Nikko is well known for its scenic beauty surrounded by natural attractions such as mountains, marshlands, and lakes. It is also famous for the ornate and multicolored carvings on Nikko Toshogu Shrine, the World Heritage site. Nikko Toshogu Shrine serves as the final resting place of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu.

For some reason, Nikko is also very popular for those who love to hike. This is not surprising considering that there are a lot of hiking trails that has can be found around the city. Whether you are a beginner or an expert in the field of hiking, you will find Nikko well suited to your taste. Beautiful landscapes and scenic views await those who are willing to take the challenge and discover the wonders that can only be found in the charming town of Nikko.

Here are some of the most popular courses that you can hike at Nikko.

1. Mt. Nantai

Mt. Nantai is the local Mount Fuji of Nikko. The hike is more than 5 kilometers, and you should wear proper gear when you intend to hike this mountain. The climb is steep, and the descent is dangerous as well, especially if the rocks are wet. It is advisable to hike this along with a group of people who are familiar with the trail if you are a beginner.

Duration: 6 – 7 hours (Round Trip)
Difficulty: Hard

2. Senjogahara Hiking Trail

The Senjogahara trail passes the Chuzenji Lake and the Nikko National Park which are famous as sightseeing spots in Nikko. A great hiking course for beginners because you would be walking on a flat area most of the time.

Duration: 2.5 – 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Hiking Map

3. Lake Chuzenji Hiking Trail

Lake Chuzenji is one of the beautiful lakes the can be found in Nikko. It is located at the foot of Mount Nantai, and the two of them make a postcard perfect photo shot. The hike is around 13 kilometers so bring some snacks and bottled water. The best season to hike on Lake Chuzenji is during autumn when the leaves change their colors.

Duration: 4 – 5 hours
Difficulty: Normal

Hiking Map

4. Lake Yunoko Hiking Trail

The Lake Yunoko hiking trail is one of the shortest hikes in Nikko. The trail is just around three kilometers and would take only 1 – 1 ½ hours to finish. There are plenty of ryokans near the lake that specialize on hot spring baths. Visiting one of them is a great idea if you think that you want to relax after hiking around the Nikko area.

Duration: 1 – 1.5 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Hiking Map

5. Lake Kirikomi /Lake Karikomi Hiking Trail

Lake Kirikomi and Lake Karikomi Hiking Trail is a popular course for families, especially during the weekend. The Yumoto hot spring is a great spot to relax as you go along the trail. The length of the hiking course is estimated to be approximately 9.6 Kilometers. This hiking course have bus stops from the starting point up to the end of the course. This is one of the easiest hiking trails to reach in Nikko.

Duration: 4 – 5 hours
Difficulty: Normal

Hiking Map

6. Mt. Nakimushi

The hike is not that easy, but if you persevere, you would be rewarded by scenic views from the top of the mountain. A challenging hike for beginners and a warm-up course for veteran hikers. The hiking course in Mt. Nakimushi is filled with beautiful flowers from the end of April up to May. There are multiple steep slopes on this hiking trail, so it is advisable to bring a pair of hiking shoes.

Duration: 4 – 5 hours
Difficulty: Difficult

Hiking Map (Japanese Only)

7. Odashirogahara Hiking Trail

Odashirogahara hiking course is approximately 7.2 kilometers and takes around 2 – 3 hours to complete. A scenic course that allows you to view mountains, flowers, and marshlands. There are three attractions on the trail namely the Odashirogahara Plateau, Izumikado Ike Pond and the Odashirogahara Observatory.

Duration: 2 – 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Hiking Map (Japanese Only)

8. Akagane no Michi Hiking Trail

Those who like to have a bit of sightseeing, go towards the south western part of Nikko along National Route 122 and head to Akagane no Michi Hiking Trail. The Akagane no Michi Hiking Trail is the course allows you to visit sight seeing sites like the Ashio Copper Mine, Ashio Shinsui Koen Park or Ashio dam. Don’t forget to buy some snacks and souvenirs at the hillside village along the way.

Duration: 2 – 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Hiking Map

9. Ryuokyo Valley Hiking Trail

The Ryuokyo Valley Hiking Trail is a good course to admire seasonal valley beauty. This 6-kilometer course is situated along Kinugawa and Kawaji hot springs. The raging river water is quite unique because it changes its colors from time to time (white, blue, and purple). The valley was also nicknamed as the “Valley of the Dragon King”.

Duration: 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Hiking Map (Japanese Only)

10. Kirifuri Kogen Hiking Trail

Kirifuri Kogen Hiking Trail has two type of courses, one for beginner and the other is for regular hikers. The beginner course is a short walk that goes along Kirifuri Falls from the bus stop. The regular course allows you to view the other three waterfalls namely Tamasudare, Choji and Makkura Falls.

Duration: 2 – 4 hours
Difficulty: Easy – Normal

Hiking Map for Beginner (Japanese Only)
Hiking Map for Normal Level (Japanese Only)

 

 

 

All information in this article is as of March 2017

Thumbnail is from Flickr