The shrines and temples of Nikko in Japan refer to the Rinnoji temple, Futarasan-jinja and the Toshogu shrines. These are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Location and How to Get to This Specific Site
From the Shinkyo bus stop, the Toshogu temple is ten minutes’ walking distance. This bus stop is five minutes away from the Tobu Nikko station. A few steps away is the Rinnoji temple. The Futarasan-jinja can be reached from the Nishisando bus stop. The bus stop is 7 minutes away from the JR station.
What to See There
The Toshogu shrine is elaborately decorated with Buddhist and Shinto edifices. It began as a mausoleum but has grown into a large complex. Gold leaves and wood carvings were used to decorate it.
The Futarasan shrine was built to honor the kami (Shinto deities) of Mounts Taro, Nyoho and Nantai. There are also a couple of Futarasan shrines at Mt. Nantai’s summit and Lake Chuzenji. Like the other shrines and temples of Nikko, Rinnoji is considered sacred. The main edifice is laden with golden wood statues of different Buddhist deities.
The Toshogu temple is the resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu who established the Tokugawa shogunate. They would rule the country for over two centuries. The temple is also dedicated to Minamoto Yoritomo and Toyotomi Hideyoshi, two important historical figures.
The Toshogu shrine admission fee is 1300 Yen. The Futarasan admission fee is 200 Yen. For the Rinnoji temple it is 400 Yen. You can also buy different combination tickets to see all three temples and shiners.
There are tickets for those who only want to see the Toshogu shrine. However, it is usually more practical to get combination tickets. Make sure though that the tickets you get allow entry to the areas you want to visit.
The Toshogu is open 8:00 to 17:00. From March to November it closes at 16:00. The Futarasan shrine and the Rinnoji temple have the same opening and closing times. They do not have any closing days.
There are many tour operators that organize trips to shrines and temples of Nikko. These packages will include transportation, food and trips to other Nikko attractions. Their costs will vary, so make sure to compare each one.