• Photo: (c) Cowardlion | Dreamstime.com


The Toshogu area encompasses three UNESCO World Heritage sites—Toshogu Shrine, Futarasan Shrine, and Rinnoji Temple. These are known as nisha-ichiji (two shrines and one temple) and are Nikko's main draw. Signs and maps clearly mark a recommended route that will allow you to see all the major sights, which are within walking distance of each other. You should plan for half a day to explore the area.

A multiple-entry ticket is the best way to see the Toshogu precincts. The ¥1,300 pass gets you entrance to Rinno-ji (Rinno Temple), the Taiyu-in Mausoleum, and Futara-san Jinja (Futara-san Shrine); for an extra ¥400 you can also see the Sleeping Cat and Ieyasu's tomb at Taiyu-in (separate fees are charged for admission to other sights). There are two places to purchase the multiple-entry ticket: one is at the entrance to Rinno Temple, in the corner of the parking lot, at the top of the path called the Higashi-sando (East Approach) that begins across the highway from the Sacred Bridge; the other is at the entrance to Toshogu, at the top of the broad Omote-sando (Central Approach), which begins about 100 yards farther west.

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