Outdoor | Avg price: ¥1000 | English Available: None (Unknown)
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Fall Leaves, temples, shrines, gardens, onsen, and a waterfall
Nikko is one of the best places to go for fall leaves in Japan, but also really nice even without the colorful leaves. From Kinugawa Onsen to a Kegon Falls, there is a lot of outdoor nature year round. There are also World Heritage site temples and shrines, so it's a popular destination for school trips.
My friends and I walked around the amazing shrines and temples first, enjoying the sunlight and bright red leaves. We got some 'tofu skin,' a specialty food called yuba, which is popular in Nikko and other places with historical buildings, like Kyoto and Nara. Then we went to a restaurant for lunch and I had some 'mountain vegetable' fern or sansai soba. So nice after walking around a lot.
Nikko is a great place to take pictures, so don't forget a camera!
During the fall season, Nikko is really crowded, because it's one place Japanese people and tourists all love to go to see the colorful leaves. It's also only a couple hours from Tokyo but really beautiful nature. Unfortunately, the traffic was so bad on the way up the mountain to see the waterfall, that we couldn't get there before it started to get dark out. It was still possible to see the 97 meter tall Kegon Falls in the dark, but just a little. There were some souvenir shops and foods like grilled fish and corn being sold near the parking lot. That sounded really nice because it was getting really cold already in the mountains. We got some snacks, ate some hot food, and headed home.
It's possible to go from Tokyo in a little over two hours by rapid train. Take Tobu Skytree Line (from Asakusa Station to Tobu Dobutsuen Koen, continue on the same train or change to Nikko Line all the way to Tobu Nikko Station, for 1358 yen one way) or the JR Nikko Line to Nikko Station. There are local buses that will take you to the lake, onsen, and Kegon Falls. I was lucky enough to go with a friend with a car.
The price really depends on which shrines and temples you visit and how much you eat. There was a combination ticket available for 1000 yen that allowed entrance to all four of the historic temples and shrines about a 30 minute walk from the station. I read this is no longer available though.
321-1444 Tochigi-ken, Nikkō-shi, 2 Chome Kiyotaki