Nikko Half-Day Private Tour with Nationally-Licensed Guide

This value-packed trip with a nationally-licensed and experienced multilingual tour guide is a fantastic and efficient way to explore Nikko!

There are many reasons why Nikko is a must-see stop during your stay in Japan. Your private guide will help you efficiently enjoy a half-day tour of this historic, beautiful town.

Your guide will start your day with a morning pickup at Nikko Station (Tobu or JR). Nikko is one of Japan’s most stunning nature reserves, situated on the incredibly scenic―and hard to reach on your own―Romantic Road.

Let us know what special requests you have for the day and we will customize your itinerary in advance!

Note*1: Please select your must-see spots from a list in the tour information to create your customized itinerary.
Note*2: The Nationally-licensed Tour Guide-Interpreter certification is issued by the Japanese government requires a good knowledge and understanding of Japanese culture and history.

per adult from




4 hours


Hotel pickup available


Mobile ticket

Select Date and Travellers

No tour options available.

  • What's included :
    • Free Photos
    • Hotel Pick up and Drop-off
    • Licensed Local Guide
    What's excluded :
    • Other personal expenses
    • Entrance fee (for you and your guide)
    • Private transportation
    • Transportation fee (for yourself and your guide)
    • Lunch - for yourself and your guide
    • Entry/Admission - Nikko Tosho-gu
    • Entry/Admission - Kegon Falls
    • Entry/Admission - Nikkosanrinnoji Taiyuin
    • Entry/Admission - Rinno-ji Temple
    • Entry/Admission - Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park
    • Entry/Admission - Kanmangafuchi Abyss
    • Entry/Admission - Nikko Futarasan Shrine
    • Entry/Admission - Nikko Botanical Garden
    • Entry/Admission - Kirifuri Waterfall
    • Entry/Admission - Kanaya Hotel History House
  • This is a typical itinerary for this product

    Stop At: Nikko Tosho-gu, 2301 Sannai, Nikko 321-1431 Tochigi Prefecture

    Understand why “Don’t say ‘magnificent’ until you’ve seen Nikko” visiting the final resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate and nearby shrines and temple.
    The most renowned shrine of “the Shrines and Temples of Nikko”-a Japan’s leading world heritage, is where Ieyasu Tokugawa, the great Shogun who started the flourishing Edo Period, is enshrined. Most of the shrine complex you see today was rebuilt in 17th century. The shrine contains 55 buildings including 8 national treasures and 34 listed buildings. The highlights are sumptuous carvings lacquered and richly coloured brilliantly, which you will gaze at craftsmanship assembled from all over the country. Do not miss the symbol of peace “Sleeping Cat”, and the “Three Monkeys” with the “see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil” poses!

    Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

    Stop At: Nikko National Park, Japan

    The Nikko National Park is one of the parks that designated as the first National Parks in Japan. The park has a cornucopia of natural superb views, from beautiful and unspoiled nature in the Oku-Nikko district to the marsh registered under the Ramsar Convention, mountains represented by Mt. Nikko Shirane, the highest mountain in the area north of Kanto, lakes and marshes, valleys and falls. In addition, Onsen resources, gifts from the nature, are abundant in the park. Enjoy magnificent nature in the city of Nikko where the National Park occupies most of it.

    Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

    Stop At: Kegon Falls, 2479-2 Chugushi, Nikko 321-1661 Tochigi Prefecture

    Kegon Waterfall is the most famous of Nikko’s 48 waterfalls. Water from Lake Chuzenji falls 97 metres straight down to the rocks below creating a dynamic and artistic work of nature. A special lift takes visitors to the basin where the force and roar of the water can be witnessed close up! Impressive in any season, the waterfall looks particularly spectacular when surrounded by the fresh green leaves in May, house martins in June, or the “12 falls” - small streams of the frozen waterfall clad in blue ice - during January and February.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Lake Chuzenji, Chugushi, Nikko 321-1661 Tochigi Prefecture

    Lake Chuzenji is the largest lake in Tochigi, framed by 25 kilometres of incredible nature. The area used to be a popular summer resort for foreigners in the late 19th to early 20th centuries. The villas of French and Belgian embassies can still be found here. You can enjoy seasonal charms by the lake. Walking trails surround the water’s edge and there is an excursion boat available on the lake. The views from the lake are spectacular, particularly when the cherry blossoms or azaleas are blooming or when the autumn leaves are turning. The “Koyo-meguri” tour, enjoying autumn leaves reflecting on the lake, is highly recommended.

