How to travel between Tokyo and Nikko

Nikko is located about 125 kilometers north of Tokyo and makes a good one or two day trip from Tokyo. Nikko is connected with Tokyo by Tobu Railway and Japan Railways (JR):

By Tobu Railway from Asakusa Station

The Tobu terminal station in Tokyo for trains to Nikko is Tobu Asakusa Station, which can be accessed by subway (Ginza and Asakusa subway lines). Travelers have the option between the fast and expensive limited express trains and slower but cheaper express and local trains.

There are one or two limited express trains per hour between Asakusa and Tobu-Nikko Station, which take about two hours and cost around 2700-2900 yen one way. Some connections require a transfer at Shimo-Imaichi Station. By express and local trains, the one way journey costs only 1390 yen, but takes at least half an hour longer and requires one to three transfers of trains along the way.

Tobu is offering various passes, which include the round trip from Tokyo to Nikko and unlimited use of buses in the Nikko area. Note that the passes do not cover the supplement fee required on limited express trains (1360-1470 yen one way). The Japan Rail Pass and other JR passes are not valid on these Tobu trains.

By limited express from Shinjuku Station

Direct limited express trains, cooperated by Japan Railways (JR) and Tobu Railway, connect JR Shinjuku Station with Tobu Nikko Station. The one way journey takes two hours and costs 4080 yen. All seats are reserved.

Because the trains between Shinjuku and Nikko partially use the tracks of Tobu Railway, the Japan Rail Pass does not fully cover the expenses of the journey. However, thanks to a special agreement, the JR Tokyo Wide Pass, JR East Nagano Niigata Area Pass, JR East Tohoku Area Pass and JR East South Hokkaido Pass do cover the entire trip.

By Japan Railways (JR)

Take the JR Tohoku Shinkansen (from Tokyo or Ueno Station) to Utsunomiya Station and transfer to the JR Nikko Line. With a good connection at Utsunomiya, the one way trip takes about 100 minutes. Due to its high cost (about 5500 yen one way), this option is attractive to holders of a JR pass.

From Narita Airport

There are a small number of direct highway buses between Narita Airport and Nikko, taking about 3.5 hours and costing 4600 yen for the one way trip. Alternatively, take a bus from the airport to JR Utsunomiya Station (about 3 hours, 4100 yen one way, departures every 60-90 minutes) and then the JR Nikko Line to Nikko (45 minutes, 770 yen, 1-2 departures per hour). Otherwise, travel between the airport and Nikko leads via Tokyo.

Between Gunma Prefecture and Nikko

From June until late October (June 1 to October 30, 2022), there are a few bus connections between Nikko and Oze, allowing tourists to combine the two destinations or enter/leave Nikko through the backdoor via Gunma Prefecture. Buses operate between Yumoto Onsen in Okunikko and Kamada at the entrance to Oze. The one way ride takes one hour and costs 1950 yen. At Kamada it is possible to transfer to buses to Numata or Oze.

Above fees and schedules are subject to change. Be sure to check current yen exchange rates.

Getting around

All of Nikko's famous shrines and temples are clustered together in one area, about two kilometers from the Tobu and JR Nikko Stations. You can access them by bus (10 minutes, 350 yen one way or 600 yen for a day pass) or on foot in about 30-40 minutes by walking up Nikko's main street.

Two bus lines can be used to access the shrines and temples:

Buses in the direction of Lake Chuzenji stop at "Shinkyo" and "Nishisando" bus stops along the way, from where the shrines and temples are a 5-10 minute walk. Furthermore, there is the World Heritage Meguri loop bus, that circles around town every 15-20 minutes and stops a little bit closer to the shrines and temples. Get off at the "Omotesando" stop for Toshogu and Rinnoji or the "Taiyuin-Futarasanjinja-mae" stop for the Taiyuin and Futarasan Shrine. The buses are covered by the Tobu free passes.

Buses further connect central Nikko with the Okunikko area, including Lake Chuzenji and Yumoto Onsen in Nikko National Park. A one way trip to Lake Chuzenji takes about 50 minutes and costs 1250 yen; to Yumoto Onsen it takes about 80 minutes and costs 1950 yen.

