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Day 1 of Winter Travel in Nikko ~ SL “TAIJU,” Kegon Falls, and Lake Chuzenji

Writer : kosu- Page: 1/5 -

I decided to travel alone to Nikko in the winter for 3 days and 2 nights. Nikko is well-known for its summers and autumn leaves, but during the winter there are fewer tourists and you can enjoy the winter scenery, so I’d also recommend visiting this season!
This article will introduce the 1st day of my trip. I departed from Shinjuku in Tokyo, then visited SL “TAIJU,” Kegon Falls, and Lake Chuzenji.

Dates of Visit: February 18th-20th, 2018

Table of Contents

Departing for Nikko from Shinjuku!

The standard routes from Tokyo to Nikko go to Utsunomiya from Asakusa by the Tobu Limited Express SPACIA or from Tokyo by the Tohoku Shinkansen. However, since I was setting off from near Shinjuku, I decided to take a limited express train from Shinjuku.

Direct access from Shinjuku Station to Nikko takes about 2 hours
Direct access from Shinjuku Station to Nikko takes about 2 hours
Nikko #1
Nikko #1

I took the “Nikko #1” train, which departed from Shinjuku at 7:36am. This train was a refurbished 253-series that used to be used on the Narita Express.
The red and vermillion colors on the train’s body represent Nisha Ichiji (World Heritage Site of two shrines and one temple, composed of Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Rinno-ji, and Nikko Futarasan Jinja) and Shinkyo Bridge, both symbols of Nikko.

The seats in odd-numbered cars are orange to represent Japanese azalea and autumn leaves, while the seats in the even-numbered cars are blue to represent Kegon Falls and Lake Chuzenji.
The seats are 1,100 millimeters wide, making them quite spacious.
There is also a rather large luggage storage space.

Orange seats in Nikko #1
Orange seats in Nikko #1

I had a “Yamagata Beef Gyu-meshi Bento” I bought at Shinjuku Station for breakfast.
Incidentally, some trains offer in-train sales of food.

Gyu-meshi (beef over rice) bento
Gyu-meshi (beef over rice) bento

Arrival at Tobu Nikko Station!

Right on time, I arrived at Tobu Nikko Station about 2 hours after departing from Shinjuku.

View from the train’s window
View from the train’s window
Nikko #1
Nikko #1

There was a Limited Express SPACIA train at the station when I arrived.

Limited Express SPACIA
Limited Express SPACIA

The Tobu Nikko Station Tourist Center was right outside of the station.
I bought the “Chuzenji Onsen Free Pass,” which is convenient when walking around Nikko. You can use it to board the Tobu Bus at specified sections as much as you want, and the pass is valid for 2 days.
This pass typically sells for 2,000 yen, but since my accommodations were inside Nikko itself and it was wintertime, I got the special price of 1,000 yen.

※Price may vary based on the season.

Tobu Nikko Station Tourist Center
Tobu Nikko Station Tourist Center

Walking Around Tobu Nikko Station and JR Nikko Station

Tobu Nikko Station and JR Nikko Station are adjacent to one another. Since each of the buildings has a unique look, it makes a great place to take pictures.

Tobu Nikko Station

The station is alpine-style.
The station is alpine-style.
Bus boarding area in front of the station
Bus boarding area in front of the station

Buses that go to Lake Chuzenji as well as the “World Heritage Sightseeing Bus” that goes to locations like Nikko Toshogu Shrine depart from here.

There are also souvenir shops and other stores by the station.

Souvenir shops
Souvenir shops

JR Nikko Station

JR Nikko Station
JR Nikko Station
Western-style design
Western-style design

The 2nd floor of the station has an area called the “White Room,” once reserved as a waiting room for first-class travelers, and it is now open to the public as a gallery of the station.

White Room
White Room
Luxurious chandeliers
Luxurious chandeliers

Ever since Nikko became a stop on the “Train Suite Shiki-shima” line, which began operations in May of 2017, it has once again become one of Japan’s iconic tourist destinations.