Start in Tokyo and experience the local spring attractions (Asakusa, Sumida River & Sumida Park) before heading off on a scenic, non-stop train journey to Nikko, a great short-stay destination only 2 hours from Tokyo by Tobu Railway.
Nikko bursts into life in spring, with colourful flowers, festivals and seasonal food welcoming the warmer days. The World Heritage sites of Nikko sit among the Sakura cherry blossoms as the days grow warmer and longer throughout spring.
Things to do in Nikko in Spring:
- Central Nikko’s blossoms: shrines and temples – Cherry blossoms that range from white to brilliant pink are scattered around UNESCO designated World Heritages shrines and temples, usually from mid-to-late April. There are many different varieties of cherry blossoms here, with the weeping cherry tree at Kokuzoson Temple over 350 years old.
- Explore the town in a yukata – One way to truly immerse into the country is to experience it like a local, and spring can be spent exploring small, rural towns wearing a colourful yukata, which is a light, casual type of Japanese kimono. Snack on locally made dango, a savoury grilled snack made of rice whilst you take in the sights.
- Chanokidaira nature hike – Enjoy a light hike to the 1,600-metre Chanokidaira lookout point in the hills behind the Ritz-Carlton, Nikko. The forested trail offers beautiful views of Lake Chuzenji, and spring highlights include the rhododendrons. The reward is a spectacular view of Mount Nantai.
- Nikko Yayoi Festival celebrates the arrival of spring from 13 April to 17 April – One of the oldest events in Nikko, the Yayoi Festival celebrates the arrival of spring with hopes of good fortune in the year. The main drawcard of the festival are eleven beautifully decorated floats that are pulled across town to beautiful music.
- Nikko Toshogu Shunki Taisai Grand Spring Festival – Nikko Toshogu Shrine’s foremost event, the Reitaisei, or the Grand Festival, is held every year on 17-18 May every year. The festival features the ancient art of yabusame, horseback archery, as well as a grand procession of a portable, accompanied by 1,000 people dressed as samurai, that is carried through the town.
- All across Japan, the food is heavily influenced by the season, so come spring you can expect spring to feature in all the local food, such as cheesecakes made with cherry blossoms, traditional Japanese treats made with salted cherry tree leaves in a sweet bean paste or even a cherry blossom parfait, found at Nikko Kanaya Hotel Craft Lounge.
Make the most of Tobu Railway’s 2 variations of the Nikko Pass to easily access this beautiful spring destination – both includes roundtrip fares between Tokyo and Nikko, plus unlimited Tobu run trains and buses within Nikko and special discounts for certain sightseeing facilities.
The Nikko Pass World Heritage Area is ideal for travellers who want to see the temples and shrines of Nikko’s UNESCO world heritage area, plus enjoy the famous hot springs of Kinugawa Onsen.
The Nikko Pass All Area covers not only areas of the World Heritage Pass, but also other destinations such as the Okunikoo area and Lake Chuzenji.
For more information on Tobu Railway’s offerings, see: tobu.co.jp/en/.