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History / Culture / Tour Spots in Nikko / Kinugawa / Lake Chuzenji Area

  • Nikko Toshogu Shrine
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    3.5
    3 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai 2301
    A shrine located in Sannai, Nikko City. It was founded in 1617 as a shrine dedicated to the Tosho Daigongen (Tokugawa Ieyasu). There are many buildings including eight National Treasures and 34 Important Cultural Properties in the shrine grounds as well as the beautifully adorned and richly colored carvings of the Three Wise Monkeys—Mizaru, Iwazaru and Kikazaru (see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil)—and the Nemuri-neko (sleepy cat) attributed to Hidari Jingoro. Nikko Toshogu is also registered as a World Heritage Site as one of the Shrines and Temples of Nikko.

    This is a quiet temple just steps from the museum. Built as a temporary location for the deities while the main temple was under repair in the early 1600s, this shrine was kept and made permanent. If...

  • Ashio Copper Mine
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    4.0
    117 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Ashiomachitsudou 9-2
    The Ashio Copper Mine in Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture was once the mining capital of Japan. It supplied the nation’s copper industry for about 400 years until closure. A portion of the mine is open to visitors, and a trolley train lets you tour the inside and learn about the mining industry through the ages, the history of the mines, and the mining process.

    The Ashio Copper Mine operated for more than 300 years before it was closed in 1973 and produced more copper than any other mine in Japan. Visitors ride a little train into the mine and then walk...

  • Akanuma Nature Information Center
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Chugushi Official presence
    This information center is located in Akanuma, the entrance to Senjogahara. It provides information on the nature, hiking trails, and other aspects of parts of the Okunikko area such as Senjogahara and Odashirogahara. The information center also features informational exhibits on the origins of Senjogahara, its seasonal flowers, and other topics. The center also conducts nature tours and other activities during the high season.
  • Nikko Takehisa Yumeji Art Museum
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Karakura 772-1
    This art museum displays works by artist Takehisa Yumeji representative of Taisho-period romanticism. Present are examples of Yumeji's writings, bound works, and woodblock prints. With camellia patterned stained glass and an overall white theme the interior of the building evokes a retro Taisho-period western-style building giving the feeling of a place that has slipped through time.
  • Nikko Natural Science Museum
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    4.0
    11 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Chugushi 2480-1
    This museum located next to Kegon Falls and Lake Chuzenji features exhibits on subjects such as the natural origins and history of the Okunikko area. The exhibit area is divided into the natural exhibits hall which deals with the area's geography, zoology, etc. and the human exhibit hall which deals with the area's history. The museum also offers serves as an information center for the region that offers information on the area's nature, hiking courses, and other subjects. It also holds nature experiences and other events.

    Tochigi Prefectural Nikko Natural Science Museum is located between Kegon Falls and Chuzenji Lake. Payment of 300 yen is required for entry. Many children are interested to see the exhibits inside.

  • Nikko Toshogu Shrine (Drum Tower and Bell Tower)
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai 2301 Nikko Toshogu
    Bell and taiko drum towers in Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture. Originally used to tell the time for Nikko Toshogu Shrine, the two watchtower-looking buildings stands stand next to one another just before the Yomeimon gate. While the bell and drum towers may look similar, they are actually minutely different.
  • Shihonryuji Temple (Rinnoji Temple, Mt. Nikko)
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai Within 2300 ringo temple
    A temple in Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture. Founded in 766 by holy priest Shodo Shonin, who is founder of Nikko. The principle object of worship is the Thousand Hand Kanzeon Bodhisattva. The windows of the temple are in the direction of Mt. Nantai so that the mountain can always be worshipped. The Kannon Hall and three-story pagoda on the grounds have been designated Important Cultural Properties of Japan.
  • Jogyo-do Hall (Rinnoji Temple, Mt. Nikko)
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai Within 2300 ringo temple
    This hall is located in Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture. Located in the Mt Nikko Rinnoji Temple the hall was constructed by Master Ennin in 848. Facing the hall on the left is Jogyo-do Hall and on the right is Hokke-do Hall. The two are connected by a bridge giving them the unusual appearance of a conjoined hall.
  • Rinnoji Taiyuin Mausoleum
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai
    This is the burial ground of the third Shogun, Tokugawa Iemitsu, in Nikkozan Rinnoji Temple. It was constructed by the fourth Shogun Ietsuna in accordance with Iemitsu’s will. Compared to Toshogu Shrine it has a more subtle tone, but there are numerous structures that are Important Cultural Properties such as the massive Niten-mon Gate and the Koka-mon Gate that is like a dragon palace, and the honden (main hall) has been designated a National Treasure. On the premise stand 315 gravestone lanterns, and one can enjoy an atmosphere different to that of Toshogu Shrine.
  • Sanbutsudo
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai 2300 wheel in Oji
    This building that forms the hondo (main hall) of Nikkozan Rinnoji Temple is the largest wooden structure in Nikkonsan. Said to have been founded in 848 by Ennin (Jikaku Daishi) a high priest of the Tendai sect, the temple appearance is influenced by the style of esoteric Buddhism in the Tendai sect, an unusual form even in Japan. The temple enshrines the “Three Divine Manifestations of Nikko” which also correspond to Nikko’s three mountains: Senjukannon, the Thousand-armed Buddha, Amida Nyorai, the Amida Buddha, and Batoukannon, the Horse-headed Buddha. *Due to ongoing repairs at Sambutsudo, only some may be seen. Visitors can observe the restoration work from the observation tour passageway (elevated corridor).
  • Rinnoji Homotsuden
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    4.0
    23 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai 2300 within Ring Oji temple
    Nikkosan Rinnoji’s Homotsuden is next to the Sanbutsudo. This building houses approximately 30,000 temple treasures that represent Nikkozan’s more than 1,200-year history and the building contains many National Treasures, important cultural properties, and important works of art. In addition to the approximately 50 pieces that are always on display, visitors can also see paintings related to the Tokugawa family thanks to the cooperation of the Tokugawa Memorial Foundation. Visitors can also enter the Shoyoen Japanese garden located directly nearby.

