Sightseeing Spots

World-Heritage Shrines and Temples 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.

Nikko Toshogu Shrine

Nikko

The Nikko Toshogu Shrine, the most famous shrine of the World Heritages in Nikko, enshrines Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun of the Edo bakufu (shogunate),, but most of it was renovated by Tokugawa Iemitsu, the third shogun, in the Great Reconstruction of the Kanei era in 1636. Inside the shrine, encompassed are 55 architectures including 8 national treasures and 34 important cultural properties. Each architecture is decorated with sculpture, japan and brilliant color coatings crafted by famous craftsmen selected and gathered from all over Japan. It is said that total 40 to 100 billion yen in present currency value was spent to create those great-flamboyant architectural beauties.

* The Yomei-mon Gate is currently undergoing renovation works, which are scheduled to last until March 2017.

Nikkosan Rinno-Ji Temple

Nikko

The history of the Nikkosan Rinno-Ji Temple started 1200 years ago, when Shodo Shonin (Saint Shodo),, who firstly served as the head priest of Nikko, founded the Shihonryuji Temple. Sanbutsudo Hall, the main temple, is one of the largest wooden architectures in Nikkousan, and houses Buddhist statues respectively symbolizing honchibutsu (original Buddhist divinity), of the holy three mountains in Nikko, such as Senju-Kannon (Kannon with a thousand arms: honchibutsu of Mt. Nantaisan), Amidanyorai (Amitabha Tathagata: honchibutsu of Mt. Nyohousan), and Bato-Kannon (Kannon with a horse head: honchibutsu o Mt. Tarosan),, which is 8m tall. In addition to the above, there are still many spots that visitors should not miss: such as the Gomado Hall that houses the statues of the gods of fortune such as Bishamonten, Daikokuten and Benzaiten; temple’s treasure house that exhibits the statues of Buddha and sutras registered as the national treasures or important cultural properties; Shoyoen garden, a Japanese-style garden that features a path around a pond.

* The Sanbutsudo Hall is currently undergoing major renovation works, which are scheduled to last until March 2021. During this period, the special path for viewing the inside of Sanbutsudo Hall from a height of 26m is available.

Taiyuin, Nikkosan Rinno-Ji Temple

Nikko

Taiyuin is the mausoleum of Tokugawa Iemitsu, a grandson of Tokugawa Ieyassu and the third Shogun of the Edo bakufu (Japanese feudal government headed by a shogun),. Iemitsu who respected Ieyasu very much and renovated the Nikko Toshogu Shrine to the present state of magnificent splendor left his will to “serve Ieyasu even after his death.” To keep his will, Taiyuin was constructed at the place to face the Toshogu Shrine in a manner not to excess his grandfather’s mausoleum in terms of splendor. In addition to the main hall, ainoma (intermediate room), and Haiden (front shrine), that are registered as the national treasuers, this mausoleum has a variety of viewing spots for visitors, such as the magnificent Nitenmon Gate and Kokamon Gate. Not like the Toshogu Shrine, excellent craftsmanship are characteristically featured in the inconspicuous places in Taiyuin.

Kaisandou, Nikkosan Rinno-Ji Temple

Nikko

Kaisandou is the mausoleum of Shodo Shonin (Saint Shodo),, who firstly served as the head priest of Nikko. The mausoleum has a vermilion-lacquered, multistoried and square-styled hall that enshrines the wooden honzon (principal image of Buddha), Jizo Bosatsu (Jizo Bodhisattva),, which is said to be produced in the 14th or 15 century. This place is also known as a location that people can feel mystical energy of the god to protect the Nikko mountains.

