Nikko – The Fantastic City in Snow

by HIROSHI - Japan Licensed Guide
(7) Reviews

When we visited Nikko in April, it was snowing.  But snow made Nikko more fantastic!

Statue of Saint ShodoNikko – The Fantastic City in Snow 

The statue of Saint Shodo welcomed us. He opened Mt. Nikko in the middle of the 8th century. Since then many priests came here for training, and Mt. Nikko had flourished as a major sacred sites in the Kanto region.

Rinnoji Temple

Nikko – The Fantastic City in Snow

Rinnoji was established by Saint Shodo in the middle of the 8th century.

In Rinnoji, based on the belief to mountains, they have worshipped three Buddhas in Sanbutsudo hall. Thousand-armed Kannon representing Mt. Nantai,  Amida Buddha representing Mt. Nyohou, and  Kannon with a horse’s head representing Mt. Taro. Sorry for no pictures because taking pictures are prohibited inside the hall.

Toshogu Shrine

Three Wise Monkeys

Nikko – The Fantastic City in Snow

This building used to be a stable to keep the sacred horse in Toshogu.

From the ancient times monkeys have been believed to protect the horses. So on the wall of this building you can see the eight carvings of monkeys which represents the life of people.

Most famous carving is the second one, “three wise monkeys”, “see no evil, hear no evil, and say no evil”. The carving of this “three wise monkeys” has the educational meaning that you should not see, hear, and say the evil things, and be brought up to behave politely. It is said this came from the Analects of Confucious.

Yomeimon GateNikko – The Fantastic City in Snow

It is said that Yomeimon Gate is so beautiful that you never get tired of looking at this gate even in a whole day.

Nikko – The Fantastic City in Snow

This gate has over 500 carvings based on the old stories, children's play, saints, and sages in China.

Nikko – The Fantastic City in Snow

In addition to the beautiful carvings, don’t miss the upside-down pillar located at the backside of Yomeimon.

There are 12 pillars supporting Yomeimon, but only one pillar, the left one, has an upside-down pattern. This has a reason. It is believed that the building would start collapsing from the moment it was completed. Therefore, if only one part of the building is considered to be unfinished, it is believed that the building would not collapse. This pillar shows Yomeion Gate is not completed.

Sleeping Cat

Nikko – The Fantastic City in Snow

The caving of a sleeping cat was made by Hidari Jingoro who was the carver in Edo period. It is said that it was carved after the name of Nikko, which means sunlight, because it is sleeping bathed in the sunlight and surrounded by the flower of the peony.

Hidari Jingoro was a legendary carver and it is said his sculpture has a soul. So it is also said that this cat walks around inside the precincts at night. If you stay at Toshogu until night, you might see this cat walking around.

Futarasan-jinja Shrine

Nikko – The Fantastic City in Snow

Futarasan-jinja Shrine was established in the middle of the 8th century by Saint Shodo. This shrine is famous for the benefit of good marriage and inviting good luck.

Nikko – The Fantastic City in Snow

This is a big trunk of a cedar tree which was located on the east side of the precinct. After felling, it became possible for worshipers to go through the trunk. It is said that you can ward off the evil and get a good marriage if you go through it.

Nikko – The Fantastic City in Snow

The beautiful Shinkyo Bridge, which is the entrance of Mt. Nikko, is a property of Futarasan-jinja.

Taiyuin Mausoleum Nikko – The Fantastic City in Snow

Taiyuin is a mausoleum which is located inside the precincts of Rinnoji Temple. It enshrines the Tokugawa third Shogun Iemitsu.

Nikko – The Fantastic City in Snow

Taiyuin is very famous for its beautiful gates. They have five gates, but I like Nitenmon Gate the most. This is the biggest gate in Nikko, and has two deities in the front, and the gods of wind and thunder in the back. This gate is very beautiful and impressive.

Let’s explore together the fantastic city Nikko!!

Did you like my article?

You can send me a message to get a customized itinerary and quotation for an unforgettable experience. Let's explore Japan Together.

I'll be waiting for you, so please check my profile and get your trip plan now


HIROSHI

Licensed Guide
(7) Reviews

Related Blogs

Kamakura – The Historical City

by HIROSHI
Kamakura played one of the most important roles in Japanese politics during the Kamakura period, about 800 years ago. The Kamakura shogunate...

Hakone – Breathtaking Scenery

by HIROSHI
Hakone is located about 90km southwest of Tokyo and one of the most famous hot spring resorts in Japan. In addition scenic sightseeing spots...

15 Most Popular Foods You Have To Eat In Japan (2019)

by Ro
As many of you already know, Japan has a wonderful and unique cuisine but mostly when we think about Japanese food, what automatically comes...

10 Best Places for Pokémon Go in Tokyo

by Coelho
TLDR: The 10 best places for Pokémon Go in Tokyo are: Senso-ji Temple, Shibuya, Meiji-Jigu Shrine, Akihabara, Roppongi, Tokyo Tower,  Ueno P...

10 Useful Apps while Traveling in Japan (2019)

by Mieke
Glued to your phone Especially in a country as gadget-loving as Japan, being glued to your phone only makes you blend in with the Japanese....

