Nestled within the scenic landscape of Tochigi Prefecture, Nikko stands as a testament to the pivotal role played by Tokugawa Ieyasu in shaping Japan‘s history. Serving as the first shogun of the Tokugawa Shogunate from 1603 to 1605, Ieyasu ushered in an era of peace and stability that endured for three centuries. Explore the cultural richness of Nikko through its iconic landmarks, including the Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Futarasan-jinja Shrine, and Rinnoji Temple.
Discovering Tokugawa Ieyasu’s Legacy at Nikko Toshogu Shrine
Immerse yourself in the grandeur of Nikko Toshogu Shrine, a marvel constructed by 127,000 craftsmen using cutting-edge technology of its time. The complex, boasting structures like a five-story pagoda, Honjido Hall, and the vibrant Yomeimon Gate, showcases intricate carvings, including a whimsical elephant and the famous trio of monkeys embodying “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”
Traversing Serene Mountain Paths to Futarasan-jinja Shrine
Founded in 782 by the monk Shodo Shonin, Futarasan-jinja Shrine predates Nikko Toshogu and pays homage to the deities of the surrounding mountains. Wander through the temple complex connected by peaceful mountain paths, encountering the vermillion-lacquered shrine pavilion and the mysterious “Bakedoro” lantern, rumored to transform into a haunting shape at night.
A Glimpse into Ancient Japan
Established in the 8th century by Shodo Shonin, Rinnoji Temple offers a treasure trove of artifacts and monuments. Explore the Japanese-style garden and admire gold-lacquered statues of the three Kannon deities, delving into the rich cultural heritage of old Japan.
Crossing the Sacred Shinkyo Bridge
Embark on a journey across the revered Shinkyo Bridge, a 28-meter-long structure known as one of Japan’s top three bridges. Framed by vermilion lacquer and surrounded by lush foliage, this bridge serves as the sacred gateway to Nikko, capturing the essence of its natural beauty.
Getting There from Tokyo
Situated north of Tokyo, Nikko is easily accessible by taking the Tohoku shinkansen to Utsunomiya Station and transferring to the JR Nikko Line. A short bus ride from Nikko Station opens the door to the historical wonders of the region. Experience the allure of Nikko, where history, nature, and spirituality converge.