Example Itinerary

Tokyo & Nikko: An Autumn Getaway

Duration
7 days / 6 nights
Price Per Person
Interests
Heritage, Amazing Landscapes
Destinations
Japan

This 7-day excursion is perfect for travelers hoping to see Japan at its most vibrant time—autumn. October through November is the perfect time to comfortably stroll through Tokyo’s famous traditional gardens and popular tree-lined streets to view the contrasting autumnal foliage colors, and also immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Nikko’s scenic Okunikko area along the winding 48 hairpin road through the Iroha Slope as you discover the inspiring beauty of Kinugawa Onsen’s valleys, lakes, and waterfalls. In addition to sightseeing nature’s beauty you will also be able to experience many historical and heritage sights along the way such as Rinnjo-ji temple, Futarasan Shrine, and Nikko Toshogu—the mausoleum of the famous samurai leader Tokugawa Ieyasu. Further, this itinerary introduces travelers to Japan’s seasonal cuisine with tours of Tokyo’s Tsukiji Outer Market, and ample opportunities to dive into bowls of ramen, seasonal oden, and Autumn-Winter course menus featuring seasonal fish and autumnal forages and harvests.

This itinerary is an example. It’s designed to inspire you and provide you with thoughtfully curated ideas. You can choose to do this exact itinerary or completely personalize it. All trips are 100% bespoke.

Highlights

  • Autumn Foliage, Nature, Cool Weather + Onsen: Enjoy Japan’s cool weather strolling through Tokyo’s prime traditional Japanese gardens, then immerse yourself in Nikko’s natural beauty as you wind along the Irohazaka Slope, and relax with your own private open-air outdoor hot spring bath in the Kinugawa Onsen area.
  • History and Heritage in Nikko: Discover Nikko, an area rich with UNESCO-listed sites which include Rinnjo-ji temple, Futarasan Shrine, and Nikko Toshogu—the mausoleum of the famous samurai leader Tokugawa Ieyasu.
  • Seasonal cuisine: Enjoy Autumn-Winter course menus featuring seasonal fish and autumnal forages and harvests, dive into bowls of ramen, or oden, another season’s favorite of mixed ingredients simmered in umami-laden dashi broth, and warm up with spiced coffee over a chestnut choux or delicate persimmon cake.

 

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Tokyo

Upon landing in Tokyo, you will be privately transferred to your hotel. In the capital city of Japan, the heady summer weather cools down by the end of September and the leaves begin changing colors in October. 

For dinner, Tokyo’s wealth of choice will leave you wanting for nothing. To take advantage of the cool weather, we suggest doing as the Japanese do and enjoy a hot pot dish - such as shabu-shabu, sukiyaki, and nabe - where noodles, vegetables and meat simmer in a umami-rich broth that’ll thoroughly warm the soul.  

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: Spread across the top six floors of the Otemachi Tower in Tokyo’s financial district, this lofty hotel presents city superb views and is just steps from Tokyo Station and Ginza shopping district.

History: This newly built-hotel is the first ever ‘city’ hotel from the luxurious Aman Resorts, a group that has over two dozen resorts in their portfolio spread across four different continents.

Services: The wealth of services here all take advantage of the stunning views, whether you’re treating yourself to a massage in the spa, enjoying fine Mediterranean cuisine in the 33rd floor restaurant or doing laps in the infinity pool.

Read More
Aman Tokyo Preferred Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: Perched in the upper floors of a high-rise building that overlooks the Imperial Palace and its extensive landscaped gardens, the Four Seasons Tokyo Otemachi offers city views with a difference.

Expertise: The Four Seasons is a brand synonymous with unparalleled service. Otemachi is the hotel group's second Tokyo property, as the first resides in Marunouchi, so guests can be assured that service is seamless in the capital.

Dining: Michelin-accredited Chef Guillaume Bracaval leads the way in French fine dining at Otemachi, while Head Bartender Joshua Perez mixes signature cocktails which combine rare French spirits with Japanese techniques.

Read More
Four Seasons Tokyo Otemachi Preferred Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel

High-tech: in-room amenities.

Pool: Large 65-foot swimming pool and equally sizable hydrotherapy pool.

Views: Superb views of the Imperial Palace.

Location: Within walking distance to the shopping paradise of Ginza.

Read More
The Peninsula Tokyo Preferred Hotel

Day 2

Tokyo

Dive straight into the autumn splendor with a brisk morning stroll through one of Tokyo’s prime traditional Japanese gardens, whether the famed East Gardens on Imperial Palace grounds or the more intimate Hamariyku Gardens. Meticulously arranged foliage balanced with natural elements of rocks and water allow for the beauty of the season to shine. Then, head to Tsukiji’s Outer Market to see - and taste - the season’s harvest: from the sanma, one of Japan’s beloved fish, to the quintessential mushrooms, chestnuts and pumpkins. 

