"Nikko - UNESCO World Heritage Site" Top 5 Page for this destination Nikko by nicolaitan

Nikko Travel Guide: 298 reviews and 909 photos

welcome to the pilgrim city

The pilgrim city of Nikko is about 130 km. northeast of Tokyo, easily reached in 2 hours by direct train from Asakusa station. The site is centered on the mausoleum and shrine to the shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542-1616) originally built in 1616 and renovated by Iemitsu, a grandson, some years later. He became shogun in 1603 and established Tokyo as the seat of government of a (more or less) unified Japan. A bloodthirsty creature, even members of his own family died at his hand. The Tokugawa regime controlled Japan until 1868. He established the trade monopolies that led to the almost total isolation of Japan from the rest of the world for two centuries.

why you should go here

Nikko is unquestionably one of the most remarkable achievements from the past, a monument to ancient leaders and a physical reminder of the beauty of architecture and embellishment. It's beauty leaves one in awe, set among magnificent mountain background and yet easily accessible on a day-trip from Tokyo. The guide books all comment on the adjacent lakes, rivers, scenery, hiking paths, whatnot. Forget it. The temples and shrines of the Tokugawa regime are absolutely where you want to spend the whole day. Period. NB - bring walking shoes.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:spectacular shrine of great beauty, amazing day trip
  • Cons:short on conveniences on site
  • Intro Updated Feb 23, 2011
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Reviews (14)

Comments (20)

  • toonsarah's Profile Photo
    Sep 28, 2013 at 8:02 AM

    Looks stunning - looking forward to seeing it for myself in a few weeks' time :-)

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Feb 26, 2010 at 5:19 PM

    The temple is absolutely beautiful! Nikko is a lovely city and I enjoyed the tour!

  • Kuznetsov_Sergey's Profile Photo
    Mar 27, 2009 at 11:40 AM

    Interesting pilgrim city of Nikko deserves UNESCO World Heritage list! Thanks you Lew for showing it to us. The name of Shodo Shonin sounds very Russian, haha! BTW my Canakkale page is over...

  • Mikebb's Profile Photo
    Jun 11, 2008 at 3:53 PM

    Hi Lew, A very good page, has given me an interest in Japan and now on my visit list, possibly 2011.

  • Hopkid's Profile Photo
    Jul 31, 2006 at 2:53 PM

    Thanks for visiting my Granada page, Lew! I loved going through these tips. It brought nice memories of my trip there 20 years ago. Could it actually be that long ago since I've been there?! ~ Andy

  • planxty's Profile Photo
    Jul 28, 2006 at 8:52 PM

    Hi Lew, reading your homepage it's no surprise that you have some wonderful images here. I love the Gram Parsons quote and the Neil Young reference as well. We obviously share a musical taste. Now why was I too young to go to Woodstock? fergy.

  • ChristinaNest's Profile Photo
    Jul 2, 2006 at 12:09 AM

    Very interesting page! I like visiting UNESCO sites but hadn't heard of this one. greetings from Sofia

  • icunme's Profile Photo
    Jun 9, 2006 at 1:37 PM

    Don't expect that I'll get there - so, I'll just come back here for great photos and history........ Ciao, Carol

  • janicewilson's Profile Photo
    Apr 11, 2006 at 2:31 PM

    Persuasive. Seems an excellent opportunity to learn and to be awed.

  • Purpleshade's Profile Photo
    Apr 4, 2006 at 7:36 PM

    Lovely pics of wonderful carvings. Lesley

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