Festivals & Events
Nikko Toshogu Shunki Grand Spring Festival 日光東照宮春季例大祭
Celebrating the life and death of one of Japan's most important rulers
When Tokugawa Ieyasu, the most powerful man in Japan at the time, died in 1616, his remains were transferred from Shizuoka to Nikko . Soldiers marched along this journey with the remains that would eventually be enshrined at Toshogu Shrine .
- Horseback archery performances
- Procession of 1,000 samurai escorting the spirit of Ieyasu
- Traditional music and dance performances
How to Get There
Toshogu Shrine can be easily accessed by bus or a long, pleasant walk from Nikko Station.
There are many things to see and do on the trail to Toshogu Shrine . The walk takes about 45 minutes from Nikko Station.
From Nikko Station or Tobu Nikko Station, you can take the World Heritage Sightseeing Bus which makes stops at the UNESCO Heritage sites including the Toshogu Shrine . The ride will take about 15 minutes.
The grand festival
The Shunki Grand Spring Festival recreates Tokugawa Ieyasu's funeral procession, in which his grave was transferred to Nikko . Traditional warrior demonstrations such as horseback archery are performed.
The main event is the march of 1,000 full armored samurais recreating the escort of Tokugawa Ieyasu's spirit. Watch the noble procession pass by, and enjoy the Gagaku music and dance performed at the Otabisho hall when the procession arrives.
The festival occurs every year on May 17 and 18. If you miss this event, the Shuki Taisai, or Grand Autumn Festival is held in the fall.
* The information on this page may be subject to change due to COVID-19.