Nikko Street Views in Tochigi Prefecture
Nikko Street Scene
Nikko Street Scene
Nikko Residential Area
Nikko Residential Area
Nikko Mountain Range
Pink Flowers in Nikko
Daiya River in Nikko
Shinkyo Bridge Nikko National Park
Nikko UNESCO World Heritage Site
Nikkozan Rinnoji Temple UNESCO World Heritage Site
Gojunoto Five-Story Pagoda at Toshogu Shrine
Nikko Toshogu Shrine Kamijinko Shoro
Yomeimon Gate, Nikko National Park
Three Monkeys, Nikko National Park
Niomon Gate, Taiyuin-byo Temple in Nikko
Yashamon Gate, Taiyuin Mausoleum in Nikko
Shinyosha (Shed of Portable Shrine) Toshogu Shrine
Honden Karamon Gate
Romon Gate, Futarasan Shrine in Nikko
Facts & Figures
During my visit of Nikko I had the chance to see the major tourist attractions (Futarasan Shrine, Toshogu Shrine, Rinnoji Temple and Taiyuin-byo Iemitsu Mausoleum) and the nice neighbourhoods of the town. Nikko is surrounded by high mountains, which creates a beautiful natural scenery. I was lucky enough to enjoy there the beginning of the cherry blossom season.
Explore Ryokans in Nikko
Ryokans are the perfect way to discover old Japanese culture and traditions. I made one of my first stops at the famous Shinkyo Bridge. The red bridge crosses the Daiya river and separates the shrine and temple area, which is full of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, from the town of Nikko. Btw you have to pay a fee to walk on the bridge. I was also able to see a short part of the famous Cedar Avenue of Nikko (a special historic site). It is with a length of 37 kilometers the longest tree lined avenue in the world. Approx. 12000 cedar trees were planted during the beginning of the Edo period (1603 - 1868).
My tips for local activities
How about exploring the beautiful city Nikko and its historical places within a day trip from Tokyo with a local guide. Check out this page for more details.
Nikko's religious history can be dated back till the middle of the 8th century. One of the first temple (Rinnoji) were founded over 1200 years ago near the Daiya River by Buddhist priest Shodo Shonin (735 - 817). In 1617 the famous Toshogu Shrine was completed as the mausoleum of the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543 - 1616). In 1999 the UNESCO World Heritage Site - Shrines and Temples of Nikko - was established.
How to get to Nikko?
- 2hrs from Tokyo Asakusa Station to Nikko Station by Tobu Railways
- 2hrs from Tokyo Shinjuku Station to Nikko Station by limited express trains
- 100min from Tokyo or Ueno Station by JR Tohoku Shinkansen to Utsunomiya and transfer to the Nikko Line
Sightseeing spots in and around Nikko
Futarasan-jinja - Futarasan Shrine was founded in 767 by Buddhist monk Shodo Shonin (735 - 817). It is one of the oldest Shinto shrines in Nikko and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Read more >
Toshogu Shrine - The shrine was built in 1617 and hosts the mausoleum of shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543 – 1616). This architectural masterpiece is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1999. Read more >
Rinnoji Temple - The temple complex consists of 15 Buddhist temple buildings. Rinnoji, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was built in 766. The highlight of the temple is the Sanbutsudo. A hall with three 8m tall Buddha statues. Read more >
Taiyuin-byo Iemitsu Mausoleum - The mausoleum, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was built in 1653 by shogun Ietsuna Tokugawa (1641 - 1680). Read more >
Shinkyo Bridge (Shinkyo Hashi) - The bridge belongs to the Futarasan Shrine. It spans over the Daiya river. Shinkyo Hashi belongs to the top 3 outstanding bridges in Japan. The other two are Kintai-kyo (Brocade Sash Bridge) in Iwakuni and Saruhashi in Yamanashi Prefecture.
Nikko National Park - It is a great place to explore some wilderness near Tokyo. The hiking areas around the three sacred mountains (Nikko Sanzan) - Mt. Nantai, Mt. Taro and Mt. Nyoho - are very popular.
Lake Chuzenji - The scenic lake with Mt. Nantai in the background has a circumference of 25 km. Do not miss the spectacular 97m high Kegon Falls. Kegon Falls belong to the Three Great Waterfalls of Japan. The other two are the Nachi Falls within the Wakayama Prefecture and Fukuroda Falls in Daigo within the Ibaraki region. Read more >
Tamozawa Imperial villa - This former summer residence of the Imperial family in Nikko was built in 1899. The building is since 2000 open for the public. The villa consists of 106 rooms and the architectural style can be described as a fusion of the Edo and Meiji Period.
Festival & Events (dates can change without notice)
Yayoi Matsuri (16th - 17th)
A Mikoshi (portable Shinto shrine) procession will be held at the Futarasan Shrine. The festival dates back over 1200 years and is regarded as a welcome ceremony of the spring season.
Toshogu Shrine Grand Festival (17th - 18th)
The most important annual festival in Nikko includes a horesback archery and a procession of 1000 warriors. The festival is a re-enactment of the funeral procession of Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542 - 1616) who founded the Tokugawa Shogunate in Edo (Tokyo).
Toshogu Shrine Autumn Festival (16th - 17th)
It is an repetition of the Toshogu Shrine Grand Festival in May.
My 100 Best Moments in Japan
I am visiting Japan nearly every year since 2004. This is my collection of the 100 best moments in my favourite country. Enjoy the pictures and I hope you will start your own journey soon.