Shinkyo Bridge in Nikko

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  • Shinkyo Bridge in Nikko

    Shinkyo Bridge in Nikko

  • Shinkyo Bridge in Nikko

    Shinkyo Bridge in Nikko

  • Shinkyo Bridge in Nikko

    Shinkyo Bridge in Nikko

  • Shinkyo Bridge in Nikko

    Shinkyo Bridge in Nikko

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Facts & Figures

The Shinkyo Bridge, also known as the Sacred Bridge, marks the gateway to the Futarasan Shrine, Rinnoji Temple, and Toshogu Shrine area in Nikko. Shinkyo Bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage site and an Important Cultural Property, belongs to the three finest bridges in Japan. The other two are Saruhashi (Monkey Bridge) in the Yamanashi Prefecture and Brocade Sash Bridge (Kintai-kyo) in the Yamaguchi Prefecture. The vermillion-lacquered bridge has a length of 28 meters and a width of 7.40 meters and spans in a height of 10.6 meters above a gorge formed by the Daiya River. Best Ryokans in Nikko Experience the Ultimate Japanese Hospitality at a Nikko Ryokan.
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You can cross the bridge for a small fee and only when there is a couple on its way to their wedding ceremony at the Futarasan Shrine the bridge will be closed. Btw it is believed that crossing the bridge will bring good luck to couples in love. The best time for a visit is during the autumn season (end of Oct. - early Nov.) when the leaves of the trees turn into a beautiful yellow and red. My tip: The bridge will be illuminated for just 3 days at the end of October.

  • Shinkyo Bridge:
  • Opening Hours - 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (from April till end of October)
  • Opening Hours - 9:30 am to 3:30 pm (from November till end of March)
  • Closed - never, open everyday
  • Admission Fee - 500 yen (Adults), 300 yen (High School Students), 200 yen (Elementary and Junior High School Students)

My tips for local activities

Local guide in Nikko

How about exploring the beautiful city of Nikko, its historical places, and the Kegon Falls within a day's trip from Tokyo with a local guide? The personalized tour by our partner GetYourGuide can take up to 10.5 hours. For more details check out this page >


The legend of the Shinkyo Bridge began when the monk Shodo Shoin (735 - 817) prayed to the gods to let him cross the Daiya River in 766. In response, the god Jinja-Daiou (God of the River) appeared, with two snakes transforming into a bridge that he could cross. Therefore the bridge is also known as Yamasuge-no-Hebi-bashi (Snake Bridge of Mountain Sedge). Shinkyo Bridge was built in its current form in 1636 by the order of shogun by Tokugawa Iemitsu (1604 - 1651). In 1902 after a huge flood and heavy damage to its structure, the bridge had to be rebuilt. It took 2 years before the repair was finished. Since 1999 Shinkyo Bridge has the status of a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the past, only important officials like generals, samurai, or messengers from the imperial court were allowed to cross the bridge. Common people had to use another bridge downstream. It was a restriction by social status. Since 1973 the bridge has been open to the public. Some repair work was done from 1997 to 2005. The motif of the bridge is also a recurring theme in woodblock prints dating back to the 19th century by artists like Tsukioka Yoshitoshi (1839 - 1892) or Toyohara Chikanobu (1838 - 1912).


Map of Japan

Shinkyo Bridge is located nearby the Rinnoji Temple in central Nikko within the Tochigi Prefecture.
Address: Kamihatsuishimachi, Nikko, Tochigi 321-1401, Japan

How to get to Shinkyo Bridge?

  • 5min from JR Nikko Station to Shinkyo stop by bus or
  • 20min from JR Nikko Station to Shinkyo Bridge

Sightseeing spots


Nikko Bridge - This nearby bridge offers the best views of the Shinkyo Bridge. Many tourists come here to take their pictures of this iconic structure.

Festival & Events in Nikko (dates can change without notice)


Yayoi Matsuri (16th - 17th)
The Mikoshi (portable Shinto shrine) procession will be held at the Futarasan Shrine.


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)
Is an repetition of the festival in May.

Illumination of Shinkyo Bridge (end of Oct.)
This event lasts only for 3 days and is very popular with locals and tourists.

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