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Nikko and Oku-Nikko 2 Day Trip 2011/10/27 11:03
Me and 3 other friends are going to Nikko for a 2 day trip this weekend. The hotel is already booked and our suitcases packed.

I need help organizing a time-efficient plan to cover as much famous spots as we can within the two days! Especially since it's a weekend during the Kouyou season.

We will arrive at Tobu Nikko Station at 7:30 am, drop our bags at the hotel near the station and go off from there. The places we're planning to visit within the 2 days are:

Nikko Shrines Cluster
Akechidaira Ropeway
Kegon Falls
Lake Chuzen-ji
Ryuzu Falls
Senjogahara Marshes

Which of these should we visit in order? I'm especially having a hard time finding a good timeslot for the Senjogahara Hiking Trail and where that trail's entrance really is...

We plan to catch the 6:00 pm train at Tobu-Nikko Station on Sunday to go home. Hope that gives us a huge time allowance for the trip! Please help!
by Nekodomo  

A few thoughts 2011/10/28 09:37
I would split the days between the two different areas, i.e. do the Nikko temples and shrines on one day and then Okunikko on the other.

The temples and shrines are pretty straight forward and close together so there's not much to say there except that you may want to get one of the combo tickets to save some money on entrance fees. Okunikko is a little more complicated.

Buses travel between Nikko town and Okunikko. It usually takes about an hour one way to Chuzenjiko, but since it is the peak of the season it could definitely take much longer. Try to catch any early bus to avoid as much of the traffic as possible (so maybe Okunikko is best for day 2), and don't be surprised if it takes several times longer than normal to reach the lake.

Akechidaira Ropeway - The buses from Nikko stop here before reaching Chuzenjiko (note that the buses take a different route down the mountain), so you may want to get off and do this first if the ropeway is running earlier enough (they open at 9). Afterwards you can walk the 2km long trail down to the lake. Kegon Falls is a an additional 5 minute walk from Torii gate at the entrance to the lake.

If you're mainly going for autumn colors then I'd skip Ryuzu Falls and Senjogahara Marsh. The koyo has pretty much finished in those areas, and they are pretty bare. However if you still wish to hike the marshes then take the bus up which stops at the station across from the trailhead. I'm not sure you'll have time for the marsh depending on the traffic and how the rest of the trip goes.

I've marked some relevant locations on this map:

Also check out this koyo report from yesterday:
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Re: Nikko and Oku-Nikko 2 Day Trip 2011/10/28 15:20
Thank you so much for the great plans! Looking at the kouyou report, I guess we'll skip the Ryuzu Falls and marshlands. Instead, we'll just take a leisurely hike from the Ropeway to the lake.

And since we'll have lots of time left, I can add Tamozawa Villa and Kanmangafuchi Abyss to the Day 2 itinerary together with the visit to the 4 shrines!

Wow, even with traffic I think this can be very doable! Especially since the spots in Nikko City are walkable distance from each other!
by Nekodomo rate this post as useful

Re: Nikko and Oku-Nikko 2 Day Trip 2011/10/31 18:50
So how was your trip? Was it crowded?
by yllwsmrf rate this post as useful

Re: Nikko and Oku-Nikko 2 Day Trip 2011/11/1 20:25
Surprisingly no, haha. The weather was absolutely great! There were no clouds for some reason, so the whole sky was deep blue (imagine how that reflected in the lake!)

We didn't go to Ryuzu Falls and Senjogahara because we thought that it might be a bit too much to cram so many places in so little time. We figured to slowly enjoy each place as much as possible.

There were no heavy traffic at all. There were cars yes, but it wasn't congested... both going up and down Irohazaka Road.

We had a great great time. Thanks a lot for the suggestions!! :D
by Nekodomo rate this post as useful

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