3. Nikko (Tochigi)
A two-hour train ride north of Tokyo lies Nikko, a scenic mountain town on UNESCO’s list of World Cultural Heritage sites. Nikko is home to many famous temples, as well as over 100 associated buildings, most of which have been designated National Treasures of Japan. While there are gorgeous views practically everywhere you could look, must-sees include one of the most famous Tosho-gu (any Shinto shrine where Tokugawa Ieyasu is enshrined) shrine in the country, the sacred bridge of Futarasan Shrine, and the densely forested, pristine waters of Lake Chuzenji, fed by Kegon Falls.
Since Nikko is a mountain town, there are of course plenty of onsen resorts peppered throughout. After relaxing in a nice, hot bath, make sure you sample some of the town’s specialty yuba, tofu skins prepared in a wide variety of ways (katsu is a great option!).
For help planning your trip to Nikko, visit Tobu Railway’s site below.