Best Things To Do in Nikko, Japan

Are you looking for what to do in Nikko?


Apart from the beautiful foliage that comes beautifully alive during the autumn months, Nikko is abundant with shrines, natural attractions and scenic bridges. And if you crave some adventure, Nikko also offers the right dose of activities that will get your adrenaline rushing, like hiking. To rejuvenate, the hot springs in Nikko are the ultimate bliss.

The temple and shrines of Toshogu, Futarasan and Rinnoji are the most popular ones among many other smaller ones. Best visited during the early morning or around dusk, these are surrounded by many attractive bridges and aqueducts. The Shinkyo Bridge is one of the most famous attractions in Nikko. Picture an oriental red bridge joining two verdant greenwoods, over a flowing azure river; that’s Shinkyo Bridge for you! The Kanmangafuchi Abyss is another must-visit in Nikko. Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park and the neighbouring Nikko Botanical Garden to bask in the captivating local flora and fauna, are great too.

For hiking enthusiasts, the Lake Chuzenji is abundant with several surrounding hikes. The Yudaki Falls are luscious falls that make for a great day-out. For some ecstatic rejuvenation, head to the Yumoto spa and ski slopes!

Below we have a list of things to do in Nikko and the places where you want to spend the best moments of your trip. At the same time, the city offers you the best neighborhoods to explore and new foods to try.

This list should help you in deciding and prioritizing what you should plan on your Nikko getaway. Find a mix of must-see tourist spots, underrated local hangouts, and maybe even a few new experiences you can try out.

Make the most of your trip to Nikko with confidence.

Tourist Attractions in Nikko

Here is the list of things to do in Nikko and tourist attractions in city.

  1. Nikko Tosho-gu

    4.5 (393 Votes)
    Nikko Tosho-gu

    Religious Site, Architecture

    Estimated at a cost of 40 billion yen in the current economy, the Nikko Tosho-gu is Japan’s premier world heritage site. Constructed in the 16th century, 1636 was the year to be precise this attraction is a marvel given its spellbinding architecture of fifty-five buildings, that was erected in a considerable short span of time – seventeen months! Every adjective to describe beauty w...Read more
  2. Nikko National Park

    National Park

    Wondering what could be Japan’s most beautiful locale? Head to the Nikko National Park to experience surreal landscapes of cascades, snow-peaked mountains, brooks, forests and rivers streaming into quaint rivulets all over! Come autumn and the national park transforms into a canvas of autumn’s color play! Gorgeous leaves in tinges of jade, auburn, gold and deep reds against a backdr...Read more
  3. Taiyuinbyo Shrine

    Religious Site

    Another architecture marvel and an example of stunning Japanese beauty, the Taiyuinbyo Shrine is a lavish mausoleum and a sub temple of the neighboring Rinnoji Temple. A walk through the woods, and the characteristic escalations and plunges are what you will experience as you get around the Taiyuinbyo Shrine. Having a historical significance of being dedicated to the third shogun of Japan and t...Read more
  4. Yudaki Falls

    4.4 (260 Votes)
    Yudaki Falls

    View Point, Nature

    Wondering what a fan-shaped waterfall, ironically in Japan would look like? The Yutaki Waterfall will enlighten you! As you encroach these dynamic falls, you can hear roaring sound of the falls and winds, luring you to come close and get a glimpse of these gigantic falls! Admire the falls in all their might from the observatory deck., provided for the same. The falls plunge from a height of 70 ...Read more
  5. Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura


    Exploring Japan or Nikko for that matter, you are bound to question what exactly was this Edo Period, that Nikko is all about! The Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura will quench your curiosity! Depicting the history of Nikko, the Edo Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura features all the quintessential Japanese characteristics. From geisha draped in kimonos, to samurais jumping from rooftops, complete with th...Read more
  6. Kegon Falls

    4.3 (219 Votes)
    Kegon Falls

    View Point, Nature

    Another gem of Japan, the Kegoon falls is ranked as one of the country’s best waterfalls. Located at the Lake Chuzenji, these falls are a result of rerouted lava that forms the Daiya River. Cascading from a height of 318 feet, the Kegon Falls, are encircled by twelve more tiny waterfalls that squirt from the cracks of adjoining mountains. People from all over Japan, come to admire these f...Read more
  7. Lake Chuzenji

