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Temples and Shrines in Nikko

As Nikko is famous for being the home of temples, shrines and other sacred places in Japan, beyond the Toshogu Shrine the city is positively overflowing with a huge variety of other stunning sacred areas to explore. There’s the neighboring Rinno-ji temple and Taiyuinbyo as well as the more secluded Nukazukainari Shrine, and the Chuzen-ji temple which looks out onto the area’s incredible mountain ranges. No matter your interest in or knowledge of Nikko’s spiritual history there’s something that will capture the attention of every visitor.

  • Temples and Shrines in Nikko

    Temples and Shrines in Nikko

    Temples and Shrines in Nikko

    Temples and Shrines in Nikko

    Futarasan Jinja is a Shinto shrine in the heart of Nikko and is commonly referred to as the Nikko Futarasan Shrine, to differentiate it from the shrine of the same name in the neighboring town of Utsunomiya. The most iconic part of the Nikko Futarasan Shrine is the Shinkyo Bridge that is a Nikko landmark and the entry to the shrine grounds. Constructed in 1636, the bridge is ranked as one of Japan's three finest bridges together with Iwakuni's Kintaikyo and Saruhashi in Yamanashi Prefecture. Alongside the Nikko Toshogu and Rinno-ji temple, Futarasan Jinja is part of the collection of shrines and temples that make up Nikko’s UNESCO World Heritage Site.

    Temples and Shrines in Nikko

    Temples and Shrines in Nikko

    Standing tall on the eastern bank of Lake Chuzenji is the Chuzen-ji temple, home to the famous six meter tall statue of Kannon, the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy and a rare assembly of all five Buddhist Deva Kings (Myo-o). Originally founded in 784 by high priest Shodo, this temple is technically part of the neighboring Rinno-ji temple. Overlooking Nikko’s incredible mountain ranges, it’s worth visiting Chuzen-ji temple for the incredibly panoramic views of Nikko alone.

    Temples and Shrines in Nikko

    Temples and Shrines in Nikko

    Located not too far from Toshogu sits the Iemitsu Mausoleum aka Taiyuinbyo. This specific site is a little more humble but an equally fascinating Nikko artefact. Built by Ieyasu’s grandson as a dedication to the leader, it was designed specifically not to overshadow Toshogu and Ieyasu’s legacy. Just like Toshogu, the Taiyuinbyo features a mix of Buddhist and Shinto structures and was utilised as a place of worship by followers of both religions until the Meiji Period when Shinto was consciously separated from Buddhism. What’s particularly special about Taiyuinbyo is the eye for detail and immaculate craftsmanship that went into the building. If you arrive at the Karamon gate you’ll be welcomed by the famous sculpture of a white dragon that crawls along the crossbar of the gate.

    Temples and Shrines in Nikko

    Temples and Shrines in Nikko

    If you’re after a little more hiking and a little less touristy, it’s worth making the journey to Nukazukainari Shrine. Head toward the Kanmangafuchi Abyss, from there you can walk from Kanmandaiya Bridge until you reach near Nukazukainari Shrine. While you’re exploring the surrounding area be sure to hunt down the line of Jizo figures that crawl along the mountainside and look out over the river. Historically Jizo is a protector of unborn children and guardian of the deceased wanting to get to the afterlife.

    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
    Chuzenji Temple (Tachiki Kannon-do)
    Address
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Chugushi 2578
    Phone
    0288550013
  • Futarasan Jinja Shrine
    Address
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai 2307
    Phone
    0288540535
    Shinkyo Bridge
    Address
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Kamihatsuishimachi
    Phone
    0288540535
    Lake Chuzenji
    Address
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Chugushi
    Phone
    Nikko toshogu tomon
    Address
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai 2301 Toshogu Shrine in Nikko
    Phone
    0288540560
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