What You Should not Miss in the City of Nikko

Seasonal Excursion Information Autumn 2014

A colorful autumn leaf spot with gradations of red, orange and yellow.

The Nikko/Kinugawa area is set aflame with autumn leaves. As one of Japan's most famous spots for viewing autumn leaves, the area bustles with tourists on pleasure trips at the most popular time of the year. The Nikko area is scattered with 48 waterfalls including Kinugawa Gorge. The area's inland climate results in a large temperature difference between day and night. This discrepancy adds even more vivid color to the beautiful autumn leaves. In the evening, The Shrines and Temples of Nikko (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) are illuminated. Strolling the paths while gazing at the striking form of lit-up shrines and temples offers a different experience from the daytime. Between views of autumn leaves, refresh yourself in onsens at your lodgings, one-day baths, or footbaths.


    Filled with the beauty of a majestic gorge, Kinugawa-Onsen is one of Kanto's premiere hot spring districts. Another must-see is the breathtaking view from the Kinutateiwa Long Suspension Bridge which spans Kinugawa River in the south of the district.


    Located next to the hot spring district is the slightly elevated Mt. Hirakata. A walking path leads to the viewing platform on the summit, which offers a panoramic view of the hot spring district colored with autumn leaves.

    Ojikagawa River (Kamimiyori Area)

    From Kinugawa-Onsen, Ojikagawa River is located past the Ikari Dam in the direction of Aizu City, Fukushima Prefecture. Running along the national highway, Ojikagawa Gorge is set ablaze in colored maples.

    Ryuzu Falls

    This 210-meter waterfall is located in Oku-Nikko. The area is colored in autumn leaves of maples and Japanese tilia, and a viewing platform offers superb views of the waterfall basin.

    Kirifurinotaki Falls

    The upper and lower falls have a combined height of 75 meters. Located in the highlands, this spot is famous for beautiful autumn leaves of maples and Japanese rowan.

    [World Heritage] Area of the Two Shinto Shrines and One Buddhist Temple

    Autumn leaves envelop shrines and temples such as Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Rinno-ji Temple, and Futarasan-Jinja Shrine. Enjoy a stroll while experiencing history in this profound atmosphere.

    Festival & Event of Autumn Leaves

    Kawaji hot spring Autumn Leaves Festival

    This festival is held at Kawaji-Onsen at the peak of the autumn leaves season. In addition to stalls selling local specialties and souvenirs, the autumn night sky is illuminated by a 30-minute fireworks show which incorporates the outstanding location and rick nature near the Kogane Bridge in Kawaji-Onsen.

    Edo Wonder Night

    Experience the wonderful atmosphere of an Edo Period neighborhood at night. The many attractions include street stall selling nostalgic toys and a parade of courtesans. A free shuttle bus operates between the venue and Kinugawa-Onsen.

    • September 26 (Fri) - 28 (Sun), October 3 (Fri) - 5 (Sun), 11 (Sat), 12 (Sun)
    • 17:00 - 21:00
    • Same-day ticket: Adults (12 years or older) 2,200 yen
      Advance ticket: Adults (12 years or older) 1,800 yen
    • EDO WONDERLAND Nikko Edomura
    • EDO WONDERLAND Nikko Edomura TEL: 0288-77-1777

    Nikko Toshogu Shrine Autumn Grand Festival

    Enjoy a close-up experience of traditional Japanese arts and rituals including Yabusame Archery, which is shooting arrows from horseback, and the Hyakumonozoroe Sennin Musha Gyoretsu (the parade of Samurai Warriors), which replicates Japanese history.

    Light-up Nikko 2014

    This year marks the 15th anniversary of registration as a World Heritage Site. Enjoy strolling through The Shrines and Temples of Nikko in a fantastic atmosphere which is uniquely different from the daytime. There are also stalls selling local specialties.

    Feast on special Nikko soba (buckwheat noodles)

    Nikko Soba Festival 2014

    This festival features soba restaurants and soba utensils from throughout Japan, as well as the special soba of Nikko. There are also attractions such as folk entertainment. A separate venue features a soba-making competition in which beginners are awarded official rank depending on their skill, as well as 20 yaki-soba (fried soba noodle) restaurants from within Tochigi Prefecture. On the day of the festival, free shuttle buses operate between the venue and Tobu Shimo-Imaichi Station, Tobu Nikko Station, and Kinugawa-onsen Station.

    • November 22 (Sat) - 24 (Mon)
    • 10:00 - 15:00
    • Nikko Daiyagawa Park
    • Executive Committee for Nikko Soba Festival TEL: 0288-21-5170

    Activities for a special autumn leave experience

    Kinugawa River Boat Tour

    This breathtaking 40-minute boat tour winds through the beautiful nature of the Kinugawa River Gorge. Autumn leaves can be enjoyed until late November.

    • Until the end of November (Reservations necessary)
    • Adult: 2,700 yen, Child: 1,200 yen (Group discounts available)
    • Kinugawa River Boat Tour
    • Kinugawa River Boat Tour TEL: 0288-77-0531

    Yunishigawa DuckTour

    This tour on an amphibious bus goes directly from roads to water. Attractions include traversing a Kawaji Dam catwalk located 60 meters aboveground and a tour of dam facilities.

    • Until the end of November 30 (Reservations necessary)
    • 9:10, 10:40, 12:10, 13:40, 15:10
    • Adults: 3,000 yen, Children (3 to 12 years old): 2,000, Infants (2 years old or younger): 500 yen
    • Yunishigawa Roadside Station
    • Yunishigawa DuckTour TEL: 0288-78-0345

    Kinugawa Hot Spring Ropeway

    The ropeway whisks you 300 meters through the air to the summit from Kinugawaonsen-Sanroku Station. The viewing platform on the summit offers panoramic views of Kinugawa-Onsen.

    • Open 365 days (may be out of service for maintenance)
    • 9:00 - 16:00
    • Adults: 1,100 yen, Children: 550 yen(round trip)
    • Kinugawa Hot Spring Ropeway
    • Kinugawa Hot Spring Ropeway TEL: 0288-77-0700

    Gaze at autumn leaves while soaking in an outdoor bath

    Yet another appeal of autumn in Nikko is viewing the autumn leaves of the gorge and mountains while relaxing in outdoor baths and hot springs. From hotels and Japanese inns along the Kinugawa River Gorge to day-trip hot spring facilities, there are countless places to refresh your body and mind through the simple beauty of nature.
    For further information, please view facilities with an "outdoor bath mark" on the Lodging Information page.