Nikko was one of our stops in our December 2011 trip to Japan. It is another of Japan’s UNESCO World Heritage sites and is famous for Toshogu, the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of Tokugawa shogunate.

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We got a World Heritage Pass which included the round trip from Tokyo, admission to must-see buildings (Toshogu Shrine, Futarasan Shrine and Rinnoji Temple) and unlimited travel on buses in Nikko.

For more info on travel options to Nikko, you can check this link.

Highlights Of Our Visit:


Given that we had limited time (just a little more than half a day), we visited only key sites listed in the pass. This means we have a reason to go back to Nikko in the future. Haha.

  • Toshogu is the burial place of Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of Tokugawa dynasty of shoguns. Tokugawa ruled Japan for 250 years. (Side comment: Allen is a big fan of Ieyasu)
  • Taiyuinbyo is the mausoleum of the third shogun, Iemitsu, the grandson of Ieyasu.
  • Rinnoji Temple is known for its three large Buddha figures and beautiful garden.
  • Futarasan Shrine is dedicated to the spirits of Nikko’s three holy mountains (Mt Nantai, Mt Nyoho, Mt Taro).
  • Shinkyo Bridge is considered as one of the three best bridges in Japan. In feudal times, only the shogun can cross this bridge.

Ring Toss Game

There’s a ring toss game in Nikko and I gamely challenged Allen to make some attempts. It was fun – and I wish I made a video.  And of course, I scored!!! Woohoo!

Ring Toss Game


I was despairing that I might not see anyone wearing kimonos in Japan when I saw this cute young couple on a date. I wanted to take a picture with them but my Japanese is not good enough (I can say  “Please take my picture.” But I don’t know how to say “Can I take a picture with you?” Haha)

Kimono Date? So cute 🙂

Even though one day seems too short for a visit to Nikko, it was definitely an enjoyable day trip. Highly recommended! 🙂


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