Nikko

Old Shogun stomping grounds with waterfalls and wild monkeys.

Nikko, a mountain town two hours from Tokyo, is known for the Toshogu Shrine, scenic forests, hiking trails, and vibrant autumn colors.

4.7
out of 5

Nestled within the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture, Nikko is renowned for its historic temples and natural scenery. The UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Toshogu Shrine and Rinnoji Temple highlight its cultural significance, while the nearby Nikko National Park offers hiking trails through dense forests and past stunning waterfalls like Kegon Falls. This city offers a blend of rich history and outdoor activities.

Toshogu Shrine and Rinnoji Temple

Toshogu Shrine is perhaps the most famous landmark in Nikko. Built in the 17th century to honor Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate, the shrine is known for its ornate and colorful architecture. Elaborate carvings, including the famous "Three Wise Monkeys," are must-sees. Nearby, Rinnoji Temple offers a more serene experience with its long history dating back to the 8th century. The temple complex houses important Buddhist statues and a beautiful Japanese garden.

Nikko National Park and Nature Spots

Nikko National Park extends across several prefectures, but its heart is right here in Nikko. The park features numerous hiking trails that take you through dense forests and offer views of stunning waterfalls. Kegon Falls is one of the most impressive natural sights, with water cascading 97 meters down into a basin surrounded by foliage. Lake Chuzenji offers a relaxed setting for canoeing or renting paddle boats, especially scenic in autumn when the leaves change color.

Local Food Specialties

Nikko is known for its yuba, a delicacy made from tofu skin. You can find it in various dishes at local restaurants, from soups to sushi rolls. Shouyu-mochi, a soy-covered rice cake, is another local treat worth trying. These items provide a taste of regional flavors you won't easily find elsewhere.

Seasonal Festivals and Customs

Throughout the year, Nikko hosts various festivals that reflect its rich cultural heritage. In May, the grand procession of the Toshogu Shrine Festival features participants in period costumes, reenacting historical events. In October, the Autumn Grand Festival includes archery on horseback and traditional music performances.

Transportation and Accessibility

Nikko is relatively easy to reach by train from Tokyo, taking about two hours via the Tobu Railway or JR Line. Once there, getting around is straightforward, with local buses connecting key attractions like the Toshogu Shrine, Kegon Falls, and Lake Chuzenji. Bicycle rentals are also available for a more flexible mode of transport.

Average temperatures during the day in Nikko.
June
21°
Jul
24°
Aug
26°
Sep
21°
Oct
16°
Nov
11°
Dec
6°
Jan
3°
Feb
3°
Mar
7°
Apr
13°
May
18°

What people say about Nikko

4.7
People
5
Food
4
Spaces
5
Value
5
Safety
5

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