Top Choice Shinto Shrine in Nikkō


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


Ieyasu's grandson Iemitsu (1604–51) is buried here and although it houses many of the same elements as Tōshō-gū (storehouses, drum tower, Chinese-style gates etc), the more intimate scale and setting in a cryptomeri…
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 craftsmanship, with parts of the complex dating from the Edo, Meiji and Taishō eras. Apart from the…
Buddhist Temple in Nikkō


This Tendai-sect temple was founded 1200 years ago by Shōdō Shōnin. The exterior of the Sambutsu-dō is under wraps for restoration until 2020. Inside sit a trio of 8m gilded wooden Buddha statues: Amida Nyorai (a p…
Museum in Nikkō

Nikkō Tōshō-gū Museum of Art

Bypassed by nearly everyone at Tōshō-gū is this marvellous museum in the old shrine offices, showcasing great works of art on its doors, sliding screens, frames and decorative scrolls, some by masters such as Yokoya…
Shinto Shrine in Nikkō


Set among cypress trees, this very atmospheric shrine was also 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-…
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 R…
Historic Site in Nikkō


This much-photographed red footbridge is located at the sacred spot where Shōdō Shōnin was said to have been carried across the Daiya River on the backs of two giant serpents. It's a reconstruction of the 17th-centu…
Museum in Nikkō


In the temple grounds, this museum has a splendid collection of temple artefacts, sculptures and scrolls. Admission to Hōmotsu-den includes entry to the lovely Edo-period garden Shōyō-en.
Shinto Shrine in Nikkō


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 16…