What You Should not Miss in Nikko

Sightseeing Spots in Nikko

World-Heritage Shrines and Temples in Nikko

Nikko

The World-Heritage shrines and temples in Nikko attract many travelers from the world. The World Heritages consists of 2 shrines and 1 temple: the Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Nikkosan Rinno-Ji Temple and Nikko Futarasan-jinja Shrine. The Nikko Toshogu Shrine, the most famous World Heritage in Nikko, enshrines Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo bakufu (shogunate),. The shrine encompasses a variety of architectures and sculptures registered as the national treasures or important cultural properties, allowing visitors to appreciate great-flamboyant architectural beauties.

Iroha-zaka Slope

Nikko

An automotive-only expressway to link the city of Nikko and Okunikko. 2 expressways consisting of the Daiichi (first), Iroha-zaka Slope of up-lanes and the Daini (Second), Iroha-zaka Slope of down-lanes have total 48 sharp curves and offer magnificent scenery to the passengers. These expressways are known as the best spots to view the colorful autumn leaves. The best period for the autumn leave viewing is the middle of October and the beginning of November. Be sure that it is impossible to avoid traffic jam during the autumn leave period.

Kirifuri-kogen

Nikko

Located at about 1,200m evaluation on the north side of the down town of Nikko, the Kirifurikogen Highlands is a plateau area lying on the slop of Mt. Akanagisan. Between the end of June and middle of July, the community of about 260,000 root stocks of Nikko day lilies come into full bloom, decorating the hiking courses with the contrast of yellow and green colors and allowing the visitor to enjoy walking in an easy manner. In addition to the nearby sightseeing spots such as the area that colorful followers of azalea can be seen in springs and the Kirifurinotaki Falls consisting of the upper fall and lower fall, this resort area also have ski slopes, campsites and facilities for sports and leisure.

Kanmangafuchi Abyss

Nikko

A place of rare scenic beauty created by the lava erupted from Mt. Nantaisan, on the Daiyagawa River. It is said that the number of the group of about 70 jizo (guardian deity of children), changes whenever you count. In addition, visitors can see the legendary Sanskrit characters that are said to be sculptured by Kobo Daishi (Saint Kobo),.

Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park

Nikko

The villa constructed for recuperation of Emperor Taisho is a comprehensive building group formed by the styles of the three periods including late Edo, Meiji and Taisho, and one of the largest Meiji and Taisho style imperial villas that exist in Japan. From these architectures and beautiful gardens, visitors can learn the various architectural techniques and Japanese imperial culture. This villa is registered as one of the national treasures.

Local Cuisines and Souvenirs of Nikko

Soba (buckwheat noodles),

Nikko
Imaichi
Kinugawa - Kawaji Hot Spring
Yunishigawa, Kawamata and Okukinu Hot Spring

Soba of Nikko is cooked by the hands of craftsmen by using high-quality buckwheat and fine water supplied from the feet of the mountains in Nikko. The city of Nikko is known as a town of soba, and the soba festival is held in autumn when freshly-harvested buckwheat is sold in the market.

Nikko-yuba

Nikko
Kinugawa - Kawaji Hot Spring
Imaichi

One of the most traditional local cuisine in Nikko is yuba (tofu skin),, which is made by picking up the skin appeared on the surface of boiled soymilk. You can relish yuba as sashimi (raw food), to be served immediately after the skin is picked up, or as dried yuba to be fried and eaten in combination with other food like soba.

Yokan (Sweet Bean Jelly),

Nikko

Yokan is a Japanese sweet produced by adding agar to azuki (sweet bean paste), to set a shape. It is said that the yokan of Nikko was produced as the gift to World-Heritage shrines and temples, then became popular among the worship-visitors as their souvenirs. Nikko yokan has the characteristic of being smooth and moderately sweet.

Shaved ice made from Nikko‘s natural water

Nikko
Kinugawa - Kawaji Hot Spring
Imaichi

Nikko has 3 of 5 icehouses that currently exist all over Japan. Nikko’s natural water that was frozen and preserved in natural cold air is just wonder; the produced ice is so soft and does not cause headaches even when eating it hastily. Each shop has its own specialty of shaved ice, such as ujikintoki with maccha (powdered green tea), syrup and an (bean jam), on the top, and standard ones with strawberry or melon syrup. So, why not compare the flavor of the specialty of each shop?

