Nikko and Self-guided Walking in Yumoto Onsen

Explore the grand history of the Shogun Ieyasu at Nikko's UNESCO historic area before hiking on the rural Oku Nikko plains and staying in the Onsen village of Yumoto

Highlights

  • Three nights at traditional Japanese inns, with Onsen baths on all three nights
  • Enjoy the grand, ornate design of the UNSECO-certified temple and Shrine complex in Nikko
  • Hike along the scenic and varied Oku Nikko plains, taking in waterfalls, lakes and the peaceful Yukawa river
  • Experience the local delicacy, the delicious, light version of tofu known as Yuba
  • Relax in the rural Onsen town of Nikko Yumoto
  • Visit the breathtaking '3 great falls of Nikko'

Ieyasu was the first Shogun of the Tokugawa clan, who seized power and effective rule of Japan in 1600. He led the country for a further 16 years until his death, but his legacy continued and the Tokugawa Shogunate ruled Japan through to the Meiji Period until 1868. Ieyasu was enshrined at Tosho-gu in Nikko and the region played a big part in his life. Take a scenic train ride out from Tokyo to the picturesque mountains of Tochigi Prefecture to learn about this iconic leader, credited with unifying Japan, and his powerful Tokugawa clan through the atmospheric UNESCO site which now houses his mausoleum, together with a complex of spectacular shrines. In addition to a rich history and culture, Nikko is also well-known for its beautiful nature. After exploring the central area, travel deeper into Nikko's varied landscape to Oku ('inner') Nikko, to enjoy exhilarating hiking through the marshlands towards Nikko Yumoto Onsen, a hot-spring village with comfortable inns, spending two further days hiking in the region.

 

  Downloadable PDF itinerary

 

This experience is an Add-on package
Include this experience in your own custom tour or self-guided Nakasendo tour - start from Tokyo and return to Tokyo. 

Day 1 Sightseeing in Nikko

Travel by train to Nikko.  It was here that in 1617 the Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu had himself enshrined. These extravagantly ornate buildings are now on the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites - there is ample time to visit all of the main shrine structures today. A convenient network of buses enables access to many of the town's wonderful sites, including the 3 great falls of Nikko.  After sightseeing here, relax at a wonderful inn situated along the nearby river valley.
 
Accommodation: Onsen Ryokan (Hot-spring Travellers Inn)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
 
Typical Accommodation

Tsurukame Daikichi Ryokan
A beautiful Ryokan with relaxing indoor and outdoor Onsen bathing overlooking the peaceful Otani River.

Day 2 Hike from Ryuzu Falls to Yumoto Onsen

This morning, take a bus further into the mountains to Oku Nikko.  The forests and mountains here have been sacred to the Japanese for 1,200 years, and your first hike in the area is a gentle introduction to the region following the Yukawa River towards the Onsen village of Nikko Yumoto where you will spend the evening. The hike also takes in two spectacular waterfalls - Ryuzu and Yudaki Falls.

Distance: 8.4km / 5.2 miles
Time required: 3-4 hours
Ascent/descent: 295m / 970 feet of ascent and 90m / 295 feet of descent
 
Accommodation: Onsen Ryokan (Hot-spring Travellers Inn)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
 
Typical Accommodation
Itaya Onsen Ryokan
Located in the Onsen village of Yumoto to the west of central Nikko, Itaya Onsen Ryokan affords a relaxing base to explore the area, with comfortable Japanese-style rooms, good meals and terrific natural thermal baths.

Day 3 Hiking in the Oku Nikko plains

Heading north-east from Yumoto Onsen, today's hike offers exceptional scenery along the Oku Nikko plains, skirting both Mount Mitsudake and Mount Orogura. The trail loops around to the south before returning to Yumoto Onsen for a second night. Sightings of both monkey and deer are common on this wonderfully rural trail.

Distance: 14.8km / 9.2 miles
Time required: 6-7 hours
Ascent/descent: 560m / 1,840 feet of ascent and 570m / 1,870 feet of descent
It is also possible to reduce the hike by 4.7km and 2 hours by skipping the final section of the walk with a local bus
 
Accommodation: Onsen Ryokan (Hot-spring Travellers Inn)
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
 
Typical Accommodation
Itaya Onsen Ryokan
Located in the Onsen village of Yumoto to the west of central Nikko, Itaya Onsen Ryokan affords a relaxing base to explore the area, with comfortable Japanese-style rooms, good meals and terrific natural thermal baths.

Day 4 Return to Nikko and Tokyo

This morning, return by bus to central Nikko and then continue onwards to Tokyo by train. You can spend time exploring Nikko town if you wish, or you may prefer to connect straight onwards to Tokyo before lunch.

We recommend to live this experience as part of one of these tours