Visit the World Heritage “Shrines and Temples of Nikko” on “SPACIA”

Let’s take the gold-colored Spacia to Nikko!

Popular for photos, too
Shinkyo or sacred bridge, which is the front door of the World Heritage Shrines and Temples of Nikko
Just 110 minutes from Asakusa to Nikko

To visit the World Heritage site of Shrines and Temples of Nikko, we recommend the limited express train Spacia, which takes you to Nikko from Asakusa in downtown Tokyo in just 110 minutes. In April 2015, a specially decorated train Nikko Moude Spacia debuted to celebrate the Nikko Toshogu Shrine 400th year memorial ceremony festival.* The body of Nikko Moude Spacia is in gold, the main color of the buildings of the Shrines and Temples of Nikko (Nikko Toshogu Shrine, Nikko-zan Rin-noji Temple, Nikko Futarasan Jinja Shrine). The black window frames and vermillion lines adds beautiful contrasts on the body as well.

* This festival takes place in scheduled periods, and Nikko Toshogu Shrine holds it every 50 years.

If you are foreign visitor, you are entitled to purchase All Nikko Pass and 2-Day Nikko Pass, and you get 20% discount on the express fare.

Discount ticket available exclusively for visitors from overseas

As local shop owners in Nikko say 80% of visitors are from overseas, Nikko is very popular among tourists from overseas. People in Nikko are very active in providing hospitality to foreign tourists for the best vacation experience in Nikko. At the Tourist Information Center in Tobu Nikko Station, English-speaking staff are available, and the free app for mobile phone NIKKO strolling NAVI provides full of information about sightseeing spots and maps in English, Chinese (Simplified and Traditional) and Korean. You can download this app from Google Play or App Store

*Downloading via Google Play is not available within China.

The next chance won’t be in 50 years. Visit Nikko this year, the year of the memorial ceremony.

Kara-mon Gate, a national treasure
Nikko Toshogu Shrine is undergoing a large scale restoration project from 2003, and the work will continue through 2024. Shown in the photo is the Kara-mon Gate after the latest restoration (national treasure). During the restoration period, there is a special exhibition of art works that are not usually shown to the public including the “Legendary Wall Painting.”
Splendid engraving work
Kara-mon Gate decorated with extremely delicate engraving work (national treasure)
The elephants of Kamijinko
The elephants of Kamijinko. It is said to have been designed by one of the foremost painters in the 17th century, Kano Tanyu.

The engraving work by the best craftsman at that time makes Nikko Toshogu such a splendid beauty. There are 611 engraved works on Kara-mon Gate alone, with the total of 5,173 works in the entire Nikko Toshogu Shrine. There are wide varieties of motifs including the dragon, which was considered to be the symbol of the royal authority with mystic power, legendary sage, playing children, imaginary animals of baku and gilins, flowers and birds, and many of them accompany a prayer for peace.

Avenue of cedars along the entrance path

Nikko’s World Heritage sites, including 2 shrines and 1 temple, are connected with a beautiful path of cedar trees. It is in walking distance to Nikko-zan Rin-noji Temple, which has over 1,200 years of history and 16 important cultural properties, and Nikko Futarasan Jinja Shrine, which is believed to bring good luck in matchmaking and is popular with its cute heart-shaped wooden plaque. You can visit these World Heritage Sites at your own pace, which is another attraction of Nikko.

Nikko is fantastic!

We took a visitor’s survey in Nikko. The following is part of the responses. Nikko was my friend’s recommendation.

It is very clean, and people are all friendly and nice. The World Heritage shrines and temples are all fantastic, too. Now it is my turn to recommend to my friends.

Nikko is beautiful and has a sacred atmosphere. I love the traditional temples and shrines.

I came to Nikko for hiking and the World Heritage Sites. The harmony of tradition and nature is awesome. My favorite is Toshogu Shrine.

The combination of the World Heritage shrines, temples and nature is great! I was able to fully relax and got rid of the fatigue from the flight completely.

