Shinkyo Bridge in Nikko: a Japanese World Heritage

Shinkyo Bridge is a beautiful vermilion bridge located at Nikko Futarasan Shrine in Nikko City, Tochigi Prefecture. It is known as a sacred bridge of Nikko. Many tourists come to visit to see the bridge construction and the beautiful colors. You can also cross the bridge to see this legendary bridge from up close.

World Heritage Shinkyo Bridge

Shinkyo Bridge (God's Bridge) is a structure belonging to Nikko Futarasan Shrine, and is a beautiful bridge of wooden lacquered vermilion (red) over Daiyagawa. It was also registered as a World Heritage Site in 1999. The bridge is 28 meters long, 7.4 meters wide, and 10.6 meters above the water surface. As the legends go, in the late Nara period there was a virtuous monk hampered by the rapids of Daiyagawa river. As he sought divine protection from the gods, one of the guardian deities appeared to make a bridge for him. The current vermilion bridge was constructed in 1636. The bridge was destroyed in a flood in 1902, but was rebuilt in 1904.

The God's Bridge of Nikko

Nikko Futarasan Shrine is known as a power spot (a place powerful in granting wishes), and Shinkyo Bridge is one of them. The bridge was created on the basis of mystical legend, and has since been worshiped as sacred. The bridge can be crossed with purchase of ticket. The fee for crossing the bridge is 300 yen for adults, 200 yen for high school students, and 100 yen for elementary and junior high school students. The end of the bridge is a dead end, so you will be going back from the way you came. In addition, "wishing paper planes" are also sold at the ticket purchase counter. It is said that if you write a wish on the paper plane and throw it from Shinkyo Bridge into Daiyagawa, your wish will come true. 

Seasonal Scenery of Shinkyo Bridge

The fresh greenery and the vermilion colour of the bridge creates a beautiful contrast during summer at Shinkyo Bridge. The mountain torrent of Daiyagawa also has a refreshing feel, and is a healing space. You can enjoy the fall with the harmony between the bright vermilion color of Shinkyo Bridge and autumn leaves.In winter, snow piles on the bridge, and the bridge stands out in the white scenery. You can enjoy the collaboration of the natural scenery of the seasons and the vermilion Shinkyo Bridge throughout the year.

Accessibility to Shinkyo Bridge

To get from within Tokyo to Shinyo Bridge, take the Shinkansen from Tokyo Station and transfer to JR Nikko Line at Utsunomiya Station and head towards Nikko Station. It is about 20 minutes on foot from JR Nikko Station or Tobu Nikko Station. You can also take a bus from JR Nikko Station or Tobu Nikko Station. Take a Tobu bus bound for Lake Chuzenji and get off at "Shinkyo Bridge" stop.

Spot Information

  • Spot name: Nikko Futarasan Shrine Shinkyo Bridge
  • Street address: Kamihatsuishimachi Nikko, Tochigi
  • Access: About a 20-minute walk from JR Nikko Station or Tobu Nikko Station
  • Wi-Fi: Unavailable
  • Language: Only Japanese
  • Ticket: Shrine office
  • Credit cards: No credit cards accepted