Nikko Geta (Wooden Clogs),

Nikko

Nikko geta was originally produced as footwear used to walk in the sacred precincts of the shrines in Nikkko. Because the wooden bases are sawn to the back surfaces of zori (Japanese sandals),, the clogs has stability and are suitable to walk in the towns of Nikko that have many slopes and snow days. They give cold feeing in summer and warm feeling in winter, and can be worn with both kimono and Western clothes.

Photographs: By Ippitsu Ryu Kousyuuya

Ippitsu Ryu (Dragon Drawn by a Single Stroke),

Nikko

Ippitsu ryu (a dragon drawn by a single stoke), is said to bring good luck like Nakiryuu (roaring dragon), in the Nikko Toshogu Shrine. It is magnificent to see that even details of a dragon such as the body, scales and palps is drawn by a single stroke.

Experiences that Nikko Offers

Nikko-yuba production

Nikko

As a valuable source of protein that could be easily preserved, yuba is a local dish of exceptional nutritive value that has been passed from generation to generation in Nikko since times of old. Visitors can enjoy a hands-on experience of the process of yuba production, doubling up and extracting the film that forms on the surface when soya beans are boiled into soy milk.

Town Walk in Kimono

Nikko

Rent a kimono and go for a stroll in the World-Heritage shrines and temples, and the temple town. Kimonos in various materials that fit to bodies of females, males and children, and each season are available. In addition, shop staff helps you get dressed.

Nikkobori (Nikko Carving),

Nikko

It is said that Nikkobori originates from the arts of the famous craftsmen who renovated the World-Heritage Nikko Toshogu Shrine. Now, you can see and experience the arts of these craftsmen.

Events in Nikko

Yayoi Festival

Nikko

This festival that started more than 1,200 years ago lets people in Nikko know that spring has come to the town. 11 hanayatais (floats), decorated with spring flowers parade in the town to celebrate coming of spring. Visitors can experience the rope tagging of some floats.

Nikko Toshogu Shrine Annual Grand Spring
Festival

Nikko

The biggest event of Nikko Toshogu Shrine. On May 17, the Shrine holds the yabusame ritual in which you can see archers’ arts of piloting the horses and shooting arrows on horsebacks. On May 18, the city has the procession called Hyakumono-Zoroe Sennin Gyoretsu, in which some 1,000 men dressed in samurai warrior outfits march to reproduce the scene where Ieyasu’s grave was being transferred from distant Mount Kunousan in Shizuoka Prefecture to Nikko.

Seasonal Flowers in Nikko

Cherry Blossom on the Streets of Nikko (From Middle to End of April),

Nikko Yellow Daylily on Kirifurikogen Highlands (End of June to Middle of July),

Autumn Leave Viewing on the World-Heritage Shrines and Temples in Nikko (Late of October to Middle of November),

Hot Springs in Nikko

Nikko Hot Spring

Nikko
Open-Air Bath
Hot Springs for Day Trippers

Hot spring resorts are located around the World Cultural Heritage shrines and temples of Nikko. In this area, there is a Hot Spring that was called as musonoyu (Hot Spring of imagination), by Kobo Daishi (Saint Kobo),, and the source of the Hot Spring was reportedly discovered in recent years. The Hot Spring is colorless and transparent, is said to be good for beautiful ski. In this resort, travelers can heal fatigue of the tour of the world heritages.

Spring Quality: Simple Hot Spring
The effect: The Hot Spring is good for stiff shoulders, neuralgia, beautiful skin, etc.

Accommodation in Nikko

Nikko and Kirifuri

Nikko

Nikko is an area that is convenient for travelling the World-Heritage shrines and temples in Nikko. Kirifuri is an area located near the World Heritages and surrounded by abundant nature. In the Nikko area, depending on the style of your travel, you can freely choose your favorite accommodation from many types of facilities ranging from large-scale hotels and ryokans with a variety of facilities, to minshuku (small inns), and pensions that serve delicious dishes, and B&Bs that you can feel at home.

Model Courses to Tour around Nikko