Tokyo's Top 10 Sites for Anime and Manga Lovers

Tokyo, and in particular Akihabara, has a plethora of museums, shops, cafes, and other sites targeted towards anime and manga lovers.  As su...

Tours by Guide

Kamakura (Great Buddha, Hase-dera Temple, Tsurugaoka Hachima...

(7) Reviews
by HIROSHI
Pick up at your hotel ・Go to Hokokuji Temple from Kamakura Station by bus and enjoy matcha tea ・Go to Tsurugaoka Hachimangu Shrine from Hokokuji Temple b...
8h $ 265 up to 5 people

Tsukiji, Asakusa, and Tokyo Skytree with Boat Cruise

(7) Reviews
by HIROSHI
Pick up at your hotel in Tokyo ・Go to Tsukiji by public transportation ・Visit Tsukiji outer market, Namiyoke-jinja Shrine, Tsukiji Honganji Temple ・Lunc...
8h $ 265 up to 5 people

Meiji-jingu Shrine, Harajuku, Imperial Palace East Gardens, ...

(7) Reviews
by HIROSHI
Pick up at your hotel in Tokyo ・Go to Meiji-jingu-mae or Harajuku Station by public transportation ・Visit Meiji-jingu Shrine and Harajuku ・Go to Otemac...
8h $ 265 up to 5 people

Hakone (Owakudani, Boat Cruise on Lake Ashi, Hakone Checkpoi...

(7) Reviews
by HIROSHI
Pick up at your hotel in Tokyo ・Go to Shinjuku Station by public transportation ・Go to Hakone by Odakyu Express "Romance Car" ・Visit Owakudani ・Lunch a...
9:30h $ 315 up to 5 people

Nikko (Rinnoji Temple, Toshogu Shrine, Futarasan-jinja Shrin...

(7) Reviews
by HIROSHI
Pick up at your hotel in Tokyo ・Go to Asakusa Station by public transportation ・Go to Nikko Station by Tobu Express ・Lunch near Nikko Station ・Visit Ri...
9h $ 298 up to 5 people

Plan your trip to Nikko with HIROSHI

Chat with a local tour guide who can help organize your trip.
Send a message

Recent Tour Reviews in Nikko

“ Very caring and sincere guide ”

Excellent
1 week ago Traveler: Nivedita -   Tour Guide: HIROSHI

Hiroshi san took me to all places as planned. He took care of all my needs and was very nice . He infact helped me buy a nice toy for my son. Showed me shibuya, sensoji, Odaiba and Shinjuku. Nothing was too much for him and he accommodated all my requests
read more

“ Kamakura whole day tour ”

Excellent
4 weeks ago Traveler: Michael -   Tour Guide: HIROSHI

I can highly recommend Hiroshi-san as a tour guide. He organized a perfect day long tour of Kamakura for me and was very willing to be flexible with the itinerary. He was very knowledgeable about the area and local history and made the day very enjoyable.
read more

“ Tour of Kamakura with Hiroshi ”

Excellent
4 months ago Traveler: Chuck -   Tour Guide: HIROSHI

Hiroshi is an excellent guide. He arrived on time at our hotel, provided information that placed the subject of the tour in context, conscientiously guided the tour - carefully checking to see if we wished to stop and spend more time at a given location before moving to another and overall our condition to see if we needed a break to rest or take water or food, provided information that helped us ...
read more

“ Custom One Day Tour of Nikko ”

Excellent
5 months ago Traveler: Robert -   Tour Guide: HIROSHI

Hiroshi extensively prepared for our trip, visiting our hotel in advance to time the walk from the lobby to the correct train platform. Trains were well coordinated with minimal wait time. The order of sites visited made for an efficient use of our time. Hiroshi was very knowledgeable about the temples and shrines we visited and spoke excellent English. He also suggested some places we should ...
read more

“ Three days trip around Tokyo ”

Excellent
5 months ago Traveler: Daniel -   Tour Guide: HIROSHI

We had wonderful 3 days with Hiroshi . He helped us with transportation , ticket reservations and good advise where and when to go. He was always punctual and helped us meeting challenging schedule every day. He showed great care for us to find stations and boarding the right trains. Very professional guide and flowing with the customers requests.We warmly recommend Hiroshi to everyone that comes ...
read more

“ Great Guide. Amazing Person. The Best Tour Guide out there. ”

Excellent
9 months ago Traveler: Sanjay -   Tour Guide: HIROSHI

Hiroshi is the type of tour guide you wish every city has. Why? He is not only kind, smart, respectful, & caring but he is a genuine person. He is truly motivated to give YOU a great experience. Hiroshi takes pride in his work and it shows with the way he looks after you. You won't regret being picking him.
read more

“ A Customized Day Tour ”

Excellent
1 year ago Traveler: Dan -   Tour Guide: HIROSHI

Our day started with Hiroshi meeting us at our hotel. He was prompt at our meeting time. His explanation of our customized tour was very good as well as handing us a map of the noted tour sites. His grasp of the English language was very good. During the tour, Hiroshi was very accommodating to little changes in our tour schedule. His knowledge of the Tokyo transit system proved very important/effi...
read more

Related cities