Attraction 2307 Sannai Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture 321-1431 Japan Published on: 27-02-2016
|1 hours 30 mins|
|08:00 AM - 05:00 PM|
Temple & Monument
Nikko Futarasan Jinja Shrine is good for
- Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
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Why Nikko Futarasan Jinja Shrine is special ?
Futarasan-jinja Shrine is dedicated to the three sacred mountains around the shrine: Mt. Nantai-san (or also called Futara-san), Mt. Nyoho-san, and Mt. Taro-san. The shrine was founded by a priest Shodo Jonin 1,200 years ago and the shrine's current Hondo main hall was constructed by the 2nd Tokugawa Shogun Hidetada, which is the oldest building in Nikko.
The stunning vermilion-lacquered Shinkyo Bridge（Sacred Bridge） is a part of the shrine and retains its long association with mysterious legends. It is said that red and blue snakes appeared when Shodo Jonin visited here and the snakes turned into the bridge so that he can cross the Daiya-gawa River.
What to explore at Nikko Futarasan Jinja Shrine?
Futarasan Shrine (二荒山神社, Futarasan Jinja) stands next to Toshogu in central Nikko. Much older than its more lavish neighbor, Futarasan Shrine was founded in 782 by Shodo Shonin, the Buddhist monk who introduced Buddhism to Nikko and who also founded nearby Rinnoji Temple. Futarasan Shrine is dedicated to the deities of Nikko's three most sacred mountains: Mount Nantai, Mount Nyoho and Mount Taro. Futarasan is an alternate name of Mount Nantai, the most prominent of the three mountains.
The shrine grounds are mostly free to enter except for a small paid area to the left of the offering hall (haiden). The paid area features a small forested garden with a couple more halls, a spring, old sacred trees and closer views onto the main hall (honden) that stands behind the offering hall. Located one kilometer from the shrine grounds, the Shinkyo Bridge also belongs to Futarasan Shrine.
Two more Futarasan Shrines are located higher up in the mountains in nearby Okunikko: one stands at the summit of Mount Nantai and the other at the northern shore of Lake Chuzenji at the mountain's base. The trail up Mount Nantai starts on the grounds of the latter.
How to get to Nikko Futarasan Jinja Shrine?
Futarasan Shrine stands about 200 meters west of Toshogu, a 30-40 minute walk or 10 minute bus ride (310 yen one way, 500 yen day pass, covered by the free passes) from Tobu and JR Nikko Stations.
- Beautiful shrine, very well kept
- Small shrines in World Heritage Site
- A shrine for forming relationships
- A peaceful experience with pretty stone lanterns
- The most prominent of the three mountains
2307 Sannai Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture 321-1431 Japan
Tips for you
One of three Futarasan shrines dedicated to the gods of the nearby sacred peaks, this is not as grand as the other temple complexes, but still possesses a quiet and more spiritual atmosphere, probably due to being less popular. While the others are Buddhist temples, this is a Shinto shrine (despite being founded by a Buddhist monk), and as such many of the trees are revered, encircled by sacred ropes and paper charms. Some national treasures are housed here, like a impossibly long sword reputedly used to kill a notorious demon. Take a break from the frenetic pace at the other temples and rest a while here, and relax a while among the tall and ancient pines, especially when the sun is low in the horizon, bathing the scenery in a golden glow.