Nikko Futarasan-Jinja Shrine

Nikko

In 766, Shodo Shonin (Saint Shodo), stepped into the mountains in Nikko. The Nikko Futarasan-jinja Shrine deifies Mt. Futarasan (Mt. Nantaisan),, the most symbolized mountain of those, as its object of worship, and, as an only shrine in the area, has been regarded as ujigamisama (a guardian of the place),, as well as the center of the mountain worship that has been believed in the area for long time. The precinct of the shrine is as large as about 3,400ha and contains the mountains of the Nikko National Park. In the area of the Nikko mountains, there are the main hall and front shrine, the single-layer Irimoya-zukuri-roofed architectures registered as the World Heritage, as well as shinen (shrine gardens), that spring water gushes out. This shrine is also famous for answering to prayers of those who seek good luck, pregnancy, smooth delivery of babies, and marriage tie.

Takinoo Shrine

Nikko

The Takinoo Shrine quietly stands in the sacred atmosphere with abundant trees. This shrine is an associated shrine of the Futarasan-jinja Shrine and is located at the place that is 1km away from the main shrine. This shrine enshrines Tagorihime no mikoto who is Kishin (God Empress), of Onamuchi no mikoto, the main enshrined deity of the Futarasan-jinja Shrine. This shrine is also famous for a “torii (gateway to shrine), to try for one’s luck”: It is said that if any person through a stone toward a small hole on the torii three times and the stone goes through the hole even once, he or she would meet something lucky. In addition, it has gained general popularity for answering to the prayers of those who seek marriage tie, pregnancy and smooth delivery of babies.

Shinkyo Bridge

Nikko

The Shinkyo is a beautiful, wooden and vermilion-lacquered bridge that is hung on the entrance to the holy Nikko mountains. There is a legend that when Shodo Shonin (Saint Shodo),, who firstly served as the head priest of Nikko, was not able to cross the Daiyagawa River and asked for help to deities and Buddhas, two snakes appered and transformed to this bridge. The bridge belongs to the Nikko Futarasan-jinja Shrine.

Temples and Shrines

Nikko Futarasan-Jinja Shrine Chugushi (a shrine built on the middle ground of the Futarasan-Jinja Shrine),

Okunikko

Located by Chuzenji Lake, this shrine is said to be founded in 784 to worship Mt. Nantaisan. The shrine stands between the main shrine of Futarasan-jinja Shrine and Okumiya (rear shrine), located on the top of Mt. Nantaisan. It is said that a yellow bell in this shrine answers to prayers of those who seek a good match, and anyone can toll the ring freely.

Tachikikannon, Nikkosan Chuzenji Temple

Okunikko

Tachikikannon is an associated shrine of the World-Heritage Nikkosan Rinno-Ji Temple founded in 784 by Shodo Shonin (Saint Shodo),, who firstly served as the head priest of Nikko. The Kannon (Boddhisattva), statue that is said to be sculptured by Shodo Shonin himself is still spreading its root to the ground. In addition, the shrine houses various characteristic statues of Buddha, such as Hashiri Daikokuten.

Picturesque Scenery

Okunikko

Mt. Nantaisan

Okunikko

This 2,486m high volcano looks very magnificent, because of its wide-spreading skirt. The volcano is also known as the object of worship of the World-Heritage Nikko Futarasan-jinja Shrine and houses the Chugushi (a shrine built on the middle ground of the Futarasan-Jinja Shrine), on its base and Okumiya (rear shrine), on its top. There is a mountain trail for advanced climber; it takes 3 to 4 hours to climb to the top through this trail extending over about 4km. The climbing is permitted for the period extending from May 5 to October 25 every year. This mountain is ranked in the 100 Famous Japanese Mountains.

  • Place
  • Contact
    Nikko City Tourism Association
    +81-288-22-1525

Lake Chuzenji

Okunikko

Lying on the skirt of Mt. Nantaisan, the Chuzenji Lake is located at an altitude of 1,269m, one of the highest locations of Japanese lakes. It is said that this lake was formed by an eruption of Mt. Nantaisan about 20,000 years ago. In the 19th and 20th centuries, villas owned by foreigners and embassies of oversea countries were built in this area and obtained popularity as an international summer resort. A hiking course runs along this 25km-around lake, and visitor can view azalea flowers in early summer, as well as colorful leaves in autumn.

