The World Cultural Heritage Sites of Nikko Toshogu shrine, Futarasan Jinja shrine, and Nikkosan Rinno-ji temple are works of art that perfectly harmonize sanctity, beauty, and the grandeur of nature. They are also the fruits of delicate techniques and aesthetic sensibilities, and have been praised as masterpieces of Japanese Buddhist art. The power and elegance of nature are deeply moving to visitors.

image : Cedar Avenue of Nikko

image : Shinkyo

image : Lamp


image : Shrines and temples of Nikko image : Shrines and temples of Nikko

In December 1999, the shrines and temples of Nikko that have been registered as a cultural heritage site by the UNESCO World Heritage Committee were recognized as having formed a cultural landscape as a site where 103 "buildings" such as the two shrines and temples in the Nikko Mountains made up of Nikko Toshogu shrine, Nikkosan Rinno-ji temple and Nikko Futarasan Jinja shrine blend with the surrounding natural environment. The area of the heritage site is 5.8ha, and to protect it, a 323.2ha buffer zone has been established around the inscribed site.
In 2015, a grand festival was held for Toshogu's 400th anniversary, and in 2016, the 400th year of Ieyasu's enshrinement and the founding of Nikko were celebrated.

image : Nikko Toshogu shrine

Nikko Toshogu shrine, the most famous of Nikko's shrines and temples, enshrines Tosho Daigongen, which is the deified Ieyasu Tokugawa, and is the head shrine of all Toshogu shrines in Japan. Many of the current shrine buildings were reconstructed in 1636 during the "Great Rebuilding of Kan'ei". The buildings were decorated with lacquer and exquisite colors by master craftsmen from all over the country. There are sculptures such as the three monkeys (see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil), and "sleeping cats" everywhere. The Yomei-mon gate in particular captivates those who see it thanks to its magnificent beauty.

image : Nikkosan Rinnoji

A monzeki temple of the Tendai sect. It dates back more than 1,200 years ago, when Shodo Shonin started built Shihonryuji temple, so it has a longer history than Toshogu.
The halls, pagodas, and 15 branch temples are collectively called "Nikkosan Rinnoji". Among them, the main hall, called the Sanbutsu-do, is the largest wooden structure on Mt. Nikko and enshrines three Buddhist statues: Senju Kannon (Mt. Nantai), Amida Nyorai (Mt. Nyoho), and Bato Kannon (Mt. Taro).

Nikko Futarasan Jinja shrine

Enshrining the three mountains of Nikko as sacred mountains, this shrine consists of the main shrine, Nakamiya shrine and Okumiya shrine. It is believed to have originated in the construction of Shihonryuji temple by Shodo Shonin, and has been revered as a sacred site for Shugendo since ancient times. In the Edo period, when the shogunate built Nikko Toshogu shrine, the main shrine was built at the same time. Its enshrined deity is Omiki no Mikoto, a deity that is known as the god of matchmaking and marriage. In addition, Shinkyo bridge that marks the entrance of Mt. Nikko is a structure of Futarasan shrine.


Enjoy the unique charm of this place, which is full of nature and history from season to season.

image : Nikko and Okunikko Map

image : Shinkyo image : Cedar Avenue of Nikko and historic buildings and shrines

Nikko, where you can enjoy gorgeous scenery in each of the four seasons, is a place that is dotted with numerous historic buildings and shrines, on top of a World Heritage Site, so you can experience the traditions and culture of Japan. Enjoy an emotional journey in Nikko, a beautiful fusion of history and nature.

Comprised of three roads - Nikko-Kaido Road, Reiheishi-Kaido Road and Nishi Aizu-Kaido Road, the Cedar Avenue of Nikko is a road stretching 37km that is lined with 13,300 cedar trees on both sides of the road.

Masatsuna Matsudaira, a loyal subject of the Tokugawa family, planted more than 200,000 cedar trees over a period of more than 20 years, and donated them to Nikko Toshogu Shrine as a tree-lined approach to the shrine on the 33rd anniversary of Ieyasu's death. This cedar tree-lined avenue, where the trees have grown about 30m in height, is currently the only one in Japan that has a double designation of special historic site and special natural monument. In 1991, it was recognized as the world's longest tree-lined road by the Guinness Book of World Records. It also holds events such as the Nikko Suginamiki Kaido Festival and the Suginamiki Marathon. On the right side of Nikko-Kaido Road toward Utsunomiya, there is a rare "Sakurasugi", a cedar tree on which a cherry tree parasitically grows.

image : Cedar Avenue of Nikko

This is a highland area with an elevation of approx. 1,200m that stretches across the slopes of Mt. Akanagi.

It is a treasure trove of alpine plants, with late June to mid July being the best time to see the approx. 260,000 Nikko day lily plants, as their yellow flowers bloom to cover one side of the plateau. There are also hiking trails, so you can enjoy a walk. You can enjoy the richness of nature in each season, such as colorful azaleas in spring and autumn foliage in autumn.

image : Kirifuri Highland

This former imperial villa, which was built as a place where Emperor Taisho went to rest, was the largest wooden building in the Meiji period.

