Nikko (Central Nikko Area)

Highlights of Nikko (Central Nikko Area)

Central Nikko is a historical nature resort in the north of Tochigi prefecture about 2 hours from Tokyo. Its is quite easy to get to with direct express trains via Tobu line and good connections via Utsunomiya on JR lines.

It is famous for the UNESCO world heritage-registered temples and shrines, Toshogu Shrine (日光東照宮), Rinnoji Temple (輪王寺), and Futaarasan Shrine (二荒山神社), but it also has many other popular places to visit. You could visit Kanmangafuchi Abyss (憾満ヶ淵), eat Yuba, visit breweries such as Watanabesahei Sake Brewery, and so much more.

Nikko is quite large so we will be showcasing different parts such as Oku-Nikko, Kinugawa Onsen, Yunishigawa, and Ashio in different pages.

The best seasons to visit central Nikko is spring summer, and Autumn. For more information about this interesting destination please see below.


From Tokyo

From Airports

Haneda Intl. Airport

Narita Intl. Airport

Ibaraki Airport

Main Stations

Videos of Nikko (Central Nikko Area)

Spring in Nikko (All area)

Spring in Nikko (All area)

Things to DO in Nikko (Central Nikko Area)

Toshogu Srine from the entrance in Nikko nearby Tokyo (UNESCO World Heritage Site)

Temple and Shrines

Nikko is most famous for UNESCO World heritage Temple and Shrines. Most famous is Nikko Toshogu (日光東照宮), Rinouji Temple (輪王寺), Futaarasan Temple(二荒山神社).

Shinkyo Bridge

Shinkyo Bridge (神橋) is hard to miss as it is just before the temple and shrines of Nikko. Visitors usually take photos from the bridge beside it but for a small fee you can also walk over it.

Kanmangafuchi Abyss

Kanmangafuchi Abyss (憾満ヶ淵) is. a beautiful gorge with jizo statues 15 min walk from Shinko bridge. The gorge was formed by lava flow from Mt. Nantai. There is a walking path and has been a popular place ever since the seventeenth century.
Tabozawa imperial villa

Tamozawa Imperial Villa Park

Tamozawa Imperial Villa (田母沢御用邸, Tamozawa Goyōtei) was built in 1899 and used by imperial family from Taisho through to Showa (1947). The architecture is interesting as it includes Edo, Meiji and Taisho period works in one location.

Shops, Cafes and Restaurants

There area many shops, cafes and restaurants on the main street (1.7km long) leading from Nikko and Tobu-Nikko stations to Toshogu shrine. We recommend walking (takes around 25min) instead of the bus .
Nikko Onsen

Nikko Onsen

Nikko Onsen is a hot spring that spreads around the city of Nikko and the shrines and temples of Nikko. You can find a list of hotels that are part of the Nikko Onsen Ryokan Association here.

Nikko Woodcarving

Nikko Woodcarving (日光彫り, Nikko Bori) is a traditional Japanese carving method handed down since the Edo period. It is original to Nikko and is a technique passed on from carpenters who helped construct Nikko Toshogu Shrine. You can find experiences at 'mekke' which is on the main street.

Kitrip Nikko

Kitrip Nikko experience
Join Rieko on one of Kitrip Nikko’s tours through Nikko’s outdoors to have a truly local experience. Unique tours include incense making to harvesting Ice from frozen lakes. See website for more.

Watanabesahei Sake Brewery

Outside of Watanabesahei Sake Brewery
Founded in 1842, Watanabesahei Sake Brewery is a traditional sake brewery in Imaichi, Nikko. They run a popular English brewery tour almost every day, and have a nice shop. Why not come to see a working sake brewery and learn how sake is made?

Katayama Sake Brewery

Outside of Katayama Sake Brewery in Nikko
Katayama Sake Brewery is a very small, family-run sake brewery founded in 1879. Located near Watanabesahei in Imaichi, Nikko, it has a brewery shop to buy sake. Every drop of sake is gently made by hand, with the sake-pressing process alone taking three days!

Learn more about places to visit in Central Nikko

EATING in Nikko (Central Nikko Area)

Yuba Dishes

Nikko is famous for Yuba (tofu skin). You can find many Japanese restaurants between the station and the shrines that offer special Yuba dishes for lunch and dinner.

Nijimasu Dishes (Rainbow trout)

Rainbow trout was brought in from the USA in late 19th century. It has been a popular dish in Nikko ever since. Several resta
Local trout dish (Yashio trout) at Chez Hoshino

Yokan and sweets

Yokan is a soft sweet dessert made from Anko (red bean paste). It is famous in Nikko as travelers and Yamabushi (mountain monks) would take it on trips as energy food.

Japanese Food

Apart from Yuba (although there are many variations of Yuba dishes to try in Nikko), there are also many Japanese restaurants in Nikko. The easiest place to find one is around the main street between the two stations and Nikko shrines.

Western Food

Nikko has a very wide range of restaurants catering even for westerners. There is a very nice Italian restaurant near the stations as well as steak houses and Family restaurants (budget restaurants).

Vegan / Vegetarian

As Nikko is a popular destination there are restaurants that cater for a Vegan and Vegetarian diet as well.

Places to STAY in Nikko (Central Nikko Area)

Hotels (Western style)

Nikko is a popular tourist destination and has many western hotels to choose from. Most notably, it is home to Nikko Kanaya Hotel which was the first western style resort hotel to open in Japan.

Onsen Ryokan

‘Nikko Onsen (日光温泉)’ is an onsen source pumped up from around the UNESCO registered temple and shrines. Many of the hotels in central Nikko have this onsen water.

Guesthouses & Airbinbs

Nikko is a popular tourist destination and has a couple of guesthouses and airbnbs to choose from.

Nikko Kanaya Hotel

Entrance of Nikko Kanaya Hotel in central Nikko
Welcoming overseas VIPs for the last 150 years. Come immerse in our rich heritage amidst Nikko’s majestic landscapes. UNESCO World Heritage sites are very close.

Top EVENTS around Nikko (Central Nikko Area)

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