The history of Nikko dates back from 735, it was a training centre for boedhist monks, after this period it was chonse a the place for the mausuleum of Tokugawa Teyosu the war lord who took control of whole Japan, his empire lasted for more then 250 years.
Recommended: buy the all Nikko pass, if you buy single tickets for the train and buses you pay much more even if you use the bus in Nikko sparsely.
Recommended: the tempels of Nikko can be enjoyed for free from the outsite, the nature is stunning during ‘koyo’ when the fall colours are at their best.
Recommended: a nice hotel to stay in Tokyo is Oak hotel, in Ueno near metro station Inaricho. From metro Inaricho it’s only two stops to Asakusa, from which the Tubo (rapid) train directly rides to Nikko Tubo (2.15 hours).
Look here for the best weeks / months to visit Nikko for the fall colors. The fall colours in Nikko can be enjoyed very lang because of the large height differences in and around Nikko. Yumoto onsen is e.g. situated at altiude 1500 meters, while Nikko is situated at altitude 530 meters.
Stay how long ?
Stay at least two nights in Nikko and visit during the week, in weekends a lot of daytrippers from Tokyo come visiit Nikko, during the week it;s definitely more quiet. If you want to visit the world heritage sites, make sure that you stay overnight in Nikko and visit the sites in the morning before the tourist buses arrive.
The nature west of Nikko is gorgeous, je can make a very nice walk from Yumoto onsen to Chuzenji lake. Yumoto onsen has seen it’s days as Chuzenji has but the nature is this national park is outstanding.
Duration 2 to 3 hours excluding breaks. From Nikko Tube and JR station take the bus to Yumoto onsen, from which you can make a gorgeous hike via Akanuma (where there is a busstation) to Lake Chuzenji. At the tourist office they have a walking map and a bus timetable available.
The hike starts at altitued 1500 meters at Yumoto onsen and you descent in 3 hours to 1300 meters of Lake Chuzenji, during the walk you pass mountain lakes, a wetland, you walk wooden pathways and on earth. See below a photo impression of a hike made in november 2009.