Used by three generations of emperors and crown princes from 1899 to 1947, this imperial villa is composed of a group of structures with architectural styles from the Edo, Meiji, and Taisho periods. The building is designated as a national important cultural property, offering a glimpse into the architectural style and imperial culture of that time.

image : Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park

It was built by the former Nikko City as the Nikko Municipal Museum of Art. Under the basic theme of "Affection to Nature", this museum features works by Kosugi Hoan, an honorary citizen of Nikko City, including Japanese-style paintings, oil paintings, and watercolors, as well as drawings of animals and plants that formed the basis for his works.

One of the goals of this museum is to examine the cultural events of modern Nikko that nurtured Hoan Kosugi.

image : Kosugi Hoan Museum of Art, Nikko


image : Lake Chuzenji image : Okunikko Sightseeing Spots and Nature

Okunikko is an area surrounded by nature that is found deep into the mountains of Nikko. Here, you can enjoy a beautiful landscape with magnificent mountains, deep forests and clear streams.
Lake Chuzenji and Kegon Waterfall offer spectacular views. You can experience a journey that heals both body and soul, surrounded by the tranquil atmosphere and abundant nature of Okunikko.

image : Lake Chuzenji

The largest lake in Tochigi Prefecture.
At 1,269m above sea level, it boasts being the highest natural lake in Japan. The lake was formed in its original form by the eruption of Mt. Nantai about 20,000 years ago, and is said to have been discovered by Shodo Shonin, known as the founder of Nikko.
Its refreshing summer climate has turned it into a popular summer resort for foreigners from the Meiji period to the early Showa period. Even today, European countries have embassy villas here.
The area is surrounded by an abundance of trees and waterfalls, so you can enjoy the scenery of each of the four seasons.
In particular, the beauty of the autumn foliage has become one of the most popular spots in the Kanto region.

image : Irohazaka slope

It is also known as one of the best spots for autumn foliage in Nikko. Since there are 48 curves on this slope, it is named after "Iroha (the first three syllables) from the 48 characters in the old Japanese alphabet".
Signs with "I", "Ro", and "Ha" are posted on each curve. It is a one-way road, with the 1st Irohazaka dedicated to those ascending and the 2nd Irohazaka dedicated to those descending. When you get to Akechidaira after climbing up the slope, you can take a ropeway to the observatory.
*It is very crowded during the autumn foliage season, so please have enough time to spare in your schedule.

One of the three most famous waterfalls in Japan. It is a magnificent waterfall where water from Lake Chuzenji falls from a height of 97m.

This waterfall is located at the entrance of Lake Chuzenji, up the Irohazaka slope. The beauty of the shapes created by nature is mesmerizing as they are expressions of the four seasons.

image : Kegon Waterfall

As one of the three most famous waterfalls in Okunikko, it is the representative waterfall of Okunikko. The water from Yukawa River, which flows from Lake Yunoko, flows down over a distance of 210m.

It is said that it was named Ryuzu Waterfall because its being split into two by a rock makes it look like the head of a dragon. It is especially beautiful during the autumn foliage season, attracting many tourists.

image : Ryuzu Waterfall

A magnificent waterfall that is considered to be one of the three famous waterfalls of Okunikko.
The waterfall that flows from Lake Yunoko rushes down the rock wall and continues from Yukawa River to Ryuzu Waterfall.

You can see the waterfall basin at the waterfall viewing platform on the hiking trail leading from Senjogahara. It can also be seen up close from the side at the promenade parallel to it.

image : Yutaki Waterfall

A wetland located in Nikko National Park. The myth that the gods of Mt. Nantai and Mt. Akagi fought on this wetland is the origin of its name.

This park covers a vast area of approx. 400 hectares, of which approx. 174 hectares are registered under the Ramsar Convention. It is a popular hiking spot for many tourists, as you can see the magnificent nature changing from season to season.

image : Senjogahara

A representative mountain of the Nikko mountain range that rises majestically in Nikko National Park. It has also been selected as one of 100 most famous mountains in Japan.

At the summit is the inner shrine of Nikko Futarasan Shrine, which has been an object of mountain worship since ancient times. Lake Chuzenji spreads out at the foot of the mountain, attracting many climbers during the season.

image : Mt. Nantai

A lake that is located deep within Okunikko. The sight of the tranquil water surface surrounded by mountains is enveloped by clear air, creating a mysterious atmosphere.

The water from Mt. Shirane and the hot spring from Yumoto Onsen flows into Yutaki Waterfall.

image : Lake Yunoko

A hot spring that is said to have been discovered in 788 by Shodo Shonin, who is also known as the founder of Nikko.

From the source in Yunotaira wetland, the hot spring flows not only to Nikko Yumoto, but also to the distant Chuzenji Kanaya Hotel and other accommodations.

image : Nikko Yumoto Onsen

It is called Chugushi shrine because it is located halfway between the main shrine of Futarasan Jinja shrine in downtown Nikko and the Okumiya shrine of Futarasan Jinja shrine at the summit Mt. Nantai.

It is said to have begun with the construction of a shrine dedicated to Futara Gongen after Shodo Shonin climbed Mt. Nantai.

image : Nikko Futarasan Jinja Chugushi shrine

Built by Shodo Shonin in 784, this is a branch temple of the World Heritage Site, Nikkosan Rinnoji temple. The main deity, "Tachiki Kannon", is enshrined here.

It was originally located at the entrance to Mt. Nantai, but was relocated to its current site due to the mountain tsunami in 1902.

image : Nikkosan Chuzenji Tachiki Kannon