Budget Transportation with Travel Passes

Getting to and around Nikko can be pricey and confusing. It's a good idea for visitors to consider a travel pass to save money and streamline their journey, but which pass to choose?

There are many passes that specifically cover Nikko, and many others that include trains to Nikko in their larger area. Read on for recommendations for those looking to get around Nikko freely and affordably.


Tobu passes

Tobu Nikko passes are a great option for those looking to make their Nikko excursion as seamless and affordable as possible. Tobu is the train company that most directly links Nikko to Tokyo, and it allows travelers to reach Nikko in as little as two hours. There are two pass options available:

Nikko Pass World Heritage Area

This pass allows for one round trip visit to Nikko from Tokyo’s Asakusa station, as well as unlimited bus and train rides in designated areas around Nikko's World Heritage sites. This is the perfect pass for a day or overnight trip to the temples and shrines of central Nikko, as well as a little side exploration. The pass is valid for two days.

Nikko Pass All Area

The All Area pass offers all of the perks of the World Heritage Area pass while expanding the area covered for unlimited bus and train rides to all of Nikko City. This is the best option for travelers looking to explore parts of Nikko beyond its World Heritage sites, such as Yumoto Onsen or Chuzenji Onsen. It is ideal for visiting the Okunikko area, as it includes all Tobu Buses, the Akechidaira Ropeway and a Lake Chuzenji cruise boat. The pass is valid for four days.

Check out the Tobu official website for more information.


Japan Rail Pass & JR East passes

Many visitors to Japan hold the Japan Rail Pass, which fully covers the less direct route to Nikko via the shinkansen and local trains. Use of Tobu trains is not included. Japan Rail Pass holders can take limited express trains between Shinjuku Station and Nikko or Kinugawa-Onsen stations, but a separate fee applies.

However, the various JR East passes cover the limited express Nikko, Kinugawa, Spacia Nikko and Spacia Kinugawa trains, as well as local trains between Shimo-Imaichi and Tobu-Nikko or Kinugawa-Onsen stations. Applicable passes include the JR East Pass Tohoku area, the JR East Pass Nagano/Niigata area, and the JR Tokyo Wide Pass. These passes are often a great bargain for travelers for whom Nikko is just one stop on a larger journey around eastern Japan.

Get more information on the JR East official website.

Areas of Nikko