Two days tour from Tokyo to Nikko, Kinugawa-Onsen is very popular. You’ll have a chance to try the traditional onsen, visit the famous Shogun’s temple, and enjoy great nature around the Lake Chuzen-ji and Kegon Fall. Here’s our report.
Kinugawa Onsen is a very popular hot spring resort, about 2 hours away from Tokyo by super express train. Once you get there, onsen ryokan, hot spring hotels are just a few minutes away from the train station.
We had dinner at “Hakkaisan Ramen” (recommended by local people). There are many restaurants such as sushi, ramen, gyoza and some souvenir shops.
After dinner, you can enjoy one of the outdoor hot springs. Most of ryokans here are located by the river, so you can relax surrounded by nature, very quiet especially in the morning).
On the second day, we took a train from Kinugawa Onsen to Nikko, about 40 minutes. From the station, you can walk to the Toshogu Shrine or take the “World Heritage” bus. The first Edo shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu is enshrined in Toshogu Shrine, and we can find Ieyasu’s tomb there.
And we forwarded to Futara-san Shrine, also a wonderful place. There is a statue of lion there, you can touch the lion’s leg, ears, face, which are symbols of health, luck, etc. And it is a great chance to taste fresh spring water, it is said that you can be younger if you drink it.
We had Yuba Ramen for our lunch around 1,000 yen. Yuba, soy bean curd is a local specialty in Nikko, you can find many shops and restaurants. It’s like a white tofu sheet, you should try it at least one time during your stay.
You can get to Lake Chuzenji from and Kegon Fall from Toshogu Shrine by bus. We went to Kegon Fall first, used an elevator to go down 100 m to the observatory deck. Here you can get a great view of the beautiful waterfalls. I think no photo can express the beauty of them, just come, see, feel and hear the sound of water falling straight down to the rocks. If you are lucky, you can see a rainbow crossing the waterfalls.
I liked the food and drink nearby Kegon Falls. We had grilled Iwana, literally means rock fish, which was grilled on the coal, they also had lemon ice cream, gyoza croquette, and curry bread.
After satisfying our stomach with delicious food, we moved to Lake Chuzenji, and tried a swan boat for 1,500 yen 30 minutes. You can pedal it by yourself to go around the lake. The mist here was so thick and it blocked the sight of the mountain, which makes the lake very mysterious.
You can try some of the best parts of Japan just visiting Nikko and Kinugawa for two days. We assure you very unique experiences!