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Nikko Day trip from Tokyo

Singapore
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Nikko Day trip from Tokyo

Hi

Planning to do a day trip from Tokyo next week. Need expert advice on the following:

1) I'm staying in Shinjuku. Shd I take the train from Shinjuku to go Nikko or shd I go via Asakusa and buy the Nikko Heritage Pass?

2) I would like to see the main tourist places such as the shinkyo, toshogu shrine, imperial villa, Keaton falls, lake chuzenji, the three monkeys and whichever that is a must see in nikko. Could anyone provide a suggested itinerary?

Thank you so much in advance.

Tokyo, Japan
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1. Re: Nikko Day trip from Tokyo

1) Whichever that suits you. If you have a pass for JR, the fastest way probably is to to take the Tohoku Shinkansen (Nasuno or some Yamabiko service) from Tokyo Station to Utsunomiya then local line to Nikko station. This isn't the cheapest route, though. Going by Tobu's Kegon Spacia Ltd Exp from Asakusa is cheaper and fun; taking the Rapid cheapest (but not recommended for daytrip travelers, it takes time). There isn't a "should". There is a direct train from Shinjuku now as you mentioned jointly operated by JR and Tobu, but this isn't the cheapest.

2) Go in the early morning, have your breakfast on the train. Get off at Nikko station. Take the Tobu Bus going towards Kiyotaki (清滝), Chuzenji Onsen (中禅寺温泉), and Yumoto Onsen (湯元温泉). If you want to see the Kamihashi in detail, get off at Kamihashi (神橋). You can walk a bit to the Rinnoji (which is currently being completely taken apart and restored/rebuilt from zero), Futarasan Shrine, and Toshogu Shrine (the Tokugawa Shogun Ieyasu's mausoleum with the "three monkeys"). It's all in 1.5 km distance from Kamihashi north-westwards uphill. See Googlemap. There should also be signs and pamphlets given at entrances in English.

www.tobu-bus.com/pc/search/rosenzu/nikko.pdf

I don't know whether the Imperial Villa is worth seeing for people on a short trip, but if you can find time, get off at Tamozawa bus stop (田母沢).

You might get the Chuzenji Onsen Bus Free Pass at 2,000 yen at the station for free stop-overs at Chuzenji Lake (中禅寺湖) and Kegon Falls (華厳の滝). It will take more than 50 minutes to get there from Nikko stations. In popular season, the bus route gets very crowded, so you might go to Chuzenji area first in the morning and see Toshogu and other fine temple/shrines afterwards.

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2. Re: Nikko Day trip from Tokyo

Thank you Yobeekool

I hope you dont mind that I have further questions based on your response:

1) Why is Tobu's Kegon Spacia Ltd Exp is a more fun trip?

2) Is the Tobu's Kegon Spacia Ltd Exp referring to the All Nikko pass?

3) I read that I need to book the All Nikko Pass 4 days in advance. Since I have limited time, is it possible to buy the pass on the day itself?

4) You mention that Rinnoji is being taken apart and rebuilt from zero. So I shd just skip it right? No point looking at construction.

5) I'm think I will skip the Imperial Villa.

6) If I get teh All Nikko Pass, would I still need to by the Chuzenji Onsen Bus Free pass to see Chuzenji Lake and Kegon Falls?

7) There are several falls in Nikko, shd I also make a point to visit one of these other falls?

Thank you for all your help.

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3. Re: Nikko Day trip from Tokyo

1) Because it starts from Asakusa (you might visit Sensoji after your Nikko visit), go past beside Tokyo Skytree (might visit it after Nikko), and go through a bit more interesting scenery (purely subjective). The train sets are a bit old but the they've still got a hot snacks corner and renewed the seats last year, which is good (from a train fan's point of view). Some Spacia train sets are used for the services going to Ikebukuro and Shinjuku via JR. The JR owned sets uses the modified old Nairta Express sets, and because they've extended the leg-space to match with the better Spacia ones, seat and windows now do not match together comfortably (trivial issue for most travelers, I know. Just choose whichever one that's convenient for you).

…tok2.com/home/…seat_tobu100new.html

…tok2.com/home/tsubame787/seat_253nikko.html

2. No. Spacia is just the name of the train, for which additional limited express charge is necessary.

All Nikko Pass is for people going to Chuzenji Lake, which is about an hour further from the shrines/temples area; World Heritage Pass is for people going just to the shrines/temples area.

With World Heritage Pass, admission for main temples are covered but not the bus fare to Chuzenji Lake area. See their terms and conditions: …tobutravel.co.jp/en/all-nikkopass.html

Either way, you need to pay for the ltd exp charge for Tobu Spacia, and not go there on a slow commuter train. If you are sure to do the trip to Chuzenji Lake (must start early in the morning for this), then go by All Nikko Pass.

