This article was created in partnership with Tobu Railway
If you want to witness the breathtaking natural beauty of Japan beyond just cherry blossom season, travel in autumn instead. Japan in autumn is a resplendent palette of burnt oranges and ochres, fiery reds and deep greens. And the best area to experience it all is Nikko.
Only two hours from Tokyo, Nikko is easily accessed by train with Tobu Railway. Starting in Asakusa, customers can travel in comfort and luxury in either the Tobu Revaty trains, which offer free WiFi and power outlets; or the Tobu SPACIA trains, which feature large swivel recliner seats, compartment rooms, a kiosk and a beverage vending machine.
Here are our top 5 spots to enjoy autumn in Nikko, Japan:
1. Lake Chuzenji
No trip to Nikko would be complete without a visit to the vast Lake Chuzenji. Found in Nikko National Park, the lake is surrounded by lush forest that develops from striking greens in summer to deep russet shades in autumn. Explore the area via the hiking course around the lake, or take in a 360-degree view onboard the Lake Chuzenji Cruise.
2. Akechidaira Ropeway and observatory
The Akechidaira observatory, accessed by the thrilling Akechidaira Ropeway, offers unparalleled, sky-high views over Lake Chuzenji, the towering Mt Nantai and the stunning Kegon Waterfall.
3. Nikko Toshogu and Shinkyo Bridge
For autumnal colours with a side of historic architecture, check out the lavish Nikko Toshogu Shrine. The forest-surrounded shrine is the final resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, which ruled Japan for over 250 years until 1868.
The Shinkyo Bridge is another spot that combines the natural beauty of Nikko with historic architecture. The red bridge that stands there now is a reconstruction built in 1904, crafted to recreate the one that had stood since 1636 but was destroyed by heavy floods.
4. Irohazaka winding road
Irohazaka is a scenic drive through Nikko’s lush forest. With 48 hairpin turns, the pair of winding roads connect the lower elevations of central Nikko to the higher elevations of the mountainous Okunikko region. The two roads are used for one direction of traffic each, and the uphill road offers an observation platform overlooking the stunning valley.
5. Kanmangafuchi Abyss
Kanmangafuchi Abyss is a gorge near central Nikko that was formed after the eruption of Mt Nantai. It offers a pleasant walking trail through the autumnal trees. Walkers along the trail will come across around 70 stone statues of Jizo statues clad in red beanies and pink aprons.
Find out more: tobujapantrip.com