid midnight to midnight.

          I’m not against your plan. I just want to give you another suggestion.


          Takeshi /

          1. Hi Takeshi,

            that is great information. I guess I will go for the subway instead of the Tokyo furii kippu.

            Thanks a lot!

  5. we plan to travel from Tokyo to nikko, then from nikko to Kyoto, from kyoto to osaka, from osaka to nara.

    what is the best way to do this?

    1. Hi Smita,

      You need to go back to Tokyo after Nikko anyway. You can take Shinkansen to get Kyoto.

      After arriving Kyoto, there are many ways. It depends on where you stay. Please see the link below to find more info:


      Takeshi /

  6. Thanks for your very useful post. So, if I well understood by changing at Utsunomiya station no surcharge will be required and I can reach Nikko just with JR pass. I thought the last part of the trip was on a private railways and a surcharge was required.
    While If I take the LTD. EXP NIKKO 1 from Shinjuku JR station directly to Nikko I have to pay a surcharge. Is it correct ?
    Many thanks and best regards

  7. Hi, thank you for providing good information. Really helps us tourists a lot. I wonder if it is worthwhile for me to get the 7 days JR nationwide pass if I am going to stay in :-
    Tokyo for 4 days then travel to Kyoto for 5 and then back to Tokyo for 2 days before departing at Narita. I would like to take a day trip from Tokyo to Nikko and also day trips from Kyoto to Nara and Miyajima .

    I would appreciate your advice please.

    Thank you.

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