Last year when we went to Tokyo during October, the autumn foliage hasn’t hit the city yet. Seeking for that leaves turning red, orange, or yellow view, I found Nikko which was just a few hours away from Tokyo — a perfect day trip destination.
We bought a Nikko All Area Pass from the airport. You can also buy it from different Tobu Tourist Centers. It costs ￥4,520. The pass is valid for 4 days and includes a one way round trip from Asakusa to Shimo-imaichi Station, and unlimited train and bus rides in the Nikko area. There’s also a Nikko City Area Pass which is cheaper, priced at ￥2,670, but the included bus rides will only take you up until the Central Nikko area which is where the shrines and temples are.
We left early in the morning to catch the first train to Nikko. The ride was about 2 hours 15 minutes. There are also limited express trains wherein the travel time is less than 2 hours but has additional costs for the limited express ticket.
When we got to Tobu Nikko station we rode the bus going to the different spots in Nikko.
Sites We Visited:
First stop of our trip is at Akechidaira. We rode the 2B Bus bound for Chuzenji Onsen and got off at Akechidaira. We rode the Akechidaira Ropeway which leads to an observation platform with an amazing view of the Lake Chuzenji and Kegon Waterfalls.
The view is breathtaking there is amazing and the pictures don’t compare to the actual scenery.
After taking in that amazing view, we rode the bus to Chuzenji Onsen to get a closer look of Lake Chuzenji. It was cold and windy by the lake but the sun glistening down on the lake was a sight we couldn’t miss.
Lake Chuzenji is a walking distance from different establishments. We had lunch at one of the restaurants a few minutes from the lake.
From Chuzenji we rode the 2A bus bound for Yumoto Onsen and got off at Ryuzu no Taki. From the bus stop it’s a few minutes walk from the Ryuzu Falls view point. The view point is in an establishment flocked by photographers and tourists alike who are trying to get a good view of the lake. The view of the lake and autumn foliage is amazing but the space is cramped making it a bit hard to take pictures.
Again the pictures do not compare to the scenery. It looks so much better in person!
From Ryuzu Waterfall we had a long walk going to the Senjogahara Marshland and during some point I even wondered if we were headed towards the right direction.
Along the way there were a lot of scenic spots to take in the autumn foliage.
Finally we reach the start of the Senjogahara Plateau Nature Trail which leads to Yumoto Onsen. This is a hiking trail which has an amazing view of the marshland. As per the guide the hiking trail takes around 2.5 to 3 hours to complete. We didn’t dare hike all the way to Yumoto Onsen instead we just took a couple of pictures with the marshland as the backdrop.
It was already dusk when we left for Tokyo. It was a tiring day with all the walking during the last part of our trip but it was worth it for the different sights we saw. Our trip to Nikko was very nature focused and a beautiful contrast to Tokyo’s city scene.
Nikko Area Guide – http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3800.html
Nikko All Area Pass Info – http://www.tobu.co.jp/foreign/en/pass/all.html
Asakusa to Nikko Train Schedule – http://www.tobu.co.jp/foreign/pdf/timetables.pdf
Nikko Bus Routes – http://www.tobu.co.jp/foreign/pdf/timetables.pdf