Kegon Falls

Okunikko

The Kegon Falls, the great falls at a height of 97m, is ranked in the three great falls of Japan. Visitors can fully enjoy magnificent scenery and beautiful formative arts created by the nature. In May, the area is decorated with fresh green of leaves; in June, Asian house martins come flying; and in January and February, whole of the falls is frozen to blue ice. Near the falls, there is an observatory platform allowing visitors to see the basin of falls from the close location (admission-paid),.

Senjogahara Plateau

Okunikko

Located at the place at a height of 1,400m in the Nikko National Park, Senjogahara is one of the largest high moor in Honshu (mainland of Japan),. It is said that the lake formed by an eruption of Mt. Nantaisan turned to the more than 400ha marsh over time. This huge area encompasses more than 350 species of native plants and various types of wild birds, and 175ha out of the gross area is registered under the Ramsar Convention as “Oku-Nikko-shitsugen” (the marsh in Okunikko),. Around this area, there is a nature exploration route, a hiking course that even beginners can walk through in about 2 hours. The most recommendable period to visit this area is the middle of June to the beginning of August when Cotton-Sedges and Meadow Sweets are in full bloom, as well as the end of September to the beginning of October when grasses to turn to red.

Odashirogahara Plateau

Okunikko

Lying on the west side of Senjogahara, 2km-around Odashirogahara is a rare grassy plain that has characteristics of both marsh and prairie. In the area surrounded by a forest of Mongolian oaks, visitors can view lesser celandines in June to July, and Mongolian oaks and colored grass in the end of September to the end of October. A single Japanese white birch standing in the center of prairie is called as the “Lady in Odashirogahara,” and is known as the best spot for photo taking. This area is designated as the special protection area in the Nikko National Park and registered under the Ramsar Convention.

Yunoko Lake

Okunikko

The 3km-around Yunoko Lake that wears a mysterious atmosphere was formed by the natural damming of the Yugawa River after an eruption of Mt. Mitsudake. Around the lake, there is a walking course allowing visitors to walk through the area surrounded by a primeval forest of broadleaf trees and coniferous trees in about one hour, while watching various seasonal nature and wild birds. The best period for viewing autumn leaves is from the end of September to the middle of October. This area is registered under the Ramsar Convention.

  • Place
  • Contact
    Nikko City Tourism Association
    +81-288-22-1525

Yudaki Falls

Okunikko

The Yudaki Falls located on the south edge of the Yunoko Lake is breathtaking falls that have 70m elevation difference and 110m length. The observatory platform placed near the basin of the falls allows visitors to see the falls from the close location. In addition, if you are lucky, you may find a statue of Kannon on the rock surface.

  • Place
  • Contact
    Nikko City Tourism Association
    +81-288-22-1525

Ryuzu Falls

Okunikko

One of the three great falls in Nikko. The scene that the stream dropping over 210m is diverged to two sides at a big rock is just beautiful. Visitors can enjoy viewing Tougoku-mitsuba-tsutsuji (Rhododendron wadanum), in May and June, as well as colorful leaves of Japanese maples and Japanese lindens in the end of September to the beginning of October.

  • Place
  • Contact
    Nikko City Tourism Association
    +81-288-22-1525

Akechidaira Plateau

Okunikko

Akechidaira is located near the top of the Daini (Second), Iroha-zaka Slope. By going up to the Akechidaira observation platform by the ropeway, visitors can have the panoramic view of magnificent nature consisting of the Chuzenji Lake and Mt. Nantaisan, and stream flowing from the Chuzenji Lake to the Kegon Falls.

Nikko

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.

Kirifurinotaki Falls

Nikko

The Kirifuri Falls is one of the three great falls in Nikko and consists of two-tiered falls flowing into the Kirifurigawa River. The name of the falls was given after the aspect that the dropping water hits the rocks and spread like mists (“kiri” in Japanese),. The best season to enjoy autumn leave viewing is the end of October to the middle of November.

