One of Japan’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Nikko is a great way to spend a few days away from Tokyo. It’s a town full of temples, shrines, waterfall and lakes.  In other words, lots of cheap touristy things to do! Excellent English language signage and maps.

Budget travel tips

  • The cost of buses and trains can build up, so get a 2 Day Nikko Pass. Make sure you use this to get discounts at some shrines and temples.
  • Pick up a free map of the area at the Tourist Information Office (see map) or download it here.

Places of interest

Shinkyo Bridge 

Famous traditional Japanese red bridge.  Get off at the ‘Shinkyo’ bus stop and follow the signs.  It’s not far from the shrines and temples below, so we recommended walking to them from here.

Futarasan Temple

A quiet temple with the within the forests of Nikko. When you come to here you soon realise why Nikko is a World Heritage Site. Get off at ‘Nishi-sando’ bus stop, or walk from Shikyo bridge.

Open: 8:00-17:00 (8:00-16:00 in the winter)

Price: 200 yen

Taiyū-in Temple

A big complex of temple buildings in the forested mountains, but just a few minutes walk from the other temples and shrines.    Get off at ‘Nishi-sando’ bus stop, or walk from Shikyo bridge.

Open: 8:00-5:00

Price: 550 yen

Toshogu Shrine

This temple complex leads into the forested mountain, and will blow you away with its stunning buildings and statues.  Head up the stone stairs at the back for a cool walk up to a shrine on a small mountain. Get off at ‘Nishi-sando’ bus stop, or walk from Shikyo bridge.

Open: 8:00-17:00 (8:00-16:00 in the winter)

Price: Adults 800, Children 600 yen

Rinno-ji Temple

A large temple surrounded by huge trees.  Get off at ‘Nishi-sando’ bus stop, or walk from Shikyo bridge.

Open: 8:00-17:00 (8:00-16:00 in the winter)

Price: Adults 1000, Children 600

Kegon no Taki Waterfall 

An tall waterfall not far from the center of Nikko. Great any time of the year.  Get off at the ‘Chuzenji-onsen’ bus stop.

Lake Chuzenji 

Have a walk around the lake to get many spectacular views of the area.  There are a few little hikes up to mountains along the way as well. Get off at the ‘Tachikikannon-iriguchi’ bus stop or walk here from Kegon no Taki Waterfall.

Ryuzu Waterfall 

On the north west of Lake Chuzenji is this nice waterfall and park. Get off at the ‘Akanuma’ bus stop.

How to get there

The cheapest option is to get the 2 Day Nikko Pass.

From Tobu Asakusa station, take the Tobu Nikko/Skytree line (private line) to Tobu-Nikko (2 hours).

Recommended Hostels and Cheap Hotels

Nikko Suginamiki Youth Hostel

Great if you are a Youth Hostel member, this place is also good for small groups . Check prices at

Nikko Guesthouse Sumica

Traditional rooms with Japanese tatami mats and a really friendly atmosphere. Check prices at

More at


Free Volunteer Guides

Nikko SGG Club –


Nikko Visitor’s Guide

Published by Matthew Baxter

Japan travel writer and onsen addict

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