Here is the most enchanting Tokyo autumn step you can take
2 hours from Tokyo lies one of Japan’s most popular autumn tourist destinations, Nikko. A historic city hosting multiple World Heritage Sites, Nikko is known for its beautiful seasonal changes, and blossoms into a natural wonderland of colour during autumn.
Perched at an altitude of 1400m, Nikko is one of the earliest areas to experience the seasonal changes in the region. Nikko offers vast, panoramic views, hotels with high quality dining and restaurants that cater to vegan and vegetarian dietary requirements.
Straight Out of a Painting
Sitting at the top of Nikko’s iconic Irohazaka Winding Road is the Akechidaira Ropeway. Visitors glide through the air on the aerial tramway, surrounded by a seemingly endless bounty of natural glory as they travel towards the Akechidaira Ropeway Observation Deck – a popular area in Nikko.
Featuring a panoramic view of the Kegon Falls, Lake Chuzenji and Mt. Nantaisan, visitors can take in a sight that looks like it’s straight out of a painting. Decorated with the golden, amber and scarlet leaves in autumn, Nikko’s Akechidaira is the perfect destination for soaking in the brilliance of Japanese seasonal changes.
Seasonal Specialties with Local Ingredients
Japanese areas are often known to have local specialties, and autumn is one of the best seasons to sample what Nikko has to offer. With high-quality, vegetarian and vegan options available, Nikko’s restaurants organic dishes are infused with rich history and created with the finest natural ingredients. For example, Gyoshintei restaurant offers a different take, serving traditional vegetarian Shojin cuisine, which reflects on Nikko’s 1200-year history.
Shizensaryo Meguri on the other hand, is a popular café that was originally constructed as a traditional home in Japan’s Taisho era. Featuring an array of seasonal, vegetable and fruit dishes filled with high quality ingredients, Shizensaryo Meguri is a great option for those with dietary requirements. The long-standing luxurious resort hotel, Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel, is one of the most popular hotels in the area, and is renowned for its cuisine, which carries 140 years of tradition. Based on the traditional style but with a hint of Western influence, it offers wealth of local ingredients and dedicate flavours.
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The sacred site of Nikko and all its natural surroundings create for a blissful getaway in which one can relive history, experience nature and enjoy the local cuisine. There are many famous autumn foliage spots around Tokyo where traditional festivals are held as well.
This is considered the best observatory spot in Nikko. From the top of the mountain you can enjoy the vast landscapes of lakes and water falls, plus red tinted mountains.
The gradation of crimson leaves can be enjoyed from the top of the mountain. In addition there are also many hot springs in the area to see or enjoy.
A famous marshland in Okunikko with a breath-taking view of the autumn foliage and an enjoyable hiking trail.
If you sail the Chuzenjiko Cruise, the red and yellow leaves reflected on the water will be a pleasant sight to see.
The hotel by Lake Chuzenji has excellent access to nearby tourist sites, and an outdoor bath “Sora Buro.” It is one of the most popular hotels in the area, and mostly renowned for its cuisine which carries 140 years of tradition. Visit to enjoy delicious meals made with seasonal local ingredients.
At Gyoshintei, diners can enjoy traditional vegetarian cuisine that reflects the 1200 year history of Nikko while looking out on the Japanese garden. Food choices include yuba (tofu skin), and other seasonal options. Fall is one of the best seasons to sample what this restaurant has to offer.
Vegan Cuisine at Shizensaryo Meguri
This is a popular cafe located in a renovated building originally constructed as a tradition hope in Japan’s pre war Taisho era. It serves a vegan menu prominently featuring a rich variety of seasonal vegetable, cereal and fruit dishes and created with the finest natural ingredients. Whether you are an established fan of vegan food or trying it for the first time, we recommend paying a visit to enjoy these delicious meals and desserts which can serve as a perfect accompaniment to the fall season.
Another establishment sited in a renovated traditional house. Located near to Nikko Tosho-gu, Nikko’s main shrine, this establishment specializes in custard style pudding made using milk from the Nikko Kirifurikogen Ozawa ranch, locally sourced eggs, and other specially selected ingredients from local businesses. Popular limited edition seasonal flavours during fall include pumpkin and chestnut puddings.
Nikko Toshogu Shrine Autumn Grand Festival
Enjoy watching the Yabusame (archery on a running horse and the grand procession of men dressed in samurai armor (known as Hyakumono-Zoroe Sennin Gyoretsu) at Nikko Toshogu registered as a world heritage site.