We spent half a day up at Nikko visiting the shrines and temples here. It truly is a beautiful spot. Quite lucky it wasn’t crowded as we were here in the middle of the week. Easy place to get to when you have a JR pass, two trains from Tokyo with a very easy train change at the halfway point.
There is a bus system here that can take you to everything there is to see, however we just walked to the two main sites from the station which took about 30min.
The main thing here is the Toshogu Shrine (東照宮, Tōshōgū) which is the final resting place of Tokugawa Ieyasu The founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate. The shrine is famous for the Three Wise Monkeys engraving (see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil). It’s a very colourful and beautiful place.
The other famous site we visited is the Shinkyo Bridge. Pictures really don’t do it justice on how beautiful this is. The water flowing below was crystal clear with a blue hue to it. It was a warm and humid day and it looked so inviting for a swim, although I’m sure that would be frowned upon here.
We had lunch on the way back to the station at a little bakery a few hundred metres from the station.
Here is an example of the trains you could take to get to Nikko as a day trip