I wrote the post below following a great 3 days in Nikko World Heritage Area in August 2011. I arranged a local guide for a morning exploring Nikko’s main temples and shrines – and that guide that day was going ‘solo’ for the first time.
I have kept in contact with my guide Yoshiko (albeit by occasional FaceBook messages!). Mimi’s Nikko Journey website is now up an running, as well as a Blog that has a focus on foreigners who are learning Japanese & Japanese culture.
I would recommend the Systemised Goodwill Guides (SGG) all over Japan. For your next trip to Nikko, contact Nikko SGG Club at email@example.com
Travelling to Japan soon? Not sure of which highlights to take in? Check out the great downloads at the Japan National Tourism Organisationwebsite.
Be sure to take in the cultural and spiritual history of Japan at the Nikko World Heritage area about 2 hours by train north of Tokyo. Nikko is at the foot of Mt. Nyoho-san in western Tochigi and has developed as the temple town for Futara-san-jinja Shrine, Toshogu Shrine and Rin-no-ji Temple.
Get the most out of your visit to the Nikko World Heritage area is by engaging a local guide. While there are incredible visual treats to take in, there can be important elements missed, for no other reason than limited English language translations at the monuments, shrines and temples.
I was lucky enough to have Yoshiko Horie guide me around the key Nikko shrines and temples in her volunteer role with the Nikko SGG (Systematic Guide Group).
I can recommend Yoshiko’s knowledge and interest, and her willingness to share the tremendous culture of Nikko with us foreigners!