When we’re allowed to travel again it’s not going to be the same as before: masks, temperature checks, social distancing. We now know that when it comes to this virus, the safest place to be is outdoors — luckily, Japan is overflowing with spectacular natural settings that are a far cry from the crowds of its mega-cities. Tobu Railway can take you directly to some of the most memorable scenic spots in Japan; there’s a beauty spot for every season across our network. Check out our highlights below and visit our website for more post-pandemic travel inspiration.
Nikko: Spectacular Scenery and Spiritual Structures
Nikko is truly the crown jewel of Japan’s wealth of natural beauty. It is built for hiking, with three peaks, a huge volcanic lake, and precipitous waterfalls. There are plenty of other outdoor activities to try out too: look out for stand-up paddle boarding, cycling, and kayaking. Make sure to let your body recover from all that walking and climbing with a soak in one of the many hot springs in the area. Nikko is also home to the World Heritage site Shrines and Temples of Nikko, an impressive collection of 103 outdoor religious structures that can be strolled around in a day or so. Finally, you can put the pandemic into perspective with a spot of stargazing at Senjogahara, where an endless expanse of space stretches out, entirely free from light pollution.
Find out more about Nikko here.
*Although sales are currently suspended, Tobu Railway normally offers two types of NIKKO PASS which offer outstanding value for travel in the area.
Ashikaga: Breathe in Beauty in Bloom
Flowers are intimately intertwined with almost every aspect of traditional Japanese culture, and a visit to the awe-inspiring Ashikaga Flower Park will immerse you in almost a hundred thousand square metres of sensational blossoms, whatever the season. Visit from late April to early May to see the undisputed highlight of countless 150-year-old wisteria trees in bloom. Careful planning and planting ensure that the park is filled with flowers year-round, overflowing with the colour and scent of blossoms from Japan and the rest of the world. The park also offers incredible illuminations, renowned as one of the three greatest in Japan.
Find out more about the Ashikaga Flower Garden here.
*Tobu Railway normally offers the FURATTO RYOMO TOBU FREE PASS.
Zao: Snow Monsters and Starlit Skies
Winter sports might not be the first thing you think of when it comes to Japan, but northern Japan actually has some incredible destinations for skiing and snowboard enthusiasts. None is more spectacular than Zao, a mountain range boasting multiple slopes of varying difficulty levels, a ropeway with incredible panoramic views, and row after row of frost-covered trees, affectionately called “snow monsters” due to their unique shape. Evenings can be spent taking a snow mobile ride among the beautifully illuminated trees, sampling the local cuisine and sake, and relaxing in hot springs—choose an open-air bath to enjoy the unique sensation of a warm bath in the cold snow, under the starlit sky.
Find out more about Zao here.
Tobu’s Commitment to COVID-19 Countermeasures
The Tobu Group is committed to implementing appropriate measures to protect our customers and visitors from the risk of infection. At TOKYO SKYTREE, we’ve introduced a suite of measures including enhanced cleaning schedules, masks and other PPE for employees, and temperature checks for visitors on entry. Visitors are also required to wear masks for the duration of their visit. We’ve also introduced similar measures on our trains, for example regular disinfection of train interiors and ensuring windows are kept open for better ventilation. Passengers are also requested to wear masks while on our trains.
Find out more about measures here.
Travel to Japan during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The UK government is currently advising British nationals against all but essential international travel. As of 23rd July 2020, foreign nationals who have stayed in the United Kingdom within 14 days prior to the application for landing are denied permission to enter Japan for the time being, unless there are exceptional circumstances (restrictions also apply to other countries). Where permission to enter is granted, foreign nationals will be quarantined for 14 days and required to undergo testing.