3) No, reserve in advance, if you need this pass. >>Internet reservations must be completed from at least 4 days in advance of your departure.<<

…tobutravel.co.jp/en/all-nikkopass.html

4) It's on your way to Toshogu and it has a nice garden and treasure house. Whether you should visit it in brief or not is up to you.

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e3803.html

There are other sites many people visit: japan-guide.com/e/e3800.html#jump_orientation

5) If that's your choice. Time is a factor.

6) No, read the terms and conditions.

7) I think visiting the Kegon Fall by the Chuzenji Lake is sufficient, and you won't have much time for wider explorations, I think.

Edited: 18 March 2013, 06:48
Hong Kong, China
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4. Re: Nikko Day trip from Tokyo

Kegon Falls is one of the few waterfalls in Japan that's worth the effort to see. I think you will find the site satisfying. No need to visit most other ones.

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5. Re: Nikko Day trip from Tokyo

I'm planning on buying the All Nikko pass when visiting Tokyo in 2 weeks time. Does it need to be bought (online) 4 days before or can I buy it the day before when I will be in the Asakusa area? I know that if I wait until the day of travel, I will need to wait for the ticket office to open so I could not catch an early train.

If possible I would like to be able to check the weather forecast before committing myself to the extra time it takes to get to Kegon falls and Chuzenji Lake. If the weather is not good it would probably make more sense to just get the world Heritage Pass and do the temples only.

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6. Re: Nikko Day trip from Tokyo

I believe that it has to be purchased in advanced. When I bought the tickets online just a couple of days ago, only tickets for at least 4 days later are available for purchase.

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7. Re: Nikko Day trip from Tokyo

Will a JR Kanto Area Pass be sufficient for all my travels within Tokyo, and to Nikko?

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8. Re: Nikko Day trip from Tokyo

Using JR Kanto Area Pass:

Tokyo: Use of JR lines within Tokyo, including Narita Express. You cannot use the pass to ride private rail or subway. The very extensive Tokyo Metro and Toei subway lines are therefore excluded. You will likely need to buy a ticket or two at some point, or have a Suica prepaid card which is good on just about all forms of public transport.

Nikko: Use of Shinkansen (bullet) train to Utsunomiya, where you can then transfer to JR Nikko Line to Nikko. This is the quickest way to go from Tokyo to Nikko. Once you reach Nikko, you will have to pay for buses and admission separately.

Beyond Tokyo and Nikko: You can also take other JR East trains (including Shikansen) within the designated area. The notable exception is Tokaido Shinkansen which goes toward Odawara and Atami, etc since this train is not run by JR East.

Alternative: Depending on the rest of your plans, Tobu Rail's All Nikko Pass or World Heritage Pass might make sense. Please read through the previous responses in this thread.

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9. Re: Nikko Day trip from Tokyo

So, is the Shikansen bullet train the best way to go up to Nikko or should I look at one of the other routes? what is the pass that you need to buy four days in advance? We leave for Tokyo in about five days but aren't planning to go to Nikko until around October 11.

Thanks!

Tokyo, Japan
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10. Re: Nikko Day trip from Tokyo

MJBSLC, the question depends on the lacking information "from where?" as well as conditions and budget considerations. Tokyo Station to JR Nikko via Utsunomiya by Tohoku Shinkansen and JR Nikko Line costs 5,620 yen one way, normal fare (1hr50min). Tobu Asakusa station to Tobu Nikko on Tobu Railways Ltd Exp Kegon costs 2,720 yen one way (1hr50min). JR Pass holders will take JR naturally but most travelers go by Tobu Railways.

Where are visiting in Japan? If it's just in and around Tokyo (that is, Kanto Region), JR East Kanto Area Pass "might" be considered. This can be bought in Tokyo.

www.jreast.co.jp/e/kantoareapass/#category04

If you intend to visit great places in the North like Yamadera in Yamagata, Sendai, Matsushima, Naruko, you "might" consider the JR East Pass (can be bought in Japan). :

https:/…category03

The most major way of reaching Nikko and Kinugawa Onsen though, is probably by Tobu Railways (normal fare is cheaper, not as fast as Shinkansen but the Ltd Exp Spacia from Asakusa is a relaxing way to get there direct). Various Tobu Passes "might" be considered. This can be bought in Japan.

www.tobu.co.jp/foreign/pass/all_pass.html

You cannot buy a full standard JR Pass that provides nationwide access to JR group trains (but not all railways are operated by JR) once in Japan.

http://www.japanrailpass.net/eng/en001.html

Edited: 28 September 2013, 06:22