Its been a while since we had a Places to visit in Japan post. Today we visit a Shinto Shrine called Nikko Toshogu .
Built in 1617, Nikko Toshogu is dedicated to the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate - Ieyasu Tokugawa. Today its one of the most popular tourist attractions for Japanese and foreigners alike to go to take in the sights of a truly historic and traditional Japan - its also designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
To get to Nikko Toshogu - use the following methods - copy pasted from the official site.
Asakusa to Tobu Nikko (Kegon Limited Express) Time required: Approx. 1 hour 50 min.
Asakusa to Tobu Nikko via Shimoimaichi (Kinu Limited Express + Local) Time required: Approx. 1 hour 50 min.
Asakusa to Tobu Nikko (Tobu Railway Rapid) Time required: Approx. 2 hours 5 min.
Shinjuku to Tobu Nikko (JR Nikko Limited Express) Time required: Approx. 2 hours
From the Tohoku Expressway Utsunomiya IC, take the Nikko Utsunomiya Road and exit at Nikko Interchange.
Proceed 2 km from Nikko Interchange.
In this post I'm going to cover more than just Toshogu - going to take a look at our weekend in Nikko starting from the traditional ryokan lodgings that we stayed at called Heikenosho .
I think it cost about 10000 yen per person which included dinner, breakfast and access to their onsite hot spring onsen.
A Ryokan is basically a traditional Japanese hotel.
See the hazy part in the middle of the photo? Its actually a cloud of pollen. I didn't know but the Sugi (Cryptomeria japonica) tree is usually planted in high concentrations around shrines. This is particularly bad for wifey and I who suffer from hay fever. We were pretty much sneezing and drizzling for the entire day ><
If you are a hay fever sufferer too then you may want to avoid visiting Nikko Toshogu during March.
More about hay fever in Japan in this post.