Nikko Toshogu Shrine, the most renowned shrine of the world heritage listed “Shrines and Temples of Nikko”, enshrines Ieyasu Tokugawa, the great Shogun who founded the flourishing Edo period (the former name of Tokyo), which lasted over 260 years. Why not visit Nikko and join the anniversary events this year?
The Nikko Toshogu Grand Spring and Autumn Festivals offer a gorgeous experience of traditional Japanese arts and rituals. The festivals are held every year; the Spring Festival on 17and 18 May, the Autumn Festival on 16 and 17 October. Highlights include the performance of “Yabusame”, horseback archery, and “Hyakumono-Zoroi Sennin Musha Gyoretsu”, a procession of 1,200 shrine-parishioners dressed in extravagant costumes. You’ll be completely lost in this extraordinary cultural experience!
Lake Chuzenji situated at the foot of Mt. Nantai is famed for its picturesque scenery throughout the year. Enjoy verdant spring greens and autumn colours reflecting on the surface of the lake! Excursion boats offer varieties of beautiful views from a different perspective.
Take a relaxing ride on a traditional wooden boat and enjoy the scenic valley with strange rocks and bizarre stones. The tour provides a little thrill while passing through rapids along the way. The boatman also provides entertainment as he skilfully guides his boat along the river.
Work together with your fellow rafters to navigate the rapids before diving into the water from the surrounding rocks up to five metres above and relaxing at the riverside. A great way to enjoy a day on the water!
These highlands are known for their 260,000 Nikko Kisuge blooming from late June to mid-July. Come and be amazed at the bright yellow lilies covering fields of grasslands! A must-see is the 360° panoramic view from the summit of Mt. Maru!
Shoyoen is a Japanese garden at Nikkozan Rinnoji among the world heritage listed “Shrines and Temples of Nikko”. The garden is well known for its beautiful autumn foliage, when various shades of yellow, orange and red leaves present picturesque scenery from October to early November. In the evening the illuminated garden brings fantastic scenes.
The beautiful “Shinkyo”, a vermilion-lacquered wooden bridge, welcomes visitors to Nikko. The current bridge was constructed in 1636 when Nikko Toshogu Shrine was reconstructed. A view from the bridge is exceptionally beautiful when autumn leaves surround the river.
Kegon Watrefall is one of the three finest waterfalls in Japan. A special lift takes visitors to the basin where the force and roar of the water can be witnessed close up. Autumn is the best season to see the dynamic waterfall due to high water flow.
Strawberries are a winter delicacy of Tochigi. Everyone loves their juiciness and well-balanced flavour. “Nikko Strawberry Park“ is the perfect location to stop by on your way back from Nikko Toshogu Shrine. Try sampling some organically grown “Tochiotome”, the nation’s superstar brand strawberry, enjoy as many as you like!
Nikko boasts three famous hot springs: Kinugawa, Yunishigawa and Nikko Yumoto. Take a relaxing soak in an open-air bath while watching the snow falling silently, you’ll feel so good! Famously popular in the evenings, the early mornings are also highly recommended for pure white scenes sparkling in the morning sun.
“Yunishigawa Kamakura Festival” is a major winter attraction at Yunishigawa Onsen. During the day enjoy sleighing, playing in the snow or even a barbeque (charges apply, booking essential), in the evening the illuminated huts along the river are fantastic!