Nikko Day Trip for Nature Lovers: Waterfalls, Hot Springs, and Panoramic Views

Kegon Falls

1 Days

This single-day itinerary takes you to see some of Nikko National Park’s best natural attractions, including beautiful Chuzenji Lake and Kegon Falls, one of Japan’s most famous waterfalls. This course also includes a stop at a lakeside onsen hot spring, an experience not to be missed.

Access From Narita

  1. Day 1

      1. Nikko Station → [40 minutes by Bus] → Akechidaira Bus Stop

      1Akechidaira Plateau

      Akechidaira is located near the top of the Irohazaka Slope, and is the location of the lower station for the Akechidaira Ropeway. Beautiful views of the valley can be had from here, but for a higher perspective and truly expansive views, take the ropeway up to the higher observation platform.

      1. Akechidaira Bus Stop → [3 minutes Walk] → Akechidaira Ropeway

      2Akechidaira Ropeway

      This 3-minute long ropeway cable car ride takes you from the Akechidaira Plateau to an observation platform located at 1373m, offering superb panoramic views of the Nikko area, including Kegon Falls, Lake Chuzenji, Mt. Nantai, and the surrounding mountains in the distance. The vista is especially beautiful during the change of colors in the autumn, and during cherry blossom season.

      1. Akechidaira Bus Stop → [20 minutes by Bus] → Ryuzunotaki Bus Stop

      3Ryuzu Falls

      One of Nikko’s best and most popular waterfalls, Ryuzu Falls drops over 210m and splits into two smaller cascades near the viewing platform. Its name, meaning “Dragon Head,” comes from the visage that can supposedly be seen in the rock where the waterfall divides.

      1. Ryuzunotaki Bus Stop → [10 minutes by Bus] → Yuransen-Hacchakusho Bus Stop

      4Lake Chuzenji

      At an elevation of 1,296m, Lake Chuzenji is one of the highest lakes in Japan. It is said that this lake was formed when Mt. Nantai erupted some 20,000 years ago. In the 19th and 20th centuries the lake gained popularity as an international summer resort, with foreigner-owned villas and foreign embassies being built here. A hiking course follows the lake’s 25km perimeter, and visitors can see azalea flowers in early summer, as well as colorful leaves in autumn.

      1. Lake Chuzenji → [10 minutes Walk] → Kegon Falls

      5Kegon Falls

      At almost 100 meters high, Kegon Falls is a magnificent natural wonder of Nikko, and ranked one of the three great waterfalls of Japan. Its beauty can be admired year-round, but one special feature takes place in winter, when the water freezes almost completely to blue ice. Near the falls there is an observatory platform which allows you to see into the basin below. Kegon Falls is particularly popular in autumn with hikers who come to see the stunning red leaves.

      1. Kegon Falls → [20 minutes Walk] → Chuzenji Onsen Resort

      6Chuzenji Onsen Resort

      This hot spring resort is located on the north shore of Lake Chuzenji, near sightseeing spots such as Futarasan Shrine Chugoshi and Kegon Falls, and is perfect for day trippers wishing for a relaxing soak in a Japanese onsen. The natural hot spring water is drawn from Nikko Yumoto Onsen Resort, a further 12km up the mountainside, and is cooled down from its original scalding 78°C temperature as it travels the distance!