Nikko (nēkˈkō) [key], town (2011 est. pop. 91,000), Tochigi prefecture, central Honshu, Japan, partially in Nikko National Park. Mergers with surrounding municipalities, including Imaichi, have made the city one of the largest in Japan in terms of area. Nikko is a tourist resort and religious center, famous for its ornate temples and shrines, dating from the Yedo period (1600–1868) and notable for rich coloring. Within the shrine of Ieyasu is the Yomeimon (Gate of Sunlight), perhaps the most beautiful gate in Japan. The park is noted for its mountain scenery, waterfalls, and cryptomeria forests. Nikko has Buddhist as well as Shinto shrines.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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