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Nikko Cedar Avenue

Cultural Treasures

Nikko in Tochigi prefecture has been hallowed ground for mountain worship since the 8th century, and its World Heritage temples and shrines are magnificent examples of 17th-century architecture. Lake Chuzenji, Japan’s highest natural lake, has been a summer resort since the late 19th century. Get your bearings on it all with these highlights.

Chuzenji Temple Calligraphy

Day

1

MORNING
  • WALK AMID GIANTS.

    Stroll Cedar Avenue, a stretch of the mighty trees planted four centuries ago in tribute to shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu. Rising 30 meters (100 feet) in height, they are a fitting introduction to the stately shrines and temples nearby.

AFTERNOON
  • BIRD’S-EYE VIEW.

    Get your bearings from Akechidaira, a lookout with phenomenal views of Lake Chuzenji, Kegon Falls and Mount Nantai. It stands on the winding Irohazaka road, named for its 48 hairpin turns. You may meet a macaque or two on the way.

EVENING
  • SAVOR SOME SUSHI.

    Enjoy a multicourse kaiseki dinner at The Japanese Restaurant, including classic Edomae sushi served on local Mashiko ware.

Morning Zazen Meditation

Day

2

MORNING
  • MEDITATIONS.

    Pull back the curtains, grab the yoga mat provided in your room, and head to a zazen session led by a monk from nearby Chuzenji Temple. After breakfast, stroll to the temple for a purifying fire ceremony and sutra-copying practice.

MIDDAY
  • FIT FOR A KING.

    Tuck into a lunch featuring tempura, barley-rice, and red-miso soup. The healthy repast is inspired by the favorite dishes of shogun Tokugawa Ieyasu (1542–1616), who lived to a ripe age twice the average of his time.

AFTERNOON
  • OUTDOOR ADVENTURE OR INDOOR CRAFT?

    Head out to the Kirifuri highlands for the ascetic practice of standing beneath a waterfall to purify the body-mind. Or stay in and try your hand at the Nikko style of woodcarving in a class led by local artisans. 

EVENING
  • LUXURIATE IN THE SPA.

    Unwind before dinner with a blissful soak in our Onsen, then indulge in the Restorative Rock Ritual, a body exfoliation and hot-stone massage that uses volcanic basalt stones and natural salt from Futarasan Shrine.

  • A FEAST FOR ALL SENSES.

    Revel in the tastes, scents, and colors of the season transformed into a multicourse feast at The Japanese Restaurant. From sashimi to simmered and grilled delights and dessert, each dish is art on a plate.