Nikko, only two hours away from Tokyo, is the perfect day trip for autumn. This historic city has many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and it’s known for its beautiful seasonal changes.
Nikko is a natural wonderland of color during autumn. Perched at an altitude of 1400 meters, it’s quite cold. So it is one of the earliest areas in Japan to experience the seasonal changes. These include the dramatic autumn red colors and the cherry blossoms.
At the top of Nikko’s iconic Irohazaka Winding Road is the Akechidaira Ropeway. Visitors glide through the air on the aerial tramway. On all sides, they are surrounded by natural glory as they travel towards the Akechidaira Ropeway Observation Deck.
From the cable car, visitors can enjoy a panoramic view. They can see the Kegon Falls, Lake Chuzenji and Mt. Nantaisan. The entire scenery looks like a painting. The fiery autumn leaves of Nikko’s Akechidaira is the perfect shot of autumn.
Seasonal Specialties with Local Ingredients in Nikko
Autumn is one of the best seasons to sample what Nikko has to offer. It has many luxurious hotels and some of them have hot springs baths.
The city also has many famous restaurants. Several famous Nikko’s restaurants serve organic dishes created with natural ingredients. For example, Gyoshintei restaurant serves traditional vegetarian Shojin cuisine. This type of cooking is based on Nikko’s 1200-year history.
Meanwhile, Shizensaryo Meguri is a popular café. It was once a traditional home from the Taisho era. Today Shizensaryo Meguri features seasonal vegetable and fruit dishes. So it is a great place for those who wish to avoid meat.
The most luxurious resort hotel in Nikko is the Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel. It’s 140 years old and it’s famous for its food. The cooking is traditional but with a hint of Western influence. It also has a hot springs bath.
Many people consider a stay at the Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel as part of their autumn rituals.