Experience Winter Illuminations and Sip Freshly Brewed Sake

Recommended Length: 3 Days

Nikko has an extensive winter event lineup with illumination events taking place at most major destinations, including World Heritage temples and shrines, Tobu World Square and the Yunishigawa snow festival. The winter season is also an ideal time to visit the local sake breweries, where you can sample some of the new year's very first brews.

Day 1

Kinugawa-Onsen Station

By bus

40 minutes by buses bound for Chuzenji Onsen, then a 5-minute walk from the last stop

Waterfall

Kegon Falls

Cascading from Lake Chuzenji at a height of 97 meters, Kegon Falls is ranked among Japan’s three most beautiful waterfalls. Lush greenery surrounds the area in spring, migratory Asian house martins visit in summer, and the waterfall freezes solid in winter. Paid admission to an observatory platform at the base of the falls offers close-up views.

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Nature

By bus

15 minutes on buses bound for Yumoto Onsen to the Ryuzunotaki bus stop

Waterfall

Ryuzu Falls

One of Nikko’s great waterfalls, Ryuzu Falls consists of two cascades dropping over 210 meters. It is especially beautiful when the rhododendrons are in bloom (May to June), and when the leaves of the surrounding maple and linden trees burst into full autumn colors (September to October). There is an observation deck right by the falls.

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Nature

By bus

25 minutes from Ryuzunotaki bus stop to Yumoto Onsen

Accommodation

Okunikko Yumoto Onsen

In the center of Nikko National Park, on a plateau surrounded by protected wetlands is Nikko Yumoto Onsen. It is said that the Buddhist monk Shodo discovered this spring near Lake Yunoko 1,200 years ago, and that Kobo Daishi also bathed here. At its source the water is a bright emerald green, but when exposed to the air it turns milk white; it contains a high percentage of metasilicic acid, which is thought to have a smoothing effect on the skin.

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HOT SPRING

On Foot

Short walk

Event

Yumoto Onsen Yukiakari Snow Festival

Over 500 miniature kamakuras (snow houses) are illuminated from inside by colored lights, creating a magical winter atmosphere. In addition, there are fireworks by Lake Yunoko, and dazzling ice sculptures.

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Winter

End of Day 1

Day 2

Okunikko Yumoto Onsen

By bus

70 minutes on buses bound for Nikko Station. Get off at the Nishisando bus stop and walk about 8 minutes.

World Heritage Sites

By bus

20 minutes from the Shinkyo bus stop on a bus bound for JR Utsunomiya Station, then a 5-minute walk from the Kasugacho-icchome bus stop

Activity

Sake Brewery Tour

Learn about Japanese sake production at the various breweries in Imaichi district and taste their sake, which benefits from high-quality groundwater originating from the Nikko mountains. English tours are available with advanced reservation.

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Traditional Culture

By train

20 minutes from Shimoimaichi Station by train to Kinugawa-Onsen Station

Accommodation

Kinugawa Onsen

Kinugawa Onsen is actually made up of two hot springs—Taki Onsen on the west bank of the Kinugawa River, and Fujiwara Onsen on the east. It’s known for its relaxing properties and it attracts many travelers each year. Currently Kinugawa Onsen has over 80 hotels and ryokans, ranging from traditional Japanese style to modern Western style.

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HOT SPRING

By taxi

5-minute taxi ride

Event

Illumination in Tobu World Square

You can see models of 102 famous buildings from around the world in this theme park, reproduced at a 1:25 scale. From autumn through spring the monuments and buildings are illuminated in the evening, giving visitors a unique view of the iconic structures.

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Autumn

End of Day 2

Day 3

Kinugawa Onsen

On Foot

10-minute walk

Sightseeing

Tateiwa Rock

More than 70 meters high, Tateiwa was named for its shape, which resembles a warrior’s shield (tate in Japanese). An observatory platform at the top of the rock provides a panoramic view of the Kinugawa River and Mt. Keicho. Visitors can also enjoy breathtaking views of the scenery from a pedestrian-only suspension bridge between the area and Kinugawa Hot Spring Resort.

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Nature

By bus

20 minutes on a bus bound for Nikko Edomura

Theme Park

Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura

Experience the culture of the Edo period (1603-1867) at Edo Wonderland. Soak in the atmosphere of centuries ago as you stroll through the realistically recreated towns and samurai residences. Enjoy family-friendly events such as a thrilling ninja show, and dress up as a samurai or princess as you interact with period role-playing staff. Edo Wonderland combines history with expansive, theme park-style amusement for an extraordinary day out with plenty of fun photo opportunities.

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Entertainment & Leisure

By bus

20 minutes by bus to Kinugawa-Onsen Station

Kinugawa-Onsen Station