5 Reasons You Must Visit Nikko, A City Rich in World Heritage Sites

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  • When people think of a trip to Japan, many think of only visiting Tokyo and Kyoto. However, you will also have an enjoyable experience in Nikko – a great place with a long history in Japan. It is also only one and a half to two hours away from Tokyo. Here are 5 reasons why visiting Nikko is a must on your travels.

    1. Tosho-gu Shrine

    Nikko Tosho-gu Shrine was originally established in 1617 as the resting place for Tokugawa Ieyasu who founded the Tokugawa shogunate. This most decorative shrine in Japan shows how he was glorious in his era. But at the same time, the decorations also have religious symbolic meanings too.

    Nikko Toshogu Shrine was registered as a World Heritage Site in 1999. Also, if you are very fortunate, you may even see a Japanese traditional wedding ceremony being held in the shrine while you’re there.

    Toshogu Shrine Website

    2. Kegon Falls
    Taken in autumn, but you will enjoy the beautiful scenery all year round.

    Kegon Falls are known as one of the three most beautiful falls in Japan. The water comes from Chuzenji Lake which is about 97m above the waterfall basin. When you visit, you will take special elevators to get closer the waterfall basin.

    Kegon Falls Website*Japanese Only

    3. Shinkyo

    The Sacred Bridge (Shinkyo) is part of Futarasan Jinja Shrine in Nikko and located at the entrance of the holy area. A long time ago, only a limited number of people could use this bridge for shrine-related events but now anyone can use this bridge to feel the special holy atmosphere.

    Shinkyo Website

    4. Nikko Kanaya Hotel

    This classical hotel has over a 100-year history, which has housed many famous historical people like Albert Einstein, Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan.

    Another great way to make your day more enjoyable is by collecting the staffs’ business cards at this hotel. All the cards contain charming pictures taken inside the hotel, so you will leave with a handy collection of photographs to look back on.

    Nikko Kanaya Hotel Website

    5. Easy to Access

    As mentioned at the beginning of this article, you can get to Nikko within 2 hours from Tokyo by train. So if you are planning to visit Tokyo during your stay in Japan, you can easily add a 1-day or 2-day trip to Nikko!

    There are two Nikko Stations (JR Nikko Line and Tobu Line) but you can move from one to the other in 5 minutes by foot. The easiest route is catching a train on the Tobu Line from Asakusa station in Tokyo. However, if you do not mind transferring, you can also take the Shinkansen from Tokyo to Utsunomiya and then from Utsunomiya, you can catch a train on the JR Nikko Line.


    These 5 reasons are only partial charms of Nikko. If you travel to Japan, please visit Nikko and you may find more charms to label as your favorites!

    Check out the Voyagin website for information on passes and tours.

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    Attractions in Nikko Shrine World Heritage