    4.3 (181 Votes)
    Lake Chuzenji

    Water Body, Lake, Boating

    A creation that dates back to 20,000 years ago, the Lake Chuzenji is one of the most striking features of the Nikko National Park. A result of Mount Nantai erupted lava that further blocked the river. Sprawling across a whopping 11.62-kilometer square with a circumference of 25 kilometers, this enormous lake is a must-see in Nikko for several reasons. The lake is like a painting in the fall mon...Read more
  8. Ryuzu Falls

    4.2 (162 Votes)
    Ryuzu Falls

    View Point

    The third of Japan’s best waterfalls, the Ryuzu Waterfall will leave you awestruck, irrespective of the time of the year you visit it! Literally meaning “Dragon's Head Waterfall”, the Ryuzu waterfalls is essentially a twin waterfall, resembling a dragon’s head. Making its way into Nikko’s popular lakes of the mesmerizing Lake Chuzenji and the Lake Yunoko, this wate...Read more
  9. Tobu World Square

    4.1 (60 Votes)
    Tobu World Square

    Museum, Food And Drinks

    How about getting glimpses of the world’s attractions, all in one place?! Representing the beautiful blend that Nikko is of very traditional aspects, as well as modern at the same time, the Tobu World Square is a dynamic take on Nikko’s tourism. In essence, the Tobu World Square is an architectural museum that has aspired to replicate 102 world-famous buildings on a 1:25 scale. Thes...Read more
  10. Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park


    Want a break from all the shrines and waterfalls? Head to the heavenly tranquil Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park. This is one Nikko attraction that promises Zen like none other! The ex-residence of Nikko’s then emperor and his wife, this residence accommodates a whopping 106 rooms and immaculately clipped lawns and gardens that also included a cherry tree, apparently dating bac...Read more
  11. Futarasan Jinja

    4.3 (199 Votes)
    Futarasan Jinja

    Religious Site

    Can’t get enough of Nikko’s remarkable craftsmanship and architecture? The Nikko Futarasan Jinja Shrine is another classic! Established back in 782, by a Buddhist monk named Shodo Shonin, who also happens to be the pioneer of Buddhism in Japan, this attraction is devoted to the Nikko's three highly worshipped and sacred mountains of the Mount Nantai, the Mount Nyoho and the Mount Ta...Read more
  12. Senjogahara

    4.4 (108 Votes)


    Legend has it that this is where the mythical battle for the gods of Lake Chuzenji was fought between the Gods of Mt. Nantai and Mt. Akagi. Thus, this region rights derives its name from the aforementioned legend. Senjogahara literally translates to battlefield. Mt. Nantai emerged as the ultimate victor. The plateau is a great place to stroll around and hike, expanding at about 6 kilometers. Al...Read more
  13. Shinkyo

    4.1 (332 Votes)


    That gorgeous bridge you saw, while doing your Nikko research is this one right here! Nikko’s sacred vermillion colored bridge. Set at the entrance of the Futarasan Shrine, this is one of Nikko’s most sacred properties. The bridge comes with a mystery as to when and how it was exactly erected, which only further add to the enigma of this bridge. It was however, rebuilt in 1636, beco...Read more
  14. Yunoko Lake

    4.4 (123 Votes)
    Yunoko Lake

    Water Body, Lake

    A hot water lake anyone?! It is no news Japan has some of the world’s highly volcanic terrains, and so not surprisingly its water bodies are at atypical temperatures. Perched adjacent to the Senjogahara plateau this hot water lake is a consequence of Mount Nantai’s volcanic eruptions some 20,000 odd years ago. The same consequence is a genesis of other popular attractions of Nikko l...Read more
  15. Kanmangafuchi Abyss

    Walking Area, Statue

    Another attraction which is an outcome Mount Nantai’s upsurge, makes it to Nikko’s must-see attractions. A gorgeous gorge nested amidst central Nikko, captivates you as you leisurely take in Nikko’s orientation. 70 stone statues of red-bibbed Jizo lace the pathways of this attraction. Interestingly, the Jizo is a Bodhisattva overhauling the deceased! Also referred to as "Bake ...Read more