The enchanting city of Nikko is a place that invites travelers to slow down. Its mountain scenery, its heritage sites, and its reverent air make it the perfect setting for a relaxing escape. To top it all off, it has numerous onsen districts and ryokans to make your stay not just comfortable, but also a soothing one. If you’re scheduled for a trip to this part of Japan, these are the top accommodations to immerse in the essence of Nikko. Choose from this list of the best onsen ryokans in Nikko to enjoy a slow vacation:

Kinugawa Onsen

This onsen district lying on the banks of Kinugawa River is a popular hot spring resort area since the Edo Period. Today, it is also a convenient location to serve as your base for touring Nikko. Aside from its proximity to the city’s major heritage sites, amusement parks like the Nikko Edomura and Tobu World Square are also close by.

Kinugawa Grand Hotel Yume no Toki (鬼怒川グランドホテル夢の季)

This grand hotel is a modernistic ryokan set amongst beautifully landscaped gardens and the tranquil environment of Kinugawa Onsen. It has several kinds of rooms and suites to satisfy the varying tastes and considerations of discerning travelers. For its baths, there are shared and chartered baths available for guests to enjoy.

Address: 1021 Ohara Kinugawa Onsen, Nikko-shi, Tochigi Prefecture

Price: From ¥40,000 / night / person (Standard room up to 4 guests)

Website: http://www.kgh.co.jp/word/english/

Kinugawa Fudotaki (鬼怒川 不動瀧)

For something more intimate, Kinugawa Fudotaki is a good choice. It has 11 guest rooms, all of which are traditional tatami rooms. Only a maximum of 35 guests are checked in at any given time. This ensures that all guests get to really immerse in the stillness of their surroundings.

Address: 656 Ohara Kinugawa Onsen, Nikko-shi, Tochigi Prefecture

Price: From ¥17,280 / night / person (Standard room for 2 guest occupancy)

Website: http://www.fudotaki.com/english.html

Kawaji Onsen

Kawaji Onsen lies to the north of Kinugawa Onsen and the upstream section of the Kinugawa River. Its more rural setting is an invitation to pristine nature walks. In particular, the hike along the Ryuokyo Canyon Trail is one of the top things to do in Nikko for nature lovers.

Meigetsuen (明月苑)

Meigetsuen is as picturesque as the nature that surrounds it. It is an onsen ryokan that features the Zen atmosphere of a traditional Japanese inn. Its tatami rooms are minimalist but elegant, each with large windows to maximize the scenery outside. The ryokan also boasts of a Japanese garden courtyard, a mini library, and a corridor gallery decorated with antique artwork and ceramics. These details add to the area’s nostalgia. You can’t help but succumb to it.

Address: 63 Kawaji Kawajionsen, Nikko-shi, Tochigi Prefecture

Price: From ¥15,000 / night / person (Standard room for 2 guest occupancy)

Website: http://www.meigetsuen.com/ (Japanese only)

Hoshino Resort KAI Kawaji (星野リゾート 界 川治)

KAI Kawaji is a branch of the well-known onsen resort chain Hoshino Resorts KAI. Its signature promise to its guests is to combine therapeutic bathing experience with superb local cuisine and interiors that are well-suited to the allures of the locale.

Address: 22 Kawaji Kawajionsen, Nikko-shi, Tochigi Prefecture

Price: From ¥21,000 / night / person (Standard room for 2 guest occupancy)

Website: http://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/kai/kawaji.html

Chuzenji Onsen

Chuzenji Lake is one of Nikko’s iconic natural attractions. It rests at the foot of Mt. Nantai, surrounded mostly by lush scenery that is strikingly beautiful during autumn months. On its eastern end, the Chuzenji Onsen is a popular town where travelers usually stay if they’re spending the night. Guests get to enjoy a lakeside view while bathing in warm hot spring waters.

Hotel Kojoen (ホテル湖上苑)

Formerly a foreign ambassador’s villa, a stay at Hotel Kojoen is as comfortable as being at home. The hotel is intimate with only 10 rooms and accommodating a maximum of 30 guests. It is situated right next to the lake that you just need to peek outside the window to appreciate its beauty. When it comes to dining, its award-winning menu is a combination of Japanese and European styles. As with other ryokans, courses on offer depend on the season.

Address: 2478 Chugushi, Nikko-shi, Tochigi Prefecture

Price: From ¥12,000 / night / person (Standard room for 1 guest occupancy)

Website: http://www.kojoen.com/ (Japanese only)

Hoshino Resorts KAI Nikko (星野リゾート 界 日光)

This Chuzenji branch is the second of the two Hoshino Resorts KAI in Nikko area. The first is the aforementioned KAI Kawaji and true to its commitment to providing excellent accommodations and service, KAI Nikko is always a dependable choice for an onsen resort experience. Its beautifully landscaped indoor and open-air baths are luxurious spaces to relax in. Choose from its 33 guest rooms that are styled to cater to different tastes.

