Nikko (日光, Nikkō) is a town at the entrance to Nikko National Park, most famous for Toshogu, Japan's most lavishly decorated shrine and the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate.

Nikko had been a center of Shinto and Buddhist mountain worship for many centuries before Toshogu was built in the 1600s, and Nikko National Park continues to offer scenic, mountainous landscapes, lakes, waterfalls, hot springs, wild monkeys and hiking trails.

Nikko and the Okunikko area around Lake Chuzenji, in particular, are well known for their beautiful autumn colors (koyo). In the average year the colors start descending from the higher elevations of Yumoto Onsen in early October, are best around Lake Chuzenji and the Irohazaka road in mid to late October and reach the town of Nikko in the first half of November.

Nikko is located along Japan's Romantic Road.

Top attractions in Nikko

Central Nikko (Town)
2
Temple

Taiyuinbyo

Mausoleum of Iemitsu, Ieyasu's grandson.
4.2 / 5
504
4
Historic Site

Tamozawa Villa

Former Nikko residence of the Imperial Family.
3.8 / 5
136
7
Garden

Botanical Garden

Research garden of the University of Tokyo.
3.7 / 5
177
8
Shrine

Shinkyo Bridge

Sacred bridge at the entrance to Nikko's shrines.
3.4 / 5
803
Okunikko
1
Viewpoint/Tower

Hangetsuyama

Mountain with great views over Lake Chuzenji.
3.9 / 5
26
4
Onsen

Yumoto Onsen

Hot spring resort in the national park.
3.7 / 5
309
5
Nature

Ryuzu Waterfall

Waterfall famous for its autumn colors.
3.9 / 5
410
8
Temple

Chuzenji Temple

Temple at the shores of Lake Chuzenjiko.
3.7 / 5
142
9
Scenic Ride

Irohazaka

Road connecting the town with Okunikko.
3.4 / 5
149
Nearby Attractions
1

Nasu-Shiobara

Resort area with hiking trails and hot springs.
3.2 / 5
203
2

Kinugawa Onsen

Hot spring resort with theme parks near Nikko.
3.1 / 5
496
3

Utsunomiya

Prefectural capital of Tochigi Prefecture.
15

Access and Orientation

Hotels around Nikko

Recommended Hotels
Chuzenjiko Kanaya Hotel
Upscale mountain lodge style hotel in rustic log cabin buildings set in the forest.
Book:
Agoda Japanican Booking
Nikko Kanaya Hotel
This historic hotel was one of the first Western style hotels in Japan. It is conveniently located across the street from the temples and shrines of Nikko.
Book:
Agoda Japanican Booking
Turtle Inn Nikko
Inexpensive inn popular among foreign tourists, conveniently located 15 minutes walk from Nikko's temples and shrines.
Book:
Agoda Booking

Tours and travel services