Nikko – The Fantastic City in Snow

by HIROSHI - Japan Licensed Guide
(12) 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 is prohibited inside the hall.

Toshogu Shrine

Three Wise Monkeys

Nikko – The Fantastic City in Snow

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

From the ancient times monkeys have been believed to protect horses. So on the wall of this building you can see the eight carvings of monkeys which represent a 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 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 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 a 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 a 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 flowers of a 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 Shrine

Nikko – The Fantastic City in Snow

Futarasan 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 evil and get a good marriage if you go through it.

Nikko – The Fantastic City in Snow

The beautiful Shinkyo Bridge, which is an 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 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


Licensed Guide
(12) Reviews

Related Blogs

Kamakura – The Historical City

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

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 (2020)

by Ro
As many of you already know, Japan is famous for its wonderful and unique cuisine. But when we think about Japanese food, the first thing th...

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 (2020)

by Mieke
Don’t understand Japanese, but still want to have a trip to Japan? Let me help you with this issue! It is always challenging to travel to a ...

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

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

“ Kirei trip to Hakone ”

Very Good
1 year ago Traveler: Vasanthi -   Tour Guide: HIROSHI

Hi Horoshi SAN.... you made our day and did more then a guide ??. Thank you so much for the time and your guidance and explanation on our tour and not forgetting the insight you gave us on managing the train, food, tour in Tokyo for the next 4 days. We had a marvellous time and we have safely reach Kyoto as per your guidance from Odawara. I want to welcome your wife and you to our country pl...
read more

“ Excellent guide! ”

1 year ago Traveler: LAVINIA -   Tour Guide: HIROSHI

Hiroshi-san is sincerly an excellent guide-a lot of knowlige,pleasent,helpful in any situation and helpd us to enjoy 3 wonderful days.
read more

“ Hakone tour with Hiroshi ”

Very Good
1 year ago Traveler: Mark -   Tour Guide: HIROSHI

Hiroshi guided my wife and I through a one day tour of the Hakone area. We communicated back and forth multiple times ahead of the trip as Hiroshi helped us work out an itinerary. He was very helpful with suggestions and working around some issues of closed areas due to the recent typhoon. Hiroshi also worked with us organizing the logistics of a morning arrival to Odawara by train, getting bul...
read more

“ Very informative and relaxing experience ”

1 year ago Traveler: Art -   Tour Guide: HIROSHI

Hiroshi is very knowledgeable and very considerate and kind. He was happy to explain Japanese customs and answered all questions regarding history in customs of Japan. The day was well planned out and and we were not rushed to maintain the schedule. Our lunch at Tsukiji market excellent!!!!!! Highly recommend Hiroshi for your next adventure.
read more

“ Amazing tour guide ”

1 year ago Traveler: Sarah -   Tour Guide: HIROSHI

From the moment we reached out to Hiroshi, he was very timely and helpful with getting back to us. He organised the tour to suit our preferences in detail and made the tour for my parents very enjoyable. He looked out for their best interest such as keeping costs in travel down where possible. Would highly recommend Hiroshi. Thank you for taking care of my parents so well !
read more

“ Very caring and sincere guide ”

1 year 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 ”

1 year 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 ”

1 year 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 ”

1 year 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 ”

1 year 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

Related cities