Nikko. This beautiful city is popular as one of the side trips when traveling to Tokyo, although it is actually an interesting place to visit without having to stop by the Japanese capital first. Nikko, which can be broadly divided into 2 regions namely Nikko (City) and Okunikko does have a tempting appeal.
Nikko is a city located in a mountainous area in Tochigi prefecture. The city is the entrance to Nikko National Park, a popular national park because there is a mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the first shogun to establish the Tokugawa shogunate and begin the Edo period.
Nikko is host to a number of magnificent historical temples that are still well maintained today and are recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Nikko is very popular among domestic and international tourists, because in Nikko, especially the mountainous area, it has many spectacular scenic spots.
When viewed from a position, Nikko is located approximately 125-140 kilometers from Tokyo and 35 kilometers from the capital city of Tochigi prefecture, Utsunomiya. As for the climate, although Nikko’s position is closer to Tokyo, the climate is similar to Hokkaido: snow in winter and humid summers. The average annual temperature is 7 ° C while in hot months the average temperature is only 22 ° C, which means the city is very cool.
Understandably, Nikko is indeed located in a mountainous area with a height that varies between 200 to 2000 meters above sea level. By the way, Nikko is popular as one of the best places to enjoy the autumn atmosphere in Japan. So those who have plans to travel to Japan (especially Tokyo) this fall, can consider Nikko for his side trip.
World Heritage Site of Nikko
Consisting of 103 buildings located in 3 temples (called Shrines and Temples of Nikko): 23 buildings in Futarasan Shrine, 42 buildings in Toshogu Shrine, and 38 buildings in Rinnoji Temple. Shrines and Temples of Nikko was included in the World Heritage Site list in 1999.
Toshogu Shrine (Nikko Toshogu)
Operating hours: 08:00 to 17:00 every day (until 4:00 p.m. between November-March) – Ticket price: 1300 yen
Access: from JR Nikko Station or Tobu Nikko Station, take the World Heritage Meguri Bus.
There is no Japanese who doesn’t know Tokugawa Ieyasu. He was the first shogun to establish the Tokugawa shogunate in 1603 and then ruled Japan until 250 years later (known as the Edo Period). And here, at the Toshogu temple, the shogun rests peacefully at his final resting place.
The Toshogu Temple was built at the request of Ieyasu himself who requested that he be worshiped as a god after his death so that he could continue to protect Japan. That is why this temple was built on the north side of Edo (now Tokyo) because according to Japanese belief, the north is a taboo direction because there is a place where demons enter.
At first this place was just an ordinary mausoleum with a size that was not too big. Slowly, this temple was expanded and finally became a spectacular complex in the mid 1600’s. Currently there are dozens of buildings in the Toshogu temple complex, but at least some of these spots must be glimpsed during a visit to the Toshogu temple.
1. Five Storied Pagoda from Toshogu Shrine
Five Storied Pagoda, Located not far from the main gate.
2. The Main Building of The Temple
The main temple building is dedicated to the worship of Toyotomi Hideyoshi and Minamoto Yoritomo, two very influential figures in Japanese history.
3. Yomeimon Gate
Yomeimon Gate, one of the temple gates that might have the most amazing decorations among other temple gates throughout Japan. Yomeimon Gate is currently under renovation and the process is expected to be completed in 2019
Mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu. This mausoleum can be reached after walking hundreds of steps behind the Sakashitamon gate.
Additional information Nikko Toshogu :
The Toshogu Shrine ( Nikko Toshogu) is actually spread throughout Japan, including at Ueno Park, Tokyo. In the past it reached 500 temples, but after the Edo period ended and changed to the Meiji period, the total number shrank to only 130.
Of course of the many Toshogu shrines, the Toshogu shrine in Nikko is the most popular and has a high historical value. The entire Toshogu shrine worships Tokugawa Ieyasu which is buried under the name Tosho Daigongen. Meanwhile, if you want to come during the implementation of the festival, in this temple there are about 120 annual festivals, which on average are held lively. So it’s quite a good time to visit this temple.
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