    Duration: 1 hour 30 minutes

    Stop At: Irohazaka Route, Chugushi, Nikko 321-1661 Tochigi Prefecture

    A pair of winding roads that connect the lower elevations near Nikko and the higher elevations of the mountainous region is the Iroha Slope which has also been featured in the popular anime, Initial D. Made up of 48 hairpin turns throughout the different upslope and downslope roads, it is known as the best place to view the autumn leaves. “Iroha” is the first three of the 48 syllables in the previous Japanese alphabet. Hence, with the corresponding number of turns, each turn is named after one of the Japanese alphabet syllables, giving the name Iroha Slope.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Senjogahara Field, Chugushi, Nikko 321-1661 Tochigi Prefecture

    “Senjogara” translates to battlefield and here it refers to a mythical battlefield where legends say that the gods of Mount Nantai and Mount Akagi fought once to claim the neighboring lakes as their own. Taking on the incarnation of a serpent and centipede respectively, they fought and intertwined repeatedly, creating this marshland. The battlefield has now changed to a battle of charms as various plants and fauna reside in the vast field, competing to charm the many visitors.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Nikkosanrinnoji Taiyuin, 2300 Sannai, Nikko, Tochigi 321-1431, Japan

    Taiyuin (大猷院, Taiyūin) is the mausoleum of the third Tokugawa shogun, Iemitsu, the grandson of Ieyasu. Iemitsu's lavish mausoleum complex resembles nearby Toshogu Shrine in its layout and architecture, but it was intentionally built somewhat more modest than the Toshogu, due to Iemitsu's deep respect for his grandfather. Taiyuin is the posthumous name of Iemitsu.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Rinno-ji Temple, 2300 Sannai, Nikko 321-1431 Tochigi Prefecture

    Rinnoji (輪王寺, Rinnōji) is Nikko's most important temple. It was founded by Shodo Shonin, the Buddhist monk who introduced Buddhism to Nikko in the 8th century.

    The temple's main building, the Sanbutsudo, houses large, gold lacquered, wooden statues of Amida, Senju-Kannon ("Kannon with a thousand arms") and Bato-Kannon ("Kannon with a horse head"). The three deities are regarded as Buddhist manifestations of Nikko's three mountain deities which are enshrined at Futarasan Shrine. A decade-long renovation of the Sanbutsudo was completed in spring 2019.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park, 8-27 Honcho, Nikko 321-1434 Tochigi Prefecture

    Tamozawa Imperial Villa (田母沢御用邸, Tamozawa Goyōtei) blends traditional Edo and early modern Meiji Period architecture throughout its 106 rooms. The villa was erected in Nikko in 1899, using parts of a residence that originally stood in Tokyo.

    Before being moved to Nikko, the building served initially as the Tokyo residence of a branch of the Tokugawa family and was later temporarily used as the Imperial Palace. In Nikko, it was enlarged into a summer residence and retreat for the Imperial Family, but suffered neglect after World War II. In the year 2000, the villa was opened to the public after extensive renovation works.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Kanmangafuchi Abyss, Nikko, Tochigi 321-1415, Japan

    Kanmangafuchi Abyss (憾満ヶ淵) was formed by an eruption of nearby Mount Nantai. This gorge near central Nikko is only a few hundred meters long and can be enjoyed from a pleasant riverside walking trail.

    Kanmangafuchi is also known for its row of about 70 stone statues of Jizo, a Bodhisattva who cares for the deceased. This particular group of Jizo statues is alternately called "Bake Jizo" (Ghost Jizo), "Narabi Jizo" (Jizo in a line) or "Hyaku Jizo" (100 Jizo). The statues look out over the river and across to the Nikko Botanical Garden, but the botanical garden cannot be entered from the abyss.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Nikko Futarasan Shrine, 2307 Sannai, Nikko 321-1431 Tochigi Prefecture

    Futarasan Shrine (二荒山神社, Futarasan Jinja) stands next to Toshogu in central Nikko. Much older than its more lavish neighbor, Futarasan Shrine was founded in 782 by Shodo Shonin, the Buddhist monk who introduced Buddhism to Nikko and who also founded nearby Rinnoji Temple. Futarasan Shrine is dedicated to the deities of Nikko's three most sacred mountains: Mount Nantai, Mount Nyoho and Mount Taro. Futarasan is an alternate name of Mount Nantai, the most prominent of the three mountains.

