Nikko Ryokans | Traditional Japanese Hotels

Ryokans in Nikko Village & Nikko National Park

Just 2 hours northwest of Tokyo by train, Nikko 日光 is a small town home to sweeping nature and the massive Toshogu Shrine Complex. Nikko has a rich history of travel that dates back to ancient times, and thanks to this, Nikko is home to many great ryokan hotels, from traditional stays to modern villas.

Nikko Toshogu Shrine
The massive Nikko Toshogu Shrine Complex is the major draw to Nikko.

Beyond the town of Nikko one can explore the massive stratovolcano Mt Nantai and the highlands of Oku-Nikko 奥日光 and Nikko National Park. Home to many peaks over 2,000m high, this is one of Japan’s most stunning and accessible national parks, and a great place for hikers, cyclists, and outdoor lovers!

The onsen source in Nikko National Park.
The onsen source in Nikko National Park.

Where to Stay in Nikko?

Nikko can be divided into two main areas, Nikko Village, and Oku-Nikko, or the Nikko National Park area.

When choosing where to stay in Nikko it is best to consider what you want to do while visiting.

Outdoors lovers can easily spend a week in the area and have plenty to do. However, if you are not as keen to hike, bike, or just soak in the nature from a beautiful ryokan hotel you will be better off with just a few days.

Choosing between Ryokan and Western Hotels in Nikko

What is a Ryokan Hotel?

The Ryokan hotel is the quintessential Japanese stay. Much like a Bed & Breakfast in the west, Ryokan typically offer a delicious locally flavored dinner and breakfast onsite. What more, especially in the Nikko National Park area you can expect onsen hot spring baths in the ryokan!

Riding the shores of Lake Chuzenji by the slopes of Mt Nantai.
Riding the shores of Lake Chuzenji by the slopes of Mt Nantai.

It is also important to consider the quality of Ryokan you would like to stay in. Much like hotels, Ryokan come in a wide range from standard stays to luxury villas.

Please see our full guide on why we love staying at Ryokan Hotels on our trips for a complete breakdown.

Standard Nikko Ryokans

No frills but still in the heart of things and traditional stays.
Price – from 5,000-10,000yen per person per night

Nikko Village Area

tokinoyu

Nikko Tokinoyu – just steps away from the famous Shinkyo Bridge and a short walk to the Toshogu Shrine, Tokinoyu is a great simple stay with an amazing location.
Note: Tokinoyu does not serve dinner and only a very light western breakfast.

Nikko National Park Area

screen shot 2021 04 04 at 12.28.53

Oruri Sanso – Nestled in the Yumoto Onsen region of Nikko National Park Oruri is one of the only stays in the National Park that is below 10,000 yen (~$100) per guest per night. Somewhat dated, but great location, full food service, and certainly good Cost Performance or ‘Cospa’ as the Japanese say.
Note: Very limited English but friendly staff.

Premium Nikko Ryokans

Our favorite tier of ryokan, the premium ryokan is where most ryokan exist in Japan.
Price – 20,000yen-35,000yen per person per night

Nikko Village Area

tsuru

Kozuchi no Yado Tsurukame Daikichi – With an amazing location just steps from the Toshogu Shrine and Shinkyo Bridge Kozuchi no Yado is a fantastic traditional ryokan just on the edge of Nikko Village. Rooms overlook the massive polished rocks of the Daiya River, and suite room feature elegant balconies and private baths.

hoshi

Nikko Hoshinoyado – Situated a top the hill just behind the Shinkyo Bridge, Hoshinoyado is a great choice for those wanting to be central. Rooms are simple and traditional Japanese style but English friendly staff, and flexibility with dining options make for a great choice for those looking to get their feet wet.

sei

Hotel Seikoen – A larger ryokan hotel style, Seikoen offers close proximity to the Toshogu Shrine situated just outside of town. With both Japanese and Western style rooms available this is a great option for groups who do not want Japanese rooms, but want the dining and onsen experience.

Nikko National Park Area

qka

Qka Mura Nikko Yumoto – A popular chain in Japan Qka Mura Nikko Yumoto is actually a fantastic stay! Thanks to its prime real estate, modern Japanese and Western room options, and large indoor and outdoor paths, there is something for everyone. The downside is that the hotel is quite large so meal times can be crowded.

itaya

Yumoto Itaya – An adorable smaller traditional ryokan also in the Yumoto area, Itaya brings all of the best parts of Ryokans together in a simple yet enjoyable package. Their baths are frequented by monkeys and it is not uncommon to also spot wild deer or kamoshika while soaking the the outdoor onsen rotemburo.

mori

Mori no Hotel – On the higher end of Premium Ryokans, Mori no Hotel is a great example of modern Japanese building aesthetics. Rooms feature full wall windows to soak in the nature, and the lobby and outdoor patio are perfect for enjoying and relaxing after a soak in the hot springs.

Luxury Nikko Ryokans

The creme de la crop as they say, luxury ryokans in Nikko fuze the cutting edge of Japanese and Western design and aesthetic while offering amenities one would expect of top tier hotels.
Price – 45,000-150,000yen per person per night

Nikko Village Area

aqua

Hotel Tokugawa – Named after the infamous Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa, Hotel Tokugawa is home to luxurious modern Japanese rooms and suites. The Aqua Suites specifically are the main draw, with outdoor soaking baths and an elegantly designed water garden.

fufu

Fufu Nikko – Fufu Nikko offers to take you into a world of Japanese luxury and style that melds the aesthetics of new age Japanese with Victorian Royalty. Offering only suite rooms Fufu is a great choice for those looking to escape into another world.

hanabusa

Auberge Hanabusa – A collection of 7 cottages, each of Auberge Hanabusa cottages offers large sliding doors and windows allowing you to open up the room and enjoy the fresh mountain air. With open air Jacuzzi baths, western beds, and beautiful Japanese Western fusion dining, Hanabusa is a perfect retreat just minutes from town.

Nikko National Park Area

b img2 pc

Hoshi no Kai Nikko Chuzenji – A famous luxury chain of hotels, Hoshi no Resorts’ Nikko locations is perfectly situated on the shores of Lake Chuzenji. With sweeping views of the volcano Mt Nantai and the lake below, Kai offers the best luxury Japanese ryokan experience in the Nikko Area.

ritz

The Ritz Carlton Nikko – Far from a ryokan, the Ritz Carlton Nikko is arguably the only other truly luxury stay option in Nikko National Park. Recently finished in 2020, the Ritz boasts high touch western amenities and luxury western rooms with some Japanese flare.

More Reading & Things to do in Nikko

 More Rides & Reads