    If you have had enough of temples visit this small beautiful garden, which is part of the Rinnonji Treasure Museum. It is not crowded at all.

  • Futarasan Jinja Shrine
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    4.0
    874 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai 2307
    This shrine is dedicated to the deities of Nikko’s three most sacred mountains and highest peaks of the Nikko mountain range. Besides the main shrine is Chugushi at the shore of Lake Chuzenji, a rear shrine that stands at the summit of Mt. Nantai, and associated shrines Hongu Jinja and Takio Jinja Shrine. The establishment of Futarasan Jinja Shrine is said to have begun in 762 when Shodo Shonin built a small shrine as a Hongu Jinja shrine. Now the shrine is popular for its associations with good luck and the god of marriage. 11 buildings of the shaden (main shrine area) including the honden (main shrine) with its “yatsumune” style of construction and haiden (hall of worship) with its gabled, hipped roof have been designated as Important Cultural Properties. The lantern called “Bake-doro” in the shrine gardens is one highlight worth seeing.

    The best view is actually either side of the bridge looking towards the bridge. Not worth paying the entry fee to walk over it. Underwhelming.

  • Nikko Tamozawa Imperial Villa Memorial Park
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    4.5
    322 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Honchou 8-27
    This is a Tochigi prefectural urban park which was landscaped in 1899 as a place of convalescence for Emperor Taisho. One part of the former Akasaka homestead of the Edo daimyo, Kishu Tokugawa was moved to its current location at the wealthy person’s villa which formerly existed here. Even after that, additional buildings were added but the overall harmony was retained. The building has been designated as an Important Cultural Property of Japan, and it is possible to tour the interior of the building. You can enjoy the various scenery from season to season starting with the 400-year-old weeping cherry tree in the garden.

    The Villa is very well maintained and surprisingly large. Not as old as some in Japan but full of traditional architecture and styling. The gardens are beautifully maintained and well worth a wander...

  • Takino Jinja Shrine
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    4.5
    115 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Sannai 2310-1
    Associated with Futarasan Jinja Shrine, this shrine is located approximately one kilometer from the main shrine. Tagorihime-no-Mikoto, the princess of Onamuchi-no-Mikoto, is enshrined here. The shrine is encompassed by a fence and is built in a quiet space amidst the trees where Tagorihime is said to have descended to earth. Sights to see include the Kodane-ishi, where visitors offer prayers for conception and easy childbirth, the Enmusubi-no-Sasa, and the Undameshi-no-torii, a stone torii gate where it is customary to try your luck tossing stones through the small hole near the top. Shiraito Falls located nearby is also a must-see.

    It is an excellent place to get away from the crowded touristic attractions. Wear proper shoes for the walk. There is also a small waterfall you can enjoy. The shrine is a kind of magical. It is an...

  • Shinkyo Bridge
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Kamihatsuishimachi
    The Shinkyo Bridge is a beautiful bridge that hangs at the entrance into the mountains of Nikko, and is a structure which belongs to Futarasan Shrine. At the end of the Nara period, on the occasion of Shodo Shonin founding a temple, he sought divine assistance from gods and Buddhas as he was blocked from crossing the Daiya River. Thereupon, Jinja-ou (the God of the River) had appeared and released two snakes. Legend has it that mountain sedge sprouted from the backs of those two snakes and they turned into a bridge which is the Shinkyo Bridge. The bridge was built in its current vermillion-lacquered form in 1636. Thereafter, it was washed away by a flood, but it was rebuilt in 1904. It is an Important Cultural Property of Japan and it was also registered as a World Heritage site in 1999. The Shinkyo bridge is regarded as one of the three most eccentric bridges in Japan.
  • Futarasan Jinja Shrine Chugushi
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    5.0
    3 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Chugushi 2484
    This shrine on Mt. Nantai near the shore of Lake Chuzenji in Tochigi Prefecture’s Nikko City lies in between the honsha (main shrine) and okumiya (rear shrine) of Futarasan Jinja Shrine. It was established in 784 after Shodo Shonin climbed to the summit of Mt. Nantai. Next to the honden (inner sanctuary) is a path (trailhead) that leads to the okumiya on the mountain’s summit, and the trail is only open from May 5 to October 25. In addition to architectural structures on the premises such as the honden and chumon (central gate), which have been designated as Important Cultural Properties, the Homotsu-kan (treasure hall) also exhibits various treasures that belong to Futarasan Jinja Shrine.

