On the afternoon after Tsukiji we got the Nikko two day pass and boarded the Nikko Tobu Line towards Nikko for temple hunting.
Tran in the Tobu Nikko Line
Nikko in Tochigi prefecture is located just outside of Tokyo. This area is famous for nature scenery with great landscapes and even some waterfalls. For the history lovers, Nikko is also the location of the Toshogu shrine.
We got to Nikko Tobu train station from Tokyo and had lunch right there in the main square in a ramen and udon restaurant. Unfortunately, no pictures of this lunch exist. From the station we decided to take a bus to the main area of the temples.
Rinnoji Temple undergoing renovations
The first temple we saw, was the Rinnoji Temple which was at that time and will still be until 2019 udergoing renovations. This is Nikko’s most important temple, founded by the monk Shodo Shonin who introduced Buddhism in Nikko.
From Rinnoji we continued to walk until we reached the Toshogu Shrine. This shrine is the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, one of the three unifiers of Japan and the first of the Tokugawa shogunate, which lasted from the Battle of Sekigahara to the Meiji Restoration.
Shinkyou Bridge on our way back to the station
From the temples we walked down and before we left we passed by the Shinkyou Bridge at the entrance to the Nikko shrines.
There are several ways to get to Nikko. At that time we took the Tobu line, which was not covered by the JR pass, directly to Nikko. We bought the Nikko two day pass. Now, a Nikko Tobu line ticket seems to be between 25 to 45 dollars.
If you want to try and budget the trip and you have the JR pass, you can catch the Tohoku Yamabiko shinkansen to Utsunomiya and there change to the JR Nikko line. The second one however is a local line and has limited train departures so make sure to plan your travel ahead. This whole trip will take around an hour and a half with a cost 55 dollars ( without the JR Pass).
If you want to choose JR but without the JR Pass the cheapest option is to look for the trains leaving from Tokyo station to the Utsunomiya line and then again change to the Nikko line.
Once there, I’m afraid both of the temples I spoke of, the Rinnoji and the Toshogu have been undergoing some renovation, probably due to the 2020 olympic event coming up.
What would I do differently
Nikko is huge and has countless things to see, it’s one of those locations that needs to be properly planned specially if you consider exploring the nature around the area.
As for the temples, we did not enter Rinnoji and probably should have, but I am extremely happy we visited the Toshogu. At that time we were not sure of what it was and it was relatively costly to visit. I’m happy we did! After all it’s Tokugawa Ieyasu!
Second day with Mom was…. Fuji san ! Mount Fuji is beautiful and gigantic up close!
I now understand the fascination of Tokyo with Fuji.
Hope to keep you interested and that you’ll come back for that ; )
Until next week, じゃねー!