Nikko, Japan

Shinkyo, the sacred bridge in Nikko. Photo Creative Commons License royalt.

Nikkō (日光市; "sunlight") is a small town of only 17,000 people nestled in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture in Japan. Located about 125 km north of Tokyo, Nikko makes an easy day trip by train from the capital city. Nikko is most famous for the mausoleums of the Tokugawa shoguns, which are on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Nikko has been a sacred place since the 8th century, when a Buddhist hermitage was established here. In time, it became prominent for its training centers for Buddhist priests. Today, several shrines and temples are clustered in Nikko, amid a magnificent forest of over 13,000 cedar trees and some of the country's most spectacular waterfalls and mountain scenery.

Toshogu Shrine
A uniquely ornate Shinto shrine dedicated to the Tokugawa shoguns.
Shinkyo Bridge
A historic and sacred bridge renowned for its beauty.
A Buddhist temple with gold Buddha statues and a beautiful Japanese garden.