[Kanto Nostalgia Touring] [Tochigi Prefecture] Motorcycle trip to Kinugawa Onsen! A solo trip on a Harley to a hot spring resort that represents the Kanto region

Hello, this is _hiroyuki.ta.
This time, I went on a motorcycle tour from Tokyo to Kinugawa Onsen!
Kinugawa Onsen is a hot spring resort located in Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture that represents the Kanto region.
It is close to tourist spots such as Nikko Toshogu Shrine and Lake Chuzenji, and you can soak in hot springs while enjoying the rich natural scenery.
This time, we will introduce the route to Kinugawa Onsen and recommended souvenirs!


What is Kinugawa Onsen?

鬼怒川温泉の温泉旅館・ホテル一覧【じゃらんnet】 (jalan.net)

Kinugawa Onsen is a hot spring area that developed in the upper reaches of the Kinugawa River, and was originally called Taki Onsen.
It was discovered during the Edo period and was part of the territory of temples and shrines in Nikko, so it was a hot spring that could only be used by feudal lords and monks returning from a pilgrimage to Nikko.
Later, hot springs were discovered on the east coast, and Taki Onsen and Fujiwara Onsen were combined to form the current Kinugawa Onsen.

The spring quality of Kinugawa Onsen is a simple hot spring, with weak alkaline properties, making it a hot spring that is gentle on the skin.
The smooth-touch hot water is clear, colorless, and tasteless and odorless.
It is said to be effective against burns, and has been popularly said since ancient times as “Kawaji (Kawaji Onsen) for wounds, and waterfalls (present-day Kinugawa Onsen) for burns.”
It is also effective against skin diseases, gastrointestinal diseases, etc., and has effects on the nervous system such as neuralgia and rheumatism.

Route to Kinugawa Onsen


This time, I went on a motorcycle tour from central Tokyo to Kinugawa Onsen.
My favorite car is a Harley-Davidson FLSB Sport Glide.
It took about two and a half hours to cover a distance of about 200km.

The starting point is Hakozaki Minatobashi Street in central Tokyo.
From here, take Shuto Expressway 6 and head north.
Shuto Expressway Route 6 is an expressway that runs along the coast of Tokyo Bay, where you can enjoy views such as Rainbow Bridge and Sky Tree.
At Kosuge JCT, enter the Shuto Expressway Chuo Loop Line.
The Shuto Expressway Central Loop Line is an expressway that goes around Tokyo’s 23 wards, allowing you to see various landmarks and cityscapes.
At Kohoku JCT, enter the Shuto Expressway Kawaguchi Line.
The Shuto Expressway Kawaguchi Line is an expressway that runs into Saitama Prefecture, and offers views of waterfront areas such as the Arakawa River and Arakawa Offshore Embankment Park.
From the Shuto Expressway Kawaguchi Line, enter the Tohoku Expressway.
The Tohoku Expressway is an expressway that leads to the Tohoku region, where you can see natural scenery such as countryside and mountains.
At Utsunomiya IC, enter Nikko Utsunomiya Road.
The Nikko Utsunomiya Road is an expressway heading towards Nikko City, where you can see views of the Nikko Mountain Range and the Kinugawa River.
Get off at Nikko Utsunomiya Road at Osawa IC.
From here you will enter the public road.
From Prefectural Route 110, enter Prefectural Route 279 and then onto National Route 121.
National Route 121 is a national highway that passes through the Kinugawa Onsen town, and is lined with hot spring inns and tourist facilities.
We arrived at Kinugawa Onsen Falls.

Highlights of Kinugawa Onsen


Kinugawa Onsen has many other attractions besides hot springs.
For example:

  • Kinugawa Line Kudari: An activity where you go down the Kinugawa River in a wooden boat.
    For about 40 minutes, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery of the valley and feel the spray of water.
  • Nikko Edomura: A theme park that recreates the townscape and culture of the Edo period.
    You can enjoy shows and experiences of ninjas, samurais, geishas, etc., as well as meals and souvenirs.
  • Kinu Tateiwa Suspension Bridge: This is a pedestrian-only suspension bridge with a total length of approximately 140 meters that connects Kinugawa Onsen Town and Tateiwa.
    It is approximately 40 meters high, and from the top of the bridge, you can enjoy the Kinugawa River flowing between large rocks, as well as the fresh greenery in spring and the autumn leaves of trees in fall.
  • Kinugawa Onsen Museum: A museum that introduces the history and culture of Kinugawa Onsen.
    There are exhibits and materials about hot spring inns, baths, amusement parks, etc. from the Edo period to the present day.

Motorcycle parking lot at Kinugawa Onsen

Kinugawa Onsen has a covered parking lot that is safe for those coming by motorcycle.
For example:

  • Kinugawa Royal Hotel: Bike trips welcome! This hotel also sells touring plans where you can stay with peace of mind in a covered parking lot. There is a covered parking lot right next to the entrance, making it easy to move around.


This time, I went on a motorcycle tour from Tokyo to Kinugawa Onsen.
We covered a distance of about 200km in about two and a half hours, and enjoyed various scenery along the way.
At Kinugawa Onsen, there are not only hot springs but also tourist attractions such as Rhine Kudari, Nikko Edomura, and the Great Suspension Bridge.
There are several covered parking lots for motorcycles, so you can stay with peace of mind.
Kinugawa Onsen is a hot spring area recommended for motorcycle touring!

Finally, a recommended souvenir from Kinugawa Onsen is Yuba, a Kinugawa specialty.
Yuba is made by boiling soy milk and removing the film that forms on the surface, and is a food that has been made in Nikko for a long time.
Yuba can be eaten as is or added to miso soup or stews.
Yuba is a highly nutritious, low calorie and healthy food.
Kinugawa Onsen also sells sweets and seasonings made with yuba.
Be sure to get one as a souvenir!

That’s it for bike touring from Tokyo to Kinugawa Onsen! It was a fun journey and a recommended souvenir.
I would like to go to some nice places by bike next time! See you soon!