top Best Hiking trails in Nikko Japan

Here’s a growing list of the great hiking trails and nature walks in Nikko Japan.

We are highly aware of transportation in the area, bus timetables and busy periods of the year that cause congestion and traffic jams and crowds on trails.

Planning some hiking ideas with guests.

Grade I: One to two hours of actual hiking time –

  1. Toyama / Sotoyama / To Mountain / Soto Mountain 4.3km 2hr Class 1 *
  2. Lake Yu (Yunoko) 3.0km 1hr Class 1 *
  1. Onsen Temple 1km 1hr Class 1 *
  2. Takino Path / Shiraito Waterfall Class 1

Grade II: Less than half a day of actual hiking time –

  1. Sasamekura Class 2 [see the restaurant at the base of the trail, Seryuin Yamagoya Cafe]
  2. Suginamiki Park (walking, not hiking) Class 1

Grade III: Half a day of actual hiking time –

  1. Senjogahara (sometimes spelled Senjougahara) 6.3km 2:30 – 5 hr Class 1 *
  2. Odashirogahara : See Senjogahara 7.2km 2:30hr Class 1 *
  3. Lake Sai (sainoko) / via Senjugamana or Odashirogahara 7.0km add 3:00hr Class 2 *
  4. Akechidaira Plateau 4hr (Lake Chuzenji Trailhead via Chanokidaira Plateau) Class 2 *
  5. Mt. Hangetsu 5hr (Lake Chuzenji Trailhead via Chanokidaira Plateau) Class 2 *
  6. Takayama Class 2 *
  7. Daiya River Park Class 1

Grade IV: Full day of actual hiking time –

  1. Nantai Mountain 5km 6:30hr (Southern Trail Head at Futarasan Shrine on Lake Chuzenji) Class 3 *
  2. Lake Kirikomi / Lake Karikomi 9.7km 4:20hr Class 2 *
  3. Lake Chuzenji – section 1 (circumnavigate) : Shobugahama to Senjugahama 4:00hr Class 3
  4. Lake Chuzenji – section 2 (circumnavigate) Senjugahama to Mujinakubo (Hangetsu Mountain trailhead) 12.6km 5:00hr Class 2 *
  5. Shirane Mountain 8:30hr Class 3 *
  6. Taro Mountain Class 2 *

Grade V: Two day (both can be full day hikes if you have a 4WD vehicle to negate this portion)

  1. Nantai Mountain 10:00hr (northern trail from Kotoku (Sleep at free cabin : Shizu Hut) Class 3
  2. Nyoho Mountain 10:00hr (sleep at free cabin : Shizu Hut) Class 3
  • Class 1: Walking with a low chance of injury.
  • Class 2: Simple scrambling, with the possibility of occasional use of the hands. Little potential danger is encountered.
  • Class 3: Scrambling with increased exposure. A rope can be carried but is usually not required. Falls are not always fatal.
  • Class 4: Simple climbing, with exposure. A rope is often used. Natural protection can be easily found. Falls may well be fatal.

The hikes listed are using the Yosemite Decimal System.

a (*) means that the hiking trail is in Nikko National Park