Nikko / Kinugawa
With over 1,200 years of rich history Nikko is widely regarded as one of Japan's most sacred places. In addition to the Toshogu Shrine dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, the Rinnoji Temple and Futarasan Shrine were selected as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1999. Other picturesque locations such as Chuzenji Lake, Kegon Falls, and Mt. Nantai draw visitors year after year. Looking down from the summit of Mt. Maruyama, the Kinu River Valley is a moving view no matter the season of your visit. Easily accessible by the Nikko and Kinugawa limited express direct trains from Shinjuku, this area makes for a conveniently located vacation spot.
Use a day pass for unlimited rides on the World Heritage Site loop bus and the bus route traveling from JR Nikko Station to Tobu Nikko Station, the west approach (nishi sando) and Rengeishi.
Fare: Adults - 500 yen
Bus pass purchase:
･ Tobu Nikko Station Tourist Center Open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 365 days a year
･ JR Ticket Office (Midori-no-madoguchi) at JR Nikko Station Open 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., 365 days a year
This World Heritage designated shrine is dedicated to Tokugawa Ieyasu who founded the Tokugawa shogunate that ruled Japan during the Edo period (1600-1867). The finest techniques available at the time were put to use in the carving and coloration of the shrine's architectural ornamentation. The Sunlight Gate (Yomei-mon) is also known as the Twilight Gate because its beauty is so great that visitors can gaze upon it all day and not grow tired of the sight. The stable of the shrine's sacred horses bears a carving of monkeys to protect its inhabitants. These three monkeys who hear, speak, and see no evil are famous worldwide.
(30 minutes on foot from Nikko Station)
A site of worship for many centuries as the center of Nikko's Sangaku Shinko mountain faith this shrine is now a designated World Heritage Site. Over 70% of Japan is mountainous, a fact that no doubt gave rise to this tradition of beliefs and religious practices which focus on those very mountains. A graceful red lacquered bridge known as the Sacred Bridge Shinkyo serves as the entrance to Nikko's holy ground and was once closed to commoners. Now, it is open to the public and anyone can take in Nikko's natural splendor from atop the bridge. Shinkyo is the oldest in Japan built in a gorge-spanning drawbridge style and is considered one of Japan's three most beautiful bridges.
(20 minutes on foot from Nikko Station)
Of the 48 waterfalls in Nikko this one is the most famous. The water from Lake Chuzenji falls 97 meters and the naturally created beauty of its surroundings make for a stirring sight earning it a spot among Japan's three most famous waterfalls. If you venture to Lake Chuzenji you'll be rewarded with a view of Mt. Nantai and see why it was held as a sacred mountain by those who followed the mountain faith.
(Take the Chuzenji-onsen bus from Nikko Station, 50 minutes. Then 5 minutes on foot from the last stop)
Discovered about 300 years ago, this hot spring near the Kinu River is known as one of the North Kanto region's finest. A stunning view of the river valley can be had from the neighboring Mount Maruyama's summit all year round. The river was named after the impression its fierce rapids gave of an angry demon. Thrill-seekers will delight in embarking on a rafting adventure to take on those very demons.
(Tobu Line, Kinugawa-onsen Station)
Located in JR Nikko Station, the JR Nikko Station Tourist Information Center provides tourist information to non-Japanese travelers. The center opened on Thursday, April 16, 2015.
・Location: Inside JR Nikko Station
・Business hours: 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
・Services provided: Sightseeing information, Wi-Fi, Internet search terminal
As of July 2015.
Prices, business hours, transportation and other details are subject to change.