Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 10, sightseeing in Nikko

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This post is continued from the previous post, Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 9, Yunokami Onsen to Nikko.

In Tobu Nikko station, it was very crowded. It was very beautiful day just after snowy day. The scenery was gorgeous and lots of tourists came over there. Tourist information center in the station was very busy.

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Tobu Nikko station is the primary gateway to World Heritage Nikko. All bus services to major spots in Nikko depart from this station.

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Actually I had only 2 hours there. So I just visited Nikko Toshogu shrine.

I got on the bus to Toshogu at Tobu Nikko station. The bus departs from both JR Nikko station and Tobu Nikko station. It runs very frequent. As long as you visit in daytime, you don’t need to worry about timetable.

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Bus fare is 300 yen and I could use Suica.

Actually you can even walk to get there. I will talk about walking later.

Some of bus services take us up to “Omotesando” bus stop at the entrance of Toshogu. But when I was there, it was just after heavy snow. Bus could not go up there and I disembarked at Nishisando bus stop where is located at the base of the hill.

I walked up on the snow to Toshogu. Thanks for my snow boots. I could go up there easily.

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Yomeimon (main gate) was under construction but I really enjoyed visiting there.

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After I visited Nikko Toshogu, I tried to walk down to the station.

When I crossed the bridge, I saw Shinkyo bridge.

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This bridge used to be on the way to Nikko Toshogu. Now we need to pay admission to cross this bridge.

It is going down the hill when I went to the station.

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I recommend you to use the bus to go up and walk to go down. There are lots of shops and restaurants along this road. It took 25 minutes for me to go down to the station.

Some of you may visit Nikko by JR train. Especially if you use JR Pass, Tobu railway is not covered and JR Nikko line from Utsunomiya is the primary way to get there. JR Nikko station is only a few hundred meters away from Tobu Nikko station. It takes only 3 minutes by walk.

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The exterior of JR Nikko station is gorgeous. But this station is not the primary gateway. It was so quiet in the station.

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Most of bus services stop at JR Nikko station too. But there is no information center in this station. It was huge difference between Tobu Nikko station and JR Nikko station.

I took the bus to Matou station of Watarase Railway at JR Nikko station. I will write about bus trip to Matou station and Watarase Railway to Kiryu, Gumma pref. in next post, Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 11, Nikko to Ashio and Watarase Keikoku Railway.

22 thoughts on “Trip to Aizu, Nikko and Hakone in 2014 winter – Part 10, sightseeing in Nikko”

  1. Hi Takeshi!
    I am planning to get JR Tokyo Wide Pass for 3 days. I will be based in Asakusa. My tentative schedule is
    Day 1: Gala Yuzawa
    Day 2: Nikko
    Day 3: Lake Kawaguchiko, Mt Fuji.

    Which specific JR Lines do I use for each place?

    Thank you.

    1. Hi Caroline,

      Asakusa is not covered by Tokyo Wide Pass. So you must pay a subway fare to get Ueno from Asakusa. It costs 170 yen one way.
      You can take Joetsu Shinkansne to get Gala Yuzawa:

      For trip to Nikko, you can take the Shinkansen to Utsunomiya and then take Nikko line. Please see the link below:

      You may take Yamanote line to Shinjuku and then take the limited express Fuji Excursion to Lake Kawaguchi:


      Takeshi /

  2. Suppose I don’t have the Nikko all area pass and I want to visit Rinnoji, Toshogu shrine, Ryuzu falls, Kegon falls and Chuzenji all in one day. After I visit Rinnoji, Toshogu, have lunch at Aburagen and walk back to JR Nikko station is there a way to visit Chuzenji and Ryuzu falls on the same day? Will it cost a lot so I have to buy the pass? Is there more sightseeing worth doing at Nikko?

  3. Great post! I am travelling to Tokyo on January 16 – 19, 2017 and will go on a day trip to Nikko to see snow. Do you think there’s a good chance of snow by then?