Kinugawa - Kawaji Hot Spring

Ryuou Valley

Kinugawa - Kawaji Hot Spring

Stream of the Kinugawa River washed the volcanic rocks erupted from a volcano 22 million years ago and created the natural formative arts consisting of huge strange and odd shaped rocks. The name of this valley was given after the image that a dragon wriggles. The clean stream of the Kinugawa River, rocks and trees surrounding them offer magnificent scenery like a landscape painting. In this area, there is a hiking course for beginners extending over about 7km (3 to 4 hours to walk through),, so that everyone enjoys walking and sightseeing in an easy manner. The area is particularly beautiful in the season of spring fresh green leaves and autumn colorful leaves. The best period for autumn leave viewing is from the end of October to the beginning of November of each year.

  • Place
  • Contact
    Nikko City Tourism Association
    +81-288-22-1525

Tateiwa Rock

Kinugawa - Kawaji Hot Spring

The Tateiwa is a huge rock that is more than 70m high. The name was given after its shape that is resemble with a warrior‘s shield (“tate” in Japanese),. From an observatory platform set on the top of the rock, visitor can have the panoramic view of the Kinugawa River stream and the Mt. Keichozan. In addition, the walker-only suspension bridge hung between the area and the Kinugawa Hot Spring Resort allows visitors to enjoy thrilling and magnificent scenery.

* The observatory platform is currently closed due to the work to remove fallen rocks. The platform is scheduled to reopen in 2016.

Yunishigawa, Kawamata and Okukinugawa Hot Spring

Setoaikyo Canyon

Yunishigawa, Kawamata and Okukinugawa Hot Spring

Setoaikyo is a valley that was produced on the upper stream of the Kinugawa River by erosion of tuffs. The 100m-high steep cliffs extending over about 2km presents breathtaking scenery to the visitors. The best period to view autumn leaves is from the middle of October to the beginning of November.

Jaonotaki Falls

Yunishigawa, Kawamata and Okukinugawa Hot Spring

The name of the falls was given after its dropping water that looks like a snake (“ja” in Japanese),. Combination with fresh green leaves in early summer or red leaves in autumn presents a scenery like a painting. The best period to view autumn leaves is from the middle of October to the beginning of November.

  • Place
  • Contact
    Nikko City Tourism Association
    +81-288-22-1525

Kawamata Lake

Yunishigawa, Kawamata and Okukinugawa Hot Spring

A dam lake surrounded by mountains and storing water of the Kinugawa River. There is a walking path and suspension bridge on the lower part of the dam. The best period to view autumn leaves is from the beginning of October to the middle of November.

  • Place
  • Contact
    Nikko City Tourism Association
    +81-288-22-1525

Geyser

Yunishigawa, Kawamata and Okukinugawa Hot Spring

Hot water gushing forth among rocks creates breathtaking scenes. It gushes every 40 to 50 minutes and reaches a height of 20 to 30 meters. An observatory platform and footbath facilities are available.

* Please take not that the geysers have not been gushed since June 25, 2014.

  • Place
  • Contact
    Nikko City Tourism Association
    +81-288-22-1525

Kinunuma Swamp

Yunishigawa, Kawamata and Okukinugawa Hot Spring

This swamp lies on the highland marsh located at a height of 2,020, at the southern foot of Mt. Kinunuma. This area is known as a rich storehouse of alpine plants; visitors can view aleutian avens and bog rosemary in July, colored grass in the end of August, and flaming-red autumn leaves in the middle of September. When you reach to the steep mountain, you encounter with total 48 large and small swamps that let you forget the fatigue of the mountain climbing.

Imaichi

Nikko Kaido Suginamikimichi (Nikko Road Cedar Path),

Imaichi

After contribution to the Nikko Toshogu Shrine as an approach to the shrine in the Edo period, about 50,000 cedar trees were planted over about 20 years. Currently, about 12,500 trees remain, and the path extending over 35.41km is recognized by the Guinness Book of Records as the longest tree-lined road in the world.

