Futarasan-jinja was founded over 1200 years ago as a place to worship the mountain Nantai-san (2484m), his mountain consort, Nyohō-san (2483m), and their mountainous progeny, Tarō-san (2368m). The current main hall dates to 1619, making it the oldest major structure in Nikkō. Though painted vermilion and with a sloping roof of lacquered copper, it is positively plain in comparison to its neighbours, and backed by cryptomeria trees. Admission (¥200) is required to enter a small garden of sacred trees and sub-shrines.

There is another Futarasan-jinja at the base of Nantai-san (on the shore of the lake, Chūzenji-ko) and also on the mountain's summit.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Nikkō attractions

1. Honji-dō


To the west of Tōshō-gū's drum tower is this hall known for the painting on its ceiling of the Nakiryū (Crying Dragon). Monks demonstrate the hall's…

2. Okumiya

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The appropriately solemn Okumiya, Ieyasu's tomb, is reached by some 200 steps through towering cedars to the rear of Tōshō-gū.

3. Gōhonsha

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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…

4. Tōshō-gū

0.13 MILES

Tōshō-gū is Nikkō's biggest attraction, a shrine to the powerful shogun, Tokugawa Ieyasu (1543–1616). No expense was spared: when the original structure …

5. Yōmei-mon

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Adorned in gold leaf and some 500 carved images depicting folk tales, mythical beasts and Chinese sages, the 'Sunset Gate' is the most revered traditional…

6. Sakashita-mon

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This gateway on the east side of the main inner courtyard of Tōshō-gū is famous for its decorative carving of a sleeping cat (Nemuri-neko), which is much…

7. Taiyū-in

0.14 MILES

Taiyū-in, completed in 1653, is the mausoleum of Tokugawa Iemitsu (1604–51), the third Tokugawa shogun and grandson of Ieyasu. (Ieyasu was deified, which…

8. Shinkyūsha

0.15 MILES

This 'Sacred Stable' building in Tōshō-gū's outer courtyard is crowned with relief carvings of monkeys. The allegorical 'hear no evil, see no evil, speak…