The following sightseeing course includes a one-night, two-day journey to Nikko following visits to Sensoji Temple and TOKYO SKYTREE TOWN, both of which are famous Tokyo landmarks. It also covers the NIKKO PASS and its usages when traveling from Asakusa to Nikko. Please make full use of this pass during your travels!
The trip's itinerary is divided into two days. The first day features Sensoji Temple and TOKYO SKYTREE TOWN in Tokyo, and the second an all-day exploration of Nikko. The schedule pacing is fairly relaxed.
9:30 a.m. Walk around Asakusa district, visit Sensoji Temple
11:30 a.m. Visit TOKYO SKYTREE TOWN
12:30 p.m. Eat lunch at TOKYO Solamachi
4:30 p.m. Return to Asakusa, purchase NIKKO PASS at TOBU Tourist Information Center ASAKUSA
5:00 p.m. Take Limited Express SPACIA to Nikko. 6:51 p.m. Arrive at Nikko
7:00 p.m. Stay overnight at Nikko Kanaya Hotel
8:00 a.m. Depart from Nikko Kanaya Hotel
9:00 a.m. Ride Akechidaira Ropeway
10:00 a.m. Visit Kegon Falls
11:00 a.m. Visit Lake Chuzenji
12:00 p.m. Eat lunch at Nikko Yuba-maki ZEN (yuba soy milk skin cuisine)
1:00 p.m. Walk around Nikko city center
2:00 p.m. Visit Nikko Toshogu Shrine
3:00 p.m. Visit Shinkyo Bridge
3:30 p.m. Explore shops and cafes near Shinkyo Bridge
4:23 p.m. Take Limited Express Revaty back to Asakusa 6:15 p.m. Arrive in Asakusa
6:30 p.m. Take photographs of Asakusa night view at Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center
Sensoji Temple is one of the most popular Buddhist temples and sightseeing spots in Tokyo. Numerous visitors come here during the New Year holiday in particular to pray to the bodhisattva Avalokiteśvara (Kannon Bosatsu). The temple's Kaminarimon Gate ("Thunder Gate"), with its gigantic red paper lantern, is one of Tokyo's most well known sights. Furthermore, the Nakamise-dori shopping street leading up to the temple is packed with shops selling souvenirs, as well as ningyo-yaki baked confections adorned with famous faces and sights, dango dumplings, and other foods you can snack on as you explore—there's something for everyone to enjoy!
For a sweeping view of Sensoji and the overall Asakusa neighborhood, I recommend the observation deck of the Asakusa Culture Tourist Information Center, located opposite the Sensoji. This facility also provides useful information for travelers, has a cafe and exhibition area, and offers free weekend walking tours.
At a height of 634 meters (2,080 feet), TOKYO SKYTREE is the world's tallest broadcasting tower and the tallest of any tower in Japan. It is approximately twice as high as Tokyo Tower. Visitors can enjoy views of the city and surroundings, and even Mount Fuji on clear days, from one or both of the observation floors: the TOKYO SKYTREE TEMBO DECK at 350 meters (1,148 feet) and the TEMBO GALLERIA at 450 meters (1,476 feet).
THE SKYTREE SHOP, with locations on the 1st floor, 5th floor and floor 345 (TEMBO DECK), sells official TOKYO SKYTREE character Sorakara-chan merchandise.
TOKYO SKYTREE: http://www.tokyo-skytree.jp/en/
If you like shopping and eating out, then you're sure to enjoy TOKYO Solamachi, a large-scale shopping center located at the foot of TOKYO SKYTREE. Experience various culture, traditions, styles and more at TOKYO Solamachi. A wide range of restaurants, shops and more are available here. More information: https://www.tokyo-solamachi.jp/en/
I ate lunch in the food court. I dined on ramen at Ichiran, tako-yaki dumplings at Gindaco, and seafood over rice in a bowl.
There are many other restaurants where you can enjoy a favorite dish. The food court is on the Solamachi Tabeterrace at West Yard No. 4, on the 3rd floor of TOKYO Solamachi.