A bonus event that typically occurs this time of year, late October to early November, is the Tokyo Ramen Festa, a fun outdoor festival where visitors can try different varieties of ramen from around the country. The perfect lunch to warm the stomach on a fall day. 

In the afternoon, enjoy more of Tokyo’s fall foliage at the city’s most popular spots such as Icho Namiki Dori or Meiji Jingu Gaien, both featuring Insta-worthy avenues of towering golden ginkgo trees. Don’t forget to pop into any one of Tokyo’s prolific local cafes to warm up with some spiced coffee over a chestnut choux or delicate persimmon cake.  

Tokyo
Tokyo

Day 3

Nikko

This morning you will make your way to Nikko via the train, a quick 2-hour journey north. The train station opens to central Nikko, a compact area rich with UNESCO-listed shrines, temples and sites. Begin with the Shinkyo Bridge, a striking vermillion-lacquered bridge and icon of Nikko that leads to the temples. Top sites in the area include Rinnjo-ji temple, Futarasan Shrine, and Nikko Toshogu - the mausoleum of the famous samurai leader Tokugawa Ieyasu. Also in the area is Tamozawa Imperial Villa, a residence that served as a summer residence and retreat for the Imperial Family and is now open for public viewing. Surrounding the residence is a manicured Japanese-style garden with several color-changing maple trees. 

In the late afternoon, make your way to the Okunikko area where you will stay at the classy Ritz-Carlton or Fufu Nikko. The drive along the expressway linking the city of Nikko to the Okunikko area takes you along the Iroha Slope, famed for its 48 hairpin turns that dazzle drivers and passengers with magnificent changing scenery throughout the seasons. In fact, it is one of the best spots for admiring Nikko’s autumnal foliage, offering mountain slopes blanketed with trees in red and gold. If you wish, take the Akechidaira ropeway where you will ascend to the observation platform for panoramic views over Kegon Waterfall, Lake Chuzenjiko and the mountains from this high vantage point. 

Check into your hotel and unwind for the evening.  

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: FUFU Nikko lies at the foot of forested mountains, surrounded by foliage. Guests can bathe in woodland views from their suites, or wander the property's grounds for an ambient immersion in nature.

Hot Springs: All suites at FUFU Nikko come with private hot spring baths, either indoor or open-air, for those who prefer discretion and peace in their onsen bathing; though there are also communal baths to try for an authentic Japanese experience.

Dining: Traditional Japanese cuisines, including Kaiseki and Teppanyaki, are available, though there are creative flourishes that marry Western ingredients with local produce, plus a spectacular afternoon tea set.

Read More
FUFU Nikko Preferred Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: The Ritz-Carlton Nikko, set on the shores of Lake Chuzenji and in the shadow of Mount Nantai, is all about natural beauty through a luxury lens.

Hot Springs: Ritz-Carlton Nikko is the only Ritz-Carlton branded onsen in the world, drawing waters for its hot spring facilities directly from Nikko Yumoto Onsen, which has been an established hot spring destination for over 1,200 years.

Dining: The property's four dining and drinking venues aim to elevate fresh, locally-sourced Tochigi ingredients by incorporating regional flavors into Japanese dishes, Western plates, the signature Ritz-Carlton afternoon tea, as well as original cocktails.

Read More
Ritz-Carlton Nikko Preferred Hotel

Day 4

Nikko

Today will be spent exploring the scenic Okunikko area, located in the middle of Nikko National Park, which boasts its own myriad of natural UNESCO-listed sites. Offering beautiful hiking trails from spring to autumn, the fall season brings some of the most spectacular autumnal colors near Tokyo during the month of October. 

Begin with Kegon Waterfall, the most famous of Nikko’s many beautiful waterfalls for a close up look. The trees surrounding the falls are set ablaze in fiery colors during this season, making it even more spectacular. Follow the flow of the water to Lake Chuzenjiko and stroll the forested shoreline, enjoying the mountain scenery. If you wish, opt for a short cruise on the lake for an alternate view of the surrounding landscapes. Then, head to Ryuzu Falls, a smaller waterfall known for the autumn colors of the many trees flanking it. From here, follow the river upstream along a walking trail into the forest. The trail eventually comes upon the idyllic Senjogahara Marshland, a plateau covered in a sea of reddish-yellow grasses and golden larch trees. Enjoy the scenery from the observation deck. Optionally, the marshland offers its own nature trail that follows the Yukawa River and takes around 2.5-3 hours to complete. Those who make it to the end of the trail are rewarded with views of Yudaki Waterfall.  

