“Never say Kekkou (“I am satisfied”) until you’ve seen Nikko.” — Traditional Japanese Saying
Our agent Pam is currently in Japan exploring the amazing sights and sounds of the Land of the Rising Sun. We’ve taken a quick look at her stops along the way–Yokohama and Kamakura–and today we’re featuring Nikko. What’s there to see, you ask? A bit out of the way, you wonder? Well, let’s take a look:
Nikko is a small city approximately 140 km north of Tokyo in Japan’s Tochigi Prefecture. The name literally means “sunlight” in Japanese, and whether its the name or the natural beauty that surrounds the city, Nikko never fails to draw the attention of local and international tourists year-round.
Here you’ll find the austere mausoleum of Shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the great Tokugawa shogunate. There are also many famous hot springs in the area, and nearby Nikko National Park is a popular spot for mountain-hiking and catching glimpses of beautiful waterfalls. Nikko is also home to the 8th-century Futarasan Shrine, the Cedar Avenue, Edo Wonderland Nikko Edomura, and Lake Chuzenii.
The most popular attraction, however, is undoubtedly Toshogu Shrine, home of the Three Wise Monkeys who See no evil, Hear no evil, and Speak no evil. The shrine is adorned in gold and wood carvings, showcasing both Shinto and Buddhist elements. Traditionally, the two religions have not been severely segregated in Japan. Among the colorful decorations are the five story pagoda, the Sozonozo Elephants (carved by an artist who had never seen elephants), the Crying Dragon, and the Nemurineko or Sleeping Cat.
Nikko is best reached by Tokyo’s Tobu-Asakusa Station on the Tobu Nikko line. It’s can be a busy day trip from Tokyo, but is best enjoyed in a few days. Plus you can spend the night at a traditional Japanese ryokan guesthouse and take a dip in their hot springs!
Call Wittravel to arrange your trip to Japan or to discover more about the Land of the Rising Sun, at 503-224-0180 or firstname.lastname@example.org.