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Toshogu Shrine (Nikko Toshogu) Tours and Activities

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Toshogu Shrine (Nikko Toshogu)
Toshogu Shrine (Nikko Toshogu) was built in 1617 to honor Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the dynasty that ruled Japan for more than 250 years. It's one of Japan’s finest and best-preserved Shinto shrines, surrounded by a Japanese cypress forest in the popular but still peaceful town of Nikko.
 
The Basics
Toshogu Shrine is part of the Shrines and Temples of Nikko UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s exceptionally lavish, with intricately carved beams, rich colors, and layers of gold leaf across more than 12 buildings. Though it is a Shinto shrine, elements of Buddhism can be seen in the structures’ pagados and entryways. 

Located just 2.5 hours from Tokyo, Nikko is a popular day trip destination. Full-day tours typically include round-trip transportation from Japan’s capital, and allow you to visit Toshogu Shrine along with top attractions such as Nikko National Park, Lake Chuzenji, and Kegon Falls. If you’d rather visit independently, a Nikko Pass provides access to most shrines along with some local trains and buses. If you plan to stay overnight, look for a cozy ryokan (traditional Japanese inn).
 
Things to Know Before You Go
  • Look for the carved “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” monkeys, as well as other carved animals.
  • Renovations of the shrine will continue until 2024. This is unlikely to disrupt your visit significantly because the buildings are being renovated two at a time, leaving most open for viewing.
  • Because it’s located in the mountains, Nikko can be much colder than Tokyo. Bring extra layers of clothing, especially if you plan to visit in winter.

How to Get There
From central parts of Tokyo, take the local Japan Rail (JR) Nikko Line or the Tobu Nikko line to Nikko. For speedy access, take the shinkansen (bullet train) from Tokyo or Ueno station to Utsunomiya station, and then take the JR Nikko line the rest of the way. Toshogu Shrine is a short bus ride, or a 30- to 40-minute walk uphill, from the main train station.
 
When to Get There
Toshogu Shrine is open year-round, with slightly extended opening hours during the summer. It’s very popular with international and Japanese visitors, but weekends and national holidays tend to be busier. Visit midweek to avoid crowds.
 
Lake Chuzenji
If you have more time to spend in Nikko, be sure to visit Lake Chuzenji in the mountains above the city. The bus ride there is an experience in itself, featuring sharply zigzagging switchbacks. Hiking trails surround the lake and there’s a picturesque waterfall.
Address: 9-88 Ueno, Taito, Tokyo, Kanto, Japan
Admission: Varies
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3 Tours and Activities to Experience Toshogu Shrine (Nikko Toshogu)

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A day tour to Nikko from Tokyo by chartered car

A day tour to Nikko from Tokyo by chartered car

star-5
1
This is day tour by private car just for your group. It is comfortable and easy to access around Nikko. You can modify the destinations within time duration. Group with seniors or kids are highly welcomed. Great cost for value and you can enjoy non- touristic spots as well. You will enjoy natural landscape, history and local foods for sure. We are happy to accommodate you to maximize your time for great memory. So we are quite unique because we put our entire heart and spirit to your tour to make you satisfied.
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  • 10 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$872.57
per group
From
$872.57
per group
Taking safety measures

1 day tour to Nikko from Tokyo by chartered car

1 day tour to Nikko from Tokyo by chartered car

star-5
2
This is day tour by private car just for your group. It is comfortable and easy to access around Nikko. You can modify the destinations within time duration. Group with seniors or kids are highly welcomed. Great cost for value and you can enjoy non- touristic spots as well. You will enjoy natural landscape, history and local foods for sure. We are happy to accommodate you to maximize your time for great memory. So we are quite unique because we put our entire heart and spirit to your tour to make you satisfied.
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  • 10 to 12 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$583.40
per group
From
$583.40
per group

Samurai Spots in Tokyo Virtual Tour

Samurai Spots in Tokyo Virtual Tour

This is an interactive Zoom meeting with a professional tour guide living in Tokyo. I love to offer indoor entertainment to enjoy together even when both of us are relaxing at home. I've chosen some Samurai (premodern Japanese worriers)-related spots in Tokyo since Tokyo developed as Samurai town. I've put much frequently asked information about which I usually get from my guests during my real tours. Sure to be a good pre-learning for your future trip to Japan! Note that the tour time shown is "Japan Standard Time". For example, 10:00 JST=NY 20:00(EST)=LA 17:00(PST) Please check your time zone.
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  • 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Free Cancellation
From
$11.19
From
$11.19

Frequently Asked Questions

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What's the best way to experience Toshogu Shrine (Nikko Toshogu)?