This statue is seen guarding the entrance (Photo: Masa Davovitz)

Narabi Jizo River Walk

Traditional buddhist stone figurines decorated in hand knitted red clothing

This statue is seen guarding the entrance (Photo: Masa Davovitz)
Masa Danovitz   - 2 min read

This peaceful walking route is a five-minute drive (21-minute walk) from the legendary red Shinkyo Bridge in the beautiful town of Nikko, Tochigi. For those looking for a 15-minute spiritual nature walk and appreciate the art of traditional Japanese stonework and sculpture, the Narabi Jizo river walk is a must-see location. Additionally, Nikko is only a 2-hour train ride from Tokyo, so it is a very manageable destination even for those looking to make a day trip within the Kanto area.

The hike creates a surprisingly calm environment despite the many rapids and mini-waterfalls which follow the path from the Daiya River. Additionally, the abundance of greenery from the many Japanese maple trees and sprawling zen-style moss combined with the red caps and bibs worn by the statues makes for a stimulating visual.

The Narabi Jizo walkway has minimal elevation and can be easily completed with no risk of getting lost, even by those who need assistance with walking. On the other hand, everyone should be mindful of their steps due to the maze of tree roots that litter the path. Wearing your most expensive shoes may not be the best idea because the path is not paved and the ground is muddy due to the naturally humid conditions. This river walk also passes the historical landmark of Reihikaku midway through the trail.

The entrance includes a small cafe, an ice cream shop, and public bathrooms. Visitors will be led west where you will find the Kitsuneyama Inari Shrine just past the last stone figure. One can continue to the Nikko Dainichi Bridge, the route taken if the Nikko Botanical Garden is next on your itinerary.

Masa Danovitz

Masa Danovitz @danovitz.masa

Born and raised in the Bay Area of California, United States of America. 2021 graduate of The University of Nevada, Reno. Half Japanese, half American. Native in English and conversational in Japanese.