Nikko Tosho-gu
Nikko Tosho-gu
4.5
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  • Mark H
    St. Albans, United Kingdom254 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Definetly worth a visit!
    Visited Nikko twice now from Tokyo as a family of five - first time in 2018 & then July 2023. Would thouroughly recommend the visit. It takes a couple of hours by train to get there & at least 3-4 hours to see the complex. Also bring at least ¥10k as lots of things don’t use credit cards only cash. That caught us out first time.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written July 12, 2023
  • jjluke
    Calgary, Canada1,420 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Package available to visit museum and shrine
    We would probably say the Toshogu area is one of the more interesting visits in the Nikko area if you are looking for the big and majestic experience. The combination ticket at time of visit was 2,100 yen, which puts it at a pricier alternative compared to other shrines, but the experience reflects the pricing. Stunning and remarkable craftsmanship. Visit the shrine area if you do not have the time. The museum itself is rather interesting as well, though if given a choice between the two, the shrine would likely be favored by most. This is typically the busier places in the area. If you found this review to be of help, please hit the thanks button so I know where to focus my future review efforts!
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written August 21, 2023
  • wireless_in_CA
    United States5,032 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Buy Tickets on KKDay and Bypass Ticket Line
    The line to buy tickets to the shrine was huge and we almost gave up until we saw a KKDay sign on the side. I looked it up and they sold online advance tickets and within 15 minutes I registered, bought my tickets, picked them up from the window and entered the grounds! Inside was crazy crowded. Courtyard- it was quite large with three sacred storehouses, stables (with the popular monkeys 🙊 🙉 🙈 painted on the side), Toshogu lanterns, huge trees, candelabra and more. Main Shrine - outside was very ornate. shoes were not allowed inside and there were rows and rows of shoe cubbies to store. Once inside no photos were allowed. We spent the longest time inside here looking at the intricate designs and layout. Very impressive. Inner Shrine - the line to pass through the gate was long because everyone wanted to take photos of the sleeping cat (nemuri neko) carving! I wish they setup a bypass line instead of requiring everyone to queue. I looked quickly at the cat and was it really sleeping??Once past the cat then there was a walk, longer than expected, and then a climb up a few sets of stairs before reaching the inner shrine. Behind the inner shrine was the tomb and and everyone walked one way around it. When we left there was still a long line to buy entrance tickets. Well worth the visit and definitely buy your tickets ahead of time if you can.
    Visited October 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 4, 2023
  • FoodTraveler_theworld
    Bangkok, Thailand2,012 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    UNESCO world heritage but less colorful leaves in mid of Nov this year (2023)
    Countless wood carvings and large amounts of gold leaf on the gate and Toshogu shrine make this place become another UNESCO World Heritage. If you don’t know anything about history of this place, try to capture some highlights which are 1) see no evil, speak no evil and hear no evil" monkeys “ 2) Sleeping cat 3) Tokugawa Ieyasu's mausoleum 4) Five-storied-pagoda. What to consider , The place is so crowded everyday so a chance to get nice photos like social media could be low. You also need 15-20 walks to the gate so please prepare.
    Visited November 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written November 16, 2023
  • RonanD_BR
    Brasilia, DF202 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not to be missed!
    Amazing attraction. The place is a complex of 4 amazing temples. Not to be missed! You can do the complete tour in 1-2 hours but I recommend to save more time since the forest around the temples is beautiful too. When you exit the visit there is a museum that I recommend to visit. It displays Toyotomy Hydeoshi belongings. When you exit the road you can also visit the Shikyo Bridge.
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled solo
    Written December 11, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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1,885
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303
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Siddharth B
Seattle, WA549 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2019
Toshugu Shrine stands different from Kyoto shrines in it’s design and ornateness, and on a misty day like the one we went provides a beautiful aura of mystery. There are many structures in the building, and a lot of the animal drawings have deep symbolic meanings. There are rooms to honor ‘Lord’ Ieyasu in whose honor it is built, and often need to queue in order to enter there. There is the crying dragon room, where they will demonstrate how it makes a noise when clapped. There is overall a sense of beauty and mystery about this shrine and it’s uniqueness in design makes it well-worth visiting. At 1300 yen a head, it’s definitely expensive. We didn’t go past sleeping cast to climb stairs as we were already very tired in our trip and didn’t want to do more to exhaust our feet.
Written January 15, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Madshus
Canberra, Australia1,380 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
The Nikko temples and shrines are simply stunning. You need to pay entry to visit them. It's worth getting an english speaking guide to explain what it is you're looking at. The detail in the buildings inside and outside is really beautiful and worthy of world-heritage listing.
Written February 6, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Hiroaki Kaneko
Tokyo, Japan3,539 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Sep 2021
世界遺産に登録されている日光の社寺の中で、恐らく最も参拝客の多い神社と言えよう。
他の社寺と比較して、境内にある建築物の配色は色鮮やかで、梁や柱などに施された緻密な彫刻には目を見張るものがある。『絢爛豪華』とはまさにこの神社を指すのだろう。境内そのものが彫刻作品の屋外ギャラリーと言っても過言ではない。その分、写真撮影のために立ち止まる観光客も多く、特に土日祝日の日中の混雑ぶりは敬遠したくなる。建物の彫刻は勿論、建物内の絵画(鳴き龍や狩野探幽筆の麒麟等)も素晴らしく、数百年経過した今でもはっきりと鑑賞することが出来る(御本社や薬師堂等の建物内は撮影禁止)。
境内の各建物間の移動は基本的に階段であるため、車椅子等の障碍を持つ方等にとっては利用しづらいかもしれない。境内にはコインロッカー等は無いため、大きな荷物はホテルもしくは駐車した車内に置く必要がある。

