Sightseeing in Nikko: The Grand Autumn Festival Shuki Taisai (秋季大祭) - Vikingess Voyages

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Sightseeing in Nikko: The Grand Autumn Festival Shuki Taisai (秋季大祭)

Festival participants waiting for the parade to begin
If you're planning on a visit to Nikko you might want to time it so that you get to see one of the local festivals as well. There are many events held throughout the year, such as the Grand Autumn Festival, also known as Shūki Taisai (秋季大祭). This annual event is taking place on the 16th-17th of October, and it is a smaller version of the Grand Spring Festival (Shunki Reitaisai). During the festival you can among other things see the Parade of 1,000 Samurai Warriors (百物揃千人武者行列 Hyakumono-Zoroe Sennin Gyoretsu). In reality the parade consists of not 1000 but 800 men dressed up in various historical costumes.

The parade began outside the entrance to the Taishōgun, which is Nikko's most famous temple. It is inside this temple area where the famous shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu has his final resting place. This year the event was particular important, as it commemorates the 400 years since the death of the shogun, and as you can imagine the area was packed with people traveling from near and afar to enjoy the historical event.

I traveled to Nikko with my mother and stepfather to visit the famous temples here, and we timed it so that we could see parts of the big festival as well. Although we arrived in Nikko a bit later than planed we were extremely lucky with the timing. Because it had been raining slightly in the morning the festival was delayed with a couple of hours, which gave us just enough time to do some sightseeing at some of the minor temples before the actual festival began. We lined up by the entrance gate to the Taishōgun, and ended up getting a spectacular view of the parade from where we stood. Here are some of my pictures from the parade:

Toshogu Tourist Information

Name of Place Toshogu Shrine (東照宮)
Address 〒321-1431 栃木県日光市山内2301
2301 Sannai, Nikko, Tochigi Prefecture 321-1431
Admission Tosho-gu Shrine tickets - ¥1,300 for adults,
¥450 for elementary and middle-school students
Business Hours Open all year from 8:00 a.m._5:00 p.m.
(closes at 4:00 p.m. in November through March)
Note: Last entry is 30 minutes before closing time
Public Transit
Tobu-nikko Station → Tobu bus
(for Chuzenji Onsen or Yumoto Onsen) (5 minutes)
→ Shinkyo Bridge bus stop → 10 minutes on foot
* Or a 40-minute walk from Tobu-nikko Station.
Homepage (Japanese) 
(Nikko Tourist Association, English)

Recommended Hotels in Nikko

Nikko Station Hotel Classic
Nikko Station Hotel Classic
Hotel Lungwood Niigata
Iwaiyado Jyuan Ryokan
Kinugawa Onsen Hotel
Kinugawa Onsen Hotel
Nikkorisou Backpackers
Nikkorisou Backpackers

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Thank you for reading! Please feel free to leave any comments or questions below
- Anette

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About Anette
Anette came to Japan as an exchange student in 2010, met the love of her life and got stuck. From her base in Tokyo she writes about her experiences as a full-time worker in Tokyo and about her travels in Japan and abroad. She's a free-spirited adventurer who enjoys both the great outdoors and her urban lifestyle.

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Adventures ofAnette

A modern day shield-maiden who loves to explore the unbeaten paths of the world. From her base in Tokyo, Anette takes on both rural and urban challenges, and goes by the motto "No challenge too big, no adventure too small"!
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