Nikko National Park

Please activate Javascript.

Domo arigato.
  • Nikko National Park

    Nikko National Park

Show map

Show gallery

This post can contain affiliate links, which means that we may receive a small commission if you make a purchase using these links.

Facts & Figures

Nikko National Park covers an area of 1147.53 square kilometers and can be found on the main island of Honshu just 130 km north of Tokyo. The park is located in three prefectures: Tochigi, Gunma, and Fukushima. It is one of the most beautiful places in Japan. In addition to its amazing natural features such as marshlands, streams, rivers, mixed forests, lakes, valleys, waterfalls, mountains, and hot springs it also includes UNESCO World Heritage Sites like the Futarasan Shrine, Toshogu Shrine, Rinnoji Temple, and Taiyuin-byo Iemitsu Mausoleum in the city of Nikko, which serves as the gateway to the park. Best Ryokans in Nikko Experience the Ultimate Japanese Hospitality at a Nikko Ryokan.
Find Your Perfect Ryokan Now >
The areas around Mt. Nikko-Shirane (2578 m) and Mt. Nantai (2486) are a hiking paradise and some tough trails lead up to its peaks. Once you reach the top you will be rewarded with breathtaking views over untouched nature. The park consists of three primary zones which are: the Okunikko Area (highlands), Kinugawa/Kawaji Onsen Area (hot springs), and Nikko Area (UNESCO sites). My tip: Come here during the autumn seasons when the leaves of maple trees turn into vibrant colors of red, orange, and yellow.

  • Nikko National Park:
  • Admission Fee - free

My tips for local activities

Local guide in Nikko

How about exploring the beautiful city of Nikko, its historical places, and the Kegon Falls within a day's trip from Tokyo with a local guide? The personalized tour by our partner GetYourGuide can take up to 10.5 hours. For more details check out this page >


In 1911 the area received the official status of an imperial park. Later in 1934, the Nikko National Park was founded. Over the years to park grew in size and included also the Oze National Park. In 2007 the Oze park got its standalone status as the 29th national park in Japan. The whole landscape was formed by the eruptions of three different volcanoes, which were Mount Nantai, Mount Nikko-Shirane, and Mount Nasu. Mt. Nantai erupted the last time approx. 23000 years ago, which led to the creation of Lake Chuzenji.


Map of Japan

Nikko National Park is located in the center of the Japanese island of Honshu in the Kanto region, just under 130 km north of Tokyo.
Address: JR Nikko Station, 4 Aioicho, Nikko, 321-1413 Tochigi Prefecture

How to get to Nikko National Park?

  • 2hrs from Tokyo Asakusa Station to Nikko Station by Tobu Railways or
  • 2hrs from Tokyo Shinjuku Station to Nikko Station by limited express trains or
  • 100min from Tokyo or Ueno Station by JR Tohoku Shinkansen to Utsunomiya and transfer to the Nikko Line

Sightseeing spots within Nikko National Park


Kegon Falls - The 97m high falls belong to the top three of the most beautiful waterfalls in Japan. Read more >

Kirifuri-Kogen Falls (Kirifuri Falls) - It is a beautiful waterfall located within the Kirifuri Highlands. Kirifuri-Kogen has a total height of 75 meters. You can reach this place with a 14-minute car ride from Nikko.

Ryuzu Falls (Dragon Head Falls) - The 10-meter-high falls are located on the Yukawa River. The river gets split into two streams around a large rock and this scenery is very popular with locals and tourists. Take a bus from Nikko and enjoy this wonder of nature.

Lake Chuzenji - With an altitude of 1269m it is the highest natural lake in Japan. Lake Chuzenji was a very popular destination in the 19th and 20th centuries for foreigners and embassies to escape the humid summer climate in big cities like Tokyo. Read more >

UNESCO Sites - The UNESCO World Heritage Site - Shrines and Temples of Nikko - includes 103 structures and buildings that are part of Futarasan Shrine, Toshogu Shrine, Rinnoji Temple, and Taiyuin-byo Iemitsu Mausoleum.

Tamozawa Imperial Villa (Tamozawa Goyote) - This building with 106 rooms was used by the Imperial Family as a summer residence in Nikko. It dates back to 1899.

Best Trails - The best trails are: Ryuoky Valley Trail (6km), Mt. Nantai (5km), Kirifuri Kogen Trail (4hrs), Lake Chuzenji Trail (13km), Senjogahara Trail (3hrs), Lakes Kirikomi and Karikomi Trail (10km), Lake Yunoko Trail (1hr), Mount Nakimushi Trail (5hrs), and Akagane-no-michi Trail (3 hrs).

Senjogahara Marshland - It is a beautifully preserved natural space and covers an area of 4 square kilometers. Every season offers something new to explore here. Be aware that the Asian black bear likes this area too.

Kinunuma - It is the highest wetland (2040 meters) in Japan and is located in the area of ​​the source of the Kinu River. There are over forty different large ponds here.

Shiobara Valley - It is a great hiking place and very popular for its hot springs (Nasu Onsen and Shiobara Onsen), waterfalls, and untouched nature. Read more >

Nasu Heisei-no-Mori - The forest covers about 5,6 square kilometers within the Nasu Imperial Villa Grounds, located in the town of Nasu. Enjoy there some guided tours, and walking trails and learn more about its environmental protection concept.

Festival & Events in Nikko (dates can change without notice)


Yayoi Matsuri (16th - 17th)
The Mikoshi (portable Shinto shrine) procession will be held at the Futarasan Shrine.


Toshogu Shrine Grand Festival (17th - 18th)
The most important annual festival in Nikko includes a horseback archery and a procession of 1000 warriors. The festival is a re-enactment of the funeral procession of Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616) who founded the Tokugawa Shogunate in Edo (Tokyo).


Toshogu Shrine Autumn Festival (16th - 17th)
Is a repetition of the festival in May.

Illumination of Shinkyo Bridge (end of Oct.)
This event lasts only for 3 days and is very popular with locals and tourists.

Book your Japan trip and have a great time!

My 100 Best Moments in Japan

Yokohama Street Scene

I have visited Japan nearly every year since 2004. This is my collection of the 100 best moments in my favorite country. Enjoy the pictures and I hope you will start your own journey soon.
Find out more >

Books about Japan

My recommended books about Japan

Reading books is a great source of inspiration for me. Check out my recommended list of books about the fascinating country Japan.
My Book recommendations >