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Itinerary - Making the Most of Nikko

  • The best way to start your day in Nikko is by a visit to the city’s most famous sacred local landmarks, Toshogu Shrine, Daiyuinbyo and Rinnoji Temple. All located within a stone’s throw of one another, this collection of shrines and temples is nestled in the lush surrounds of Nikko’s forests. Given their location, a visit to the temples is the perfect way to gather context for your day exploring this city, which is rich with religious significance. It doesn’t necessarily matter which of the three major sites you visit first, however given that Toshogu Shrine is considered the most extravagant perhaps it’s best to save this one for last and work your way through the more humble yet also undeniably stunning walls of Daiyuinbyo and Rinnoji Temple.

    Once you’ve spent enough time in the company of these imposing structures it’s time to get in touch with Nikko’s natural beauty. There’s no better place to immerse yourself in Nikko’s beauty than by visiting Kanmangafuchi Abyss and the Jizo statues that call the forest home. Like its neighboring Lake Chuzenji, this stunning gorge was formed by an eruption of Mount Nantai around 20,000 years ago. Wander the network of pathways until you come to the collection of Jizo statues, the guardians of the deceased. Legend says that says that Jizo helps children enter the afterlife, assisting those babies that did not have the chance to build up good karma on earth prior to their passing.

    Now it’s time to try one of Nikko’s most famous traditional foods yuba, and one of the best places to try it is at Uoyou Soba, one of Nikko’s most famous soba restaurants. For the uninitiated, yuba is also known as tofu skin, and it’s actually made from the film that forms on the surface of boiled soymilk. Though it doesn’t sound too appetizing, it’s actually incredibly versatile and can be used in a wide variety of dishes. At Uoyou Soba you can also try the city’s local buckwheat "Gensoba" made from flour ground on a millstone in the restaurant.

    Once you’re finished exploring the world of yuba, it’s time to explore Lake Chūzenji. Situated at the foot of Mount Nantai, is Lake Chuzenji a scenic lake and arguably one of Nikko’s most breathtaking natural sites. Remaining relatively untouched even today, you can walk around and hike the mountain to its summit to witness the surrounds of Nikko in all their panoramic glory.

    After spending a long day trekking and hiking through Nikko’s sacred sites and mountainsides, it’s time to recover so head straight to Kinugawa Onsen Hotel. The hotel features two large public baths and both indoor and outdoor facilities for both men and women. They’re also home to a Western and Japanese style restaurant and a large variety of Western and Japanese style rooms, so no matter your taste there’s something to accommodate your needs. Thanks to the hotel’s central location and informed staff, it is the perfect place to set up base for anyone eager to check out the surrounding sights, so get an early night’s rest and plan your next Nikko adventure.

    Nikko
    Address
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Aioichou
    Phone
    Nikko Toshogu Shrine
    Address
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai 2301
    Phone
    0288540560
    Rinnoji Taiyuin Mausoleum
    Address
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai
    Phone
    0288540531
    Kanmangafuchi Abyss
    Address
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Takumichou 8-28
    Phone
    Lake Chuzenji
    Address
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Chugushi
    Phone
    男体山
    Address
    栃木県日光市中宮祠
    Phone
    鬼怒川温泉 ホテル
    Address
    545 Kinugawa Onsen Taki Nikko Tochigi
    Phone
    0288-77-0300
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