The grand festival of spring takes place in the world heritage site, Nikko Toshogu. The festival is dedicated to Japan’s first military commander Tokugawa Leyasu. Tokugawa is said to have brought the peace and political stability that laid the foundations for modern day Japan. He is buried in the Toshogu shrine, and a procession is carried every year as a re-enactment of his famous burial procession. The highlight of the festival is the Samurai procession taken by 1,000 men. They dress as full clad samurai warriors of the 18th century in honour of the shogun. Their procession is preceded by priests on the horsebacks and is followed by lion dancers and musicians. It is worthwhile listening to the ancient court music and watching the amazing dance performance. Another added attraction are the archers dressed as samurais who shoot targets while on horseback.
The Toshogu shrine known for its size and lavish ornamentation is the most visited shrine of Japan and the another attraction of the complex where the shrine is located is the Shinkyo Sacred Bridge which was built by the Shogun for his exclusive use. The famous carving of the three monkeys in "see-no-evil, hear-no-evil, speak-no-evil" pose can also be seen at the Sacred Stable.