    1. Hi Mark,

      When I was Nikko, it was just after historical severe snow storm. Actually it’s not very often to see like this scene in Nikko all through winter. If you go to the mountain area in Nikko, such as Lake Chuzenji, you will get many more chances to see snow.


      Takeshi /

      1. Hi Takeshi,

        Thanks for the quick response. Can you recommend a place near Tokyo where there’s a great chance of snow in January? I’d be spending most of my time around Tokyo (I will be getting Tokyo Subway 72 hour pass) and just planning to do a quick day trip to a place just to see snow (it’s going to be my first time!), so getting a Tokyo Wide Pass wouldn’t be as practical, Let me know what you think and what you recommend!


        1. Hi Mark,

          Gala Yuzawa is most popular site to see the snow. This area is one of the places which is heavy snow region.

          Tokyo Wide Pass is required to get this place.

          This place is completely different from Nikko and it may not be your taste. But if you want to see the snow in day trip distance, Gala Yuzawa offers the highest chance to show you the snow.


          Takeshi /

  4. Hi Takeshi,
    Love your web so much, it’s really helped a lot for first traveler like me.

    I will visiting Japan in 25January until 31 January 2017,
    Here are my itinerary after read a lot about Japan, please help me to check are they already good and effective ones.

    FYI, I will buy JR Tokyo wide pass for 3 days, here they are :

    Day 1 Arrival at 21.40

    Day 2 Lake kawaguchi – Mt Fuji view – musical forest

    Day 3 Echigo yuzawa – Iwappara Ski
    Will stayed at Sierra Resort Yuzawa

    Day 4 Nikko Trip
    Here where i still confusing how to go to Nikko from
    Yuzawa? I will back to Tokyo at the end of today.

    Day 5 Disneyland
    Will stayed at Disneyland hotel

    Day 6 Tokyo city tour – asakusa, Shibuya, harajuku
    Will stayed at Grand Nikko Odaiba

    Please help me to check and correct the itinerary above.
    Thankyou so much for your kindness.



    1. Hi Viviana,

      You can use Tokyo Wide Pass from day 2 to 4. It gives you a big saving.

      For trip from Echigo-Yuzawa to Nikko, you can take Shinkansen from Echigo-Yuzasa to Omiya and Omiya to Utsunomiya. Omiya is located on the way to Tokyo from Echigo-Yuzawa. And then take JR Nikko line from Utsunomiya to Nikko. This is the fastest and easiest way.

      Single ticket is okay for Disney to Odaiba. You can use Tokyo subway ticket for sightseeing in Tokyo but Odaiba is outside coverage area of subway ticket. Please see the link below:

      If you arrive in Haneda, single ticket is okay. If you arrive in Narita, please see the link below:


      Takeshi /

          1. Hi Takeshi,

            If I am using JR Tokyo wide pass to Kawaguchiko, is that Ltd, Exp. Azusa 7 train to Otsuki and Fujisan Express 3 to Kawaguchiko include in the pass? Or we need to paid extra? Do we need to reserved seat first before board to the train?


            Viviana Go

            1. Hi Viviana,

              Azusa is covered fully by this pass. But you need to pay 400 yen extra for express supplement to take Fujisan Express. The pass covers only base fare between Otsuki and Kawaguchiko.
              Reservation is not required but recommended to take Azusa. Your seat is secured and reserved seat fee is covered fully.

              You can purchase express supplement ticket at Otsuki station before you take Fujisan Express.


              Takeshi /

        1. Hello!

          I have a question. How do I get to Karuizawa using the Tokyo Wide Pass? I’ll be coming from Asakusa. Question number two, I want to do also Nikko and Gunma. Can I go from Nikko to Gunma using the Tokyo Wide Pass? Thanks

          1. Hi Leah,

            You may take the Hokuriku Shinkansen from Tokyo to Karuizawa:

            You can take the following route from Nikko:
            Nikko (Nikko line local train) Utusunomiya (the Tohoku Shinkansen) Omiya (the Joetsu Shinkansen) Takasaki

            And take a local train or other JR trains from Takasaki. Takasaki is in Gomma prefecture.


            Takeshi /

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