Visited Nikkō about 10 years ago, so I was eager to tag along with some friends when they decided to go on a day trip.
Nikkō is a famous mountain resort, located 140 km north of Tokyo in Tochigi Prefecture. It is renowned for the ornate, colorful shrine & mausoleum (Nikkō Tōshōgū) of Ieyasu Tokugawa who was the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate. Apart from a lot of shrines that are world Heritage sites like Futarasan Shrine & Rinnō-ji Temple, one can’t miss out on visiting Chuzenji Lake which was formed by the eruption of Mt. Nantai 20,000 years ago and Kegon Falls with a height of 97m (318ft). Both places are well known for viewing Autumn foliage. Nikkō is also known for different types of hot springs with unique qualities. Kinugawa, Yumoto, Kawaji, Yunishigawa hot springs are a few of many such popular Onsens.
Depending on your itinerary, I recommend buying one of these passes if you intend on visiting Nikkō. Here is a link for more information ~ http://www.tobu.co.jp/foreign/en/pass/
We hopped on the Section Rapid train departing Asakusa at 8:10 (car no : 5 & 6) & arrived at Tobu Nikko at 10:19. Caught the bus to Chuzenji Onsen from bus stop No : 2B at 10:30 & arrived at 11:15. Headed straight to the lake & paddled around in the swan boats for 30mins (¥1500 for 3 people on a boat). After a nice workout we headed to Kegon falls where an elevator (¥550) took us 100m down to get a view of the majestic falls. Then we grabbed a bite at one of many restaurants dotting the area. The hand made soba with yuba-tofu & shitake mushrooms really hit the spot. After shopping for souvenirs we got on the bus back to Nikko station from bus stop No : 24 at 14:00 but got off at Shogo-kaikan-mae stop on the way to see Futarasan & Toshogu shrines.
Our last train back to Tokyo was leaving at 17:39 so we picked up some delicious bentos at the station & ate on the train before departure. Arrived at Asakusa at 20:05. N.B. ~ Always get to the train stn. or bus stops 15-20 mins. before departure if you want to get a seat.
It was a hectic day but definitely fun, well spent & refreshing from the sultry weather in Tokyo. Will go back & spend a couple of days this fall to take in the sheer beauty of Mother Nature !