Nikko was a renowned Buddhist-Shinto religious center. Two shrines and one temple are registered as World Heritage sites, dating back to the 8th century. Let’s get out of Tokyo and feel the Edo shoguns’ great power by visiting the grand temples!
This is the private tour for you, not group tour. In the sacred land of Nikko 103 buildings of two Shinto shrines and a Buddhist temple are registered in the UNESCO World Heritage list. Among them 9 are the National Treasuries and 94 are the Important Cultural properties in Japan. You will discover great flamboyant architectural beauties! Just at Toshogu Shrine you can admire 5,173 carvings of flowers, the famous sleeping cat, the three wise monkeys and more. Now the reconstruction of Toshogu shrine was finished and you can admire the beauty. Walking along the ancient lanterns and the cedar trees can lead you to the ancient world as well. This sacred mountain's history dates back to the 8th century. Almost all buildings of Toshogu Shrie were rebuilt in 1634 by the third Shogun, Iemitsu. Rinnoji Temple is his mausoleum. The buildings are impressed with the expression of wealth and might of the Tokugawa clan. It used to be said, “Don’t say you have seen the best until you visit Nikko”. The basic route is as follows, though the route can be changed upon your request: Meet at Asakusa or Shinjuku Station and ride the express train. It takes about two hours. Have a lunch on the train or at Nikko. Get on the local bus. Visit the Toshogu Shrine and admire the giant pagoda, the Sacred Stable, the Yomeimon Gate and enter the Haiden hall that only the upper class of lords during the Edo period were allowed to access. Go to the shrine and grave of the shogun Ieyasu. Listen to the voice of the “Crying Dragon” at a temple! And visit to Futarasan Shrine built in the 8th century through under the cedars trees. Take a break at a tea house. There are many interesting things to see such as the old lantern cut by Japanese swords, a long sword, a spot to check your luck of the day etc. Go back to the station and back to Tokyo by train. If we have time, and you have more energy, we can also visit Rinnoji Temple. The shrines are located close but one complex itself consists of too many buildings and places to see. If you have interest in Japanese art, let’s go to museums and you can see splendid artworks such as painting on Japanese slide doors by the famous painter Yokoyama Taikan or beautiful swords. In this case, you have to give up on visiting another shrine, Futarasan. Taking hos-springs after walking is very nice as well. This tour is for the World heritage area of shrine and temples not for the lake or the fall.