These buses are covered by the Nikko All Area Pass. Alternatively, a 2-day pass for unlimited rides between Nikko and Lake Chuzenji is available for 2300 yen at Tobu Nikko Station, while a 2-day pass for unlimited rides between Nikko and Yumoto Onsen is available for 3500 yen.

Be aware, that during the autumn leaf season in October, traffic between central Nikko and Okunikko (Lake Chuzenji and Yumoto Onsen) can be very heavy, and buses can incur heavy delays, especially on weekends. If possible, avoid visiting Nikko on weekends and visit during the week.

Map of Central Nikko:

Hotels around Nikko

Top rated in Nikko
    • B&B Izumi Nikko
      Located in Nikko, 2.4 km from Nikko Toshogu Shrine and 3.8 km from Tobu Nikko Station, B&B Izumi Nikko provides accommodation with free WiFi and a garden with a terrace and mountain views. Fitted with a balcony, the units offer air conditioning and feature a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with bidet and free toiletries. A fridge and kettle are also featured. A ? la carte, American or Asian breakfast is available daily at the property. Popular points of interest near the bed and breakfast include Rinno-ji Temple, Futarasan Shrine and Nikko Jiunji Temple. The nearest airport is Ibaraki Airport, 121 km from B&B Izumi Nikko.
      View on Booking.com
    • Stay Nikko Guesthouse
      Featuring free WiFi, Stay Nikko Guesthouse offers accommodation in Nikko. Nikko Station on the Tobu and JR lines can be reached within a 13-minute walk. Free private parking is available on site. Every room at this guest house is air conditioned and comes with a flat-screen TV. Views of the mountains, river or garden are featured in certain rooms. Guests will find a microwave, toaster and kettle on site. Nikko Toshogu Shrine is a 20-minute stroll from Stay Nikko Guesthouse, while Kegon Falls is a 50-minute bus ride from the property.
      View on Booking.com
    • sumica apartments
      Sumica apartmens offers accommodation in Nikko, 900 metres from Nikko Toshogu Shrine and 9.3 km from Kegon Falls. The property features views of the city and is 18 km from Nikko Yumoto Hot Spring. The accommodation is only a 2-minute stroll to Shinkyo Bridge, known as the entrance to the Shrines and Temples of Nikko, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The kitchenette is fitted with a microwave. Towels and bed linen are offered at sumica apartmens. Nikk?-kokuritsu-k?en is 22 km from sumica apartmens, while Rinnoji Temple is 600 metres from the property.
      View on Booking.com
    • Nikko Guesthouse Sumica
      Just a 3-minute walk from JR Nikko Train Station, Guesthouse Sumica offers beds in dormitory rooms, as well as Japanese-style private rooms. It features a shared kitchen and free tea and coffee. Free Wi-Fi is provided in the whole building. The Sumica Guesthouse is a 5-minute drive from the Nikko Tosho-gu shrine, and a 30-minute drive from both Lake Chuzenji-ko and historical theme park village Edo Wonderland (Nikko Edomura). JR Nikko Train Station is a 3-minute walk away. Nikko Guesthouse Sumica is a completely non-smoking hotel. It offers luggage storage, and it has a curfew at 23:00.
      View on Booking.com
    • Nikko Akarinoyado Villa Revage
      Homely rooms with mountain views, free Wi-Fi and a private bath await guests at Villa Revage, 350 metres from Nikko Botanical Garden. It is completely non-smoking, and free private parking is available on site. Rooms at Nikko Akarinoyado Villa Revage are heated and come with simple furnishings and art on the walls. An LCD satellite TV is included. Both a hairdryer and toiletries are provided. You can relax on the sun terrace, enjoy the garden or unwind in one of the private reservable baths. A Western breakfast is served at the dining room, which boasts a high ceiling and forest views. The hotel is 4 km from JR Nikko Train Station and Tobu Nikko Train Station. Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa is 800 metres away, and Nikko Toshogu Shrine is 2 km away.
      View on Booking.com
    • Okunoin Hotel Tokugawa
