Nikko is located in the Tochigi Prefecture which is about a two hour drive from metropolitan Tokyo. Over six million people flock to visit this city every year to catch a glimpse of the historic and the beautiful sightseeing destinations. The Toshogu Shrine, Edo Wonderland and Lake Chuzenji are most definitely at the top of the list when it comes to popular spots in the Tochigi Prefecture. We will be taking a look at the Toshogu Shrine where the history and natural beauty attracts visitors from all around.
Here is how you get there：
1. Taking the Shinkansen:
Tokyo or Ueno Staion (Tohoku Shinkasen)~Utsunomiya (Nikko)~JR Nikko. The trip will take about 1 hour and a half and will cost you 5,030 yen.
2. By Regular JR Train：
Tokyo or Ueno Station (Tohoku Line) ~ Utsunomiya (Nikko Line)~ JR Nikko，This will take you about 2 and a half hours and cost you 2,530 yen.
(Tohoku Main Line)
Shinjuku Station~Omiya~Utsunomiya (Nikko Line)~JR Nikko，The traveling time is 2 hours and a half and will cost you 2,592 yen.
3. Tobu Railway
Asakusa/Kitakami ~ Tobu Nikko, This will take you 1 hours and 50 minutes and will cost you 2,620 yen.
Asakusa/Kitakyushu~ Tobu Nikko. This trip will take you about 2 hours and 10 minutes and will cost you 1,320 yen.
Whether you take the Tobu Line or the Tohoku Main Line, you will still arrive relatively far from the Toshogu Shrine so it is recommended that you buy a bus ticket to the Toshogu Shrine (500 yen) or if you want to go to Lake Chuzenji and Kegon Falls you can purchase a day pass for 2,000 yen.
Toshogu Shrine was not only made in memory of Ieyasu Tokugawa but it is also his burial place which gives Toshogu Shine quite a historical and cultural importance. Toshogu Shrine is the home of many cultural relics as it is surrounded by natural beauty which allows visitors to take in the atmosphere as they take a stroll through time, going back to the Warring States Period.
Stroll around for two or three hours and take in the natural atmosphere of the Toshogu Shrine in Nikko.
If you visit Toshogu Shrine around mid-January you can see the shrine area covered in snow as the sunlight makes the atmosphere come alive. You can ask the surrounding staff to take a photo for you or you can purchase a special souvenir photo.
In addition to the Toshogu Shrine is the very popular five story pagoda. Here you can see the three monkeys sculptures that says “Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, See No Evil”. This structure was renovated last year giving the piece a colorful makeover. Many elementary schools across the Kanto region will come to see this sculpture in particular.
For now, the main hall of the Toshogu Shrine is under renovation until March 31st, 2019. Unfortunately people will have to admire the structure from afar.
On the back of these, Japanese people usually will right their wishes.
Visitors can admire the beauty of the Toshogu Palace as it is quite detailed and intricate.
There are different subjects visitors can pray for such as: school, health, love, and safety.
On the right had side of the main hall is the main entrance to Ieyaysu Tokugawas tomb. If visitors look carefully at the top in the middle, there is a small cat!
Upon entering the gate, and passing the cat, visitors will arrive at a long road with a long flight of stairs at the end of it. From the top of those steps visitors will see Ieyasu Tokugawas tomb which is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes. It is recommended to enjoy the area at a leisurely pace.
Around noontime the Toshogu Shrine will be crowded with visitors so you better come early!
As visitors take their leave they will be greeted by a massive torii gate. The gate, along with the surrounding nature, offers a unique and mysterious feel.
Although the Toshogu Shrine is undergoing a long period of renovations, it will not lose its charm.
Toshogu Shrine is not the only place of great beauty in Nikko. Lake Chuzenji and Kegon Falls make traveling to Nikko well worth the trip. If you are traveling in our around the Kanto region on a sunny day, Nikko is a great place to enjoy the natural beauty and atmosphere.
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Address: 2301 Sannai, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture
Access: 5 minutes by bus from Tobu Nikko Station or a 28 minute walk.
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (April – October)
8:00 AM – 4:00 PM (November – March)
1,300 yen (Adult)
450 yen (Child)
Website: Toshogu Shrine Official Site (Japanese)