Flowers, festivals and bright green foliage herald springtime in Nikko and its mountainous surrounds. Visit the area’s famous World Heritage sites against the backdrop of cherry blossoms (sakura), and explore the lesser-known corners of the Nikko region as the temperatures warm. Watch our Nikko in Spring video for travel inspiration and read on for more details about what to see and do during this invigorating season.
Central Nikko’s blossoms, shrines and temples
Pink and white cherry blossoms dot Nikko's famous UNESCO designated World Heritage shrines and temples from around mid-to-late April. The Yoshino cherry, yama zakura (mountain cherry), and shidare zakura (weeping cherry) are just a few of the varieties that bloom here, and many of the trees are over 200 years old. The weeping cherry tree at Kokuzoson Temple, with its long, graceful branches, is over 350 years old. As you tour the town of Nikko in springtime, you can wear a colorful yukata or kimono and try sakura-themed wagashi (Japanese sweets), or sample locally made dango, a grilled rice dumpling snack on a stick served with a soy sauce glaze. After the blossoms have fallen, spring brings fresh greenery to the town and its famous sites. Celebrate the arrival of the season at ornate Nikko Toshogu Shrine, its path leading up to the entrance lined with cedar trees. For a quieter locale, visit the tranquil Takinoo-jinja Shrine, tucked away amongst spring foliage. Feel rejuvenated as you pass by the refreshing Shiraito-no-Taki Falls on the way to the shrine. The iconic Shinkyo Bridge, with its vermillion lacquered railing, is a lovely spot to take in views of the valley and the Daiya River flowing beneath it.