Address: 2482-1 Chugushi, Nikko-shi, Tochigi Prefecture

Price: From ¥32,000 / night / person (Standard room for 2 guest occupancy)

Website: http://kai-ryokan.jp/nikko/ (Japanese only)

Nikko Onsen

Of all the onsen districts in Nikko, this one is the closest to the major heritage sites like the Toshogu Shrine. Due to its location, it is popular among day trippers who want to have a quick hot springs experience, while those who want to stay longer will also find good onsen ryokans to settle comfortably in.

Nikko Tokanso (日光 東観荘)

Nikko Tokanso is where you’d want to stay the night if your aim is to keep with Nikko’s cultural heritage. It is housed in the former cottage residence of an Edo-period feudal lord, and as far as its location is concerned, it is just perfect – a few hundred meters from the entrance of Tokogu Shrine. This classic ryokan provides travelers with traditional tatami rooms that can accommodate up to four people. On the other hand, it has two public bathing areas filled with alkaline spring water that is said to be good for the skin.

Address: 2335 Sannai, Nikko-shi, Tochigi Prefecture

Price: From ¥10,000 / night / person (Standard room for 2 guest occupancy)

Website: http://www.tokanso.com/en/

Nikko Green Hotel Fuwari – Natsukashiya –  (日光ぐりーんほてる懐かし家風和里)

In this ryokan hotel, guests can choose between mountainside and riverside views to accompany their classic tatami rooms. Its lodgings and facilities hark back to Japan’s earlier times and their baths – both public and shared ones, guarantee a calming retreat to your senses.

Address: 9 Hon-cho, Nikko-shi, Tochigi Prefecture

Price: From ¥7,000 / night / person (Standard room for 2 guest occupancy)

Website: http://www.nikko-fuwari.com/word/index_e.html

Okunikko Yumoto Onsen

A hot springs area tucked in Nikko Natural Park, Yumoto Onsen is a nature lover’s dream escape. For one, it is bordered by mountains on all sides, and within its vicinity, there are lakes, waterfalls, and numerous hiking trails that offer various ways of breathing in its glorious scenery. Its relaxing onsen baths are great complements to the adventures that await you in this region – where the milky white waters are known to possess healing properties for various ailments like high blood pressure, muscle and nerve pain, skin diseases, and even diabetes.

Yumoto Itaya (湯本板屋)

With a history of 150 years, Yumoto Itaya has had a long experience in the hospitality industry. Over time, it has added modern touches to its offerings, but at its core, it remains a traditional ryokan where you can expect an authentic Japanese inn experience. Facilities include a communal bath and an open-air bath, whereas the food is another thing to look forward to. Yumoto Itaya serves its guests kaiseki cuisine, a traditional multi-course feast distinguished for its meticulous preparation and high-quality seasonal ingredients.

Address: 2530 Yumoto, Nikko-shi, Tochigi Prefecture

Price: From ¥14,580 / night / person (Standard room for 2 guest occupancy)

Website: http://www.yumoto-itaya.jp/ (Japanese only)

Okunikko Mori no Hotel (奥日光森のホテル)

Okunkikko Mori-no Hotel is a gorgeous haven among Nikko’s forests. It is a stylishly designed hotel that combines Japanese and European aesthetics. Rooms are spacious and luxurious, while the common areas are inviting places to linger and while the time away. Its large communal outdoor bath is a rock-lined onsen where water constantly flows from the source. There is also an indoor family bath available for reservation for those who want a more exclusive setting.

Address: 2551 Yumoto, Nikko-shi, Tochigi Prefecture

Price: From ¥20,000 / night / person (Standard room for 2 guest occupancy)

Website: http://www.morino-h.com.e.oj.hp.transer.com/

Yunishigawa Onsen

Yunishigawa traces its onsen beginnings from 800 years ago. According to legend, some members of a feudal clan chanced upon its springs after escaping from a battle. Battered and wounded, they cleaned up their injuries here to help speed up healing. This little-known town on the banks of Yunishigawa River has been a destination for onsen bathers ever since. Come here not just for a good soak, but also for generations-old ryokans that have been in business for centuries.

