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.

Facility Name
Nikkou
Address
Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Aioichou
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Nikko Toshogu
Address
Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai 2301
Phone
0288540560
Business hours
8-17 (Nov -. Mar. 16), to accept the closed gate 30 minutes before
Regular holiday
open everday
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Rinnoji Taiyuin Mausoleum
Address
Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai
Phone
0288540531
Hours
[Apr.-Oct.] 8:00-17:00
[Nov.-Mar.] 8:00-16:00
※ Admission fee Reception is completed at the gate 30 minutes ago
Closed
open everyday
Introduction
This is the burial ground of the third Shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu, in Nikkozan Rinnoji Temple. It was constructed by the fourth Shogun Ietsuna in accordance with Iemitsu’s will. Compared to Toshogu Shrine it has a more subtle tone, but there are numerous structures that are Important Cultural Properties such as the massive Niten-mon Gate and the Koka-mon Gate that is like a dragon palace, and the honden (main hall) has been designated a National Treasure. On the premise stand 315 gravestone lanterns, and one can enjoy an atmosphere different to that of Toshogu Shrine.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Kanmangafuchi Abyss
Address
Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Takumichou 8-28
Introduction
This is a beauty spot which was formed by the lava from Mt. Nantai. A stone statue of Acala is enshrined here which was installed by the high priest Koukai on a large rock on the riverbank. It is said that the name, “Kanman” comes from the last verse of Acala’s mantra. There are a group of about 70 Jizo statues on a cliff upstream on the south bank of the river and since it is said that the number of statues differ each time they are counted, they are called “Ghost Jizo”. The word “kanman” is inscribed in Sanskrit characters on the cliff in the upper stream and is said to have been done by Kobo Daishi.
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Chuzenjiko
Address
Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Chugushi
Phone
0288221525
Business hours
Visit free
Regular holiday
Visit free
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN
Facility Name
Mt.
Address
Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Chugushi
Information Sources:
NAVITIME JAPAN

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PLACES IN THIS ARTICLE

  • dummy image

    Nikko Toshogu

    Shrine (Inari/Gongen)
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai 2301
  • dummy image

    Chuzenjiko

    Lake
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Chugushi
  • dummy image

    Kinugawa Spa Hotel

    Hotel
    Tochigi Nikko-shi Kinugawaonsentaki545
  • dummy image

    Nikkou

    Station
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Aioichou
  • Rinnoji Taiyuin Mausoleum image

    Rinnoji Taiyuin Mausoleum

    Temple (Kannon/Fudo Myoo)
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai
  • Kanmangafuchi Abyss image

    Kanmangafuchi Abyss

    Valley
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Takumichou 8-28
  • Mt. image

    Mt.

    Mountain
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Chugushi
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