List of TOKYO Solamachi restaurants: https://www.tokyo-solamachi.jp/en/restaurant/
Industrial tourism plaza Tokyo Sumida City Point offers a wide array of information on industry, culture, history, tourism and dining. Learn about local attractions and charms at this unique facility located in Block 11 on the 5th floor of TOKYO Solamachi's East Yard. Hours: 10:00 a.m.–9:00 p.m.
This official shop carries various products—including unique, limited-availability items—based on popular manga such as One Piece, My Hero Academia, and others currently featured in Weekly Shonen Jump. It can be found on the 3rd floor of TOKYO Solamachi's West Yard.
TOKYO Solamachi also has many other stores where you can buy souvenirs of Japan. The 4th floor of the East Yard is the Japan souvenir floor, where you are sure to find souvenirs to your liking.
CHEESE GARDEN is a famous cheesecake shop from Tochigi Prefecture. I recommend trying the Goyotei Cheesecake, which can be ordered by the piece. This shop is on the 2nd floor of TOKYO Solamachi's Tower Yard.
Sawawa is a must-visit for fans of green tea, including matcha powdered green tea. They offer matcha ice cream, warabi-mochi bracken-starch dumplings, matcha souvenir products from Kyoto, and more. Sawawa is in Block 11 on the 1st floor of TOKYO Solamachi's East Yard.
Later on, I returned to Tobu Asakusa Station to purchase my NIKKO PASS at TOBU Tourist Information Center ASAKUSA. Coin lockers are available at Tobu Asakusa Station, so travelers can store their bags and luggage before walking around. The NIKKO PASS can be purchased at the station ticket counter by passengers with early-morning departures, prior to TOBU Tourist Information Center ASAKUSA operating hours.
Direct trains to Nikko are available from Asakusa; many Kanto-area tourists go out to Nikko and return to Tokyo in a single day. The NIKKO PASS greatly reduces travel costs when visiting Nikko, making for a less expensive and more convenient journey!
Nikko is located in Tochigi Prefecture, approximately 160 kilometers (100 miles) north of Asakusa. It can be reached in about two hours via limited express train. The area has an abundance of beautiful natural scenery and is particularly famous for its autumn leaves. It is also home to Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Nikko-zan Rinnoji Temple and Nikko Futarasan Shrine, comprising the "shrines and temples of Nikko" which were together registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
The NIKKO PASS is the best deal available when traveling on Tobu Nikko Line trains between Asakusa and Nikko. It includes round-trip fare between Asakusa and Nikko (free use of trains along the route) and entitles holders to a 20% discount on limited express tickets used for riding the Revaty, SPACIA and other Tobu limited express trains. The NIKKO PASS offers a wide range of great deals and benefits! Free Wi-Fi is available on Tobu trains, and Limited Express Revaty trains have electrical outlets installed in each seat. The NIKKO PASS also enables unlimited of buses and Tobu trains within the specified Nikko area and provides special discounts for certain sightseeing facilities.
The NIKKO PASS is available in two types, each covering different areas.
1. NIKKO PASS all area
Covers the full area, including UNESCO World Heritage Site attractions, Shin-fujiwara Station, Kinugawa-onsen Hot Springs, Kegon Falls and Lake Chuzenji. Valid for four consecutive days. Two seasonal pricings are available:
- April 20–November 27: ¥4,600 for adults, ¥1,180 for children (limited express tickets must be purchased separately)
- November 28–April 19: ¥4,230 for adults, ¥1,060 for children (limited express tickets must be purchased separately)
Note: This pass covers costs of Tobu Chuzenjiko Cruise and Akechidaira Ropeway
2. NIKKO PASS world heritage area
The ideal pass for day-trip visitors to Nikko who only want to see the top sights, including UNESCO World Heritage Site attractions and Kinugawa-onsen Hot Springs. (Does not include Kegon Falls, Lake Chuzenji and certain other sights.) Same price year-round:
- ¥2,040 for adults, ¥610 for children (limited express tickets must be purchased separately)
Learn more about the NIKKO PASS: https://www.tobujapantrip.com/en/ticket/nikko/all.html
The following is an overview of the main sightseeing attractions that can be visited on a one-night, two-day trip using the NIKKO PASS all area. In addition to these, there are many other exciting things to be found in Nikko. I recommend staying for two nights if you have time in order to explore the whole area.
