After one flight cancellation, three flight delays (thanks to Jetstar), a three hour wait in Kansai airport, a 5 hour train ride, I finally arrived in Tokyo 18 hours later than anticipated. So, not losing any more time, I quickly jumped on the next train to Nikko, to spend the afternoon exploring the beautiful and ornate temples in Nikko National Park.
Just a 20 minute walk from the train station, you will find yourself in another world which is Nikko National Park. A complex full of beautiful walks amongst the cedar trees, interwoven with some of the most ornate temples you will see in Japan. The delicately carved woodwork, fine paint work and stunning golden accents of these large and impressive temples are what attract both local and international visitors.
I’d recommend taking an entire day out to explore the temples of Nikko – I was rather rushed trying to see them in a few hours in the afternoon. There are also hot springs nearby, which would be great way to unwind after a day walking around Nikko National Park.
If you have a JR Pass (a must if you’re planning to do a lot of rail travel throughout Japan), take the train from Tokyo Central Station to Utsunomiya, and then to Nikko JR Station. There are regular trains running throughout the day – there is a timetable at Nikko JR Station which you can check so you do not miss the final train.
If staying in Tokyo, it’s easy enough to visit Nikko as a day trip. There are many more accommodation options in Tokyo, then in Nikko, but if you wish to stay in Nikko, I’m sure there are accommodation options for a range of budgets.
Walking from Nikko Station to Nikko National Park, you will pass a few antique stores. These were some of the most interesting antique stores I saw during my time in Japan, so it may be worthwhile to spend some time having a browse.