This is not a warning about any sort of danger; just something to be aware of when visiting Nikko. It is a very popular place! Or at least, Toshogu is very popular. We went first thing in the morning, hoping to beat the crowds who make the day trip from Tokyo, but already there were some bus trips there and it was heaving by 10.00 AM.
This is not to say you shouldn't go – it is magnificent and a "must see" if in this part of Japan (and indeed worth journeying to from any other part of the country). But it's helpful to be prepared mentally for the crowds you will encounter; to accept that you will have to wait to enter the inner shrine and other significant buildings; to recognise that other people will will get into your photos, tread on your toes and probably push past you in their eagerness to see certain things. Accept all that, wait your turn patiently, and you will be rewarded.
With that in mind, let’s start to explore the various glories that await us in the Toshogu Shrine complex, starting with the torii gate, the Ishidorii.
- Religious Travel
Warning! If you are allergic to Cedar, or Japanese cedar, (or Monkeys, for that matter) bring asparin, antihistamines, or Gauze mask. I went there in April 2004. I loved the temples, and hated downtown, but I could not breathe due to an allergy. I picked up gauze mask at the subway station in Ginza, tokyo (people HATE it when you cough on the train), and that allowed me to breathe until we returned to Utsunomia.
Japan's rainy season lasts about 40 days during the months of June and July. Also, August to October is the typhoon season in Japan
If you are visiting Nikko in the Autumn (Fall), be prepared for crowds as I believe this is the busiest time of the year. Fortunately I was there late Spring.