Honke Bankyu (本家伴久)

Established in 1666, this ryokan is in itself a cultural relic worthy of a stop on your itinerary. It is among the most famous in Japan because of its rich heritage and lovely scenery. Located by the Yunishigawa river, its main building is a beautifully preserved wooden structure where one can literally step back in time – in particular, during the Edo Period days. Their unique lodgings are equally matched by their unique specialty cuisine. The menu includes dishes and beverages like Gyunigiri (Tochigi beef sushi), Nikko Yuba (soybean dish), Takezake (sake in bamboo), and Iwazakana no Honezake (sake soaked in fish bone).

Address: 749 Yunishigawa, Nikko-shi, Tochigi Prefecture

Price: From ¥18,000 / night / person (Standard room)

Website: http://www.bankyu.co.jp/en/

Hirano Takafusa (平の高房)

Hirano Takafusa is an inn built and managed by one of the descendants of the Heike clan – a prominent family in feudal Japan, the founders of Yunishigawa Onsen town. Though this inn does not compare to the very long history of Honke Bankyu, it does have its own heritage to boast about. Besides accommodations and hot springs, the property is surrounded by interesting cultural sites such as the Sanno Inari Shrine, an 11-headed Kannon statue, and a pair of 500-year old trees.

Address: 1483 Yunishigawa, Nikko-shi, Tochigi Prefecture

Price: From ¥13,500 / night / person (Standard room for 2 guest occupancy)

Website: http://www.takafusa.jp/ (Japanese only)

Kawamata Onsen

Same as Kawaji Onsen, Kawamata is an onsen district located in the upper reaches of the Kinugawa River. It is famous for its lake, erupting geysers, and abundant nature. It is the choice destination for people who love the outdoors.

Public Hotel Keizansou (国民宿屋 渓山荘)

Public Hotel Keizan-so is a quiet getaway beside a mountain stream. It is the official accommodation of Nikko Natural Park, where you can enjoy inexpensive facilities without having to sacrifice comfort. All of its 18 rooms are Japanese style equipped with basic amenities like satellite TV, heater/air conditioner, and refrigerator. Its bath options include a cypress bathtub overlooking the river, which you can book for private use.

Address: 865 Kawamata, Nikko-shi, Tochigi Prefecture

Price: From ¥7,500 / night / person (Standard room)

Website: http://www.keizansou.jp/ (Japanese only)

Komayumi no Sato (こまゆみの里)

A small inn in the middle of the woods, Komayumi no Sato, is just the right place to go if you want to disconnect from the city’s hustle and bustle. It has 16 rooms spread across 3 buildings, which ensures a sense of stillness prevails at all times. Its outdoor baths are peaceful spots to get in tune with nature. Everything about this place is in harmony with its natural surroundings. Prepare to leave all your worries behind and just breathe freely.

Address: 646-1 Kawamata, Nikko-shi, Tochigi Prefecture

Price: From ¥10,000 / night / person (Standard room for 2 guest occupancy)

Website: http://www.komayuminosato.com/ (Japanese only)

Okukinu Onsen

Okukinu Onsen is quite special compared to the rest of the onsen district in Nikko because it boasts of four types of hot spring facilities. These four onsens are located 15-20 minutes from each other, exhibiting different water properties that offer relief to a variety of ailments. Getting to the town itself, however, is a different story. Okukinu is located in a remote valley hidden in the mountains of Nikko. It is not serviced by public transportation, and the only way to reach is it is through a service provided by the town’s ryokans exclusively for their staying guests.

Hacchonoyu (八丁湯)

Hacchonoyu is one of the four hot spring facilities in Okuniko. All of its baths are 100% spring-fed with one area even featuring a waterfall, and it is popular among bathers who prefer gentle water. There are 5 types of accommodations to suit the needs of different travelers. For the best stay, check in to their log cabins that really suit the atmosphere well.

Address: 876 Kawamata, Nikko-shi, Tochigi Prefecture

Price: From ¥10,000 / night / person (Standard room for 2 guest occupancy)

Website: http://www.8tyo-no-yu.co.jp/ (Japanese only)

Nikkozawa Onsen (日光澤温泉)

Nikkozawa Onsen is for the hot springs specialists. Its waters contain sulfur and sodium chloride, which in terms of bathing experience, translates to a more intense soak and perhaps more suited for bathers who’ve had prior onsen encounters. It is the farthest among all the facilities in Okukinu. The offered lodgings are basic but satisfying nonetheless.

Address: 874 Kawamata, Nikko-shi, Tochigi Prefecture

Price: From ¥8,200 / night / person (Standard room for 2 guest occupancy)

Website: http://www.nikkozawa.com/ (Japanese only)

 

 

All price information in this article is as of April 2017.

Thumbnail image is from Wikimedia Commons