Nikko, Japan: A winter wonderland within reach of the Philippines

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NIKKO: Many of you out there will be looking for the next destination to head off to over the winter. While some may go to the latest ‘undiscovered’ island, others will opt for something a little colder. With cheap return flights, heavier snowfall than anywhere else on the planet Japan makes for a great winter escape. 

While many will head to Tokyo, Osaka or Sapporo, it may be better to head to somewhere a little quieter. With less crowds, amazing scenery and everything “Japan” you could hope to see, Nikko just outside of Tokyo should be mandatory for any visit. 

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Only a mere two hours from Tokyo, Nikko is incredibly convenient to get to with trains leaving around every 30 minutes. So, what is there to see in Nikko? Well, no matter what season, nature here will blow you away, with winter and autumn showcasing scenery simply impossible in the Philippines. 

Nikko in Autumn

Nikko is packed with activities from relaxing hikes to skiing and plays hosts to several festivals all year round. One such festival which can only be viewed in winter is the Festival of Lights, which takes place from the end of January and throughout the whole of February. 

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Nikko
Festival of Lights

If it’s the more relaxing side of things you’re searching for then any trip to Japan in cooler months is definitely not complete without a sneaky trip to the local hot springs, known as “onsen”. Due to Nikko’s mountainous location the area is teaming with onsen. Some of the favourites amongst locals and tourists include, Kinugawa, Kawaji and Yunishikawa (this one is especially good on a snowy winter day). 

Nikko
Yunishikawa Onsen

After relaxing or exploring, sampling the local food will be on everyone’s mind. Check out places such as Kujira Shokudo and Shizen Saryou for some great fresh local eats. For those of you with a sweet tooth there is a touch of Europe hidden up here with some of the most delicious Baumkuchen outside of Germany.

Nikko is a great escape during all seasons and offers everything you could want during a visit to Japan. Its proximity to Tokyo makes it extremely accessible for those wishing to go for a quick visit. So next time you have a few days or are looking for something different for a visa run, check out Nikko. 

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