I’m Jacob Laukaitis, a 21-year-old digital nomad who’s already been to more than 35 countries in the past nearly three years. I enjoy creating travel videos and sharing them with the world. Here’s my newest one from my hike in Nikko, Japan.
Nikko is located a few hundred kilometers north of Tokyo next to a National Park of the same name. Nikko National Park is geographically located in a range of mountains, some of which reach higher than 2,000 m above sea level. The entrance to the national park is free, but some of the most famous temples and shrines do require you to pay an entrance fee. Numerous visitor centers will assist you on any questions you might have. As everywhere in Japan, they’re incredibly hospitable and helpful.
Similar to other attractive natural locations in Japan, the park is quite crowded especially during the height of the summer tourist season or on major holidays. Logistically the park is well laid out – there are walkways for people to enjoy the wonderful Nikko trekking trails which are scenic and very clean.
The cultural significance of the historic buildings here is important. Nikko has some of the most lavishly decorated shrines in all of Japan including the mausoleum of the Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the Tokugawa shogunate.
When I visit sacred places I try to learn about their related rituals and practices. I recall when I first began traveling around Asia three years ago, I would visit dozens of temples and sacred locations and try to learn everything I could about them. However, now I feel like I’ve seen so many temples that the initial interest to learn more about each one’s history or sacred rituals involved has lessened to some extent – but my interest in visiting these sites has not dampened.
My trip to Nikko lasted three days. I chose to stay at a hostel. There is actually a funny story involved with my stay here – I could only secure a bed at my hostel for 2 days and the last day there were literally no hotel rooms available in the town and in the surrounding area (because it was a national holiday in Japan). So to find lodging I ended up taking the train for 50 kilometers to a larger city, slept there – then woke up 5 am the next morning to return to Nikko to continue my daily treks.
I visited Nikko in November. The weather was getting colder each day as the chilly shards of winter approached, but it was still pleasant during the day time and especially after trekking. At times it was even rather hot!
If you’d like to see more of my travels, I post 2 videos per month. I am really thankful for for their contribution to this trip. You can follow me on my Instagram where I post the best moments from my trips.