    御朱印頂きに登拝しました。 それなりの登山の格好で行きましたが… 登る登る登るが最後まで続くのでホントに辛かった! 特に6-9合目の岩場は、体力を相当使いました…。 スマホの電池で例えるなら9合目に入った時に残り5%みたいな状態でしたね。 とにかく体力1本の山です。4時間で登頂でした。 そもそものスタートが11:30だったので、 帰りは3合目ほどで暗くなってしまいました。 ライトを持っていたの...

  • Nikkosan  Chuzen-ji Temple
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    4.0
    85 Reviews
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Chugushi 2578
    This temple belonging to the Tendai sect located near Lake Chuzenji in Nikko City is a branch temple of Nikko Rinnoji Temple. It began when Shodo Shonin, the founder of the Nikkozan religious sites witnessed Senju-kannon (the thousand arm Kannon goddess) appearing on the lake and carved an image of the Kannon in a standing tree or “tachiki,” which became the principal object of worship at the temple. It is the eighteenth temple in the Bando pilgrimage circuit (comprised of 33 Kannon temples in the Kanto region). People worship the Tachiki Kannon in the hondo (main temple building) as the shoganjoju Buddha, which is believed to grant people’s requests of various kinds, and the mido hall which enshrines Hashiridaikokuten is often visited by people praying for safe childbirth, the return of runaway family members, and to prevent their partner from having an affair.

    There is a very famous and historical big statue of Buddhist Goddess of Mercy with Thousand Arms, which is called Senju Kannon in Japan. This temple registered in UNESCO. When i went here, i was so...

  • Italian Embassy House Memorial Park
    Travel / Tourism
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Chugushi 2482
    This is one of the foreign residential villas that lined the shores around Lake Chuzenji from the middle of the Meiji period up until the early Showa period. It was the Italian Embassy’s summer villa which was built in 1928. Successive generations of Italian ambassadors used it until 1997 and the wooden constructed two story building has been restored to its original state based on the original blueprints of the time. The first floor ceiling which was made with cedar bark is reminiscent of the architecture of a Japanese tea ceremony arbour, while the outer wall which is made with Nikko Japanese cedar bark and thin planks has a chequered design but engenders a beautiful modern atmosphere.
  • Trick-art Pia Nikko
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    4.0
    57 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Kosagoe 1-4
    This trick art museum located in Nikko City’s Kosagoe area allows visitors to enjoy numerous exhibits using optical illusions. The museum is divided up into seven areas, each exhibiting works with different themes such as famous world paintings, a zoo, and an aquarium. This is a popular spot among group customers such as families and couples since visitors can not only look but also touch and play with the exhibits. Outside the museum there are also a sacred lover’s monument and a café.

    This museums artwork is seriously impressive. The museum isnt very mentally stimulating, which was frankly what we were looking for at the very beginning of our trip while we were still feeling...

  • British Embassy Villa Memorial Park
    rating-image
    4.0
    56 Reviews
    Leisure / Hobbies
    Tochigi Pref. Nikkoushi Chugushi 2482
    A history museum standing on the shore of Lake Chuzenji. The building was constructed in 1896 as a personal villa for Ernest Mason Satow, a British diplomat who significantly influenced the Meiji restoration, and was later used as a villa for the British Embassy. The museum contains displays presenting the life of Satow, while the café on the second floor serves tea and scones prepared under the direction of the chef of the British Embassy in Japan. Here visitors can enjoy an elegant moment of relaxation while gazing at the scenery of the Okunikko area which famed 19th century English traveler Isabella Bird loved so much.

    Fully agree with Ries Dec.2017 review. I day-tripped from Nikko on a heaving bus but almost all opted for other sights. I used the boat - with English commentary - to reach the villa, then walked...

Tochigi Areas

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Most visits to Tochigi revolve around Nikko, a small city home to the spectacular, lavishly decorated Toshogu Shrine and Nikko National Park with its mountains, lakes, waterfalls, onsen, and wild monkeys. Neighboring Oku-Nikko is an extension of the fantastic scenery famous for its autumn leaves, while Tochigi’s capital, Utsunomiya, is the only place in the world where you can find oya stone beautifully exhibited in temples and the Oya History Museum.

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