Attractions

Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Nikkō

Tōshō-gū

A World Heritage Site, Tōshō-gū is a brilliantly decorative shrine in a beautiful natural setting. Among its notable features is the dazzling 'Sunset Gate' Yōmei-mon.As the shrine gears up for its 400th anniversary,…
Shinto Shrine in Nikkō

Taiyūin-byō

Ieyasu's grandson Iemitsu (1604–51) is buried here, and although the shrine houses many of the same elements as Tōshō-gū (storehouses, drum tower, Chinese-style gates etc), the more intimate scale and setting in a c…
Buddhist Temple in Nikkō

Sanbutsu-dō

The main hall of the temple Rinnō-ji houses a trio of 8m gilded wooden Buddha statues: Amida Nyorai (a primal deity in the Mahayana Buddhist canon) flanked by Senjū (deity of mercy and compassion) and Batō (a horse-…
Gate in Nikkō

Yōmei-mon

Once the scaffolding comes off in 2018, the 'Sunset Gate' will be grander than ever, its gold leaf and intricate, coloured carvings and paintings of flowers, dancing girls, mythical beasts and Chinese sages, all shi…
Shinto Shrine in Nikkō

Futarasan-jinja

Set among cypress trees, this very atmospheric shrine was founded by Shōdō Shōnin; the current building dates from 1619, making it Nikkō's oldest. It's the protector shrine of Nikkō itself, dedicated to Nantai-san (…
Park in Nikkō

Kanman-ga-Fuchi Abyss

Escape the crowds along this wooded path lined with a collection of Jizō statues (the small stone effigies of the Buddhist protector of travellers and children). After passing the Shin-kyō bridge, follow the Daiya-g…
Shinto Shrine in Nikkō

Gōhonsha

The main shrine courtyard at Tōshō-gū includes the Honden (本殿; Main Hall) and Haiden (拝殿; Hall of Worship). Inside these halls are paintings of the 36 immortal poets of Kyoto, and a ceiling-painting pattern from the…
Shinto Shrine in Nikkō

Takinō-jinja

About 1km north of Futarasan-jinja, close by the Shiraito Falls, is this serene, delightfully less crowded shrine that has a history stretching back to 820. The stone gate, called Undameshi-no-torii, dates back to 1…
Historic Site in Nikkō

Nikkō Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park

About 1km west of Shin-kyō bridge, this splendidly restored imperial palace of more than 100 rooms showcases superb artisanship, with parts of the complex dating from the Edo, Meiji and Taishō eras. Apart from the c…
Museum in Nikkō

Nikkō Tōshō-gū Museum of Art

Bypassed by nearly everyone at Tōshō-gū is this marvellous museum, showcasing great works of art on its doors, sliding screens, frames and decorative scrolls, some by masters such as Yokoyama Taikan and Nakamura Gak…