Nikko Off The Beaten Path

  • Off The Beaten Path
    by toonsarah
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by toonsarah
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by toonsarah

Best Rated Off The Beaten Path in Nikko

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    Jokoji Temple

    by toonsarah Written Jan 15, 2014

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    On the western side of Nikko, tucked away among the streets of small houses, is a small and much less visited temple, Jokoji or as it is sometimes transcribed, Joukouji. A small gate, a dragon water fountain for purification, a row of small statues including a couple of contemplative Buddhas ... And beyond, a cemetery with ancient and more recent grave markers packed in on the hillside overlooking the Daiya River.

    This temple has stood here since 1640. It has a bell that is even older, dating from 1459. The most famous of its many statues is the Jizō -Do which sits in front of the main hall of the temple. Unusually it is portrayed wearing a stone hat – a Suge-gasa (a Japanese hat made from sedge grass). But the stone hat has not prevented people from adding the customary red cap, as you can see. It is believed that if you pray to this Jizō for something to be fulfilled by a certain date, your wish will come true.

    In 1902, the Daiya River overflowed its banks and two of the big Jizō statues that stand beside it were washed away in the floods. Later the head of one of these, the Oya-Jizō, was found in the riverbed and is now installed in the Jokoji Temple. Unfortunately we didn’t see this. But we found plenty of small Jizō in the atmospheric old cemetery behind the temple, as well as many interesting old gravestones.

    The temple is on the western side of town not far from the Kanmangafuchi Abyss – see location on Google maps

    On leaving the temple we took a short stroll around the nearby streets, where we spotted the stone cups

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Religious Travel

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    Nikko: Akechidaira Plateau to Chuzenji-ko

    by Intrepidduck Updated Jun 19, 2004

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    For a bit of solitude and fresh air there is a pleasant 2 1/2 hours hike which can be made taking thus gaining some great views over the Kegon Falls. After taking the Tobu Yumoto bus from outside of the Nikko Shrines ask to be set down at the Akechidaira Plateau cable car. This tiny 8 person standing room only red gondola will wisk you up to the beginning of the walking trail. Firstly it is from here where the best views of the distant water falls and Chuzenji-ko behind are visible. Although not clearly signposted, nor in English, the walking trail takes one further up into the hills where it noticably becomes cooler. At 1617m you will eventually get up to the Chanokidaira Plateau and there it is a stroll to the other side where one starts the easy zig-zag down towards the resort township which strides Chuzenji Lake. You suddenly come out onto a road and the left hand turn will take you to the lake, while the right hand turn will eventually get you to the Kegon Falls elevator. Buses return to Nikko from the main road.

    Track signage
    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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    Detail of the Fivestoried Pagoda

    by WStat Updated Apr 26, 2008

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    The pagoda was built in 1818. The original (built in 1650) was destroyed by fire. The 5 stories represent 5 elements...earth, water, fire, wind and heaven.
    It is more than worthwile, to study the meticulously carved details of this monument !

    5-storied pagoda entrance
    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture

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    Nantai-san

    by maverick-mw Updated May 11, 2005

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    On the shore of lake Chuzen-ji, Nantai-san is on of the most sacred mountains in Japan. Luckily, they don't mind you climbing it, but you do have to pay 500 yen for the privelege at the temple at the bottom, where you also get given a "charm" to ward of evil spirits.

    Only about 2-3 hours to reach the top, this is not a long walk, but can be difficult due to the rocks that make the path essentially one long scramble. Views from the top are magnificent, and well worth the effort.

    Nantai-san
    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Nikko: Chuzenji-ko (lake)

    by Intrepidduck Updated Jun 19, 2004

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    Chuzenji Lake is some distance above Nikko in the near by hills. On a summers day it is pleasantly much cooler up here and makes a great place for walking or riding the giant peddle swans. At first sight in the mist one can appear like the Loch Ness Monster of a sort.

    Afternoon cloud over the lake
    Related to:
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    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Jakko Falls (Jakko no-taki)

    by ianmac Written Mar 1, 2004

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    Up the street from Nikko in the direction of Chuzenji Lake, you can find Jakko no Taki. It will involve a long hike, but it is worth the walk. Follow the signs off the main road and up a long, windy dirt road to a parking lot. Go throught the (likely empty) parking lot and climb up the stairs and down the path for a close view of Jakko Falls. You can walk right below the falls and they are gorgeous, and the surrounding area is beautiful as well.

    Paul at Jakko Falls
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    • National/State Park
    • Hiking and Walking

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    North of Nikko, in a wide...

    by Pavlik_NL Written Oct 13, 2002

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    North of Nikko, in a wide valley between high halfmountains, there is a meadow that looks peaceful and green. This is the Senjogahara-valley. It is actually a big swamp that once swallowed a whole army of rebels against the Shogun. He lured them there and their heavy armoment made them sink into the muddy underground that is camouflaged by the meadows.

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    Nikko Natural Science Museum

    by kevarms Written Nov 11, 2007

    Confusingly not in Nikko, it's located high up in the mountains beside Lake Chuzenji and the Kegon Falls. This modern building covers the natural environment of the Nikko National Park with plenty of interesting displays and dioramas on the flora and fauna.

    The easiest way to get here is by the #1 or #2 bus from Nikko and get off at the Chuzenji Bus Terminal.

    Related to:
    • Museum Visits
    • Family Travel
    • National/State Park

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    Dragon Falls

    by Tomoe Written Sep 7, 2003

    An area with shops, noodle restaurants and outstanding scenery. In between tour buses full of tourists take the time to sit and watch the water while slurping your noodles with fresh mountain vegetables. Talk the long uphill walk to the bridge crossing the falls and see the lake miles beyond. The next bus can take you to the hot spring area where you can take a hot, smelly but wonderfully relaxing sulphur bath

    Dragon Falls and view beyond

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    Dragon Falls, Hot Baths, Lake Chuzenji

    by Tomoe Written Sep 7, 2003

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    Get a one-day bus ticket to take you around the national park, take a cable car to see Lake Chuzenji, waterfalls, mountains and mist.

    Mist over Lake Chuzenji

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    Once the mist lifted......

    by Tomoe Written Sep 7, 2003

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    After taking a cable car to the top of a mountain, we waited and waited for the mists to lift for our promised view. When it did....

    Waiting for mists to lift

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    Imaginative decor

    by K1W1 Written Nov 16, 2004

    After entering Toshogu, take a look to the right at the Sanjinko, a group of 3 sacred houses. Upstairs is renowned for the elephants carved by an artist who had never seen the real thing !

    Imaginative elephants

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Nikko Off The Beaten Path

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