Hey guys! This is the part 2 of my monitoring tour with JCB. If you haven’t read the first one, you can find it here. On our second day, JTB took us to Edo Wonderland and Toshogu Shrine, which is one of the famous temple in Nikko Area. Unlike the first day, we took a lot of public transport today. I’ll show you the places 😀
First Stop: Edo Wonderland
Edo Wonderland is a theme park that takes Edo Period as it’s themed. The whole park is set as if it’s on Edo Period, even the staffs dressed like people who live in the period.
To go here, we took the bus from Kinugawa Onsen station. It costs around 480¥ one way. However, if you stay in Central Nikko Area, I think there should be a free shuttle bus that can take you to this park.
The ticket cost 4700¥ for one day, or if you come after 1 or 2PM, it cost 4100¥. However, the park only opens from 9AM to 5PM. If you come by car, there’re also parking spot in the area for 800¥.
As I mentioned before, the whole park is made as if it’s in Edo Period. Near the entrance, there’s a costume rental shop where you can get dressed as people from Edo Period. The rental fee varies depends on what kind of costumes you choose. A simple villager costume will cost you around 3000¥, while a princess or aristocrat costumes will cost you around 8000¥.
The staffs also dressed like people from Edo period. Some of them will also interact with you, like pretending slashing you and asking if you’re the bad guy or not.
The park itself is not too big or not too small. I feel the Kyoto Toei Eigamura is slightly bigger. There’s a pond in the middle of the park where you can ride a boat or just simple feed the Koi.
There’s also some small museum inside. We did not really explore the museum, however, each building has the description outside the door. Every building looks similar from outside, so having information board outside the building really helps.
There’s also places that offer service and experience for free such as face painting, making senbei (rice crackers) or learning shamisen (Japanese traditional string instrument).
Attractions and Shows
There are several attractions you can enjoy in the park. I went to see the traditional Saiban (judge performance), outdoor performance, and the ninja show. For the Ninja Show, you can’t shoot or take picture.
As for performance, it does not really show what’s showing outside the building. Therefore, finding the show’s theatre might be confusing. Most of the shows run for 20-25 minutes. When you get in the park, they’ll give you a map and the show’s schedule.
Overall, the shows are amusing, however, they only do it in Japanese without any English audio guide. It might be hard to understand if you don’t know any Japanese. The Ninja performance is also cool, they do a lot of stunt and the special effects are also amusing. They’ll give you a piece of paper when you go inside the Ninja Theatre. It’s for wrapping money and you can throw it to the stage when the performance end.
As for the attractions, there’s a haunted house.
Which is not really scary because there’s noone inside to scare you. It’s just some scary diorama and decorations (still scary for me). The one on Kyoto Eigamura is still scarier. (read my experience here). Beside that, there’re ninja house with all the cool tricks and secret passage, and also ninja maze (which we did not manage to solve).
The parks also have several restaurants and souvenir shops.
Second Stop: Toshogu Shrine.
Toshogu Shrine is one of the famous temple in Nikko. Unlike other temples which normally has 1-2 color theme, Toshogu shrine is really colorful. It’s dedicated for Tokugawa Ieyasu. To enter the whole temple, you need to pay around 1300¥. The temple is located in Central Nikko. You can take bus from Nikko station to here, or there’s a shuttle bus from Edo Wonderland to Toshogu Shrine.
We were accompanied by a local guide no. 27 who knows really well about the Shrine. There are 3 spots that makes Toshogu Shrine famous. First is the Sanzaru (no-see monkey, no-talk monkey, no-hear monkey). This three monkeys are really famous, they represent that we should not see, talk, or hear anything bad.
Second famous spot is the Nemuri Neko (sleepy cat)
This nemuri neko is located on top of the gate’s pillar that connect to Tokugawa Ieyasu tomb. As the place is considered really sacred, there can’t be any disturbing things such as rats. That’s why there’s a cat there to scare away all the rats. Behind the gate, there are 200 stairs that led to Tokugawa Ieyasu’s tomb.
(the tomb of Tokugawa Ieyasu)
Last place is the Naki Ryuu. It’s a prayer room that has a big dragon painting on the roof. The priest will hit 2 pieces of wood together and the room will produce an unique echo sounds. They call this the sound of crying dragon, people who hear this sound, will get luck.
(Please bear in mind that when you go inside the temple and the Naki Ryuu room, you can’t take any photos).
The guide talks in Japanese, however, at the entrance of the temple, they have English Audio Guidance. I suggest you to take it because I personally think that the history behind Toshogu Shrine is interesting. Therefore, when you visit Toshogu you won’t just come and say “oh it’s a pretty place” without knowing anything about the place.
Summary: I’d say that if you stay in Nikko, you could try to go to these places.
- Both of the places are pretty, and you can take a lot of photos.
- You can learn more about the history and also experience what it’s like to live during the Edo period.
- Both places are easily accessible.
- Lack of English guidance in Toshogu Shrine. If you’re not used to visiting temple, you might want to learn about do and dont’s in temple.
- Both of places are famous for tourism, it might be crowded and hard to take picture.
- If you go visiting Edo Wonderland for short hour, the ticket price might be slightly expensive and not really worth it.
And this post ends my monitoring tour review with JTB. Hopefully, this post will make you interested to visit Nikko and Nasushiobara in Tochigi. See you on the next post and as usual, comments are always loved <3.