Nikko Pilgrimage Route was a popular trail back in the Edo Period when Tokugawa Ieyasu, founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate, was enshrined in the Toshogu Shrine. Back in the day the route was used primarily by esoteric monks going to the temples in Nikko. When Tokugawa Ieyasu was enshrined, the ruling government made efforts to create better roads for people to travel from Edo (present day Tokyo) to Nikko in order to pay respect. Today there are a variety of hiking trails that connects to the World Heritage Sites of Nikko. The Nikko Pilgrimage Route is listed as one of the top 100 places to view cherry blossoms. Truthfully the cherry blossoms are scattered around the route from Yumoto Hot Springs through Lake Chuzenji and the majority residing in Nikko. There are a variety of cherry blossoms planted in the areas, which means there are different blooming periods. Some can be seen in mid-April while the rest will pop up in May. From the central area of Nikko city, you can walk to the different cherry blossom trees within 20 minutes or less. Each area has a unique version of the cherry blossoms in their respective places that will leave you wanting to venture out and see the others.