Nikko Culture & history

Our most recommended Nikko Culture & history

Tokyo: Nikko Toshogu Shrine and Kegon Waterfall Tour

1. Tokyo: Nikko Toshogu Shrine and Kegon Waterfall Tour

After meeting at 7:50AM, your tour leader will greet you at the ground floor of the Shinjuku Subaru Building next to the Shinjuku JR Station west exit. At 8:00AM, you will depart from Shinjuku to Tochigi prefecture, where Nikko City is located. At around 10:30AM, you will travel to the first stop on your tour, the Nikko Toshogu Shrine. This shrine is the final resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate that ruled Japan for over 250 years until 1868, known as the Edo Period. You can appreciate the beauty of this shrine complex, a UNESCO World Heritage site, whilst learning the interesting stories and legends of the buildings from your guide. After visiting the Nikko Toshogo Shrine, you will pass through the Iroha Slope. It is famous for its 48 sharp turns along its route, and is portrayed in the animation ”Initial D”. The road is very popular for its autumn leaves in the fall. At 12:30PM, you will arrive at the Kegon Waterfall. This almost 100-meter-tall waterfall is the most famous of Nikko's many beautiful waterfalls. It is even ranked as one of Japan's three most beautiful falls, along with the Nachi Waterfall in the Wakayama Prefecture and the Fukuroda Waterfall in the Ibaraki Prefecture. At 2:00PM, your tour will be separated into two groups, you can choose according to your preference to either walk along Lake Chuzenji, or to experience the Nikko hot spring. Before finishing your tour, you will stop by the Onihei Edo service area, which is the most interesting service area with edo style design and traditional souvenirs. At 6:00PM, you will be dropped back at the Shinjuku Subaru Building, where your tour will end.

Edo Wonderland Samurai and Ninja Cultural Theme Park Ticket

2. Edo Wonderland Samurai and Ninja Cultural Theme Park Ticket

Enter the renowned Edo Wonderland in the beautiful city of Nikko to learn about one of the most defining eras of Japan. After entering, feel like you have traveled back into the Edo period as you navigate the town constructed with traditional Edo architecture. Choose to wear a traditional kimono from a selection of various ranks and take the opportunity to become an Edo citizen for the day. Become a lord, samurai, princess, farmer or a different kind of citizen, making for great photo opportunities. Be immersed in the culture and experience the complex beauty of being dressed in kimono.  Enjoy a variety of live performances including the popular ninja performances, oiran cultural shows, water magic shows, and a variety of other traditional plays. Try authentic cultural experiences. Learn the basics of how to handle a samurai sword or traditional archery. Take a lesson on how to play the musical instrument Shamisen, how to apply traditional handmade beni lipstick, how to do ukiyo-e woodblock printing or aizome indigo dying.  Learn unique facets about Edo culture through various exhibits including the Edo firefighters exhibition and swordsmith exhibit. Discover fun unique amusements including a mechanical maze, a ninja house filled with secrets, and the mysterious ninja training house, where the laws of physics seem to not apply. Taste authentic seasonal Edo cuisine at various restaurants in the park. 

Nikko: Private Walking Tour with Local Guide

3. Nikko: Private Walking Tour with Local Guide

Discover Nikko on a fully customizable private tour. Choose what you would like to experience, what time you would like to start your tour, and the local partner will arrange a tour to suit you. Start your day by meeting your guide and then choose the sites you wish to visit depending on your interests. Example 6-hour Itinerary: Meet your guide at Tobu Nikko Station and get the bus to Nikko Tosho-gu shrine. Discover the impressive carvings of the shrine which showcase the techniques of Edo period craftsmen. See carvings of animals, such as the three monkeys said to be admonishing mankind, the sleeping cat, as well as ornate buildings and a five-storied pagoda. Hop on the next bus to Lake Chuzenji via Iroha Zaka. Enjoy the views throughout the journey on this famous winding road. Enjoy lunch by Lake Chuzenji with the brilliant colors of the leaves contrasting with the lake's pristine waters. Take a short walk along the shore of the lake to better experience the beautiful scenery. Continue to Kegon Falls, one of the three most famous waterfalls in Japan. See the water flowing from Lake Chuzenji as it falls from a height of 97 meters. To experience the full power of the waterfall, take the elevator to the viewing platform at the base of the falls where you can view them up close.

Other Sightseeing Options in Nikko

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What people are saying about Nikko

Overall rating

3.9 / 5

based on 52 reviews

On the night before, I came up with the idea, "Let's go to Nikko!" I like traveling by myself. I would recommend this tour for foreigners to the same type of Japanese for the following reasons. [Keep time fair] Everyone is desperate not to get lost in a foreign country. Nobody doesn't follow the meeting time everywhere they go. [I don't smell like alcohol] Japanese ojisans (even though they are themselves) will start drinking sake and canned beer right in their cars, right? For those who don't drink in the daytime, traveling on a savory bus is just painful. That point was really helpful. [It is difficult to talk in the car] If you are caught by another passenger who likes talking on a bus tour, it is the last time. (Only the memories of that person remain from the memories of the trip.) In addition, in the case of a bus tour for Japanese, the guide will talk about everything and let the passengers get tired, but the guide of this tour will talk briefly about t

In this short tour I was able to visit the shrine, see the water fall, the beautiful lake, mountain and enjoyed a local onsen. The two rest stops were worth visiting as well because there were clean toilets (one had ikebana and origami display), nice restaurants and shops :) Every activity was well paced out I think. The tour guide was very patient and helpful. She came prepared with the map drawn by her and English explanation. She gave tips on where we had better spent more time at the shrine. The onsen experience was not really amazing. It's a very small local and indoors onsen. Overall, considering the price that I paid for and places that I have experienced within a day, all's good.

Super nice activity. The sanctuary is a real wonder. The falls are also worth seeing. The different activities are well balanced, not too much downtime. The guide was super good and spoke good English. To recommend.

The ticket bought via get online is cheaper than buy at entrance. Good to buy online advance :) Need to check the shuttle bus/local bus schedule if you don’t drive. Only one or two buses per hour.

Amazing place to visit. Beautiful waterfall and the Shrine was stunning.