This gorgeous shrine located in central Nikko was built in early 1600 for the ruler, Shogun Ieyasu Tokugawa. He instructed to build a small shrine in Nikko and enshrine him as the God for he will be the guardian of peace keeping in Japan. His wishes for peace can be seen in many places of the buildings. Impressive sculptures of spiritual animals and Chinese legends seen in the architecture are said to be symbols of peace. The Yomei-mon (Gate) is one of the 103 buildings registered as the World Heritage.
At a glance
After a two hour train ride from Tokyo, you will arrive in Nikko National Park. Surrounded by pristine cedar woods, visitors can find impressive Shinto and temple buildings that are registered as the UNESCO World Heritage. The area also has a history of being a resort for foreign diplomats who escaped the heat of Tokyo in the summer time.
The lake, surrounded by mountains, is located at an altitude of 1269 metres which is the highest of all natural lakes in Japan. Thanks to cool weather in the summer, and beautiful autumn leaves, the area has developed as a resort. You can enjoy a walk around the lake, camping, cruising in a sightseeing boat, and fishing. Lake Chuzenji is a popular fishing area of rainbow trout and sockeye salmon, and here are many restaurants where you can enjoy them.
Also, there are many hot spring sources here which is interesting to visit.
You will come across many waterfalls in Nikko, and the finest one is said to be the Kegon Waterfall. The water from Lake Chuzenji falls 97 meters perpendicularly. You can go down to the falling point by elevator and feel dynamism of great nature.
Kirifui Highland is located on the north of central Nikko. Kirifuri Highland is a popular area for hiking. There are a number of courses depending on your level and there are also ski lifts for a pleasant ride. From the end of June to beginning to July, you can encounter yellow lilies called "Nikko Kisuge" blooming profusely as if the surface of the mountain is covered by a yellow carpet. At the end of 3rd lift, you can find a rest area with light meals and drinks.
- Asakusa - [1hr 50min, Tobu limited express "Kinu"] - Simoimaichi - [8min, Tobu Nikko-line] - Tobu Nikko
*a local train will be waiting when limited express "Kinu" arrives at Simoimachi
- Tokyo - [50min., JR Tohoku Shinkansen "yamabiko"] - Utsunomiya - [45min., JR Nikko-line] - JR Nikko
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