This 97-meter (318-foot) waterfall is considered one of Japan's top three falls. Visitors can even ride an elevator down to the base of the falls, enabling viewing from a variety of angles. Kegon Falls is a sight to behold all throughout the year, particularly in autumn when the leaves change color.
Just like Kegon Falls, Lake Chuzenji was formed by the eruption of Mount Nantai. Chuzenji Hot Springs, a famous hot spring resort on the east side of the lake, is home to ryokan traditional inns, local shops and restaurants. The NIKKO PASS can be used to enjoy a Tobu Chuzenjiko Cruise out on the lake.
Nikko Yuba-maki ZEN
Yuba soy milk skin cuisine is an essential part of the Nikko culinary experience. I had lunch here before setting out to explore the local World Heritage Site temples and shrines. Personally, I recommend their sushi filled with Tochigi beef and fresh vegetables grown by local farmers, wrapped in yuba rather than the traditional seaweed.
Shinkyo Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in Japan. According to legend, two giant snakes transformed into this bridge to enable the Buddhist monk Shodo Shonin (who later built Nikko-zan Rinnoji Temple) to cross the Daiyagawa River and bring Buddhism to Nikko. For ¥100, visitors can make their own paper airplane from natural materials, write a wish on it, then throw it down into the river, which many believe makes the wish come true. This is a popular activity among tourists.
Nikko Toshogu Shrine
Nikko Toshogu Shrine's Yomeimon Gate serves as the central symbol of the UNESCO World Heritage Site zone. The wooden gate, featuring unique golden craftsmanship throughout and surrounded by the unspoiled natural scenery of Nikko, is a wonder to behold. Although Yomeimon Gate was not fully viewable for four years due to renovation and preservation work, it is now open to the public once again. Nikko Toshogu Shrine is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Tokugawa Family–administered shogunate which effectively ruled Japan for over 200 years. The shrine grounds host numerous examples of elegant art and aesthetic design, including the famous three "see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil" monkeys and the Nemuri-neko (Sleeping Cat) carving.
Nikko Kanaya Hotel
One of Japan's oldest hotels, Nikko Kanaya Hotel boasts a fusion of modern-period Western design with Japanese traditional style. It is located near Shinkyo Bridge, Nikko Toshogu Shrine and other attractions of the UNESCO World Heritage Site zone. Visit the hotel's website to find the perfect room for you: https://www.kanayahotel.co.jp/eng/nkh/
If you're searching for a good cafe, I recommend Hongu Cafe. It's located near the temples and shrines, and about a three-minute walk from Shinkyo Bridge. The cafe is based out of an old, refurbished house and features a relaxing interior design. Customers can enjoy tasty coffee, adorable latte art, snacks and more. Hongu Cafe is open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
This souvenir shop is famous for its Nikko ningyo-yaki baked confections featuring depictions of famous sights. Each ningyo-yaki is filled with azuki bean paste and features images of the three "see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil" monkeys or other auspicious animals displayed as wood carvings inside Nikko Toshogu Shrine. Mishima-ya is close to Tobu-nikko Station, serving as a convenient place to buy souvenirs and gifts before taking the train back to Asakusa.
I returned to Tokyo on an Asakusa-bound Tobu limited express train. Many travelers visit Nikko from the morning to early evening, and then go to Sensoji Temple and TOKYO SKYTREE in Asakusa at night.
（TOKYO） SKYTREE is a service mark /trademark of TOBU RAILWAY CO., LTD. and TOBU TOWER SKYTREE Co., Ltd., registered in Japan, United States of America and other countries.