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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 late May until late October (May 29 to October 31, 2021), 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. For the current yen exchange rate, click here.

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, 320 yen one way or 500 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 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.

Buses 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 1150 yen; to Yumoto Onsen it takes about 80 minutes and costs 1750 yen. A 2-day pass for unlimited bus rides between Nikko and Lake Chuzenji is available for 2100 yen at Tobu Nikko Station, while a 2-day pass for unlimited rides between Nikko and Yumoto Onsen is available for 3000 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
Budget:
    • B&B Izumi Nikko
      Budget-friendly
      B&B Izumi Nikko features river views, free WiFi and free private parking, located in Nikko, 2.4 km from Nikko Toshogu Shrine. Fitted with a balcony, the units offer air conditioning and feature a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with bidet and a hairdryer. A fridge and kettle are also featured. Guests at the bed and breakfast can enjoy a ? la carte or an American breakfast. A terrace can be found at B&B Izumi Nikko, along with a garden. Kegon Falls is 18 km from the accommodation, while Rinno-ji Temple is 1.7 km away.
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    • Stay Nikko Guesthouse
      Budget-friendly
      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.
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    • sumica apartments
      Budget-friendly
      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.
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    • Rindou No Ie
      Budget-friendly
      A 5-minute ride from Tobu Nikko Train Station on the hotelfs free shuttle, the family-run Rindou No Ie offers Japanese rooms with tatami (woven-straw) floors and futon beds. Free WiFi is available throughout. The air-conditioned rooms at Rindou No Ie Ryokan include a flat-screen TV and tea set. Bathrooms are shared. The Nikko Toshogu World Heritage Area is 2 km away. JR Nikko Train Station is 1.2 km from the hotel. Tobu Nikko Train Station is 900 metres away. On-site parking is free. A free-use internet terminal, microwave and fridge are provided in the common area. The hotelfs washer can be used free of charge, and a dryer is available for a fee.
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    • Guest House Koundo
      Budget-friendly
      Guest House Koundo offers a private accommodation in Nikko. Free WiFi is available throughout the property and free private parking is available on site. All rooms have air conditioning, a flat-screen TV and a shared bathroom. For your comfort, you will find a hairdryer, slippers and towels. Free toiletries including shampoo, conditioner and body soap are provided. You will find luggage storage space at the property. There are several restaurants, cafes and convenience stores within a 5-minute walk from Guest House Koundo. Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park is a 10-minute walk from the property, while Nikko Toshogu Shrine is a 15-minute walk away. Guests can reach Kanmangafuchi Abyss in 10 minutes on foot.
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    • Midorian
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring a garden, Midorian is located within Nikko National Park. The property is around 1.5 km from Nikko Toshogu Shrine, 8 km from Kegon Falls and a 16-minute walk from Futarasan Shrine. The guest house features mountain views, a terrace, and free WiFi is available throughout the property. On-site parking is available free of charge. Guest rooms in the guest house are fitted with a kettle. A shared kitchen comes with a microwave, a toaster and a fridge. At Midorian, every room comes with a shared bathroom with a hair dryer. Cycling and hiking are among the activities that guests of the accommodation can find nearby. Rinnoji Temple is 1.6 km from Midorian.
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    • Sanga Nikko
      Budget-friendly
      Located in Nikko, 2.1 km from Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Sanga Nikko provides a garden and rooms with free WiFi access. The property is set 10 km from Kegon Falls and 22 km from Nikk?-kokuritsu-k?en. Nikko Station and Tobu-Nikko Station are within a 5-minute walk from the property. On-site staff will assist guests in planning their trip. Each room is equipped with a shared bathroom. The kitchen is shared between guests. A range of activities are offered in the area, such as cycling and fishing. Rental bicycles are available for an additional fee. A supermarket is situated within a 5-minute walk from the property. This property is situated a short distance from attractions such as Rinnoji Temple and Shinkyo Bridge. Futarasan Shrine is 2.2 km from the guest house, while Chuzenji Lake is 12 km away.
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    • Nikko Guesthouse Sumica
      Budget-friendly
      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.
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    • Nikko Akarinoyado Villa Revage
      Mid-range
      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.
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    • Nikkorisou Backpackers
      Budget-friendly
      Featuring free WiFi, Nikkorisou Backpackers offers accommodation in Nikko, 800 metres from Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine. Free private parking is available on site. Rooms are fitted with a shared bathroom. There is a shared kitchen at the property. Bike hire is available at this guest house and the area is popular for cycling. Kegon Falls is 9 km from the property.
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