Report in cooperation with: Nikko Guesthouse Sumica

Beautiful building of Taiyuuin Mausoleum
Taiyuuin Mausoleum of Nikko-zan Rin-noji Temple
Nikko Futarasan Jinja Shrine Sanmon Gate
Nikko Futarasan Jinja Shrine , the god of matchmaking
Popular heart-shaped wooden plaque
Wooden plaques with a heart shape on it, Nikko Futarasan Jinja Shrine

Slip back in time to 400 years ago, watching procession of Samurai and Yabusame or archery on horseback

In 2015, the 400th anniversary of the death of Ieyasu, many extravagant festivals and events will be held throughout the year in Nikko, centering around the “Nikko Toshogu Shrine 400th year memorial ceremony festival”.

The highlights of the Grand Festival in spring and autumn are Hyakumono Soroi Sennin Musha Gyoretsu , the procession of 1,000 Samurai, and Shinji-Yabusame, the archery on running horseback.

1,200 people marching in the costume from that period
Procession of Samurai

The procession of 1,000 Samurai is a replication of the actual procession from the time when Ieyasu’s remains were reburied from Mt. Kuno in Shizuoka Prefecture to Nikko. The scene of 1,200 people marching in the costume of those days is simply impressive. In autumn, it is held on October 17.

Shinji-Yabusame or archery on horseback

Shinij-Yabusame is a Shinto ritual that an archer shoots allows at three targets on a running horse’s back. Nikko’s event is held on October 17 in autumn. During the event, there will be a commentator navigating the ritual in English on microphone. On the 15th, two days before the event, there will be the 1st World Horseback Archery World Competition, expecting 30 participants from 15 countries. The participants will walk through the city in the traditional costume of their own country.

The statues of the Wind God and Thunder God
The statues of the Wind God and Thunder God (17th century) that are going to be specially shown to the public in 2015

Homotsu-kan, the treasure hall of Nikko Toshogu Shrine, opened in March 2015, exhibiting the sword that Ieyasu adored and the armor that was gifted to the King of England from the second Shogun Hidetada. At Nikko-zan Rin-noji Temple, the mortuary tablet of Ieyasu is shown to the public in the special exhibition. The statues of the Wind God and Thunder God will also be specially shown to the public.

There are many more events coming up in the area, including martial arts dedication meet, Kabuki and J-Pop concerts. Check out the event information and let’s go see them!

I want to enjoy a little deeper. Trivia found only in Nikko.

Shinkyo or sacred bridge, the symbol of Nikko, is 597m high, which is close to the height of Tokyo Skytree. It has been adored by many celebrities and important figures from inside and outside of Japan as a comfortable summer resort. The buildings with their long history are also one of the highlights of Nikko.

Tamozawa Imperial Villa

Tamozawa Imperial Villa is a mansion resided by three periods of the Emperor, Meiji, Taisho and Showa (1868 – 1989), and the Princes visited for vacations. This is a rare facility of the Emperor and the Imperial Family open for public viewing.

The exterior of Nikko Kanaya Hotel
(C) Takanori Chiba Photos
Dining room full of atmosphere
(C) Takanori Chiba Photos

Nikko Kanaya Hotel is the oldest existing resort hotel in Japan, and the famous physicist Albert Einstein, known for his Theory of Relativity, once visited this hotel. It is also famous for their Hyakunen curry or 100-year curry, recreated from the recipe of Taisho period (1912 – 1926) into modern style, and their modern cheese cake.

Natural shaved ice

Nikko’s shaved ice is particularly popular among tourists because they use natural ice. There is a special method from 1,000 years ago to make this special shaved ice, and 3 out of 5 “ice houses” that are using this method are located near Tobu Nikko station. Shaved natural ice has airy texture and it quickly melts in your month. Enjoy with local fruit topping. Strawberries is the Nikko style.

 Yuba (bean curd skin)
Yuba sashimi (tofu skin), Nikko’s local spciality

Not only the World Heritage Shrines and Temples, Nikko has many places where visitors can enjoy culture, nature and gourmet food. The area also has a theme park and hot springs spots. Use “SPACIA” and a discount ticket and enjoy Nikko with your favorite plan!

A free WiFi service Tobu FREE Wi-Fi service will start on July 1, 2015 in English, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Korean and Thai. The service will be available at Tobu Nikko Station, Kinugawa-onsen Station and Shimo-imaichi Station. Japan Connected-free Wi-Fi, an app to search and connect to free Wi-Fi spots, is also compatible.