See Japan’s Most Stunning Shinto Shrine, with Nikko Day Tour or Half Day Tour Packages
No trip to Japan is complete without a visit to Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples. Japan has a deep religious history and its ties to ancient religions have left behind a slew of the world’s most magnificent and beautiful structures. While the country is home to many spectacular shrines, though, if you want to see the most beautiful (and arguably most famous) shrine in Japan, you must visit Nikko.
Located in the Tochigi Prefecture (which is itself situated in Japan’s Kanto region), Nikko may not be as famous as Tokyo, Hiroshima or Kyoto, but it is still one of the top tourist destinations in Japan. If you book a Nikko day tour and explore the city’s sites, you will understand why. Nikko is steeped in heritage and tradition and retains much of the beauty and atmosphere of the past. It is, to put it simply, one of the most unique cities in the world.
The Nikko Toshogu Shrine
The most famous site in Nikko—and the centre of any Nikko day tour or half day tour—is the Nikko Toshogu Shrine. The shrine is possibly the most well-known and beloved of all of Japan’s Shinto shrines, known for its ornate decorations and artful carvings. If you want a photo opportunity in an authentic ancient Japanese building, this 400-year-old shrine is a must-see location.
Beyond just being a beautiful spot, the Nikko Toshogu Shrine—or just ‘Toshogu,’ as it is often called—is also a key historical location in the city of Nikko. The shrine calls back to the area’s deep religious heritage—which dates back even further than the construction of Toshogu. Indeed, even before the shrine was there, Shinto and Buddhist monks would go to the nearby mountains to worship their gods. Toshogu also houses the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, a historic Japanese ruler and the first shogun of the Tokugawa shogunate.
See Other Beautiful Sites on Your Nikko Day Tour
Why were religious practitioners so drawn to Nikko in the days of ancient Japan? It may have had a lot to do with the area’s prevalence of natural beauty. Scenic mountains, gorgeous autumn colours, pristine lakes, bubbling rivers and streams, waterfalls and even hot springs were key characteristics of the area.
Today, even though Nikko has grown into a city with more than 84,000 people—and even though it is one of Japan’s favoured tourist attractions—all those natural draws still exist. The rivers and waterfalls have been harnessed for hydroelectric power, and the mountains have been more deeply explored, leaving behind numerous pathways and hiking trails. For the most part, though, Nikko remains steeped in natural beauty.
Behold that natural beauty for yourself, by booking one of the Nikko tour packages we offer at JTB Travel. Whether you are interested in a Nikko half day tour or a more immersive full day experience, we can help you plan the perfect visit to the area. Give us a call on 1300 739 330 to prepare for your visit!