      Located in Nikko, Hotel Tokugawa is a traditional Japanese-style ryokan featuring a hot spring bath. It offers Japanese-style and Western rooms with free WiFi access, and provides free pick up service from Nikko Train Station. Guests at Tokugawa Hotel can unwind in the public hot spring bath, savour a massage treatment or go hiking in the area. Guests can also take full advantage of the hotelfs shuttle service from Toshogu Shrine. Free luggage storage and valet parking is also offered by the hotel. With a garden view, each air-conditioned room here will provide you with a refrigerator, an electric kettle and a yukata (Japanese bathrobe). The private bathroom comes with a bathtub, free toiletries and a hairdryer. The ryokan is a 6-minute drive from Nikko Toshogu Shrine, and a 10-minute drive from Nikko Train Station. The on-site dining area is open from 08:00 to 09:00 for breakfast. An authentic Japanese dinner will be prepared for guests with meal plans.
      View on Booking.com
    • Asaya
      Boasting open-air natural spring baths that look out to the surrounding mountains, Asaya provides chic Japanese accommodation that displays flower arrangements throughout. A bus stop is located right in front of the property, and shuttle buses are available from Utsunomiya Train Station, an hour away, at an additional fee. Featuring a relaxing ambience, each room comes with a flat-screen TV, a telephone and a fridge. Asaya Hotelfs front desk is open 24 hours, and massages are available at an additional cost. Karaoke facilities and a gift shop are on site. Some of the hot spring baths can be reserved for private use for a fee. A tour to Edo Wonderland can be arranged upon request. The hotel is a 13-minute walk from Kinugawa Koen Train Station. Nikko Toshogu Shrine is a 40-minute drive away, and Edo Wonderland Nikko theme park is a 10-minute drive from the property. A buffet is served at one of the on-site restaurants. The dinner buffet serves about 80 various dishes ranging from Chinese, Japanese and Western meals, while the breakfast buffet provides about 60 variations, mainly Japanese and Western dishes.
      View on Booking.com
    • Turtle Inn Nikko
      Just 1 km from Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Turtle Inn Nikko offers value-for-money accommodation with river views. Hot spring baths are available and breakfast is offered. Nikko Turtle Inn offers easy access to the historical temples and beautiful nature of the Nikko area. Chuzenji-ko Lake and Kegon-no-taki Waterfall are a 40-minute bus ride away. The Nikko temples are less than a 15-minute walk away. The cosy rooms are equipped with flat-screen TVs. Guests can fall asleep to the calming sound of the Daiya River. Staff at Nikko Inn Turtle speak English and are always happy to help with sightseeing or other requests. Breakfast are served in the dining room and require an extra fee. Breakfast includes eggs, fruit and bread.
      View on Booking.com
    • Nikko Senhime Monogatari
      Guests can enjoy soaking in the indoor and outdoor public hot-spring baths at Nikko Senhime Monogatari. Massages can be requested and a sauna room is available for an extra relaxation. A free shuttle is available from JR Nikko Train Station and Tobu Nikko Train Station, which is a 5-minute drive away. Free Wi-Fi is available in the public areas. The air-conditioned rooms feature tatami (woven-straw) floors and Japanese futon bedding. A flat-screen TV, a fridge and an electric kettle with green tea bags are included in each. A safety deposit box is provided and the en suite bathroom comes with a hairdryer. Guests can purchase local products at the gift shop. Travel assistance is provided at the tour desk and photocopying services are available at the front desk. A traditional multi-course meal is served for dinner, and Japanese-style meal is served for breakfast. All meals are served at the dining room. Monogatari Senhime Nikko is a 10-minute walk from Nikko Toshogu Shrine and a 25-minute drive from Kegon Falls and Lake Chuzenji.
      View on Booking.com
    • Annex Turtle Hotori-An
      About a 20-minute walk from the Nikko shrines, Annex Turtle Hotori-An is situated next to the Daiya river and green forests. It features hot spring baths with river views. Only 1.5 km from the Toshogu and Futarasan shrines at Nikko, Hotori-An Turtle Annex Hotel also offers easy access to local hiking trails. A 40-minute drive brings guests to historical theme park Nikko Edomura. The Japanese-style rooms feature tatami (woven straw) floors and traditional futon beds. Each room includes a private bathroom. Turtle Annex Hotori-An features a gallery showing local Mashiko-yaki pottery. English-speaking staff are available to help with sightseeing. Breakfast features fruit, eggs and bread. Property staff can recommend nearby dinner options upon check-in.
      View on Booking.com