Photo of Nikko

About Nikko

Located in the northwestern corner of Tochigi Prefecture, Nikko is a small mountainous city that's home to the site of Toshogu, a famed 17th-century Shinto shrine. For this reason, it's been a popular destination for Shinto and Buddhist worshippers for centuries, and its wonderfully scenic setting only adds to the tranquil and mystical ambiance. The city's most historic cultural spots comprise Nikko's UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Nikko is the perfect place for those wanting to relax and rejuvenate. You can spend your days hiking around the beautiful Okunniko area by Lake Chuzenj, whilst it's a great stop-off for those heading along Japan's 'Romantic Road': a 350 kilometre-long route which winds through countless quirky towns, hot spring resorts, and awe-striking natural scenery.

You'd also be amiss not to visit Kegon Falls, a stunning 97-metre tall waterfall that's bound to take your breath away. It's one of the Three Great Waterfalls of Nikko, the others being Kirifurinotaki Falls and Uraminotaki Falls - if you love nature or photography then make sure to pop along to all three!

A trip to Nikko will utterly reinvigorate you (even if you spend your days charging off on long, hilly walks!). However, being located just two hours away from Tokyo, it's still more than close enough to the country's cosmopolitan heart.

What Not To Miss

  • If you're in Nikko then a visit to the Toshogu shrine is an absolute must. This stunning site has its own museum where you can learn more about the site's long and detailed history.
  • Yomeimon, the main temple gate, is a truly breathtaking structure with mind-blowingly intricate carvings. A must-see spot.
  • Spend days heading off on long hikes around Nikko National Park.
  • The Akechidaira viewing platform has arguably the best views in Nikko - and that's certainly saying something! It's a mindblowingly beautiful place to bask in the sublime nature of your surroundings.

However, if you're coming in autumn, when the area's at its most beautiful, then be sure to book ahead as the best places to stay in Nikko get quickly booked up.

The best places to stay in Nikko

For an intimate retreat

  • 4-room Nikko Guesthouse Sumica offers both traditional tatami-style rooms and dormitories for those on a budget. Accommodation from just £20 per night.
  • Nikko Inn offers six quaint cottages in the midst of the countryside with minimalist and traditional accommodation. Wonderfully peaceful.

For easy access to Toshogu Shrine

  • Hotel Seikoen is a traditional ryokan which offers a range of rooms - the largest sleep 7. There's an onsen, restaurant, and even a karaoke bar.
  • Nikko Kanaya Hotel boasts a mix of traditional Japanese and Western-style accommodation. Choose from any number of in-house eateries.

For an apartment or holiday home

If you'd prefer the privacy of a self-catering option, browse through the wide variety available online with our partner, Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Fly into Tokyo Haneda Airport or Narita Airport before taking the Tobu railway to Nikko.
  • Nikko's nicest weather-wise in the summer, with the average temperature rising to 24°C in July.
  • However, it's better to visit in the autumn when the reds and oranges make the surrounding area jaw-droppingly beautiful.
  • If you'd like to explore more of the area then consider hiring a car with Rentalcars.

Still not sure?

Best Hotels in Nikko

  • Nikko Guesthouse Sumica Nikko (Nikko-city) 4 rooms from £20

    A quaint guesthouse well located within easy access of Nikkō's historical sights. Traditional tatami rooms offer an authentic stay while dormitories come with a very reasonable price tag. A small lounge offers a chance to mingle with other travellers. Ideal for those on a budget.

    Value chic  -  An authentic Japanese property offered at very reasonable prices.
    Sailing  -  Take a cruise on Chuzenji Lake, particularly beautiful when the cherry blossom is out.
    Sights nearby  -  A 20 minute walk to the world heritage shrines and temples of Nikko.
    Great walks  -  Climb the scenic Iroha Slope to Chuzenji Lake.
    Check Availability
  • Nikko Inn Nikko (Tochigi) 6 rooms from £78

    Quaint classically styled cottages set in lush farmland. Traditional and minimalist throughout rooms feature tatami mats, paper screens and roll down futons. Sliding doors open up onto picturesque countryside. Find contemporary touches in the kitchen, bathrooms and mod cons. Rural bliss.

    Hideaway  -  Six cottages set in tranquil countryside just 2 hrs from Tokyo.
    Great walks  -  Walk straight from the property through lush green rice paddies and scenic countryside.
    Local markets  -  Visit the local farmers markets in the surrounding villages.
    Sights nearby  -  Take a walk to the historic Nikko’s Toshogu Shrine.
    Check Availability
  • Hotel Seikoen Nikko (Tochigi) 26 rooms from £206

    A traditional Ryokan located next to the famed Toshogu Shrine. Rooms of varying sizes (the largest sleeping 7) are classically dressed; think tatami mats, futon beds and paper screens. Boasting a hot spring bath, restaurant and even karaoke bar this is an ideal base to explore the region from.

    Local exploring  -  A traditional property with access to both historical sights and natural wonders.
    Great walks  -  Embark on the stunning winding route from Nikko to Lake Chuzenji.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the World Heritage Site of Toshogu Shrine.
    Sailing  -  Take a scenic cruise on Lake Chuzenji.
    Check Availability
  • Nikko Kanaya Hotel Nikko (Tochigi) 71 rooms from £300

    Japan's oldest resort. Atmospheric throughout with a charming mix of Japanese and European styles. Spacious rooms are light and airy with large windows, paper lanterns, parquet flooring and beamed ceilings. Housing a number of eateries and an old-fashioned bar. Fabulous.

    Local exploring  -  Located just minites from Nikko's historical temples and shrines.
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the Nikko Toshogu Shrine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
    Sailing  -  Take a cruise on the picturesque Chuzenji Lake.
    Swimming Pool  -  Seasonal outdoor pool
    Check Availability