Tokyo Nikko - Guide to travelling Tokyo Nikko including
various train options on the Tokyo Nikko route and discount tickets.
Tokyo Nikko By Tobu
The fastest and most convenient way to access
Nikko is on the private Tōbu Nikkō Line (東武日光線) from
Tokyo's Tobu-Asakusa station.
Tōbu Railway runs all-reserved limited express services, known as Tokkyū
(特急) trains, to the area. These trains, which use Tobu's "SPACIA" railroad
equipment, have comfortable, reclining seats, with vending machines and
KIOSK available on most trains. One service, called Kegon (けごん) runs
directly from Asakusa to
Nikko in the morning, and back to Asakusa in the
afternoon. There is one daily departure from Asakusa at 7:30 am, and
depending on the season, there may be an additional departure at 9:30 am.
The other service, Kinu (きぬ), departs from
Asakusa more frequently, but branches off to Kinugawa so you will need
to transfer at Shimo-Imaichi station (下今市) to a local shuttle train for the
final 10-minute run to Nikko. This train is timed to
meet the Kinu arrival. Both the Kegon run, and the Kinu run with transfer,
take about 1 hour and 50 minutes.
Regular direct trains, which depart from
Asakusa about each hour, cost ¥1320 each way. Rapid, or Kaisoku (快速)
trains, take two hours; the slower Section Rapid, or Kukan-Kaisoku (区間快速)
takes 2 1/2 hours. You must board one of the first two cars, since the train
divides en route.
In addition, Tōbu Railway offers three convenient passes for Nikko and
Kinugawa hot spring area, which can be used only by visitors to
All Nikko Pass
All Nikko Pass allows unlimited buses and train access in the Nikko and
Kinugawa area and includes some discounts for nearby attractions, but does
not include entry to the shrines. Valid for 4 days, cost ¥4400. Recommended
for visitors coming to see Nikko's lakes and falls.
World Heritage Pass
World Heritage Pass covers a round-trip to Nikko and Kinugawa and includes
admission to the shrines. Valid for 2 days, cost ¥3600. Some discounts for
Kinugawa Theme Park are also included.
Kinugawa Theme Park Pass
This pass includes admission to theme parks where you can experience the
history and culture of Japan - and the world - up close. The two theme parks
are Tobu World Square, where World Heritage sites and other famous
structures are re-created at 1:25 scale, and Edo Wonderland / Nikko Edo
Village, where you travel back in time to the days of the samurai.
ALL these three passes allows unlimited train rides from Shimo-Imaichi St.to
Tobu-Nikko St.and Kinugawa hot spring St. NOTE: You can not use these pass
for SPACIA(Tokkyu) departing from Shinjuku and Ikebukuro. These passes are
only effective for SPACIA departing from Asakusa St.
These passes can be booked online. For ¥1000 extra, you can get reserved
seats and travel on the limited express services.
You can get these passes at Tobu Sightseeing Service Center. Right next to
the north exit of Tobu Railway's Asakusa Station. Staff who can speak
English are available.
Tokyo Nikko By JR
Travel by JR costs more and takes longer, and isn't really
worth considering unless you have a Japan Rail
Pass, in which case you can take the Tohoku
Shinkansen (Yamabiko, Max Yamabiko, Tsubasa or Nasuno) from
Tokyo Station or Ueno to Utsunomiya
(50 minutes or 44 minutes, respectively), then connect to the JR Nikko line
(43 minutes from Utsunomiya to Nikko). From
Tokyo Station, the whole trip will
take from about 1 hour 40 minutes to around 2 hours, depending mostly on the
connection in Utsunomiya.
Tokyo Nikko By JR and Tobu
In March of 2006, JR East and Tobu began joint
limited-express service from
Shinjuku Station to the Nikko area.
This service offers one daily round-trip between
Shinjuku Station and Tobu-Nikko
station. The Nikko limited express departs
Shinjuku Station at 7:12, and
makes stops at Ikebukuro and Omiya, then continues via JR tracks to
Kurihashi station, where control of the train is turned over to Tobu.
Operating over the Tobu Nikko line, the train then makes three more stops
before terminating at Tobu-Nikko. The one-way journey lasts about two hours.
Other limited express trains depart
Shinjuku Station for Kinugawa, so you will have to transfer to a shuttle
train at Shimo-Imaichi for the final run to Tobu-Nikko. This also takes
about two hours. This service is all in addition to Tobu's
regularly-scheduled Kegon and Kinu service into and out of Asakusa.
Seat reservations are mandatory, and the fare for this journey is ¥3900 each
way. Japan Rail Pass holders can use this limited express trains depart
Shinjuku for ¥1560 each way (covering the portion of the trip between
Kurihashi and Tobu-Nikko).
Holders of the JR East Rail Pass, on the other hand, may use the service to
Nikko at no additional charge; the trip is fully covered. Unlike the regular
Japan Rail Pass, the JR East Pass also covers local Tobu trains between
Shimo-Imachi and Tobu-Nikko, and Shimo-Imaichi and Kinugawa-Onsen. You will
have to pay separate fares for any services that are not covered.
If you plan on taking this service in both directions, consider the JR Tobu
Nikko Kinugawa Free Pass (¥7800), sold to Japanese and foreigners alike.
Valid for three consecutive days, it includes one round-trip on the joint
JR/Tobu limited express service and unlimited travel on local Tobu trains
and buses within that area. It does not include admission to the Nikko
by Marc Heiden. Based on work by Jose Ramos, janelle p., D. Guillaime and
Gavin, Wikitravel user(s) Tweisbach, Dox96 and Episteme, Anonymous user(s)
of Wikitravel and others. Article used under
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 1.0.)