Ashio

Matsukikeikoku Canyon

Ashio

Matsukikeikoku is called as Grand Canyon of Japan for the reason of its rugged rock surfaces on the mountain and high-rising steep cliffs.

Historic Spots and Parks

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.

Italian Embassy House Memorial Park

Okunikko

The architecture that was used as a villa of the Italian embassy for summer retreat for 70 years since 1928 is restored and opened to the public. From the villa, visitors can have panoramic view of the Chuzenji Lake that exists there quietly.

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),.

  • Place
  • Contact
    Nikko City Tourism Association
    +81-288-22-1525

Theme Parks and Leisure Facilities

EDO WONDERLAND Nikko Edomura

Kinugawa - Kawaji Hot Spring

A cultural park that visitors can feel and experience the culture of the Edo period. The old architectures and towns including the village of ninja and samurai residences are recreated with reality, making the visitors feel that they have traveled back to the Edo period. You should not miss the thrilling ninja show and the elegant oiran show. Wear the outfits of ninja, samurai or princess, and enjoy interaction with the people of the Edo period.

Tobu World Square

Kinugawa - Kawaji Hot Spring

In this theme park, more than 100 world’s famous structures and monuments including 45 World Heritages represented the Sphinx and the Great Wall of China are reproduced at a 1:25 scale, allowing the viewers to feel that they have travelled around the world. Feel the craftsmanship in each delicately sculptured work created one by one by man’s hands. In addition, make sure not to miss more than 20,000 real trees and plants that decorate each season.

Trick Art Pia

Kinugawa - Kawaji Hot Spring

This space exhibits the amazing arts that utilize optical illusion. Visitor can appreciate and touch the world famous paintings and scriptures that hide tricks to cheat viewers.

Grand Maze Palladium

Kinugawa - Kawaji Hot Spring

A large-scale maze that spreads over 3,500 square meters. Try the monster maze and feel worry and fun! This sport of brain allows not only children, but also adults to enjoy innocently.

Nikko Saru Gundan (Monkey Army) Theater

Kinugawa - Kawaji Hot Spring

In the theater, you can see the modern-style monkey show that was evolved from a traditional street performance in Japan. You should not miss extremely funny sketches and plays performed by well-trained monkeys.

Kanaya Hotel History House

Nikko

An architecture that was called samurai yashiki (samurai’s mansion) in the Edo period is restored as an architectural heritage to retain the style of samurai residence. This architecture is registered as a Tangible Cultural Property of Japan.

Nikko Woodcarving Village Craft Centre

Nikko

In this facilities, visitors can experience of creating Nikkobori (Nikko carving), and Nikko geta (wooden clogs),, which are traditional handicrafts of Nikko. With the guidance of experts, you can create your own works in about 90 minutes.

Michinoeki-Nikko Nikko-Kaido Nikonikohonjin

Imaichi

In this facility, tourists can get information about the World-Heritage shrines and temples in Nikko and the Kinugawa Hot Spring resort, and buy the products produced in the area. Free-of-charge wireless LAN connection is available to tourists from other countries.

Ashio Copper Mine Sightseeing

Ashio

In the facilities, you can learn the history of Ashio Copper Mine (dozan), that was once called as the No.1 copper mine capital of Japan. Get on the trolley train and explore the 700m tunnel.

Heike Village

Yunishigawa, Kawamata and Okukinugawa Hot Spring

It is said that fleeing Heike warriors who had been defeated in the Genpei War inhabited in Yunishigawa Hot Spring about 800 years ago. In the folk village encompassing the thatched-roof house where the life of the fleeting Heike warriors is recreated, you can learn the history. Rice cakes and wood works for souvenirs are sold here.

  • Term
    Open 365 days
  • Place
  • Contact
    Heike Village
    +81-288-98-0126