The Spacia Kegon is a Limited Express train that runs between Tobu Asakusa Station and Tobu Nikko Station. It is named after a famous waterfall, the Kegon Falls, in Nikko National Park. There are five regular services that run between Asakusa and Nikko on weekdays, and six services on weekends and public holidays.
The Spacia Kegon is the fastest railway service between Tokyo and Nikko and takes around 1 hour and 50 minutes to complete the journey. However, Tobu Railway also run a similar limited express service from JR Shinjuku Station to Tobu Nikko Station which is called the Spacia Nikko. The Spacia Nikko takes about 2 hours to travel between Shinjuku and Nikko. For more alternative routes between Tokyo and Nikko see our article: Traveling from Tokyo to Nikko.
At Tobu Asakusa Station the Spacia Kegon departs from platforms 3 and 4. There is an information desk at the entrance to these limited express platforms where you should show your ticket before boarding.
The Spacia Kegon stops at the following stations. Only two services, that start or terminate at Shin-Tochigi Station, include that station on their route.
Tobu Asakusa – Tokyo Skytree – Kita-Senju – Kasukabe – Tochigi – (Shin-Tochigi) – Shin-Kanuma – Shimo-Imaichi – Tobu Nikko
The key destinations with rail fares (including limited express surcharges) and example train times are given below.
Tokyo Skytree Station
Exit here for the famous Tokyo Skytree, the world’s tallest tower at 634 meters high. The Skytree is both a broadcasting tower and a major tourist destination with plenty of shopping and dining facilities, and upper level observation decks.
Train fare: 660 yen
Train time: 3 minutes
Transfer here to the JR Joban Line, the Tsukuba Express, and Tokyo Metro’s Chiyoda and Hibiya lines.
Train fare: 710 yen
Train time: 12 minutes
This station serves Tochigi City which has many preserved historical buildings and warehouses called “kura”. Many of these buildings can be seen on the Reiheishi Road and three 200-year-old warehouses have been converted into the Tochigi Kuranomachi Museum of Art. For more details of Tochigi’s sightseeing attractions you can download a PDF sightseeing map. Transfer here to the JR Ryomo Line.
Train fare: 2,100 yen
Train time: 1 hour and 8 minutes
Transfer here to the Tobu Kinugawa Line. Tobu operate special 35 minute steam locomotive rides between Shimo-Imaichi and Kinugawa Onsen stations on Saturdays and public holidays.
Train fare: 2,700 yen
Train time: 1 hour and 43 minutes
Tobu Nikko Station
Exit here for the town of Nikko. Nikko has many famous shrines and temples, but chief among these is the Toshogu, a beautifully decorated shrine built around the tomb of the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu who died in 1616. Nikko is also famous for its hot springs, its wild monkeys, and for the sacred Shinkyo Bridge which is part of the Futarasan Shrine and considered to be one of the most beautiful bridges in Japan.
Train fare: 2,700 yen
Train time: 1 hour and 50 minutes
On Board Facilities
All cars on this train are non-smoking and there is also a free Wi-Fi internet service available on board the train. In addition to regular seating there are also six private compartments which can seat up to four people. These compartments cost an additional 3,090 yen on weekdays and 3,700 yen on weekends and holidays. The Spacia has an on board cart service selling drinks, sandwiches, bento-style lunch boxes, and Spacia-themed souvenirs. There is also a soft drinks vending machine in car 3. Some trains also have a kiosk in car 3 where you can buy drinks (including draft beer), snacks, and souvenirs.
The Spacia Kegon makes six departures from Tobu Asakusa Station on weekdays and seven departures on weekends and public holidays. Most trains terminate at Tobu Nikko Station and their departure and arrival times are given below. The last train (#255) however, departs from Tobu Asakusa Station at 22.00 and terminates at Shin-Tochigi Station at 23.16. This final train does not continue on to Tobu Nikko Station.
|Service Number||Tobu Asakusa||Shin-Tochigi||Tobu Nikko|
|Spacia Kegon #5||7.30||–||9.20|
|Spacia Kegon #9
(Weekends & holidays only)
|Spacia Kegon #13||9.30||–||11.16|
|Spacia Kegon #21||12.30||–||14.18|
|Spacia Kegon #31||15.00||–||16.48|
|Spacia Kegon #51||21.00||–||22.51|
|Spacia Kegon #255||22.00||23.16||–|
The Spacia Kegon makes six return journeys to Tobu Asakusa Station on weekdays and seven return journeys on weekends and public holidays. Most of these trains can be boarded at Tobu Nikko Station. However, the earliest train (#206) actually starts at Shin-Tochigi Station and so cannot be boarded at Tobu Nikko Station.
|Service Number||Tobu Nikko||Shin-Tochigi||Tobu Asakusa|
|Spacia Kegon #206||–||5.44||7.06|
|Spacia Kegon #18||9.57||–||11.45|
|Spacia Kegon #24||11.27||–||13.15|
|Spacia Kegon #26
(Weekends & holidays only)
|Spacia Kegon #34||14.56||–||16.45|
|Spacia Kegon #36||15.23||–||17.15|
|Spacia Kegon #44||17.23||–||19.15|
Limited express trains require seat reservations, so you will have to pay a limited express surcharge as well as paying for your train ticket. You can buy limited express tickets from automated machines on the 1st and 2nd floor of Tobu Asakusa Station, or you can buy them from the ticket office on the 1st floor.
Because Tobu Railway is a private rail operator the Spacia Kegon is not covered by the Japan Rail Pass, however there are discount passes for this route. These passes give a 20% discount on limited express tickets and on private compartment fees. They also give discounts on tourist facilities, shops, and restaurants in the Nikko and Kinugawa Onsen area as well as unlimited bus and train rides within a decided zone. There are three passes to choose from. Click on the links below for more details.
The Nikko City Area Pass is a 2 day pass that costs 2,670 yen for adults and 1,340 yen for children.
The Nikko All Area Pass is a 4 day pass. From April to November this pass costs 4,520 yen for adults and 2,280 yen for children. From December to March this pass costs 4,150 yen for adults and 2,070 yen for children.
The Theme Park and Nikko City Area Pass is a 2 day pass that includes entry to the Tobu World Square and Edo Wonderland theme parks. This pass costs 8,010 yen for adults and 4,010 yen for children.
These passes can be purchased from the Tourist Information Office on the 1st floor of Tobu Asakusa Station or you can purchase them in advance from the official Tobu Railway website.
Article and original photos by Michael Lambe. All rights reserved.