    The shrine grounds are mostly free to enter except for a small paid area to the left of the offering hall (haiden). The paid area features a small forested garden with a couple more halls, a spring, old sacred trees and closer views onto the main hall (honden) that stands behind the offering hall. Located one kilometer from the shrine grounds, the Shinkyo Bridge also belongs to Futarasan Shrine.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Nikko Botanical Garden, 1842 Hanaishicho, Nikko 321-1435 Tochigi Prefecture

    Nikko Botanical Garden (日光植物園, Nikko Shokubutsuen) is owned and maintained by the prestigious University of Tokyo. As such, it is a branch of the university's main research garden, Koishikawa Botanical Garden in Tokyo.

    The garden was opened in 1902 for the purpose of collecting and studying alpine plants. It is spacious and quiet with a substantial network of paths that allows for pleasant walks and the viewing of the various labeled trees, plants and shrubs. The garden also offers a look into the Kanmangafuchi Abyss, although there is no direct connection between the garden and the abyss.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Shinkyo Bridge, 2307 Sannai Nikko Futarasann Shrine, Nikko 321-1431 Tochigi Prefecture

    The Shinkyo Bridge (神橋, Shinkyō, "sacred bridge") stands at the entrance to Nikko's shrines and temples, and technically belongs to Futarasan Shrine. The bridge is ranked as one of Japan's three finest bridges together with Iwakuni's Kintaikyo and Saruhashi in Yamanashi Prefecture.

    The current Shinkyo was constructed in 1636, but a bridge of some kind had marked the same spot for much longer, although its exact origins are unclear. Until 1973, Shinkyo was off limit to the general public. It underwent extensive renovation works in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and visitors can now walk across the bridge and back for an entrance fee.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Kirifuri Waterfall, 1546-2 Tokorono, Nikko 321-1421 Tochigi Prefecture

    Kirifuri Waterfall (霧降の滝, Kirifuri no taki) is an impressive, 75 meter high, two-tiered waterfall located below the Kirifuri Highlands, a few kilometers northeast of the temples and shrines of Nikko. The sight of the elegant falls cascading down the mountain provides a nice contrast to the surrounding foliage, which is lush and green in spring and summer and displays fiery shades of red, orange and gold in autumn.

    The name Kirifuri means "falling mist" after the fine mist that is created when the water crashes against the rocks at the bottom of the lower falls. The view may occasionally be obscured when mist or fog covers the valley. It used to be possible to hike down to the base of the waterfalls, but the trail down the mountain partially collapsed several years ago and has been closed ever since.

    Duration: 30 minutes

    Stop At: Kanaya Hotel History House, 1-25 Honcho, Nikko 321-1434 Tochigi Prefecture

    The Kanaya Hotel History House (金谷ホテル歴史館, Kanya Hotel Rekishikan) is a historical building in Nikko that served as the predecessor of the celebrated Kanaya Hotel. The house is open for the public to explore and provides a window into the Nikko of centuries past. It stands next to a bakery which also sells the admission tickets for the house.

    After the end of Japan's era of isolation, Nikko became a popular summer resort among the foreign diplomats and business people that arrived in the country. The Kanaya Hotel has been one of the premier hotels in the area for accommodating such guests and today stands as the oldest Western-style hotel in all of Japan. While the hotel is now located one kilometer down the road on a hill above the Shinkyo Bridge, its history began at the Kanaya Hotel History House.

    Duration: 30 minutes

  • Departure Point :
    Toubu Nikko Station, Aioicho, Nikko, Tochigi 321-1413, Japan
    Traveler pickup is offered
    This special tour will be conducted with a public transportation and cruising taxi as stated in the tour information, NOT including private vehicle. Your guide will pick you up at the meeting point on foot. If you need a private vehicle, please feel free to ask us and we will estimate an additional cost for you.[Estimated costs]Transportation cost:*Shinjuku-Tobu Nikko: 4,080JPY per person, Oneway-feeLocal bus free pass in Nikko: 2,100JPY per personEntrance fees:Kegon Falls: 570JPY per personToshogu Shrine: 1,300JPY per personRinnoji Temple: 900JPY per personLunch: 1,000 to 2,000JPY per person
    Return Detail :
    Returns to original departure point
    Hotel Pickup :
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Infant seats available
    • Service animals allowed
    • Near public transportation
    • Stroller accessible
    • Surfaces are wheelchair accessible
    • Transportation is wheelchair accessible
    • Wheelchair accessible
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
    • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
    • Face masks required for guides in public areas
    • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
    • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
    • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
    • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
    • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
    • Guides required to regularly wash hands
    • Regular temperature checks for staff
    • Temperature checks for travelers upon arrival
    • Paid stay-at-home policy for staff with symptoms
    • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
  • You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
  • All sales are final and incur 100% cancellation penalties.


English - Guide

Age Req.


Fitness Req.


Group Size


Organised by Japan Guide Agency

Activity ID: V-92136P70

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