An easy day trip from Tokyo, Nikko Toshogu is where the remains of Tokugawa Iesa, the shogun who unified Japan, lie. His presence is said to protect Tokyo, his constructed capital, from harm, though some might argue his effectiveness at this. Certainly Fuji, an historically active volcano, has been dormant for centuries and the population of 20 million+ was spared the worst of 3/11’s destruction, however Tokyo has been razed to the ground multiple times, during the 1923 earthquake, WW2, and 1954’s Godzilla attack.
The importance of the World Heritage site means Nikko is very popular, and not just with domestic and international tourists, but school-groups from across Japan. Expect to wait in lines on entering the heart of the shrine to pay respects to Iesu himself.
There are other Toshogu shrines throughout Japan, many decorated with the same bright painted colours and expressive carvings. Of course, being Tokugawa Iesu’s shrine means standards need to be high, and everything should be covered with gold leaf! Clicking on the gallery below will give a closer view of this Edo style of art and architecture.
While a beautiful shrine, and an important historical site, Nikko’s proximity to Fukushima resulted in a high level of fallout here to the understandable concern of parents whose children come on school trips, and which might impact the decision of visiting tourists.
For those who do go, Nikko is accessible from Tokyo via the Tobu railway (passes available and this site has directions).
Thanks so much!
Great site. A lot of helpful information here. I’m sending it to some buddies ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thanks in your effort!
Thanks so much! I always hope that people will find the information useful ^^
I took the time to visit Nikko last month. Was really glad I did, although I had to hold off on visiting the shrines until the following day due to the pouring rain. Really like your photos, and the fact you caught the shrine in snowy times gives it a whole new feel 🙂
Thanks for the comment ^^ I really like the photos you took too!