2 Days in Nikko

2 Days in Nikko

Visiting Nikko will certainly add more depth into your understanding of Japanese history and spirituality. Nikko is one of the richest places culturally and naturally in Japan. It is sure to leave a strong impression on any visitors. 

Tour Overview

The Shrines and Temples of Nikko are designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a single complex located in an outstanding natural setting. Many of the religious buildings were constructed in the 17th century. However, the first buildings were built on the slopes of the sacred Nikko mountains by a Buddhist monk in the 8th century. Today, they testify to the centuries-old tradition of conservation and restoration, as well as the preservation of religious practices linked to a site considered to be sacred. The setting is closely associated with prominent chapters of Japanese history, especially those relating to the symbolic figure of the great Shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543-1616).

The area is also a National Park and travelling further into Oku-Nikko (literally means 'deep Nikko') reveals one of the most scenic places in Japan with pristine lakes, waterfalls and mountains. The beauty is especially appreciated at autumn time.

Nikko is only a couple of hours from Tokyo, and well-worth an overnight trip (or more) to visit both the Toshogu Shrine complex and Oku-Nikko. This model itinerary, 2 Days in Nikko will show you some examples of what you can do in Nikko.

For more information about customising your trip visit our Private Tours page.

You can also get more ideas from our other Model Itineraries


2 days (2 nights)


Historical and scenic sightseeing

Recommended timing  : 

Any time

Suitable for : 

Travellers who are looking for a short extension from Tokyo


Overnight at a Japanese or western style accommodation in Nikko and western style hotel in Tokyo

Price guide: 

AU$1,700 (US$1,350) per person*

*based on 2 persons twin share in low season following the itinerary below

Important notes about our model itineraries:

Our model itineraries are developed to show viewers the ideas for an itinerary and price guide. The itineraries can be further customized, and the accommodation and guide time can be adjusted to suit you. The number of people in your group will affect the price, too. We will give you more firm quotation once we develop your personal itinerary.

Model Itinerary


Day 1: Guided tour of Nikko

This morning you take trains from Tokyo to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Nikko with your guide. On the first day, we suggest you have a guided tour of Toshogu Shrine Complex. It is on vast grounds with many significant monuments. Your guide will inform you of its historical and spiritual background.

Nearby Tomozawa Villa is a former Nikko residence of the Imperial Family. It is open to the public and a great place to see the high quality architecture of Edo and early Meiji periods. We also highly recommend a stroll along the Kanmangafuchi Abyss with its many stone statues wearing a red cap and bib.

If you would like to stay in a traditional ryokan, Nikko has many high quality ones to offer, and there are limited western style rooms too.

Private guide for 8 hours

Trains (private vehicle option available)

Nikko (Nikko Senhime Monogatari or similar - Japanese style room with futon)


Stone Buddha statues along Kanmangafuchi Abyss in Nikko

Day 2: Oku-Nikko

This morning we suggest you use a private vehicle and guide to go up to Oku-Nikko before day trippers arrive. Akechi Daira ropeway is a great way to view Nikko's mountains and the prominent Kegon Fall from above. Chuzenjiko Lake is the central feature of the area with many beautiful spots around it. In the autumn season, we definitely recommend a visit to Ryuzu waterfall and perhaps Yunotaki waterfall. There are some splendid hiking trails for those who love walking.

We suggest the private vehicle takes you back to JR Nikko Station in the afternoon, where you can take trains back to Tokyo (or anywhere else you choose) for the overnight stay.


Private vehicle in Nikko and trains back to Tokyo

Tokyo (Park Hotel Tokyo or similar)

Breakfast (Japanese style)

Day 3: Tokyo

After breakfast at your hotel, this itinerary for 2 Days in Nikko concludes. However, Nikko has so much more to see and do including Nikko Edo Wonderland theme park. So, if you want to extend your stay in Nikko please let us know.

Whether you need to go to your exiting airport on this day, or would like to continue travelling we are happy to help you with the whole package. How about travelling further north? We have great model itineraries for northern Japan. Please have a look!


Not included

Breakfast (Japanese style)

Please note that there may be slight changes to the itinerary described above to accommodate changes in train timetables, opening hours, and hotel and restaurant availability.

All photographs on this website are representative only and are not a commitment to what may be on view on the day.



  • 2 nights accommodation
  • Meals as specified
  • Trains to and from Tokyo, and private vehicle on Day 2.
  • Locally licensed English speaking tour guides and his/her expenses

Does not include:

  • International and domestic airfare (unless otherwise stated)
  • Alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages
  • Tips and gratuities (not routinely expected in Japan)
  • Entrance fees to attractions
  • Personal expenses (laundry, internet, telephone, coin lockers etc.)
  • Visa (if required)
  • Travel insurance