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This was the first time I ever traveled to the Nikko area in Japan. I have always heard about it from blogs and travel videos and I decided to make my way out there on a short 3 day layover in Japan. This will be part 1 of our photography or videography guide. Nikko is a beautiful town situated in the middle of mountains. If you go in after New Years, you'll have the place all to yourself.
This really is a beautiful town with so much to see. I felt that a day or two was just too short to capture everything. By the way, if you go to Nikko I highly recommend getting the bus pass as it will really save you some money on getting back and forth (if you do not rent a car). Nikko is definitely a place that will give you the travel feels.
My recommendation is starting your day off early; like really early, at least before sunrise. You will be greeted with the most fantastic sunrise and I tell you there is nothing like that in the world.
Point of interest #1
Nikko Heritage Site
The map below shows the first point of interest in Nikko and its where everyone goes; so go early.
From here I'll be posting pictures and locations. If there is anything interesting to point out or information I think you might need, I will jump in and let you know. You will be able to click on the following pictures for their locations.
Hongu Shrine Area
The upside of arriving here so early is you get the place all to yourself.
The next area is on the main strip. There are lots of food vendors that open here in the morning. I cannot imagine how beautiful it is during summer festival season. Definitely worth checking out. There are a lot of cafes around, so no worries getting your morning coffee on.
Shinto Shrine Area: Main strip
I will stress it again and again, get there early if you want to have the place mostly to yourself. This is a very popular tourist destination and you'll find people lining up waiting for the area to open. It fills up quickly.
I hope these pictures inspire you to go there and see it for yourself. This place really is fantastic. I don't quite know what the etiquette is for taking pictures around Shrines, but the general rule of thumb is observe before you take pictures. The last thing you want to do as a photographer or explore is make a scene or disrespect another culture. These shrines though mostly restored have been around for ages, respect the property as well.
Around the back area of the main shrine area, there are some serious back alleys. These places are beautiful. Given the right conditions, you could really make this place magical. There are a bunch of stairs...and I don't take that term lightly.
Overall the Nikko World Heritage site is definitely worth the visit. I really enjoyed this area of Nikko and I highly recommend it to you if you are visiting Japan. It is only a 3-4 hour trip out of Tokyo. It's filled with history and architecture that is so well preserved, you would be amazed. I hope these pictures have inspired you to go and travel and even visit the places I have been. I also hope this post was informational enough for you to make your next journey a good one.
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Have a great journey and as always stay safe and enjoy your time!