Toshogu Shrine, Nikko
Toshogu Shrine, Nikko

About Nikko

Nikkō – literally “sunlight” or “sunshine” – is a city located in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture. The town is located approx. 90 min. by train north of Tokyo and is a good destination for a day trip.

Nikko is an important attraction for both Japanese and foreign visitors, because of its historic temple buildings.

  • Toshogu Shrine
  • Taiyuinbyo
  • Tamozawa Villa, former Nikko residence of the Imperial Family
  • Sacred Shinkyo Bridge
  • Okkuniko (National Park)

Historic Temples

The first temple in Nikko was founded more than 1,200 years ago along the shores of the Daiya River. However, in 1616, the dying Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu made it known that his final wish was for his successors to “Build a small shrine in Nikkō and enshrine me as the God. I will be the guardian of peace keeping in Japan.”

As a result, the place became home to the mausoleums of the Tokugawa Shoguns, which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Unlike most Japanese temples and shrines, the buildings here are extremely gaudy and ornate, with multicolored carvings and plenty of gold leaf, and show heavy Chinese influence. Some sense of dignity is restored by a magnificent forest of over 13,000 cedar trees, covering the entire area.

However, all the grandeur the Shoguns created is now overshadowed in the eyes of many visitors by a remarkable trio of small wooden carvings on a stable wall: the famous three wise monkeys.

Beautiful surroundings

Nikko lies in beautiful forested countryside: nearby Lake Chuzenji is a popular destination for Japanese campers. Around the temples is a impressive forest of cedars.

There are also many famous hot springs (onsen) in the area. The mountains west of the city are part of Nikkō National Park, and contain some of the country’s most spectacular waterfalls and scenic trails.

Practical information:

  • From Tokyo Asakusa Station to Tobu-Nikko Station by Tobu-Nikko trains (1h50)
  • Take a full day excursion to Nikko with English-speaking guide

Nikko on our Google map

Our packages includes Nikko


North Japan tour 10 days

From £ 2,559 p/person
See Japan by coach! This tour visits the highlights of north Japan on a guided coach circuit. See Tokyo, Nikko, Sendai, Morioka, Aomori, Noboribetsu and Sapporo. This is a GROUP tour with regular departures April – October 2018.

Tokyo by night


Honshu is the largest island of Japan, and the country-wide Japan Rail Pass allows you to explore all the cities and regions at your own pace.
Our itinerary suggestion includes travelling down from Tokyo using the newly-opened HOKURIKU SHINKANSEN line to Kanazawa and on to the historic city of Kyoto. The package includes the 7-day Rail […]


Nikko World Heritage 1-day tour

Nikko, around 95 miles north of Tokyo, is one of Japan’s most beautiful shrines. Take a relaxing excursion out of Tokyo to visit this magnificent historic complex. Now protected in a National Park, Nikko is one of Japan’s most important UNESCO World Heritage sites.
When the Tokugawa regime took power in the early 1600’s, this Shinto […]

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