Futarasan Shrine, Waterfalls, & ♨ at NIKKO in Tochigi Prefecture
My husband and I drove to Nikko on July 6 and 7, 2023. Where is the must place to go in NIKKO? You would probably say 'Toshogu' which attracts many tourists through years. Since we've been to 'Toshogu' so many times, probably 4 times, we visited Futarasan Shrine where we've long wanted to visit.
The image above is Futarasan-jinja Chuguji, the middle shrine in Oku-Nikko.
Futarasan-jinja consists of three geographically separate sections: The main shrine, located to the west of Toshogu Shrine which is noted for the decorative Gate 'Yomeimon', the middle shrine, Chuguji, located off the shore of Lake Chuzenji, and the rear shrine, Okumiya at the summit of Mt. Nantai.
Futarasan-jinja was originally established by the monk Shodo Shonin （735-817）on the summit of Mt. Nantai (2,486m), located in Oku-Nikko, a highland Area of Nikko , Tochigi Prefecture.
Mt. Nantai itself has become an object of worship as well as Mount Nyoho and Mount Taro. And nowadays many worshipers visit the shrine because it is dedicated to the god Daikokuten who is famous as the deity of good relations, especially of marriage.
Futarasan-jinja's ground covers over 3400 hectares including Chuguji Shrine located off the shore of Lake Chuzenji, a small shrine on top of Mt.Nantai, Irohazaka, Kegon Falls, and the mountains of Nikko National Park.
Futarasan-jinja Shrine, main shrine
The left image: The Main Gate
The center image: The worship hall (haiden) built in 1619.
The right: The Chinese-style lantern, popularly called "Bake-doro" (the Ghost Lantern)
It is said that a night guard mistook the lantern as ghost and cut it with a sword in the Edo era. You can see some cuts on it.
The left image: The main hall (honden) built in 1619.
The center image: Zeniarai, the water of fountains are said to be able to multiply the money (coins) you wash in it.
The right: The two-storied gate
The left image: The road toward Toshogu
The center image: The gate to Toshogu
The right: The five storied pagoda of Toshougu
Futarasan Shrine Chuuguji, middle shrine located off the shore of Lake Chuzenji
The left image: The gate made of metal
The center image: The worship hall (haiden) with Mt. Nantai in the background
The right: The sacred tree
The left image: Climbers should resister here
The center image: 'Yamanomiya' where climbers pray for the safe climbing
The right image: The gate of the trailehead for Mt. Nantai leads to the summit. The path is about 6 kilometers long and is open from April 25 to November 11.
Toshogu Shrine, Futarasan-jinja, and Rinnoji Temple were designated the UNESCO World Heritage Site, Shrines and Temples of Nikko in 1999.
Here are some waterfalls that we've visited so far.
The left image: Yutakil which flows down from Lake Yunoko.
The center image: Ryuzu Falls, literally "Dragon's Head Waterfall" in the Yugawa River which runs from Yunoko into Lake Chuzenji. We enjoyed viewing as well as listening to the sound of the falls while many birds were chirping loudly on July 8.
The right image: Kegon Falls, you'll take an elevator down to the observation deck to view the magnificent falls.
The left and right images were taken on May 28, 2022.
We stayed at a ryokan located by Lake Chuzenji/Lake Yunoko on July 6/7 respectively, where I loved to take milky sulfur hot springs outdoors!
source: brochure of Hotel Shikisai
Source: brochure of Kyukamura Nikko Yumoto
Access to Oku-Nikko:
Oku-Nikko is located in the highland area, Tochigi prefecture. Take the limited express from Tobu Asakusa station, or JR train. Tobu/JR Nikko station is a little less than 2 hours away from Tokyo.
From Nikko station, take a bus bound for Lake Chuzenji or Yumoto Onsen hot spring, and it takes approximately 50 minutes.
Here is a map.
More information about Oku-Nikko, please access here: