Nikko-zan Rinno-ji Temple

This is the first temple founded in the 8C by the priest Shodo Shonin, who was so taken with the purity of Nikko's mountain landscape that he made it the divinity's land of choice. The Sanbutsu-do or "Three Buddha Hall" houses a 26m-tall statue of Amida-nyorai. This Buddha Amitabha or Buddha of the infinite Light - popular for his compassion - is flanked by Senju Kannon, a deity with 1 000 arms, and Bato Kannon, a goddess with a horse's head, protector of animals.

Useful information


1er temple à l'entrée du site Nikko


400 ¥

Opening hours

8am-5pm (Nov-Mar 4pm) - closed for renovation until Mar 2021 - the compulsory rice eating ceremony (Gohan Shiki) is held on 2 Apr to ward off bad luck.

Our reports

Lake Chuzenji, a holiday resort for Westerners

When the country opened up to foreigners in the late 19C, the cool summer weather and high altitude of Lake Chuzenji (1 200m) quickly won the hearts of Western tourists, diplomats and writers. The resort offered an escape from the stifling heat of Tokyo, without visitors having to travel too far.

Okunikko’s natural assets

In the upper reaches of the sacred city, the mountainous region of Okunikko is stunning in every season. While the cedars planted in the late 17C serve as a backdrop for the temples and shrines down in the valley, at altitude the lakes, moors and rivers surrounding Lake Chuzenji complement the perfectly formed cone of the Nantai volcano to create a fabulous landscape.

Nikko, an exceptional and sacred place

In 1999, the whole world paid tribute to the baroque splendour of the shrines and temples of Nikko that gleam among the giant cedars, when the complex was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. These architectural masterpieces are tightly bound up with the history of the Tokugawa shogunate, which ruled from the 17C to the 19C.

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