Nikko
Nikko

Day 5

Kinugawa Onsen

Check out from your hotel this morning as you leave the Okunikko area and drive to Kinugawa Onsen, an area of Nikko known for its hot springs.

Upon arriving in the Kinugawa Onsen area, stretch your legs with a hike along Ryuokyo Valley, which translates to “Valley of the Dragon King.” This ravine features a stream that meanders along huge, odd-shaped rocks carried downstream by the river from a volcanic eruption 22 million years ago, creating a unique landscape. Also visit the Kinugawa Tateiwa suspension bridge for dramatic views of gorgeous cliff faces and mountain slopes thickly blanketed in autumnal colors in every direction, and the city’s eponymous river 130 feet below. 

Spend the rest of the afternoon at your hotel. We recommend the KAI Kinugawa, a modern ryokan. Unwind and relax in your private open-air outdoor hot spring bath, while enjoying the cool autumn breeze and surrounded by colorful maple trees. For dinner, enjoy the seasonal kaiseki course. At KAI, the Autumn-Winter course may feature spiny lobster, seasonal fish sashimi such as oily Pacific mackerel, Tochigi prefecture specialties such as yuba (tofu skin) and dried gourd strips, and autumnal forages & harvests of mushrooms, sweet potato, local Nikko organic rice, and persimmons.  

Hotel Options
About

KAI Kunagawa is located in the idyllic Kunagawa Onsen area of Nikko. The hotel offers 48 Japanese-style guest rooms which are ornamented with contemporary takes on the area's ceramic, indigo dying, and stoneware traditions.

This accommodation has been personally vetted by the Remote Lands team and is the best available in the area. More information on this property is available on the “Hotels” tab at the top of the page.

Day 6

Tokyo

Enjoy a slow morning at leisure at your hotel. A Japanese-style breakfast will be served, and you’ll have time for a luxurious soak in the brisk morning air. 

When ready, transfer to the train station for your train ride back to Tokyo. One train option is the Tobu Railway's special Spacia X car that travels from Kinugawa Onsen back into Tokyo's  Asakusa station. This striking train is a blend of hyper modern design with traditional Japanese refinement. Premium luxuriously-appointed cabins offer sofas and lounge-style seating from where travelers can enjoy the bucolic views out of the wide panoramic windows during the journey.

Back in Tokyo, spend the rest of the day as you wish, whether relaxing at the hotel or exploring the surrounding neighborhoods. If you’re seeking a fun last night out, we invite you to go bar-hopping in the alleyways at Golden Gai, known for its collection of charmingly scruffy bars and hole-in-the-wall eateries. Take the opportunity to indulge in a last bowl of ramen, or try oden, another season’s favorite of mixed ingredients simmered in umami-laden dashi broth.  

Hotel Options
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: Spread across the top six floors of the Otemachi Tower in Tokyo’s financial district, this lofty hotel presents city superb views and is just steps from Tokyo Station and Ginza shopping district.

History: This newly built-hotel is the first ever ‘city’ hotel from the luxurious Aman Resorts, a group that has over two dozen resorts in their portfolio spread across four different continents.

Services: The wealth of services here all take advantage of the stunning views, whether you’re treating yourself to a massage in the spa, enjoying fine Mediterranean cuisine in the 33rd floor restaurant or doing laps in the infinity pool.

Read More
Aman Tokyo Preferred Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel

Location: Perched in the upper floors of a high-rise building that overlooks the Imperial Palace and its extensive landscaped gardens, the Four Seasons Tokyo Otemachi offers city views with a difference.

Expertise: The Four Seasons is a brand synonymous with unparalleled service. Otemachi is the hotel group's second Tokyo property, as the first resides in Marunouchi, so guests can be assured that service is seamless in the capital.

Dining: Michelin-accredited Chef Guillaume Bracaval leads the way in French fine dining at Otemachi, while Head Bartender Joshua Perez mixes signature cocktails which combine rare French spirits with Japanese techniques.

Read More
Four Seasons Tokyo Otemachi Preferred Hotel
Why We Love This Hotel

High-tech: in-room amenities.

Pool: Large 65-foot swimming pool and equally sizable hydrotherapy pool.

Views: Superb views of the Imperial Palace.

Location: Within walking distance to the shopping paradise of Ginza.

Read More
The Peninsula Tokyo Preferred Hotel
Tokyo
Tokyo

Day 7

Tokyo

Relish your final hours in Tokyo this morning, whether over a long breakfast or a final stroll around the neighborhood to get a last look at the fall foliage. A private transfer will take you to the airport for your departure flight home. 

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With Remote Lands you'll travel with people who have made Asia the solitary focus of their own lifelong adventure. As our guest, you'll discover Asia on a journey that is completely, authentically your own, adapted from our own remarkable experiences and adventures over the years.

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