Nikko, Japan

Hello from Nikko! This was stop number two on our tour after Tokyo. We spent one and a half days here exploring the area and highlights included a visit to one of Japan’s most famous Shinto shrines Nikko Tosho-gu, a visit to Kegon falls, and a beautiful walk along the river near downtown Nikko.

Nikko Tosho-gu

This Shinto shrine in Nikko is surrounded by forest and it’s peak fall here right now so the leaves look so incredible. This place exemplified exactly why I wanted to visit Japan in fall specifically. It was so much better than I imagined!

The shrine was built as a memorial to Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, which ruled Japan for over 250 years until 1868. It has both Shinto and Buddhist elements.

Imagined Elephants carvings

“See no evil, speak no evil, and hear no evil” monkeys. One of the famous carvings.

Lake Chuzenji

Tori gates represent the border between the normal world and the sacred world in the Shinto religion. This one is placed at the entrance to the lake.
Local shops near Lake Chuzenji

Beautiful fall leaves

Kanman-ga-fuchi walk

Narabi-jizo is a line of stone statues. They were carved to pray for the souls of the past and present. In the colder months, the locals knit hats and scarves to keep them warm.

Shinkyo Bridge

Ranked one of Japan’s three finest bridges. The current bridge was constructed in 1636 but one has stood in this spot for much longer.

Kegon Falls

What I ate in Nikko

Soba noodles with vegetables

Crepes. Mine had matcha ice cream with strawberries, cream, and a sweet red bean paste.

I snacked on these wasabi edamame

A steamed bun filled with red bean paste


Tokiwa Ryokan

Up next: Hakone

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