Festivals & Events
Toshogu Shrine was built to enshrine and deify Tokugawa Ieyasu after his death. Twice a year, Toshogu Shrine celebrates the momentous occasion of his remains arriving at the shrine. The Shuki Taisai Grand Autumn Festival in October honors this legendary leader.
The Shuki Taisai Grand Autumn Festival takes place at Toshogu Shrine in Nikko and can be accessed by public transportation or car or on foot. The closest station is Nikko Station.
If time is not a concern, there are many things to see and do on the walk to Toshogu Shrine. The walk takes about 45 minutes from Nikko Station.
Alternatively, from Nikko Station, you can take the World Heritage tour bus which makes stops at the UNESCO Heritage sites including the Toshogu Shrine. The bus ride will take about 15 minutes.
During the Shuki Taisai Grand Autumn Festival, you can enjoy a variety of traditional Japanese shows and events. Watch the demonstrations of traditional warrior skills like longbow archery and horseback archery.
The most significant event during the festival is the samurai parade. During this parade, 1,000 fully armored samurai march along the streets, recreating the escort of Tokugawa Ieyasu's remains to Toshogu Shrine.
The festival is held October 16 and 17 every year. If you don't get the chance to see this one, there's a similar and slightly larger event in the spring called the Shunki Reitaisai festival.