Of all the shrines and temples in Nikko that are registered as World Heritage sites, it's probably the most visited shrine.
Compared to other shrines and temples, the color scheme of the buildings in the precincts is more vivid, and the intricate carvings on the beams and pillars are remarkable. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the precinct itself is an open-air gallery of carvings. However, they are the cause of many tourists stopping to take pictures, and the crowds during the day, especially on weekends and holidays, make you feel to avoid to visit there.
In addition to the carvings on the buildings, the paintings inside the buildings (such as Naki-Ryu (Singing dragon), and a Qilin by Kano Tanyu) are wonderful. Even after hundreds of years, you can still see them clearly (photography is not allowed inside the buildings such as the main shrine and Yakushido).
The buildings on the precincts are basically accessed using slightly bumpy passage or stairs, which may be difficult to use for people with disabilities such as wheelchairs. There are no coin-operated lockers in the precincts, so you'll need to leave your large luggage at your hotel or in your parked car.
Written November 11, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

dustythoughts
Manchester, CT2,150 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2020
This beautiful temple is a must-see if you're visiting Japan. Wander through the temple, admire the exquisite attention to detail, and soak in the history (it was built in the 16th century). Specifically, look for the carving of the Three Monkeys, which are the basis for the "hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil" monkeys that are common nowadays. It's a calm place, even when there are a lot of visitors.
Written May 7, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

SteveS1970
Coventry, UK7,338 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2020 • Friends
This temple complex is amazing. There are so many different areas to see along with the stables depicting the story of life represented by monkeys, the sleeping cat gate and the amazing crying dragon. So much history and a very busy place.
Not to be missed.
Written March 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mick
Bangkok, Thailand135 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2020
Easy to get to from Nikko station. Just take a bus for 200Yen from the station or get an all day pass if seeing all the sites and have time on hand.
The shrine is amazing craftsmanship in honor to Ieyasu Tokugawa Japans first Shogun after the warring states period.
I visited third week of November and there was still some lovely Autumn foliage to be seen.
The Cedars lined walkways and surrounding shrines and temples were lovely but this is definitely in my top 3 of all places visited in Japan.
Written November 19, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

wireless_in_CA
United States5,032 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Couples
The line to buy tickets to the shrine was huge and we almost gave up until we saw a KKDay sign on the side. I looked it up and they sold online advance tickets and within 15 minutes I registered, bought my tickets, picked them up from the window and entered the grounds!

Inside was crazy crowded.

Courtyard- it was quite large with three sacred storehouses, stables (with the popular monkeys 🙊 🙉 🙈 painted on the side), Toshogu lanterns, huge trees, candelabra and more.

Main Shrine - outside was very ornate. shoes were not allowed inside and there were rows and rows of shoe cubbies to store. Once inside no photos were allowed. We spent the longest time inside here looking at the intricate designs and layout. Very impressive.

Inner Shrine - the line to pass through the gate was long because everyone wanted to take photos of the sleeping cat (nemuri neko) carving! I wish they setup a bypass line instead of requiring everyone to queue. I looked quickly at the cat and was it really sleeping??Once past the cat then there was a walk, longer than expected, and then a climb up a few sets of stairs before reaching the inner shrine. Behind the inner shrine was the tomb and and everyone walked one way around it.

When we left there was still a long line to buy entrance tickets.

Well worth the visit and definitely buy your tickets ahead of time if you can.
Written November 4, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andre_BAZ
Bristol, United Kingdom44 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2020
This world heritage site is worth day trip to Nikko if visiting Tokyo. Straight forward to get here from Tobu Asakusa station and then a taxi or bus from Nikko station. The shrine was built for Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate that would govern Japan from 1603 until the Meiji restoration in 1867 and is a very elaborate set of different builds made out of wood with very complex and beautiful carvings and vivid colors. One of the greatest human architectural achievements.
Written April 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

jjluke
Calgary, Canada1,420 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
We would probably say the Toshogu area is one of the more interesting visits in the Nikko area if you are looking for the big and majestic experience. The combination ticket at time of visit was 2,100 yen, which puts it at a pricier alternative compared to other shrines, but the experience reflects the pricing. Stunning and remarkable craftsmanship. Visit the shrine area if you do not have the time. The museum itself is rather interesting as well, though if given a choice between the two, the shrine would likely be favored by most. This is typically the busier places in the area. If you found this review to be of help, please hit the thanks button so I know where to focus my future review efforts!
Written August 22, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

M. L.
Singapore, Singapore416 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Friends
Beautiful place. Full of tourists by the busload. Queue-ing to see the different areas of the temple is inevitable at this time of year. It doesn’t make it any less grandeur and awe-inspiring, but take care for the local worshippers too.

If you want an easier way up to Nikko Toshogu, grab a bus pass and change buses at Bus Stop 7 (Shinkyo Bridge) to the World Heritage route. Get off at Bus Stop 83 or 84.
Written April 3, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Nikko Tosho-gu

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