A quick spring trip to Kyoto via overnight bus for two days and a 3-hour drive from Tokyo to Nikko for a night is how I spent last week.
The bus ride was nicer than the previous bus trips i’ve taken since we opted to pay about 20 USD more for VIP seating that included partitions to separate our seat from the rest of the premium ticket seats. Another plus was that the seats reclined completely back and include a warm blankie to keep you warm through the night. Also, (not sure if I’ve mentioned this before) the bullet train is expensive. For the price of 1 roundtrip bullet train ticket I literally paid for 2 roundtrip tickets on the bus. Definitely recommend this if you don’t mind a slower means of travel.
Kyoto, on my third trip, was as pretty as ever. It did rain in the evening our first night there, but the weather was nice and we even saw some cherry blossoms and the last of the plum blossoms too.
For Nikko, I opted to make the drive up. The tolls were a bit much, especially since some of the drives within the region involved small stretches of toll road that were 1.50 USD each way. Those added up for sure.
In Nikko, we checked out the Kegon Falls, Tosho-gu shrine, Lake Chuzenji and Tobu World Square. It was snowy in some places and reminded me a lot of Ruidoso, New Mexico near my hometown. There was light snow that night which I actually enjoyed as i soaked in the outdoor hot spring at our ryokan.
Check out photos below: